If he can’t do these 12 things, he’s not ready for a serious relationship

We sometimes include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.

Dating isn’t easy, especially if you’re with someone that makes you question whether they’re truly ready for a serious relationship. We’ve all been there. Mixed signals. Emotional barriers. Commitment issues.

I’m not here to play the blame game or make anyone the villain. Instead, I’d like to shed some light on overlooked signs that might save you from a heartache or two down the line.

Be prepared to face some uncomfortable truths, although keep in mind that sometimes the toughest truths are the ones that set us free.

Ultimately, I just hope you know what you deserve.

1) He Can’t Commit to Plans or the Small Things

Commitment isn’t just about the grand gestures or putting a ring on it.

It often reveals itself in the small, seemingly mundane things – the dinner plans, the pinky promises, the simple surprises.

When a man can’t do any of these, it’s an indication that he may be non-committal.

Given the hustle and bustle, it’s understandable that life gets in the way sometimes, making us cancel plans or reschedule appointments due to unforeseen circumstances.

However, if a pattern emerges where your man repeatedly fails to stick to his word, it’s an issue.

You deserve to be with someone who finds a way to be with you – not someone who finds another excuse.

It’s not the canceled plans that hurt the most; it’s the realization that they aren’t equally invested in the relationship.

2) He Can’t Let Go of Old Flames

A man who can’t let go of past flings or relationships is someone who isn’t ready to fully embrace the present – and even the future.

If he’s still frequently talking about his ex, bringing her (or them) up in conversations, or drawing comparisons, then clearly his heart is anchored somewhere else.

A few years ago, I was seeing a man who seemed adamant about the whole idea that you can be friends with your ex.

It started innocently enough, with him mentioning her in passing and liking her posts, but as time went on, it hit me: He was emotionally stuck in his past relationship.

In retrospect, I learned that a relationship should be about the two people in it, not the ghosts of partners past.

It’s not that I wasn’t enough – he just wasn’t yet ready for a serious relationship, at least not with me.

3) He Doesn’t Make You Feel Like a Priority

You might feel like you’re on the sidelines of his life. He often puts his friends, hobbies, or work before you, leaving you to feel like you’re an option rather than a priority.

Are you always initiating conversations? Do you feel like you’re taken for granted or that you’re an afterthought? Does he not give you the reassurance that he’ll make time for you?

In a healthy, serious relationship, both parties should feel valued and prioritized. Words without actions are just words.

If he knows how to follow through, you got yourself a good one. Actions truly speak volumes.

4) He Hesitates to Say “I Love You”

Believe it or not, those three words make a profound impact on your relationship and even your well-being. It’s calming.

It represents their raw emotion. It’s a reminder of their commitment to you. While there’s no rush into saying “I love you,” both parties need to acknowledge that a serious relationship entails emotional vulnerability.

You might recall moments when he was emotionally closed off, deflecting serious conversations with humor or changing the subject altogether.

You may have felt like you were talking to a wall. If this is the case, you could let them know by saying “I notice that you seem uncomfortable with deeper topics, but I think this is necessary for our relationship to grow, though. May I know why they might be hard for you?”

5) He Can’t Stop Focusing on Physical Intimacy

Physical intimacy is a need for any romantic relationship.

However, if man focuses excessively on this aspect – so much that you feel like it overshadows everything else – you might start to feel like an object rather than a person that’s loved and understood.

Remember, you deserve a partner who appreciates you for more than just your physical traits.

I remember dating a man who seemed more interested in getting in bed with me rather than getting to know me.

Our connection felt shallow, devoid of any emotional depth. I seemed like this shiny object, desired for my body, but not for the qualities, thoughts, and feelings that course my being.

6) He’s Not Willing to Compromise or Meet Halfway

If anything, a serious relationship is a partnership, a commitment where both parties agree to meet halfway as much as possible.

It should never feel like a battle where one person must emerge victoriously.

It’s about two people working together to find common ground, respecting each other’s boundaries, and nurturing mutual growth.

The thing is, compromise doesn’t always come hand-in-hand with arguments.

It could be as simple as always choosing the movie on date nights or being the first to call to say “I love you” in the morning.

Life is about give and take. If he’s too stubborn to offer that, then this is a glaring red flag.

7) He Doesn’t Engage in Future Planning

A man that’s ready for a serious relationship makes long-term plans. They let you know that they see you in their future – that’s how invested they are. They have a general direction. Both of you should also have some shared goals.

Try bringing up topics like moving in together, financial planning, or potential life milestones. If you and your partner aren’t on the same page – or even the same chapter – what makes you think that both of you will be in the far-off future?

8) He Rarely or Never Apologizes When He’s Wrong

Apologizing when we’re wrong is a sign of emotional maturity. If your man rarely or never apologizes, this can be a sign of a bigger issue: He’s unwilling to take responsibility for his actions and lacks respect for your feelings.

Being able to say “I’m sorry” is a sign of self-awareness – and trust me, that’s something you want in a life partner.

Years back, when I was dating that guy who only cared about physical intimacy, I would communicate that I wasn’t feeling loved.

I even listed down the things he could do such as sending good morning texts, asking if I was enjoying whatever we were doing, or going on date nights.

My requests kept falling on deaf ears. He said I was asking for too much – that I couldn’t appreciate our “simple moments in bed.”

Best believe, I left that relationship in a heartbeat. I knew I deserved to be treated like a human with feelings.

9) He Doesn’t Love and Respect Himself

As cliché as it sounds, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” If a man doesn’t love and respect himself, he may struggle to extend those feelings to you.

This could result in insecurity, jealousy, and unhealthy relationship dynamics.

If you find that your partner hasn’t been taking care of themselves lately, approach him gently and say something along the lines of “I’ve noticed that you’re often tough on yourself.

Can we talk about this? It’s been affecting our relationship.” Don’t give up on him so easily just yet. Hear him out.

10) He Doesn’t Show Appreciation for What You Do

If your man rarely acknowledges the things you do, big or small, this could signal that he undervalues your efforts. Communication is key here.

He might have just forgotten to say thank you, so express your feelings calmly and honestly.

Articulate your need for appreciation and validation.

If he gaslights you or says that you’re overreacting, it’s time for a serious conversation about the future of your relationship.

11) He Doesn’t Ask About Your Day

Someone who is genuinely interested in you will naturally be curious about your day-to-day life. This is something that I’m forever grateful to have in my current relationship (sorry for the flex).

I never knew how much the question “How was your day?” made me feel loved until my boyfriend kept asking it for months on end.

Like clockwork, he would listen and ask follow-up questions that make me feel like I matter. He’s not just asking out of habit; he’s genuinely interested in how I feel and what I think about certain topics. He actually cares and loves me, for me.

12) He’s Unwilling to Deal With His Baggage

Everyone carries some form of baggage. It’s a natural part of the human experience.

From past relationships and unresolved family issues to deep-seated insecurities, our pieces of luggage vary in size and weight.

But if your man keeps turning a blind eye to his issues, that baggage can become a big roadblock. It will inevitably direct the pace and direction of your relationship.

This first step is to initiate a conversation – but, of course, he has to be ready to talk about things.

Be patient and understanding. Don’t interrupt or judge. Encourage him to seek help, if necessary, such as therapy or counseling.

However, if he refuses to unpack his past, it might be time to reconsider if this is the kind of relationship you want to be in.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

10 things a woman does in a relationship when she looks up to you

9 parenting habits that foster emotional intelligence in kids