The moment finally came.
It’s been weeks or months of you two getting closer with each other, becoming more intimate and familiar with one another, and bonding in the way only romantic partners bond.
But when you finally popped the question to her – “Do you want to go on a date?” or “Do you want to be my girlfriend?” – the only thing she could say was, “I’m not ready for something serious, but I like you.”
So what do you do?
You might feel anger, confusion, resentment, sadness, or any number of things.
How do you handle this appropriately, and how do you get back to a place where you can think straight?
Here are 8 things to do when she says she likes you, but is not ready to be in a relationship:
1) Take a Step Back: Stop the Chase
She broke the bad news to you, and you can’t help but feel devastated.
You thought you had something real with her, and you do, in a way, but even though she likes you, she doesn’t want to be official with you.
So what exactly does that mean?
Where does this leave you two now?
What can you do to make her see that she’s wrong and you two were meant to be with each other?
You have all these questions swimming around in your head, and you’re bound to eventually act out on one of them on an impulse.
But acting out impulsively is the last thing you want to do.
That will only push her away, making her think that her decision to stay out of a relationship was the right one.
The only good thing you can do at this point?
Give both you and her some space to breathe.
Your feelings for her didn’t come as a surprise; she knew it and she thought about it, and this is the answer she chose to give you.
So take it like a man and spend some time for yourself, so you can properly digest her response.
2) Get Out of Her Inbox
So it might be a few hours or days since she gave you the bad news. Now you feel a little lost.
Should you keep contacting her?
Should you pretend as if nothing happened and just keep sending her memes and all your thoughts?
Pretending as if nothing happened won’t help.
You know what happened and she knows what happened; trying to brush it under the rug as if it never happened will just confuse the situation.
Stop messaging her for a while, or at least, let her know that her response affected you.
Even if she won’t say it outright, you were rejected.
So learn to live with that rejection with dignity.
Don’t flood her inbox with a dozen different emotions, and don’t flood her inbox with so many memes as if to make her forget it.
Process what happened with dignity.
3) Accept the Situation and Accept Her Decision
Your first thought when she says “I like you, but I’m not ready for a serious relationship” might be to change her mind.
Like most guys, when a woman presents you with a problem, your mind might immediately jump to trying to fix that problem.
But this isn’t the kind of problem you fix.
This isn’t something you find a solution for, because there is no solution for something like this.
Don’t be blinded by the voices in your head saying you can force her to love you or you can make her change her mind; that will only push her away from you.
Respect her enough to accept her decision.
She knew what she said to you, and she knew the implications of those words.
This is where you two are now, and only when you accept that can you find the right path moving forward.
4) Make Up Your Mind: Figure Out What You Want
After you’ve come to terms with her feelings, you now have to come to terms with your own.
Ask yourself: now that you know how she feels, what do you really want?
Do you still love her and are you willing to wait for her, slowly showing her that you can be patient enough to keep building this relationship until she’s ready for the next step?
Or do you want to get on your hands and knees and beg her to change her mind right now?
And if so, is that coming from a place of real love, or from a bruised ego that can’t accept rejection?
Or the third option: you realize that you don’t want to continue pursuing someone who doesn’t want to be official with you; you know you’re deserving of love right now, not when she’s ready at some unknown time in the future.
And you would like to find another person to build that relationship with today, not wait for her unknown milestone that could take months or years before it happens.
The sooner you understand what you want, the sooner you can emotionally come to terms with it and figure out your next steps.
5) Stop Pushing; Let Her Come To You
Ultimately, most men would choose the first option, because we can say it might be the most chivalrous option: giving her time to be ready for the relationship, and slowly proving to her (and yourself) that you’re worthy of being her man.
But the problem most men make when faced with this circumstance is that they end up pushing so much more.
They force themselves upon the woman, messaging her constantly, scheduling dates and plans with her as often as they can, and simply working too hard to seem like the perfect guy.
Don’t do this.
Stick to what you were doing before; it was obviously working, because it was enough to make her like you.
Let her have the space and time to think as well; let her know that your love for her is real, almost unconditional in a way, and she will eventually, slowly, come to you.
6) Don’t Stress Her Out Over Labels
When one person “isn’t ready” for a real relationship, the last thing they want is a conversation about labels.
So don’t stress her out over labels.
If she agrees to go out with you to a fun concert followed by a delicious dinner followed by a potential “sleepover” at your place or her place, don’t say, “That was the best date of my life!”
When you introduce her to your friends and family, don’t call her your “girlfriend” and don’t say “it’s complicated”; just say that she’s your close friend and you hang out together a lot
Never make her feel like you’re trying to impose a label on her that she’s not ready to wear.
When a person likes you but isn’t ready for a relationship, she might be dealing with personal issues you know nothing about, and not respecting those boundaries with sudden mislabelling can be an easy way to push her away.
It tells her that you’re not really willing to wait; you’re just trying to trick her into winding up with you.
7) Give Her The Time To Fall In Love
Earlier we said that you should know what you want and you should make your next steps based on that.
So if you decide to keep seeing her, tell her that you’re willing to wait, then make sure that your full heart is committed to doing that.
Truly give her the time to fall in love with you, no matter how much time that may be (as long as you’re willing to wait that long).
Don’t be upset if two months down the road she’s still in the same space mentally.
She told you how she felt; there’s no timer, no counter tracking the number of dates you go on together.
She has to follow her heart, just as you had to follow yours.
Love works differently for all of us, and we all have our own standards for what it means to be in a relationship.
Instead of forcing her to adapt to yours, learn to adapt to hers.
It can be frustrating, absolutely.
But if you put in the time and effort to let her fall genuinely and deeply in love with you, this might wind up being the best relationship of your life.
8) Ask Her What She Wants
All too often guys make this one simple mistake: they don’t actually ask the woman what she wants.
Men tend to like skipping steps, and trying to find solutions to the problems as soon as possible.
But if you try to find a solution that doesn’t even involve the input of what your potential partner wants, then how can it really be the right solution?
Don’t assume you know what she’s thinking, or even worse, that you know better than she does about her own feelings.
Communicate with her, and show her that you’re not only willing to listen, but willing to react appropriately to her needs.
Ask her what she needs to be ready for a relationship; what she needs to see in a possible partner, and what you can do to be a better fit for her.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
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