15 alarming signs he will never settle down (and is going to be a player for life)

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You don’t want to rush him, but at the same time you don’t want to spend your days waiting for him to get it together only to find out way too late he just isn’t going to settle down.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with not wanting to settle down, but if you want to commit and start a family with him someday, you need to make sure both of you want the same thing out of your relationship.

To help you along, I put together 15 signs that he’s never going to settle down.

1) He’s perfectly happy with his life

A sign that settling down just isn’t in his sights is that he’s perfectly fine with the way things are.

It’s been months, and it feels like you’re still on the same stage of your relationship as when you started. You’ve already gotten to know each other, and you get all lovey-dovey together like any good couple does, but it feels like that’s all he wants and he just wants to keep you around.

If you’ve been together for a few months and he truly wants a future with you, he won’t be content with your relationship getting into a standstill. He’ll be trying to make sure it progresses in any way.

2) He has never been in a long-term relationship before

If he’s never been in a long-time-relationship before, he’s probably not perfectly sure about what he’s getting into.

He might wonder about what he’s missing out on with others, or he simply doesn’t know how to handle a relationship. And try as he might, it’s possible he’ll find the responsibilities too much to handle.

If he has had a lot of short-lived flings before, he’ll have that way of thinking fresh in his mind and it will take him a while to get rid of that mentality.

Now, I’m not saying that he’s guaranteed to never want to settle down if you’re his first long-term relationship.

But he’ll be unsure and inexperienced in so many important skills in a relationship that the idea of committing to you and settling down is going to be hard to truly grasp.

3) He doesn’t like having any relationship talk

It’s no big deal if he doesn’t try to start the relationship conversation himself. Sometimes people are just that timid and he might be afraid that you’d shut him down especially if he used to have a relationship with someone who shut him down every time he tried.

But if you approach him about it and he keeps on deflecting the subject, not responding, or outright telling you to stop, then you should start to worry if you see him as a potential long-term relationship.

If he isn’t comfortable with the idea of talking about relationships at all, then he has absolutely no business being in one. He’s likely been a player for a while.

Whatever issues he’s dealing with that’s making it hard for him to talk about relationships should be handled even before he gets himself involved. Otherwise, he’s only going to hurt the two of you.

4) He shuts down when you start to show feelings

You might want to pay attention to how he acts when you start showing feelings for him.

If he shuts down and doesn’t respond at all or doesn’t seem to acknowledge it, then there are definitely issues you need to work on. What I’m talking about here are situations where you tell him or show him that you love him like throwing a party for him or giving him gifts.

If all he does is thank you and smile for five seconds, and then get back to doing other things as if nothing special had happened.

Well, alright. It doesn’t automatically mean he doesn’t want to settle. It could mean that you’ve love bombed him so hard that it made him uncomfortable (throwing a party for him if you’ve just been together for a month, for instance).

It could also mean that he doesn’t know how to respond to affection.

But yes, definitely, it could also mean that they’re not taking your relationship seriously and have no idea how to deal with you actually showing emotion because they’re not quite there yet.

Definitely try to talk to him about it at some point to better understand why he does that, but either way, settling down with someone who can’t handle your feelings well is not a good idea anyway.

5) He keeps looking for something new

There are people who seem to be perpetually restless. They just can’t sit down for too long before they’re off chasing after a shiny new thing and, in the process, abandon or neglect what they have.

If he is like this, tough luck.

It could mean that he gets bored quickly, and that he’s never going to be content with a life together with one person. It could mean that he’s after the thrill of the chase, and not an actual relationship. It could also mean that there’s something he’s looking for, and it’s just not in you.

It’s unlikely that he’ll ever settle down. And trust me, you’re not going to enjoy a relationship with someone like this. He might make you feel loved when his attention is on you, but he’s not going to make you feel secure and treasured.

On the contrary, you’ll become a nervous wreck especially if you have an anxious attachment style.

6) He doesn’t believe in marriage

Marriage isn’t always the be-all-end-all. There are arguments that humans are naturally polygamous, or that we naturally drift from partner to partner as we walk through life. Some even go as far as to despise marriage, and claim that it’s an unnatural state of being.

Those perspectives are not necessarily wrong, but if you do believe in marriage and want to settle down with someone, then you’re not going to have good chances with someone who doesn’t like it.

And don’t count on being the one to ‘change’ his views. You’re just wasting his time. Yes, some men do this so the woman will stay but imagine if he’s always been against marriage and you just pressured him into it?

You might risk having a husband who doesn’t believe in marriage and would want out.

Just let him be and look for someone whose goals are more in line with yours, just as he will most likely try to look for someone whose idea of marriage is compatible with his.

7) He doesn’t keep his promises

He promised to meet you at the park by noon. You go there and sit under the blazing sun until night comes and he doesn’t show up. He promised to take you shopping come Sunday, but the day ends and he doesn’t even bring it up.

If he’s a naturally forgetful guy, cut him some slack. However, if he’s the kind of guy who seems to lie a lot and give big promises just to impress someone, don’t trust him.

And see, a long-term relationship is basically one of the biggest, most important promises you can make for each other. If he can’t respect smaller, easier promises, how is he supposed to respect something like marriage?

8) He seems to still be hung up with his ex

Breaking up ain’t easy. No matter how the relationship ended, we pour so much of ourselves into our exes that we just can’t help but continue to love them or be attached in the deepest depths of our hearts.

But here’s the thing. When getting into a relationship with someone, you should try to make your relationship about the two of you. You should leave the past behind and work for the future.

If he can’t stop talking about his ex, however, it means he never truly let go. His ex probably still haunts his heart and mind. Maybe she was his “the one who got away” and he’s just waiting for them to get back together again.

If this becomes clear to you, especially if they’re still talking, talk to him about it. You don’t need this drama in your life.

9) He’s divorced and swears “never again”

Not all relationships turn out well. Some of them leave such deep scars in our psyche that we continue to suffer from the pain years down the line and this pain, unfortunately, can make it hard for us to get into or maintain a relationship.

And then there are those who simply want to take advantage of the sympathy they’ll get if they claim to have been deeply wounded.

Either way, if he says that he’s never getting into a relationship again, take his words at face value and don’t try. Even if he teases you by saying that he might change their mind if “the right girl comes along.”

Especially if he’s already over 30. This guy knows exactly what he’s doing, and not doing (which is to settle down).

Don’t take it as a challenge. Don’t think that you’re the “right girl.”

If he truly is that badly wounded, then he’s in no shape to be in a relationship until he sets himself straight. And if he’s playing with your sympathy, he does not deserve a spot in your heart.

10) He avoids talking about the future

A guy who never talks about the future is probably one of the worst people to expect a future with. Unless you’re one of those girls who also doesn’t talk about the future, in which case the two of you are a perfect match.

If he has no plans for the future and avoids the topic every time it is brought up, then it’s obvious that he wants a future that isn’t that different from the present.

And settling down is going to put him through so many changes. He’s not going to like that.

11) He’s not financially ready

If he couldn’t even support himself, then no wonder he can’t be in a relationship with you. Most men want to become the hero in their woman’s life no matter how old-fashioned it might seem.

Sometimes, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to settle down. Many men do! It’s just that being financially secure matters a lot to men and having a family is just too expensive.

However, if it seems like he really isn’t planning on (or even dreaming of) building a future with you at all—which could probably include a house, a car, a garden, a baby—then maybe he really doesn’t see himself settling down.

Next time you’re together, share your dream future with him and see how he responds. Will it inspire him to get his finances in better shape or he just changes the topic?

12) He’s has a long record of short-term relationships

It’s absurd to expect people to find their partner for life on their first try. Some people somehow manage it, but for the vast majority of people, having a handful of failed relationships down their belt is only to be expected.

However, if he’s had a long record of short-term or failed relationships, then you need to be wary.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and he’s the one constant across all those failed relationships. There has to be a reason why he’s gone through so many—it could be that he has (that’s right) commitment issues.

Either way, don’t expect to be the one to break the record.

13) He has trust issues

Relationships are built on trust. Now, while it might be unreasonable to expect him to open up about every single thing in his life in your first month together, by the time you’ve been together for almost a year, he should have already learned to trust you.

He’s not ready to commit to you if he can’t even bring himself to trust you. Your relationship will devolve into a toxic mess, full of suspicion and anxiety. Trust is, after all, the central pillar of any relationship. Without it, everything falls apart.

There’s only so much you can do to help people open up. In the end, it’s entirely their choice on whether they should begin trusting again. Until they know how to trust, expect a relationship with them to be full of confusion and heartache.

14) He’s wild and free (and he loves it)

Freedom is a wonderful thing.

It’s one of the first things we pursue after we leave our parents behind and venture out into the open world. We hate being chained down and being told what to do…to not be free to do whatever we want.

But the thing with relationships is that they’re a game of compromise. If you don’t like it when he’s out partying until sundown, he should respect your wishes. If he doesn’t like it when you flirt with other guys, you should respect his wishes.

You’re a team, after all.

If he could not live with that, and especially if he gets angry when you try to talk over boundaries, restrictions, and the like, then he’s going to resent the idea of settling down. It would be anathema to his very way of life.

15) He says that he doesn’t want to settle down

It can’t get any more obvious that he’s not going to settle down than this. And, no, don’t take it as a challenge. Far too many women think that they’re so alluring or that they’re so special that they’re going to change their guy’s mind eventually.

Don’t fall into that trap. It’s not your job to change a guy’s mind, and I doubt he’d appreciate you disrespecting his wishes just so that you can settle down with him.

Even if you’re the prettiest girl in the world, a guy who’s made up his mind to not settle down will not change his mind. Not for you, not for their mother…and that’s because they respect themselves. And that’s what you should do, too.

If you have a talk with your guy about where your relationship is going and he looks at you straight in the eye to tell you this, it’s time to choose yourself.


Sometimes people just aren’t going to commit to a relationship, or their idea of a relationship might be different from yours. There’s nothing wrong with that. But it’s important that you set your expectations straight before you get too attached.

If you get into a relationship with a player, you should not start a relationship with him expecting that he’s going to change for you. It’s too risky.

People do change, and expectations may also change as your relationship progresses, but starting a relationship now in the hopes that it’ll change later is certainly not a good idea.

If there’s just no compromise, then you should just cut your losses and move on to better pastures. You’ll find your man out there and they will want the same things as you.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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