You’re into him and you thought he felt the same. That was until he suggested you see other people.
When he tells you to date someone else it not only feels hurtful but it’s incredibly confusing.
What does it really mean? This article will cover everything you need to know.
My story: he told me I can date other guys
Last year I met this guy. I’m not normally the type who falls fast but I was crushing on him straight away.
He seemed like everything I was looking for and I left our first date feeling all the butterflies.
And when he text me within minutes to say “you’re amazing”, I assumed we were on the same page.
But sadly, modern dating is a little bit more complicated than that. As we got closer over the coming weeks I noticed a few red flags.
I won’t lie, there were probably signs in the way he behaved that pointed to the fact he wasn’t looking for a serious relationship. But I maybe didn’t want to see them.
We never had “the talk” about where it was going. But deep down I wanted him to become my boyfriend.
But that clearly wasn’t what he had in mind. Instead he rather casually told me to date someone else. Almost as though it was no big deal. Those words cut really deep. Why on earth would he say that to me if he liked me?!
If you can relate and are looking for some answers, then here’s what is most likely going on in his head:
10 things it means when he tells you to date someone else
1) He is emotionally unavailable
In my case, this was probably top of the list of reasons.
Ultimately it all boiled down to the fact he wasn’t emotionally available. He hadn’t gone into this looking for a relationship.
The problem is I had, and so our expectations were totally different.
He didn’t want to commit and so even though he liked me and enjoyed being with me, he kept himself emotionally detached from the situation.
He knew from the start he wasn’t going to put his heart on the line. He wasn’t ready or looking for commitment.
We like to imagine that if you meet “the right one” you can’t help but fall in love, but it’s not true. You need to have your heart open to it, and his just wasn’t.
2) He wants to keep things casual
Telling you to date someone else is like his declaration that things aren’t serious between you two.
It takes the pressure off him. It’s almost like his warning to you — you’re not my girlfriend so don’t expect anything from me.
Telling you to date someone else when you two are dating him firmly places you into the friends with benefits or Netflix and Chill categories.
It says we’re having fun but that’s all this is.
The most painful thing to accept when this is the case is that although he likes you, ultimately he doesn’t like you enough to want to take things further or commit.
3) He’s trying to let you down gently
If he is a bit of a coward and doesn’t want to tell you straight his feelings towards you (or lack of them), this could be his exit strategy.
Particularly if your boyfriend told you to date someone else, this can become his first step out the door.
It is part of the build-up to ending things completely. Rather than rip the bandaid off in one go, some guys prefer to slowly do it.
He may tell you to see other people, slowly become more and more distant, and start to withdraw.
4) His hero instinct hasn’t been triggered
This explanation dives a bit deeper below the surface excuses to the heart of his psychological makeup.
You see, for guys, it’s all about triggering their inner hero.
I learned about this from the hero instinct. Coined by relationship expert James Bauer, this fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.
And it’s something most women don’t know anything about. When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to commit.
Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys really need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?
Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel in distress or buy your man a cape.
The easiest thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12 word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.
Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.
It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you.
5) He has freaked out
We’re all only human, and sometimes feelings can get overwhelming.
It could be that he has told you to date other men because he is having a panic. If things have started to feel more serious, he may freak out about whether he wants a relationship.
If this is the case it will only be temporary. At some point, it will dawn on him as he can’t deny his feelings.
A guy once told a friend of mine to see other people. So she called his bluff. And guess what happened?
He got super jealous and didn’t like it at all.
But it was enough for him to realize his feelings for her were stronger than he thought. He discovered that he didn’t want to share her with anyone else and they became exclusive.
6) He doesn’t feel good enough for you
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that a guy is a player, but that isn’t always the case.
One of my boyfriends years ago broke up with me because, and I quote, “you’re too good for me, and when you realize you’re going to leave me”.
Obviously, he had some major insecurities. So it is possible that a guy would encourage you to see other people if didn’t think he deserved you.
He might even be trying to test you to see what you say.
This might sound like a nicer explanation, but I’ll level with you, even if it is the reason why, it doesn’t bode well.
This type of insecurity destroys relationships and can be challenging to work through. You can reassure someone, but you can’t give them self-esteem.
7) He wants you to move on
Maybe this isn’t a current beau who has told you to date someone else, perhaps it is a former flame?
If you’ve been holding on to an ex — you’re still in contact, still hanging out— this is your cue to let go.
He is letting you know that there is no way back or hope of reconciliation. So he thinks it is time that you moved on and started dating other people.
8) He is seeing other people
If you like this guy then I know you won’t want to think about this, but reality check:
If he tells you to see other people then there is a good chance that’s what he is doing, or at the very least wants to be doing.
In the era of app dating it’s become more acceptable to casually see several people at once. So you never know these days if you’re just the side chick.
Him telling you to see other people is him trying to let himself off the hook and ease his guilt.
Whatever he is up to that you are not aware of he won’t feel as bad if he has given permission for you to do the same.
9) What would an expert say
I’ve tried to include in this article all the potential varied reasons he might tell you to date someone else.
But the reality is that every situation is unique. So sometimes it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about what is going on in your case.
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.
Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talk. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle complicated love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
10) It’s the wrong place and time
They say that timing is everything and sadly it can be very true.
If he isn’t in a place in life right now where he can commit, he might tell you it’s better to date other people.
He could be just out of a serious relationship. He might be really focused on his career or studies. He might be about to move halfway across the country.
Love doesn’t always conquer all, and there could be practical reasons why he thinks it is better to avoid getting into a relationship.
To conclude: what should you do if he tells you to date someone else?
You need to think long and hard about what you really want, and whether this man can give it to you.
Don’t agree to see other people if deep down you want something exclusive, in the hope he will eventually change his mind. You are only setting yourself up for even more heartache down the line.
My advice to you is to be honest with him about how you feel. If you don’t want anyone else, then let him know.
But if he doesn’t feel the same, don’t betray yourself. Be prepared to walk away. If he isn’t fully available to you, then do not make yourself available to him.
If he thinks he can get away with having his cake and eating it, then he probably will.
In my case, I knew I couldn’t do casual. I liked him too much. So I had no choice. For the sake of my own heart, I had to walk away.
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy.
But one year later I am now with a man who wants me and only me. I didn’t have to convince him.
And ultimately it was walking away from a situation where I wasn’t getting what I wanted that freed me up to find a man that does deserve me.