He Likes You but Doesn’t Want a Relationship? How to Deal with It

Nothing stings quite like romantic rejection. What about sort of rejection? Here’s how to deal with the dreaded “I like you, but not in a relationship way.”

he likes you but doesn't want a relationship

You’ve been going out for three weeks now, and you just can’t get enough of each other. You click together like no one ever has. You just have a blast when you’re together. You text and call each other non-stop when you’re not. You find yourself growing close to him, and you start to entertain the idea of getting serious with him. That is, until you receive that text: “I like you, but I don’t want a relationship.”

Those words cut deeply, in the most unexpected ways. Why do those words leave you surprised and disappointed? After all, you’ve only been seeing each other for a short time, and you know better than to expect too much too soon just because things are going well.

Deal with it

Before you start being all sad and losing hope in finding your very own Mr. Right, here’s how to deal with someone you like not wanting to be in a relationship with you or *you hope* with anyone. [Read: 15 surefire signs he likes you but isn’t into you]

#1 First of all, find out why. Of course, you couldn’t—and shouldn’t!—ask him. At least, not early on in your “relationship.” However, you should at least have a good idea why he *almost* acts so much like your boyfriend, although he tells you he doesn’t want to be in a relationship.

This way, you know what your next move is, and if he is really worth sticking with after all. The reasons why he doesn’t want to be in a relationship may be one or a combination of the following:

-He really doesn’t want a girlfriend.
-He doesn’t want you to be his girlfriend.
-He is waiting on someone else to be his girlfriend. He wants a committed relationship, but you may just be a rebound.
-He is choosing between you and another *or more* to be his girlfriend. He may be playing you and another woman. And holding a contest for who he’ll keep and dump.
-He is working on certain personal issues before he commits.
-He is waiting for you to work on your issues before he commits. He may like you, but there is something about you he hopes will change before he commits.
-He knows you’ll be sticking around even if he doesn’t commit. In this case, he is very confident you will still see him, even if he sees someone else and is not exclusive. [Read: Avoid them like the plague: 16 types of guys not to date]

#2 Take it at face value. When you still can’t figure out what his reasons are for not wanting to be in a relationship with you right now, the safest thing to do is to simply take his words at face value. He says he can’t be in a relationship, and maybe he can’t tell you when he’ll be ready.

A smart move is to move on with your life and enjoy it, with or without him, free of expectations. The tricky part is to make sure you do not get too attached and just enjoy your time together while it lasts. After all, maybe that’s the kind of relationship you need too. [Read: 13 signs he wants a relationship with you but is too scared]

#3 Be prepared for heartbreak. While this undefined relationship makes you happy *besides, you like him a LOT, think you are falling for him, and you can change his mind later on*, it comes with a lot of complications. A man who cannot be open or honest to you about his feelings can be difficult to deal with now and, most likely, in the long run.

After all, only a small child cannot articulate his feelings or make up his mind and stick with it. If he refuses to attach strings to make you his girlfriend and you’re okay with that right now, then be prepared to get your heart broken and your self esteem trashed sooner or later.

Being with a man who doesn’t want a relationship will leave you frustrated. Chasing after him when he made it clear he doesn’t feel the same will destroy your self esteem and open you up for more hurt. If you’re sure you have an invincible heart of steel, then go ahead. [Read: Love sucks! 21 reasons why we hate it yet crave for it]

#4 Set your sights on somewhere—or someone—else. While you are going crazy over your guy, someone out there may be crazy for you. Maybe you know him or have yet to meet him. The thing is, there is definitely someone, somewhere, who is an amazing, attractive, caring, thoughtful, and funny guy, who fits your personality like a glove. Who knows, that someone could not only be “the one,” but better yet, “your one.”

Instead of focusing all your time and energy, as well as your emotions, on a person who cannot even define what he feels and leaves you hanging, go out and explore your options. Go out there, have fun, and be open for something real to come along. [Read: How to make a guy fall in love with you: 21 ways to charm him]

#5 Say thank you and leave. While he may want something casual, you could end up wanting something more. Otherwise, you won’t have a problem with him not wanting a relationship. So, when he tells you this, thank him for being honest with you, and then leave. If you think you want different things out of the relationship, then it is not going to work out—at least at this time. [Read: 20 signs it’s time to accept he’s probably not going to be into you]

Instead of loving someone who doesn’t love you back, or hurrying off to someone to mend your broken heart and ego, take time off to love yourself. Trust if he’s the one for you, he will sort out his feelings and pursue you. In the mean time, enjoy being unattached and carefree.

[Read: Is he a commitment phobe? 20 ways to tell for sure]

Do not settle for a guy who cannot reciprocate the love and attention you give him. A man truly worth your time will not only be fun to be around and great in bed—he will also make you feel safe, secure, appreciated, and loved.

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Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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