The great, and sometimes horrible, thing about dating is that there are no rules. You can date a guy for three hours before you jump into a relationship. Or you can date him indefinitely because he’s not ready for a relationship.
You could even date him for a decade and still not be “official.” This is great for people who don’t want to be tied down by rules, but it’s a huge pain for those who are expecting a little more stability in the relationship.
The burning question we’re going to talk about here, he’s not ready for a relationship right now. So, should you wait or should you move on?
With Tinder just a click away, it is no problem to get a date these days. Plus, we can always rely on our matchmaker friends to get us a date or two.
Unfortunately, guys also know the ease with which they can date in the modern world. Just one little thing they don’t like about you can instantly get you from the “potential girlfriend” category to the “casual relationship only” category.
And this poses a huge problem for women who want something more than just a passing fling. We definitely want to know if we’ve been dumped into the “casual relationship only” category, but is it possible to really know for sure? [Read: 10 guys you should quit dating if you want real love]
Relationships are a series of ups and downs which hopefully lead to a happy ending. The problem is, what one person sees as ‘happy’ isn’t always a view shared by the other.
We’re all at different points in our lives, and while one person might be ready and raring to settle down and procreate, their partner might never want that, simply happy to share memories and time with someone as a companion.
There are countless different ideas of what a relationship is, but the single most important thing is to ensure that both parties are on the very same page. [Read: The right reasons for breaking up with someone you love]
Whether your guy is a talker or more of the strong silent type, it can be hard to get some men to share how they’re feeling. Luckily for those of you with a less than forthcoming fella, there are ways for you to read the signs he’s ready for a relationship or not.
And whether you have been flirting, dating, or on the verge of a serious relationship, it is nice to know where you stand with him.
Before questioning his readiness for a relationship, take a look in the mirror. You may think you’re ready, but are you? It doesn’t matter what he thinks, what about you? Do you want a relationship right now? [Read: The questions to ask yourself to see if you’re ready for a relationship]
Are you still hung up on your ex? Do you have trust issues? Are you prepared to commit? These are all things we avoid looking at in ourselves. When doing so, we criticize others.
So, before we hunt for signs he’s ready for a relationship, analyze your own readiness first. You may discover that you need some time to figure things out before settling down anyway.
If you decide that you do, if you honestly hand on heart want a real relationship, waiting around for Mr. Not Right Now isn’t the best choice. Seriously, with love and respect, walk away.
[Read: The 20 big clues you need to back away from your relationship now]
If you’ve decided you are ready for a relationship, it is time to find the signs he’s ready for a relationship. But you won’t just pick up on them. Be on the lookout.
This doesn’t mean snooping through his phone or making him go out with you and your girlfriends every weekend. Look at how he handles anything rough that comes up.
Look for the signs he is emotionally stable and mature. Does he lash out? Or does he run away when things get tough instead of talking it through? Does he listen and respect you?
See how he treats you when times get tough. Also, look for his behavior when you talk about the future. Does he tense up? Notice these small and sometimes easy-to-miss behaviors, and the signs he’s ready for a relationship will strike you in no time. [Read: The smitten signs that say your boyfriend is in love with you]
Let’s start with the signs that he is ready for a relationship. If you see a few of these signs, you are in the clear. If you have all of them, you are one lucky lady.
But, again, be sure you find these signs. These aren’t things that you notice every day, like him leaving the toilet seat up or not washing his cereal bowl. They are a bit more subtle than that.
Ahhh… a man who listens. Take him and don’t look back.
But, for real, if he listens to you, and not with a glazed-over look on his face, but actually hears you and interacts, he is mature and prepared for the ups and downs of a relationship. [Read: Manchild alert! Don’t fall for the immature prick]
If he is making plans for next weekend and asks what you’re doing, not only is he mature enough to plan out his time, but he wants you to be involved in his future.
Whether that means next month or six months from now, he wants you around.
The first sign of a guy capable of handling a relationship is his ability to compromise. If he can give up something and meet you halfway, he cares about your happiness. And it isn’t just about your happiness so you don’t nag him. He genuinely wants to see you happy.
This goes for watching his show later but watching yours with you now. Or missing out on the first half of a game to come to your cousin’s baby shower. And a guy that does this without complaint is a saint.
And that does not mean he stays up until 1:00 a.m. for you to come over. That is not making time. But, a guy who makes time for you in his busy schedule and works with yours wants to make things work.
If he drives a long distance to see you, takes time off from work to spend with you, or plans outings for you, he shows signs he’s ready for a relationship. [Read: 15 signs he’s getting attached and is ready for a real commitment]
This is not only a sign that he is ready for a relationship, but also that he is ready for a relationship with you.
If he introduces you to the most important people in his life, like his family and friends, he wants you around. He also wants to see what they think about you.
And this should not make you nervous. He wants to bring you into his inner circle. It says you are one of the people he is closest to.
If he tells you he will be there at eight, and he is there at eight, not only is reliable but punctual. A guy that doesn’t lie about the small stuff tends not to lie about the big stuff either.
Liars tend to lie about everything. People that are honest and ready to be honest in a relationship are always honest.
This is a big sign of emotional maturity. Someone who is emotionally stunted may take their frustrations out on others. That could mean your friends, the waiter, the Uber driver, or even you.
Someone that is in control of their emotions is kind even when having a bad day. [Read: The 13 types of men you shouldn’t date even if you’re looking for true love]
Affection and intimacy are a sign that a man wants more than sex. He wants the closeness that comes with a relationship. A man that is not ready for a relationship will try to cut things off after sex or may avoid things like holding hands or cuddling.
Cuddling, hugging, and even sitting close together are signs of intimacy. They strike when you feel comfortable and safe. People that are itching to pull away will likely avoid this. [Read: The signs he is falling hard and ready to get serious with you]
If you want a healthy relationship, you need to be with an emotionally mature man. Emotional maturity is the ability to manage your emotions. If he’s emotionally mature, he understands who he is and takes personal responsibility for his actions.
He also won’t blame you, or other people, or project their issues onto anyone else. Instead, he’ll actively change his behavior in order to make things right.
If he’s emotionally mature, then he is also probably emotionally intelligent because they are interconnected. He is in touch with his emotions and has the ability to articulate them to you. [Read: What age does a man emotionally mature? 19 signs of emotional maturity in a guy]
Many people in the world are bad communicators. Some examples of poor communication skills include seeing conflict as a competition or avoiding it altogether. He also might not listen to your needs or even care.
So, if he works through your problems, listens to you, and cares about your feelings, then he is a keeper. And that means he’s probably ready for a relationship because he puts in the effort to make sure the two of you communicate effectively.
This might sound obvious, but if a guy is still seeing other people, then he’s probably not ready for a relationship. But you shouldn’t have to ask or wonder if he is or if he isn’t. [Read: How to ask a guy if he’s seeing someone else and 20 signs to look for]
Instead, if he’s ready for a relationship, then he will tell you. He will ask you to be exclusive with them, and then he will formally ask you to be his girlfriend.
At the very least, he will tell you directly that he isn’t seeing other people and hopes you aren’t either.
This is the biggest sign that he’s ready for a relationship. In fact, signs don’t get any more obvious than this one! If he is consistent and his behaviors are showing you that he wants to be exclusive and committed to you, then he probably does.
But at some point, he should also come out and directly ask you to be his girlfriend. He won’t assume you are already in one without asking to define the relationship.
So, when he does want to put a label on it, then you know for sure what his intentions are. [Read: What is commitment in a relationship and how to know if you have it]
The signs he’s not ready for a relationship may be even more important than the signs that he is. These are the red flags. The signs that tell you to either slow things down or halt them altogether.
There’s no surefire way to know if you won’t be in a serious relationship with the guy you’re seeing. However, if you see any of these, you can at least be pretty confident that he’ll never see you as anything more than just someone he happens to be dating.
If he shows these signs, he may need more time or he could just be someone that isn’t destined to settle down. [Read: 25 moves to get a player to like you and hook him before he hooks you]
The sign of a guy who is not at all ready to be in a healthy and committed relationship. If he is MIA when you reach out, but messages back to back when you are busy with work or friends or just having you-time, he is all about the chase.
Guys that thrive on the chase are not ready to be in a relationship where both people are respected and talk about their feelings. [Read: What to do when a guy likes you but isn’t ready for a relationship]
Every relationship has its ups and downs. How you handle the downs shows how good and often the ups are. If you aren’t even dating and he already pulls away at the first sign of work, he is not ready for a relationship.
If, instead of opening up and being there for you, he shuts down when times get tough and things get real, he isn’t prepared to be in a relationship.
This is the sign of a guy who isn’t ready for a relationship and may never be. He’s not necessarily incapable of learning, but the type of guy who acts like your feelings don’t matter is not about to change his ways.
There are some guys that simply aren’t mature enough to deal with emotions or your feelings, and they can learn from experience. But, the ones that can’t even see that your feelings are important so he doesn’t even try to help or listen is the one you want to run from. [Read: 16 types of guys you shouldn’t bother dating]
Let’s say that you’ve been going out for a few weeks now, but all he does is talk about himself, or if he does ask about you, he doesn’t ask any follow-up questions. It’s like he only asks for the sake of asking, and not because he wants to get to know the girl he’s dating.
A good relationship is all about give and take. You want to know more about this person, and you want them to know about you. But, he never asks you anything. He doesn’t ask you questions about YOU. [Read: How well do you know me? 40 questions to help couples grow together]
Maybe you ask him about his family, his job, and his friends, but he doesn’t even ask you how your day was. Whether you know a lot about him or not, if he doesn’t try to learn more about you, it’s because he is more concerned with himself than anyone else.
One of the most obvious signs that a guy wants to be in a relationship with you is if he genuinely wants to know every little detail about you. If he can’t even bother asking about the littlest things about you, then it’s either he’s a narcissistic human being or a douche that has no plans whatsoever of being your boyfriend.
Either way, it’s quite obvious that you’re better off without him. [Read: 15 surefire signs he likes being with you but isn’t into you]
This is a big one. A guy that can’t show up on time to a movie or call you when he says he will is not someone that can commit to you are a relationship.
The small things are just a glimpse into how he responds to the bigger stuff. [Read: 16 big signs he’s not serious and you’re just his maybe gal]
Consistency is one of the top things you must look for in a guy. It doesn’t just make you feel at ease, but it gives you the feeling that they’re really interested in you. This doesn’t have to be limited to just texts and calls, but the plans they make just to be with you.
Do they want to see you regularly, or are there times when they disappear for a week at a time?
If your guy is the latter, it could be possible that he has a girlfriend or other girls, or he could just be not that into you. Either way, no consistency means no potential for a serious relationship. [Read: Is he flirting like crazy one day, and going completely cold the next?]
This is plain and simple, but we can overlook it. Because we often take on a caregiver role, we offer to help him by driving to see him or canceling our plans for him, but someone that cares about you would care about your other commitments and find your time to be worth something.
A guy showing signs he’s not ready for a relationship will gladly let you do anything and everything for him without offering anything in return, maybe even a thank you. [Read: How to spot selfish people and stop them before they hurt you]
Unless his ex slashed his tire and threw a brick through his window, he should not be calling any woman crazy. When a man does this, he says he never took the time to listen to her. If she complained that much, there was probably a reason.
When a guy calls his ex crazy, it says a lot more about him than it does her.
This is the most obvious red flag you have to watch out for. Unless you two have an understanding that your relationship is purely physical, then it is not acceptable that your guy only remembers to text or call when his body is in need of something.
If he only remembers you when he’s horny, get rid of him. That is unless you’re only just in it for the sex as well. But if you’re not, keep in mind that no amount of amazing or readily available sex will convince him to suddenly make you his girlfriend. [Read: The sneaky signs he’s faking love just to sleep with you]
Let’s say you’ve been dating for a few months now, but you’ve never actually met his family and/or friends.
It’s just always the two of you. Don’t you think that’s just a bit off, considering you should at least be at that stage where you’ve met his high school and college buddies?
Maybe the real reason why your guy never makes plans to introduce you to his family and friends is that he doesn’t have long-term plans to be with you. [Read: 18 signs it’s time and how to prepare your partner to meet the parents]
And don’t buy it if he says that his friends and/or family are just way too busy, and yet you always see Instagram photos of them casually hanging out.
This is somehow related to the guy who only remembers you when he’s in need of sex. We’ve all come across this type – he tells you straight out that he isn’t ready for a relationship, nor is he looking for one.
Well, he’s obviously dating you just so he doesn’t stay single-single, and to feed his bodily and worldly needs.
Stay away – no matter how hot he is unless you two are on the same page. But girl, why date when you aren’t looking for a relationship? [Read: The clear giveaways to know if a guy’s a player or a gentleman]
MAJOR RED FLAG. We know how guys become possessive of girls they really, really like *or love*, so if the guy you’re dating refuses to be exclusive or to put a label on whatever it is you guys have, it’s time to walk away.
This is one of those traps that so many women fall into. The guy refuses to outright say that he’s not looking for anything serious, so you sort of get that glimmer of hope that he might come around someday.
The truth is, he’s keeping his intentions to himself because he still wants to have that hold on you. [Read: How to tell if a guy is playing you – 40 signs he’s just using you]
If a man wants to be with you, he will do everything to make that happen. Come to think of it, why invest so much time and energy on a man who doesn’t want you to be a part of his world for the long term?
If he just wants you now and can’t see you in his future, then there is just one way to deal with it – leave. Yes, it’s easier said than done, especially if you really like the guy, but you must learn not to sell yourself short.
Maybe he just broke up with his ex, or maybe the breakup was years ago. It doesn’t really matter, the timeframe. What does matter is if he has emotionally moved on from her or not. [Read: 36 easy, sexy ways to keep a guy interested and eager to be with you]
So, if you find that he’s talking a lot about his ex, then he’s probably still tied to her. Even if he talks about her in a derogatory way, he’s still thinking about her. And that’s not a good sign.
Even if he doesn’t talk about her, you can ask him questions and see how he answers them. This will show you everything you need to know about his connection to her.
When a man is in love and wants to be in a relationship, he will want to spend quality time with you. He will take you out on proper dates and do fun things with you. Even if it’s spending time at home watching Netflix, he just wants to be with you. [Read: Your guy’s annoying friends and how to deal with them]
So, if he’s not doing that, then you have a problem. Sure, guys like their friends. So do girls. It’s normal to want a “guys’ night” or a “girls’ night” out once in a while. But if you feel like his friends are top priority and you are way lower down on his list, then he’s not ready to be in a relationship.
This seems like it would be an obvious sign, but there are a lot of women who ignore this red flag. If you find out that he still has dating apps on his phone or suspect that maybe he’s going out with other people when he’s not with you, then he probably is.
Don’t be shy about asking him directly about this. You shouldn’t have to beat around the bush. Just straight up ask him if he’s still pursuing other women or if he’s interested in it.
He might not tell you the truth but watch his body language because that will tell you everything you need to know. [Read: Womanizer alert – 14 warning signs a player just can’t hide]
If he’s an “all talk and no action” kind of guy, then he’s not serious about being in a relationship with you. He only tells you what you want to hear. And then, when it comes time to follow up his words with his behaviors, he doesn’t.
That’s either because he doesn’t want to, or he’s simply a jerk and not a quality man. So, don’t wait around for a guy who is nothing but talk. Anyone can talk. But only serious, mature people mean what they say, and do what they said they would do.
When you’re dating someone, they should make you feel special. It can be by telling you that you’re special or just by doing things that make you feel that way. [Read: Feeling unappreciated? 31 satisfying quotes to empower you to move on]
So, if he’s not paying for dinners, giving you flowers, or opening doors for you, then he isn’t a gentleman. Or he simply doesn’t want to impress you. A man should be going out of his way to make you feel like a princess – especially in the beginning phases of dating.
Maybe you have hinted around at your relationship status or have asked him directly. If he gets defensive when this happens, then this is definitely a bad sign. He acts that way because he doesn’t want to talk about it.
He might even accuse you of making him feel bad for not defining the relationship yet.
But it’s more than reasonable for you to want to know where you stand. And if he is acting defensive when you ask, it’s because he knows your right but doesn’t want to admit it. [Read: Why do people act defensive? 14 reasons and ways to handle them]
Maybe one or more of his exes cheated on him. Or perhaps he’s divorced and paying a lot of alimony or child support. If he’s been burned in a relationship in the past, he might want to avoid commitment at all costs.
But that’s not fair to you. Even if he’s hurt, he should be upfront and tell you that he doesn’t want a relationship. Stringing you along just because he had bad experiences in the past isn’t fair to you.
You might just sense that he is feeling pressured to define the relationship. He probably knows that you want commitment from him, and so he might even talk about that. [Read: 23 signs and why he is afraid to fall for you and scared to commit to love]
He might tell you not to put pressure on him and say that if you would just back off, then maybe he would be ready to commit to you. But that’s probably not true. He just wants to shut you up from asking.
When you talk to him, he might tell you stories from his single days. He might even have a huge smile on his face and make references to loving the single life.
And if he does this, what makes you think that he wants to be in a relationship? That is a very obvious sign that he doesn’t.
It’s okay for him to like being single. But it’s not okay for him to lure you into being his sidepiece while he is still out living like a bachelor. [Read: 20 Signs you can’t trust the guy you’re dating and he’s up to no good]
What is stopping him? Why isn’t he ready?
Of course, there is another side to this argument. It’s right for someone to tell you that they’re not ready for a relationship. Maybe he’s just coming out of a long-term relationship, and he’s not ready for a relationship right now.
The idea of being in another one so quickly terrifies him. That’s fine, and props to him for being honest. What isn’t fine is you waiting around until a time comes when he’s ready once more. [Read: 15 revealing truths about feeling alone in a relationship]
You might wonder why he would even bother keeping you around if he’s not ready for a relationship. It probably doesn’t make much sense, does it? Here are some of the reasons he does it.
Just because someone doesn’t want to be alone doesn’t mean that he wants to be in a committed relationship. He probably likes female companionship sometimes.
If he’s dating you, then he can have someone to hang out with whenever he wants without committing to you.
There are a lot of men who cower away from hurting a woman’s feelings. He might not want to see you cry, or he just is too cowardly to break it off with you.
So, he just waits around until you get sick of him and break up with him. [Read: Why does love hurt when it goes bad? The truth you need to hear]
This is completely selfish, but it happens. If he’s not emotionally mature, then he might want to keep you for himself.
It’s just an ego thing, it’s not because he’s madly in love with you. He might even see you as his “possession,” which is never a good thing.
We all know that guys like sex. And men have sex for different reasons than women. A lot of women need to be emotionally connected to sleep with someone. But for men, sex is just sex. So, why would he give that up if you’re not making him commit to you?
He might really like you are a person. That means he probably enjoys your personality, your conversations, and he has fun with you. But he might not see a romantic future with you.
So, he keeps it casual so that he can hang out with you, but doesn’t want to have a committed relationship. [Read: 25 ways to avoid the friend zone and build sexual tension from the start]
Once you’ve had the conversation and you’ve found that he simply isn’t ready right now, put it to the back of your mind. Easier said than done, but it will get easier over time. From that moment, start to spend some time away from him.
It might be hard at first, especially if you’ve been used to being around him, but space is what you need right now. If you continue to let him be close to you at this time, you’ll simply hang on, pining after him for far too long.
Busy yourself with your life, find a new hobby, go out with different friends, try meeting other guys and see if anyone else takes your fancy. Basically, focus on yourself and build your confidence and happiness back up.
It’s bound to have taken a knock. When you like someone and find out they don’t want the same thing as you, it can knock you down. And that’s perfectly normal, but self-pity isn’t an option here! [Read: When you miss him – 20 mind tricks to stop missing the wrong guy]
Let’s not lie here. The fact that you’ve expressed an interest in a relationship with this guy, and now you’re out there living your life, he’s going to be keen to know what you’re up to.
It’s normal human curiosity. There is a chance that this might make him see things in a different way, and he will suddenly be open to that relationship. In that case, it’s time for you to make him wait.
You see, if he’s told you he’s not ready, he sees you going out having a great time, and suddenly he’s ready, ask yourself what his motivation is. Does he not want you but he doesn’t want anyone else to have you either? Is he sure that he’s ready?
You deserve someone who 100% wants to be with you in the here and now, not someone who has to think about it or makes you wait. The best advice is to be grateful for his honesty and move on. [Read: The unassuming signs you’re dating a jerk]
Don’t wait for it! Have you heard the saying ‘a watched kettle never boils? It’s so true. The more you wait for something, the more it doesn’t come.
Meanwhile, you allow previous weeks, months, or even years to tick by without giving yourself the happiness you deserve. He can’t make you happy, you must do that yourself.
Of course, there is a chance in the future he will have worked out his issues and be ready to start a relationship once more. At that time, assess how you really feel at that moment.
Do you want to go back to this same situation? Or, have you found something which really makes you happy in the time that’s passed?
You shouldn’t rule out a chance in the future, but don’t sit waiting for it, consciously or otherwise. Focus on number one, and having good times with friends, enjoying your life, and developing who you are as a person. If you do that, you won’t have to wait for someone. They’ll be knocking your door down!
[Read: The pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back]
Just imagine that you did wait. How long are you supposed to wait? Waiting could become an addiction. One, you hold onto for years and years.
By the time he decides he’s ready, maybe you’re tired of waiting, or maybe you’ve missed your chance to be with someone who really did want to be with you.
In addition, what if he never decides he’s ready? Or worse, what if he meets someone who immediately sweeps him off his feet and he decides he’s ready with them instead?
Waiting inevitably leads to heartbreak, whether you get the guy in the end or not. By waiting, you put your life on hold. There is no man on this earth worth that sacrifice! [Read: Why do I always choose the wrong guy and make the same mistakes?]
A far better option is to simply go about your life and focus on yourself. Don’t stick around waiting, and don’t keep tabs on him and his relationship status either. Avoid Facebook/Instagram stalking.
Because figuring out who that person who stood next to him in his latest photo won’t make you feel better. Also, stop asking friends what he has been up to.
Yes, you can be friends with him, but form a healthy friendship. To do this, try to put the idea of you and him out of your mind. If it is going to be, it will be, but you trying to force the issue will not lead you towards your so-called happy ending. [Read: How to stop being strung along by a guy and take a firm stand]
Here are some things you should do if he’s not ready for a relationship.
Sure, you want a commitment from him. But you can’t force that on him. You can’t change another person’s mind on anything. So, instead of worrying about it, enjoy the moment for whatever it is at any given time.
You need to have boundaries and expectations for other people’s behavior. Don’t be a people pleaser or a doormat. Men won’t respect you if you are.
You need to have limits as to what you will allow him to do. Don’t settle for anything less than what you want and deserve. [Read: How to set personal boundaries and guide others to respect it]
You like him a lot, and you might even be falling in love with him. But if he won’t commit to you because he’s not ready for a relationship, then don’t spend much time with him.
You might think that will change his mind, but it probably won’t. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Sometimes we just need to accept “what is.” If he’s not committing to you, then he’s not the man for you. He knows it in his heart, and that’s why you’re not in a relationship with him.
So, why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you? You need to find someone who actually does.
You might not be able to accept that he’s not ready for a relationship. So, maybe you’re holding on to hope that it will happen someday. But you need to stop doing that.
Having a fantasy of what life would look like with him will only make you more miserable. Cut your losses and move on. [Read: The most important stages of a breakup and how to get through each of them]
It’s hard not to take it personally when someone isn’t ready for a relationship with you, but you are. The reasons are his reasons, it’s not about you as a person. So, focus on being the best version of yourself. Get to know yourself and take this single time to grow as a person.
Yes, it hurts that he doesn’t want a relationship. But many people have been there and recovered. the most important question to ask yourself is why would you want to chase a man who doesn’t want you?
Love and respect yourself enough to walk away and find someone who does love you and wants to commit to you.
[Read: 22 big early warnings signs of a bad boyfriend]
The right man will come along, someone who will want you to be part of his world permanently. Just always remember to trust your gut when it tells you that you’re dating a frog instead of a prince.
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