He Says He’s Not Ready For A Relationship (Reasons Why + 15 Things To Do)

When a man tells you that he’s not ready for a relationship, what is he really saying? Is he ending things or does he need more time?

First off, you must accept that nothing is going to happen between you right now. So, the next logical thought is—should I keep waiting and hoping?

The answer is: probably not.

Try to avoid getting your hopes up that he might change his mind in the future. I mean, it’s possible that he might. But in all likelihood, “not being ready for a relationship” is his way of rejecting you nicely.

He probably doesn’t realize how confusing that statement can be, so let’s unpack it, shall we?

Get expert help figuring out what a guy means when he says he’s not ready for a relationship and what to do next. You may want to speak to someone via RelationshipHero.com for quality relationship advice at its most convenient.

Reasons why he says he’s not ready for a relationship:

Telling someone that you don’t want to be with them is difficult. Sometimes, you might even like them, but there are complicated issues that stand in your way. Here are some possible reasons why he doesn’t want you as his partner right now:

1. He’s just not that into you.

Sometimes it’s just that simple. You’re not his type. You can safely assume this is the case rather than telling yourself that you’re not good enough. You are good enough; you’re just not the girl he’s looking for, and that’s fine. There are guys out there who are looking for someone exactly like you.

Maybe this guy even likes you a bit, but he’s not so into you that he’s prepared to invest in your relationship. Telling you about it right away is much better than wasting your time or breaking your heart. So, accept that not everyone will be into you.

He is probably not rejecting you based on anything that could make you self-conscious about yourself, such as your looks, and if he is, why would you want to be with him anyway? When a guy is not that into you, gracefully move on and let him be. Plus, there’s always the small chance that he’ll eventually realize what he’s missing.

2. He’s not over his ex.

Someone who is still hung up on their ex definitely isn’t ready for a new relationship. After all, they’re not done with the last one yet. If he talks about his ex a lot, he might be hoping to win her back, or is, at the very least, not entirely over her yet.

In this case, it might be worth sticking around. However, there are some things that you need to be aware of. Even if he doesn’t get back together with his ex, his first new girlfriend will probably be just a rebound to him.

3. He wants to see other people.

He may not be open to an exclusive relationship with you. Maybe he doesn’t want to stop seeing other people. If he’s not in a place in his life where he wants to settle down, can you blame him for wanting to see other people?

A guy like this can potentially offer you something casual, but you should not wait for him to be ready to commit. For all you know, it might never happen. Some guys love the single lifestyle and enjoy the freedom of doing whatever they please, especially seeing other people. If you’re looking for a real relationship, getting involved with a guy like this will only leave you in tears.

4. He is emotionally unavailable.

There are many reasons why a guy might be emotionally unavailable to you right now. First off, assume that it’s not just right now, but indefinitely. He is emotionally unavailable because he doesn’t want to invest his resources (time, money, energy, efforts, feelings) into you, and this is likely because he doesn’t see you as a good match.

He’s unsure that he can have something meaningful with you or your attempts to get him to commit have scared him off. If he is ready for a relationship, he might just not be ready for one with you.

Maybe he’s closed off because of your overwhelming expectations and attempts to get into a relationship with him. When a man is emotionally unavailable to you, your only option is to respect his decision and step away.

5. He’s unsure he wants to be with you.

Listen, not all guys are jerks and players. Maybe this guy considered getting into a relationship with you because he likes you. However, he concluded that it wouldn’t be a wise choice for one reason or another.

Consider his point of view and whether the two of you are really the right match for spending a significant amount of time together. He could be saying that he’s not ready for a relationship simply because he’s unsure that the two of you could make it work.

In this case, it might be worth waiting a bit more to get to know each other better and see how well you work as a team. However, upon hearing the words “I’m not ready for a relationship right now,” the best thing to do is back down and give the guy space. Here’s how.

What you can do when he’s not ready for a relationship:

If you can’t have the kind of relationship you would like with this guy, you need to bow out. Here’s how to react when you get rejected because a man isn’t ready yet:

1. Don’t take it personally.

This is not about you needing to be smarter or prettier to win his heart; don’t take the rejection personally. You tried, and it didn’t work. He knows that you’re interested—the ball’s in his court.

Your best bet is to close the door on him and move on gracefully. If he wants a second chance, he will ask for it. His circumstances may change, or he might have a change of heart, but you shouldn’t wait around. It’s a much better choice to deal with this as a plain rejection.

By the time this guy figures out what he wants, you’ll know for certain whether he is worth the wait. The odds are, you are going to conclude that he’s not, or you’ll meet someone even better by then.

2. Accept rejection.

Instead of telling yourself, “he doesn’t want to be with me right now,” tell yourself, “he doesn’t want to be with me.” Full stop. He might have even added the “right now” to soften the blow. So, conclude that you’ve been rejected, and even though that hurts, it’s not the worst thing that could happen, and it has happened before.

Girls get rejected just like guys do, so we need to learn to deal with it as well. Maybe you’ve been pushy or needy or whatever… Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you’ve been yourself around him and he didn’t like it, he probably didn’t give enough time and attention to noticing your good qualities. That’s on him, and if he thinks that he can do better than you, let him go find it. Accept the rejection and move on.

3. Don’t keep trying.

You might consider the possibility of trapping him into a relationship—don’t do it. Avoid trying to get him to commit if he’s resisting. Chasing after someone who’s already running will only make them run faster and become more determined to run away from the person pursuing them. If he has made it clear that he’s not ready for it, don’t keep shoving it under his nose.

Stop trying to seduce him, and don’t agree to a casual relationship when it’s not what you are looking for. Don’t keep hoping that he’ll change his mind.

Accept rejection and learn from it. Give up on him instead of obsessing over his indecisiveness and lack of interest. He made up his mind already. He’s not ready for a relationship with you. So let it go, and see if you can learn from it.

4. Learn from it.

Every experience teaches us something if we want to learn from it. Have you been too pushy or needy? Has he helped you understand the reasons why some men are afraid of commitment? See what you can learn from this experience and how you can apply the knowledge to improve your dating experience in the future.

For instance, maybe you’ve rushed and tried to move things forward too fast. Now you may consider moving slower with future potential matches. Moving at the same pace is very important. Women often want to move things forward a lot faster than men are comfortable with, so consider taking your time when getting to know new potential dates.

5. Think about your relationship goals.

Stop thinking about him for a while. It doesn’t matter what he wants. What do you want? If you want a relationship and he’s not ready for it, there are plenty of guys who would be willing to commit instantly.

Think about your relationship goals and where you want to be a while from now. Can you invest months or years into something that can fail, or are you looking for the real deal that has true potential to last?

If you can’t have that with this guy, he’s doing you a favor by rejecting you. Maybe he sees that you’re looking for two different things and doesn’t want to waste your time or his. Stick to what you want to get to where you want to be, even if it’s not with him.

6. Ask for closure and listen without judging.

If you want to get the truth out of him, you can try to. You could talk to him and ask him to explain the problem or bluntly ask for closure in order to move on. He might shine a light on some things that you weren’t even aware of or open up to you and tell you honestly why he can’t commit to you.

Maybe he is interested in someone else or is too busy with his professional life to find time for his love life currently. Be prepared that some of the things he says will probably hurt you. He might even mention some of your negative sides that caused him to withdraw. Can you handle this?

Keep in mind that you don’t need to ask him for closure and that you can find it on your own. If reading this article and following the steps sounds better than risking getting hurt by the man you like, then continue on.

7. Focus on yourself and your personal development.

The best thing that you can do in this situation is shift your focus from him onto yourself. How can you become the best possible version of yourself and make yourself happy? Spend more time on hobbies and activities that bring you joy. You can also find new ones, which is a great opportunity to meet new people who share your interests.

You could also start talking to a therapist, going to the gym, and improving yourself in any areas where you think you could do better. For instance, maybe you have self-esteem issues and your ego has taken a huge hit. With the help of a therapist, you could improve your confidence.

There’s also a lot that you can do to improve yourself on your own as well. This doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you now. Growth is never-ending, and the point is to keep improving yourself and your life—this is something that never really stops.

8. Follow his lead.

When he takes five steps back from you, you should take five steps back from him. Don’t come running after him. It’s his move, and if he changes course and moves two steps closer, avoid scaring him off by moving three steps closer.

It’s very important to follow his lead and move at the same pace. He pulled away from you when he said that he was not ready for a relationship. Now you need to pull away too. What happens next is not up to you to decide right now because it’s his move. Don’t move faster than him or push him away any further.

9. Live in the present moment.

He might be ready one day, but you need to live in the present moment. What do you want now? Right now. Don’t keep daydreaming about a future that no one promised you. Think about what you can actually have and enjoy the present moment while it lasts.

Maybe the two of you could have a friendly relationship for now if you’re both fine with it. You could even get intimately involved without being in a relationship. Usually, someone gets hurt when this happens, but you can still consider it.

Live for the moment instead of obsessing about a future that you could or might have with this guy. Don’t torture yourself with “what ifs” and whether things could have gone differently. Live in the present and dare to face the reality.

10. Don’t spend your time waiting for him.

Is it worth waiting for someone you can’t have right now? In all honesty, no, not really.

Spending your time waiting for him to suddenly become ready for a relationship is likely to be a waste of your time and emotional energy. Invest your time more wisely by engaging in activities that make you happy, spending time with friends and family, meeting new people, improving yourself, and practicing self-care.

Don’t make your entire life revolve around a guy who isn’t even sure about you. Forget about him, at least for now, and live your life. This is good for you, and at the same time, makes you more appealing. When you have a great life, people are more inclined to want to be a part of that life. So, don’t wait for any man to make your life great, make it great yourself, no matter how hard it is.

11. Don’t make yourself too available.

If you serve yourself on a silver platter, he is not going to be attracted to you. Time is a valuable asset, so don’t give away yours easily. Don’t be too available to him, in any way. Most importantly, don’t drop everything when he contacts you just to show up at his doorstep two minutes later. Chill and live your life.

Don’t stare at your phone, and if you get a message from him, don’t instantly read it. Show him that you have a life too and that you have better things to do than to wait for him to come to his senses. When you have other plans, and he calls, stick to your plans even if you were just planning to watch a movie and eat pizza.

12. Give him space.

Let him be, and give him room to breathe. He probably has a lot on his plate too, so let him figure things out on his own. While he does that, you can conclude whether waiting for him is worth it or if you’re just fooling yourself.

Work on moving on while he enjoys his time and space, and make use of your time by improving yourself and your life. Most importantly, give him an opportunity to miss you, especially if you’ve been constantly there.

13. Let him earn it if he wants to.

We only value things that we earn ourselves through effort, not things that are handed to us. After you have successfully moved on, he might want you again. If this happens, don’t rush. Give him time to earn your attention, your trust, and affection. Don’t just give these things away. You must value yourself if you want others to do the same.

Guys enjoy the chase, so let him fight for you and earn you back. If he really wants you, he’ll work for it. If he doesn’t, he wasn’t that into you to begin with.

14. Focus on other areas of your life.

Put your love life aside for a while and focus on yourself, your career, friends and family, hobbies, and other things you have going on. Try new things and meet new people. Improve all aspects of your life that could be better, and with effort, you will quickly see results.

These small steps lead to big progress over time. As for your love life, you can put it on pause while you’re still into the guy. Use some of that time to heal from this as if it was a regular breakup. Take some distance from him even if he reaches out to you. Move on from the relationship you had with him if he’s not willing to give you the one that you want.

15. Get back out there.

Eventually, your feelings for him will fade, and you’ll remind yourself that there are a lot of great guys out there. You might even meet some in the meantime. So, when you’ve healed, and you’re ready, get back out there and start dating again. Even if you had a thing with this guy, if you don’t have a relationship, you don’t owe him anything.

So, find someone with similar relationship goals. Don’t wait for a guy too long, and know that there’s another man waiting for you to meet him. It may be much easier to notice him now that there’s no one else blocking your view.

Still not sure what to do about this guy?

We really recommend you speak to an experienced relationship expert rather than a friend or family member. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can listen to you and offer tailored advice to help you figure out you best next move.

A good place to get help is the website Relationship Hero – here, you’ll be able to connect with a relationship counselor via phone, video, or instant message.

You could try to figure everything out by yourself, by why risk wasting time waiting for someone who doesn’t want you or making the wrong decision in some other way? If you can, speaking to an expert is the best way forward.

Here’s that link again if you’d like to learn more about the service Relationship Hero provide and the process of getting started.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.