25+ Tips Why Does He Keep Me Around If He Doesn’t Want A Relationship?

In the world of modern dating, a lot more women are asking themselves: “Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship?”

Indeed, it would appear there are a lot more men looking to date casually, rather than settle into a monogamous relationship. 

Yet, at the same time, these guys might keep contacting you again and again, rather than losing interest and moving on to other women. 

So, what’s going on here? Is he a bad guy with bad intentions? Is he falling madly in love with you? Is it something in between? 

In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients better understand the motives and emotions of those around them. That’s why I’m excited to share this guide with you.

So, let’s dive in.  

Contents hide

What Does It Mean If A Guy Likes You, But Doesn’t Want A Relationship?

Let’s assume you met a great guy, start to catch feelings for him, but he’s being coy about getting into a relationship.

You initiated the ‘what are we/where is this going’ talk. He explained that he likes you, but doesn’t want a relationship.

Doesn’t Want A Relationship
Photo By freepik On freepik

In most cases, a man will be intentionally vague about his feelings. It’ll take a lot to get him to explain anything beyond the fact that he’s “not ready” and “not in that place” or “doesn’t want to be rushed”.

So, what does it actually mean when he says these things? Below, I’ve listed 25 possible explanations for what might actually be going on in his head.

For your convenience, I’ve split them into the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good

It could be that he’s a nice guy who really likes you, but is struggling with one or several of the following things.

1. He’s Not Ready For The Responsibility

It takes a lot of responsibility and sacrifice to be in a healthy relationship. Maybe he’s decided he wants to focus more on himself and enjoy more dating experiences for now.

2. He’s Still Learning About Himself 

It’s better to truly know yourself and what you want in a romantic interest before settling into a relationship. Maybe he’s at the stage where he’s still learning about himself. 

3. He’s Leaving Town Soon  

If he’s leaving town to start school or a new job, it doesn’t make sense for him to jump into a new relationship.

4. You’re Leaving Town Soon!  

It’s the same deal here! Why would he want to jump into something serious if it can only ultimately lead to a long-distance connection. There’s no world in which it makes sense to voluntarily commit to that in the early stages of a relationship. 

5. He’s Been Hurt In The Past 

If a past relationship has hurt him, he’s naturally going to be more cautious. This is what painful experiences do to men and women. In many ways, it’s no different to burning your finger on the stove.   

6. He’s Afraid Of Commitment  

Commitment can be a scary thing, because you’re opening yourself up to be hurt. There’s also the fear of missing out on someone better, which as unromantic as it sounds, is something a lot of men go through. 

7. He’s Not Sure You Want Something Serious 

Maybe, for whatever reason, he isn’t sure that you’re looking for monogamy. Perhaps he thinks you’re after a great friendship with benefitsa and not an official relationship. Could it be that he thinks you’re also in love with the single life? As a woman, it’s your job to make your intentions absolutely clear, so there’s no room for misinterpretation. 

8. He Just Got Out Of A Relationship  

Maybe he’s still recovering from his previous relationship. It can take time to heal from a broken heart and that might be why he’s taking more care about jumping in with some other girl. It takes a lot of self-awareness to do that, so he should be given credit.

9. He Thinks You’re Too Good For Him 

This is a strange one. You’d think the majority of guys would be desperate to tie a woman down if they felt that way about her. But a lot of men will actually self-sabotage in this situation if they believe they’re not good enough for a specific woman. 

10. He Wants To Remain Friends   

Many friendships between men and women develop into romantic relationships, but this does add an extra complication. For example, if you were close friends in the past, a lot of guys are going to tread carefully if they decide it’s not working out.

Many won’t throw you away because they want to keep the friendship. So, instead they’ll keep you around as a casual partner, or do whatever else it takes not to upset you, without actually becoming your boyfriend. This is a weak behavior and a little bit dishonest, but this choice is usually made with your emotional well being at heart.

11. He Fears Intimacy 

An overall fear of being vulnerable is a common reason why men refuse to fully commit to women, even when they really like them. If his past relationships didn’t go so well, there’s every chance he’s experiencing this fear.

12. He Feels Pressured 

Maybe he is open to becoming your boyfriend, but you’re pressuring him to do it too quickly and he’s feeling overwhelmed. You might think you’re a hopeless romantic by rushing this guy into a relationship, but you’re more likely to scare him off by doing this. It’s better to let him figure things out for himself.

13. He’s Not Sure About You  

Could it be that he enjoys hanging out with you, but he still isn’t sure if you’re ‘girlfriend material’ yet. It’s a big decision for a man to commit to you and only you, so most likely he wants to screen to see if you’re worth it. Maybe he loves everything about you, but there’s one red flag, which he’s not sure he’s able to deal with.  

14. You Told Him You Only Wanted Casual Relationship    

Many women have a habit of telling men that they’re happy with a casual relationship, believing that they’ll be able to reel him in and convince to settle down at one point.

The problem is: if you tell a man you’re happy with a casual relationship, he’ll continue to believe that until you tell him different.   

15. He Doesn’t Want Things To Change 

If things are going really well in a casual relationship between you guys, he might be afraid to change the dynamic. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s an idea a lot of men subscribe to in their relationships with women.  

The Bad

As you can see, there are plenty of innocent reasons why a guy wants to keep you around, even if he’s not yet ready for a relationship. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of selfish reasons that he may be trying to hide.

16. He Likes You, But He Thinks He Can Do Better

A man only wants to commit to the best woman he thinks he can get. So, it could be that he’s keeping his options open, believing that he’ll eventually find someone better than you to settle down with. 

17. He Doesn’t Like You. Sex Is The Only Thing He Wants. 

It’s completely natural for men and women to desire sex. It’s human nature. A lot of men will sleep with women they have no intentions of ever committing to, if it means fulfilling that desire.

If he’s not taking you on romantic dates, offering your emotional support or doing other ‘boyfriend stuff’, there’s a good chance this is what’s happening to you.  

18. He Doesn’t Like You, He Just Loves Female Company 

A lot of men prefer hanging out with attractive women. They like flirting. They enjoy the feminine energy. They have a high sex drive. To fulfil this desire, they may decide they need to casually date a lot of women, rather than committing to one person. 

19. He Doesn’t Like You, He Just Needs Female Validation 

Consider this the toxic edition of the last point. For some guys, the only way they can feel good about themselves is by dating multiple women. The affection of a great woman isn’t enough of an ego boost for them to feel complete, so they chase casual relationships with all the girls in their vicinity instead.

The sad truth for these guys is: it’ll usually never be enough. Of all the ways to try and boost your self-esteem, sleeping with a bunch of women is one of the least effective.    

20. He Doesn’t Want To Be Bored 

If a guy doesn’t have an active love life, he’ll often settle for getting to spend time with a woman who he likes a little bit, even if he has no interest in a long-term relationship. 

21. He Wants To Impress His Friends 

If you’re physically attractive, there’s every chance he just keeps you around for the ego boost of showing you off to his friends.  

22. He Wants To Have His Cake And Eat It Too 

It’s possible that he likes everything about you, but wants to sleep with other people too. If they feel they can get away with it, a lot of guys will try this stunt, even if they know you want something serious.   

The Ugly 

There are some reasons he wants to keep you around that are so bad, they deserve their own category.

23. He Already Has A Serious Relationship, You’re The Side Chick

As savage as it sounds, it does happen. There are men out there who want to sleep with you, but don’t want to break up with their existing wife or girlfriend. If you find out you’re dating one of them, the only solution is to break up with them. No woman with self-respect would stay with a dishonest person like this.   

24. He’s Using To Get Back At Someone

This is called a ‘rebound’. He might be using you to feel better about the failure of his past relationship or to make his past girlfriend jealous. If this is the case, he’s probably lying about how strong his feelings are for you. 

25. He’s Using To Pay For Things

If you’re buying him things or giving him somewhere to live, there’s every chance he’s only staying with you because of this financial support. 

He Said He Doesn’t Want A Relationship But Keeps Contacting Me

In the modern day, it’s more acceptable to date casually without committing to a serious relationship.

If he’s told you he doesn’t want a relationship and is still contacting you, he probably assumes you’re OK with it. Or, he’s not sure whether you are and wants to find out.

If you’re not OK with seeing this guy outside the confines of a traditional relationship, it’s time to make that clear to him.   

When A Guy Keeps Coming Back To You What Does It Mean?

So, the two of you put things on ice, but he still keeps trying to be a part of your life.

This is common when a guy isn’t sure what he wants in his life. Perhaps, it’s only after letting you go that he realized how much he enjoyed being with you.  

Be careful though. It could also be that he still has selfish intentions and is trying to trick you into thinking he’s changed. 

Before you accept this guy back, make sure you really do have the same intentions. Otherwise, it’s only going to end in tears once again.

How Do You Know If A Guy Is Keeping You As An Option?

Most women want a man all to themselves. There are few who like the idea of being a side-chick. That’s why most guys will do their best to hide the fact they’re dating someone else. 

Keeping You As An Option

Still, you can get an accurate idea of whether or not you’re “an option” by asking yourself the following questions.

  • Does he treat you as a priority?
  • Does he make time for you? 
  • Does he make sacrifices for you? 
  • Does he make an effort to impress you?
  • Does his behavior suggest he’s interested in more than sex? 

If the answer to all these questions is YES, that’s a good sign. If the answer is NO and you’re looking for a serious relationship, why are you continuing to pursue this person?

Regardless of whether he’s dating other girls, he’s clearly not putting much effort into treating you like his number one.  

Wfhy Does He Keep Contacting Me If He’s Not Interested?

There are a few reasons why a man will keep calling and messaging you even if a relationship isn’t on the cards.

Most of them have already been mentioned above. 

In most cases:

  • he’s looking to cure his boredom;
  • he wants his next hit of female validation;
  • he’s looking for a booty call;
  • he’s trying to weasel back into your life, without having changed his attitude.

It could be that he’s had a complete change of heart and now wants to enjoy a passionate relationship with you, but this is less likely, especially if not much time has passed since your last discussion about his intentions.   

How To Read What A Guy Wants

You can ask a guy what he wants from you, but he might not always be honest. A lot of guys won’t tell the truth about their intentions because they’re worried it will scare you away.

How To Read What A Guy Wants
Photo By Candice Picard On Unsplash

Thankfully, there are plenty of effective ways to read a man’s intentions. This list of 21 clear signs he’s a player is likely to prove helpful.

Below, you’ll find more pointers to help you decipher his real romantic intentions. 

Signs A Guy Doesn’t Know What He Wants

When a guy doesn’t know what he wants, you’ll notice inconsistency in his behavior. Perhaps he’s extremely affectionate in one moment, only to pull away the next. You may also notice he’s apologetic and indecisive in his behavior.

A lot of guys who aren’t sure what they want will tell you as such, and you’ll be able to see the honesty in their eyes. 

Signs He Doesn’t Want To Lose You

If a guy doesn’t want to lose you, you’ll notice genuine passion and affection in his actions. You’ll feel a genuine emotional connection. Again, he’ll verbalise his real feelings for you.

The reasons that this guy won’t commit to you are usually in the ‘good’ category. 

Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else To Have You  

There are some men who aren’t too fussed about losing you, but also don’t want other guys to have you. This attitude is completely ego-based. 

These types of guys tend to care a lot about what other people think of them. They think they’re a big deal and it’s important for them that others feel the same way.

This type of guy will often drop the occasional text message just to ‘keep you on the hook’, even if he has no intention of meeting you any time soon. This behavior is often nicknamed ‘breadcrumbing’ or ‘love bombing’. 

Needless to say, this type of guy is not the right person to be seeking a serious commitment from. 

Cut Him Off If He Doesn’t Want A Relationship

It can be difficult to stop spending time with men you are casually dating. It’s more than possible to develop true feelings for these guys, even when you logically understand that they don’t want a relationship. 

They might also have feelings for you, yet remain emotionally unavailable for some other reason.

Either way, if you’re looking for a monogamous romantic relationship, you need to cut off the time-wasters.

Women don’t have all the time in the world to start a family. Every night you’re spending having casual sex with these guys, you could be out trying to find Mr. Right. All the attention you’re giving to him, you’re not giving to someone potentially more suitable. 

Plus, the longer you spend with these unsuitable candidates, the stronger the feelings involved become and the tougher it can be to let go. Before you know it, you’ve wasted months or years of your prime with the same guy who has no intention of giving you what you want.

So, make a pledge to put your future self first. Cut off the guys who don’t want a relationship and start dating guys who want the same future as you. 

Once you find your perfect partner, you’ll be glad you did this. 

Any More Questions

Thanks for reading this guide. 

I hope it gave you some insight on why a guy tells you he likes you but doesn’t want a relationship. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below. 

I love discussing topics like this. If you feel the same way, don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

It would be great to hear from you.

About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.