There could be a million reasons why he might not want a relationship with you, and they’re not all necessarily bad or good reasons.
With some men you might be doomed from the start — they might be sleeping around or they might never want a serious relationship — and with others you could “fix him” with just a nudge here or there.
If you’re still not sure about whether “your man” wants a relationship with you or not, here are some clear signs that he’s just dragging you along and whatever relationship you have right now is going nowhere.
1. He’s “Friendly” When You Bump Into Each Other
How he should act: A man who wants you will “turn on” the moment they see you.
Just talking to you is enough to rekindle the spark, and he’ll try to stay in touch long after you’ve bumped into each other.
He always keeps the conversation going and constantly looks for excuses to see you again.
How he actually acts: When you bump into each other accidentally out in the world, he always seems slightly agitated, as if there’s something going on.
He might flirt with you and give you attention on the spot, but will sooner leave you hanging as if nothing happened.
You watch your phone, email, and social media accounts days and then weeks after bumping into each other but you don’t hear anything from him until the next time you cross paths.
2. He’s Always Talking About Hanging Out Together
How he should act: You just know he can’t keep his hands off you because he’s always bringing up hanging out with each other.
Whenever you talk, the conversation inevitably leads to “So, when can I see you again?”
Even if you just saw each other, he’s making another round of plans to block off your schedule. If you didn’t know any better, it’s like he’s trying to keep you all to himself.
How he actually acts: You text, you video call, you exchange snaps. Everything feels normal except for the fact that you two never actually see each other that often.
Your conversation always seems to end with “Yeah, let’s definitely hang out soon” but no concrete plans on meeting up are ever made.
Naturally, these half-hearted promises make you agitated. But every time you ask, you just get the usual slice of “Totally, let’s do it soon!” with a side of non-commitment.
3. He Doesn’t Act Like a Hero
How he should act: Is your guy stepping up to the plate for you? Protecting you? Helping you whenever he can?
There’s a new theory in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment. And it goes to the heart of how men act when they want a relationship.
It’s called the hero instinct.
Simply put, a guy wants to feel like he’s a protector, provider, and essential to the woman he cares about. And that she respects him for this.
In other words, he wants to feel like a hero. Not an action hero like Thor, but an everyday hero to her.
James Bauer, the relationship psychologist who discovered the hero instinct, has created an excellent video about it. Watch the video here.
How he actually acts: He’s not really doing any of these things. Instead of stepping up for you, he’s treating you like a ‘best friend’ or ‘partner in crime’. If a guy genuinely wants a relationship with you, his hero instinct will come to the fore.
The interesting thing about the hero instinct though is that it’s not all or nothing. You can actually trigger it in your guy.
The trick is to make him feel like a hero in an authentic way. Because there are things you can say, messages you can send, requests you can make to tap into your man’s hero instinct.
If you want to learn exactly what to do, check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here.
4. He Doesn’t Really Take You Out On Dates
How he should act: Spending time together isn’t limited to bumping into each other accidentally or meeting up at 3 am for some late night action.
He actually schedules something in the day, out in public for all people to see. It doesn’t matter what you two end up doing; the fact is, you go on actual dates and not just hang out in your room all day.
How he actually acts: Let’s say he does commit to seeing you, but somehow you always end up in each other’s house and never really on a date.
The time you spend together is incredibly predictable. You more or less do the same thing (hint: it always has something to do with sex) so it feels more like a hang out or a fling and less of a date.
When you try to ask him out, he’ll always find ways to just stick indoors.
Instead of date nights in a nice restaurant, you get chinese take out or pizza nights inside.
Instead of catching a movie together or going bowling, you get Netflix and video games.
It’s an endless barrage of excuses that always end up in the same place: you and him on a couch, not dating.
5. He Always Texts You But Doesn’t Communicate Outside of That
How he should act: You’re chatting throughout the day and talking more outside of Messenger or Instagram DMs.
He sends you random photos from his day, and you send him weird voice notes whenever you feel like sharing something.
You text a lot but you also communicate in other ways too. You understand that he’s committed to communicating with you and isn’t just using you to pass his time.
How he actually acts: It’s odd enough that he doesn’t take you out on proper dates but he also doesn’t seem to enjoy talking outside of the chatbox.
Late-night messages have become all too familiar and they always seem to pop out of nowhere.
You exchange lols, emojis, and GIFs; you could be texting for hours on end but at the end of the day it still doesn’t feel like you’re talking.
If you feel this way, chances are he’s just texting you to fill in the time. If he really wanted to talk, he’d hop on a voice call every now or some other form of communication that’s more intimate and direct.
6. He Avoids “The Talk”
How he should act: You’ve expressed wanting to make the relationship official, or at the very least discuss what each of you feel so you can both be on the same page.
Maybe he commits on the spot, maybe he doesn’t.
Regardless of what happens, he respects you enough to be straightforward about how he feels and doesn’t leave you in the dark.
How he actually acts: He does everything in his power to avoid talking about the state of your relationship, so much so that you just end up not talking about it anymore.
You’ve tried in the past but it’s clear he’s hellbent on making sure that topic never comes up.
When you do successfully pin him down and get him to talk about your relationship, he doesn’t really say anything concise.
He might say things like “but we’re happy” or “we don’t need a label to be happy.”
7. He Ghosts You… But Always Comes Back
How he should act: Ghosting isn’t always done maliciously. Maybe your man is the busy career-type and he just can’t help but live in his bubble every once in a while.
But every time he comes back, he always makes it a point to make it up to you and resume your relationship.
How he actually acts: You feel like he’s ghosting you because, well, he really does ghost you. He disappears with no explanation for months at a time, and comes back without addressing the situation.
He slips in and out of your life pretending like it’s totally normal behavior.
He also tends to come around in the exact same way every single time: with a flirty text, asking to “hang out” when really you know he just wants to get down and dirty.
8. He Says He Misses You But Does Nothing
How he should act: He doesn’t just say I miss you, he actually makes you feel like it.
Whether it’s showing up on your doorstep unannounced or planning a surprise date night, he makes you feel like the time in-between the last saw each other was too long.
You don’t have to wonder if he really misses you because he shows you that he did.
How he actually acts: Some guys will just string you along for the sake of doing it.
There are two ways you could read this:
First, he says he misses you constantly because he thinks this is enough to sustain the relationship without putting any real effort into it; two, he says he misses you even when he’s uninterested in continuing any sort of contact because he knows this will soften the blow somehow.
Either way, empty I Miss Yous mean absolutely nothing.
9. He’s Still On Dating Platforms
How he should act: He realizes how this makes you feel and takes down the profiles immediately.
Any sane person who wants to move forward with the relationship won’t have one foot in the market. This is his way of telling you he’s ready for a commitment and that he’s all in.
How he actually acts: He keeps it up, or worse, he lies to you about it. “Your man” comes up with lame excuses like “Oh, I forgot it was still up” or “I don’t even use it anyway”.
You can present all the facts and feelings in the world but at the end of the day, his dating profiles will stay up for all the single women to see. Take this as a red flag; he’s clearly not done window shopping.
10. He Always Talks About “Too Much Going On”
How he should act: When he says he has too much going on, it’s not a secret code for “I don’t want to see you just yet.” He openly shares about what’s going on with his busy life.
Even if he doesn’t, you’re confident that he is a little too preoccupied at the moment because he’s open about this. If he’s not ready to go all-in just yet, the right man will let you know instead of dragging you when it’s convenient for him.
How he actually acts: “I have too much going on” has become his go-to phrase for everything. It doesn’t matter what you ask — this is his universal answer.
If you confront him about not spending time together, or feeling a little anxious, or just being generally unsure about the relationship, he falls back to this excuse every time without fail.
Maybe he really does have too much going on or maybe he just doesn’t want to deal with you right now. Either way, this man isn’t making space for you in his life any time soon.
11. He Doesn’t Introduce You To Anyone In His Life
How he should act: No matter how hard we try to keep relationships separate, they’ll end up overlapping one way or another.
Even the most private guy is still bound to introduce you to his friends and family. How else are you going to have dates and dinners with the other important people in his life?
How he actually acts: You’ve been dating long enough that meeting people from his life seems like the next logical step.
Despite this, your man is incredibly avoidant about taking the leap.
He’ll try to dissuade you out of wanting to meet his friends and family even after you’ve expressed sincere interest in connecting with people in his life.
If he’s acting this way, there’s a high chance he doesn’t think this relationship will stick, so why bother introducing you to his circle?
If a guy does everything in his power to avoid having his circle know about you, take that as a giant red flag and know this relationship isn’t going anywhere.
How To Be Better For Yourself: Learning To Pick Better Men
Navigating modern dating can be such a pain, especially after you’ve bonded with a person and have developed real feelings for them.
Save yourself the heartbreak before going a little deeper next time by learning how to isolate men who are partner-material from boys who just want a quick getaway.
One way to figure this out is by understanding the “hero instinct” that’s embedded in the psyche of most men. As mentioned before, this instinct refers to a guy’s primordial need to feel like a provider, whether it’s satisfying your physical, emotional, or intellectual needs.
A man who’s worth investing in, who’s ready to be in a relationship, will enact his hero instinct without even knowing it. You can learn more about the signs in this free presentation.
On the other hand, guys who just want to play around or who don’t understand what they want are ultimately self-serving. They find ways to perpetually fulfill their needs without even beginning to understand what yours are.
Once you’re able to understand what sets these two types of guys apart, you’ll be able to spot them from a mile away. The better you are at telling who has a hero instinct, the easier it is to see if the guy is relationship material or not.