If He Says He’s Not Looking To Commit, Believe Him

wommanyell

Name: Jennifer

:
Question: Hey everyone,

I have been seeing a guy for 2 months now. He has stated he doesn’t want anything serious, or at least he doesn’t know because he had just broken up with his girlfriend. However, we have been on 4 dates so far, all including sex. I left for a 3 week holiday at some point and he texted me a lot and generally initiated texting since we met.

The thing is he never asked me on a date – he always went around it, asking if I was busy that week etc. He responds immediately to all my texts but for some reason, I get a sense that he is afraid to be bold with me. Like I will reject him or something. We have a good time when we meet and he has never done any booty call or sexting. He likes small talk about everyday stuff etc.

He recently left for vacation for 3 weeks but I was the one initiating texting. I texted him 3 times where we just kept the texting for like 30 min, just exchanging basic news. I know he wants to unwind so I  didn’t pressure him into more texting. Last time we texted, he asked if I was around the week he returns and I said yes. I guess this is a hint for a date?

I don’t know if I have very strong feelings for him. I definitely like him and the sex is good too. I know I want something more stable than scarce dates and random communication, and I did continue with him to see what he wants. I thought the whole thing would fall apart after a month since it is unstable, but it didn’t. If anything, I text him and he responds instantly, making me think that he likes me too.

So what is the question? I like him, and I want it to continue or maybe turn it into something more. He has a weird on and off behavior though that makes me think sometimes that he likes me and sometimes not. He definitely needs space. I don’t know what to do because if I stay longer I will develop feelings.

Any advice or people with similar experience?
Thanks!
Age: 27

Here’s the first thing you need to accept: you’ve already developed feelings for him. Enough with this “I caught feelings” bullshit. Sure, it sounds adorable, but it’s a delusion manufactured by women who lie to themselves about their ability to engage in casual sex.

Second, it sounds to me like things are progressing at a fairly normal pace. It’s been roughly a month (give or take the weeks you were away) and you’ve seen him four times. He’s been upfront about not wanting anything serious. I’m not sure what more you’re expecting here. You’re doing all kinds of head-hopping trying to determine why he doesn’t explicitly ask you out to your liking instead of acknowledging that he’s asking you out at all. He doesn’t want a serious relationship right now. He’s been explicit about that. You’re ignoring what he’s told you, instead focusing on little things like the fact that he replies to your texts quickly and deciding he must be afraid of his feelings or some other such nonsense.

You’re reading too much into his behavior.  His replying quickly might not have anything to do with you. Maybe that’s his typical response time. You want it to mean something more because you want more than he can give.

The reason you’re so confused is because you’re in denial. He’s explained to you what he can offer. Rather than backing away because your intentions and his don’t align, you’re moving forward while expecting him to eventually change his mind. He very well might, but he’s going to do it on his terms, not yours.

What’s the point of wanting men to be honest if we’re not going to believe them?

Thoughts?

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26 Responses to “If He Says He’s Not Looking To Commit, Believe Him”

  1. CT Says:

    There’s nothing to be read into him responding to your texts right away, having small talk with you, or texting you while he was on vacation. You cannot read into any of the things he does until he actually says to you that he wants to be in a relationship with you. If you want to have sex with him and like the companionship, keep on. If not and you have the desire for more but he’s not willing, you may have to consider if it’s worth it to continue.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

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  2. 40something Says:

    Many women have a tendency to believe what they want. I even hear women say “he says he doesn’t want to get married but they always change their mind.” Oh really? The mind changing I don’t generally see. However, when men say they don’t want something serious, to live with someone, get married, be exclusive or have children, it generally falls into 2 categories. He doesn’t want those things or he doesn’t want those with you. I think the ladder is where women struggle the most. “But John said he didn’t want to get married and now he’s engaged. How could he?” Because he could. Could someone change their mind? Sure. It’s not something I’ve seen much. I wouldn’t go that route but I’ve seen many who have. And it eventually ends with bitterness and resentment on the woman’s part because she was going to “win him over” and “make him change his mind.” Nope.

    I know it stings and feels unsettling. But believe what they say….as it applies to their feelings about you. And Jennifer seems like a sweet girl. Could this guy change his mind? I suppose. But if what she wants is a committed relationship then she should keep her options open. And besides, why do you want to convince or cajole someone into thinking you are worthy of their time or commitment? Bad start.

    I would say OP should take this for what it is and keep her options open.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

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  3. ? Says:

    Yeah…sex is almost never casual for a woman (for a large majority at least). If a woman really wants casual sex, she should have sex with men she whom she does not find particularly attractive and whom she does not want a future with. Period. But of course we wouldn’t have sex with these men, would we ? We have sex with attractive men we want validation from, and who will withdraw that validation when he eventually leaves, making us wonder why we weren’t good enough for them to stay.

    Sure, some less than desirable men can give really good orgasms (well, they have no choice but to learn to give good orgasms if they want any woman’s attention). But we feel embarassed sleeping with these men and are not keen to repeat the experience, despite the good sex.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 13

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    • Parenting Says:

      I agree with most of what you said minus the “sleeping with frogs” part. Friends who have had successful FWB situations have described hot men with no future potential.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  4. Yvonne Says:

    It’s not that he’s afraid to be “bold” with you, it’s that he doesn’t want to be bold because he doesn’t want to give you the wrong impression. It’s only been a month, but when a man wants a girlfriend, he doesn’t tell the woman he’s seeing that he doesn’t want anything serious. The “weird on and off behavior” you’re noticing is what men do when they don’t want to get serious but want to keep you around. In other words, just enough positive reinforcement to make you think you might have a chance for something more.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **It’s only been a month, but when a man wants a girlfriend, he doesn’t tell the woman he’s seeing that he doesn’t want anything serious. **

      Yup. If you do want something serious, that line should be your cue to exit, stage left.

      If you want to stick around and enjoy the sex a bit longer, fine, but do NOT dismiss or mentally relabel it when a man says he doesn’t want anything serious. If you do linger after hearing that, you need to seriously downgrade your expectations and update your dance card (i.e., make sure you’re dating others and treat him as one option of many for an evening’s entertainment, same as he is with you).

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

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  5. Selena Says:

    1. You have seen him 4 times in 2 months. Each time you have had sex.

    2. You call these occasions *dates*, yet in your letter you also write:
    “The thing is he never asked me on a date – he always went around it, asking if I was busy that week etc.”

    3.And, “We have a good time when we meet and he has never done any booty call or sexting.”

    I’m curious how you define booty call. I define it as people who get together and have sex without bothering to go out on actual dates. Euphemism: “Hanging out”. :-)

    “He has stated he doesn’t want anything serious, or at least he doesn’t know because he had just broken up with his girlfriend.”

    He wants some sex and attention, but doesn’t want to be your boyfriend. Texting, “hanging out” every 1-3 weeks works for that.

    It is what it is Jennifer. Consider what YOU want and proceed accordingly without rationalizing and making excuses for him.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

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  6. Nia Says:

    You know, I’ve been reading for a couple years now, and it seems like there are two major issues that keep coming up over and over:

    Women: I like this guy; he won’t commit or he won’t do particular BF stuff I need/want/like

    Men: No women I want or am interested in respond to me in person or online

    I *think* the problem is actually the same for both genders.

    It’s about knowing your audience and making yourself appealing to them.

    For women, these women are kind of…rowing the boat all by themselves. They’re saying yes to men that are iffy, going out with guys out of their “league” or that aren’t really available, and otherwise doing a lot of mental gymnastics to make it seem like what it’s not.
    For men, they seem to either believe they’re entitled to a certain type (young, very hot, fit/slender, fun, no baggage, no kids, not supported by alimony, etc etc) or so desperate for a date they have no idea what they want and keep getting taken for rides.

    People. People. People.

    It’s okay to be picky.

    Know yourself. If you’re in the unconventionally attractive spot, own it, work it, and make it work for you. A lot (a LOT) of what we might think of as “odd” types have a significant other and/or sex lives that sizzle. They just know who they’re marketing to. You don’t have to appeal to thousands. You just have to appeal to a few people—-who REALLY like you.
    Go deep, not wide.

    Check out profiles that you feel are comparable to yours. What works? What doesn’t?
    Check out the profiles in general—where are you falling in the range of profiles in your age range you see for your same gender?
    Get real about what you want and don’t play games or settle for what you *know* won’t work.

    Be honest but tactful. Be real but discerning. Be vulnerable but smart and save your heart (and swimsuit area parts) for the real deal (whether that’s great sex with someone you click with, a FWB that respects you and you have fun with, a BF or GF, or a potential husband or wife. That’s up to you. But make sure you’re getting what you really want before you’re giving something in return!!)

    If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it!!

    *All of this is easier said than done, I know. :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 5

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      **For women, these women are kind of…rowing the boat all by themselves. They’re saying yes to men that are iffy, going out with guys out of their “league” or that aren’t really available, and otherwise doing a lot of mental gymnastics to make it seem like what it’s not.**

      Yup. This used to be me, and so I get extra exasperated when I see it in others. If you try to point out the reality of the situation to them, they’re all, “But I like THIS guy! I don’t want to settle!” You don’t want to settle…for someone who’s actually interested in a relationship? Ho-kay. I’m seen as the big meanie for trying to call reality when everyone else’s advice is some vague shit about following your heart. I’m all for following your heart, but a relationship requires the participation of two people. Stop making excuses for guys who half-ass it. Good chance they were actually honest with you and you just heard what you wanted to hear.

      Like I said, if you’re just enjoying the sex and not expecting more, then fine, but be honest with yourself about what’s actually going on. If you worry about him dating other women or freak out when he doesn’t call or whatever, then you’re not actually enjoying your “casual” arrangement.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

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      • 40something Says:

        Excellent points by Fuzilla and Nia. I’m the tough love delivery person to my female friends as well. I think what makes me saddest is that people think if someone is not interested in them, that they are not worthy or that there is something horribly wrong with them. Or that they said something wrong or they aren’t x “enough.” We are all flawed. Everyone has preferences and things that they are seeking in a potential partner. You just may not have those factors. And did someone’s choice or free will to hold out for what they want. Maybe they get it. Maybe they don’t. But that’s their choice . Yes, it can hurt the fragile ego but again if someone doesn’t want to be with you, then why on earth would you want to be with them ?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

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      • Selena Says:

        “**For women, these women are kind of…rowing the boat all by themselves. They’re saying yes to men that are iffy, going out with guys out of their “league” or that aren’t really available, and otherwise doing a lot of mental gymnastics to make it seem like what it’s not.**

        Yup. This used to be me, and so I get extra exasperated when I see it in others.”

        I see myself in some of these letters also. I remember how ridiculously easy it was to rationalize a casual situation as something more – something that had *potential* as long as I played it “cool” and undemanding. It wouldn’t occur to me that the guy I was “seeing” was just booty calling, hooking up. It was more than just sex, I thought and felt.

        Looking back, I kinda see these situations as part of a learning curve: a way to differentiate the men who are genuinely interested from those who are only casually interested. It’s often very obvious in hindsight. Harder to see (and acknowledge)when one is caught up in infatuation at the time.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          It’s true that people need to live through this kinda thing themselves to really “get it.” But then again, people ask for advice for a reason. I can choose my words carefully and try not to be too harsh, but it really doesn’t help anyone to blow sunshine up their ass and feed their delusions.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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          • 40something Says:

            Yes. Women need to stop getting relationship advice from
            Reese Witherspoon movies.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

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          • Selena Says:

            “Advice is what we ask for when we know the answer, but wish we didn’t.” –Erica Jong

            :-)

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        • Eliza Says:

          I see/hear this all the time. Women want advice…but then refuse to accept the sound advice – from other women! Very sane, logical thinking too. And not advice from one single source…but various women…but that same woman insists there must be something more to the story…or worse yet…justifies the guy’s behavior, or lack thereof. Accept the blatant truth, and move on, or stick around and feel shortchanged, but don’t fault the guy–he has verbally stated–he is not ready for a relationship. he is very upfront–which is not often the case. But at least he put his cards on the table. You have been warned. You can’t be just a platonic friend, yet have sex with him…clearly–you get and have been emotionally attached. Know yourself and don’t have any expectations then.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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  7. Jennifer Says:

    Hey! I am Jennifer, the girl who wrote the post.

    Honestly, I saw the advice that I actually expected to get, which is also the right one.

    I am not stupid, or delusional – I actually know that this guy has no interest in me, or the little interest he had, has faded away. I wrote the post 2 weeks ago, when I thought that the lack of communication was when he was away. We have barely talked since I came back, me initiating the texts. He responds but we don’t talk as much. We met once after he returned, and if I asked if he would like to meet again, he said yes. Obviously because there is sex involved.

    The problem here is that first of all, the things I like about this guy is the good sex and I like his extrovert-like behaviour which makes me comfortable. And that we exchange news, I mean for 2 months, we have exchanged a lot of info. There are plenty of major stuff that we are not a good match in, but somehow I overlook them. I don’t know why. I shouldn’t be attracted to him. Maybe I am missing the good sex and my mind thinks it is missing him? There is something I miss that I can’t identify. For sure, it’s not his bf qualities.

    Also, he is quite lonely and a bit sad with his life now, so I have a caring side that wants to help him, by doing stuff, cheer him up a bit.

    I know that he wants nothing more, and I hate that I become clingy for such a guy. I wasn’t thinking about the while thing that much, but since he started to fade away, I become obsessed with keeping him close. But why?

    So yeah, I do agree with all your advice, but I have the feeling I have a deeper issue I need to resolve. And when I do it, I will be able to let him go.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

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    • Speed Says:

      Obviously, you enjoy mystery, drama, excitement and experiencing high-speed train wrecks. With this guy you’re getting what you want. So, keep at it.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

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    • Parenting Says:

      Its not uncommon to chase the thing thats running/slipping away. Its unhealthy but its not common. The why depends on the individual. Perhaps the feeling you get when they start to fade taps into some abandonment issues (or something else).

      Ive had the same issue (not sure why) and the women in my family have told me to “have some pride”. Nothing turned them off more than a guy treating them indifference. If you can, try to tap into that sence of pride.

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    • Selena Says:

      Maybe you see him as a challenge? If you can get him to REALLY like you – you win!

      Do you want a serious relationship? Getting hung up on a Mr. Casual allows for a fantasy-type relationship without the responsibilities and compromises that go along with a real one.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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      • Jennifer Says:

        I have thought of it – that maybe my deeper goal is to be validated, unconsciously. Like, I want them to like me. But I have gained that from dating.

        I do want a relationship. I do need my space as a person, but I want exclusivity, emotional connection , doing stuff etc. With one guy. Thing is, just because he told me that he doesn’t want a relationship, I will focus on stuff that is based on the casual stuff ; sex, laughing, exchanging news. Maybe if he told me from the beginning that he wants something serious, I would have rejected him, just because I would take into account other stuff as well ; like common interests, lifestyle etc. I don’t know.

        I still wonder why I feel hooked to him though. I will see my therapist today, so it will be a nice issue to talk on.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

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    • Nia Says:

      So, a couple things.
      First and foremost, there is a known phenomenon where were justify or excuse the things we have “purchased” and put them on a pedestal. A kind of confirmation bias for actions. That’s very likely what’s going on. A man who is genuinely good at sex (or, more accurately you have good chemistry with, since sex is different for every woman and there are no secret set of “moves” a man can learn) is hard to find. I’ve been there. Amazing sex is designed to make you feel like you want to shack up. It’s evolution.
      But it’s not real.

      Secondly, I think what’s happening here is something I was very guilty of for years. Because I had personal stuff to work on and sort out, I often chose men I felt were not a true equal in some way or another. Less educated, troubled, addicts, childish, damaged, disordered, or with chaotic lives. Being “helpful” did two things: it allowed me the illusion “He can’t possibly leave me or choose someone else if I’m the most helpful person he knows!” and it allowed me to take the focus off my real problems I wasn’t ready to look at.

      When you’re ready, a true equal and match will come along. The sex will be good because you love them, not because he’s got magic hands or an indefatigable tongue or whatever. The friendship and connection will make the sex good.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

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      • fuzzilla Says:

        **Because I had personal stuff to work on and sort out, I often chose men I felt were not a true equal in some way or another. Less educated, troubled, addicts, childish, damaged, disordered, or with chaotic lives. Being “helpful” did two things: it allowed me the illusion “He can’t possibly leave me or choose someone else if I’m the most helpful person he knows!” and it allowed me to take the focus off my real problems I wasn’t ready to look at.**

        YUP. God damn, did I waste so much time on losers. So much time that I could’ve been looking for better guys or just investing in my life in general. Someone recently asked when I was gonna have kids and I was like, “Um, well, didn’t meet the BF ’til I was 42 and I’m 45 now, so…um, never…” I guess it’s flattering they thought I was younger (I know, I know – *everyone* says that, but they did).

        I volunteer at a crisis hotline and we’re trained to not openly judge people’s choices. That doesn’t mean you should endorse poor choices, but if you’re very obviously judgmental they’re just gonna shut down and stop sharing with you and then the whole exchange becomes kind of pointless (kind of thinking out loud here, not calling anyone judge-y. Kind of talking to myself since reading into the words of non-committal guys and propping up a relationship all by yourself is a topic it’s ridiculously easy for me to get judge-y about).

        I think the OP is right that there’s a deeper issue holding her back from moving on. Maybe if you feel like the more “adult” and responsible one in the relationship, you feel more in control. Maybe it’s scary to try to seek someone who’s actually available (need to compromise, might get hurt, etc.). Something I’ve noticed from people in trainwreck relationships is that they’ll go on and on and ON for paragraphs about their partner’s hard life and difficult childhood and there’s nary a peep about their own life or how they actually feel about things. Like it’s selfish to have your own feelings when everything is JUST SO HARD for their boo (never mind that their boo manufactures a new crisis in their life every other week).

        Long story short – YES, they put up with these childish drama factories because they’re avoiding dealing with their own sh**, like you said. And YES, I’ve totally been there, got the T-shirt, washed my car with it – that’s why it’s so hard for me to not be judge-y.

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  8. Shadowcat Says:

    I’m too tired right now, who would like to unpack this?

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