He Doesn’t Want a Relationship but Wants to Be Friends

Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

You and this guy have been friends for a long time, and you have feelings for him. But he never makes the first move, so you decide to.

He lets you down easily by telling you he’s not ready for a relationship but wants to be friends. What does it mean when he doesn’t want a relationship but wants to be friends?

Is it because he doesn’t find you attractive? So many thoughts can go through your mind, especially if you are usually an overthinker.

What to do when he says he doesn’t want a relationship? It might be weird to be friends after you expressed feelings for him.

Getting into a new relationship can be tricky. The thought of rejection can be scary. It is even more difficult for a girl because of the abnormality of making the first move. Why does he want to be friends?

Why Does He Just Want to Be Friends?

Why Does He Just Want to Be Friends

When a guy says he wants to be friends for now, he is saying that he doesn’t want to be intimate or committed to you.

There are hundreds of reasons why that is. Some of the reasons are not even because of you. It could be that he has bad experiences with relationships.

Or, it may be because he went through a terrible breakup that he hasn’t gotten over. But, if he is not attracted to you, that could deter you from getting into a relationship.

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18 Reasons Why He Doesn’t Want a Relationship but Wants to Be Friends Instead

There are many reasons a guy may want to keep you in the friend zone. Personal reasons influence what a person does with their life and their choices.

A relationship is a lot of work, and it takes two to make it successful.

According to Oprah Daily Magazine, “Some things are better one-sided: An ice cream cone you don’t want to share, your high school diary, and a game of solitaire—for example. But a healthy relationship? That’s a two-sided situation.”

If he is not interested in being with you, you need to move on. The remaining friends depend on you.

Sometimes women feel too ashamed to remain friends with someone who rejected them.

18 Reasons Why He Doesn't Want a Relationship but Wants to Be Friends Instead

#1 He is not attracted to you

He may have no sexual connection to you. It doesn’t mean you are ugly or not attractive to anyone.

It means that you are not his type. He may prefer girls with dark brown eyes, and you may have blue eyes.

Getting rejected is not easy to deal with, especially for women. Women usually like the guy to ask them out. Most of us girls don’t want to do the asking. Often, when a woman gets rejected, she feels insecure and unattractive.

The way she views herself may change. She might not even want to remain friends due to the embarrassment she feels. Often, when a woman likes a guy, she would try her best not to show it.

That is especially true if he hasn’t done anything to make her feel like he has a sexual attraction to her. Yet, you must know that it isn’t the end of the world. There are other guys out there.

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#2 He went through a bad breakup

He finds you attractive, but he is afraid to get hurt by anyone again. So instead of getting into a relationship with you, he’s friend-zoned you. Being heartbroken is something that many if not all, people go through.

Yet, many guys use a bad breakup as an excuse when it isn’t. It is easier to give a reason than to say that there is something unattractive about a person. 

If he is dating other people after he rejected you for this reason, then he is lying. Why are you dating other people if you cannot date me because you went through a bad breakup?

People tend to lie when they don’t want to hurt your feelings. So he might refer to the person he is dating as “just a friend” to avoid you getting upset or sad.

#3 He is already in a relationship

He prefers to be just friends with you because he is already in a relationship with someone else.

Some guys are sneaky and don’t even mention that they are with someone. But, if he has been open about it, then why would you even express how you feel? If you know that he is with someone, you should respect that.

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He is doing the right thing by telling you. Some guys would hide their relationship with you. That is unfair to both you and their girlfriend or wife.

If a guy likes you very much and has a girlfriend, he would leave her for you. Ladies, don’t be trying to persuade men to leave their partner for you. If he is in love with you, he will.

#4 You do not tick off his boxes

His idea of the partner he wants doesn’t match your attributes. It could be that you are not a great cook or your humor is not funny to him.

People like different things in people. Whereas someone may prefer an introverted partner, another may prefer an extroverted partner. If this is why he doesn’t want to date you, he might not like to tell you his reasoning.

He might fear that you may not take it well or that it will ruin the friendship he wants to keep between you both.

Many guys still follow traditional norms even as the world is evolving. Depending on the guy, he might want a housewife, whereas you may wish for a career for yourself.

Thus he doesn’t consider you wife-material. The difference between desires is the reason he only wants to be friends.

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#5 He wants to preserve the friendship

What does it mean if a guy likes you but doesn’t want a relationship? There are many reasons for this, one of them being that he doesn’t want the friendship to die.

You and this guy are the best of friends. He doesn’t want to destroy your relationship by getting intimate. He knows that things may not work out because of his different views on life.

There is nothing you can do if a guy expresses that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you. But, if he explains that it would ruin the friendship, you can assure him that it wouldn’t. Instead, your close attachment could make your relationship unique.

#6 He is not ready for a committed relationship

Why would a guy just want to be friends? He likes his single life and doesn’t want to give that up for you.

The partying, the drinking, and the hooking-ups are a thrill for him. It could be that he is young and not ready to settle down with anyone. He would prefer to hook up with other women for fun. You might also not be the one he is prepared to commit to.

Being single gives you a freedom that can be enjoyable. Many guys love that. Yet, everyone wants somebody they can call their own at the end of the day. Statistics show that women reach that level of maturity earlier than men when it comes to age.

For women and even men, in a situation where the other person doesn’t want to commit, it gets complicated. You may have introduced your family or even your kids to this person.

Then, it’s not easy when he isn’t around anymore because of a lack of commitment. So if a guy expresses that he isn’t ready to commit, don’t force him to.

#7 He is afraid of hurting you

Good friends tend to know everything about each other. If you and this guy have been friends for very long, then he should know how you like and deserve it.

Although he loves you, he thinks he cannot provide you with what you deserve. He might have drawn this conclusion based on conversations you both have had.

For example, when you both were talking, you expressed wanting a guy who is gentle and kind. He may know himself to be the total opposite.

#8 He does not want to deal with any drama

You may have unresolved relationship issues that he doesn’t want to deal with. For instance, your ex is still in the picture.

There may be a child involved, or you still hook up with your ex occasionally. It might get complicated for a guy looking to make a girl his wife.

There is a lot of negative stereotyping surrounding exes. Should your ex have any involvement in your relationship?

Sometimes it causes some form of mistrust and jealousy. These feelings can lead to arguments or verbal fights. He may have seen the drama surrounding you since he is your friend. So he is afraid to be in a romantic relationship with you.

#9 He is scared to commit because of past trauma

Commitment is a struggle for him due to past trauma. Most people replicate what they see when they are growing up.

If his father wasn’t there when he was young, he might do the same thing by not committing. It is a tragic cycle that happens a lot.

What a person experiences at a young age can affect their future relationships. For instance, a lack of emotional connection from parents can affect a person. It can cause them to become less empathetic.

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Suppose he saw his dad committing to his mom and his mom is out cheating. In that case, it might influence him to want only casual relationships.

Communicating with him about what he is going through might be a way to help him get through it. He likes you if he is comfortable enough to speak to you.

#10 You both recently met

Rushing into a relationship isn’t always the best. If you guys recently met, he may want to start as friends first, which is understandable.

If you don’t know a guy very well, asking him to be in a relationship is bold. It is unwise because you have a greater chance of rejection.

You don’t even know his middle name, yet you want to be with him. Is it only because of his physical attraction or wealth? Guys tend to think like this.

Why is it that you want a relationship with him? Did you know he was the one? Usually, the guy is the one to know first, but women also get that feeling. It could be a kind gesture or even something big. Although, in the guy’s mind, it could be common courtesy.

#11 He is not attracted to girls in general

He is gay, so he wouldn’t want a sexual relationship with you. In a world that is ever-evolving, the percentage of gay men is increasing.

Some men hide that they are gay due to the hate that comes with it. So he might not let you know that that is why he rejected you.

It is sometimes easy to detect that a guy is gay. You might see it in his actions or in the way he dresses. But, in other instances, it isn’t so easy to notice.

#12 He is not keen on long-distance dating

We have all seen videos of long-distance couples meeting for the first time. They are happy to see each other, big hugs, kisses, and sometimes even crying.

Staying together when you both are miles apart is incredible. It is the definition of relationship goals.

But, some people don’t like doing long distances because they believe it wouldn’t work out. This might be his reasoning for wanting to be just friends.

He might be afraid of you cheating behind his back if he has had issues with trusting in the past. He might want to be single and explore the options where he lives. Besides, his love language may be physical touch.

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So, long-distance wouldn’t best suit him. The need for sexual gratification may overcome him. You are a nice person, so he doesn’t want to cheat on you. So instead, he advises that you both stay friends until you can meet in person.

If he has only ever met you online, he might be hesitant to say yes to a relationship. He may harbor the fear of a catfish hurting him. Technology keeps up connected, but we must be mindful of its dangers.

#13 He finds you annoying

Remaining friends is a cover for him not to hurt your feelings. He doesn’t like you, maybe due to your voice or how much you talk. He keeps you around as his friend so that you don’t feel bad.

So how would you know that he finds you annoying? He is afraid to tell you, but his body language will show. That might be a sign if he is distant or tuned out when around you or often cancels on plans to hang out.

For instance, you are younger than him yet find him attractive. He only is around you because you are the sister of his friend.

Many girls have found themselves in this position. Being the third wheel to their older siblings’ hangout and not feeling a part of it. Having a crush on your brother’s friend can sometimes be hurtful. Why? Because he sees you as his best friend’s baby sister.

According to AConsciousRethink.com: When we desperately want something to be true, it can be very easy to convince ourselves that it is.

When you like a guy, there are always going to be little things here and there that you can interpret as signs that he likes you back, even if there are far more warning signs telling you the opposite!”

#14 You are an extrovert/introvert

It is usually assumed that extroverts find introverts attractive and vice versa. This assumption may be due to the balance each brings to the relationship.

You may be super extroverted, so arguments are usually loud and long. The two strong personalities may be challenging to get along with. Two extreme introverts may find it difficult to be together because there is no bold voice.

Imagine going to a restaurant, and both of you are afraid to tell the waiter that the order is wrong. Opposites do attract.

#15 Your signs don’t align

Some people believe in the alignment of the stars. For example, Cancer, Aquarius, Gemini.

He might want to stay friends if he had a bad experience with your sign in the past. For instance, his ex-girlfriend is an Aries, so he might not want to date an Aries again.

#16 You don’t believe in his God

Religion is essential to many people. Some people look for religious compatibility in a partner. They want to marry someone who has the same spiritual values and beliefs.

It’s what Christians refer to as being “equally yoked.” Some religions are stricter than others. For instance, Hinduism. Most Muslims do not marry outside their faith.

Also, dating for long periods isn’t something this religion practices. Arranged marriages are common in this religious culture.

A relationship that has different views on religious beliefs can be stressful. It can cause a lot of arguments and spiritual warfare. Relationships should have a sense of unity and togetherness. Differences in religious practices tend to be a barrier to that.

Having someone on the same page as you regarding God and religion makes you feel safe. It can even make a person more attractive. Reading the holy word, praying, and worshipping brings a couple together.

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#17 You have an overprotective brother/father

A lot of girls can attest to this problem. They may have a brother who is friends with the guy or a father who everyone knows is overprotective.

This deters him from getting into a relationship with you due to the fear of hurting him. For girls in this situation, you know how stressful and challenging it could be, having to sneak around and keep secrets.

18) He wants to focus on his career

Becoming a doctor or a lawyer takes up time and hours of studying. Some people find it challenging to keep up with a relationship while focusing on their careers.

Healthy relationships do involve time and energy. Someone with a busy schedule might not want to be in a serious relationship due to their job. This might be his reasoning for rejecting your advances.

Why Does He Keep Me Around if He Doesn’t Want a Relationship?

Why Does He Keep Me Around if He Doesn't Want a Relationship

Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship? Why is it that he wants to be just friends with you? He doesn’t want a relationship with you, so why keep you around? It could be that he likes you as a friend.

If he isn’t making it seem like you both are in a relationship without a title, his intentions may be pure. On the converse, do you feel like he treats you like you’re together? But he expressed a lack of interest!

My friend, he might be using you. Why does he want to be friends if he doesn’t want to date you? He finds you attractive enough to be friends with you. So why doesn’t he want a romantic relationship? Here are the three main reasons for his choice.

#1 He wants to keep his options open

What is it called when you are more than friends but not in a relationship? It’s a platonic relationship, or the modern term is situationship. There are no titles in this relationship. But you both do stuff that suggests you are more than friends. So why is it that a guy may want to remain friends with no titles?

It could be that he is unsure of what he wants in life regarding women. So although he has an attraction to you, he isn’t sure you are the one. Thus, he wants to keep his options open to see if someone else is perfect for him.

This indecisive or careful behavior is usually projected on women. Men often struggle to choose between potential partners. For some, their love life is never stable with one person.

#2 You provide him with something he doesn’t want to lose

Even though he doesn’t want to be with you, he still wants to stay close enough to enjoy what you provide.

You are a great cook, or you may have a car, and he doesn’t. You should look out for men who want to use you for what you have.

Sex is something that men use women for a lot. He uses you if he only calls you to hook up and doesn’t want to be exclusive and commit. It is bizarre how manipulative some men could be when they want something from you.

According to Glamour magazine, “It’s not always easy to tell the difference between a guy who’s seriously into you and one who’s wrapped up in the moment.

The reason? Lust is a powerful thing, and some men will do just about anything in the sweet spot between “nice to meet you” and “sex.”

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#3 He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings

For some guys, rejecting a girl can feel weird. This is because the guy is self-conscious or has never been sought after before. He bases his reasoning on his personal issues surrounding relationships. Although he has deep feelings for you, he doesn’t want to make it official. To sound less harsh, he asks to remain friends. 

It would be fascinating if we could read the minds of others. It would save many future heartbreaks and help you avoid a dramatic life with another.

What is the real reason he doesn’t like me? What have I done? Do I lack something? Women, especially younger ladies like teens, go through phases of insecurity. Hating a part of their body or actions escalate because of rejection.

How Do You Respond When He Says He Just Wants to Be Friends?

How Do You Respond When He Says He Just Wants to Be Friends

It is hard to get rejected, and sometimes your response can show that. Some people show their true feelings as a way of guilt-tripping.

“When he sees how sad that makes me, he’ll feel sorry for me and change his mind.”

Yet, why would you want him to pity you enough that he would change his mind because of your sorrow? A forced relationship isn’t going to work out. He will always be regretful or not treat you the way he would have if it was love.

You might choose to play it off as if you were joking is a self-defense mechanism. Many women, as well as men, use it when they face rejection. This is a tactic used to conceal true feelings. Laughter and smiling in awkward situations decrease the tension that the silence brings. 

This is the best way to respond so that you won’t ruin the rest of the time spent together. Yet, communicating can save a lot of hurt feelings. It will help if guys explain why they are not relationship ready. Their ladies might understand or even have a solution to what they are going through.

When it comes to remaining friends, that is up to you. If being his friend and seeing his desire for other people may upset you, you should not.

Remaining his friend means that you would be around him. You may even know things about his relationship. A friend should be happy when their friend is happy. So if he tells you he is seeing someone, and you feel jealous and sad, then it might come off as rude.

What to Do When He Says He Doesn’t Want a Relationship

What to Do When He Says He Doesn't Want a Relationship

Titles are important in a relationship. They show that both parties are on the same page. It also leaves no room for misinterpretation of the relations you both have. So what to do when he says he doesn’t want a relationship?

When he says he doesn’t want a relationship, the best thing you can do is move on. Don’t keep your hopes up that he will change your mind because you’ll be waiting forever. Leave the chasing to the men, ladies. 

Investing your time and feelings into a person is a high risk when no titles are involved. You can’t be cooking and cleaning for someone who isn’t even ready to call you his girlfriend. Give away your body to a man who doesn’t provide emotional support to you. 

Sometimes a guy can like you but cannot be with you of religion or personal issues he doesn’t want you to know about. Is he interested in being around you?

Does he demand that you cook and keep the house? Is he a good person that you love? You may be able to work with him.

Sometimes, people fail to realize that everyone has a history. For some, their past is more gruesome than others, and it helps to communicate. How would you expect the other person to understand without communication? They won’t, nor will they be able to help. 

Do Guys Ever Change Their Minds About Wanting a Relationship?

Do Guys Ever Change Their Minds About Wanting a Relationship

He doesn’t want a relationship but wants to be friends. Is there any possibility that he would change his mind? Don’t wait on a guy to change his mind.

If he doesn’t see what is right in front of him at that moment, don’t try to make him. Many women in this situation think, “Will he change his mind about wanting a relationship?” or “Do guys ever change their minds about wanting a relationship?”

It is not easy to change a guy’s mind, especially if he is unwilling to change. Men change for who they want. So if he doesn’t express wishing to change for you or if you haven’t seen any change, you may not be his soul mate.

Some women believe they can change a man who doesn’t want to be in a relationship with them. You need to ask yourself what makes you so unique to him that you would be the one to change him.

He might not want to get into a relationship if he just met you. Yet, he may change his mind after getting to know you. Time can make a person change their mind. A lot of people have shared their love stories.

Some have even expressed that they first met in school. For some of these, there was no physical attraction until years later. As people mature and grow into their physical features, they become more attractive.

As a woman, if you like a guy, don’t be hesitant to let him know. Teen Vogue  says, “once you have profound feelings for a friend, the nature of your relationship is changed anyway, so why not have a conversation with them?”

It further states, “Unlike what we see in romantic comedies, waiting around is more likely to lead to misunderstandings and hard feelings, not a sudden confession of love.”

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Alexander Burgemeester

Alexander Burgemeester has a Master in Neuropsychology. He studied at the University of Amsterdam and has a bachelor's in Clinical Psychology. Want to know more?

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