Last Updated on February 16, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
Have you been seeing some signs he doesn’t want anyone else to have you?
Right now, you might be dating each other exclusively. In fact, you might have been dating for a while—months, maybe even years.
Everything seems fine, except for one problem: He’s not interested in an exclusive romantic relationship. He doesn’t call you his girlfriend, and he prefers you didn’t refer to him as your boyfriend.
That means right now, you’re in an exclusive casual relationship. You’re not a couple—you’re friends-with-benefits. You’re not his significant other—you’re his secret lover.
And it’s driving you nuts.
Deep inside, you’re probably hoping: “This is just a stage. He’ll come around, eventually.”
Unfortunately, you’re seeing signs that make you think: “Oh no. This is it. This is as far as I can go.” The signs might include:
- He’s getting jealous of your male friends. Every time you tell him about something one of your male buddies said or did, he gets agitated for seemingly no reason. You get the impression he just doesn’t like the idea of you spending your time with other men, even ones you have no romantic feelings for.
- You enjoy great sex with him—but not much else. You might love getting intimate with him, but you’re quickly realizing it’s not enough. It’s real romance you want, and unfortunately there’s none to be had.
- Perhaps he may have even told you directly: He doesn’t want to get married, and he’s not even interested in an exclusive relationship. No matter how much you talk to him about it, he wants to remain “free.”
- And yet when you show in any way that you want out of the relationship, he falls over himself trying to make you stay. And to your annoyance, he’s been successful every single time so far.
So, is it a lost cause? Or is there a way to change his mind about committing, or letting you see other men, or both? And if there is, what must you do? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.
First, let’s talk about the telltale signs you’re truly in this situation—he doesn’t want to commit and he doesn’t want any other man to have you.
16 Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You
These are the signs he’s afraid of commitment but equally afraid of losing you to another guy. If two or more signs apply to you, then you’re in a sticky situation:
Sign #1: He Doesn’t Want to Commit, But He Doesn’t Want Your Relationship to Change
On one hand, he doesn’t want to commit, no matter how many times you ask him. On the other hand, he wants to keep seeing you, meeting up regularly, and sleeping with you. And you’re stuck in the middle, feeling trapped and helpless.
Your feelings are clear to you: You’re dissatisfied and want more. At the same time, you’re afraid of even taking a break from the relationship, because he’s an otherwise decent guy and you’re afraid of losing him forever.
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If this sounds familiar, you’re in a dangerous situation. It’s quite possible he knows the dilemma you’re in, and he’s keeping you there so he can continue enjoying the perks of your relationship exerting no extra effort.
Sign #2: He Avoids the Exclusive Talk, But He Asks if You’re Seeing Other Guys
When you start the “exclusive talk,” does he try to change the topic? Or worse—does he get agitated? If he does, it means he’s not ready or willing to even just talk about a relationship. That much is clear.
At the same time, does he ask if you still see other guys? It’s even worse when you say “No,” and then he accuses you of lying. Either way, you’re in the dangerous position of being stuck in a non-committal relationship with a possessive, controlling man.
Sign #3: When He Hears About Your Male Friends, He Gets Nervous
Have you noticed any negative behavior from him whenever you mention your male friends? Does he start looking nervous, feeling angry, or playing the victim?
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If he does, then it obviously means he doesn’t want anyone else to have you. And that’s a strange desire to hear from a man who doesn’t want to commit. I hope you’re seeing the raw deal he’s offering you right now, and how he stands to benefit from it more than you do.
Sign #4: He Says He’s Afraid of Being Alone
This is when he says stuff like: “I don’t want to be alone,” or “I don’t want to lose you,” and other cliché declarations of love. It all sounds nice, except for the glaring fact that he still won’t commit to you. If that thought makes you feel angry, you have good reason to.
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It pays to take whatever he tells you with a grain of salt. It’s possible—even likely—that he’s saying whatever is necessary to keep you around. Except, of course, the words you want to hear: To start an exclusive, official relationship together.
Sign #5: He Tries to Convince You “This is Better”
Has he ever tried to dissuade you from getting exclusive, such as by:
- Telling you horror stories about “people he knew” whose relationships were ruined by marriage
- Saying “this is better,” meaning casual and open relationships like yours are better than committed ones
- Using cute cliches like “Marriage is just a piece of paper,” or “Marriage is just a tool to control us”
If he has, then he’s obviously trying to present the case that committed relationships are bad, and staying single is good. He knows what you want, but he’s determined to change your mind.
Sign #6: He Can’t Understand Why It’s So Important to You
No matter how much you tell him about your feelings, you just can’t seem to get through to him. It’s like his thick skull can’t process the complexity of “I want us to be official,” and it’s driving you mad.
When he can’t understand why commitment is so important to you, there are two possibilities.
- The first one is the best-case scenario: He really can’t understand why it’s important. Committing is one person is a foreign concept to him.
- The second one is the worst-case scenario: He really does understand, but he’s pretending he doesn’t just so you’d stop pestering him about it.
Either way, you can’t win—and it may be best to start making your exit plans before it’s too late.
Sign #7: He Says He “Doesn’t Know What He Wants” (And Other B.S.)
This is when he gives vague, lame excuses, like he “I don’t know what I want,” or “I just need time to figure things out,” or other obvious delaying tactics. It’s all an effort to end the discussion and get you off his case.
Again, at best, he really doesn’t know what he wants. It may also be possible he’s had unpleasant experiences in his past relationships and needs to figure things out. If that’s the case, it’s understandable.
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Still, it puts you in the same difficult position. Do you really want to wait for years—perhaps even forever—while he “figures things out?”
Sign #8: He’s Neglectful, Except When He Senses Another Guy Wants You
For long periods of time, you get no texts and no calls from him. Most of the time, it’s you who’s initiating communication. Meanwhile, he neglects doing his share of the work to keep the relationship strong and happy.
That is, until he senses another guy wants you.
Perhaps you mentioned a particular male friend of yours twice a week. Suddenly, he’s texting and calling again, scheduling dates, and asking to meet up.
It’s never a good sign when your man is only attentive when he feels he’s about to lose you. It’s a classic sign of a womanizer, and I doubt you’d settle for that.
Sign #9: He Pays for Your Dates Only When He Thinks You’re Slipping Away
Let’s talk about your dates. When you go out to have dinner, who usually pays? Is it you (or do you split the bill) most of the time?
Then, when he senses you’re losing interest in the relationship (or if he thinks you’re slipping away), he starts paying for dinner. And not just that—he’s buying you little gifts as well. And you’ve noticed he’s only sweet like this after you’ve had an argument.
If it feels like he’s trying to reel you back in, that just might be what’s going on. And then, when he feels you’re “in love with him again,” he starts slacking off.
Not a good cycle to be stuck in, if you ask me.
Sign #10: Only One of You Shows Love at a Time
When you show love, he doesn’t. And when you stop showing love, only then does he start doing his share. It’s like a tiresome dance that never gets better.
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As you might guess, it’s yet another sign he won’t commit. He’s doing just enough to keep you from leaving him for another man. And no, you’ll never reach the kind of commitment you want at this rate.
Sign #11: He’s Very Attentive Only Until You’re In Love With Him
When you get angry, he suddenly becomes very attentive. He might even spoil you rotten every time you blow your top. Moments like these make it clear that he doesn’t want to lose you.
Unfortunately, as soon as he’s back in your good graces, he starts neglecting you again. It’s yet another sign he’s doing just enough to keep you from breaking up with him.
Sign #12: He’s Only Your Hero When He’s About to Lose You
…Or how about this: Sometimes, he acts like a real boyfriend. You might have even witnessed him display a few “good husband” traits in the past.
The catch? He only shows these promising heroic traits only when he’s about to lose you. It’s like something he “breaks out in case of an emergency,” like when you threaten to break up with him or when you start dating another guy.
Yup—it’s all in hopes you stay. As with all the other signs, you can trust him to go back to his bad habits as soon as he feels he’s gotten you back.
Sign #13: He Only Reaches Out After a Period of No Contact
By now, you might have learned that the surest way to get him to pay attention to you is to give him the silent treatment. Or even better—you decide to give him some radio silence for several days, and he contacts you in a panic, asking if you’ve been seeing someone new.
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It would seem the more regularly you stay in touch with him, the more he takes you for granted. It’s yet another sign he’s interested in doing only the bare minimum to keep you around, and he only reaches out when he thinks you’re doing things behind his back.
Sign #14: He Still Meets Other People, But Won’t Let You Do the Same
This is one of the worst signs you could ever spot. Yours is an open relationship, so he meets other women on the regular. And yet when you meet other men, he goes ballistic and does whatever it takes to stop you from doing so:
- He starts blackmailing you
- He cusses you out to intimidate you
- He threatens to end your relationship
This is obviously a one-sided affair, and it’s never good to be in one. And no, it will not change by itself. It’s best if you found the strength to cut loose of the control freak as soon as you can.
Sign #15: The More You Love Him, the More He Hurts You
This doesn’t cover love and attention, by the way. The more you invest your time, money, and energy into your relationship with him, the more he hurts you by neglecting you and taking you for granted.
As a result, the relationship seems forever in a stalemate. It never gets better, which means the only way to go is down.
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My advice? Better get off it before it goes down.
Sign #16: He Says He Has “Everything He Wants”
Lastly, he has the audacity to say he’s happy where he is, or that he has everything he wants in life. And that includes the zero-commitment relationship he has with you.
He’s trying to lull you into thinking that this is it. You have a non-committal relationship, it’s all he wants, and that’s as good as it’s going to get. And if you tried meeting your needs by insisting on something more committed and exclusive, you’d be the bad one for ruining his perfect life.
Sneaky, huh? All the more reason to find your way out soon.
So there you have it: The 16 signs he doesn’t want anyone else to have you, even if he himself is commitment-phobic. How many signs do you see in your own relationship with your man?
(QUICK NOTE: For more telltale signs he doesn’t want to make things official—despite what he says—read this article after this one.)
If you saw two signs or more, then you’re in an unfair relationship—no doubt about it. The common threads are all clear:
- He’s fine, but you’re unhappy.
- He won’t give you what you want, no matter how hard you try.
- He’s avoiding talking about commitment.
- He’s making you think twice about leaving him.
- And he doesn’t want you seeing other men or finding better opportunities for yourself.
Your relationship is a win-win for him, but a lose-lose for you. There’s a word for that in science: Parasitism. In business, it’s a bad deal.
I hope you see the picture by now.
So what should you do? Can you force him to change his mind, man up, and commit to a real relationship with you?
The answer is “Yes,” and I’ll show you how at the very end of this article.
For now, let’s answer a few frequently asked questions about this topic to give you a much better idea of what to do next.
What Does It Mean When He Says He Doesn’t Want a Relationship?
There’s something about exclusive relationships that he doesn’t want. Whatever it is, it might scare him to death, or he might have had an awful experience that has scarred him for life. As a result, he’s playing it timidly in the dating game.
It could also mean any of the following:
- He thinks his current relationship with you is perfect. You might be friends, or friends-with-benefits, or secret lovers, or something in between. He likes it and doesn’t want it to change. (By the way, you can change it. Here’s how.)
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- His past relationship(s) might have been traumatic for him. Now, as a result, he doesn’t want any drama. Instead, he wants something casual, laid-back, and low-investment.
- He’s simply not ready to settle down just yet. It’s possible he has goals in life that he hasn’t achieved yet, and he has prioritized them over his love life. If this is the case, that means his relationship with you is expendable.
These are all acceptable reasons for not wanting a relationship. Still, it’s no reason for you to put yourself at his mercy. It’s your life, after all, and you have every right in the world to make decisions for yourself, especially those that will make your life better and happier.
Do you want more for your love life? Then take action before you get too attached to him. I’ll show you a good technique to use at the end of this article.
How Do You Know if a Man is Emotionally Attached?
You might have wondered: “Is there another woman in his life that I don’t know about?” He might be emotionally attached to someone else, and it might be the reason why he’s so hesitant to commit to you.
It’s a legitimate question to ask—after all, it’s your life and happiness that’s at stake here. What are the signs he’s hiding another relationship? Watch out for the following:
- He’s never introduced you to friends and family. Avoids or postpones indefinitely all your attempts to meet the people closest to him. As a result, no one in his circle knows about you.
- He’s still seeing an ex. Either he let something slip, or he told you outright he’s still ironing out some issues with his ex. You can see it as a reason for him not to commit to you just yet, but if the “ironing out” is taking too long, you have good reason to be suspicious.
Either way, it’s a bad sign: He’s still emotionally attached to someone. That means you’re at the mercy of not only his whims, but the whims of whoever he’s emotionally attached to, as well.
(NOTE: It’s also possible he’s emotionally attached not to a person, but to a thing—such as his career, his hobbies, his friends, his business, etc. Regardless, it’s still bad for your hopes to get into an exclusive relationship with him.)
This is a battle you won’t likely win. If you challenge the person or thing he’s currently emotionally attached to, they (or it) will beat you with tenure.
The best solution? Find your way out before you get trapped.
How Do You Know if He’s Not Serious About You?
Now, you might be worried that he’s simply stringing you along. He might have made promises to you like: “Don’t worry, I’ll be ready one day soon,” or “I’m still working stuff out, but I’m almost there, trust me.”
It’s been going on for so long that you’re worried you’re just waiting for nothing. So how do you tell if he’s not as serious about you as he says he is? Here are a few ways:
- See how often he talks about how he likes his freedom. Also, pay attention to how much he says he likes having options and opportunities in his life. That implies he’s avoiding giving up his freedom and options by committing to an exclusive relationship.
- See if he still sees other people. It’s a big sign of his B.S. if you didn’t agree on having an open relationship, or if he swore you were the only woman in his life. He’s not serious about you—he’s never been.
- See if he still cancels your dates at the last minute. It’s even worse when he makes no apologies for it, apart from a dismissive “I’ll explain everything later.” That says you’re not all that important to him. (Or at least, you’re not as important at whatever he canceled your date for.)
When he does any of these, it means he’s not serious about you despite what he says. After all, actions speak louder than words.
How Do You Know if He’s Talking to Someone Else?
Here’s a big question: How do you know he’s not talking to, flirting with, or seeing someone else? As with most other things, it’s best not to trust what he says too quickly, and instead take a closer look at what he’s doing.
Or, in this case, look closely at how he reacts to certain things. Try the following and see how he reacts:
- Try talking about the future. That is, try to bring up the future of your relationship with him, and what you hope will happen soon. Then ask him: “What about you?” Note his reaction(s).
- Try making him open up about himself. Ask probing questions like: “If money wasn’t a problem for you, what would you do with your life?” If he gives safe (i.e. boring) answers, or if he absent-mindedly describes a life without you in the picture, it’s safe to say you’re not all that important to him.
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- If you haven’t met his friends and family yet, try asking to meet them soon. Tell him something like: “I’m really excited to meet your family and friends soon.” If he tries to dissuade you, or if he gives a non-committal answer, he just might be hiding something.
If he tenses up—like he would if he were put under sudden pressure—that’s cause for concern. At best, you’re simply not important to him. At worst, he is seeing someone else—and his relationship with her is much bigger and more important to him than yours.
How Do You Know if a Guy is Keeping You as an Option?
Are you “just one of the girls” for him? Is he seeing other women in rotation?
This is normal behavior for single people who haven’t committed to anyone relationship yet. What’s not normal is when he says you’re his “one and only” when you’re actually not.
So how do you know if you’re just one of his options, and he’s actually seeing other women at the same time? Here are the two signs to look out for:
Sign #1: He’s fresh off a breakup. You know he just broke up with his girlfriend or wife, but he suddenly started dating again—with you. He took little to no time to get over what’s normally a painful life experience.
What does that tell you? Either it wasn’t all that painful for him because it wasn’t a real breakup… or he’s simply the thirsty kind of man who can’t live without a woman. He can’t stand being single, so he fills the gap as quickly as he can. And you just happened to be the stopgap for now.
Sign #2: He’s made you into his safety net. He’s seeing someone else right now, and he might even be in a relationship with someone. And you’re the backup—in case his relationship fails, he won’t be loveless and sex-less for long.
Remember: Only you can decide whether or not to be an option. And if you don’t want to be a stopgap or safety net, you must force him to choose.
And here’s how to do just that.
How to Force Him to Choose
Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself. What do you want? Is it him? Or is it to have someone who chooses you, loves you, and commits to you—even if it’s another man and not him?
If it’s the latter, then the path is simple: Break up with him, start dating other men in rotation, and find the one(s) who are ready, willing, and able to commit to an exclusive relationship.
All it takes is a simple, “I’m leaving, bye.” The sooner you do this, the better.
But what if it’s the former? What if it’s him you want, and no one else?
Then give him an ultimatum. Try this technique to force him to choose:
- Disappear from his life for a few days or weeks. Log off your social media, and don’t contact him in any way. Let him panic and try to find you for some time.
- Then “reappear,” acting like nothing serious happened. If he asks where you’ve been, tell him something like: “I needed some alone time,” or “I was just thinking about our relationship. I think we need a break.”
- Then he’ll inevitably try to bargain with you. When he does, firmly lay out your conditions. You can tell him: “I want to stop waiting,” or “I want a real relationship.”
- If he can’t or won’t meet your conditions—or if he makes the mistake of bad-mouthing you—then congratulations. You’ve found yourself a good excuse to leave him.
- Take however much time you need to recover from the breakup, then start seeing other men again. This time, you’ll be wiser and bolder, and you’ll likely find “The One” in short order.
I hope this article has helped clear the path for you. Remember: It’s your love life. Your standards and boundaries are yours to set—not his. Good luck!
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