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

Even though we always spend time together, he’s making it pretty clear that he doesn’t want a relationship. Does he see me as just a friend?

Is he just like all the other guys who can’t fully commit? He seems like a great guy, but why is he sticking around if he doesn’t want to get emotionally involved?

Why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want a relationship? It’s painful to consider that the guy you like doesn’t have romantic intentions for the two of you.

It can be especially challenging if you two have a great friendship, but you want to take things to the next level.

So what explains the lack of his commitment issues? Let’s get into all you need to know.

23 Reasons Why He Keeps You Around When He Doesn’t Want a Relationship

You want a relationship, and he seems like a nice guy. So, how do you get on the same page? If he isn’t moving things along, are you just wasting your time?

Better yet, is a healthy relationship even possible if he doesn’t seem to have any real romantic intentions?

23 Reasons Why He Keeps You Around When He Doesn't Want a Relationship

Here are some reasons he’s keeping you around- even if he isn’t looking for a romantic relationship.

#1 He Doesn’t Really Know His True Feelings

Maybe he doesn’t realize just how much he likes you. He hasn’t allowed himself to explore deep inside and attune to his own feelings.

He might feel scared of commitment and worry about what will change if you two start dating.

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#2 He’s Interested In Hooking Up

Whether he admits it or not, he may be hanging around because he feels physically attracted to you.

He loves the idea of hooking up, but he doesn’t want any of the work associated with a relationship.

He's Interested In Hooking Up

If that’s the case, he’ll seemingly make all the effort to connect- without actually making a serious commitment.

He’ll treat you like a booty call, only reaching out when he’s in the mood. Then, he’ll likely ghost you or disappear as soon as he gets what he wants.

#3 He’s Waiting for the Right Time

Is he constantly telling you how much you mean to him? Does he give you mixed signals- one moment, it seems like he might want a real relationship, and the next, he’s totally disinterested?

If so, he might just not be ready right now. He might worry that the timing isn’t right, that he’s too busy with other obligations, or that he’ll mess things up if he gets too involved right now.

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Not sure how to tell the difference between waiting and genuinely not wanting a relationship? A guy who waits is willing to give you a specific timeframe.

He can pinpoint exactly how and when he’ll be ready to move things forward. In addition, he’ll have enough self-awareness and compassion to tell you these next steps confidently.

#4 He Loves the Single Life

Many guys love the idea of emotional commitment- but they love the idea of being single even more. These men often have poor experiences with relationships.

They may have been hurt badly in the past. They might assume that relationships are always challenging or painful.

He Loves the Single Life

And so, they will continue playing the field and won’t make much effort to deepen their relationships with women.

Instead, once they suspect someone wants a more serious dynamic, they will simply move on to the next person.

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#5 He Wants To Make Someone Else Jealous

Why does he hang out with you if he doesn’t want a relationship? The answer may be more insidious than you realize.

He might be trying to gain the attention of other women, and this is especially true if he wants to make himself seem attractive.

Many women notice guys more when they seem high-value. So, if he’s hanging all over you- but isn’t locking it down- he just may want to trigger jealousy in other girls.

#6 He’s Trying To Make His Ex Mad

If he’s still mentally stuck in his past relationship, he may work hard to try to get a reaction out of her. Spending time with other girls is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.

He's Trying To Make His Ex Mad

But make no mistake- if he’s focused on the past relationship, it’s because he perceives her to be the right person (not you!).

#7 He’s a Narcissist

If he acts like he might want a relationship but then gaslights you when you try to have a serious conversation, you might be dealing with a narcissist.

These guys tend to use women to satisfy their narcissistic supply.

Often, they rotate between multiple women, even though they make it seem like they have eyes for only you. Your desiring them makes them feel validated, so they chase that high as often as possible.

A narcissist can flatter you with all the right words. But when it comes to taking action, he’ll continue disappointing you repeatedly.

#8 He Likes The Ego Boost

Guys with low self-esteem may stay close friends with girls who like them because it boosts their ego. It gives them a sense of power and validation, which can be an intoxicating feeling.

Of course, he probably won’t admit that this is his intention. Instead, he’ll flounder around and make excuses for why he’s not ready for a relationship. But really, he’s just reveling in all the attention you give him!

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He Likes The Ego Boost

#9 He’s Afraid of Dating You

Maybe he knows that his friends or family will disapprove of you two dating. Perhaps he’s worried that being in a relationship will have some negative impact on his life.

Fear is normal in new relationships. However, he might hesitate in moving forward if he thinks the relationship might result in serious consequences.

#10 He’s Emotionally Unavailable

Maybe he just can’t be in a relationship with anyone. It isn’t you- it’s him.

His love life is a mess, and he has his guard up at all times. Nobody is getting close to his heart.

This kind of guy often presents as aloof and standoffish. He’s probably been traumatized in the past, and the idea of a romantic relationship feels far too vulnerable for him.

If he has had past relationships, he probably sabotaged them. It’s easier for him to hurt others first rather than risk getting hurt himself.

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#11 He’s Using You For Financial Support

Do you offer to pay whenever the two of you spend time together? Does he hit you up for money- and then never pay you back?

Financial support can be alluring, especially for guys who don’t really have their affairs in order.

They might latch onto a kind, enabling woman- only to take advantage of her generosity.

He's Using You For Financial Support

Paying for the occasional item or event is one thing. But healthy relationships entail a mutual take-and-give. So, if you’re always the one forking over cash, he’s exploiting you!

#12 He Doesn’t Know What a Healthy Relationship Is

Some guys (although they’ll rarely admit it) avoid relationships because they don’t how to be in one.

You may meet someone who acts like a hopeless romantic, but he doesn’t have the chops to actually connect with someone.

So, to avoid embarrassing himself (or getting rejected by you), he shies away from taking things to the next level. Furthermore, he’ll feel ashamed if you bring up your concerns.

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#13 He Doesn’t Want a Monogamous Relationship

It’s possible he does like you, but he isn’t ready for a serious relationship. Even if he shows having some romantic interest, he wants to sleep with other people or “be free” to do whatever he pleases.

Sometimes these men settle down. Age and maturity can change their priorities.

But, other times, they remain perpetual players. Remember, it’s not your job to try to change anyone- and doing so may only result in even more resentment.

#14 He’s Afraid To Tell You He Likes You

Even if he says he doesn’t want a relationship, that may not be the full story. Guys can have feelings without knowing how to act on them.

Ask any relationship expert- when we’re insecure with ourselves, we tend to avoid taking interpersonal risks. We don’t want others to reject us! We also don’t want to come across as needy or clingy.

He's Afraid To Tell You He Likes You

So, he may be avoiding talking about a serious relationship because he isn’t sure if you want the same thing. In other words, he doesn’t want to sabotage the dynamic before it’s even developed.

#15 He Likes Your Friendship Too Much

Nobody wants to jump into a relationship too soon. But if it’s been several months and nothing has progressed, it probably means this guy isn’t ready for anything to change.

He likes things the way they are. He values your friendship more than the idea of a romantic relationship.

#16 He Feels Pressure From You

Maybe you two have already had the talk about liking each other. You both feel the same way, so why isn’t he asking you out?

It could be because he feels too much pressure- either from you or from other people who know about the situation.

You can try to lay off talking about your feelings for a few weeks. If he really likes you, he’ll eventually find the confidence to move things forward!

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#17 He Also Likes Someone Else

If another person is in the picture, he might avoid making any serious commitments until he truly knows what he wants. This might be a good thing- he probably doesn’t want to let you or the other girl down.

He Also Likes Someone Else

It is possible to like more than one person at the same time. Regardless, it’s better for everyone to wait to sort out their feelings than rush into something new.

#18 He’s Focused on Himself

Some people avoid being in a relationship because they want to solely focus on themselves.

This can happen after break-ups, but it can also happen during any pivotal phase in someone’s life.

For example, maybe he’s focused on building his career or saving money or getting into shape. His efforts to pursue those goals might jeopardize his desire to want a relationship right now.

#19 He Sees You As One of the Guys

At first, this may seem like a good thing. You might assume that him letting his guard down and being his “true self” means he feels emotionally connected to you.

But that might not be the case. Instead, he may quite literally just see you as one of his closest friends. That means he isn’t focused on trying to flirt with you or even impress you at all.

#20 He’s Already in a Relationship

He might not want a relationship because he’s already in one! This, of course, can become confusing if he keeps flirting or leading you on.

If that’s how he’s behaving, it probably means he’s only looking to hook up- or he might be trying to make his partner jealous.

He might also be ambivalent about whether he actually wants to stay in his current relationship.

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He's Already in a Relationship

Getting swept up in this drama will likely backfire. If he really cares about being in a relationship with you, he’ll cut things off with his girlfriend.

#21 He Needs Your Help Getting Other Girls

Do you act like a relationship coach in your friendship? Are you always there for him when another girl hurts his feelings or he feels rejected?

Do you keep hoping that he’ll turn around and realize just how great you are?

Unfortunately, a guy might stick around if he knows that you’ll always provide emotional support for him.

He might really want a relationship- he just doesn’t want that relationship to be with you.

#22 He Wants You to Make the First Move

It’s possible that he’s used to all the girls pursuing him rather than the other way around. If that’s the case, he’s hoping you’ll hint at a relationship to get the ball rolling.

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It’s your call what you want to do next.

#23 He’s Just Waiting for the Right Time to Ask

Surprise! Maybe he actually does want a relationship! He’s just trying to make a special moment out of it. He wants to get the timing and moment just right.

What Does It Mean if a Guy Likes You But Doesn’t Want a Relationship?

I want a relationship, but he keeps giving me all these mixed messages. Is he the same guy as every other player? Or do we have the potential for something real here?

It may be a tough pill to swallow, but a man who wants a serious relationship will actively pursue it. He’ll go after what he seeks because he has his priorities in order.

What Does It Mean if a Guy Likes You But Doesn't Want a Relationship?

If he knows you’re the right person for him, he’ll move through any fear, hesitation, or discomfort to make his intentions clear. He’ll want to swoon you over. He’ll want you to fall for him!

So, if he isn’t making those moves, if he isn’t expressing his real feelings or showing interest in starting a new relationship, there’s cause for concern. Here are some explanations to consider.

He’s Waiting to See What Happens

Any good relationship requires a solid foundation. And so, if he senses that you might be on shaky ground, he might hesitate to take things to the next level.

He might also be shy or nervous around you. He’s waiting for you to take an initiative in expressing your feelings for him!

He Just Wants to Keep Playing the Field

Even if he likes you, he just might not like you enough to want a relationship. That isn’t your fault. It’s his responsibility to decide his priorities.

If commitment feels like too much work, only he can decide if he wants to work on changing that.

He Just Wants to Keep Playing the Field

He Is Scared of Jeopardizing Your Friendship

If you two have an amazing friendship, he might worry that a messy break-up might ruin everything.

On the one hand, this may mean that he really values your emotions and cares about well-being. But, on the other hand, it may also mean that nothing progresses- as he doesn’t want to risk ruining something good.

He’s Too Busy

Maybe life feels hectic, and he has a full schedule right now. He doesn’t feel like he has the time or energy to invest in a relationship.

And so, even if he likes you, he might avoid taking things further because he can’t prioritize you as much as he’d like.

He Doesn’t Want a Long-Distance Relationship

Some guys don’t want a relationship if they can’t see you frequently. Long-distance isn’t for everyone, and he might not want a relationship that depends on texting and Facetime.

He Doesn't Want a Long-Distance Relationship

Remember this isn’t personal. If he doesn’t want that kind of relationship with you, he probably doesn’t want it with anyone.

He’s Still Figuring Out What He Wants in Life

He says he doesn’t want a relationship, so what does he want? Maybe he doesn’t know the answer to that question either! Maybe he’s really trying to decide what’s most important to him in this life.

It’s a good sign if he’s willing to share his uncertainty with you.

It means he isn’t afraid of you judging or shaming him. You two may just need to have a good heart-to-heart conversation to decide the best way to move forward.

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He Wants You to Change Something First

Maybe there’s something you do that he really doesn’t like.

For example, maybe he doesn’t like you smoking cigarettes or working so much overtime or even flirting with other guys.

Whatever it is, he’s hoping that you’ll change or eliminate that behavior before getting into a relationship.

You can usually tell if this is the case if he keeps bringing up how much your habit annoys or worries him.

He Knows You Two Aren’t Good for Each Other

He may be avoiding a relationship because, deep down, he knows that you two aren’t all that compatible. And if you did some serious reflection, you might come to those same terms yourself.

He Knows You Two Aren’t Good for Each Other

So, what makes people compatible? According to dating experts, it comes down to several variables: accepting one another, physical attraction, openness and transparency, and sharing similar viewpoints on life.

Do you two have those key values in common? If not, he may be trying to prematurely dodge a relationship bullet- and that’s a good thing!

When a Guy Keeps Coming Back to You, What Does It Mean?

We’re not in any relationship. We’re not even casually dating. So why does he keep me around if he doesn’t want to be together? And why does he keep coming back even after I pull away? Does he want a relationship- or does he just want to keep playing games?

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When a Guy Keeps Coming Back to You, What Does It Mean?

The wrong guys will keep orbiting around you even when you try to make your intentions clear. But why does this happen? Here are some explanations.

He’s Teasing You

Maybe he’s interested- but not interested enough for a relationship. Maybe he just wants to keep you in his orbit in case he changes his mind.

Some guys love the chase more than the catch. If that’s the case, he’ll flirt, tease, and seduce you- only to keep you on your toes.

He’s Horny

If you two are in a friends-with-benefits arrangement, he’ll definitely keep coming back when he’s in the mood. You can expect middle-of-the-night texts and random social media likes to get your attention.

Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect much more than that. This kind of guy isn’t interested in taking care of your feelings.

He’s interested in looking after his own physical pleasure. If he can’t find it from you, he’ll look for it in with a new person.

He’s Horny

He’s Bored

It’s a simple reason, but it’s also common. When we get bored, we look for easy, accessible sources of entertainment.

Even if he isn’t seeking a passionate relationship, he likely gets some thrill from spending time with you.

This is especially true if you two typically have a good time together. After all, it’s only human nature to want to feel connected to others.

Of course, you shouldn’t feel obligated to be his entertainment! If he doesn’t feel the same way you do about being in a relationship, you have every right to shut down his behavior.

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He’s Lonely

He says he doesn’t want commitment- but then he acts clingy and loving in your presence. What gives?

It’s no secret that loneliness can be a triggering emotion. Nobody likes feeling isolated and disconnected from others.

So, if you’re always readily available, it makes sense that he will keep coming back to you. He knows you’re safe and supportive and ready to hang out.

You can likely tell he’s lonely if he keeps dwelling about his previous relationship- or if he makes frequent comments about having no friends or feeling misunderstood.

He Only Likes You as a Friend

Maybe you really aren’t like most women. Maybe you two have a great friendship, and he doesn’t want to lose that.

It’s up to you if you want to be “just friends.” Some people find that dynamic too awkward or uncomfortable. But keep in mind that many successful relationships start as close friendships.

He Only Likes You as a Friend

He’s Coming Back From a Break-Up

Does this guy disappear when he’s in a relationship only to act as if nothing has changed between the two of you after they break up?

If so, he loves leaning on you for moral support. He may have many friendships, but you’re the person he feels safe falling back on.

Unfortunately, this dynamic likely means you’ve been strongly friend-zoned. If he wanted a romantic relationship with you, he’d be focused on winning you over rather than rushing to you when his love life falls apart.

He’s Testing Your Loyalty

It may seem cruel, but a guy may test-drive being in a relationship before even asking you out. If he’s stalling on making things serious, it could be because he’s seeing if you’re really worth the sacrifice.

Unfortunately, you may not know what it takes to pass his test. Subsequently, the rules may change on a whim.

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He Wants To Fall For You (He’s Just Not There Yet)

Maybe this guy knows that you have all the qualities of a great girlfriend. And yet, he continues to drag his feet because he doesn’t quite feel smitten by you.

This isn’t your fault! People can’t help how they feel, and sometimes romantic feelings develop over time. Practicing patience is your best option here.

If he’s the right guy, he’ll come around soon enough.

Final Thoughts

If you feel ready for a relationship, you deserve to be with someone who wants to be with the real you, who wants to take you on romantic dates and commit to one another.

If this guy isn’t cutting it, it’s time for some serious reflection. Self-respect means honoring your needs. It’s perfectly acceptable to want a relationship, and most women do.

You should focus your efforts on finding someone on the same page who wants love just as much as you do!

Last Updated on June 7, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester

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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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