Ask a Guy: Is His Reason for Not Wanting to Commit Real or Just an Excuse? post image

Ask a Guy: Is His Reason for Not Wanting to Commit Real or Just an Excuse?

I have been seeing this guy for a little while now, it’s a long-distance relationship and we aren’t exclusive. When we’re together, he seems super into me.  He talks about me to his friends, engages in PDA, and compliments me all the time. He initiates every conversation, checks up on me if I don’t reply, makes plans in advance, clears his schedule for me, etc., and I know for a fact that he isn’t seeing or hooking up with anyone else. 

He tells me he misses me and that distance sucks because we can’t be together, but adds that we should keep our options open in the meantime. I tried ending it, but he begged me not to (although he also said he would understand if that’s what I truly wanted). In the end, we both decided to keep the lines of communication open.

I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he says he genuinely likes me but still wants to play the field when I’m not around and doesn’t mind if another guy snatches me up. Is distance a legitimate reason not to commit, or is he just not that into me?

I know that you want a relationship with this guy, but I have to give you my non-sugarcoated answer … that is what I do and I imagine that’s why you choose to ask me for my input.

I’ve said it in many of my articles and I’ll continue hammering it in: When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship, believe him.

Anything else he says afterwards is just to soften the emotional impact of the news.  Unfortunately, most women allow his “reason” to spark a glimmer of hope that it could work out if only one thing were different.

You would do best to look at this in concrete, black-and-white terms:  He says he doesn’t want an exclusive long distance relationship with you. He does want to keep talking. He does want to see you when he sees you. He does want to do everything you’re doing now.

But make no mistake about it: He wants everything that’s happening right now and nothing more … if he wanted more, it would already be happening. Things are the way he wants them, and he unambiguously does not want anything to be different.

If you’re happy with how things are now, then stay with it. If you’re OK with it for now, while in the meantime exploring other options, then great … however, I don’t think you would be having all these questions if this were truly what you wanted.

In terms of what you said at the end: “I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he says he genuinely likes me but still wants to play the field when I’m not around and doesn’t mind if another guy snatches me up. Is distance a legitimate reason not to commit, or is he just not that into me?”

Yeah … he does genuinely like you … but if another guy snatches you up, he’s OK with that. And if another girl comes along and snatches him up, he’s OK with that, too.

QUIZ: Does He Like Me? 

Really, the place his head is at is that he likes you and would love to continue on with you for as long as it will go in its current state … but if it ends, he’s OK with that.  He’s not looking for anything more and has no motivation or intention to change the arrangement you have.

He certainly doesn’t want you to leave, and it doesn’t sound like he wants to change what you currently have together.

And who knows… maybe if you lived in the same town, things would be different … maybe if … maybe if … maybe if …

Guys are OK with a relationship being nothing more than a friendship plus sex. We have absolutely no problem with it … we don’t feel any sort of instinctual need or drive to change things when we’re happy and satisfied …

I’m not saying that guys are anti-relationship. There are certainly guys out there, right now, who would be very enthusiastic about committing to you and only you 100% in an exclusive relationship. The problem is, you’re not dating that guy … you’re dating the guy who wants the relationship he has with you right now, as it is.

MORE: 4 Ways to Make Him Commit and Want Only You

The biggest issue that I see women get into is they have a relationship that’s “sorta” good … and “sorta” enough … and “sorta” what they want … but not. But it would be if only, if only, if only…

And so they waste weeks, months, years (and in some cases, a decade or two) trying to force the relationship to change. They waste their best years trying to shove a square peg into a round hole, never realizing that a good match just works and fits effortlessly (for the most part). Sure, there are differences of opinion and issues here and there, but for the most part, the two people are on the same page as far as what they want the relationship to be.

If I were you, I would keep my options open … up to you if you want to cut off contact or continue until you find a replacement, but let’s face it—he is already happy with the status quo, and you’re not going to get a different result just waiting around for something to change.

The only way that I could possibly imagine that happening is if you really did leave (for real … like … really for real) … and then when he saw what it was like to have you gone, he realized he didn’t want to lose you and fought to win you back … he might do that and then you’d have the relationship you wanted … and at the same time, he might not do that … in which case you’d know with 100% certainty that he was never, ever, ever going to get into an exclusive relationship with you. When you take a moment and really think about this, you win either way … you either get the relationship you wanted, or you know for a fact that you weren’t going to get it with him anyway (and you don’t put more time into someone who won’t give you what you want).

MORE: 5 Signs He’ll Never Commit

Obviously this is all just my opinion, as are all my responses … but at the end of it all, your best bet here would be to move on and start dating around again. I know it’s not what you want to hear, but I’m saying it because that’s my opinion, and giving my honest feedback is what I do…

hope this helps,

eric charles

21 comments… add one

Leave Your Comment Now...


OMG! That is what exactly happening to me. Thank you Eric!
Now I know what I need to do.

Reply July 14, 2016, 12:10 am


I recently been dating this guy Fred for 2.5 years now had a daughter with him she’s now 8 months old. He I found out is married still to his wife of four years Kimberly. He wants me to sleep with his guy friends that come to visit us at our house his buddies John and Jason etc. He also takes my money from my purse and then takes women on dates. I keep hoping he will want me as his wife like he promised me and he never does he just takes his first wife on vacation after vacation and has me do threesome with him and other girls on top of sleeping with his friends. I keep hoping things will change for the better. What should I do?

Reply May 25, 2016, 2:30 am


Bang on. Best advice of read so far. I’m a rational girl with a big, patient heart. I’ve given him time hoping it was what he needed. Now it seems crystal clear that while I’m giving him time, despite loving him, I’m denied all the best things love offers. I have no one to genuinely appreciate my love, and no one truly offering their love to me. It’s true: one should never depend on another for happiness, but when love is real one another’s happiness is a priority. This makes all the difference, and this is what makes leaving him worth the heartache.

Reply May 4, 2016, 7:02 pm


Hi Eric,
I’ve recently got back into the dating game after two and a half years of being single and started seeing this guy about four and a half months ago. At first everything seemed great we had both said before we started anything how we just wanted to find someone to spend a couple of nights a week with to chill out and have fun, and this is what we did for the first couple of months. I felt really comfortable with him and I began asking him if he wanted to meet up, his voice changed and he seemed to panic and cuts the conversation. From then on he struggles to find time to see me, yet he will call or text me practically everyday with him being the one who initiates the communication. We do still see each other but it has reduced to about once every two weeks. When we speak to each other or are together it is still the same as it was in the beginning and I feel really relaxed around him and we have fun. often we will be talking and he will say about us going somewhere for example he had to go out and work in a small town where he lived when he was younger and was telling me about a cafe there, he then said I will have to take you there one day but it looked quite posh so everyone will probably stare at us then laughed, I replied by laughing and said oh well we will just look a bit silly, which he laughed at then he seemed to panic and had to go. I never ask why he seems to panic I just say ok, let the conversation end and leave at that. I can tell he is into me by the little things he does when we are together, he often looks at me and smiles when he thinks I’m not looking or lays his arm out for me to stroke it with my fingers when we are sat next to each other talking or watching telly. I just don’t understand this sudden shift in behaviour and do I just keep going with the flow or do I cut my losses?

Reply August 14, 2015, 7:54 am


i was with my boyfriend for 1 year and 4 months. I went through 2 losses. Meaning I was pregnant twice and I was having a hard time. He was their mostly but they put me in Meds to make sure I did not get depressed. I took the Meds felt like nothing was different. The I was put on another and this caused my seratonin levels to be messed up. At the end of all this I went a little crazy. I fought argued. I just wanted to be held. I was emotional and got depressed not really knowing. Felt so down on myself. I haut wanted him to attend to me. I know sounds a little selfish. I wanted his help. I felt like when he held me it was better and I felt less crazy. I flipped out telling him u I was upset and what I wanted. Then I went as I would say crazy n thought crazy things. Came to the point that the Meds made me think suicidal. I wanted to leave my house n etc. He at the end freaked out packed all his things and left. He said we needed a break n for me to get myself mentally well. That’s when j went to the doctors and it showed I had crazy seratonin levels. I tried to talk to him n etc. He wouldn’t even burger much. I explained to him also what I was going through. I’ve asked him a few times if we are together or not? He never replies. I had not talked to him in a couple days. He told me today for what it’s worth I didn’t need want this. I replied mess meaning. I didn’t want this mess and for it to be like this. So I then said meaning?that you don’t want to be with me? That you don’t love me enough to want to work things out? He didn’t say anything n then I said guess your not going to answer me. He said I’m working. Yet he talked about him helping his friend move and still no answer on what I asked. Then I said when you are done can u call me or answer me? He replies apparently when he was getting in the shower he said showering I’m wrecked. I said meaning? Your not going to answer? I don’t understand y is he avoiding my question? Y is he not answering me?

Reply August 2, 2015, 2:00 am


i meant that he has replied n talked to me on text but not in what I ask him about us. He said he did not want this . It wasn’t need . Correction

Reply August 2, 2015, 2:04 am


So if his most recent ex was kind of crazy (super clingy and needy within the first week and still fairly needy after the break up), and his ex before that passed away, so he says he just wants to live day by day and not settle down right now, does that mean a relationship is never coming out of this? I mean im enjoying my time, so it is what it is. But didnt know if exes had anything to do with whether a guy will put a title on things or not. We are exclusive, but nothing serious. Just not seeing other people. Thanks so much!

Reply July 13, 2015, 10:06 am


I’ve been reading anm for a long time and I am a big fan of Eric’s non-sugar coated advice as well as Sabrina’s insightful articles. As I have applied the advice to my own dating life, I find that I have the opposite issue than most addressed on anm. I find that many guys want a committed relationship too soon for me to judge if they’re what I want.. I feel pressured to commit to just one while I play the field, keeping myself in a highly selective place. I find many guys are surprised that I’m dating multiple people while they do not. I am very honest with them at the beginning, but it doesn’t make their shocked and slightly hurt faces seem any less so. Does this indeed bother the majority of men or have I just dated an odd subset?

Reply June 26, 2015, 5:47 am

Eric Charles

Some men assume that if a woman’s seeing them, there’s no way she could be seeing other men. Some women assume that too.

It comes down to assumptions… if someone makes an incorrect assumption or has an expectation that doesn’t make up to what you’re about… that’s not on you.

You’re being honest with these guys… a lot of people (men and women) have trouble with honesty when it isn’t what they want to hear. But hey, that’s the world we live in…

Reply July 11, 2015, 4:30 pm


I am currently into this guy, but I don’t know if he likes me back. We talk mostly everyday, but he usually texts later on in the day at like 7 and sometimes during the day. He’s usually the one who texts me first. Sometimes we flirt while we text. I know he talks to a lot of other girls and I don’t know if I’m just one of his other friends that’s a girl who he likes to talk to. I am just so confused.

Reply June 17, 2015, 2:21 am


Hi Eric,
I read this article and it got me thinking about my one ex/bestfriend. He says he loves me we have chemistry we vibe ge trusts me he values me etc but he want to be single and experience single. And that He can love me and be single. Then he tell me he doesn’t want to be held back If he has to move and whatever other excuse he could come up with. I don’t understand it. Granted I told him hey if that’s what you want go for it. Just don’t expect me to wait around. And you need to learn to respect t my feelinga. He told looked sad. And told me that he’s not gonna see anyone or hookup. He loves me but wants to be single. I don’t know what that all means. And second how should I handle this situation?

Reply June 8, 2015, 9:54 am


Hie Eric and Sabrina

Im Natie.Im from Malawi,Africa.I stumbled upon your page as i was googling after a guy i had been dating started withdrawing.I read your articles and i became very interested.I signed up for the daily emails and read them all everyday.

I did what u asked me to do.Even though in my mind i was thinking ‘these are just white people stuff’ (forgive me…i didnt mean it in any offensive way).Sabrina emphasised alit about self love which for me was like mixing water and oil.Nevertheless i tried it out…i Made myself love me.what i hated most was my body.Im skinny.Not too skinny but I naturaly have a body of a model no matter how much i eat.And as i mentioned above,Im from africa,and guys over here dont necessarily like skinny girls.That was a huge thing for me to accept but i did because of everything u guys said.I stopped obsessing over the guy and focused on myself,Building up ny confidence and stuff.I even started seeing other guys which,At the time Eric mentioned it i felt like murdering him.

I really did everything that i could.I couldnt afford the book so I didnt get it…but just the emails and articles worked magic.
All i want to say is thankyou.Im no longer that immature girl with crazy emotions.Youve trully Change my life.I hope you guys get blessed a million times.


Reply May 19, 2015, 3:05 am


Awesome advice….. Been in such relationship before, so glad i left him. SEEETIE THERE IS ALWAYS A LIGHT AT THE END OF A TUNNEL. Dont settle for less than what u deserve.

Reply May 11, 2015, 12:37 pm


I met a guy a few months back. We went on 5 wonderful dates, slept together multiple times and and actively dated for about a month. Then he poofed. Complete disappeared. I had no idea what I did or said for this to happen – none! I couldn’t understand how the chemistry I felt from him could steer him away… It was hard but eventually I was ok. Then, he reappeared. Seeing his name on my phone was like “WHAT THE WHAT?!” Honestly, I had stopped thinking about him, gone on other dates, and moved on. But I remembered how much I liked him and the other dates with other men hadn’t gone anywhere… I agreed to see him, go out for dinner. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations but I was nervous and all I wanted was for him to kiss me. I didn’t know if this was a rekindling or not but a kiss would be nice. Well the date itself was as lovely as it was months earlier. The conversation always breezed with us. We had met online initially so to have to so much in common without being friends first was SO nice. Anyway, when the night was over I leaned in a little and he stopped me and opened up about what happened and why he disappeared. He told me that he was afraid he would hurt me, that he felt there wasn’t a future with us. I couldn’t believe that he was saying this. I couldn’t see it. Yes, he had disappeared and since he opened up the conversation, I called him out on that. He was definitely scared but then in the mix of him sharing and me sharing, we started kissing and the passion I felt for him came running back. We agreed to see each other a few weeks later as he was going out of town and his work schedule is awful (ER nurse). We met up again on saturday. This time the date was more friend-like and less flirty. Aside from the initial hug, there was no touching. He did pay but I think he felt guilty for not paying for dinner the last time when he essentially rejected me already. We had a nice time though. This time, as we said our goodnights, I asked him straight out what he’s thinking. I don’t want to keep feeling like I want him to kiss me or ask me to come up every time I see him. It’s exhausting! So I was forthright and expected honesty. He told me his feelings had not changed in the time we were apart, that he still did have reservations about us and our future. He also said he likes my company, spending time with me, proceeding to grab me and kiss me. I don’t get it. If you like me, like my physical touch too, isn’t that dating? Why is that not ok to keep trying? He’s dating other people too, which he has every right to do. But what do those girls (or girl, none of my business) have that I don’t?! Why does he want to continue with them and not me? It’s painful wondering all of those things. He told me has a pattern for falling for girls like me. Super sweet, sensitve types. And none of them have worked out. Lucky me, I get to be the one he walks away from without any fight… He told me he wants to be friends. He doesn’t want to hurt me (good job, jerk. That shipped has sailed!) and knows that I want more. His boundary is that he doesn’t want a relationship. I just don’t get it. After back and forth and asking if the chemistry was still there and if liked havings sex with me he asked me up but also said it wouldn’t be fair to me – knowing that I do want more. Maybe I was being too forward but at that point, I just wanted honest answers!! He said that if I had sex with him again, he worried I would have a hard time distancing my emotions of wanting more from that. I DID want to have sex again. I could feel he wanted to also. But I didn’t want pity sex and I felt way too vulnerable. So we said our final goodnights, he kissed me but I was too sad/disappointed to give it any fervor…and he left it in my court.

Friends only. Friends with benefit but knowing there’s nothing more to come from it. Or nothing.

What do I do? I feel drawn to him and I really enjoy spending time with him. But can I distance my feelings and desires from that? I hate that he doesn’t want me. I feel like he’s cheating us both from something at has genurine potential. Again, if you like spending time with me, are attracted to me, and like the physical side of me – then what gives?! It’s not fair.

Reply May 4, 2015, 1:10 pm


I feel sorry to hear that but as much as I learned about guys after I lost the guy I really loved because if a thing, who could easely avoided if I knew about how a guy thinks. And than chasing to him, chasing to find another love, dated million jerks or not jerks, who felt my emitional mess and run after sex. I’m working out alot so its no wonder everyone likes to get alitle more close physically but whatever. After I came to my senses, I totally understood. When a guy says he not like commit to you, leave him. Its for your own sake. He simply isn’t so much into you as you deserve. You don’t need to chase any of this guys. Its their loss.Stay friends with him if you can. Don’t try make him jaelous when you tell him your dates with some other guy. Its nit working. I tried. But also I not only learned about guys. I also learned that there always be a next one. You may not believe it but its truth. You meet another guy, who catch your interest and meanwhile go out and play with your dates. Have fun, enjoy single live and try different guys. Even using them for showing you interesting things or for paying or anything. This guy is nit the end of your dating life and you will meet interesting persons, even they might not work out as a boyfriend matireal. But understand this guy is someone who tries badly mot to be a jerk but not see you as a future girlfriend. Finish. There is no but he likes sex, but he likes conversation, but but but. I have been there and its better you leave before he leaves you. And he will because he keep it clear. He not want commit to you

Reply May 8, 2015, 1:23 pm


Wow, Jessica, your story just like mine. He is an ER nurse too. Maybe it’s the same guy. LOL. Is he in his mid-forty? Is he Asian? We met in December, things started out great. He called and checked on me everyday. He sent flowers to my work on Valentine’s day. He went shopping with me and paid for my dress. We had lots of fun when we hung out. One day he said we better just friends, which caught me off guarded, he did not disappear though. Still checked on me everyday until I went on my vacation. We met once before my trip for dinner and just a goodbye hug in late March. I came back to the country in late April, we have not met since then but he texted me here and there, still quite flirty though. He still cared about me through his texts and calls. I finally talked to him last week on the phone and told him not to contact me, I already got back with my ex-boyfriend. He said its good that I move forward. I have not heard from him for 8 days. I got back with my ex boyfriend for a month now. I still miss him but I have to move on.

Reply June 4, 2015, 1:54 am


Hi Eric,
I started seeing a guy and already after the first date we had sex. I stayed at his place and he told me all sorts of things like how cute I looked and he always wanted to cuddle me. He told me from the beginning that he doesn’t want a relationship because he’s been hurt pretty bad in the past. I developed some strong feelings for him and also told him. Unsurprisingly he rejected me (I feel so stupid for telling him). He told me that he only wants to be FWB. Now I’m wondering if I can even fix this situation and how I should proceed. We haven’t talked much since I told him.

Reply May 4, 2015, 4:42 am


I was seeing someone lono distance I was the one that had to move so always felt sort of guilty and insecure for putting him in that situation and relationship. He told me he’d wait and that he was punching above his weight with me, I’m his first love. He when we were good we were really good but we had our ups and downs! The distance really affected us. I knit picked at times and one day I said look itd not working it’s too much, I had been drinking at the time.he agreed but said only because it was what I wanted and that he didn’t want to completely end it.I was harsh and said no.the next day I grovelled and asked could we still be friends he eventually replied saying “ok” day after I said I have made a huge mistake I love you and he said its too late it’s not working and to move on.I feel so sad and lost.I loved him.I have had silence treatment for one day and he deleted pictures of me.will he come back?

Reply April 30, 2015, 3:28 pm


So I’m single a year but was in a very messed relationship which obvs I’m still fragile over.
But two weeks I met someone on line and we met up, I was worried at first meeting him but he said he’d also never met up with anyone before, that his only single from a 2 year relationship with a month. So anyway we meet up a few days later, in the main time, he texts every day, not over bearing just an hello in the morning or some stage during the day, the first time we meet up we’re just gettin to know each other, the second time we meet up, things get a bit heated but nothing happens apart from kissing the third time we meet up he stays over. This all happens within in a week. When he leaves the following morning, he tells me text which I do that evening, but I know already his out at a game with his brother all day, so I didn’t expect anything back but the following day I was expected a early morning text or during lunch, but i didn get any, so I texted him asked what’s going on, his done a complete turn around, he saids sorry that his just been busy, so then I said “well clearly you were only after one thing, and fair play he won the game” he then texted back all confused asking what I was on about and then I say how he was textin all the time before and then he dosent reply back to my text after he stayed over, and explains he was out all day with his bro with no coverage and when he got into work there was loads of problems, after a few more texts back and forth I then realise I’ve totally over tank everything. So I say sorry and now that I seem like a nut case. I ask have I screwed things up and could we talk cause I can explain why I over reacted and he just texted back sayin it’s grand I’ve already explained and his football anyway. Have I totally screwed this up? Will he ever again text me?

Reply April 28, 2015, 6:35 pm

Swati Sharma

Hie Eric…I have recently subscribed to this site and am very happy to discover such a savior 🙂 I need your help…I am dating this guy who owns a gym and I am a member there…it was 2 months friendship and a 4.5 months affair now…things were rosy initially…but for the last 3 months(the gym is new and it took him 2 months to set everyrhing and 1.5 months have passed since then) he says he is very busy in working hard for his business and seldom has time for me. Also, his ex has joined the gym and he invited her after knowing that I am ok with it…she is still after him and clings to him all the time. He never comes to me when she is around. Instead, he goes to talk to her whenever he can…he says he doesn’t like her at all and is just friends with her only because she is a member…but when he can’t take out time for me, then how come he has so much of time for her? When I tell him that we should breakup if things are not going well, he says he doesn’t want breakup…but he doesn’t understand my situation, he says you are doubting me and you are just like all other girls…jealous and suspicious…and it hurts me…what do I do? He says he loves me…I love him…communication and spending time together are most important things in a relationship…how do I make it better?

Reply April 28, 2015, 11:58 am


Actually. I am currently in the same situation and reading this was like I am seeing myself in the mirror. and, it’s true… there’s cracks in my heart when reading this. it’s just like a hard slap in the face. you might be correct, Eric. if a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship, he meant it. but, what if… he’s just not ready? well, I don’t wanna argue about it since I agree with your advice to simply just leave and keep believing that there’s someone out there that can see our worth and effortlessly want to commit with us and be the forever. it’s so sad. but true. thanks Eric.

Reply April 28, 2015, 2:15 am

Leave a Comment

Recent Relationship Forum Activity


Sign up for our
free newsletter
and get a free chapter
of our book,"He's Not
That Complicated"