Ask a Guy: On and Off Relationship – Is it Meant to Be?

I have been dating this one guy for about two years now, off and on. When we first started dating, he chased after me and took me out to expensive dinners and such. In the beginning, I told him that I didn’t want a relationship and after that its all been downhill.

We do date other people but for some reason we always come back to each other and date off and on. He doesn’t call unless I call him first and then he starts the conversion about us hanging out and making plans. I haven’t talked about a relationship with him for a couple years now but I’m sick and tired of this off and on thing. We don’t break up or anything we just loose touch and then reconnect somehow.

His friends have made comments to my friends like “they are probably gonna end up together.” Does that seem like that he talks about me to his friends? What can I do to take this to another level? Should I just outright talk to the guy? I don’t want to scare him off. And if he says that he doesn’t know how he feels or ‘lets see where this goes,’ does that mean he isn’t interested? After two years a guy should know.. right?

Overall does it seem that the guy is interested in me?  Do you think it’s wrong to tell him that either something happens with us or that’s it and we need to go our separate ways?  I feel bad because I feel that I’m giving him an ultimatum.

Oh by the way, we haven’t slept together, so its not a booty call, I think!

See our guy’s response after the jump!

First off, you say that you fall out of contact with him and then somehow you reconnect. Keep in mind, it’s not “somehow”. You are part of what’s happening every step of the way, so when you fall out of touch both of you are responsible for that. When you reconnect, you are both talking to each other too.  Just remember to keep in mind how you fit into all of this and what you have been doing when you fell out of contact and when you got back together.

Second, you said that two years ago, you two started getting into a relationship of sorts, but you said you didn’t want a relationship. I would say it’s reasonable to expect that a guy will not totally invest in a relationship with a woman who’s said that she doesn’t want a relationship. And since he’s not totally investing in you, the behavior you see from him isn’t totally committed.

You asked me if I think he talks to his friends about you… I’m sure he does. People talk – it’s just how people are. But the fact is  neither one of you has made a commitment to the other.

Where the relationship is now, I could see it being one of two scenarios: Either he wants to keep it where it is, as in, he likes how it is and wants nothing more or he would be open to something more but doesn’t think that’s what you want.

I believe that in this case the only way you’re going to know is if you discuss it with him frankly. My opinion is that having a frank discussion with him is the only way to get off the fence about this particular relationship. Something along the lines of: This is how things started, this is how things have gone so far, this is what I am thinking now, what are your thoughts on the whole thing?

And then listen. Even if you want to speak, listen some more. My bet is that once you’ve said your piece and you listen fully to his feelings on the matter, you will come to a decision. It may be that you commit to a relationship or it may be that you make a clean break from each other. Either way, you’ll be off the fence.

Just check in with yourself about what you really want. Start by getting clear within yourself about what you want (as best you can) and if you need a change, then talk it out. That’s the only way you’ll truly get clarity.

However, if both of you are taking cues from one another and neither one of you is making any firm commitment then things will continue to stay the way they have been into the future. Ultimately, you both have to claim responsibility for exactly what you’re doing and decide if it’s what you both really want.

Let me step back and give you a perspective on where it appears you’re coming from on this.

I realize you are asking me the question of whether or not I think something is there and if it could work. And I want to make clear that I cannot answer that question and I don’t think anyone can… Even if you had written me a 20 page e-mail… I still wouldn’t be able to tell you, nor could anyone else.

From what you’re asking, I get the impression that you want to get an answer that removes all doubt of what’s happening and removes any risk of you being hurt or disappointed. Truth is, I don’t think anybody can give you an answer like that.

I can say that if you talk to him, he will be able to clarify where he stands. It may or may not be an answer you would like, but you would have clarity and you could make a decision.

Sometimes relationships can remain ongoing for a long time because nobody says anything. Meanwhile, both people are not happy, but they don’t want to rock the boat. In a case like this, talking is not going scare him off – all it’s going to do is bring to light what both of you are already feeling.

Now, this is a much different scenario than a woman who’s been seeing a guy for six weeks and then wants to have a talk about whether they have a future together (as in, total commitment). It’s not unreasonable for a guy to want more time before having a discussion when he doesn’t feel like he knows the woman as deeply as he’d like.

But two years? I would have to assume you two know each other well and know the nature of your relationship. Anything that gets said at that point is stuff that each of you have felt and thought about for a while.

I can make a few suggestions about how you can talk to him about this without it turning to an ugly situation:

1) Stay calm and speak in a matter-of-fact manner.
2) Be a really great listener and take in what he’s saying.
3) Be as open as you can be for him to say anything
4) Go first – share how you feel and what your thoughts are. If you want him to be straight up, frank and honest with you, demonstrate it to him through how you talk about it. This will pave the way for him to act accordingly.
5) Be as clear as you can possibly be yourself on what you need before you have this talk with him.

If you are not prepared for things to change one way or another, don’t have this discussion yet. Get clear first. Talk to people close to you.

If you have thought everything through and want things to change (even if it means a clearly defined end to your relationship), then have the talk with him.

I realize that my response might not be as clean-cut as saying “Yes, he’s into you” or “No, dump him”, but this is the best response that I think you can get on a question like this. My opinion is your only move is to take ownership of the relationship, get clear on it with him and see it for what it actually is (versus speculating whether or not it is what you want it to be). Only then will you have the power to decide.

Hope it helps.

– eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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I’ve been dating this guy for a long time now but it was a on and off relationship for the past years but now he wants to take it morr serious and be there for me no matter what. So now we dating back, but we have different perspective when it comes to marriage, he doesn’t see marriage as an option in his like but I do and he knows that. Im just wondering if he will ever change his mind when it comes to the marriage thing in the near future ?

Thank You!!!!

Reply April 11, 2015, 11:06 am


Started a sexual relationship about 6weeks ago, with a guy I knew of for three years. I have done most of the initiating even though he has initiated contact. For the first three weeks I was with him every weekend(sleepovers) . Then the fourth week I couldn’t have sex so we did other things. After that he changed a bit and I had asked where the relationship was going? Also I mentioned that I think his brother may have seen me leav in he morning and he kind of freaked about that. In the first week I had met his sister,nephews. Fifth weekend he blows me off and I later find out from him that he went to see his baby in another state. 6th week,I tell him I don’t think we ae workin out and if I am wrong to please tell me. He responds with kissy smileys and tells me nothing is wrong. There have been many questions regarding our relationship i’ve asked that I have not received an answer for. I know that it’s early but in the beginning I was feeling like a girlfriend now I’m feeling more like a booty call and I want to be feeling like a girlfriend again. All I want is for hm to be straight with me and tell me of he sees a future or if Im forever a booty call. I know the relationship shifted and I don’t know how to get it back. What do you think? He has asked me if Im his ad I had said I’m yours if you’re mine and he’s kind of chuckled at that. I also told him that I didn’t want to be a secret anymore to his brother. I don’t know what to think. I’m very confused and I don’t want to waste my time but I also don’t want to hurt him of he really is interested in me in more than just a hookup or bootycall.

Reply November 5, 2014, 12:26 am


Me and this guy have been lovers for a year and half now and at the moment we are nothing because he withdraws a lot….but how we met felt like a sign of fate. We where campaigning together and he and I where in different groups and I didn’t know his name nor did he know mine. But we caught each other eyes from across the room… and we only worked for that one day total complete strangers and we never came up to one another and introduced ourselves. So about three months later I got an offer for a more long period of time job campaigning for election day…and I was introduced to this new group of people and he was one of the people in the group. He and I got introduced by our boss and when he saw me and I saw him and we both just stared and smiled at each other and said we already met. so from that point on throughout working together things started to get heated between us he was so eager to work next tom or see me ever day and he tried not to be obvious about it. Just everything he did to be next to me was really cute and just priceless, I never seen a guy be more persistent with me. He asked me out and we hung out almost every weekend after the campaign was over. He touched me in was I could never imagine and he would stare at me from across the room and I eyes would meet it felt like he was looking into my souls. (Oooh Chills) but the problem is he likes to go M.I.A every time me and him had spent a good amount of time together…like he needs to go and cool off or something because being near me is to much for him. I can tell every time he is around me he acts ass if he is in a battle with his self and he struggles with being with me. Oh I forgot to mention this part but when we where working together he approached me saying he would really like to hang with me but nothing serious because he is not looking for a relationship and I said I was not either so basically we both made a deal about this being casual…but little did I know it would be more… because low and behold he was the one treating me like I was his woman bringing me around friends and family and making it known when guy friends where around and grabbing me like I was his possession. We would spend weekends together and sleep cuddle up or talk for hours on in and he would cook for me and knew how I felt before I even knew of he knew what to do and he was just so chivalrous amazing spirit about him and I felt like I could tell him anything. So this day in time he and I had gotten so close so many times and he would disappear on me but I knew I shouldn’t care because we where not together. But I did and it hurt like hell because I was in love with him and every time I knew it was an opportunity to see him for a day I would drop everything and be there or he would come to me. But the thing is he said he does not want anything to blossom or bloom between us because he been down that path before and he not looking for again and he said he may feel something for me but I will never know that. So the longer I stayed giving myself to him the more it became harder to leave… I fell in love with him the moment I first laid eyes on him and I know he felt it to… it felt like we where addicted to each other. the sex was like a experience I never known, just being in each other presence and having a deep talk would turn us on. I kept trying to figure out if this man likes me or even loves me because I been through the worst of relationships before. Yet with him I feel like I have fallen in love for the first time in my life yet he is keeping the one thing from me that I truly need and that is his heart. I love him so much it hurts he and I stop being involved with each other like the end of last year because he knew he needed to because he wants me to stop falling for him and stop getting the wrong idea which its to late… I get it that he told me what he wanted in the beginning and honest about that yet if this was just friends with benefits why allow ourselves to be more involved like we where and then snatched it away and say its too much like a year later. I figured he must of liked something about me if he stayed this long and he and I actually went out on dates. Sorry this story is too long and there is a lot to it. But now he and I haven’t spoke for five months now because I knew I had to let him go for my sake even though it hurt like hell and I tried moving on every guy I meet now I find something wrong and I am holding on to this pain that I can’t describe all I know it feels worst from all the rest and I think about this man every day and I see things all the time that makes me think of him or reminds me of him like signs… and I try my hardest to not call him anymore only to be ignored by him because he never been good with the phone thing. So this past week I have given in and I called him after five moths and he responded which I didn’t think he would and he told me his Grand father pasted and I sent my respect to his family, he also said he was moving back to be with his mom… and I asked would he like to have drinks before he moves and he said he would like to…. I feel like I am on a roller coaster with him and I don’t know what to think for someone who sure doesn’t want to be with me or feel anything for me he surly gives in to seeing a lot…So what should I do because I really care for him more than any man I have ever cared for even my first love and I know I will never love anyone as much as I love him. I can’t have him because he won’t give into being with me our connection is so potent and real I can’t imagine living life and never have met a person like him. I told him I would be his friend because it better having something with him other than nothing at all. Were both confusing people and its hard to tell what each other wanted for a long time…but I tried the direct approach about how I really feel about him, well I written a 25 page letter to him and he said he never knew I felt like that and he was touched yet he still didn’t budge. So now this is a dilemma because I can’t seem to be happy with anyone else no matter how hard I try, he won’t erase out of my mind and nor my heart… I know I can’t pretend he and I never happen but we seem to always come back to each other yet this time around I won’t give in to him I’m going to be a friend to him and don’t expect anything from him… because for one I rather not face rejection again from him… he is a good man don’t get me wrong, but what I’m confused on if he keeps trying to push me away WHY does he pull me back in even if I let him??? I been hanging on for so long but yet a part of me feels like I will forever love him and never let him go no matter who I am with in the future. I feel like cupid betrayed me and I messing with my heart.
Confused for too long!

Reply August 15, 2014, 5:12 am


I’m still in love with my first love from wen I was 16. Now I’m 25 and he’s 27. Over the years we’ve been broken up we’ve reconnected and hoped up a bunch of times and also there have been times When we just reconnected and talked and talked about meeting up but never did. We broke up Wm I was 17 cause he had cheated even tho he wouldn’t admit it. And allot of the times we stopped talking or hanging out after we had reconnected was cause of his ex girlfriend the one he cheated on me with. But no matter he always comes back to me more than once saying he regrets ruining our relationship ND that he takes full responsibility and that he had it made with me how I was so cute ND how our sex life was amazing. We hadn’t spoke in a little while like over a year. ND I’m now in the hospital from a serious car accident where I need reconstructive surgeryon my arm so it’ll be a few mon the until I can go visit him.he had moved to another state but has asked me to come visit wen I’m better.t h e first week we reconnected this time he was very sweet saying you call anytime that he’s here for me ND being flirty ND saying all those mushy things he’s said before and some. But after talking and reciprocating those missing u feelings ND flirting in return..after a week he has stopped texting everyday before he would text just to day ho before falling asleep if we hadn’t spoken all day.but I’ve had to text him first that last 2 times we talked ND the conversations were short ND he’d say I’ll call u in a little bit hun and never did. Those 2 times I texted first are the only 2 times we’ve talked in a week. I truly believe he is the one. I still love him just as much as I always have. But now idk what to do.did I get a little too mushy and make him feel like he don’t have to try anymore cuz I’ll be here whenever he wants me. What do I do? Do I leave it alone for now since I can’t even go visit for a while anyway or do I give it another week or 2 and text or call him if I haven’t heard anything? Plus I love him ND our sex life was great and neither of us have been with anyone for about a he playing games to keep me around for a visit full of fun and sex? I want more than that. I want us committed nit just hooking up cause that didn’t help keep around the other times we reconnected. Please help! Need advice

Reply July 12, 2014, 10:24 am


How do I comfort my boyfriend after I found out he is cheating?

Reply May 14, 2012, 9:16 pm


You want to comfort him after you found out he’s cheating? You’re really a forgiving girlfriend… wow.

Reply May 14, 2012, 9:21 pm


I think Zanata meant “confront,” not comfort! At least I *hope* that’s what she meant. :) Either way, Zanata, good luck to you.

Reply March 24, 2013, 3:18 pm


“But two years? I would have to assume you two know each other well and know the nature of your relationship. Anything that gets said at that point is stuff that each other you have felt and thought about for a while.”
Wow, I have never heard this explained as clearly as this. I have been involved with someone for going on 10 years in a very similar situation to this one. It might be six months or a year that we will be apart and then all of a sudden things are good for a while and then nothing. Feelings have never been discussed (maybe once 10 years ago, when he said something along the lines of “not now but maybe someday”) and I am finally on the verge of laying out just how I feel. Unfortunatly things have been complicated by me marrying someone else (7 years ago) and still being married. He got engaged a few years ago, and it broke my heart. I’ve always said that he was the love of my life. Their relationship didn’t last though and to the best of my knowledge he hasn’t been in another serious relationship. I am making myself miserable with the what might have been’s and want the questioning to be over.

Reply November 9, 2011, 2:37 pm

Eric Charles

Whoops – you happened to quote a section where I have a grammatical error. Gonna fix that. ;)
Sorry to hear about the heartbreak. Relationships are tough – but if you’re in the game, everyone gets their heart broke at least a few times. Part of the journey…
Glad you liked the post.

Reply November 12, 2011, 4:50 pm


You’re married and you’re still chasing a guy that doesn’t want you? Pathetic.

Reply June 22, 2012, 3:19 am


I’m 8 months pregnant (20yrs old) & I feel like I have it more together than my ex(bbyddy) he turned 28 today & he says he wants a “break” because he wasn’t happy , so of the things we been through. He also said he feels like he’s missing out like he wants to have fun,mess with other girls & stuff! He’s talking to others girls too, & there’s one that he’s having sex with. They know I’m pregnant but they don’t care & he says she’s just a “friend w/ benefit”. I feel like he might be going through a mini “crisis”. He feels that he’s getting old,he’s about to be a father he hasn’t even been going to work(soo not like him) its like he has no focus. He talks to me still b/c were like best friends but he needs space. What do you think? I tried everything that I shouldn’t (constant calls/ txt etc) so now I’m doing NC until he visits & calls/ text me!

Reply October 2, 2011, 3:08 am


Eric, great response! It’s definetly unlike all the other answers out there that don’t have a clear idea of how the person really feels. This is what i’ve been wanting to hear, and it sure does soften my worries a lot :)

Reply August 24, 2011, 11:03 am

Eric Charles

Thanks a lot – I appreciate that and I’m glad it was helpful to you.

Reply August 24, 2011, 4:35 pm


Katie, I’m in a spookily similar situation right now. I would love to know what ended up happening with you and this guy?

Reply April 20, 2013, 9:16 am



Move on you’re way too young to deal with that bullshit! He’s not appreciating what he has!

Reply June 14, 2011, 3:02 am

christina e

I have been dating this guy for three years now. He is 37 and i am 23. I know big age difference but i do love him, too much i think sometimes for how im treated. We have been together for so long now, and still i feel like he cant commit to me. We met online three years ago, and the first date we had he asked me to be his girlfriend. He is legally seperated from his wife, but has told me for three years his divorce is in the works, but is having alot of problems becoming final, or so he says. He has two children, and they are his to care for all week and thier mothers on the weekend. Me and him only see each other once a week, if HE can make it. If he cant make it , its always an excuse that he has to take the kids, or he has a job he just has to do, or he’s not feeling well. Do i have the right to feel kinda neglected? Each year he promises me we will move in together, and each year he lets me down. In three years i have no ring, we are not together full time ( which is what i want, and what i thought he wanted,) and i dont even know his children all that well. We have broken up before, once i broke up with him for about a week, then last year he broke up with me for about two weeks. He found another girlfriend at that time, but she wasnt what he wanted so he asked for me back. In a week , we will have been together for exactly 3 years, but im not happy. Also when he calls, he always seems to be in a bad mood, and i try to cheer him up, but he always takes it out on me. Then later that night, texts me an appologie. Lately, hes been working more and more, even odd jobs at night. He says that he is working more, so we have money for our future. I just wish i knew what my next step should be. Should i just end it? i need advice. thanks

Reply May 19, 2011, 9:29 pm


Hello Christina, it sounds as if he is using you just to get an ego stroke, and using you as a garbage bin to drop his problems because you allow it. Do you feel that he even likes you? What is the problem with the divorce? Though legal fights can indeed drag over several years, in any case he should be able to very clearly say what the actual current state is. Demand that he do so. Money for “our” future? Ask when that will that happen. He should be able to say when. If it then does not happen, why trust someone who cannot hold his promises and continues to make execuses? If he only wants to see you once a week, maybe he is less interested in you than vice versa.

Reply January 14, 2012, 6:11 am


Eric, you’re good! I’m almost like that girl’s situation but not two years, not 6 months, but 3 months. Andd your words clear off my confusion. Thumbs up. *Hugss* but I still don’t know what I really want.. ): sigh. I want comfort but I know it’s sinful to say this. sighhh

Reply April 3, 2011, 12:35 am

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