Is He Actually “Super Busy” Or Just Not Into You?

Is he truly busy or just not into me? This is the modern woman’s conundrum when it comes to dating, especially since most guys won’t just come out and tell you what’s on their minds. “Busy” in the dating game has become synonymous with utter disinterest, but is it always like this? Here’s how to tell that the guy you’re seeing really does have a packed agenda and isn’t just trying to blow you off. After all, need to know so you don’t waste your time.

  1. He actually explains what’s going on in his life. It’s not enough if a guy tells you he’s “super busy” as a way to get out of hanging out with you. If he really likes you and wants you in his life, he’ll give you more details about his work, his time, what he does, and so on. This helps you see that he’s making an effort to include you in his world even if he can’t see you right now.
  2. He makes time to see you no matter how busy he is. Life is busy and everyone has a busy schedule. It might take some time for people who are dating to synchronize those schedules, especially if they’ve been single for a while or they’re used to work being their priority. However, a guy who really likes you will make the time to see you. I mean, he makes time to sleep and eat, right?
  3. He doesn’t drop off the earth when he’s super busy. If it happens that he has to cancel a date, a guy who’s genuinely busy and not just blowing you off will be clear about why and stay in touch, such as by calling and texting. He’ll share his day with you rather than going AWOL.
  4. He might take longer to reply, but he always does. A guy who’s not interested in you will take ages to reply to your messages — perhaps even days. A guy who’s genuinely busy might take a little bit of time, but not that long. He’ll always reply to your messages, and when he does, he’ll give you more than one-word answers. The guy who answers “hey” or “k, cool” to your messages days after you sent them can get out.
  5. He doesn’t ignore your messages. Thanks to technology, you can now see if the guy’s actually opened and read your messages. Maybe he’s really been swamped at work and so he hasn’t even checked his messages. That’s okay because you know he’ll get to you when he can. The guy who’s using his “busy” life as an excuse to keep you at arm’s length, on the other hand, will read your messages and just not reply. That’s shady as hell.
  6. He doesn’t lie if his weekends open up. Everyone needs downtime, but a guy who likes you will still be sure to fit you in on weekends. If he’s never available during his days off, then he’s not interested. No one’s busy every single day, right?
  7. He sets another date if things don’t work out. A guy who wants to blow you off will take rain checks like they’re going out of fashion, but then never actually make a plan to see you. A guy who wants to date you even though he’s busy might have to cancel every now and then, but if he does he’ll be sure to set another date immediately to show you that he’s keen to see you. He won’t say stuff like, “Let’s see how the week goes,” which just leaves you hanging.
  8. His social media presence doesn’t clash with his “busy” excuse. If you can see he’s on social media, but he’s ignoring your texts, then he’s a loser. Block him and delete his number.
  9. He doesn’t let his “busy” life get in the way of your relationship. A good way to tell if he’s busy or just lying to you is to see how often he excuses himself out of dates. If it happens once in a while, that’s understandable. But if he’s always doing it, he’s a slacker.
  10. Your gut tells you he’s into it. Check how you feel when he describes his week as being “too busy.” If you feel anxious and like you can’t just be spontaneous and ask him out because you know he’ll ignore you, that’s no way to date. He should make you feel good no matter what’s happening in his life, or else he needs to get out of yours.
  11. If you can make the time, so can he. You’re actually really busy leading your amazing life, so he shouldn’t think that he’s so special. If you can make the time in your hectic schedule to see him, then he should be able to do the same, even if it’s just for a quick coffee before work — if he’s worth it, that is. If not, then he can go be busy somewhere else, because you’ve got better things to do.

When is claiming he’s “so busy” just an excuse?

While we all live hectic lives and there are plenty of occasions in which his work or personal life are exceptionally hectic, there are plenty of times when guys use this excuse to avoid being honest about the fact that they’re just not into it.

  1. He’s still around online, he’s just not texting you. If he’s “so busy,” how does he have time to post three selfies in the same number of hours on his Instagram feed? How can he repost memes on his Twitter account? How can he go on political rants on his Facebook page? If he has time to mess around online, he has time to text you. He’s not busy, he’s just not into you.
  2. He doesn’t have time for a date but he does for a party. He “just can’t swing” a dinner date this weekend because he’s on a deadline for a work project. However, he casually mentions later that he went to a party with his buddies and got “suuuuuper drunk” on Saturday night and spent all day on Sunday being hungover. This should tell you all you need to know.
  3. When he cancels on you, he doesn’t bother to reschedule. Sometimes things legitimately come up, but if he was into you, he would make sure to raincheck and set a new date for getting together. If he’s fine leaving your plans hanging, perhaps never to be rescheduled, it’s because he doesn’t care if it happens or not.
  4. He gets in touch when he knows you’re not available. If he only ever reaches out when he knows you’re at work or otherwise occupied, this isn’t because he’s so swamped that it’s the only time he has available. It’s because he knows you won’t really be able to talk and he’ll be able to cut the conversation short.
  5. He doesn’t apologize for flaking on you. A guy who’s genuinely busy but still likes you will feel terrible when he has to bail on plans you make. He won’t want you to think that he doesn’t want to see you, so he’ll be genuinely apologetic since he knows your time is valuable and you could have made other plans. If he doesn’t seem to care or thinks you should just accept it, you have to wonder: is he busy or not into me? I think you know the answer.

What to do when you think he’s full of it

If he insists he’s legitimately busy but you have a feeling he’s being less than honest about it, there are a few different options.

  1. Call him out on it. If you think it’ll get you anywhere, you can always confront him about his crap. Tell him that his words and actions don’t line up and that if he’s not into you, he should just say so. You should be prepared for him responding with a bit of annoyance or even outright hostility, but if you’re cool with that, go for it.
  2. Take a step back and be “so busy” yourself. If he’s “so busy” and is actually into you, it’ll seriously bug him that suddenly you’re the one who just can’t find time to text, call, or hang out. You likely legitimately have a lot going on yourself anyway, so this shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Sometimes a taste of his own medicine is what a guy needs to get the message that you’re a hot commodity and aren’t about to wait around for him.
  3. Make that “raincheck” permanent. If he keeps canceling plans because he has so much going on in life, a relationship between you isn’t likely to ever work out. Even if he is legitimately busy, it’s clear that he doesn’t have time to dedicate to getting to know you and being a good partner. It’s better to cut your losses now than to end up disappointed down the line.

It shouldn’t be so hard to figure out the answer to that age-old question of “is he busy or just not into me?” It should be so much clearer than it is. Hopefully after reading this article, you have a little more clarity and it won’t stress you out too much.

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.