If He Won’t Talk About The Future With You, You Don’t Have One Together

Does your boyfriend change the subject, ignore you, get angry, or flat-out run away whenever you try to bring up your lives together a few years or even a few months from now? That’s not okay behavior for a committed, loving partner. You’re supposed to look forward to growing together, not dread it. It’s time to face the reality that if he won’t talk about the future with you, it’s probably because you won’t have one.

  1. He should be excited to plan a life with you. You want to talk about the future because you’re excited about the life you’re going to live together, so why isn’t he just as excited? Maybe men don’t dream about their wedding day or future children as much as women do, but they still have dreams. If he saw a life with you in it, then he’d be excited to tell you those dreams because they’re all a part of a life he wants to build together.
  2. It’s just another way a man avoids making a real commitment. He’ll come up with any excuse in the book to avoid what you are to each other and where things are headed. Men who don’t want to talk about the future don’t want to commit to that future. He has his own ideas of where his life is headed and he’s not convinced that you’re headed there with him.
  3. He’s not just “living in the present.” Don’t let that excuse fool you. He isn’t simply focusing on the now — he doesn’t want to talk about the future for a reason. Some guys like to make you feel nuts. They turn the tables when you ask about the future by wondering why you can’t just be happy with what you have now. He’s manipulating you to focus on your relationship as-is so you stop feeling like you need or want more — because more is exactly what he doesn’t want to give you.
  4. He doesn’t want to define the relationship. If he won’t talk about the future with you, he probably likes to keep things up in the air. He doesn’t put any labels on things or any parameters on your relationship. He likes to hold a big question mark over the future because if it remains undefined, then he doesn’t have to admit that your relationship has an expiration date.
  5. He doesn’t want to make you promises that he probably can’t keep. He’s being intentionally vague about the future because he doesn’t want you to hold any words against him when you don’t end up together. Men make promises they don’t keep all the time, but most of them at least try to avoid this. He won’t make plans because he doesn’t want you to think he’s a scumbag for being with you even though he knows it’s only temporary.
  6. You deserve to know if you want different things out of life. It’s standard for you to want to check in and discuss what you want out of life and if you have a shared dream for your future. Couples need to know if their relationships have an actual possibility of lasting a lifetime. If you’re going in different directions, the sooner you find out, the better. If he already knows this and just isn’t ready to end the relationship, then talking about the future will never be on his radar.
  7. Healthy communication is necessary for any lasting relationship. If you can’t talk about the future, what are you allowed to talk about? Why are there any stipulations on what you can or can’t discuss with your significant other? If he’s the right guy for you, your “soulmate,” then you should be able to talk about anything and everything. If you can’t, well, that’s a sign of a much deeper problem.
  8. If he wanted a future with you, he’d actually want to talk about it. Both men and women can’t help but talk about the things in life they really want. We love to keep striving for more, so if a future with you is something he truly wants, then why isn’t he willing to talk about it? You don’t have to plan out your entire lives in one night, but he also shouldn’t be avoiding the discussion at all costs.
  9. He’s not sure you’re the girl he wants. Maybe for now, but forever is a long time. If he’s uncertain about the relationship, that’s your first clue that things are never going to work out. You need a man who knows exactly how he feels about you and doesn’t question whether or not you’re the girl for him. If he doesn’t know what he wants, it’s because he has yet to find it.
  10. He doesn’t want you to know that you’re not on the same page. He doesn’t want to commit, but that doesn’t mean he wants you to kick him out of your life. If you figure out you’re on different pages, you might leave him, and that’s a risk he’s avoiding. So for as long as he can, he’s going to keep you in the dark. As long as you’re clueless about your future, he doesn’t have to admit you don’t have one.

Why he might not want a future with you

young couple on bench in sun

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You’re in a relationship and it seems to be a happy one, so why is it that he doesn’t want a future with you, let alone to talk about it?

  1. He’s a commitment-phobe. In his mind, being in a relationship isn’t necessarily incompatible with maintaining his sense of independence. You’re together, sure, but at the moment you can just take things as they come, play them by ear, so to speak. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow or next month or next year, and he finds that strangely comforting. Talking about the future would mean admitting that you’re going to be together for a long time to come, and if he’s a commitment-phobe, the thought likely fills him with dread. It’s immature, sure, but it’s pretty common.
  2. He’s not as into you as you are into him. This is probably the most likely explanation for why he won’t talk about the future. You’re all keyed up thinking about how great your lives will be in the coming months and years and he’s nowhere near being on the same page. He likes being with you now, but when he looks into his life in the years to come, you’re not necessarily there. It’s not that he’s not happy with you now but more that he’s not so happy with you that he can’t imagine being without you. It sucks but it’s true.
  3. He wants to see how things go. If you’re still early on in your relationship, it might not necessarily be a red flag that your boyfriend shies away from looking too far ahead. If he’s been in a relationship before that ended badly or in which he got screwed over — and hey, we’ve all been there — then it makes sense for him to be more cautious this time around and want to take things slow. It’s not that he definitely can’t see a future with you in it, it’s that he wants to wait and see if it happens naturally. Give him time and you might find that things change.
  4. He does want a future, he’s just scared of getting hurt. This seems counterintuitive and admittedly, it’s not the most likely of explanations for his reticence here, but it does happen. Maybe he comes from a broken family or his ex seriously broke his heart so he keeps his cards close to his chest these days to protect himself. He won’t talk about the future because doing so means opening himself up to the possibility of getting hurt again, and that’s scary. The best thing you can do is show him that you’re there and not going anywhere. Eventually, he’s likely to open up a bit more.
  5. He doesn’t know what he wants for his own life, let alone for your life together. If he seems to be in a place in his life that’s a little hectic and undecided, it could very well be that he’s avoiding planning for the future with you because he doesn’t even know what he wants for himself. Maybe he doesn’t know what’s going on with his career or where he wants to live and the thought of dragging you into that is anxiety-inducing and he’s not ready to go there yet. Try to help him feel more confident and to explore his passions and ambitions. Once he has that figured out, he might be much more willing to include you in his life plans.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.