Is He Really “Too Busy” To Date Or Just Not Into You?

Adult life is hectic, which is why “I’m too busy” is a relatable excuse that many of us hear when it comes to dating. However, if it’s something you keep hearing, you may feel like he’s either leading you on or too afraid to tell you he’s not into you. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine which is which.

  1. Is he too busy to pencil in other new activities? I’m not talking about the bowling league he’s been part of since he was 13. I’m talking about something brand new. If he seems to be free for every concert and every local baseball game, he’s using “I’m too busy” as an excuse. There’s no reason he can’t invite you along to that stuff—he just doesn’t want to.
  2. Does he prioritize time with other friends? If it seems like you’re the only person who’s having difficulty putting something on the calendar with this guy, he’s not into you. He’s put you low on the priority chart because he’s not seeing any sort of romantic future with you. That can be hurtful if you feel like he’s lead you on, but the sooner you know, the better.
  3. Is he always canceling without rescheduling? If a guy likes a girl, he’ll want to see her. If he’s not feeling it, he’ll keep stalling the hangout in hopes that you’ll get the point. No matter who this guy is, he’s not worth weeks of anguish over whether or not you should book secondary plans for Saturday night.
  4. Does he discuss what’s keeping him so busy? If he says he’s busy and then chats with you about what’s happening at work, at least he’s providing the receipts. But if he keeps it as “I’m busy” and fails to say anything more, he’s totally writing you off.
  5. Is he a serial dater? If you’ve only been on a couple of dates with him, you can’t get mad at him for dating other girls. It’s not like he made it official, but if he’s too busy dating other girls to book plans with you, that’s more or less a sign that he’s not feeling any sort of chemistry whatsoever. This is the kind of guy who might finally get around to calling you if he’s lonely and ran out of other options. Be aware of that if you get a 9 pm call in a few months.
  6. Does he seem apologetic? There’s a big difference between “I’m really busy this week, I’m so sorry” and “I’m busy.” If he seems a little upset that his schedule is so packed, try seeing if you can maybe squeeze in a small hangout. Offer to pick up some frozen yogurt one night for a brief, 15-minute hang. His reaction to that will tell you everything you need to know.
  7. Is he on dating sites? Sure, they’re fun to browse, and yeah, it’s a fun little activity he can do without a lot of time invested. But if he’s actually looking for a relationship elsewhere, he’s lying to you about how busy his schedule is. Your next step should be moving on from this guy.
  8. Is his job really demanding? Every single job out there comes with its fair share of pressures. I’ve been a cashier and dealt with frustration and long lines and have also worked in offices and have tried to stay out of office politics. Regardless of his title, he’ll have a little bit of stress. But there’s also a lot of difference between being a doctor and working in data entry. If his job isn’t as demanding as most but he’s treating it like it is, then he’s making excuses.
  9. Does he even try to make it work? If he claims he’s busy but doesn’t offer up any other options, it’s clear: he’s not into you. However, if he really seems sincere in re-planning, and tries to figure out what your standard schedule is, there’s still a little bit of hope that he’s into you. The next question for you is, can you handle a relationship where he’s not always around?
  10. Are his friends awkward around you? If he says he’s busy and you’re getting a weird vibe from the people around him, he’s really not into you. And, even worse, he has probably told them a few unflattering facts about you. Don’t even give this guy any more of your time. You’ll find someone a lot better who has a more compatible schedule.
Karen Belz is a New Jersey native who is currently living in Maryland. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication with a focus in Broadcasting and Print Media Studies from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Since graduating, she has written for sites like LittleThings, HelloGiggles, and Scary Mommy and is currently an e-commerce editor at Bustle.

When she's not writing, she enjoys making her phone run out of memory after taking too many photos of her dog. You can find her on Twitter @karenebelz or on Instagram @karenbelz.