Guys, Saying You’re “Not Looking For A Relationship” When You’re Dating Someone Makes You Sound Like A Jerk

Guys, listen. We know you think you’re coming off as honest and noble when you tell us that you’re not in the market for a relationship. If you’re upfront about this the very first time we hang out, that’s one thing, but considering that so many of you pull this move when we’ve been actively dating for weeks or months, it has the opposite effect. Here’s why pulling the “I don’t want a relationship” card makes you sound like a jerk:

  1. You’re a player If you’re in your mid-twenties or older and tell us that you’re not looking for a relationship, especially if we’ve been on several dates and/or have already slept together, it really spells one thing to us: you’re not afraid of commitment, you just want to mess around.
  2. You have issues. Why would you turn away from the chance of having an amazing relationship? There must be something wrong here. Maybe you have trust issues or you’ve been dumped in the past and don’t know why/never got over it. Here’s a thought: if you don’t want to end up alone, you’re going to have to take a chance on love again.
  3. If you’re really into us, you’ll want a relationship. Come on, we’re not falling for the excuse that you’re not looking for a relationship — or worse, that you’re not ready for one. What’s there to get ready for? It’s not a stats exam. If we interested you enough, you’d go for it. Period. Plus, you’re basically already in a relationship considering we’re dating regularly. It must just be the title you don’t want. Hmm, wonder why that is?
  4. We’ve seen when you’re into someone and you sure go all out. That’s what’s so great about having male friends: they show us how men really treat women when they’re crazy about them. They’ll go out of their way, call the woman often, do their best to chase her and keep on impressing her until they make her theirs. You’ve probably done it too, so go home with your lame excuses.
  5. You want sympathy to look good. You know that some of us will actually sympathize with you when you say you’re not looking for a relationship. We’ll think, “That’s a shame, he must have been hurt before,” so you can keep playing the good guy while you hold the truth close to your chest. Most of us, however, know that no matter how many times a man has been hurt by love, he won’t turn away an incredible woman.
  6. You’re not ready? No, you just don’t want us. It’s personal. If you say you’re not looking for a relationship, what you’re really saying is that you don’t want a relationship with us specifically. Can’t you just say that we don’t gel instead of trying to get rid of us with a stupid excuse? We’d respect the truth a whole lot more than a BS lie.
  7. You’re hoping for a quick fling. You might be using this excuse because you’re hoping you can sidestep the commitment of a real relationship for sex. That way, there aren’t any strings attached. If we sleep with you, it’s because we see things going in a good direction (unless we explicitly tell you otherwise). If you knew from the beginning that’s not what you wanted, couldn’t you have told us that BEFORE we had sex with you? Ugh.
  8. Maybe you really aren’t ready, but then get real about it. There could very well be times when you’re just not ready for a relationship. No, really. Maybe you’ve just come out of a destructive relationship and your emotional baggage could fill a Boeing. We’ve been there and we get it — but then at least open up and be real about what’s going on. Don’t make us feel like we’re the ones with the problem.
  9. You think such a statement puts you above relationships. You might use the “I’m not looking for a relationship” card to make it seem like you’re a guy who’s above relationships. You don’t need love and you don’t need anything from women. You think this makes you a catch because you’re playing hard to get or come across complicated, but it really just makes you seem stupid.
  10. You use this to get around on dating apps. WTF? You can flirt and chat with lots of women while keeping your options open without anyone getting upset with you for misleading them. But maybe what you’re really doing is scoring fun with some women while keeping an eye open for a real relationship, because honestly why else would you be on those sites? It’s really messed up.
  11. You’re trying to figure us out. We know it’s good to take what a guy says as fact and not wait around hoping he’ll change his mind, but that would be so much easier if you didn’t say you’re not looking for a relationship while continuing to act like you’re in one with us anyway. You’re texting us to see how we’re doing, you’re inviting us out for coffee only to cancel. You’re unsure of what you want and you’re hoping we’ll be there for you when you decide to have something real. Just stop.
  12. You’re already in a relationship. Boom. You’re already snug as a bug in a relationship, but you want to have some fun on the side. So you go out and meet women but put boundaries around your interactions with us by saying you’re not looking for a relationship so you can have your relationship cake and enjoy extra dessert. Ugh, you’re basically the worst.
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.