If He Says He’s “Not Ready” For a Relationship, He’s Not Right For You

A guy who refuses to define the relationship or claims that he’s “not ready” for one might be sincere, but most times, he’s sending you a message that you’ll have to read between the lines to get. Basically, he’s telling you that he’s not worth your time.

  1. He’s saying you’re not compatible. He either doesn’t want to hurt your feelings or he’s just a coward, so he tells you that he’s not ready for anything serious. Yeah, whatever. Hearing him say that he’s just not feeling it would have been easier to take, but OK.
  2. He’s saying you’re not right for him. Yes, it hurts to realize that you’re not the person he’s looking for because you know deep in your heart that this guy would jump into a relationship with the right person. But hey, it’s his loss.
  3. Remember: he’s not right for you. If you’re not compatible, that’s a two-way street. He’s not the only one doing the rejecting—you’re rejecting him too because you’re just not right for each other. There’s something powerful in this. It gives you a chance to realize that your person is somewhere out there and this guy isn’t it.
  4. He’s hoping to keep you around. You might wonder why the guy would tell you he’s not ready for a relationship if he doesn’t seem like a liar or a coward. Well, he might be hoping to do the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” thing so that he can keep you around. By making you hope he’ll come around someday, he gets to have you when he wants you.
  5. He’s saying he wants the best of both worlds. He doesn’t want to be tied down to a relationship with you, but he doesn’t want to cut you out of his life completely. So, he finds some grey area in which to keep you hanging. It’s so messed up. Even worse, when he does find someone he wants to be with, he’ll drop you without hesitation.
  6. He sees some potential, just not relationship potential. He might be saying he’s not ready to DTR or get into an exclusive relationship with you because he doesn’t see long-term potential. Sure, he might have a great time with you and want to have sex with you, but he doesn’t see a future with you in it.
  7. He wants your sympathy. Letting someone down is always difficult. This guy doesn’t want to be the bad guy. He wants you to still like him (and maybe be open to a FWB setup later on if he’s into that sort of thing). That’s why he says that he’s not ready and might give you a sob story as to why, like how he’s still not over his parents’ divorce, he has commitment issues because his ex screwed him over, and so on.
  8. He doesn’t want to move at your speed. If he’s not ready for a relationship, that could mean he’s quite happy to keep things casual between you. He might think you’re moving too fast or want to DTR too quickly. But you know what? It’s better to cut your losses with this guy instead of gear down. He’s not ready for a real relationship right now, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to change his mind.
  9. He’s confused, but it’s not going to change. Do you want a relationship that’s built on uncertainty? Hell no, yet that’s what you’re getting from the guy who tells you he’s not ready for anything serious. He might be confused, but that’s adding insult to injury. You don’t want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t even know why you’re a catch. Let him take his confusion somewhere else.
  10. He doesn’t have the time. Now, sometimes a guy will say he’s not ready for a relationship when he really means that he doesn’t feel like he can have a relationship based on where his life is at. His circumstances are getting in the way. Sure, but is it just me or is this a seriously lame excuse? I mean, unless he’s in the slammer or about to start a world music tour, the guy couldn’t really be too busy or stressed to have a relationship, could he?
  11. He was lying to you all along. One of the most frustrating things about dealing with a guy who hands you the “I’m not ready” excuse is that you can’t help but think, “Did he just realize he’s not ready or has he been stringing me along all this time?” What about all the dinners, coffees, and fun dates that you’ve shared? Were they all part of the casual dating he’s after? Ugh, it can make you mad. The thing is, maybe he thought he wanted you but then he realized he didn’t, or he never did but didn’t want you to walk away. Either way, you now know it’s best to move on without this guy and the problem isn’t you. It’s not you, it’s not him, it’s just that you’re going in different directions.
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.