16 Signs He Wants Out, He Just Doesn’t Have The Balls To End It

You’d think that when people are done with relationships, they would just end them and save everyone the trouble of confusion and even more heartache, but things aren’t always so simple. Leaving someone, especially if you’ve been together for a long time, is a complicated and difficult thing to do, regardless of whether or not you fell out of love long ago. Here are some signs he wants you to leave him alone and wants out of your relationship, he just doesn’t have the balls to officially end it.

  1. He’s disconnected during sex. You guys might still be getting it on, but it’s with much less frequency. Not only that, but when you do get busy, there’s less cuddling and fewer sweet moments, not to mention more pulling away as soon as everything’s done. It’s like you’re just going through the motions and neither of you is really feeling it anymore. Sex with your partner is supposed to feel amazing. If it doesn’t, there’s a problem.
  2. He’s leaving you out of important decisions. This is one of the biggest signs he wants out of your relationship. He used to run things by you and look forward to hearing your opinion, but now he’s not even mentioning his decision-making process and you’re finding things out as they occur. When you bring up the fact that he didn’t tell/ask you about something, he gets defensive and acts like you’re being unreasonable.
  3. He’s happiest hanging out with people that aren’t you. You’re getting the short end of the stick putting up with his bad moods, especially since he seems to be really happy in the company of others. He’s all about going out with his friends or even attending happy hour with his colleagues after work. However, when it comes to hanging out with you, he’s always too busy, too tired, or “just wants to chill” on his own tonight.
  4. He’s starting to get friendly with other women. Your guy always seemed to be respectful of your feelings around other women, but now it’s like he’s almost trying to make you jealous. All of a sudden, he’s extra flirty and seems to be noticing attractive women much more often than before. Not only that, but he doesn’t even try to hide it.
  5. He picks fights over nothing. The missing remote turned your living room in WWIII and for some reason, he wholeheartedly thinks you’re the one to blame. He nitpicks to the extreme, trying to provoke you and push your buttons so that you explode on him and he can feel justified by getting mad in return. It’s really toxic and also one of the most obvious signs he wants out.
  6. He suddenly can’t stand certain things about you. You’ve always worn blue nail polish and experimented with bold makeup, but now he thinks your style is over-the-top and criticizes your appearance daily. All the stuff that he used to say makes you unique and special are things he really doesn’t seem to like anymore. What gives?
  7. He’s told you that you deserve better. This is one of the most confusing and upsetting signs he wants out. He brings up trivial things as reasons why he’s just not very good at being a boyfriend and doesn’t stop when you try to disagree. It’s like he’s hinting that you’d be happy with pretty much anyone else because he thinks he would be too.
  8. He rarely responds to texts when he’s out. He used to keep in touch all day long, and now when he does respond to your texts, he’s always apologizing for how long it took, but the excuses are corny. Sometimes he doesn’t bother to reply or apologize at all, he just expects you to deal with it when he goes AWOL for days at a time.
  9. You just don’t feel close anymore. Your feelings towards him haven’t changed, and yet there’s a serious distance growing between you and you don’t know what in the world could be causing it. You try to have talks with him about deep topics but he always changes the subject or seems to shy away from these conversations.
  10. He’s started talking about a future that doesn’t include you. Recently he’s been amped about this idea of going back to school, but he would probably have to move and he knows you’re not leaving your job anytime soon. He doesn’t seem to think this is a problem, of course. When he’s ready to change his life and you’re not on board, he’ll just go for it.
  11. He isn’t really affectionate. If you’re on sharing “I love you” status, he’s been slipping on them. He never gives you random kisses or cuddles anymore and makes excuses to move away when you initiate. When you try to cuddle up to him, he finds an excuse to get up and/or leave the room.
  12. He’s not committing to anything. You’re trying to buy concert tickets and he’s being super vague and non-committal like he doesn’t know if he’ll be around at all this summer. He was never like this before, but suddenly it’s like his schedule is so up in the air (or so he’d like you to think) that he just can’t make plans.
  13. He’s irritated about his own chivalry. He’s always been pretty generous about treating you to dinner, but suddenly he’s trying to make it seems like you’re just being selfish in letting him. You don’t expect him to go out of his way for you but he used to be happy to do so. Not anymore.
  14. He tries to avoid posting photos together. You could seriously sense his hesitation when you tried to set up a double selfie while hiking last weekend. Not only that, but he tries to discourage you from posting photos of the two of you together on your own feed as if he’s embarrassed for your followers to see you as a couple. If this isn’t one of the biggest signs he wants out, I don’t know what is.
  15. He talks about different qualities he wants in a woman. If your guy starts throwing around things like, “Where do I find a wife like that?” in reference to his favorite TV character, he’s clearly trying to mention that you’re not it. You used to be his ideal partner and you haven’t changed, but obviously, he has.
  16. His friends have pulled back a bit. You used to consider his best friends some of yours as well, but lately, it’s almost like they know something is up and just don’t want to let you in on what that is.

What to do if you notice the signs he wants you to leave him alone

  1. Take a step back. While it’s tempting to double down and try to win him back before your relationship is ruined irreparably, resist that urge. The worst thing you can do is chase him harder or go over the top with your behavior as it’ll only make you come off as desperate (and likely make him more desperate to leave). As hard as it is, you have to take a step back and offer him some space. He won’t be expecting it and it just might shift his perspective on your relationship.
  2. Don’t let on that you’ve picked up on his attitude. Again, the worst thing you can do here is let on that you’ve noticed his bad vibes. You’re 100% convinced that he’s ready to throw in the towel, but you don’t have to tell him that, at least not immediately. Try to take a bit of space from him and see how things progress. It could very well be the case that by pulling back for a bit, he actually misses you and doesn’t want to be without you.
  3. Talk to him about it. If the above tricks don’t work and things are continuing to deteriorate between you, it’s time to put on your big girl pants and actually confront him about things. Tell him straight up that you’ve noticed how unhappy he is and feel like he no longer wants to be in a relationship with you. Of course, you could very well be right, so you need to be prepared for him to confirm your worst suspicions and for a breakup to happen as a result of this conversation.
  4. If he wants out of the relationship, let him out. If he thinks breaking up is the way to go, don’t fight him on it. Don’t beg him to stay or try to convince him that you can fix things. Instead, react calmly and say that you get it and it’s probably for the best. Then let him walk away — even if you lose your composure the minute he leaves.
  5. Go no contact with him. This will have one of two effects: either cutting him off completely and acting totally unbothered will reel him right back in and make him realize how silly he was to let you go or it’ll just allow you the time and space you need to get over him for good. Given that he was careless enough to break your heart and leave you behind, the best thing you can do is move on and make sure you’re no longer there when he comes crawling back.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com