Why A Guy Refuses To Call Himself Your Boyfriend, According To A Guy

If he walks like a boyfriend, talks like a boyfriend, and acts like a boyfriend, he’s probably your boyfriend, right? Sadly, not always. I’m sure plenty of you ladies have had experiences with guys who refused to accept the title and it can be a frustrating and confusing experience. Here are some reasons this might be happening from a guy’s perspective.

  1. He’s not 100% sold on the relationship. Exactly why he’s not, I can’t say. Frankly, there are countless reasons why that might be the case and some of them may have nothing to do with you. But if he views this relationship as something short-term or temporary, he won’t let himself be called your boyfriend. It’s a title that tends to make things sound just a little serious and that may not be what he’s ready for right now.
  2. He’s hung up on his ex. If he isn’t over his ex, he won’t feel comfortable being someone else’s boyfriend. It will make him feel like he’s moving on when maybe he’s not ready to move on or doesn’t want to move on. Unfortunately, there may not be much that you can do in this situation. If he still has feelings for his ex, he has to work through them. As long as he’s hung up on her, he’s not going to be anybody’s boyfriend.
  3. He doesn’t want things to change. Outside of him not willing to accept the “boyfriend” label, are things going well? That could be one reason that he doesn’t want it. A lot of guys have the attitude of “why mess with a good thing?” Trust me, I understand that you want to make things official and know where you stand. But most guys aren’t going to be too concerned with labels like that. We think that labels don’t mean anything if the relationship is good. I know it sounds like we’re being jerks, but it’s more so just taking a simple approach to things without needing to label everything.
  4. He prefers to take things slowly. If there’s one thing you should know about guys, it’s that most of us aren’t in a rush to jump into anything serious. Most of us prefer to keep things light and casual for as long as possible. As I mentioned, being called “boyfriend” makes things seem more formal and serious. It feels like a big step forward that we aren’t always ready to take. If it’s still early in the relationship, just give a little more time before worrying about him calling himself your boyfriend.
  5. He’s seeing other people. If you haven’t had a talk about being exclusive, it might be why a he’s refusing to be your boyfriend. Of course, if he’s still dating around, you probably don’t want to push things forward. In a way, he’s doing the right thing. You don’t want to give someone the wrong impression if you’re seeing other people. You just have to get to the bottom of everything so you know for sure.
  6. He has commitment issues. It sounds cliche, but a lot of guys have commitment issues. I know I keep coming back to this, but the word “boyfriend” feels just a little bit serious. We think that if we can avoid that title, it’ll be easier to walk away from the relationship. For whatever reason, we think being called a boyfriend traps us into something long-term. Suddenly, we feel stuck as soon as we accept the “boyfriend” title. Obviously, that’s a problem we have and you ladies unfairly end up having to deal with it.
  7. He’s pushing toward “Friends with Benefits.” Some guys are awfully clever when it comes to putting women in the “Friends with Benefits” box. Granted, some guys will be upfront with you about only wanting something casual, but others will lead you on and eventually trick you into accepting an FWB setup. Refusing to call himself your boyfriend is one of these clever tactics. He’ll stand in the way of any kind of commitment and refuse any label. Eventually, you’ll realize that he’s not your boyfriend, he’s a friend with benefits. To be fair, only a small percentage of guys will do this. However, it’s been known to happen.
  8. He’s just not that into you. This is a little cliche and will hurt to hear, but it’s possible. If he doesn’t like you that much, he won’t let himself be called your boyfriend. Obviously, he likes you enough to keep seeing you, but there’s a difference between liking someone enough to hang out or hook up with them and liking someone enough to be their boyfriend. Usually, these guys are super coy about your relationship or their feelings for you. If that includes ducking any mention of being your boyfriend, it’s possible that he’s just not that into you.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.