Why He Sees You As A Fling When You Want To Be His Girlfriend

Perhaps one of the worst parts of being a female in this day and age is hearing a guy tell you that you’re “not girlfriend material” or just “worthy of a fling.” I ought to know; I’ve heard that more times than I can count on two hands. Every time I’ve heard it, it stung. Badly.

The main thing that hurt was that I didn’t understand why guys saw me as a fling. It took me a long time to figure out what it means, and it took me even longer to figure out how to deal with it. If you’re in the same boat as I was, I’ll fill you in on the different reasons a guy would feel that way, and how they usually phrase it for each reason.

  1. You’ve slept with too many people. It means that he’s very insecure about his sexuality, and that he may have outdated preconceived notions about how a girl is supposed to be “pure.” You did nothing wrong in this case, and you should never believe that you did. In fact, if anything, you just dodged a Matrix-style sling of bullets. Guys who can’t feel comfortable around a sexual woman often have issues that you wouldn’t want to touch with a 10-foot pole.
  2. You’re just a “fun girl”. It can mean one of two things. It often means that he doesn’t take you seriously enough to bring you home to mom, or that he doesn’t take you seriously enough to go public with you. I hate to say it, but the vast majority of men will want to commit to a girl who society says is a good pick. The sad thing is that many good women have been discarded because they didn’t fully fit what their society’s idea of a “good woman” is. The other common reason a guy will say this is because the girl is too nice, or because he’s already in a relationship and wants her as a side chick. When this is the case, the guy that you’re talking to is too immature, too selfish, and far too selfish to actually have a healthy, happy relationship with anyone. Next!
  3. He’s not ready for a relationship. You might want to believe him on that. There are points in our lives when any relationship we would have would end up being unhealthy. It could be that he just got out of an abusive relationship, or it could be that he’s dealing with major family issues that he wouldn’t wish on anyone. At these times, a fling might be the only thing that he can offer without it turning toxic. However, that doesn’t mean you should wait around for him. Just like with any other relationship, you can accept or reject the terms. If you really want a relationship, then by all means, reject the terms and tell him that a fling won’t happen. After that, look for someone who’s interested and work to make sure that you’re the type of person your dream guy would date.
  4. He’s a commitment-phobe and always keeps it casual. You might be able to convince him otherwise, but I’d suggest not putting all your eggs in that basket. A guy who’s commitment-phobic can be an infuriatingly “hot and cold” lover who might just bail if he realizes it’s getting serious. The good (or at least slightly less hurtful) part about this reason is that it doesn’t have anything to do with you. It has something to do with the guy’s issues, and the way that the guy wants to live his life. So at least there’s that. It’s important to take note of something here, though. If a guy is saying that he doesn’t want marriage or that he doesn’t want a commitment, but behaves like you should give him all the benefits of a real longterm relationship, it’s often a sign of a person who is using you, manipulating you, or otherwise really just keeping you around for his own benefit. In these cases, he wants the proverbial milk, just not the proverbial cow. Don’t allow yourself to fall for the idea that he’ll come around in this situation – get out before it gets bad.
  5. He doesn’t think you’re compatible “like that”.  It means that the sex is good, but your personalities are likely not going to mesh well. This could be for a number or reasons, including one party being unstable, one party using drugs, or even something as trivial as career issues. The funny thing is that when a guy says this, it’s not a bad thing. Different people need different things, and it’s better to just have a fling while looking for Mr. Right than to try to force Mr. Right Now to be Mr. Right.
  6. How To Avoid Being “Just A Fling”. It’s impossible to come up with a foolproof way to avoid being a simple fling, but the truth is that there are some things that you can do to give the majority of guys out there a feeling that you’re relationship material. Working on improving yourself, too, can yield better results in the long run. In my experience, the quickest way to avoid being a fling is to make your wants known right off the bat, and to bounce as soon as you realize that his wants differ from yours.

At times, it’s actually impossible to tell why he thinks you’re just a fling – and that’s okay. At times, you don’t really need a “why,” and at times, it can be emotionally liberating. There’s nothing wrong with working to be up to a certain standard you set for yourself, but there’s also nothing wrong with embracing who you are already. Not everyone is going to be into you, and that’s fine! You don’t have to be society’s idea of perfect to be in a healthy relationship, simply because to someone out there, you are perfect already.

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.