Why He’s Not Asking You Out & What You Can Do About It

There’s no doubt that dating would be a million times easier if we could read minds, but since you can’t, all you can do is make an educated guess as to why he hasn’t asked you out yet. Short of taking the bull by the horns and asking him out yourself, there are few things you can do to communicate your interest without actually saying the words. If being subtle doesn’t work, making the first move can be your last resort before cutting your losses.

  1. He’s just not that into you. If he’s the type of guy who goes after what he wants, and he’s not going after you, it’s pretty clear he doesn’t really want to. This could be for a variety of reasons, but it’s not really worth your time trying to figure them out. Whatever you do, don’t try to twist yourself into a version of yourself you think he’ll like. If he doesn’t like you for you, he isn’t right for you anyway. Stop thinking about why he hasn’t asked you out and start thinking about how to move on.
  2. He wants to be sure you’ll say yes before he makes his move. No guy likes being rejected, so maybe he’s just taking the time to make sure you’re really interested before he puts himself out there. This guy isn’t going to respond to subtlety. It’s time to bring out the big flirting guns and make it obvious that you’re into him.
  3. He thinks you don’t like him. Are you still flirting like you did in the third grade where you roll your eyes at his attempts to be cute? Think back — he’s probably already left some hints that he wants to date you, and you gave him the impression you weren’t open to it. Acting like you don’t like him isn’t going to work like it did when you were in middle school. Throw the poor guy a bone. If he really likes you, he’ll try one more time.
  4. He has his eye on someone else. If he’s into another girl it won’t matter that you’re practically throwing yourself at him, he’s not going to respond the way you want. He won’t want to give you the wrong idea or screw up his chances with her. Back off. Unrequited love isn’t worth anyone’s time, and you’ll end up making a fool of yourself. If it doesn’t work out with her, maybe he’ll end up noticing you later. But only if you play it cool for now.
  5. He just got out of a relationship. The last thing a recently single person wants to do is worry about getting back into the dating game. If anything, he’s probably just looking for a quick and dirty rebound. Give him some time and let him get the rebound thing out of his system with someone else. Unless that’s all you want from him anyway. In that case, just tell him you’re DTF.
  6. He’s playing hard to get. This guy is used to having girls throw themselves at him. He has options, and he’s expecting you to do something to stand out. You sure you want to date a guy who plays games? If you’re sure, it’s grand gesture time. Let him know you’re interested in no uncertain terms, and he’ll have no choice but to respond.
  7. He’s too busy. After work, he barely has enough time to eat, shower, and go to bed, so the last thing he’s thinking about is adding a girlfriend to the mix. Continue on with your own busy life, but maybe try to ask him to hang out spontaneously and see how he responds. If he’s interested, he’ll jump at the chance, and it’ll take some of the pressure off him having to make time to plan a formal date.
  8. He thinks you’re out of his league. In his mind, the chances of being rejected are a lot higher if he thinks he’s not good enough for you. Make it clear you’d be open to going out with him. The lower the odds are of being rejected, the more likely it is he’ll make a move.
  9. He’s too shy. Maybe he’s never asked a girl out before because the thought of doing so scares the crap out of him. If he’s an otherwise decent guy, this may be the one time when it would be beneficial to make the first move. But if he never seems to realize he doesn’t have to be scared to ask you out, he might have deeper issues than a simple fear of rejection.
  10. He wants to keep your friendship intact. If you’re close friends, he might not want to jeopardize that by attempting a romantic relationship. He also doesn’t need the humiliation of finding out his more-that-friends feelings for you are not mutual. If the sexual tension is palpable, it might be time for one of you to initiate a talk about your feelings. If you talk about it first, there will be a lot less danger of an unwelcome sexual advance when you’re both drunk.
  11. He genuinely isn’t interested in dating right now. He may think you’re great, but for whatever reason, he’s not interested in pursuing a relationship with you, or anyone, right now. Respect his need for space, and keep living your life. If he changes his mind, he has your number.
  12. There’s some kind of bro code loyalty stopping him. Did you already date his friend? Or is he friends with your brother? There are lines that some guys just won’t cross, and it’s going to take a lot more than mild flirting to convince him it’s okay. Feel out whether the person standing in your way would have a problem with you dating this guy. If they give him the green light, he’ll no longer have a reason to ignore any feelings he has for you. But make sure to tread lightly — you don’t want to hurt someone else in your quest for a date.

How to cope when a guy you like isn’t asking you out

  1. Drop the self-deprecation. You might think that because you liked him and he didn’t feel the same, there must be something fundamentally wrong with you. Wrong! You’re amazing, and the fact that some dude was too blind to see it sounds like a him problem, not a you problem. Don’t start talking down to yourself or about yourself because all the things you’re saying just aren’t true.
  2. Ask him out yourself. Maybe he’s a bit shy or has never really considered a romantic relationship with you but would be open to the idea if you brought it up. It’s 2022 – why can’t you go after what you want directly? Instead of waiting around for him to pluck up the courage or read your thoughts enough to make a move, you do it. The worst he can say is no. If that’s indeed what ends up happening…
  3. You know what’s coming next: block and delete. I had to say it because it’s really the best thing you can do for yourself. There’s no sense stalking him on social media endlessly, wallowing in a hole of self-pity and keeping tabs on his every move. He doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, which means he’s no longer part of your life. That means you have to rip off the band-aid and let him go.
  4. Get your mind off him. It should be a whole lot easier when you’re not doomscrolling through his Instagram profile, but still. The best way to get over him is to stop thinking about him, and the best way to do that is to fill your time. Call your girls, plan a day or evening out (or both!), and go have some fun. Suddenly, you’ll realize just how unnecessary he is in your life.
  5. Scroll through dating apps. I’m not at all suggesting that you should use another guy to get over this one, but there’s no harm in looking. Sure, spending too much time on dating apps can be depressing as hell (have you seen some of these dudes’ profiles?!), but it can also remind you of the old adage about there being plenty of fish in the sea. This guy was not the only eligible or worthy bachelor out there, and doing a bit of swiping can help you remember exactly that.
  6. Reassess your relationship needs. This is a great time to do some reflection on what exactly it is you want from love and relationships. Are there qualities this guy had that were undesirable or you’ve reevaluated the importance of certain traits while pursuing this guy. Now that you’re totally single again, readjust your priorities and vision for your future relationships so that when the next one comes around, you’re ready for it.


By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.