17 signs he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship

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What is it with guys who seem emotionally attached but don’t want to get involved in a relationship?

When I was in a similar situation, I used to keep hoping that things will change. I was daydreaming of a time when he’ll finally realize that he wants me and only me.

But you know what? He didn’t!

Looking back, I wish I had known that although he cared about me, he was never going to fully commit.

That’s why I decided to share with you some of the signs I personally noticed, as well as expert opinion on the matter.

Let’s begin!

1) He doesn’t spend much time with you, but when he does, he’s there 100%

Let me ask you this:

How often do you see him?

Once a week? Once every 2 weeks? Once a month?

If you’re seeing him so rarely, it’s pretty common that he doesn’t have time for something serious. Or, maybe he’s not into you enough to invest his time and energy into building a relationship.

But when you do spend time together, he’ll be there 100%. He’ll be present, attentive, and interested in anything you say.

What does this mean?

Well, it means that he actually has feelings for you and he likes spending time with you. But, for some reason, he doesn’t want a relationship.

In my case, I was seeing him every weekend, but that was still bothering me and I remember telling him that I don’t want to have a “weekend relationship.”

His reaction?

He always said something to change the subject, which brings me to the next sign.

2) He changes the subject when you bring up your relationship status

The next sign that a guy has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship is when he won’t talk about your relationship status.

I must admit that in my case, I brought up the idea of commitment a lot. I would bring it up and he would change the subject.

It didn’t really piss me off back then, but now I see how sneaky this actually was!

According to Lyndol Lyons, writer for Love Connection, “this can be a sign that he is afraid of being committed and that he may not want you in his life forever.”

So, if you try to bring it up and he changes the subject, take it as an obvious sign.

In addition, remember that if he didn’t care, he would’ve said something more hurtful instead of trying to distract you with another topic.

Or, maybe he doesn’t know what he truly wants and that’s why he keeps changing the subject.

If you want to know for sure, take a look at more signs!

3) He isn’t afraid to say that he misses you, but he doesn’t make time to see you

Want another proof that he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship?

Then listen to what he actually says!

If he says he misses you, but he won’t make time to see you, this is a strong sign.

In this regard, Felicity Frankish, writer for Hack Spirit, can help you figure out if he means it when he says he misses you.

According to her, he means it if

…he contacts you often

…he actively follows you on social media

…he makes plans with you

…he asks a lot of questions about you

On top of that, she notes that when a guy says “I miss you,” it could mean a lot of things such as:

He wants something from you. He actually misses the sex.

With this in mind, you should be able to tell whether he actually means it when he says he misses you.

4) He sometimes says you’re too demanding or have high expectations

Look, this guy may have feelings for you, but if he’s not willing to commit, it could be because you led him to believe that you wanted more than he was willing to give.

As a result, he might purposely avoid a relationship with you.

“Many men don’t want to get into relationships because they can be emotionally, physically, and psychologically exhausting,” says Tina Fey, author of Win Your Ex Back eBook and founder of Love Connection.

In other words, if he thinks you’re a “high-maintenance” girl, he sees you as an inconvenience. So, if you’ve noticed that you’re demanding when it comes to a relationship, take it as a sign.

But, this doesn’t mean that you’re to blame just because you know exactly what you want. He could simply be the wrong guy.

5) You know his ex-girlfriend hurt him deeply

Now, let’s talk about another sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship: he was hurt in the past.

This reason only could be the proof you’re looking for. For example, if he keeps telling you about the last time he was hurt or cheated on, that’s why he doesn’t want another relationship.

SEM confirms it:

“Because guys have usually been scorned in a previous relationship, they’re wary of getting into another one for fear that it might not last.”

So, if you know that about him, you might actually be getting closer to the answers you need. However, if you want to change his mind, it’s a good idea to be patient and give him time first.

6) He focuses on school more than anything else

Do you know for a fact that he spends his time studying hard?

If so, then you should consider this a sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship.

It’s because if he’s focusing on school instead of dating, at some point, he must’ve realized that it’s not worth his time when it comes to relationships.

Or maybe he just doesn’t want to settle or get into anything serious. I mean, who knows?

Plus, guys might often place their goals above romantic relationships and focus on getting better jobs or higher degrees.

“20-something guys are also focused on other priorities, like work or school. Having a girlfriend can impede guys’ career or educational growth because it requires time, money, and emotional investment that guys may not have,” explains SEM.

7) He spends all his time focusing on professional development

This sign is somewhat similar to the previous one. However, it’s really important if you’re dealing with a man or with a boy.

You see, a boy would focus on school because he wants to have a bright future.

But a man… well things are different in the case of grown-up men. Financial stability is a much bigger deal to them.

According to Joe Oliveto, writer for Elite Daily:

“It’s no secret that one of the major causes of strife in a relationship is money. Even if you’re eager to start your life together, the healthiest thing to do is hold off until you can afford it.”

So what does this mean?

Simply put, this guy has feelings for you, but he’s not willing to commit. It’s because he isn’t where he wants to be career-wise.

Now, you could be one hell of a woman and he still won’t act on his feelings.

That’s why it’s important for you to understand that just because this guy has feelings for you it doesn’t mean that he wants to have a relationship with you – at least not now.

8) He wants to spend time with you, but not with your friends or family

This is a big one!

One of the signs I noticed when I was dating a guy who didn’t want a relationship with me was that he was not at all interested to meet my friends or family.

He wanted us to meet in private and make ourselves a world without anyone else. And while that was sweet and all, I knew the truth is this:

People who initiate dates in groups are much more likely to be looking for a long-term commitment than someone who wants to meet you in private.

I also knew that relationships that start out in public have much longer lifespans.

Want to know why?

Because these relationships are surrounded by a community of friends and family. These people can provide support to both partners and help prevent problems from developing in the relationship or escalating.

Even so, I was too blinded at the moment to put my finger on the real reason why this guy wanted to spend time alone with me.

But now, I know the truth: He had feelings for me, but he didn’t want to commit.

9) He is talking to other women behind your back

Now, this might sound like a horrible thing, but it’s actually a perfect sign of what you’re looking for.

Let me explain:

You know he has feelings for you because he talks to other women behind your back. If he didn’t care, he would tell you everything.

And you also know he doesn’t want a relationship because he is pursuing other women.

Here’s what sex and dating coach Myisha Battle, M.S. told MBG:

“There are a lot of reasons people date casually, ranging from wanting to gain more interpersonal experience with people to whom you’re attracted, to avoiding the emotional attachment that comes with deeper levels of commitment, to just wanting to have fun.”

In other words, this guy has feelings for you, but he doesn’t want to commit to you yet. Or maybe ever.

10) He rarely gives up on his friends to spend time with you

One of the surefire signs he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship is that he sometimes makes time for you.

You see, he is definitely not making you a priority, but sometimes, he is the one who initiates a date.

Even if it’s just a coffee, he still makes time to see you. And while that sounds sweet, it’s also kind of confusing.

What does he want? you might ask yourself. And I totally get it. I used to ask myself the same thing.

The truth is he might not know what he wants. Maybe he only knows what he doesn’t want and that’s a relationship.

Now, I don’t like to generalize. I know there are guys out there who are willing to commit.

However, if you’re in this situation and you’re still not sure what’s going on with your guy, it’s good to take a step back and consider all the signs that he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship.

And once you do that, you’ll be able to see things more clearly than ever before. But until then, there are more signs to watch out for:

11) He has a hard time trusting people but he sometimes trusts you

Want to know if he has feelings for you?

Then think about whether he ever trusted you with something that really matters.

Maybe he trusted you with a secret, or maybe he has told you about his problems and opened up to you when it comes to his family life and many other things that are really personal to him.

If he did, then this is a clear sign that he has feelings for you.

But if he didn’t try to move forward with you, it means he doesn’t want a relationship and you might not be to blame – his trust issues could stop him from moving forward with you.

Lyndol Lyons seems to agree:

“You might be the first person he has trusted in a long time and he doesn’t know how to handle that. He might have been hurt and betrayed by someone in the past, so he is afraid to trust anyone else again.”

So, you can take this information and apply it to your own situation because trust is a huge deal for most people.

12) He has a lot of issues to deal with

The next sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship is that he has a lot of personal issues.

Maybe he needs some time to work on these things before moving forward with you.

But I also know this:

Perhaps he is afraid that you’ll think less of him if he tells you about his problems. Or maybe these issues are too personal for him to tell anyone else.

“If you meet a guy who is wonderful but has issues dragging him down, he’s NOT READY for a relationship,” says Ronnie Ann Ryan, a certified coach.

In other words, he might not be ready to take that step forward with you. He might feel bad about his past or his problems and that’s why he doesn’t want a relationship.

13) He’s really nice to you but when there’s drama, he flees

Want to know if he has feelings for you? Then watch out for when drama breaks out.

This man might be really nice to you, but when the going gets tough, he flees.

In other words, he is a good guy who doesn’t want a relationship. He’s just not ready to take that step forward.

Tina Fey explains why:

“It’s easier to be affectionate and have fun with friends than to complicate matters by bringing in expectations of marriage, long-term commitment, and deep relationships.”

This means he wants a casual relationship, not a serious one. He might think that if you start a serious relationship with him, you will expect him to change and he’s afraid to do that.

14) He wants to try new things sexually

If he has feelings for you, then why doesn’t he want a relationship?

Well, it might be because he wants to try new things sexually, but not with you.


He might not want to explore his sexuality with you because, as Tina Fey says, “some might have sexual desires that they are shy to ask for or that they like to keep private.”

In other words, maybe he wants to discover new physical sensations – something that makes him embarrassed to tell you about.

Who knows, maybe he’s into something darker like BDSM or he wants to open up to multiple sexual partners at once.

Either way, he doesn’t see you as the right woman for him to explore these things with.

However, this doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Maybe you’d also like to try all those things with him.

But, he just doesn’t see you that way.

15) He told you all about his 10-year plan

Another sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship is that he has plans for the future.

Maybe he wants to buy a house or travel around the world, or maybe he wants to start his own business. Maybe all of these things.

You’re smart enough to know what I’m trying to say:

He might not want a relationship with you because his dream of having a good life is too far away right now and he cannot take on any new responsibilities at the moment.

In other words, he might not want a relationship with you because he wants to finish his 10-year plan.

It’s just that you both want different things out of life right now and if you’re looking for a partner, then he is not the one.

However, if he keeps seeing you, this means he has feelings for you. Otherwise, he wouldn’t bother.

16) He often goes hot and cold with you

This is another sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship:

He often goes hot and cold with you.

Renee Wade, author, and coach explains why a man would do this:

  • Men pull away when they get scared
  • Men pull away if they have insecure attachment patterns
  • Men get closer when they want sex
  • Men use other women to get over their exes
  • Men go cold when they see other women
  • Men go back to being interested when you’re the only option left.

As you can see, all these reasons point to one thing:

He may have feelings for you, but he definitely doesn’t want a relationship.

So if he’s texting you a lot and then he suddenly stops, you know why. Or, if he spends a weekend with you, and then he disappears, you know why. As long as you know why he’s doing this, there’s no need to get frustrated.

17) He has never been in a relationship before

The last sign he has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship is that he’s never had one before.

Maybe he thinks there are too many risks involved and he can’t move forward with you. He simply doesn’t know what’s in store with a serious relationship.

In other words, a guy who has never been in a serious relationship is scared of the commitment. He doesn’t know how to handle it, so he stays away.

This guy might be afraid to open up because he’s not ready for you. He is just not looking for a relationship yet.

He may have trust issues, fear commitment, and doubt the strength of his feelings. He might be frightened of losing his freedom and his emotional stability.

He could be worried about the future, which is why he has never been in a relationship before. And he doesn’t want to take that step forward with you yet.

Final thoughts

These are the signs a guy has feelings for you but doesn’t want a relationship.

He may not be ready to take that step forward right now. He may be waiting for that perfect moment.

And maybe he is right. But the point is, you don’t want to get hurt in the meantime.

The sooner you realize this, the better off you’ll be.

So, if you want a relationship, stop hoping he will realize his feelings for you and turn them into a solid commitment.

Instead, gather all your strength and move on. I didn’t and it cost me one year of my life.