Are you in a relationship with a guy who you know isn’t all in?
Does he tell you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship but does he still want to spend time with you and have sex with you and hang out with your friends?
Does he tell you, and sometimes show you, that he really likes you but he just doesn’t like you ‘like that?’
Do his actions leave you absolutely dumbfounded as to how he is feeling? Do you feel like you are a yo-yo, someone who is being constantly pushed away and then pulled back in? Are you starting to lose your mind, wondering why, if he doesn’t want a relationship, does he stick around?
There are a number of reasons why a guy won’t let you go, even if he doesn’t want a relationship. Here are a few of them.
#1 – Loneliness.
It is the human condition to want to be part of a pair. Being alone is, for many of us, not a comfortable place.
If your guy tells you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, one of the reasons that he won’t let you go is that he is lonely.
Why would he choose to be alone if he knows that you are ready and available to hang out with him whenever he feels lonely? I mean, he likes hanging out with you, so why not?
He knows that he doesn’t want to have a relationship with you but, because he is unable to fill the space that might be left in your absence, he keeps you around so that he won’t be alone.
And you probably are willing to stay because you don’t enjoy being alone either.
So, if your guy won’t let you go, even if he isn’t all in, it could very well be not because of you but because he doesn’t want to be alone.
#2 – Insecurity.
A guy who says he doesn’t want a relationship but won’t let you go is a guy who is most likely very insecure.
A guy who is insecure is not clear in his decisions. He says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship but he then wavers, wondering if he’s made the right choice. He keeps hanging around, hoping that things could be different. He is constantly second guessing himself and pulling you into it.
Guys who are secure are more definitive in their decisions and more apt to follow through on them. The guy who is secure will make his decision and move in that direction.
Furthermore, a guy who keeps you around without a commitment could be a guy who feels insecure with his place in the world. Not being in a couple could make him feel unsafe and unwanted. The idea of trying to find another person to date is daunting and, as a result, he stays, knowing that you are into him and that will make him feel better about himself. At your expense.
Is your guy insecure? If yes, that could be a big reason why isn’t willing to let you go.
#3 – Sex.
This will be no surprise to any of you – guys want, no need, to have sex.
When your guy says he doesn’t want a relationship but won’t let you go, he could very well be doing so just for the sex.
I have a client who wanted a divorce from his wife and he moved out. In spite of this, he regularly had sex with her. I asked him why and he said ‘Why would I not take any opportunity to have sex?’ This man is a good guy but he just didn’t understand that, for women, sex is about connection and having sex with her was signal that he might still want her. Once he understood that having sex with her was leading her to believe they had a chance, he stopped doing so. He wasn’t happy to be going without sex but he knew that he didn’t want to lead her on.
So, when your guy stays around, does he do so for sex? Think about it.
#4 – Habit.
One thing that’s very interesting about relationships is the habits that they create.
By habits I mean those things that you do together regularly. Maybe it’s Wednesday night movies, or Saturday trips to museums or lunch time meetings at the sushi place. These are things do you guys enjoyed doing together. When you are no longer together, those spaces and time are left empty and might be difficult to fill.
If your guy tells you he wants to spend time with you but doesn’t want a relationship it’s often because of habits that you have developed together, doing things together that you both enjoy.
So, if your guy won’t let you go, it might be because he can’t break those habits. Because they have been so ingrained in the fabric of his life that he doesn’t want to let them go. As a result, he won’t let you go, which only leaves you confused and upset.
#5 – Options.
For many guys who say they don’t want to be in a relationship but aren’t willing to let you go, they do so so that they can keep their options open.
Yes, they don’t want to be in a relationship with you but they like hanging out with you well enough so they continue to do so. But, by telling you they aren’t interested in a relationship, they can keep their options in case someone else comes along.
Imagine if your guy meets someone else and you find out. When you call him on it he says ‘but we aren’t in a relationship.’ And, this being true, in fact this being declared, will allow him to move on with absolutely no guilt. If you aren’t in a relationship then he believes that he has done nothing wrong and push you away.
And, while this is technically true, hopeful you will be left devastated!
When your guy says he doesn’t want a relationship but won’t let you move on, your life can quickly become harder than it would be if he would just disappear altogether.
If your guy disappears from your life, it’s easier to get over him and to move on but if he keeps showing up at your door with his handsome face you’ll just get sucked back in and the pain will continue.
So, take a good look why your guy might be hanging around. Is he doing it because he feels lonely or because he can’t break the habit or he because just wants to get laid? Is he feeling insecure about his place in the world and needs you to help him feel better about himself? Or perhaps he is using you as a place filler until he finds someone better.
Ultimately, if your guy says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, believe him. Guys who want to be in a relationship will pursue you until they win you or they will walk away. Guys who are existing in this grey area between relationship and friendship are guys who will never commit to you.
It’s up to you to walk away and look for someone who will recognize how amazing you are and embrace a relationship with you as the best thing that could ever happen to him.
You can do it!
If you have made this far you must really really confused about your relationship.
Let me help you, NOW, before you get really hurt.
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I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.