Are you dating a guy and are you wondering why he won’t let you go even if he doesn’t want a relationship?
Does he tell you that it’s over and walk out only to return a few days or weeks later, smiling and charming?
Are these things happening over and over, leaving you confused and unhappy?
So, why does your guy keep doing this, even if he knows it hurts you? It’s not a simple answer.
#1 – He is unhappy alone.
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 with you, but won’t let you go, then it is possible that he is simply lonely.
He knows that he doesn’t want to be with you but, because he is unable to fill the space that is left in your absence, he keeps coming back so that he won’t be alone.
And you probably let him come back because you aren’t enjoying being alone either.
So, if your guy is keeping you around even if he says he doesn’t want a relationship, it could very well be not because of you but because he doesn’t want to be alone.
#2 – He has insecurities.
A guy who says he doesn’t love you but keeps coming back 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 love you but he then wavers, wondering if he’s made the right choice. Perhaps he won’t let you go 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 forward.
Furthermore, a guy who keeps you on a string 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 might be just too overwhelming and, as a result, he comes back to you, hoping to make it work so that he can feel better about himself.
Is your guy insecure? If yes, that could be a big reason why he keeps you around.
#3 – He wants 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 to be in a relationship with you but keeps coming back he could very well be coming back 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 be coming back to 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 reappears, does he do so for sex? Think about it.
#4 – He needs you.
One thing that’s very interesting about breakups is that one of the reasons they are so difficult to stick to is because of the habits that we have created in our relationships.
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.
He also might miss the things that you do for him – washing his clothes or making his dinner. Keeping the fridge stocked and toothpaste under the sink. Having to do those things on his own is difficult and he knows that if he keeps you around, you will handle them.
So, if your guy keeps coming back, it might be because he can’t break those habits and because he needs you. Because they have been so ingrained in the fabric of his life that he doesn’t want to let them go.
#5 – He has hope.
Of course, sometimes guys won’t let you go because they genuinely want to work things out. He generally wants to make a life with you. And when that happens, and you want to work things out too, I encourage you to greet him with open arms. And caution.
It is important, if your guy comes back because he wants to work things out, that you guys talk about what went wrong in your relationship. That you both completely understand any issues that might have developed over time and that you make a plan, together, to do things differently.
You can build a relationship by doing things differently. History repeats itself over and over until we take steps to make change. Take a good hard look at your relationship, see what went wrong and work together to make those things right.
You can do it.
The question of why he won’t let you go even if he doesn’t want a relationship is incredibly hurtful, confusing and frustrating.
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 at what happens when your guy comes back. Is he doing it because he feels lonely or because he can’t break the habit or because he 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 really genuinely wants to try to work it out.
Ask these questions before you open that door. Knowing the answers, and acting on them, could prevent a whole lot of pain.
If you have made this far you must really struggling with your guy.
Let me help you get there, NOW, before it’s too late!
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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.