You’re seeing a guy, and he’s given you every indication that he’s really, really into you. He stares directly into your eyes whenever you’re out together. He’s revealed a few secrets from his childhood. During the day, he sends flirtatious text messages.
You start to think this guy might be it. You’re gelling. He’s the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning. So, you ask him to a friend’s wedding/dinner with another couple/a family barbecue.
His response shocks you like a flat-iron falling into a bathtub: “I don’t want a relationship.”
And, you think, “Whaaaaaah?”
(Which is a reasonable response.)
Back home, you wonder what exactly you misunderstood. He certainly seemed to be into you. Maybe you were imagining things. No, you weren’t imagining things. You call a friend to reassure you that you weren’t imagining things.
She doesn’t let you down. “He said what?” she demands. “But I’ve seen the way he looks at you. I’ve heard the way he talks to you. I’ve heard the way he talks about you.”
And then your friend says what you’re hoping she’ll say: “He must be afraid of getting hurt. He likes you so much it’s freaking him out. Don’t worry; he’ll come around.”
But I’m going to tell you something else. I am going to tell you something that will save you many nights of lying awake plotting and scheming to get this man to understand that a) you are the one person he cannot live without, and b) you are not capable of ever hurting him.
When a man tells you he doesn’t want a relationship (no matter what he’s said or done to make you believe otherwise), you believe him.
And then you say, “I’m kind of surprised to hear that because I thought we had something. I liked you, and I thought you liked me. Thanks for letting me know I had it wrong.” Smile (as genuinely as you can manage), shake the man’s hand, and get the hell out of the car/ restaurant/ bar with your back straight and your head high.
If you feel like crying, by all means go for it. But wait until you’re alone (or with a supportive friend). Then pat yourself on the back for walking away from a guy whose actions don’t match his words.
In the end, we all want a guy whose actions match his words.
This guy wasn’t it.
Whatever you do, please do not try to convince the guy that he does want a relationship, and he wants it with you. This is called begging, and it makes you look desperate and feel like a complete loser. Why would you do that to yourself?
When a guy tells you he doesn’t want a relationship, take him at his word. Believe him. You’re much too good for the alternative.