It’s not easy to have “the conversation.”
You know the one I’m talking about…
You: What ARE we?
Him: Uh…gotta go.
Maybe it takes you weeks to work up the courage to have the conversation, and you’ve listed out your talking points…
… or maybe it spontaneously bursts out at what seems like the worst possible moment for a discussion of this magnitude.
Maybe you’re sick and tired of the uncertainty of whether there’s a future with this guy or not.
However you ended up having this awkward conversation, if his response is I don’t know what I want right now, it can be devastating, infuriating, and completely confusing.
What does that even mean?
You feel confident in what you want…
… why doesn’t he?
Let me tell you why he says he doesn’t know what he wants. Actually, there are 3 reasons why a guy might tell you he’s not sure what he’s looking for. We’ll get into those in this video and article.
But more than understanding why it is that he doesn’t know what he wants, you need to consider how you respond to him. What you say and do after that conversation will depend on what’s going on behind the scenes.
Check out this video to find out why he tells you he doesn’t know what he wants, as well as how to respond to each situation.
P.S. If you’re looking for a serious, committed relationship and you’re tired of casually “hanging out,” check out this free 4 part video series called Casual To Committed. It contains the blueprint (no joke) for taking things from casual and uncertain to committed and secure.
It happens in so many relationships. I just can’t tell you how many.
You’re ready for a real relationship and commitment, and he is on the fence about moving forward.
You’re in this neither/nor non-relationship relationship.
And when you bring up “the conversation,” you might be hoping that he’ll tell you he’s falling for you.
Only he doesn’t.
Instead, he rubs his head, looks at the floor, and says, I’m not sure what I’m looking for right now.
You walk away feeling bruised and vulnerable for having put yourself out there, letting him know that you were way more into him than he was you.
But should you immediately end things once that horrific conversation is over?
The key to making it through this situation is to inject some logic into the equation, instead of reacting based on emotions.
Yes, emotions will be running high for you. You may feel rejected. How could you be falling for him without him falling for you in return?
Still, let cooler heads prevail. I promise you will be happier in the long run if you respond logically rather than emotionally.
In my experience, there are typically three reasons why a guy might say he doesn’t know what he wants.
The way you would respond depends completely on why you think he feels this way. So take a look at these three reasons he says he doesn’t know what he wants and get a game plan together for how you will respond if and when the conversation comes up.
1. He’s Manipulating You
He knows what he wants and it isn’t you.
He wants to have sex with you…while having the option to do the same thing with many other women.
He’s stringing you along telling you that he’s figuring out what he wants, or that he needs more time when in reality, it’s been figured out from the very beginning.
He’s not looking for a future with you. I’m sorry to say it, but it’s better you hear it from me than from him months from now when you’re too emotionally invested to back out easily.
If This is Why He Doesn’t Know What He Wants…
You want to believe that this guy is really deep, and he just needs more time to work through his feelings. You believe he’ll come out wanting something serious with you.
If, when he tells you he doesn’t know what he wants, you realize he’s shown absolutely no interest in you beyond sex, it’s time to start wondering about this guy.
If he hasn’t tried to spend time with you to get to know you outside of the bedroom…
If he only wants to hang out at night or on his schedule…
Then he’s a manipulator.
The best thing to do in this situation is to protect your heart and move on. You won’t be able to convince a manipulating player that he wants to be in a meaningful relationship with you.
It ain’t happening.
And why would you want it to? This guy is not boyfriend or even husband material. Free yourself up to find a guy that actually is.
2. He’s Legitimately Confused About What He Wants In a Relationship
In this case, there’s probably something else going on in his life that’s actually stopping him from jumping head first into a relationship with you.
Maybe he wants you, but his ex keeps texting him and is completely messing with his head.
Maybe he’s got kids and wants to take things suuuuuper slow to ensure that they don’t get hurt if things don’t work out with Dad and his new girlfriend.
Maybe he loves you, but he’s moving across the country in two weeks and doesn’t think that it makes sense to develop a long-distance relationship.
[As a side note, the average length of time a long-distance relationship lasts is just 4.5 months. So he’s right. There’s not much point in developing a relationship with that distance looming ahead.]
Whatever the issue is, you may not even be aware of it. Because you haven’t escalated to that next level in your relationship, he may not feel like he needs to open up to you emotionally. It’s a Catch 22 situation.
If This is Why He Doesn’t Know What He Wants…
The surest sign that he’s just legitimately confused about what he wants is that when you’re with him, it feels like there’s a real emotional connection. You’re sure of him and his feelings for you.
But when you’re not together, he seems to pull away.
You might have a blast together and spend the weekend holed up in your house watching Netflix and enjoying one another, but then you might not hear from him for two days. And even then, you’re the one to reach out.
The best thing to do in this scenario is to just be open with him about what it is that you’re noticing and see if you can get to the heart of the problem.
You: Hey, I’m getting mixed signals from you lately. It seems like you’re really into me like I am you when we’re together, but when we’re apart, I feel really distanced from you when I don’t hear from you for days.
This way you’ll have the information about what’s really going on and understand why he’s acting this way.
Then you can see if it makes sense to pursue the relationship any further. He very honestly may just need time. If you’re willing to give it to him, you may be rewarded with a guy who’s made the effort to really assess what he wants and needs, and who ends up choosing you.
3. He’s Delaying the Decision Until He Knows You Better
Sometimes people just have different speeds when it comes to moving a relationship to the next level.
For you, it might take you three weeks before you want to dive head first. You’re dying to hear those three magical words.
He, on the other hand, might need six months before he really knows whether or not he sees a future with you.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you if you fall first or faster. And there’s nothing wrong with him for taking his time.
Like I said: everyone’s got their own schedule for this sort of thing. It can be incredibly frustrating if you’re ahead of him because you have to wait with uncertainty to see if he feels the same.
And he might not.
If he doesn’t, then you’ve invested all this energy into falling for a guy who in the end realized the two of you weren’t a long-term match. And that will take some time to work through.
On the other hand, if he doesn’t know what he wants because he wants to be 1,000% sure that you’re right for him, you should be glad of that. This guy won’t hurt you by saying he loves you without meaning it. He’ll take his time and do it right.
If This is Why He Doesn’t Know What He Wants…
If you haven’t known each other for very long, that may be why he says he doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t feel like he’s had enough time to get to know you to be sure he wants to move forward with you.
I know you’re in a hurry to create something new and lasting with this guy, but I urge you to slow down. Let him set the tempo.
No one ever regretted moving slower toward falling in love. Ever.
If you haven’t known someone for that long, there’s no reason to push commitment. Having “the conversation” before two or three months — at a minimum — can make him so uncomfortable that he decides to move on from you. He might be open to committing to you, but if you force the issue too soon, you might scare him off. He may wonder why you’re so desperate to jump in so fast.
Don’t use those two or three months I used as an example as a hard and fast rule. Use common sense. If he’s showing signs he’s interested in committing to you but seems hesitant after four months…or seven…that’s when this conversation should happen. Any sooner and you’ll spook him. So read the signs. Pay attention. Then make your move.
You don’t have to end things just because he’s he doesn’t know what he wants right now. He could have a good reason for being unsure, like #2 and #3 that I covered here.
Don’t rush it.
If you’re dating in your 40s, realize that the men you meet are more likely to have baggage, and may be more hesitant to get into something serious, especially if they’ve been married before.
They may have baby mama drama or an ex-wife from hell that makes them think twice before getting serious with someone new.
And as for you, if you’re divorced, you know how hard that was from an emotional — not to mention legal — standpoint. There’s no reason why you should rush into anything either.
So take your time.
That being said…if he’s absolutely avoiding that big conversation despite you trying to have it over and over again, your jerk alert radar should go up. Some men will coast along with a woman as long as they can until she starts asking them to emotionally show up in the relationship.
He may have it good. You cook for him. He gets to have sex with you. He has someone to listen to his gripes.
He’s not dumb. He knows a good thing when he has it.
But if he’s emotionally unavailable, he may not be able to give what you need in return. That, my Sexy Confident Lady, is when you bail.
Because you deserve better. And will get it.
Have you ever been in a situation when a guy told you he didn’t know what he wanted, but then it ultimately worked out? Share your inspirational stories below!
And again, I urge you to check out my program Casual To Committed program. It’s designed specifically for you to deal with this topic that we’ve been discussing here.