Have you seen signs that he doesn’t want anyone else to have you?
Right now, you might be dating each other exclusively. In fact, you might have been dating for a while—months, maybe even years.
Everything seems fine, except for one problem: He’s not interested in an exclusive romantic relationship. He doesn’t call you his girlfriend, and he prefers you didn’t refer to him as your boyfriend.
That means right now, you’re in an exclusive casual relationship. You’re not a couple—you’re friends with benefits. You’re not his significant other—you’re his secret lover.
And it’s driving you nuts.
You’re probably hoping deep inside: “This is just a stage. He’ll come around, eventually.”
Unfortunately, you see signs that make you think: “Oh no. This is it. This is as far as I can go.” The signs might include:
- He’s getting jealous of your male friends. Every time you tell him about something one of your male buddies said or did, he gets agitated for seemingly no reason. You get the impression that he doesn’t like the idea of you spending your time with other men, even those you have no romantic feelings for.
- You enjoy great sex with him—but not much else. You might love getting intimate with him but quickly realize it’s not enough. It’s the real romance you want; unfortunately, there’s none to be had.
- Perhaps he may have even told you directly: He doesn’t want to get married and is not interested in an exclusive relationship. No matter how much you talk to him about it, he wants to remain “free.”
- And yet, when you show in any way that you want out of the relationship, he falls over himself, trying to make you stay. And to your annoyance, he’s been successful every single time so far.
So, is it a lost cause? Or is there a way to change his mind about committing, or letting you see other men, or both? And if there is, what must you do? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this article.
First, let’s talk about the telltale signs you’re truly in this situation—he doesn’t want to commit and he doesn’t want any other man to have you.
- Sign #1: He Doesn’t Want to Commit, But He Doesn’t Want Your Relationship to Change
- Sign #2: He Avoids the Exclusive Talk, But He Asks if You’re Seeing Other Guys
- Sign #3: When He Hears About Your Male Friends, He Gets Nervous
- Sign #4: He Says He’s Afraid of Being Alone
- Sign #5: He Tries to Convince You “This is Better”
- Sign #6: He Can’t Understand Why It’s So Important to You
- Sign #7: He Says He “Doesn’t Know What He Wants” (And Other B.S.)
- Sign #8: He’s Neglectful, Except When He Senses Another Guy Wants You
- Sign #9: He Pays for Your Dates Only When He Thinks You’re Slipping Away
- Sign #10: Only One of You Shows Love at a Time
- Sign #11: He’s Very Attentive Only Until You’re In Love With Him
- Sign #12: He’s Only Your Hero When He’s About to Lose You
- Sign #13: He Only Reaches Out After a Period of No Contact
- Sign #14: He Still Meets Other People, But Won’t Let You Do the Same
- Sign #15: The More You Love Him, the More He Hurts You
- Sign #16: He Says He Has “Everything He Wants”
16 Signs He Doesn’t Want Anyone Else to Have You
These are the signs he’s afraid of commitment but equally afraid of losing you to another guy. If two or more signs apply to you, then you’re in a sticky situation:
Sign #1: He Doesn’t Want to Commit, But He Doesn’t Want Your Relationship to Change
On one hand, he doesn’t want to commit, no matter how many times you ask him. On the other hand, he wants to keep seeing you, meeting up regularly, and sleeping with you. And you’re stuck in the middle, feeling trapped and helpless.
Your feelings are clear to you: You’re dissatisfied and want more. At the same time, you’re afraid of even taking a break from the relationship because he’s an otherwise decent guy and you’re afraid of losing him forever.
If this sounds familiar, you’re in a dangerous situation. It’s quite possible he knows your dilemma, and he’s keeping you there so he can continue enjoying the perks of your relationship, exerting no extra effort.
Sign #2: He Avoids the Exclusive Talk, But He Asks if You’re Seeing Other Guys
When you start the “exclusive talk,” does he try to change the topic? Or worse—does he get agitated? If he does, it means he’s not ready or willing to even talk about a relationship. That much is clear.
At the same time, does he ask if you still see other guys? It’s even worse when you say “No,” and then he accuses you of lying. Either way, you’re in the dangerous position of being stuck in a non-committal relationship with a possessive, controlling man.
Sign #3: When He Hears About Your Male Friends, He Gets Nervous
Have you noticed his negative behavior when you mention your male friends? Does he start looking nervous, feeling angry, or playing the victim?
If he does, then it obviously means he doesn’t want anyone else to have you. And that’s a strange desire to hear from a man who doesn’t want to commit. I hope you’re seeing the raw deal he’s offering you right now and how he stands to benefit from it more than you do.
Sign #4: He Says He’s Afraid of Being Alone
This is when he says stuff like: “I don’t want to be alone,” or “I don’t want to lose you,” and other cliché declarations of love. It all sounds nice, except for the glaring fact that he still won’t commit to you. If that thought makes you feel angry, you have good reason to.
It pays to take whatever he tells you with a grain of salt. It’s possible—even likely—that he’s saying whatever is necessary to keep you around. Except, of course, the words you want to hear: To start an exclusive, official relationship together.
Sign #5: He Tries to Convince You “This is Better”
Has he ever tried to dissuade you from getting exclusive, such as by:
- Telling you horror stories about “people he knew” whose relationships were ruined by marriage
- Saying “this is better,” meaning casual and open relationships like yours are better than committed ones
- Using cute cliches like “Marriage is just a piece of paper” or “Marriage is just a tool to control us”
If he has, he’s obviously trying to present that committed relationships are bad and staying single is good. He knows what you want but is determined to change your mind.
Sign #6: He Can’t Understand Why It’s So Important to You
No matter how much you tell him about your feelings, you can’t seem to get through to him. It’s like his thick skull can’t process the complexity of “I want us to be official,” and it’s driving you mad.
When he can’t understand why commitment is so important to you, there are two possibilities.
- The first one is the best-case scenario: He really can’t understand why it’s important. Committing is one person is a foreign concept to him.
- The second one is the worst-case scenario: He really does understand, but he’s pretending he doesn’t, so you’d stop pestering him about it.
Either way, you can’t win—and it may be best to start making your exit plans before it’s too late.
Sign #7: He Says He “Doesn’t Know What He Wants” (And Other B.S.)
This is when he gives vague, lame excuses like he “I don’t know what I want,” or “I just need time to figure things out,” or other obvious delaying tactics. It’s all an effort to end the discussion and get you off his case.
Again, at best, he really doesn’t know what he wants. He may also have had unpleasant experiences in his past relationships and needs to figure things out. If that’s the case, it’s understandable.
Still, it puts you in the same difficult position. Do you really want to wait for years—perhaps even forever—while he “figures things out?”
Sign #8: He’s Neglectful, Except When He Senses Another Guy Wants You
For long periods of time, you get no texts and no calls from him. Most of the time, it’s you who’s initiating communication. Meanwhile, he neglects doing his share of the work to keep the relationship strong and happy.
That is, until he senses another guy wants you.
Perhaps you mentioned a particular male friend of yours twice a week. Suddenly, he’s texting and calling again, scheduling dates, and asking to meet up.
It’s never a good sign when your man is only attentive when he feels he’s about to lose you. It’s a classic sign of a womanizer, and I doubt you’d settle for that.
Sign #9: He Pays for Your Dates Only When He Thinks You’re Slipping Away
Let’s talk about your dates. When you go out to have dinner, who usually pays? Is it you (or do you split the bill) most of the time?
Then, he starts paying for dinner when he senses you’re losing interest in the relationship (or if he thinks you’re slipping away). And not just that—he’s buying you little gifts as well. And you’ve noticed he’s only sweet like this after you’ve argued.
If it feels like he’s trying to reel you back in, that might be what’s happening. And then, when he feels you’re “in love with him again,” he starts slacking off.
Not a good cycle to be stuck in, if you ask me.
Sign #10: Only One of You Shows Love at a Time
When you show love, he doesn’t. And when you stop showing love, he only starts doing his share. It’s like a tiresome dance that never gets better.
As you might guess, it’s yet another sign he won’t commit. He’s doing just enough to keep you from leaving him for another man. And no, you’ll never reach the kind of commitment you want at this rate.
Sign #11: He’s Very Attentive Only Until You’re In Love With Him
When you get angry, he suddenly becomes very attentive. He might even spoil you rotten every time you blow your top. Moments like these make it clear that he doesn’t want to lose you.
Unfortunately, as soon as he’s back in your good graces, he starts neglecting you again. It’s yet another sign he’s doing just enough to keep you from breaking up with him.
Sign #12: He’s Only Your Hero When He’s About to Lose You
…Or how about this: Sometimes, he acts like a real boyfriend. You might have even witnessed him display a few “good husband” traits in the past.
The catch? He only shows these promising heroic traits when he’s about to lose you. It’s like something he “breaks out in case of an emergency,” like when you threaten to break up with him or when you start dating another guy.
Yup—it’s all in hopes you stay. As with all the other signs, you can trust him to return to his bad habits as soon as he feels he’s gotten you back.
Sign #13: He Only Reaches Out After a Period of No Contact
By now, you might have learned that the surest way to get him to pay attention to you is to give him the silent treatment. Or even better—you decide to give him some radio silence for several days, and he contacts you in a panic, asking if you’ve been seeing someone new.
It would seem the more regularly you stay in touch with him, the more he takes you for granted. It’s yet another sign he’s interested in doing only the bare minimum to keep you around, and he only reaches out when he thinks you’re doing things behind his back.
Sign #14: He Still Meets Other People, But Won’t Let You Do the Same
This is one of the worst signs you could ever spot. Yours is an open relationship, so he regularly meets other women. And yet, when you meet other men, he goes ballistic and does whatever it takes to stop you from doing so:
- He starts blackmailing you
- He cusses you out to intimidate you
- He threatens to end your relationship
This is obviously a one-sided affair, and being in one is never good. And no, it will not change by itself. It’s best if you find the strength to cut loose of the control freak as soon as you can.
Sign #15: The More You Love Him, the More He Hurts You
This doesn’t cover love and attention, by the way. The more you invest your time, money, and energy into your relationship with him, the more he hurts you by neglecting you and taking you for granted.
As a result, the relationship seems forever in a stalemate. It never gets better, which means the only way to go is down.
My advice? You better get off it before it goes down.
Sign #16: He Says He Has “Everything He Wants”
Lastly, he has the audacity to say he’s happy where he is, or that he has everything he wants in life. And that includes the zero-commitment relationship he has with you.
He’s trying to lull you into thinking that this is it. You have a non-committal relationship; it’s all he wants, and that’s as good as it will get. And if you tried meeting your needs by insisting on something more committed and exclusive, you’d be the bad one for ruining his perfect life.
Sneaky, huh? All the more reason to find your way out soon.
So there you have it: The 16 signs he doesn’t want anyone else to have you, even if he himself is commitment-phobic. How many signs do you see in your own relationship with your man?
If you saw two signs or more, then you’re in an unfair relationship—no doubt about it. The common threads are all clear:
- He’s fine, but you’re unhappy.
- He won’t give you what you want, no matter how hard you try.
- He’s avoiding talking about commitment.
- He’s making you think twice about leaving him.
- And he doesn’t want you seeing other men or finding better opportunities for yourself.
Your relationship is a win-win for him but a lose-lose for you. There’s a word for that in science: Parasitism. In business, it’s a bad deal.
I hope you see the picture by now.
So what should you do? Can you force him to change his mind, man up, and commit to a real relationship with you?
The answer is “Yes,” and I’ll show you how at the very end of this article.
Let’s answer a few frequently asked questions about this topic to give you a better idea of what to do next.
What Does It Mean When He Says He Doesn’t Want a Relationship?
There’s something about exclusive relationships that he doesn’t want. Whatever it is, it might scare him to death, or he might have had an awful experience that has scarred him for life. As a result, he’s playing it timidly in the dating game.
It could also mean any of the following:
- He thinks his current relationship with you is perfect. You might be friends, friends-with-benefits, secret lovers, or something in between. He likes it and doesn’t want it to change.
- His past relationship(s) might have been traumatic for him. Now, as a result, he doesn’t want any drama. Instead, he wants something casual, laid-back, and low-investment.
- He’s simply not ready to settle down just yet. He may have goals in life that he hasn’t achieved yet, and he has prioritized them over his love life. If this is the case, that means his relationship with you is expendable.
These are all acceptable reasons for not wanting a relationship. Still, you have no reason to put yourself at his mercy. It’s your life, after all, and you have every right in the world to make decisions for yourself, especially those that will make your life better and happier.
I hope this article has helped clear the path for you. Remember: It’s your love life. Your standards and boundaries are yours to set—not his. Good luck!