If You're Not Sure You're 'In A Relationship' ... Hint: You’re NOT!

Photo: weheartit
Not Sure If You're In A Relationship? Hint: You're NOT!

Here's how to decode his confusing behavior.

Are you dating a man (maybe for months) and wondering if the two of you are in a relationship or not?

He does things that make you feel like he’s completely into you. But he also leaves you wondering what's really going on.

Maybe he texts you (or even calls) regularly to stay in touch, but doesn’t always have time to actually see you. Or, he spends time with you, yet never introduces you as his 'girlfriend.'

You're entirely right to wonder about the state of your relationship.

As a dating coach for women over 40, I realize how frustrating this is. I was in your shoes once, looking for lasting love in my 40s, too. And let me tell you — understanding men at any age isn’t easy. But somehow, in midlife, it feels so much harder!

Logically you come to conclusions like, "We’re both mature adults, so why can’t we just be direct with each either? Either he likes me or he doesn’t, right?" 

Oh, if only dating were that straight forward! 

Unfortunately, asking him directly is usually not effective because that’s not how men deal with emotional issues or dating.

Even if a man does know for sure how he feels about you, the likelihood that he’ll tell you in the first few months is miniscule. Most guys hold off on sharing their feelings, which is why they don’t want to answer your relationship questions.

The good news is — you can LEARN how to better understand men and read between the lines of what they say and do. You can become skilled at catching on to clues and applying them to your dating life. Every day I help my coaching clients unravel confusing puzzles about whether or not he is genuinely interested.

So, let's see if we can clarify the situation for you a bit, OK? I'll name the most common (frustrating) situations that happen with men in dating. If you encounter these confusing male behaviors, now you’ll finally know what they really mean and what next step you should take: 

1. He never plans ahead.


You want to know what you're doing on the weekend, but this guy never plans ahead. He’s spontaneous, which has its good points. However, you want to know when you're going to see him. And hey ... if he’s not free, you want to find something else fun to do.

You thought by now you two would have a regular Saturday night date on the books. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened. He doesn’t grasp this, and seems oblivious to how inconsiderate his lack of planning feels and that it's making you feel like he's not that into you.

2. He won't define the relationship.


After a few months, he still introduces you to people as his 'friend.' Every time you go through this, it’s more obvious that he’s not using the word, 'girlfriend.' You get along well and enjoy each other’s company, so why is he so resistant?

This is a sign that he doesn’t want a relationship, doesn’t think of you as the right woman (and he’s just passing time with you) or doesn’t want to be tied down in general.

3. He won't agree to (or won't discuss) exclusivity. 


You’ve been 'seeing each other' for several months and when you bring up exclusivity, he will not agree to it. He may say he’s not ready, he’s still getting to know you or he’ll refuse to discuss the topic entirely. Maybe he won’t take down his online profile and you’ve seen he’s still actively looking.

Let me be clear; this is NOT how a man 'in love' behaves.

4. He’s suddenly too busy.


If you’ve been seeing a guy for a while and, all of a sudden, he’s super busy with work ... that’s a perfect excuse for avoiding you. He knows you're likely to honor this boundary and won’t challenge him about his job. If a family crisis or health issue takes up his time, it's possibly true. Or, it's just another another great excuse he knows you won’t question. He’s counting on you to understand.

Your man may be using his busy schedule as a reason to pull away.

Remember, a relationship-ready man, who is truly 'in love,' will do what it takes to be with you.

Each of the above situations has one thing in common: A man keeping you at a distance. That’s why if you find yourself questioning whether or not you’re in a relationship, that’s the biggest clue you most definitely are NOT.

A man in love will not leave you hanging. He wants to keep you in his life and will do what it takes to make that happen. When a man is genuinely interested, he finds a way to spend time with you, share his life and be sure you don't feel the need to date anyone else.

Most guys don't want to hurt your feelings, even though they already know they aren’t on the same relationship page as you are.

When he starts to pull away, becomes difficult or inconsiderate, he’s probably hoping you’ll break things off first so he doesn’t have to. This is very typical behavior from a man who wants to end things.

Next time you question whether you're in a relationship or not, wake up and realize if you have to question it, he’s not the right man for you.

Never accept poor treatment, hoping things will get better, because they never do. If he’s not stepping up to the plate to make sure you're happy together, it’s time to move on. You deserve a man who treasures you, recognizes how fabulous you are, and wants to be with you without a doubt.

Dating Coach Ronnie Ann Ryan is the author of Is He the One? How to Find Mr. Right by Spotting Mr. Wrong. She has radically simplified understanding men and reveals more dating wisdom in her free book, 7 Dire Dating Mistakes that Keep You Single . Get your copy now!