Why He Keeps You Around Even If He Doesn't Want A Relationship

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Are you in a relationship with a guy who you know isn’t all in?

He may tell you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, but then he still wants to spend time with you. He may tell you, and sometimes seem to show you, that he really likes you, even if he doesn’t like you ‘like that." His actions leave you absolutely dumbfounded as to how he is feeling. And he probably makes you feel like you're a yo-yo — you're being constantly pushed away and pulled back in.

You may sometimes feel like you're starting to lose your mind from the non-stop mixed messages this guy sends.

Why does he keep me around if he doesn't want a relationship?

If a guy keeps you around even though he doesn't want a relationship with you, it's because, while you may not be someone he sees himself with long-term, in the meantime you are fulfilling some kind of purpose for him.

He may be lonely, insecure, enjoy sleeping, and/or stay with you out of habit, even if he wants to keep his options open.

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5 Common Reasons He May Be Keeping You Around If He Doesn't Want a Relationship

1. He's lonely.

It is the human condition to want to be part of a pair. Being alone is, for many of us, not a comfortable place. So if a guy tells you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you, one of the reasons he keeps you around is that he is lonely.

Why would he choose to be alone if he knows that you are ready and available whenever he feels lonely? I mean, he likes spending time with you, so why not?

He knows that he doesn’t want to have a serious relationship with you but because he is unable to fill the space that might be left in your absence, he keeps you around so he doesn’t have to be alone.

As for you, you're probably willing to let things keep going this way because, if you're honest with yourself, you don’t enjoy being alone either.

So, if your guy keeps you around, even if he isn’t all in, it could very well be not because he wants you in particular, but because he doesn’t want to be alone.

2. He's insecure.

A guy who says he doesn’t want a relationship but keeps you around anyway is a guy who is most likely insecure.

A guy who is insecure has difficulty making clear decisions. He says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, but he then wavers, wondering if he’s made the right choice. He keeps hanging around, hoping things could be different, constantly second guessing himself and pulling you into his internal chaos.

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 in that direction.

Furthermore, a guy who keeps you around without a commitment could be a guy who feels insecure with his place in the world. Not being in a couple could make him feel even more unsafe and unwanted. The idea of trying to find another person to date is daunting and, as a result, he stays. Knowing you are into him makes him feel better about himself, even if it's at your expense.

Is your guy insecure? If yes, that could be a big reason why isn’t willing to let you go, even if he isn't willing to be fully committed to you either.

3. He likes sleeping with you.

This will be no surprise to any of you. Guys want, no need, to have sex. When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship with you but keeps you around, he could very well be doing so just for the sex.

I have a client who wanted a divorce from his wife and moved out. In spite of this, he regularly went back to their home and 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 many women, sex is about emotional connection as much (or more) as about the physical act, which meant that by having sex with her was, he was unintentionally signaling to her that he might still want to make things work between them.

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, but he knew he had to because he didn’t want to lead her on.

If your guy is still around, is he doing so for sex? Think about it.

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4. He's still with you out of habit.

One interesting aspect of relationships is the habits they create for us. By habits, I mean those things you do together regularly. Maybe it’s Wednesday night Netflix or Saturday morning pancakes — anything you both enjoy doing together on a regular basis or as a ritual of sorts.

When you are no longer together, those spaces and time are left empty and might be difficult to fill.

If your guy tells you he wants to spend time with you but doesn’t want a relationship, it’s often because of the habits you developed together that he doesn't want to give up.

If your guy keeps you around, it might be because he can’t break those habits, as they've become so ingrained in the fabric of his life that he doesn’t want to let them go.

As a result, he won’t let you go either, which only leaves you confused and upset.

5. He wants to keep his options open.

For many guys who say they don’t want to be in a relationship but aren’t willing to let you go, they do so in order to keep their options open.

Yes, they know they don’t (and probably won't) want to be in a relationship with you, but they like hanging out with you well enough, so they continue to do so, thereby keeping their options in case no one else comes along.

Imagine if your guy meets someone else and you find out. When you call him on it, he knows he can say, ‘But we aren’t in a relationship, so ...’

This being not only true, but having been already declared to you by him in the past, allows him to move on with absolutely no guilt. If you aren’t in a relationship, he believes he has done nothing wrong and that it will be easy to push you away when he feels like it.

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What To Do If You Think He's Keeping You Around For Reasons Other Than Wanting a Relationship

When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship with you but still won’t let you move on, it can be even harder than if he just broke up with you and disappeared altogether.

If a guy disappears from your life, you can grieve, accept the loss, get over him and move on. But if he keeps showing up with his handsome face, you’ll keep getting sucked back in — and the pain will continue.

So, take a good look at why your guy might be hanging around. Is he doing it because he feels lonely or because he can’t break the habit or because 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 is using you as a place filler until he finds someone better.

Ultimately, if a guy says he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, believe him.

Guys who want to be in a relationship will pursue you until they win you or they decide to walk away. Guys who exist in this gray area between relationship and friendship are guys who will never commit to you.

It’s up to you to walk away and look for someone who will recognize how amazing you are and embrace a relationship with you as the best thing that could ever happen to him.

You can do it!

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Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC-based certified life and love coach. Let her help you find, and keep, love in this crazy world in which we live.