8 reasons he keeps you around when he doesn’t want a relationship

by Isabel Cabrera | March 21, 2024, 10:36 pm

Situationships can be frustrating.

More often than not, we find ourselves caught in a relationship limbo where it’s clear that the other person doesn’t want anything serious, but for some reason, still keeps us around.

You invest your time, your emotions, and your energy into someone who gives what in return?

Mixed signals and empty promises.

If this sounds familiar, know that you’re not alone.

Many of us have been there, stuck in that confusing half-relationship where our worth isn’t fully recognized.

But here’s the thing – there may be reasons behind their actions that aren’t immediately clear.

So today, let’s identify those reasons why they keep you around even when they don’t want a relationship.

Brace yourself — some of these might be a bit harsh.

1) He enjoys your company

I remember one guy I was seeing. We’d hang out all the time, share laughs, and even confide in each other about our deepest fears and hopes.

But when it came to taking things to the next level, he was always evasive.

It took me a while to realize that he genuinely enjoyed my company but didn’t want the responsibilities and commitment that come with a relationship.

I was his ‘fun’ person, his escape from reality and the pressures of serious relationships.

If this sounds like your situation, know that it’s not about you being ‘not enough’. It’s about him not being ready or willing to commit.

2) He values your friendship

Romantic relationships often start as friendships that, over time, develop into a bond that grows stronger and more complex.

When this happens, it will feel like you’re more than friends—until they pull back when things seem to be heading towards a relationship.

If this sounds familiar, you need to take a step back. It may be hard to hear, but it’s clear that he only wants to keep you around without the responsibility of staying for you and treating you right.

3) He’s healing from past relationships

Believe it or not, men can take longer than women to heal from a past relationship.

A study published at Binghamton University found that while women are more emotionally affected by breakups, men often have a harder time coping after. In some cases, they never fully recover — they simply move on.

So, if he’s keeping you around, it could be because he’s still nursing wounds from a past relationship.

You provide him with emotional support and comfort that he needs during this healing process. He might not be ready for a new commitment, but your presence in his life is comforting and familiar.

4) He’s afraid of losing you

Sometimes, the fear of loss is greater than the desire for advancement.

In other words, he might only be keeping you around because he’s genuinely afraid of losing you.

He admires you, cherishes the bond you share, and doesn’t want to risk losing that by pushing for a relationship.

It’s a strange paradox – he wants you in his life, but doesn’t want to make it official. He might even know how much it hurts you, but the fear of losing what he has with you outweighs his ability to step up and make a commitment.

5) He’s not ready for commitment

Let me ask you a question — is this guy, the person you’re dating, charming, funny, and smart? Do you genuinely enjoy being around each other? Your answer is probably yes.

But what about when the topic of making things official comes up? How does he respond? 

If the answer is he doesn’t, that he usually weasels out of conversations like these, that’s a big, big sign that he’s not ready for commitment.

6) He’s comfortable with the status quo

Sometimes the reason is as simple as comfort. He’s comfortable with the way things are and doesn’t feel the need to change it.

This was the case with my friend, who had this on-and-off thing with a guy for years. They acted like a couple, but he never wanted to make it official.

Why?

Because he was comfortable. He enjoyed her company, they had fun together, and he didn’t see any reason to disrupt the status quo by defining their relationship.

It’s an unfortunate situation to be in because you’re left waiting for something that might never happen.

7) He’s unsure about his feelings

Feelings can be complicated, which is maybe why he keeps you around—because he’s unsure about his feelings for you.

He likes you, but he doesn’t know if it’s enough to commit to a relationship. You have chemistry; you get along well, but he’s always unsure about his feelings.

This means he keeps you around without actually committing because he’s trying to figure out how he feels.

It can be a confusing and frustrating situation to be in, but sometimes people need time to understand their emotions before diving headfirst into a new relationship.

Of course, it goes without saying that if you’re uncomfortable with this situation, you always have the choice to leave. It’s difficult to make such a decision, I know, but the hardest decisions are usually the best that we can make for our own sake.

8) He needs your support

Everyone needs support in their lives, and he may keep you around because he values your support.

This may be why the guy you’re seeing doesn’t want a relationship but only relies on you for emotional support.

You may always be there for him during his tough times, and he may even express appreciation for that, but when you want more from this relationship, he just can’t give it to you.

Simply put, he needs your support, but he’s not ready for a relationship.

When this happens, remember that you’re not his personal therapist or his rehabilitation center. You can be there for him as much as you want, but you can’t fix him, and you can’t change his mind, so do what you need to do to preserve yourself.

9) He’s scared of getting hurt

Lastly, he might be keeping you around because he’s scared of getting hurt.

This is a tough one because it involves vulnerability. He might have been hurt very badly in a past relationship, which is why he keeps you around when he doesn’t want a relationship.

In other words, he cares about you, but he’s terrified of getting hurt again.

So, every time you got closer, he’d pull back, afraid of repeating his past mistakes

In this case, I’d like you to ask yourself: Is his caring worth staying for, even if there’s little to no chance that he’d commit to you?

It can be hard to answer this question, but remember that you can’t control his decisions. Yours is the only one you can control.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you if you want to stay and risk getting hurt or run away.

You might not see where it actually goes, but one thing’s for sure: you will be able to protect your heart and make space for someone who will, without hesitation, choose and commit to you.

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