This Guy Loves Talking to Me, But Does Not Want to Be My Boyfriend

Hi Evan,

I met a guy I really liked, whom I was physically attracted to, whom I had a lot in common with intellectually and creatively (we both write). We almost slept together. And then he stopped being flirtatious, but continued to contact me via email and text regularly, talking about film and writing.

I had a feeling he wasn’t interested in me other than as a friend, and gave him many openings for him to tell me so, but he never did. When I confronted him on the phone, he said he’d need a few days before he could tell me what was going on. This sounded so obtuse that I figured it had to be something more complicated than that he was seeing someone else. Two weeks passed, and he finally told me that that was the case – he’d been seeing someone.

Here’s the thing. He tells me he loves talking to me. He’s physically attracted to me and even desires me sexually. He remembers what I say and asks me about my life. He tells me his ideas and asks me about mine. But he does not want me as his girlfriend.

As I mentioned at the beginning, this is not the first time this has happened to me. So, what gives?

I had always thought that the ideal girlfriend/boyfriend is someone whom you consider a best friend whom you also want to sleep with. Am I wrong? If he treats me like a best friend, and also desires me, what’s missing?

Robyn

Dear Robyn,

Are you familiar with Occam’s Razor? It’s the principle that “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.” I think you’re ignoring the simplest solution to what’s missing in your relationship.

Attraction.

Now I say this without knowing his side of the story. I say this despite your claims that he’s attracted to you. I say this because when you’re grasping for answers as to what went wrong, you deserve a logical answer.

So here’s my logic:

Most men just need to know that you have a pulse.

It’s easy for most men to find a woman that they’re attracted to.

It’s much harder to find a woman who we enjoy talking to, who we pay attention to, who we want to share our ideas with. In fact, most single men who value those traits complain that it’s the main reason they’re still single. Lots of women are hot. Few are hot and interesting.

Thus, if you’re meeting all of his deeper desires and he STILL chooses not to lock you up as his girlfriend, it stands to reason that there’s something fundamentally missing. My guess is attraction.

This may fly in the face of what you’ve experienced with him, so let me explain further.

Most women need to be attracted to a guy AND have feelings for him to take him home. Most men just need to know that you have a pulse. …

In other words, we don’t need attractive or interesting. We need “available”. Attractive is a bonus. Interesting is a fantasy. And that’s where you threw this guy off his game, Robyn. Because you ARE interesting. Because he really DOES like you. Which explains why he wants to get the benefits of your friendship, without any of the obligations of committing to you sexually.

This is confusing to many women because you wouldn’t act the same way. As Alison Armstrong points out, “Men are not merely hairy women”. Stop expecting them to act as you would.

When I was dating prolifically, I hooked up with lots of strangers who I may or may not have been attracted to. Why? Because they were there. The few women I actually LIKED, I treated with more respect. If I got together with them, I didn’t go as far, and quickly downshifted into friendship when I didn’t feel the attraction.

Just like this guy appears to be doing.

I knew from my own experience that I couldn’t legislate attraction.

If what I’m saying is true (and I don’t know it is), I acknowledge it’s a bitter pill to swallow. Attraction’s a funny thing. It’s not always correlated to looks or body type or symmetry. While many people are swayed by the Maxim aesthetic, if you look around at the world, most of us fall below that bar. Thus getting upset that some guy isn’t attracted to you is a futile exercise. Same as some guy getting upset that he’s not your cup of tea. Believe me, it happens to all of us.

Years ago, I remember being told by a highly anticipated JDate (PhD student, thin, big boobs) that she loved talking to me but didn’t feel any attraction. I was devastated – for a day – until I realized that there was nothing I could do about it. I knew from my own experience that I couldn’t legislate attraction.

I’m sharing my personal experience with you, Robyn, just to let you know that being “rejected” because of chemistry is no crime. It’s a universal – and universally painful – experience. But I think it’s better to contend with the facts than to search for some hidden meaning as to why this guy with whom you share a deep connection isn’t reciprocating.

My theory is that it’s not that deep at all – in fact, it’s probably skin-deep, at best.

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Comments:

  1. 91
    Chopsi

    Men are funny. My brother really liked a girl for six years but didn’t want to make her his girlfriend because he wanted the chemistry, that seemed to wear off at three months with every young woman he dated. Then he found out that this young woman he really liked was going to be proposed to and he went running to her and begged her to be his girlfriend. They’ve been married for 24 years now and he still is totally taken in by her.

    1. 91.1
      Jennifer swaggerty

      awwwwww

       

  2. 92
    Lauren

    I can tell you what’s missing your pride and dignity just take back your dignity and tell him you can’t be just friends anymore it’s the only way you’ll ever feel better once he understands why you can’t do it anymore he’ll understand

  3. 93
    Mo

    Ariana and others have just said some things that have helped me finally understand what was happening with a guy. Like Ariana, I decided not to waste my time with him anymore. Good for us! But it was initially very hard for me because I was so in love with him. Oh, he had his flaws. Serious ones. I don’t like labels but something was way off about him and my crazy passion hormones did not allow me to see clearly. Plus, part of me is turned on by bad boys.

    My marriage had come apart. My husband of over 30 years and I decided to separate and that is a long story. At that point, I had no one to be intimate with and was feeling very lonely. I began to look online for this missing intimacy and hoped to meet someone new who would help me get through this transition. And BINGO there he was. We sexted a lot then decided we had to meet. At first it was very exciting and he always asked for my consent, which I thought was sweet. On the other hand, it got to the point where I was basically his slave. And not in a fun way, as he couldn’t even seem to give me sexual satisfaction of any kind. Got to the point where he wouldn’t even try… He was an alcoholic, chain smoker. He also had some kind of porn addiction and had to have his computers on whenever I was there, had to talk about other women, other girls…

    So we had intercourse hmm – maybe six times in 6-8 months. He would get angry with me sometimes saying I was ‘trying to manipulate him by taking away his independence.’ He was getting too attached and he hated it. Ha! I was such a fool. So blind and believed love would change him. He started out being generous and caring. Made me coffee a couple mornings, shared good conversation, really tried to help me. But after about six times he started having trouble getting an erection. I let him know it’s not an issue, but when it kept happening then it became an issue. After that, it was just me giving the guy bjs, bringing him food, giving him rides… doing most of the listening while he sometimes projected all his anger on me, attempting to blame me for all his problems. I allowed myself to be used and treated poorly because I was feeling very low and the hormonal ‘up’ I was getting was like an intense drug.
    So when he said he really wanted to stay friends, I tried it for a few months. I never knew if he might want to become sexually intimate with me again, so I think we both tried to keep that door open. But though I am not in love – not in the throws of hormonal passion with him, I am still very attracted to him. So it’s very hard on me to be near him without feeling in pain.

    I learned some things about myself. I am worthy of love and respect and I would rather be alone than go through that hell. I still dream of finding a good man I am attracted to. At my age now, it seems to be getting harder.

    Anyway, it was so good to read what you and others shared, Ariana. It helps give clarity and helps me move in a better direction.

  4. 94
    Lauren

    Tell him you can’t be just his friend don’t be afraid to be blunt about it he needs to understand he’s not entitled to being just your friend I would know I’ve got to do the same thing really soon if nothing changes

  5. 95
    Lauren

    End the friendship this guy sounds like a jerk sure he might be a nice friend but as a guy he’s an idiot just cut the ties that’s the best thing you can do for yourself it’s not up to him if the friendship continues or ends I’m beginning to figure that out myself and I now know the ball is in my court now and the ball is in your court too he can’t make you be his friend

  6. 96
    S

    He doesn’t think you’re hot enough and thinks he can do better for himself – and probably has and is. He wants you as a backup plan to be a go-to when he’s down, like a security blanket. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. I feel this could’ve summed up the article, and yes you should take his actions as an insult.

  7. 97
    Jeff Gordson

    Maybe you’re just a pain in the ass.

    Sorry… Sometimes the truth hurts

  8. 98
    Holly

    Wow… I am in a similar situation but in his defense, this so called neighbor,  now his significant other moved in with him after he was just diagnosed with cancer,  was and still is a convienant as she was always right there and he just couldn’t avoid her so he thought no effort on his part, just let it be.. It was as if he just got himself suckered in by not standing up to himself and say no…. The whole cancer changed everything. While he is going through chemo, this girl is taking care of his kids along her kids and his mom moved in as well to help out. We’ve had sexual moments together where he would be with me all night long even when he is still with her. He would lie to them saying he has computer work to do.  I have tried telling him that we can’t go on doing this and so on. But he still communicates with me. I mean literally every day all day long sometimes all night long into the early morning.  He has been there for me during the middle of the night when I had some serious family crisis going on. He would patiently listen to me through texts and so on.  He even told me recently that I am still his weakness. Every time I tried walking away from him because there was just no point, he still comes after me. I don’t understand him. He still has 9 months left on chemo…sometimes I look at him and wonder how he could be with this girl who is taking care of his kids and then comes to me and/or communicates all the time with me… Was it because he needs someone to take care of his kids while he’s working new job, going through drs, chemo, etc? I often wonder what would happen after chemo all done and he’s in remission, would he leave her or what? Or me? He rarely talks about her.  I’ve seen pictures of her by snooping around (he knows because I confronted him when he didn’t want to tell me what was going on as he knew he would lose me)…. She seems like a nice girl and I honestly don’t think she knows what’s going on between him and I. And i do not have any intention of disrupting their relationship as I told him a while back that I want nothing to do with any of their relationship or problems. I am a lot stronger nowadays since I’ve already acknowledged his relationship with her and I’ve been moving forward however he still keeps contacting me no matter what… We haven’t seen each other in 2 months. He wants to see me as soon as the long incision on his back from removing the mass heals and he’s ok back to driving which won’t happen until next month. So… Just confused to what he is doing… To why he needs me, still communicates with me, and so on… While going through chemo and having her for his home needs… We’ve known each other over a year now. Since his cancer, it’s been very hard not to slam or even close the door on him… I’ve tried…

    1. 98.1
      Kay

      Sorry for you…..but he is a major user.

  9. 99
    Anna

    Maybe he’s just a d*ck.

    1. 99.1
      Anna

      Occam’s razor

  10. 100
    Latasha

    Sounds like a crock of BS to me I leave his sorry behind by the curb and not talk to him and let him miss you and see what he does then. He has no overhead in regard to you no investment of feelings you might as well be talking to his sister there’s the idea tell him to go home and talk to his sister and if he doesn’t have one oh sorry me too bad to said show him the door. he’s done. Unless you’re an aspiring shrink and doing a little practice time before you get your degree dump him ASAP. Do what the guys do if he text you don’t text him back if he calls you let it go to voicemail it’s called ghosting my dear … guys do it all the time and have no remorse. They think with their little head not their big head much of the time. Since women only have one head you need to use it drop them by the curb or the bus stop stick a fork in him he’s done. He’s getting all the benefits of your creativity your interest your time and attention and he’s not obligating himself. There isn’t much more to say the picture is pretty clear…DUMP HIM!!!

  11. 101
    Kay

    At this time I am in a ‘ no contact’ area of a friend’s only relationship.  Distance has allowed me to see this more clearly.  My friend is burned out.  He has lost confidence in himself.  He can’t even get a second date off a dating site.  Why?  Because he is in a midlife crisis. He is 55, has two marriages behind him and nothing but age and down hill from here on.  He has buried himself in work.  He used a 10 yr old pic of him self on the dating site, and can’t understand why these women meet him and walk off.  Geeezzzz. This man needs a friend!!!  He is a mess.  I am thankful that I have experience in this area.  What he needs is time.  Not me or any woman in his life.  He needs to start from scratch and get his guy friends back. Grow a set and except his mortality.  None of us are what we used to be, a lot of us never were..  Life is too short to babysit an adult male who should be out of diapers and off their mom’s tit.  BTW……I am 58….single and looking forward to spending time with my real friends who are honest with me and themselves, men and women.

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