How EXACTLY Do I Break Up With A Non-Committal Man?

How EXACTLY Do I Break Up With A Non-Committal Man?


I have read your advice on non-committal men. I have done everything wrong. Sleep with him when he wants, clear my schedule for him, revolve my life around a guy who doesn’t do that for me, but he “doesn’t want to lose me”, etc.

I know your advice is: “Walk away and don’t look back. If he follows, you’ll know you’ll have yourself a boyfriend who values you and will follow you to the end of the earth. That is what you deserve. If he doesn’t, then he’s not all that serious about keeping you in his life, is he?”

My question is, what is the right way to walk away? Do I have a “talk” with him? I feel like having a break-up talk is close to the same as giving him an ultimatum. Do I just go away? What exactly is “walking away?” What would be most effective with men?


Dear Eileen,

I must admit, I’m always surprised when advice that I think is straightforward ends up being confusing for a reader.

Obviously, that only means one thing: I’m not nearly as good at explaining myself as I thought I was.

So thank you for reminding me to dig deeper, to straighten out the subtle nuances of the concept of walking away.

He is going to be a great boyfriend and husband for someone. Just not for you.

Let’s paint a scenario that should look familiar to most women.

You’re seeing a guy for the past three months. And by “seeing” him, I mean that you’ve been sleeping with him approximately once a week since the night you met. (If you’re not doing this, the story STILL holds, so please, stick with me.) You like this guy. You like this guy a lot. He’s charming, cute, smart, kind and charismatic. He is going to be a great boyfriend and husband for someone. Just not for you.

And you know this already because if he wanted to be your boyfriend, he’d already be your boyfriend. The fact that he sees you once a week, doesn’t hang out with you platonically, hasn’t introduced you to his family, hasn’t talked about a future, and only communicates by text tells you everything you need to know. This is a dead end.

Now let’s bring this back to you.

I tell you to walk away. What does that mean? Well, let’s start with what it doesn’t mean.

Walking away is not saying, “Jim, so where is this relationship going?” or “Can we talk about ‘us’?” or “How come I don’t hear from you during the week?” or “Am I your girlfriend or not?”

Those are all weak attempts to negotiate with him.

This is not a negotiation. This is a declaration.

Because you already HAVE the answers.

He doesn’t call you during the week because he doesn’t WANT to.

This relationship is going NOWHERE.

There IS no ‘us’.

He doesn’t call you during the week because he doesn’t WANT to.

You are NOT his girlfriend.

This is all obvious to everyone but you (and maybe your equally dreamy and romantic girlfriends).

All you have to say to the noncommittal man – and I’m sure I’ve written this down somewhere before – is this:

“It’s been fun hanging out with you for these past few months, but I’m not looking for a once a week fuck buddy. I’m looking for a boyfriend who is open to a long-term relationship with me. And since, apparently, it’s not you, I’m going to have to say goodbye. No hard feelings. Best of luck in your search. Please don’t call me anymore.”


Why should you take such a strong stand?

Because what’s the alternative? Keep doing this weak-ass guessing game, hoping that he’s going to step up and fall in love with you? Go ahead, give it a shot.

But first, show me a bunch of happily married couples who were fuck buddies for a full three months before becoming exclusive. Fact is: people tend to become exclusive FAST – often within days, but generally not much longer than 6-8 weeks.

If you’re not settled with a guy by then, he’s ambivalent, he’s using you, and there’s no one else to blame but you.

And if, by some miniscule chance, you cut off the guy who really wanted to be your boyfriend (even though he gave NO indication of it beforehand), guess what? He will let you know. And beg you to reconsider. And you can change your mind. And live happily ever after.

Except you know and I know that this isn’t what’s gonna happen.

You’re going to give your little speech. He’s going to look at you with a half-smirk, half-frown on his face. And he’s going to say to you when you’re done:

“You’re right. You deserve more than I can give to you. I respect that. It’s been fun. And if you’re ever lonely one night and want to hook up, please let me know.”

And then he’ll hug you goodbye and you will move on your life, instead of wasting months and years on men who have no desire to commit to you.

You just need the courage to tell these players to piss off.

Find it and you’ll be all set.

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  1. 61

    Thanks for your reply. He has claimed me as his girlfriend, but we have been dating for seven months, after knowing each other for 23 years, and he has never said “I love you.”  I decided to walk because I don’t want to waste my time.  We are both in our fifties.  I’ve ignored his last two emails from this weekend. I was just wondering about how long I should hold out hope that he’ll come to his senses. 

  2. 62

    I googled “non commital men” and this article came up and I love it! I have been dating one for about 6 months now and despite what my friends have warned, I had been hoping that this guy would “see the light” and realize what a great gf I would be. Well, recently it became clear to me that whatever the hell is going on between me and him is going no where (he cancelled a date for a “friend”, basically everything was scheduled around his convenience…). Never calls, just texts and we meet on average once a week. All warning signs.. I know. But it took that one text this week to make me realize that I’ve had enough of this bulls***. We are probably only gonna meet in a week and I can’t wait to get things over and done with and call it quits with him. I thought of doing it over text but I feel that these things should be done in person. Part of me also wants to see what his reaction is cos I don’t think he has any clue what’s coming.
    Thank you Evan…I can’t wait to tell this guy to piss off! Wish me luck :p 

    (Luck! – EMK)

  3. 63

    Thanks Evan.
    As an update…I did the deed and unfortunately it was not as easy as I thought it would be. He was totally caught by surprise and did not expect what was coming to him.
    I have to admit that I was disappointed that he didn’t even try to fight for me and that I was more sad than I thought I would be.
    It was hard and definitely tough to do…but oh well, life goes on. And like eveyone says, I guess he wasn’t the right one for me 🙁

  4. 64
    Sparkling Emerald

    Great advice EMK !!!
    I haven’t been in that situation this time around (because I have been on and off dating for only about a year so I don’t have a whole lot of relationship experience this time around).
    However, if I find myself in this situation (weather there is sex involved or not), I think I will spare the guy the “I ain’t no booty call”  speech and just stop returning his calls, texts, etc.  Just pull my own disappearing act.  I don’t owe an insignificant other an explanation.  When the insignificant other finds the girl he REALLY wants to be with, or gets bored with me, HE’LL just disappear without a trace or an explanation, so why shouldn’t we girls do the same ?

  5. 65

    Yep, Miranda.  I start talking to mine again and agreed to go on a trip we had planned.  Nothing has changed…didn’t fight for me either.  His loss.

  6. 66

    I appreciate and can relate to your comments since I am in a similar situation. before reading your recommendation on how to walk away I was already prepared to do so and now I know exactly what to say. But I had  previously invited him to a wedding which is in 2 wks and am deciding if we should still go or end it now. I am not comfortable asking another guy friend now because he’ll know he wasn’t first choice.

  7. 67

    I decided to blow off the wedding and him and am happier now. Finally I have peace of mind . Love this site and appreciate all you sharing your situations. It was a great help. Thanks

  8. 68

    The most brilliant piece of advice I ever had was, if you give the sex too early, there’s nothing to keep him waiting.
    If he won’t wait for the sex, and doesn’t call you, he just wants you for sex.

    1. 68.1

      Great! I’m happy for you. I disagree with Evan that says hold sex until he becomes a boyfriend. I prpopose, hold sex until you get to the marriage altar. It does not matter even if you have been having sex before.
      Most women don’t get this. Sex is nothing more than eating burger for men. I am a man. Keep yourself  and keep your keep instead of tearing your heart apart and then blame the guy.

  9. 69

    Some men are just like leeches. Don’t really want you, but they’ll cling because you’re all they’ve got at the time. You toss them away, and they don’t fight because they’re weak, lonely and know deep down you’re not what they really, truly want.
    Like Evan say’s, just tell them to piss off, and save yourself a lot of time and heartache.

  10. 70

    I just told my guy not to waste my time anymore. Its been a year back and forth and i got really fed up with him. Yet, I still hope that he changes, but I know he’s not going to. Its kind of hard when you go to the same place for Karaoke and he comes in. I am keeping busy. 🙁

  11. 71

    Thank you! I needed this. This was awesome; perfect!

  12. 72

    That is the best, most straight forward and simple advice I have ever heard. I must say I love it. You described my situation that I walked away from. I felt uncomfortable for months. I ended it. I even told him I don’t blame him, I blame me. We had some good times and I wish him the best. This grown man said, my decisions sucks but see ya around, after he tried to convince me we had a connection. Lol. I felt so good after that. the crazy part is he half way acted like it was a relationship and I acted like it might have been one too. When deep inside I knew. So after I walked away I stumbled on your advice. THANKS!!!!!!!

  13. 73

    I hate the thought of saying goodbye, even though I know I am torturing myself by being at his beck and call. A year and a half in, he will never introduce me to his family. I still want him, and I hate what I am doing to myself by hanging on. He is so good to me…when I see him, but I am being afool waiting for what will never happen.

    1. 73.1

      You don’t want him, you want the concept of him.  This want has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with you.

  14. 74

    Just did before reading this article.
    It does not feel good at that time because I know I like him and probably not seeing him again.
    But later feel great that by knowing the truth, cut it down which I still have happy memory for myself and my respect. 
    So, hey women and girls, Lets do it if you want your dignity !

  15. 75

    I finally did it yesterday. He Admitted he wasn’t willing to give me what I deserve. That was what I needed to hear. Hurting inside became I love him, but knew inside I had to do it for my self.

    1. 75.1

      Gypsy  – You did the right thing.  You may be hurting now, but you have made room in your life for a man who will be MORE than willing to give you all the love you deserve, and then some.  Big hug to you !

      1. 75.1.1

        it has not been easy but I guess it gets a little better every day. Thank you very much.

  16. 76

    Buck up~~ 

  17. 77

    I read the post here and women here trend to stay for years and years.
    I guess sometimes as women we always do one mistake is “cheat ourselves” and find excuse for him that he is going to be the one. But the fact is if you start to have to keep telling yourself this, it is already a very good sign to end it up.
    There is only reason that you should give time to a men who do not commit : He is not so sure that you want to commit with him. 
    The rest of the reason ,like, he is not so sure about the feeling, so sure the timing, so sure whether the relationship works….All of these you should not wait for. Why? Because even he committed to you one day, he is going to leave you if he had to take so much time to think about the relationship.  

  18. 78

    I’m really happy I read this article. I was just in this situation for the past month, and decided to take this advice and end things with him. He didn’t try to stop me from walking away, which led me to believe that I made the right decision. It really hurts because I thought that maybe one day he would change his mind and want to commit to me. But I had to wake up and realize that I can’t change him. I could only change the situation I was in, and hope to find a guy who will want a commitment with me.

  19. 79

    LOVE IT, great advice

  20. 80
    Karl R

    samantha said: (#80)
    “But, I don’t want to be a fool, either.”
    If you don’t want to be a fool, pay attention to what you wrote.
    samantha said: (#80)
    “I want children one day and he does too, but he hasn’t expressed having children with me in particular.”
    He will someday have children with someone else. You can either believe what you already know, or you can waste another three years pretending he’s going to change.

  21. 81

    OMG, SO TRUE!!! I did it! He came back begging me to take him back and I didn’t. I am so proud of myself for not giving in to this player. He is still with his girlfriend yet he is contacting me. You are worth lot more than a player!!!

  22. 82

    I agree with what Evan says.  Men can give misleading signals at times & if a woman is really into him this can lead her having false hope.  In my situation it was a male colleague & he kept staring at me in work & gave a number of different signs that he was into me.  At work outings he would always keep near me, tell me how Gorgeous I was etc etc.  What didn’t help my situation was a female friend who was also a colleague kept telling me how much he liked me so although 
    I had doubts that he was after more than sex, hearing this encouragement also led me to false hope that maybe he was just frightened of commitment etc & maybe would change.

    i ignored what my gut was telling me.  I didn’t give in easily to him & didn’t sleep with him until a year later.  I would argue with him that he should find someone else as he clearly didn’t want commitment but he would say he didn’t want anyone else but me.  He made me feel wanted & beautiful but looking back it was just to use me.  A lot if things confused me.

    Always trust your gut instinct.  If you think he’s just playing you, then he probably is.  Don’t listen to friends, listen to your instinct.

    I eventually moved on as he admitted that he felt he was using me & I found that he’d quickly slept with another colleague.  Unfortunately he is still a colleague so I cannot avoid him & my so called friend continues to be friends with him even though she knows how he treated me (she called me one of her closest friends).  I’m now married to a lovely man that proved that if a guy is into you he’ll do everything he can to be with you.  We now have a beautiful son.  The guy that used me still stares at me & tries to chat etc but I can see through it all now and realise that he is just a sad guy.

    Chin up OP, you are worth more than being used.  You are a beautiful, caring person & deserve respect.  There are decent guys out there.  X 

  23. 83

    Well said Evan! 👏 This has definitely put me at ease with my decision to walk away yesterday. 

  24. 84

    I JUST had to do this this morning…. and while I am accepting my decision…knowing that it is probably best… I cant help but wonder if I acted too quickly. I have been seeing this guy just a couple of weeks shy of 3 months…. he called me every day…we saw each other a couple of times a week and we have had an amazing time, trips, alone time, time with kids, walks and talks… etc… just lovely… He did tell me up front he was not “looking” but was open to a relationship if the right woman was revealed to him… well short story is I guess I was not the “right” woman because he continued to tell me he was not sure… not about me… but about himself…. he was not sure he was ready to commit because he did not want to get hurt or hurt any one…. anyway finally I ended it… not quite so harshly as EMK suggests…lol … but I did make it clear that this was not “space” that it was a break….. he often told me he was getting close to committing… that he loved me…that I’m awesome….etc…was I too hasty? too pushy??  I am always the “cool girl” and often spend MONTHS with guys who don’t commit… I just did not want to be that way this time

  25. 85

    I’ve said what Evan suggests “it’s been fun hanging out…please don’t call. It’s over” but he refuses to let go. It’s been 15 months of uncertainty and not being part of his life. He rarely takes me out and I hvnt meet any of his friends or family. I know it’s a dead end relationship and don’t have a problem moving on but it’s hard when he keeps reaching out to see me.  I’m confused about his interests. Ive developed feelings since I lived the fantasy of being his girlfriend for over a year but know it’s just a fantasy so must terminate the relationship. I just don’t understand why he doesn’t leave me alone since I’ve been upfront n clear about what I want- a relationship. I never reach out to him. At this point, I need to delete & block his cellphone number, past texts, and don’t pick up my home phone. I also need to date date date:-)

  26. 86

    U are a life saver. This story exactly fits me except for the fact that he was my friend for about an year by now and he showed interest on me for 8 months and I did not even realize that. when I did realize I started liking him but now it looks like I am running behind him all the time. 

  27. 87

    Yep, this is why i like to indulge myself in your blogs… i laugh and also marinate in how i am acting and thinking with guys.. thanks for this one Evan 🙂

  28. 88

    I didn’t make any speech, I just didn’t call back when I was supposed to one day.  The whole thing was over instantly and without drama.  I’m not good with relationship talk, it’s hard for me to open up about feelings.  Sometimes silence says it all, and this case was one of those. 

  29. 89

    Thanks Evan, This piece just answered a big question i have been wanting to ask. So timely and soooo true

  30. 90

    I had to end a friendship with a guy I had met recently. He and I started out as a friends with benefits thing. After it happened and we hung out a couple of times (no sex, just as friends). We realised we could not continue it. He did not want a relationship. I was starting to get feelings for him.

    We stayed friends a bit longer. I even met his neighbours, parents and kids. We seemed to be on the same wave length, get along really well. I even was starting to get along with his 2 kids also. I could tell his daughter really liked me. Had inside jokes with he and his kids. Always had so much fun hanging out with them. I started getting stronger feelings for him and feeling confused. I had never been this close with someone in this situation before.

    I mention us hanging out on our own. We mostly hung out with my other friend and her daughter. He was fine with that. He says we can be each other’s wing man and stuff when we go out for drinks that would not be weird for you? We spoke about things and I realised he did not see me that way.

    I wanted to try pull the friends card but then realised by making myself to available and around he might not have seen me as more either. I did not want to be waiting around for something that may not happen so cut ties with him. Sending that text was the hardest thing. I really felt like he and I were a good match.

    He replies along the lines of ‘I completely understand and respect your decision. It’s a shame it has to be that way but I guess it’s for the best. You deserve someone who loves and respects you. I know you will find the right person because you are a cool chick’ he reminded me that he did not want to hurt me that was why he did not want a relationship and apologised if he did as well.

    It just all ended up being a whole bunch of confusion. Feeling pretty down, because I really did feel like something was there…

    1. 90.1

      That’s was worries me that I might not get the response I want and end up getting more hurt. I am still stuck with how to get out of this relationship with my head held high.

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