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.

Join our conversation (205 Comments).
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  1. 91

    @Amy 24.
    You are so true. I am married with 3 kids. I say, sex is what we men(most men) can do without. Getting easily and cheaply is where all women screw up. We get angry if you don’t give us too soon but trust me, you earn our rude shock and respect and perhaps our commitment quicker or we exit quicker rather than keep you for the sex. STOP giving free sex to guy ladies. You suffer the most. Your suffering will be less if you never gave a guy a precious part of your soul to take away forever if he does marry you.
    Evan, I respect you for this.

  2. 92

    I just went through a similar situation. I called him a dick and said bye. He probably didn’t care but it helped me a little!

  3. 93
    Frank Daley

    This is driving you crazy. Don’t make it a long drive. Ask him his intentions, flat out. Act on his response.

  4. 94
    Frank Daley

    First, in order for any of this to work you have to know yourself. If you don’t know yourself you will never find the right person to  be with.  

    Second, you have to love yourself. If you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else because you can’t give away what you do not have.

    Worse, you will not be able to accept love from anyone else because you will “know” the “truth,” that you
    are unloveable. It is not true and you might not think this consciously but you will feel it and act on that feeling.  

    I teach people to know themselves at Self-Knowledge College. if you feel you don’t know yourself well enough to make the best decisions for yourself in the major areas of life, especially this one, you might need to get to know yourself better.

    1. 94.1

      thanks frank

  5. 95

    Nah, Evan, you are still being too nice. Just text the guy “don’t talk to me anymore, wish you well” is good enough! That is what these men deserve! Because a man who truly care about another human being, wouldn’t play with a woman’s emotion, feeling content using her body, knowing she is looking for true love.

  6. 96

    I was part of your focus circle and absolutely love this article Evan!

  7. 97

    i wish I had read this a year ago, then maybe I wouldn’t have wasted a whole year mooning after a noncommittal guy…

  8. 98

    I was with a non committal guy, on and off, for a year. I was falling in love with him (we stopping dating the first time because I freaked out on him and I was left severly heartbroken, but we started seeing each other again a couple months later), but it was breaking my heart. I really loved him and he had told me – upfront – he could never commit. He just didn’t see it in his future. He’d had a bad divorce and intended in being alone forever. It was hard, and it took a lot of resolve, but I finally walked away. I told him we couldn’t see each other anymore, that I needed a committed relationship and as he couldn’t give it to me, this thing we had going, has to stop as I needed to be open to finding someone that could. I also told him I needed space so not to contact me at all.
    After a month, he chased me down and told me had been an idiot, that he wanted to commit to me. I know it was only because I’d walked away, because I no longer enabled the situation, (and perhaps I showed him I was a woman of value) that he changed his mind. And now, we are together and he is 100% committed. It can happen. But you have to willing to give it all up in the hope of finding what you truly deserve.

  9. 99

    I just did this today and I can tell you that yes my heart hurts but guess what else…I feel 10x times lighter. I wouldn’t be worried, anxious, and consumed by this anymore. I freed myself from a vicious cycle and it feels great.

  10. 100

    It’slike Boom!

  11. 101
    Liz B.

    YAS Evan YAS. You speak the truth . I took your advice about this very something with a guy I was seeing for a month. I’m so happy I took your advice . Since reading your blog and getting the emails I am a happier women. I have chosen to listen and not do the same thing I’ve done in the past. Your advice is spot on . Thank you . Everyone reading this needs to just listen and do what he’s says . He’s never been wrong in my experience 🙂

  12. 102

    hi Evan your blogs have made me feel empowered that I can take control in who I date which I can I feel like a just discovered gold. After going on first date with some guy who just texted to say he had a great time and didn’t call or nothing for three days I realised this t man is not that into me nor does he want to make me gf so on the four day instead of trying to figure him out like I would I told him he made it clear he wasn’t that interested in pursuing it further thanked him for the great time and wish him luck in his search deleted his number and never looked back. He never bothered to say anything so I knew you were right about men showing you by there actions his spoke loud and clear a feel a lot more wiser now so I don’t waste anymore time on emotional unavailable men too find a man who genuinely wants to be with him . Your tough love approach is just what I needed to open my eyes no more excuses !!!

  13. 103

    intresting …..v learnt a lot from all your comments equally in a r/ship which is n will never be committal it hurts so bad but i decided to walk away as hard as it m getting by its been three days now v even decided to cuttoff all communications witg him….i jx decided to walk awat minus saying anything to him and v jx been quiet…
    m 25yrs old and i feel i still have a long way to go to subject myself to such emotional torture…

  14. 104

    Evan, thank you for the article… I may have to do this soon. I’m dating a guy 3 1/2 years younger than me. He just doesn’t text… unless I text him. Supposedly, he is going thru a lot, but he seems to rather tell me in person when we see each other at work than trying to contact me. I probably have very high expectations since, I have always dated men older than me (3 – 5 years older). This man is 23… I’m 26. So, I’m realizing too that he is just a kid.  I’m have to come into terms that he is immature and that obviously he is not looking for anything serious.i feel disappointed, but at least I’m understanding all this

    1. 104.1

      This is exactly my story! Only I’m 29 and he’s 26. He’s the perfect man (tall and hot as hell) and still around even when I said I only sleep with boyfriends. However I felt his interest deprecated and he wouldn’t text unless I did. He did everything I asked but I don’t want to have to ask. Did it last night. Texted exactly as Evan posted. But as a poster here said – short term sadness for long term happiness. I’ll wait for the guy who proactive!

  15. 105

    Great advise.  I was dating a guy for 8 months.  He called me everyday, and we hang out once or twice a week,  but can’t commit because he says he doesn’t have time for  me.  He has two kids and he goes and see them everyday.  He does have time to play his sport everyday after work, so I know he can have time.  Hey says he loves me and doesn’t want to lose me, but if think it was time to go.

  16. 106


  17. 107

    Hi Evan,

    I used your email almost cut and paste for a guy who for about two months of dating was doing all the right things and then all the sudden flaked on a date and then refused to return any of my calls or emails for three days with a flimsy promise to talk on the fourth day.  Well of course he didn’t come through on even setting up a time to talk on the fourth day.  I got only two vague texts during that time, the first one just saying he’s sorry he ditched our plans one night because he was sad and confused.  So of course I asked him if it was about me and he wouldn’t respond or take my calls.   Then the next text a day later saying he was worried we were moving too fast which I’m doubting is the real reason.  It feels much more empowering to just end things for someone who is ambivalent and probably got scared because it was heading towards a real relationship rather than to wait on him to make up his mind about me when he wouldn’t even speak to me.  I totally agree about how you said guys know what they want and will want to be exclusive sooner rather than later.    I did like him but if he really wants me he’ll try to get me back but in the meantime I’m going to move on.  I’ve been reading your site a lot and getting a lot of great advice to put everything into perspective so now my dating has been much smarter.  Thank you for saving me a lot of wasted time, energy and anguish.  The old me would have been sympathetic and waited on him but no more.  I like your firm, direct approach.

  18. 108

    Speak to men in a language which they understand. Simple, direct, no hidden messages. “Earn me, or you can go f*** yourself for as long as you want to”. Ladies. We have to put a stop to fuel this boy-man problem. No commitment? Not making us feel safe and cherished? Not treating us as an equal. Simple. No free attention. Nothing. If you are a man. Would you allow another man to treat you like crap?

    A boy will drain our feminine energy. A man will show you how you are to be treated. We deserved a man. When we have done our inner work. The right man will reveal himself.

  19. 109

    I have just cut the noose around my heart and neck, a man who I thought cared, but sadly I see now he had no intention of ever treating me with basic respect.

    Texting me once or twice a week, never made plans to see me or take me out. Hard to let go of ‘the dream’ that I created in the heat of my stirred emotions. I deserve much better and I am truly loveable. His loss and I mean that in total humility.

    Time waits for no man, neither does this lady.

  20. 110
    Teixeira Blue

    Hi Evan, this was what I needed today after battling the love that I have for this dude lol…

    I used your words almost exactly and I feel better already by saying please don’t call me anymore, I have never said that but it feels good, and I plan on sticking to my decision. Thanks again.

    1. 110.1

      I did the same thing! I felt guilty for a bit, but Thought to myself -rather feel guilty than stupid for letting a guy string me along –

      I love this quote my sister sent me “love cannot be found where it doesn’t exist, there’s a difference with being patient with someone and wasting your time on someone”

  21. 111

    I need to have this e-mailed to me every few months.  Maybe I’ll just copy the article by hand 20 times or something.  I’m the kind of girl that would say “okay, I’m walking away – this is me – I’m really walking – I’m almost out the door here” all the while I’m looking back for a reaction (and there never is.)

  22. 112


    Love your advice and blog!  I think my committal guy was more of a red flag but here I am anyway..

    What if he’s committal in the sense that he made me his girlfriend right away and introduces me to everyone but doesn’t like to discuss the relationship at all, doesn’t show much affection and yet apologizes after an argument (or shutdown I should say) when trying to communicate and says “Just because I don’t want to talk doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”…I get so many mixed messages!!! I used to have confidence before him.  I need it back.

  23. 113

    Excellent advice !

  24. 114

    I am so happy I ran into this article today! Just cut off this guy who kept giving me the run around and would not make time or put any effort in to see me! I met him online and talked/text with him for a good 3 months and finally met him a couple weeks ago. He is very charming and sweet but always makes excuses as to why we can’t hangout more often. I don’t know why I didn’t cut ties before, guess I wanted to give him a chance and the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for the awesome advice really helped me get rid of the guilt I was feeling for cutting him off, definitely not the guy for me considering he hasn’t called me or text me asking for a chance.

  25. 115

    About an hour ago i told a guy i REALLY liked and started seeing about a month ago PEACE and goodbye because the only only communication i ever received from him was “what are you up to?” and “How was your day”.. the latter being a weak attempt to keep lines open for the weekend “lets hang” thing….Sighhhh.  He asked me if we could ‘kick it” and i said ” I really like you, I’ll pass on all this chilling and kicking it” and you know what he said? OK. HAHAHA

    so i went to the gym and ran like I’ve never ran before. Does it hurt? It always hurts when someone doesn’t recognize your worth, but it was hurting either way and ladies you GOTTA RESPECT YOURSELF AND KNOW WHAT YOU DESERVE.

    Would i have enjoyed his company? HELL YES…but then i would be feeling like crap the week after with his lack of efforts.

    Keep it moving and find someone who feels the way about you , that you feel about them <3

    1. 115.1

      Admire your strength – you are worth more than “kickin it” Your best days ahead !

  26. 116
    Stephanie Hadley

    I’ve been on and off with a man for about 10 years, but we actually on ever ‘dated’ as young teenagers in junior high.  It’s been painful for years – but somehow I’ve kept going back.  I’m absorbing all the energy I can to defeat this situation and become truly happy again… and feel of value again…

  27. 117

    I’m really thankful u wrote about that EMK… Who wants to waste precious time and even if it’s not a sex thing you are vulnerable to fall for him and hope for a better day ahead … You make it clear and we need the kick in the A&@@ !!!

  28. 118

    Google ‘Histrionic Personality Disorder Symptoms’.Many of behaviour described above comes in a combo with this type.  I have exepeinced it 2ce thank god I let them in just for a couple  of months. If they  have some sort of an interest to keep you around  they would  whine,act as if they feel something etc. teatrical  behaviour  is not a problem  for them. Listen to your gut. It is right mist of the time.

  29. 119

    Yup. I was played for 4 years from a guy who never wanted to commit but begged me to come back everytime I left. He was dedicated to begging. He went a whole year begging for me to come back and as soon as I did, he pushed me away. Toxic as fuck. I told him the last time I saw him to “Let me go so that someday someone will love me.” You know what he did? He stepped back and let me leave. I haven’t talked to him in a year and half and occasionally he tries. You know what I do? Block him. He has a mental disorder it seems where he can’t commit and can’t let go. Block these guys. They’re not going to be cured and will only play you for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE if you let them. Maybe pray for them. They’re gonna be very lonely in life unfortunately. Side note: I’m with an amazing man who is 100x better and who committed to me so fast I was in shock due to years of abuse from the other it’s true, they’ll commit fast if they’re going to.

  30. 120

    I just did this and he told me I was lame. Good riddance!

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