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. 121

    I think it boils down to this…..Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free.? Don’t give away free milk!

  2. 122

    I have to admit, I’m one of these ladies who need specifics sometimes, and tough love and straight forward talk. This one is great! Thanks so much. I needed this. I’ve been stuck too long. Moving forward.

  3. 123

    “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.”

    See this is why women shouldn’t have sex until marriage or at least wait 6 months. There are plenty of PUA that will use women for sex. Even some MGTOW will have sex. Tom Leykis teaches men to have sex with women and when women want to commit he teaches them to stop seeing them.

    Here is an article showing relationship is better when a couple waits for sex.

  4. 124
    Lisa Hopkins

    Just told a  guy been seeing for 8 months exactly this!!!  Said he was hurt I’d said I was just his fuck buddy!!!


  5. 125

    This was the perfect article for me. I had been seeing a man for 10 months and he gave me a lot of mixed signals. One week he would contact me a lot, ask to see me, talk about places we should go in the future… and then the next week he would pull away and I’d barely hear from him. After a week where he cancelled and moved our plans around three different times, I finally had it. I told him I didn’t deserve to be jerked around anymore. He also admitted that he did like me, he just “wasn’t sure how much.” I told him I needed to spend time with someone who was more confident in how they felt about me and made me feel cared about on a consistent basis. I wished him luck and said that I was walking away from this one. Not surprisingly, he never responded to that last text message. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

    1. 125.1

      Good for you for refusing to tolerate that any longer!  I read somewhere that his indecision is a decision, and think that is very true. In this case, it’s a decision that he doesn’t care enough about you to really commit to you.  The guy who is sure about you, and really cares about you, will not leave you with such doubts.  He had ten months to make up his mind.  He isn’t entitled to ten more.

      I went through a lot of men like this.  In hindsight, I’m glad I let go of them early, to make room for the guy who saw me regularly, contacted me on a consistent basis and has made me feel cherished from day one.  I get this feeling that a guy like that is around the corner for you, too.

      1. 125.1.1

        Christine, thank you! While it was the best decision, it’s still a little difficult to walk away. Reading your encouraging words help! I’ve also never heard the quote, “An indecision is a decision.” It’s a short statement, but it makes so much sense! Those words are going to stick with me.

        Glad to hear you also let go of men who weren’t willing to reciprocate and you found a great guy in the end! Who knows, maybe “my person” will be around the corner!

        1. Christine

          I understand why it isn’t so easy to walk away.  After all, you invested nearly a year with this guy, and probably had certain hopes for him.  But we both know you did the right thing.

          I remember reading a book (sorry, forget the title right now) full of true stories about women who dumped their “Mr. Right Now” guys, then met their “Mr. Right” just months (sometimes even weeks) after that.  That was the case for me as well. I obviously don’t have a crystal ball to guarantee a time frame–but know that you’re on your way to Mr. Right, after taking the vital first step of getting rid of Mr. Right Now!

  6. 126
    Rachel Foss

    all I can say is… THANK YOU.  this is perfect and exactly what I needed

  7. 127

    You’re talking about months. What about 4 years in a long distance non-relationship?

  8. 128
    Brittany T

    This is great advice. As a woman currently struggling with this (even after 11 months), I NEEDED to see this. Thank you.

  9. 129

    Great advice! I met a guy through online dating and for 3 months I was a once a week thing, didnt hear much from him after that. I really liked him but I knew he wasn’t that into me. I would be really cold and push him away and he would back off for a week/week and a half and then come back being more attentive and the second I gave him what he wanted he was right back to his old self again. I finally had the strenghth to put my foot down and tell him I was worth more than being just a fuck buddy. I wished him the best and told him not to contact me anymore. His response made me realize I made the right decision “got it! Good luck!”.  So happy I didnt waste another day of my life with someone so worthless.

  10. 130

    I was in a six year relationship, and after living with him for two years, he recently said he was conflicted about the relationship and that he was non-committal. Let’s just also say that he has been in a platonic relationship with a women who was invited by a friend to a party we had last summer, (2015) and they developed a “platonic relationship” and he talked to her about his conflict, not me. he didn’t include me in this freindship and I voiced my concern about the woman and how I felt threatened, however he also didn’t make me feel safe and secure, then when he said he was non-committal and he said I wanted a marriage partner. I knew he didn’t want to get married, but I had expected more toward what we were building.  My intuition told me he was more interested in this woman.  ALso he just got his divorce in May (he started process in 2008, we met in 2010) Now I rebuild, and start over.  Next time – more guarded. Moving on again becuase I am worth it, and can hold my head high that I did nothing wrong.

  11. 131
    Sad sobbing

    Well ……..

    I’ve been seeing/ dating a guy for 2 years ….. started off texting  ( Internet dating)  we met …. I have young children so was hard to meet up ( I’m 44 with nursery age children) we hit it off straight away …chemistry was electric ….still is/ was.

    I am going through divorce ( 3 year battle) he has work issues/ money issues/ older child.

    We saw each other once a week but he text every day from 6.30 am to midnight …. some normal stuff some sexy stuff and lots of support. We started having every other weekend together sat noon – sunday noon and he offered to babysit to allow me to go out to a special event set up my new pc….  but he didn’t want a girlfriend…. wanted ‘ light and airy” to ” go with the flow” we went out but I never met his friends or his family

    Then I found his ” ex” girlfriend had posted a photo of them together on face book.

    He maintained not together was old photo …. but I asked him to sort it out ….  2 weeks later the photo was still there he was still friends with her on Facebook as we’re his mum and sister …. I incidentally am not !

    So we argued …. we’ve had a few on/ off arguments over the 2 years and had a day/ week break.

    I read this post ….. no title no commitment no intro to friends or family ( with children it’s not simple) …. I called him ..he didn’t answer I realised we barely spoke on the phone only text that it was all on his terms that if he wasn’t free when I was as he was going to a planned event  ( not taking me !)   And I thought s*!#


    So after a few ” quieter communication days”  and close to midnight I got what can only be called a booty call message ….. wow ..that hurt I ignored it turned over and went to sleep …crying obviously.

    Next day I said …. I think we have reached that time I want a boyfriend …blah blah you want a FB ..I love you ….you like me …. I want more ….

    He said ” I know you do – Let’s keep in touch ..I’m here to chat to” ( that good old let’s be friends so you don’t forget about me or even think about dating anyone else trick )

    I don’t know where my strength came from …. but I said no … it’s best for me we don’t.

    We have annihilated our relationship with arguments this week I expected you to sort the photo to defriend your ” ex” and if I meant anything to you you would have .

    To which I got …. are you working today thought you might like to [email protected]#$.

    I’m not going to be just [email protected]# nor will I be second best or share.

    I do hope everything works out for you, I really want you to be happy

    ” you too” he responded

    Look after yourself

    I love you


    ” you look after yourself too”


    Only it won’t be …in a few days he will message he will try to get my attention he will hate not knowing where I am who I’m with what I’m doing, he knows I get chatted up by men knows there are men who want to date me …. I’ve always stayed true to him never cheated told him if any male contacted me etc. That is when I need to dig deep and stay strong.

    I love him so much we’ve been through many difficult times together ( both lost our fathers both have financial issues and legal battles with work and exs)

    He’s never said he loves me though ……Never introduced me as his.

    That’s just not normal ……

    I’m heartbroken

    To all you women out there … you can’t change anyone they can only change themselves …. if you are what/ who they want they will fight for you not  just love your cooking your kindness or your sexy ass

    Has anyone ever got back with someone and it worked out ?

  12. 132

    This is so spot on. I have come across this article afterwards but it happened exactly like this. The half smirk half frown and the hug at the door to wave me off and I even got the ‘you deserve better than me’ . Priceless.  I wasted 2 years on the guy… and envisaged difficult time getting over it.. but to my surprise I cried for 2 days, then got on with my life.

    He actually did me a favour in the end as he gave be absolutely nothing to miss, so there was nothing to be sad about  as he was not good to me at all.

  13. 133

    I agree with this advice, and I say this as a guy who has been in the same shoes as this supposed “player” who wouldn’t commit. I was half-assing it in a relationship for a year with a woman who did everything for me gave off signs that she eventually wanted marriage and children. In the back of my mind I knew I never planned on settling down with her, even though I cherished her and she was a major part of my life. It ended tragically for both of us, because even though I didn’t want to move in and get married with her I couldn’t bear the though of losing her from my life. I finally decided that I couldn’t lead her on anymore and broke up. I wish I had had the guts to end it sooner and save her the heartache and the feeling that I “wasted” her time. If a man truly loves a woman he won’t feel any inner resistance or doubt about escalating the relationship to the next level.

  14. 134

    In some cases. A woman has no other choice but to just.walk.away.  if you try to announce anything, you’ll get accused  of being “too emotional” or irrational. Or they try to talk you out of it or maje empty promises to change. Believe me, in that case its truly best to just.walk.away wuth a singke word or even looking back. It’s not easy but sometime one has to do it in order to stay sane. Love yourself enough to preserve uour self respect. Walk away. And close the door. Don’t worry about looking like a bitch. Don’t even try to be “just friends” because it never works!He will friendzone you so as not to look like the bad guy. Plus, then he thinks he get away with egregious stuff and that you can’t get mad at the disrespect he gives you because after all, you’re “just friends,” right? It’s a form of gaslighting. 

    1. 134.1

      This is exactlywhat i did. I tried talking about it to him and he said he would change then he was back to the same BS. Left his house one day and never contacted him again.

  15. 135

    You just need to get your courage up and be able to be alone.  It hurts. It gets lonely . But being a great girlfriend and not being in an equal partnership after 2 years is bad. I went through 2 years of hell with my ex fiancé , his 3 kids and crazy ex wife.  We lived together and his kids were disrespectful.  He was not going to ” man Up ” and do the right thing for us.  He was never going to marry me.  I pulled the plug.

  16. 136

    This is good advice. I walked away from a man who was all about being together, planning a future, endearments, etc. only to gradually cool after eight months. Every time I tried to get him to admit he wasn’t interested anymore, he’d turn into that great guy for a few weeks and then it started all over again. Walked away at ten months. He came back. I gave him a second chance because I hadn’t stopped caring only to find out a month later he now thought we were in a FWBs friendship! If they come back, and if you really want to give them a second chance, make them be very explicit about what exactly they are coming back for, and make them earn your trust again. And I don’t agree that the guy will someday make someone a great husband, etc. There are many men who will never be husbands or fathers. They just can’t do it.

    1. 136.1

      I do very much agree with you Chopsi.   Some men will never be good husbands or boyfriends .  They just are not capable.

  17. 137
    Sevilay Tezer

    Hi! The guy I was seeing for two months got cold after my question ” Would you like to meet my children ( 18 and 20 years old )?” Thank God I realized in a week that he is not thinking about committing at all. Even though I was falling for him, I broke up with him. If you are going to break my heart down the road, I rather it happens to me now, today I said. It hurts but I have to respect myself and shouldn’t waste my precious time for a player.

  18. 138

    Omg im in this situation except its been 9 months! Its esisee said than done only because we established a friendship…but I havent even been asked out on a date or even out for coffee! But thanks for the advice…

    1. 138.1

      Take it girl, seriously… I know it will kill you, but this indecisiveness, when you know what to do is just hell!

  19. 139

    You need to have self-love.  I know women don’t want to hear it.   The more you spend time alone and like your life, the less BS you will accept and you can break it off.  Take it from me. I left my fiance cold turkey after 18 months of hell with his ex wife and 3 kids.   Now that I am alone, I take no BS from men. Things are very clear.  It is very peaceful to attract and meeet men at my energy level.

  20. 140

    I remind my daughters ages 31 and 29, women are also known to use men. That being said, I believe Karma is very real.Its a wise practice to treat others how you want to be treated. I actually feel sorry for men that can have mindless, heartless sex it tells a bigger story of their character.

  21. 141
    Just J

    I’m done with him.
    He only loves himself.
    Unless he wants something from me? He treats me like he stepped in sh**, and needs to wipe off his feet.
    I’m worth more than the occasional “meet” or “talk”.
    I DO take full responsibility. Naive & trusting but 0ld enough to know better, followed my heart. A very hard lesson to learn  but valuable. I won’t trust again.

    1. 141.1

      No! Please don’t make that the lesson 🙁 . Make the lesson about learning to spot red flags ahead of time, about understanding your own personal boundaries, about how you ARE worth more than just an occasional meet and a talk and you’ll never let another dude get away with that again. Don’t make the lesson that you won’t trust again. There are trustworthy men out there absolutely, and you just need to learn how to sift through the others to find them. Take what you learned from here and use it as added wisdom. But keep your heart open, and continue to trust. It’s so worth it. 🙂

  22. 142

    This is the best advice ever!

    I was in such a situation, i had this non committal bf for 4 good yrs, hoping that someday things would change, funny enough, he had told me earlier that he’s never been in a long term r/shp, apart frm 1 that lasted two yrs…. And in all those r/shps, he’s bn the bad one.

    It had reached a time when he could no longer reply to my texts, nor bother calling me, and all he could tell me is that he forgot to reply and just laughs if off.

    This is when i said enough it’s enough. I texted him asking him if we can meet and talk, he dint reply, so i decided to let it out through a text, that is hw i broke up with him n i promised him that i’ll never bother him again. He then replied saying that i should not give up that easily, we can make it work, he’s excluded himself from everyone around him coz of the things haunting him in his head n that he just needed time to clear up things but not to be dumped.

    I never replied to that msg tl now, ts now about a month since we broke up. I saod to myself, for me i’ve been open telling him everything about me. I had opened up to him fully. He never told me of openly about himself, now he wants me to figure out what’s going on with him n give him more time. I can never do that again n i also dont care what goes on in his life.

    This guy has never introduced me to a single of his friends nor family. He made me believe that he has no friends, he keeps making plans that never come through, full of empty promises, he is just a huge dreamer,,,,

    I gave him the best, I got no cause to regret. It’s pretty sad, but so what?
    If I was clever enough, I would have left him the moment I knew him.

    I think im wiser now, if only i had read ur advice years ago!

  23. 143

    This is a very sad fact about some boys especially in thid generation 🙁 well women must be strong and stand firm on their principles so lesser population will be used. It’s so hard to distinguish love with lust because of its thin line. Nevertheless, true love will come to those who pray and wait. 🙂

  24. 144

    I did it! I’m still upset but I think in the end it was the right thing to do…and there were some things I said that he didn’t really contest so I think I was right about them. I missed a call from him six hours later and other than that, no response from him. I actually did meet his family and friends but he wasn’t so interested in meeting mine and I think his introductions to family and friends early on confused me and didn’t allow me to figure out that he was using me. I feel proud of myself for doing something I needed to do and for making myself do it. I think in time I’ll just feel regret that I didn’t do it sooner. Your advice is really good because it’s straight to the point, but also really empowering.


  25. 145

    Lol I did this yesterday. I didn’t even get a response. #1 F***boy.

    Thank you so much for this advice. It’s incredibly liberating.

    1. 145.1

      He’s probably too weak to write back. Men like this are notoriously weak when confronted by women.  Another reason it’s good he’s gone!

  26. 146

    Well, today was the day I finally told him.  Long distance relationship- I did all the traveling, and then he tells me he loves me but is not in love with me.  I go see him one last time – knowing this- I get back home I said we needed time to think about what we wanted- and he takes a week and says he is not ready.. duh… I needed a shovel over the head I guess.  Anyway, today I said good bye, and wished him happiness in his future.  NO anger– in fact, it was a nice message.  It was very empowering.  I wish I had done it long ago.  I am sad that the concept of him is gone- but not him.

  27. 147

    Great advice but I think it’s not even necessary to write anything at all. You can simply disappear (change your phone number). In such a situation, it’d be warranted.

  28. 148

    So, this is where I was… up until about two hours ago when I finally took Evan’s advice for good. I had carefully crafted what I was going to say, over and over, and was trying to plot when would be the right time to tell him next time we saw each other. I decided NO, you have to do this today. There is not going to be a next time. You have to rip off the Band-Aid and do this NOW. I typed in my words, took a deep breath, and hit ‘send.’ ALMOST THE EXACT REACTION HAPPENED WITHIN A MINUTE.

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon this blog a few weeks ago, or this particular entry, but it’s almost like it was written about me. And I knew I kept coming back to these words because they were gnawing at me, knowing this was the right thing to do.

    Sure, I’m sad, I’ve had a good cry, but I’m free from it now. It confirmed everything I already knew in my gut. But it’s as if I’ve lifted a weight from my shoulders and can move on.

  29. 149

    I recently followed this advice and even though you SAID he’d accept it, I was flabbergasted at just how easily he did! He replied with literally a handful of words: “I understand, take care” he wrote. That’s it, just like that! I thought we’d shared so much but whatever HE thought we’d shared, he was happy to let it go without an ounce of resistance. I can’t believe just HOW right you were. Thanks Evan!

  30. 150

    i was with my ex for 5 years. He was divorced for 2 years, his ex wife cheated on him, then his next girlfriend cheated on him gave him sti. Then came along me. I didn’t sleep with him for 6 month. His family were the most awful dysfunctional family i have ever met. They didn’t like me and i feel it was because i was good for him! They did not want him happier than them, they were very disrespectful and rude to me, rejecting presents i bought them, ignoring me when i spoke, talked over me, never once made me a cup of tea in their house nor was i invited once in 5 years for a meal, it was a very toxic situation. I spoiled him because i knew he had been hurt before, bought him gifts, took him away overnight to expensive spa and an expensive day out, made all the plans to go places, looked after him when ill, made him three course dinners, i looked after myself and never let myself go,he wanted mummying. He was 35, i was 44, when he eventually moved out his parents. He had been talking about us moving in together since day 1. However when he moved (4 years after being together) i wasnt invited and he gave excuse that he needed to ‘prove’ to me that he could stand on his own two feet. All rubbish and excuses. He took me for granted and backtracked on years of promises. When intially dating he went out on 2 seperate occasion with another woman, new friend women at that not old friends. They also fancied him. I was not happy but left him to make his own choices. He flirted alot with other women and was disrespectful that it all happened whilst i was there (the women were no better either for responding whilst i was there). He lied about when he was working with other women. He lived in a fantasy world, he was in love with the idea of romance. He was a little boy who wanted worshipping, but gave very little back. I gave him 6 months to buck up and commit, nothing but excuses in the pretence that he was being sensible. I gave him another 6 month, nothing. He only asked me to move in when i raised subject after many times, if he wanted me that much i wouldnt have had to ‘coerce’ him. It would be built on resentment and bitterness, not a good start for a new living arrangement together. He was a commitment phobe, with me. i have no doubt he will go onto the next one with same ease, he is a serial monogamist. he went into our relationship about a week after his last one, i did ask if i was a rebound and he said no. Initially he also was still in touch with his ex wife and ex girlfriend whilst with me, until i put a stop to that. He needs attention from women. He threatened suicide, to cut himself, whenever any conflict arose. Hard work for me. He was defensive, never addressed anything, disappeared into his ‘man cave’ when conflict arose. awful. i ended it 3 weeks ago. He hasnt chased me, tbh he hasnt chase in him, hes far too lazy and acts entitled. i ended it before but he did the ‘friends’ speech, that was just to keep me around to wean himself away until someone else came along. It took me 5 years to see properly that it was going nowhere. He has alot of problems and he is one of these men who profess to be spiritual and ‘nice’, but it is all a front to appear the ideal man. really fooked up. I was only nice partner he had and he p*ssed allover it. I went no contact, deleted all his numbers and blocked him, blocked emails (after i sent the last damning email) etc. only way. I didnt give him the chance to reply. I am back in control. I am exercising, going out more with friends, starting a course soon. i do love him but i enabled him for too long. It had taught me not to give so much when u get minimal back, i learned i was a commitmentphobe too (due to his unsureity)!. i have used this time to reflect. I will never go back. I was exhausted. I used no contact rule so i could move on and so could he. If he wanted me he could have chased me, he didnt, and thats the only answer i needed to hear. It is also true that his indecisiveness is his decision.

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