How Long Should I Wait for Him Before I’m Wasting My Time?

Should I wait for him to commit?

It’s probably one of the most common questions I get as a dating coach. Because the question isn’t simply “should I wait for him?” it’s actually “how long should I wait for him to commit to a relationship?”

Before you make a decision, you’ll need to:

  • Learn when you should stay and when it’s time to go.
  • Spot the red flags before it’s too late.
  • Get clear on what to do if he’s just wasting your time.

In this article, dating coach Evan Marc Katz shares how to make these important decisions.


Table of Contents

Is waiting for him normal or a red flag?
Signs you’re wasting time on him
How long should you wait for someone before you give up on him and move on?

Is waiting for him normal or a red flag?

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not waiting for someone is normal, or if it’s a sign that there might be trouble in the relationship. 

Ultimately, only you can decide what’s right for you and your relationship. But it’s important to be aware of the possible implications of waiting too long.

Here’s a real scenario from Mari:

I’m 30 years old, divorced with no kids, smart, pretty not only on the outside but on the inside too (so people tell me,) very family-oriented, and have great values. I’ve followed your advice from A to Z, and GOD HAVE THEY HELPED!!!! But now I’m incredibly puzzled and need your advice.

Less than a month ago, I started dating a guy who, according to my mother, I shouldn’t even be dating because he’s “way too good looking,” and “guys like that” don’t like to be in steady relationships.

Anyway, I try to think about what you’ve said about your wife, how at the beginning she wasn’t the type of girl you were used to dating. And I’ve followed every step you talk about when it comes to her, “to be cool, calm, and collected….”

Here’s a catch:

From day one, this guy and I had great chemistry in the sense that we truly enjoyed each other’s company.

  • He is the one that calls me (even if I’m dying to call, I wait for his call.)
  • He is the one that talks about seeing each other and so on. (No sex yet, as I want to know him a little better.)
  • He’s starting to like me genuinely, and that concerns him because it’s not a good idea as perfect as that is. (As far as I know, I’m the only person he’s dating.)
  • He told me that it wasn’t supposed to happen that way, nor was he supposed to feel so comfortable around me!

I really like this guy and don’t want to mess things up. So I just smiled and avoided getting too deep into the subject as I noticed he was a bit stressed over it.

Ready for Lasting Love?
Ready for Lasting Love?

Signs you’re wasting time on him

There’s no getting around it – when you’re looking for love, one of the most important things to figure out is how long you should wait for him. 

After all, you don’t want to be stuck in a dead-end relationship

However, if it’s only been a few weeks, it’s probably too soon to give up hope.

Here are some signs it might be time to move on:

  • If you’ve been seeing him for over a month and things are not escalating.
  • If you’re not getting any indication that your partner is interested in moving things forward romantically.
  • If he continually makes excuses for why he can’t meet up with you.

If you’re seeing a guy you like and facing this dilemma of seeing how long it takes for your guy to step up, keep reading below.

How long should you wait for someone before you give up on him and move on?

I’m guessing everyone reading this has been in the same position as you, with the same question:

How long do I invest in a man before I panic that I’m wasting my time?”

And try though I might, this isn’t something that can easily be reduced to a simple science. Each man has his own unique set of issues.

You entered the relationship based on your feelings

Six months ago, I wrote a newsletter to my mailing list, which proclaimed, Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives.”

Believe the Negatives. Ignore the Positives.

I meant by that that many women have willingly entered into new relationships and passionate affairs based on their feelings alone.

  • The breathless waiting for his call.
  • The physical need to touch him.
  • The giddiness he inspires when you’re together.

All the while, you conveniently ignore the fact that he may have initially told you, up front, “I’m not looking for a relationship right now.”

He feels like he’s off the hook because he told you the truth in the first place. You forget that he doesn’t want to be anybody’s boyfriend because of how you feel when you’re together.

You forget that he doesn’t want to be anybody’s boyfriend because of how you feel when you’re together.

Then, one day, when you start to wonder where things are going, he reminds you of that conversation you had in your first week where he laid down the law.

Red flags can be warning signs.

Every woman who proceeds to date a guy who “isn’t looking for anything serious” or deeper commitment is essentially driving over the orange cones and through the yellow tape that signify danger, and wondering why she always gets into an accident.

You ignored the warning signs, such as “I don’t want a girlfriend.” What did you expect?

This isn’t a matter of defending guys who date you even when they’re emotionally unavailable. This is merely pointing out that it happens ALL the time.


You’re Ms. Right Now. You want to be Ms. Right, but he’s not currently taking applications.

Then why does he act so open? Why does he call you and treat you so well? Why does he hint at a future?

There are a couple of very reasonable answers to this question, but the primary ones are:

1. It’s in his best interests to treat you well.

What possible purpose would it serve for him to be rude to you? Do you think that’s a proper way to treat somebody?

Of course not. So he calls you (because he wants to see you), he sleeps with you (because he’s attracted to you), and he talks about falling in love one day (because he wants to fall in love one day.)

It’s entirely possible to do ALL of these things and still not want to have a serious, committed relationship right this second. And that’s what you see over and over.

2. He doesn’t KNOW what he wants.

You should understand this because you don’t know what you want half the time either.

Do you want the exciting guy who leaves you breathless? The safe guy who treats you like gold and always lets you know where you stand? Do you want wild, unattached sex? Or to date around to explore your options while you focus on yourself and your career?

Confusion and ambivalence are human traits, not just male ones. He may feel that he’s not ready for love or a committed relationship right now….and still, legitimately be falling in love with you.

So what do you do, Mari?

You take it all in. You don’t make any rash decisions. You let him reveal himself in his actions and not just his words. You continue to be the woman that no man can leave.

And you pay attention to the signs that he’s not ready for deeper commitment — his anxiety, where he’s at in his career, how old he is, whether his friends are happily married, what he wants in the long run. 

Take note: If you see too many red flags, you get out.

But if you’re happy and he’s happy, he may just be adjusting to the present moment, his new reality — that he IS ready for love…with YOU. 

Give him a chance before you bail on him. The only way it can happen is if you let it happen, not if you pull the plug.