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He Says He Just Wants To Be Friends, But His Actions Show Differently

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Men send confusing signals all the time. Too bad we can’t all be mind readers, right? That would definitely make life so much easier for us, wouldn’t it? Unfortunately we can’t! It’s just not possible. Unless you’re a psychic of some sort of course. But what are the chances of that? Probably slim to none.

Instead of just expecting them to tell us what is going on in their very handsome skulls (because let’s face it, men are terrible at expressing their emotions… Well, most of them anyways) we have to put in some effort and do some digging. So that means that it’s very important to pay attention to not only what a guy is saying to us, but what his body language is telling us as well. We have to master the art of all language when it comes to men. But there can be a slight problem with that. He might be saying one thing, but his body might be saying something completely, and frustratingly, different.

He says he doesn't want a relationship but actions say otherwise

Sadly this happens all the time. Like when a guy says he just wants to be friends with you, but his actions say something entirely different.  His body is saying, “Hey, I kind of dig you.” While his words are saying, “I don’t think we should take this to the next level.”

Why!? Why would he put you through this torture and do this?

The answer is actually pretty simple. He doesn’t really know what he wants.

Let’s go over some of the reasons that he might be putting you through this mess. What on Earth could possibly make him act so cruel and confusing? Don’t worry, there’s an explanation for everything. Yes, even including this.

First you need to think about whether or not he is showing you actual signs of liking you or if you’re mistaking friendliness for flirtiness. How do you do that? Read these following signs to help you out.



Signs He Likes You As More Than Just A Friend

He Spends Time With Only You: This is the number one sign that a guy actually likes you as more than friends. He will not give his focus or attention to any other girls than you. So, if you catch him saying he wants to be friends, keep an eye out to see if he has other girl friends or not. Because if he doesn’t, he is probably harboring some strong feelings for you.

He Texts You In The Morning and At Night: Sure friends like to keep in contact with their friends, but when a friend of the opposite sex is talking to you almost constantly something is definitely up. He might be trying to hide his emotions by telling you he doesn’t like you, but if he is wishing you a good morning and a good night everyday then he probably likes you more than he is letting on.

He Surprises You: Now, you should be weary of this one, because this is something that friends do as well. However, if you notice he is consistently surprising you and thinking of you all the time then there might be a strong chance he is lying about the way he feels towards you.

He Gets Intimate With You: As in he isn’t just flirty or friendly, but he actually gets a little bit physical towards you. You might notice that he is always looking for every excuse to be as close to you as possible. He will sit right next to you and ensure that your legs are touching. He will touch your arm, elbow or knee while the two of you are talking. He might even go as far as to brush hair out of your face or play with your hair when you are near him. These are all strong signs that he likes you as more than a friend… Even if he is saying he doesn’t.

Next we’ll walk you through the reasons that he might be acting this strange way towards you.

Reasons He Says He Wants To Be Friends, But His Actions Show Differently

He Doesn’t Want To Ruin Your Friendship: He might tell you that he doesn’t want to be more than friends, but if his actions, words and body language are saying otherwise then there is a good chance he is just saying these things because he doesn’t want to ruin your friendship. When you two are such good friends he might be scared that if you take things to the next level you will ruin everything. You can’t blame him, because it is definitely a legitimate fear to have. Once you cross that line into more than friends it’s going to be extremely hard to come back ever again.

He’s Just A Flirty Guy: Or he might actually not be interested at all in you. Why? Because he’s just an overly flirty guy. The best thing to do in this situation is to tell him that he is confusing you with his outgoing personality. Tell him that he is coming off the wrong way and sending the wrong signals. Hopefully that gets his words and actions leveled out.



He’s Just Not Ready… Yet: The last reason we can think of as to why he might say he wants to stay friends, but he acts differently is that he likes you but he just isn’t ready to take things to the next level. Some people have severe fears of commitment. It might just take him a little longer to get there!

127 COMMENTS

  1. Wow… I m truly surprised to find out there are so many men out there like this!

    I also met a guy online about 5 months ago. Exact the same pattern as you girls have experienced here. He is an older man (10 yrs older than I) an old school banker, never married, charming, honest, kind and caring. We had all the emotional connections. we didn’t have any intimacy. As a matter of fact I was really turned on by him ( it was a great feeling to fall in love) so much so that I had to initiate to have sex ( bearing in mind i m a very high value woman, shy and probably even quite traditional ). Guess what- I was turned down by him. he told me that he just wanted to be friends. my first reaction was like WTF! Lol seriously we are talking about a guy who had probably slept 100+ women but coming to me he just shut down albeit we had all the connections etc…..I was very sad and heartbroken for servers weeks. Maybe I am a rational person after all. I had letted it go.

    We are still friends, seeing each other fortnightly by doing interesting things together as before (dinner, Musuems or good conversation over coffees). last weekend I suddenly realised that I didn’t like him as much as before after really knowing him. I was amazed by how quickly novelty fades. In a way that I was also grateful we didn’t progress to the next level otherwise it could be disastrous. I don’t know maybe that s why he insisted to be friends as he knew his own issues so it was a respect from him not to have intimacy to prevent unnecessary unhappy consequences.

    Long story short i think human relationship is complicated. I hope you girls can have the inner strength to let it go as well. Every person has a different side. Esp for men maybe sometimes they need different friends to share different sides of them. If we are truly lucky we might meet the guy wanting to share every side and everything with us.

    Also I am going to meet his mother soon. Weird, right? Don’t even ask me what does that mean! Lol I don’t know and I don’t want to know or care. I suppose this is life.

    Finally one thing I would like to share is – ladies there are many things we could work hard and fight for with the exceptions of love. As it has to be mutual. Gain the power of self control and inner strength. I found one article/Ted talk very powerful and fansinating – the science behind the love by Helen Fisher. Have a read you will understand what is the cause of the wonderful whirlwind feeling of falling in love.

    It’s great to see we can share our experiences here as we are all not alone 🙂

    Best luck girls! xx

    • Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences. Please feel free to share more of your thoughts and feelings in the future. It is always helpful to share stories, as this will help other people navigate their relationships. Have a great day, Wallis!

  2. So, there’s this guy I like. We’re both 15 and when I asked him to be more, he said he had to think about it and that he wanted to get to know me more (we just met like a month earlier). Almost 3 weeks later, he texts me while I’m sleeping and says he only wants to be friends. I’m not sure if that’s true or not because I also know he has really strict parents. One of our mutual friends told me that his parents won’t let him go out on a date with me? Does that mean that his parents won’t let him date me and he’s just too embarrassed to tell me that? Or does he really not like me that way?

    • He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. There are a variety of possible reasons for his actions. You can continue to share your friendship with him. Allow your emotional energy to be focused elsewhere. Take this time to determine what you want for your future without him. Have a great day, Debra!

  3. I haven’t been back and forth with a guy since I was 15. He dated someone else when I couldn’t be with him and I truly believe she broke his heart. We recently started talking again (about 3 month ago) and things were going great until he started pulling back. He says he doesn’t care about any other girl, he’s not into being around just anyone, and that he cares about me but isn’t ready for a relationship right now. He says he doesn’t want me to wait so I can be happy but I’m not sure what to do. His sisters know about me and contact me from time to time. He was definitely seeing something in me then I think he got scared of what could be. He has also told me he’s scared of hurting me.

    We decided on being friends for now but I still want to pursue him. How do I do that as a friend? How do I let him know I still want him without being too pushy? I don’t want him to lose compelete interest.

    • He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. He is unable or unwilling to maintain a relationship with you at this time. Continue to share your kindness and compassion with him. If he reaches out to you in the future and wants to develop a relationship with you, then speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Mag!

  4. 6 months ago i started seeing a guy. I’m 23 and he’s 25. It started out as just a friends with benefits situation.

    Like before he would just come over and drink a little. Then he slept on the couch a couple nights, then he started sleeping in bed and now he basically lives with me. Has given me money for rent and groceries.

    But he still says, ‘i feel like you’re holding out for us to date, you shouldn’t get attached to me, we will end this soon’

    He told me a story about a girl he had a similar relationship with for two years and when he asked her to be official she laughed at him.

    He’s always made jokes about the benefits of getting married or having a kid and i know those are just jokes, but then he talks about moving in officially and how that would be beneficial for both of us.

    I’ve talked to several friends and family and they all tell me that he probably definitely has feelings for me but i don’t want to believe it until i hear from him…but I’m always open for more insight until i figure this guy out.

    I’ve thought about ending it myself but i think i might like having him around more than i want to admit.

    • It is certainly possible that he is interested in developing a relationship with you. He may be attempting to protect his emotional by not sharing his feelings with you. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Kayla!

  5. Right anyone help with this? I don’t want any false hopes or anything of the sort…

    I met a guy online and we were speaking nonstop since September 2017. We got together (yes still online) but I was going to meet him on May 2018( I have airplane tickets and the sort). We were good together, he’s older, we had that kind of intimacy I have never had with anyone else. We were taking the relationship very seriously, until he got so stressed from work and supporting his parents+siblings. Then me questioning his loyalty became a thing and well..I became overly jealous about everyone whom was speaking to him. That way I started saying he was flirting even though he kept saying he wasn’t. I mean an online relationship is very easy to end so he would have said so if he truly flirted. So I put strain to the relationship…. he then said “I can’t be in a relationship right now, I am very anxious about my life, I can only be a friend to you” then he asked me to “restart everything from the very beginning as friends and see how we will end up since we still have some time until May” however I kept pushing him all the time he did say he didn’t want to think or talk about it not now anyway because he had many things in his head as it is… few days past and I told him about my ex that he needed my help about something and that guy became very annoyed about the situation.. he started saying “you’ll have a much better life without me you will realise, I still care about you so much, I want you to be happy” but my ex contacted him saying how much I loved him and all that.. I mean the guy got annoyed that it happened so we stopped speaking for two days. Today, he said to me “do not hope for anything, don’t try anything” when I asked him “so we definitely not going to get back together? I can’t hope for something that it’s not going to happen. Later on he said “let’s be friends and talk about daily life” “ I have been feeling very low” “I still have feelings for you” “ if you still need me to meet you in the summer I will keep my promise and Be there. “ but last time this was said he told me” if I come at the airport to meet you then we will be together” he then changed it to “I will be there anyway if you still need me by then” but today he said what I mentioned before. I asked him if he’s found someone else and he said no I am alone. I can’t put my thoughts into order and I have been feeling very stressed because I wanted to try my best for this relationship. I can’t function well without him and this uncertainty is killing me. Our conversation today only started because I asked him why he deleted me from a social media platform, he said that it was better to not see my posts and stuff but I thought that it was just an excuse. Can anyone tell me if this story is ended or if I should still hope that something will happen again between us in the summer when he meets me? I’m so sad..

    • It seems like he still has feelings for you, but he has realized that it is time to move on. When he was stressed out by his life, the additional stress of the relationship was too much to bear. Then, he felt pushed too much to be more than friends again. The messages from your ex (who was obviously hoping to destroy the relationship) were just another problem. He kept trying to be friends and restart things because he felt strongly for you, but he just can’t have the stress in his life, especially right now. Right now, you should just give him some space. Only treat him like you would a friend and don’t push him at all for at least a month. If he can see that you can be a relaxed, easygoing friend, then he might start to open up again. You need to do this for at least a month–and probably two–before he will really open up and feel hopeful about the relationship. If you push him in any way again, then you can basically bet that the relationship will be over for good. Good luck, Kat–I hope that it works out for you.

  6. Good grief I date a guy whom I love dearly. I want to move forward and he just says we’re just friends. It’s infuriating I am 54 and he is 48. We’re grown. Want to move on but my feelings keep me there, we do not live together

    • If he says that you are just friends, then you have to move on. For whatever reason, he does not want a relationship and has been clear about it. You have to just move on. It is hard to move on when you talk to someone all the time or are constantly around them, so you might need to see him less and put the friendship on hold so that you can really focus on yourself. Unless you can avoid being around him and focus on other things, it will be very difficult to move on.

  7. Hello I was wondering if someone would help me, I met someone online and I clicked with him straight away, we see each other a lot as I absolutely love his company, we sleep in the same bed and have been intimate, yet he won’t fully commit to a relationship and wants to just ‘date’ I have met some of his friends and I fully support him, I told him my feelings and I think it scared him as he hasn’t had the greatest of opportunities in life but although I’m giving him time I’m suffering inside as I just want to fall for him….not necessarily have him move in and get married but so much want the next step, although I’m giving him time I don’t want him to get comfortable and not move on. we both been in past relationships and both have been hurt, I don’t want to throw what we have away but at the same time don’t want him taken away as such any advice would be appreciated

    • It is possible that he is interested in maintaining a relationship with you. He may want to ensure that this relationship is viable before he makes any commitments. Take this time to determine what you want for your future. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Denise!

  8. I met a guy online we talked online for 3 weeks and I gave him my number a week later we finally met. We hung out several days out of the week after that. I went to his rugby games met his older sister and two of his best friends. This went on for 2 months after finally meeting. He asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip to Tennessee for one of his out of state games and I was down for that. His roommate was going to marry my friend’s brother and fiance in May. He brought up the future with me and everything. We talked everyday all day he would text me good morning and good night. We would talk on the phone and see each other too. He asked me what I was looking for on various occasions and I told him I wanted a relationship and he said the same thing. He had told me he wanted to go slow which I agreed to do especially since he had been broken up with his ex-fiance of 4 years 5 months ago. I was never pushy I just truly enjoyed our time together. He met my roommate and wanted to meet my other friends too! He would tell me his deep fears and concerns and I would encourage him and he knows mines too! One night I went over to his house we chilled watched movies talked and we started kissing (which is nothing new) he got a little handsy and both of us were aroused. However I did not sleep with him because I did not feel it was time yet. I went home and texted him that same night we talked for 2 hours the next day he texts me good morning and asked how I slept…I told him I slept ok but would be better with him one day. After that…nothing for 3 days! I reactivated my profile to see if he reactivated his and he did and was online that day. I texted him to ask what was going on and if I did something wrong and in a nutshell he expressed he couldn’t give me what I wanted and wants to still remain friends. I grieved…HARD for 3 days and finally texted him and said I would be ok with that..I liked the time we spent together and loved getting to know him and was willing to just be friends. He never replied. What gives?

    • He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. He is unable or unwilling to nourish a relationship with you. Allow your emotional energy to be focused elsewhere. Determine what you want for your future without him. Allow thoughts of him to influence you to treat everyone in your life with kindness and compassion. Have a great day, Andrea!

  9. My boyfriend I have recently gone through a tough break up. I know in my heart he’s a upstanding guy. We have been together for 9 months now. I love him dearly. He says he loves me until times get tough. He currently questioning his love for me. We have had a few heated arguments that were not mentally healthy that he feels should never happen but they all stemmed from an effort to get understanding on questions I had or telling him about how things I didn’t agree with made me feel. I understand every situation is not worth talking about… now. I have to choose my battles. He says it has taken me too long to figure it out. He told me he has lost his desire and given up hope but he won’t communcate his thoughts because he says he doesn’t want to falsely communicate anything with me. He says he just doesn’t know what he wants right now. He’s questioning his love for me and keeps saying he doesn’t know how to get back to where things use to be but he wants it back. I personally think he is hindering us by keeping his guard up. I’ve tried pressuring him and failed. I tried giving him space, and I’m still not very successful. I’m confused and don’t know what to do. Now he has telling me we started off wrong. We need to start over as friends and non of the extra which I agree with. He says he doesn’t want to lead me on which I appreciate. He says there is no one else and he doesn’t want anyone else right now. He just wants to try the friend thing but how do we get back if we are friends who barely communicate and hardly spend time together anymore? Won’t this just continue to push us apart or is this really just what we need? I want to show him that I finally understand his viewpoint on our arguments, but I don’t understand how I can show him anything if we are now so distant. He has make plans for us in upcoming months from now but just wants to be friends. I really want to go about this the right way, show him this can be different because we are still learning one another, & get us back to where we were. What do you think?

    • You ask excellent questions. If you are friends who barely communicate, it would be very difficult to rebuild the relationship. At the same time, you can’t really ask too much about it or it will only cause an argument and push him away from you. It sounds like the relationship was just too much for him in the end. While he still has feelings for you, he questions whether it is the right choice and is tired of the continued patterns of the relationship. For the moment, it seems like your only option is to try being friends. Even if you do not talk often, it will give him some space and perspective as he tries to figure out his next move in life. If there is a chance for your relationship to restart, doing this will show him that you can be different and more relaxed. Hopefully, it will be enough. If he does want to be with you again, this seems like the only way to get to that point again. If it was never going to happen, then doing this won’t hurt.

  10. I have this guy friend who I’ve been seeing for almost 3 yrs. We be and friends when I was married. He went through my divorce with me. He gave me a key to his place while I was still under my husband roof. He started bringing me around his family . For holidays and family dinner as well as outings. He and i go on vacations together, have bank accounts, credit cards and property together. He told me he loves me and I was his best friend. Just no commitment yet. Through our friendship I habe caught him with other women and he’s made them leave he apologies to me and says he is sorry he struggled with temptation. But he tells me he wants us to be just friends. We act like we’re are a married couple even went to the pastor for counseling everytime I catch himnje throws up the fact that were just friends so I give him his keys back and we end up going Jacinto normal. I’m really confused everytime it’s like I loose feelonfsnbutbimnin love with him and I know he’s in love with me he told me there is nothing wrong with me he lost his childhood and there’s alot of things he hasn’t done I feel likened has alot of playing still inside of him. He doesn’t want to let me go but it’s not fair to me.

    • He feels a strong emotional connection with you. He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. He is unable or unwilling to nourish a relationship with you at this time. Determine what you want for your future without him. If he reaches out to you in you in the future, then share your kindness and compassion with him. Have a great day, Kandence!

  11. We spend every holiday together. He buys me a purse every Xmas and Valentine’s day and for my birthday we go do something special he’s not doing this with the other women so I’m extremely confused. When I say let’s end everything about and hour or 2 later he acts as though nothing ever happened. He mentioned to me that I need to show him he’s only been in 2 serious relationships for short periods of time and they never done the things thst we did

    • He feels a strong emotional connection with you. He has shared his thoughts and feelings with you. He is unable or unwilling to nourish a relationship with you at this time. Determine what you want for your future without him. If he reaches out to you in you in the future, then share your kindness and compassion with him. Have a great day, Kandence!

  12. I met a guy a month ago & we’ve been talking non stop.
    We go out, stay at each other houses & cuddle.
    I explained i liked him & he replied “i dont know you well enough to have feelings” & then stayed at my house that evening. Spent the entire of the next day @ mine..following day i asked him to go out on a date & he said he didn’t want to give the wrong impression….

    Wtf is going on??

    • He may be unable or unwilling to maintain a relationship with you. He may feel an emotional connection with you. It seems as though he does not want to nourish a relationship with you. Determine what you want for your future and take appropriate action. Have a great day, Sarah!

  13. I’ve known this guy for 6 yrs now & we’ve been spending a significant amount of time together over the last yr. We’re together almost everyday & do everything together. He helps me out with whatever I need him to, sometimes without me asking. He’s great with my kids. Every time I ask about a relationship, he says he’s not there just yet due to the past relationship. I like him so much & he’s great but I’m conflicted on if I should stay or leave. I just don’t want to be hurt but he gives me all his time & attention.

    • It sounds as though he feels a strong emotional connection with you. He may be uncertain or confused about his feelings. Continue to spend additional time with him in person, as this will strengthen your relationship. When you feel comfortable, speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings again. Have a great day, Jocelyn!

  14. So I met a guy a year and a half ago. We had a few dates and got along really well. I was interested in someone else at the time and for a while, there was a bit of a love triangle going on. He asked me to be his girlfriend and I had to say no because my feelings were complicated at the time. It’s a decision I regretted for quite awhile. As time went on as best friends, I totally fell in love with this man. The thing is that he says we’re just friends, but we both know it’s more than that. This past year and a half has been a friends with benefits relationship, but it’s also much deeper. We talk to each other throughout the day every day, and we look forward to our phone conversations so much that it’s hard to say goodbye. We usually spend one day of the week with each other, and this most recent time we went to a musical festival. I got pretty sick there and he stayed by my side taking good care of me and stating that “he’s not leaving me and I’m stuck with him forever”. He even kissed me after my multiple times of throwing up just to be sweet. Also, we took molly that day and bonded even further. He started singing to me ” need you right now” softly to encourage me to dance with him. We are undoubtedly best friends but I know we’re more as well. Fact is, regardless if he never states feelings for me, I know we’ll be friends for the long haul because of how much we enjoy each other’s company.

    • It is certainly clear that the two of you share a strong social and emotional connection. Determine what you want for the future of this relationship. Spend additional time with him in person. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Give him an opportunity to share himself with you as well. Have a great day, Melanie!

  15. I have a boyfriend who tells me he loves me, wants me around but wants to be friends saying he is afraid of hurting me but he has been intimate with me even though I met him a virgin and I have feelings for him I don’t want to loose him. Pls what do I do an advice would be appreciated.

    • He feels a strong emotional connection with you. He likely is interested in nourishing a physical relationship with you. He is concerned about harming you emotionally. Determine what you want for your future of this relationship. Speak directly and honestly with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Angela!

  16. Connected with my high school sweetheart. I am married, he is single. After being together 3 times, he says he can’t be with me until I separate from my husband. I am in a loveless/sexless marriage and miserable.

    • You are unhappy with your marriage, but you are still married. Determine if you want to continue this marriage. If you do, then do not cheat on your partner. If you do not want to continue this relationship, then speak directly and honestly with your partner about your thoughts and feelings. If your relationship ends, then you may attempt to develop a relationship with someone else. Have a great day, Tammy!

  17. Hey, so I wanted advice on a situation. So I’ve been working with this co worker for years and recently things have gotten a bit personal. Before he always made positive remarks about my body. Now we talked about our dislikes and likes in bed, showed body parts to each other but the moment he physical touched me (practically naked) than he backs away. I’m not into having a bf/gf relationship. Honestly, I just want to sleep with him. But he backed away. I can tell he wanted to have sex but something told him to stop. We have been friends for a few years and he has showed interest in my body. He has told me serveral times that he trust me and he likes being around me. But idk what his deal is…

    • He feels a strong emotional and social connection with you. He is interested in developing a physical relationship with you. He likely does not want to harm your emotional relationship. Determine what you want for your future. It is normal and acceptable to want to maintain a physical relationship. Speak with him about your thoughts and feelings. Have a great day, Alexis!

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