It's easy to get caught up in matters of the heart. And by "matters of the heart," I mean "all that messy, human, unrequited love bullshit." When you're in the middle of it, like the eye of a "why didn't he text back yet" tornado, it's tough to see things for what they are. Here are the most commonly misinterpreted reasons a guy doesn't want to settle down with you.
1. You think: "The timing just isn't right."
The real reason: Would you ever turn down a promotion at work because you want to wait longer until another promotion comes along? Would you turn down a steak dinner because you'd rather eat in an hour? Has there ever really been a "bad" time to drink water, something your body needs to survive? Yeah, sure, hypothetically there's a bad time for all these things, but my point is, if something is good, you'll make it work, but you might not go out of your way for something OK. If someone offers to take you out for a P2,000 steak dinner, you're going to bust your ass to get there. If someone offers you a few slices of pizza, you might not be so inclined. If "the timing is bad," it's because he thinks you're pizza.
2. You think: "He's working a lot and doesn't have time for me."
The real reason: This might be the case, but there's "working a lot" where he doesn't really text you during the week, then there's "working a lot" where you don't hear from him at all for a month. The second one is bad. He's prioritizing a lot of things (read: pretty much everything) over you, because he doesn't see you as an important part of his life.
3. You think: "He was badly hurt in his last relationship."
The real reason: Maybe, but just because you burned the roof of your mouth with some hot soup doesn't mean you stop eating food. Yeah, a bad breakup is going to put anyone on the defensive, but it doesn't turn you into a heartless ice creature. If he's generally avoiding you, it's because he doesn't want to see you that badly.
4. You think: "This relationship is too good and it scares him."
The real reason: No one walks away from something too good except for in the movies when some gruff hitman with a heart of gold is like, "I CAN'T BE NEAR YOU, I'M TOO DANGEROUS!" You know what people are scared of? Kind of OK but really comfortable, like a Venus flytrap of cuddling. He's not scared of loving you too much, he's scared of falling into a relationship that's comfortable, but not great.
5. You think: "He's been in a lot of LTRs and he's not sure if he's ready to jump back into something right now."
The real reason: Relationships are scary, especially if you've been burned by one in the past. But that doesn't change the fact that if you think someone is The One, you can still work past it. If he's adverse to getting into a serious relationship, it's because he thinks you're The Three or even The Eight.
6. You think: "He likes how things are, but he's not sure if it's possible to take it to another level."
The real reason: There are three levels, but people tend to overcomplicate things. The three levels are:
- Not fucking.
- Into each other.
If he doesn't want to "take it to the next level" that just means "I like having sex with you but I never, ever want to hear about your day." There's nothing wrong with that; just don't lie to yourself about it.
7. You think: "He doesn't deserve me."
The real reason: The only people that don't deserve love are serial killers and pedophiles. Declaring that you're better than someone else is a ridiculous defense mechanism. As long as someone didn't treat you poorly, ranking yourself above them is just mean. He didn't want to date you, so you shouldn't want to date him. He didn't like you as much as you liked him. That's all that happened. It's OK, and you're both good people.
8. You think: "He doesn't think he can give me what I need."
The real reason: Relationships aren't like getting a dog, where he's like, "Oh, shit. I can't go on vacation with my buddies because if I'm gone for more than a day, my girlfriend will take a shit in the kitchen." The only reason he can't give you what you need is if you need a relationship and he doesn't. There's nothing wrong with emotionless sex, but don't make excuses or hope he's going to change his mind. He won't. He probably knows that's the case, but he also doesn't want to turn down sex.
9. You think: "He just wants to see how it goes...if it happens, it happens."
The real reason: "Taking it slow" basically means "I think you're OK unless someone else comes along. It's like renting an apartment versus tying up all your money in a condo.
10. You think: "I can change him."
The real reason: Everyone's job as half of a relationship (or a third, or a fourth ... shout-out to the polys) is to support the other person, not tinker around with them until they're a totally different person. Thinking along those lines is desperate: It means you're just happy to find someone that likes you, but you don't really like them enough.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.