Why He Doesn't Seem Interested (Even Though He Is) - The Ladies Coach - Love, Life & Relationship Advice for the Modern Woman

Why He Doesn’t Seem Interested (Even Though He Is)

by Kate Rose

Is it true that all men should go for what they want? Not always, and it’s this contradiction that seems to frustrate many women who don’t understand why he doesn’t seem interested, even though at times it feels like he is.

Most of us text, in the beginning, to see if we feel any spark or interest towards a new partner. Rarely does it seem that anyone is dating, at least in the traditional sense.

We’re hanging out, getting together and getting ourselves into some complicated situations. Sometimes we become confused because the guy we are interested in doesn’t seem that interested in us.

But why does he still stick around?

We often forget that men go through some difficult emotional situations as women do. They are not exempt from getting hurt, being afraid or even having baggage that prevents them from moving on in a new relationship.

Men are, still to this day, not expected to show their emotions as freely as women do. Even though we say we are looking for the “divine masculine,” rarely do we stop to consider that person might feel things as deeply as we do.

Some men are afraid of getting hurt again, so they create emotional distance (unconsciously) to feel safe.

They do this by communicating infrequently or planning dates sporadically. Usually, with men like this, it is normal to see breaks/space between dates even after having a great time together.

When we experience these breaks we often take it as if he’s not interested. But the truth is, sometimes men need to step back and breathe. They may need to move slower and while they may not always communicate it, distance from a man doesn’t always mean he’s not interested.

LISTEN: Top 10 Relationship Myths Plaguing the Modern Woman

Let’s ask ourselves, ladies: “Do I even have room in my life for love?”

I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to women who say they want a man to be x,y,z and to do x,y,z, but they aren’t even ready to step up to plate to meet this “perfect” man.

If you know you are ready to commit to a relationship and have been seeing a man who is giving you mixed signals, here are some reasons he might not seem interested, even though he is:

1. Sometimes men can sense our readiness and ability to open up depending on where we are in our journey, and if we are sending out that particular vibe men will often distance themselves.

They don’t always act like they’re not interested because they aren’t. Sometimes it’s because men don’t think we’re looking for the same thing, or even that we are ready for what they want from a partner.

2. While healthy communication is an essential ingredient for any relationship, especially a new one, it is something that you can’t force.

In a solid relationship, we hope to be able to tell our partners when we are triggered. But in a new relationship, especially with a man who seems half out the door, casualness is often the best bet. This isn’t about lying or being someone other than who we are. Often the more pressure a man feels in the beginning, the less he will engage with a particular woman.

3. Sometimes space or the “disinterest” from a man, is because he is overwhelmed by our interest and he’s unsure how to process it.

He can’t say that it’s not what he wants, but he also leaves us guessing about if he does either. He seems to enjoy the time together, but then also backs away at times. There are many reasons why a man can come across as being uninterested when he is.

Regardless of if it’s because of his past hurts, baggage, fears, having room in our lives for love or even if we are coming on too strong the most important message is to remember it’s not because we have done anything wrong.

4. Some men need to start relationships slowly and be given space, especially in the beginning.

It doesn’t mean that he isn’t interested or that you are turning him off. At times it’s because slow is the only the speed they know. It’s the only way to move through what is happening without pushing it away altogether.

The important aspect of relationships and love is that the success of the relationship has nothing to do with anything you do or don’t do. This means that while we become anxious or doubt ourselves, the important thing to remember is to be ourselves without censoring anything that we would say or do and also not making ourselves do something that feels unnatural.

If the relationship is going to work, it will, regardless of anything that occurs. If he falls in love with you, it won’t be for anything in particular.

Relationships only work out because two people are in the same place at the same time who both decided to choose to do the work necessary. They occur because both people are ready, and they decide to communicate their fears instead of running from them.

While it’s easy in some ways to say he isn’t that interested, call him a fool and move on, the reality is that may not be what you should do. If we approach relationships with the idea that they are for growth instead of looking at what he is doing, stop to consider what his behavior is trying to show or teach you about yourself. Because often it’s the best relationships that start slow.


Kate Rose

about the author

Kate Rose

Kate Rose is an artist, free thinker, lover, writer, passionate yogi, teacher, and mother. She wakes each morning with the excitement of a new day waiting to unfold at her feet. She believes the best is yet to come and waits, with bated breath, to see what it may hold. 

Gabrielle SAYS:

Just curious because this article is very relevant to me at the moment: would you encourage confronting him about it then? Calmly and with an open mind. Would it be forcing it to speak to him about where he sees this going? Or should I wait for him to be more engaged? Mind, it’s been several months and the lack of engagement is sort of recent.
As a fairly emotionally inexperienced 22 year old, I’d appreciate the advice. ????

Peggie Vasquez SAYS:

This was fantastically written and so easy to grasp the simplicity of what you were trying to relay. Just this one article I feel, put my mind at ease. It just makes so much sense. Thank you!

Ophelia Parke SAYS:

To whom it may concern,

I thank you for this article I met a really nice guy who says he needs and loves me but then takes steps back once we go forward. Not sure what I did for him to feel this way. However the article also summarized behaviors I sometimes posses which may trigger his reluctance.


That was a very good observation on men..I’ve dated a lot of guys but this last is by far the hardest to understand..two steps forward..1 step back……I will be patient with this one..he makes me smile..

Chrissy SAYS:

What if it’s your ex doing the above?

Kelly SAYS:

Yasss! It’s so tough to not only develop an understanding of what connection means to each individual, but to recognize one another’s needs and compromise even in the event that giving a man space fills your whole body with fear that you’re losing them (as it does for me). Love, compromise and a willingness to grow as individuals and a couple is crucial. I’m still trying to find that balance of loving myself and loving my partner.

Sara SAYS:

This is exactly what I needed to hear with my new relationship! It’s been about 4 months almost 5, and this exact action is happening. So, thank you for sharing!

M Jagger SAYS:

Just an observation – men are viewing (correctly) dating as a contract more and more these days. With any business proposition, the negatives have to be outweighed by the positives for us to be able to engage in said behavior. Nowadays, with womens’ unrealistic expectations and divorce courts usually siding with the women (even though ~80% of divorces are ENGAGED BY THE WOMEN), dating just isn’t worth it anymore. Especially when getting laid is so much easier than ever before.

Joni SAYS:

I really needed to hear this. Particularly the bit about allowing space and really not having ANY control whatsoever over the situation. It’s that illusion of control that really messes with my anxiety: I think that if I do something, or don’t do something, that I will be get the outcome I “think” I want. I have no idea what the universe has in store for me, at all.

    Christal Fuentes SAYS:

    Thank you for taking the time to read Joni! xx

Abby SAYS:

While what you say might be true – He has baggages from the past/feeling overwhelmed by you/he doesn’t show enough interest because he might be slow. BUTTTTT.. You find out he is also dating other people.
What does that mean, does your theory still apply????

    Christal Fuentes SAYS:

    I agree! I think this is just to shine a light on some good men who don’t fit the traditional masculine mold. The type of guy you are referring to is indeed, NOT THE GUY TO DATE! xx

Relationship Coach SAYS:

Great Job! Thank you for sharing this valuable post.

    Christal Fuentes SAYS:

    Thank you for taking the time to read! xx

Chrys SAYS:

Your article is bs.
If a guy is not showing interest then he ain’t interested end of.
You are making up excuses .

    Christal Fuentes SAYS:

    Hi Chris, that is definitely true a lot of the times. Thank you for reading, but this article is more for men who aren’t outwardly open emotionally. We have tons of articles on the site that do show the other side of this too. Thank you for your time! xx

John SAYS:

Why is it that women cannot accept that not all men like them? I’m so tired of seeing articles titled “I know he likes me, but …”. No, you don’t know he likes you. You’re making up things to spare your dignity. If he’s a decent human being, he’s nice to everybody. If a confident man likes you, he’ll ask you out. Period. If a man isn’t confident, it doesn’t matter what he does because you’ll eventually dump him. So quit wondering why the “guy who’s obviously into me” isn’t making a move. It’s probably because he’s NOT into you. Which is obvious to everyone but you.

Flower SAYS:

Hi, I love this article, it really hits home for me right now. This guy I’ve been seeing- We’ve been seeing each other for a bit over a month, we never said we were exclusive (but I wasn’t seeing anyone else). Long story short, he was married for a long time but got married at a young age (early 20s), wife cheated. Then he got into another relationship quickly with a woman who was an alcoholic and very destructive. (He didn’t tell me any of this, I know this all from a mutual friend.)

I’m not sure if he knows how to date for real
as an adult and date an adult woman.

Anyway, after seeing me for over a month, he went out for a night with someone else, but then came back to me and said sorry, saying that he is a one woman kind of man and is a nice guy and he has no idea why he did that, he wants to continue to see me, told me he loved hearing my voice (we were on the phone), all kinds of nice stuff. We went out last Saturday, had a nice night at his house, we did not have s** yet… we have not done that yet because I told him I wanted to wait until I was in a relationship. So we haven’t gotten there yet. We still had a intimate night though where we slept in the same bed, but did not sleep together. I’m not sure if that was the right thing to do but I can’t take it back now. Anyway I haven’t heard from him since even though he said we’d “hang out in the middle of the week”. It’s now been exactly one week. I know he has his kids all this weekend, he’s been busy getting a new car, dealing with a few personal things, but it only takes a minute to text somebody even if he couldn’t go out just to say, hey how are you doing? Etc etc. I called him on Thursday to see if he wanted to catch dinner, it was last minute… I got his voicemail, he always picks up so I was bothered. Anyway he never called back.

He could very well be withdrawing, as you say in your article, because of his feelings, which I hope is what’s happening here. That’s actually what my mutual friend said last weekend that “maybe he’s actually starting to care about somebody other than himself”. (Love that quote lol). And I’m being positive. After all, he came back to me after he screwed up and apologized to me, this was all a week and a half ago, so it’s all very confusing. What do you think I should do? I wanted to invite him to this party that I’m going to next weekend but at the same time I want him to reach out to me first since I already called him.

anon SAYS:

There’s ‘nice’ but then there’s flirting, acting differently with you than with everyone else etc.. you are making out that we are insane and imagining it.
If a man was just being nice we wouldn’t assume he fancied us.

Michelle SAYS:

I recently was separated from my husband but we had lived separately from each other in the house for 12 months.
I met a guy at work and the day I was leaving to go to a new job he asked me for my number.
We were friends and he new about my problems and was always helpful.
He sent me pictures of his family and would be supportive to me and that he likes me and I was out of league !!
We met to some months later and I stayed with him in is house he cooked from scratch as I’m veggi we had a great time talked etc.
He would talk and message me while I was on holiday and when I moved out in to my new home that he was proud of me and that I need to find a life for myself and live a litte.
We met again and he took me out for breakfast and we stayed with each other.
He was always a gent and put in the effort, but would always say that he thinks that I am not ready. He’s quite average and short and I guess I’m quite attractive and confident woman, I’m not sure why he keeps pushing me away.
I kept up the conversations as we live 2 hours apart but was always putting off seeing me again,
He then came and stayed with me a few months later and we had dinner all was lovely brought Xmas cards new home cards and a plant. He was loving and caring but always guarded.
We had a good physical relationship.
But then pulls ways again .. then he said he was not ready although I was not asking for anything just to see each other. I may have been a bit clingy but he’s so then man I want in my life.
He stopped talking now but still reads my messages. But won’t answer. He’s 47 and professional not a lad!!
I now found him on dating site..
I’m not sure what this is and what I did so wrong.
I did come on strong and he said I was to intense but I’m in love with him.
We get on great and have things in common.
I hoping he is just sacred or thinks that because I’m only just separated I’m unsure ?

Onis SAYS:

I looked this up because he said he wanted to narry me then still act cold and distant. So yea if you say you wanymt to be with me shiw it..its not fair to me..i font know what he is doing behind my back

Angel SAYS:

Its not about all men liking us. It’s about us being interested in a man who shows and/or says that he likes up but keeps an emotional distance from us. And so that’s when we start doubting if he’s truly interested because he a good guy but pulls back when it comes to the emotional side.

Jezzabel SAYS:

It’s really dissappointing to read some of the comments here. Some people come across as so damaged in their belief systems. It’s toxic reading and scary to think that’s what’s out there in the dating pool. No wonder they’re single.

Jane SAYS:

It’s a really fine line, but the truth is that most things that are good in life require effort, and this is no different. My partner has nearly been ditched many times over the last few weeks, as I am frustrated with progress…….but then I have to remember that every thing happens for a reason, my impatience us my problem and I need to be realistic and also he’s not been well. So rather than indulge in my selfishness, give it a bit more time and what will be will be. He is lovely, not my sort at all, but we are good together and some things are worth the wait, and I have faith.


The guy I’ve had a crush on for three years asked me out yesterday, and now is really distant. He’s ignoring my texts for hours, and he practically ran from the room when I was over to visit his sister. I’m crazy for him, and I hope he’s into me too. I’m 15 and he’s 16.

Destiny SAYS:

This was one of the most helpful articles I have ever read about this topic! I have searched and searched for answers to the way my man has been acting and this is most definitely our situation. It helps me understand him on a whole new level and appreciate his feelings more deeply. Thank you so much!

Kayleigh SAYS:

I am seeing a guy right now, we have sex from time to time and I spend the night afterward because he wants me to. Spending the night confuses me because when I am not around him, he doesn’t text back. But randomly he would call me or text me on his time…I don’t expect to talk to him all day but he literally will ignore me until he wants to talk to me again. I don’t know if he sees a future with me or just using me.

Conrad Williams SAYS:

I have been reviewing other sites on the psychology behind relationships and learning a lot from from women want in a man and why they pull away. `However looking at this article from Kate Rose offers a view from a women’s side understanding why men perhaps stand aloof at the beginning of a relationship and why mine with a new woman more recently broke up. I was trying to work this out and perhaps looking at another viewpoint, a woman’s understanding of men in a relationship, teaches you more about yourself, ie; myself.

Paul SAYS:

Plenty of sites say things like, “A guy who is shy might not make a direct move, but if he’s really interested in a woman, he will make some moves.” This is a complete – and false – generalization. There are many men, who like myself, are intensely shy. Although we know our feelings and desires are normal and legitimate from a ‘textbook’ perspective, we have a strong sense that expressing them to any woman would be offensive because we simply don’t have what it takes to attract a woman on those levels. So we literally never do or say anything to express our sexual / romantic feelings for a woman. None of this has to do with bodily / physical condition, employment, dwelling status, wealth, lifestyle or other ‘checklist’ item for men who want to attract women.

I am 43 and have many great [platonic] women friends who seek out / enjoy my company. When the subject of relationships arises, they ask me why I have never approached or asked any woman out. Many self-described ‘dating experts’, as well as others, say that women often give ‘clear signals’ to men they like and want to approach them – I have never gotten any such signal from a woman that has been clear enough for me to take it as an invitation approach, so I haven’t. One or more of my women friends has sometimes been with me when [they say] I get a signal – but I do not see it, so to me it is not there.


I’m in the exact position right now. I’ve been friends with is guy for almost 7 years. Although I’ve always believed this guy was my soulmate. The only problem was he’s in the US and I’m in Australia. A lot has happened in those 7 years. We stayed as friends until I found someone here in Australia who became my husband and the father of my daughter, but after 4 years of being with him, we decided to split. Everything felt rushed. In those 4 years I didn’t talk to my American friend. Up until after my split with my ex husband. Since after reconnecting with my American friend a lot has been confessed but at the same time he’s not as open as he used to be. It’s like starting from the very beginning again. He confessed some major stuff that he says he can only say when he’s drunk, but when he’s not he’s very reserved. The thing is this guy makes an effort to call no matter how busy and shitty his week has been. Never failed to support me with anything. At the end of the day I feel like I might just have to wait on focusing on myself first since I’ve no interest in dating a guy – unless it was him since I’ve known him for that long, but I wanna make sure I’m really ready. In a way, I think I’m ready if it was him. I feel connected to him. It’s one of those weird things, but I’m a little confused with how he feels about me.

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