You just had a really nice date, and he tells you he’s interested in seeing you again. But when you ask him what he’s looking for in a relationship he says, “I don’t know what I want.” What does he mean?
Or, you’re 3 months into dating a handsome, successful brotha who has been kind and consistent with you, but he hasn’t brought up the commitment talk yet. When you ask him where things are headed, he says, “I don’t know what I want,” leaving you to interpret what in the world that means.
When a man gives you such a vague answer to a very specific question about his desires for a relationship, it can leave you swimming in doubt, insecurity, and fear. Does he just want a hookup? Has he been playing me this whole time? Do I just give him some time to figure it all out? Is he trying to break up with me?!
If this a familiar dating situation you find yourself in, I’m going to clear things up for you. If a man says he doesn’t know what he wants, but he still wants to spend time with you, know that you’re starting a relationship on shaky ground. You’re essentially playing “guess what’s in my head” with this guy, spending too much time trying to read between the lines of his actions. Solid relationships should make you feel secure about where you stand with your man. So let me give you 3 possible interpretations of “I don’t know what I want,” so you can know your next move.
Definition #1: “I don’t know WHO I want.”
If a man has been dating you for several months and from the outside looking in, makes you feel like he’s committed to you, but doesn’t ever actually commit to you, you need to assume he’s seeing other people. In this case, it’s not that he doesn’t know what he wants. It’s that he doesn’t know WHO he wants. If you want to be a priority and not just an option to a man you’re dating, then you need to make a decision about whether you’ll keep dating him.
Definition #2: “I don’t like being alone but I also don’t want to commit to the work of a relationship.”
If you’re in the early stages of dating and he tells you he’s unsure of why he’s dating in the first place, this man could just want companionship without having to commit. Maybe he’s recently divorced and misses the comforts of relationships, but he’s still figuring out his new life as a bachelor. If he’s not quite sure of what he wants out of dating, don’t get emotionally attached to him so quickly. Wait until his relationship goals are aligned with yours.
Definition #3: I don’t want to tell you the truth and hurt your feelings
Sometimes a man just doesn’t want to tell you the truth because he doesn’t want to be responsible for your hurt feelings. Hey may feel pressured to tell you what he thinks you want to hear, and if he says anything other than, “I”m looking for commitment,” you’ll feel some kind of way (and you won’t want to be with him anymore). The fact is you want a partner who values honesty and kindness, and if this man you’re seeing isn’t able to tell you what he’s really thinking now, he may not be able to in the future.
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In all of these scenarios, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from wasting your time and breaking your heart is to give him space. This may mean continuing to see him in the early stages of dating but don’t let yourself become emotionally attached. Keep dating other people so that you’re not blindsided if he never becomes ready for something serious. If you’ve been dating a man for a while and he’s still not sure of what he wants, don’t give him an ultimatum. Give yourself the gift of commitment by telling him you’re going to look for someone who does know he’s ready for love.
BMWK, how do you respond when your date says, “I don’t know what I want?” Tell me in the comments below!