Why The Guys You Want, Aren’t Interested

So it finally happened. After months (or years) of going to parties, swiping away on Tinder, and clicking through online profiles, you’ve finally found a guy you actually like?


Except…suddenly, after dating for a while, you realise he’s not so into you anymore. He pulls away. He talks about “wanting to be on his own”, and you feel him slip through your fingers.

Why is the world so cruel?? You wonder if the universe just hates you and only places good men in the world to torture you with the fact that they’re out of your reach.


Ok. Relax.

There’s nothing wrong with you.

In this article, I’m going to explain the psychology of why you’re subtly pushing away the guys you really like, and give you some powerful solutions to prevent this happening in the future.

Here are 5 big reasons why he’s not interested in something more serious with you:

1. You’ve fallen for an ideal of him, not the real person

I remember a client of mine (we’ll call her Nicole) who told me about a guy who recently broke things off. She was torn apart.

She said:

“We completely click intellectually. That’s so rare for me. We both love books and art and the same movies, plus he’s really sexy and amazing in bed. I never get that combination of amazing things in one guy.”

So what happened here?

Nicole had built up this man as everything in her head. Within just a couple of weeks she had decided “This is it! I’ve never met anyone like him so he must be the person I should be with.”

man pointing at his abs

Meanwhile, this guy was completely on-the-fence…he would often suddenly not call or text for days on end, he was sketchy about wanting a relationship, and would give her short text responses like “good” and “cool” when she tried to make plans or ask him how he was.

See what happened?

Nicole’s fatal mistake was that she had fallen for this guy without really assessing the man in front of her eyes. She had fallen in love with a bunch of character traits he had (i.e. intelligence, sexual charisma), but she never assessed whether he was really a great guy for her.

The solution? Fall for guys not based just on who they are, but based on how he treats you. This requires you to start seeing yourself as deserving of a great guy who truly wants to be with you, instead of putting yourself in the position of the “convincer” who has to put in serious work to locking a guy down.

For a guy to be right he also needs to be the kind of guy who wants a relationship with you. That sounds so obvious, but I hear over and over and over again from women who continue to chase guys who were never in a place to be exclusive to begin with.

Look at the man in front of you – don’t fall for a version of him you’ve made up in your head and then wonder later why it feels like he’s not into you!

2. You don’t keep up your standards with the guys you like

It’s a typical story.

You have no problem being strong and assertive in your career. With your friends, you don’t take any crap. You have integrity.

And yet, that guy comes along and suddenly: You let him get away with things you’d never let your friends get away with.

He messes you around, cancels dates at the last-minute, does something selfish or doesn’t show much interest in your life… and you say nothing.

woman upset in relationship

The hard truth is, you acting like a pavement to be walked over by a guy is simply boring for him. Men like to be with women who challenge them and who aren’t afraid to speak up for themselves when they’re treated in a way they disapprove of.

It’s so easy to allow our attraction to blind us to whether someone is truly respecting us and living up to the standards that matter to us. From now on, your criteria for liking a guy need to be directly related to his actions, not his words.

When he does something you disapprove of, you have a conversation about it. If he can’t even acknowledge any wrongdoing, start backing off. Only seeing this will make him realise that he has to raise his game to be with you.

The women that men stay attracted to are the ones who maintain their own integrity and don’t bend over backwards just because they like him.

3. You obsess over your behavior too much

What eye makeup would he like? How can you keep him excited? What if you say something dumb? Does he think you’re intelligent enough?

woman at cafe thinking

This kind of obsession with your own behavior quickly leads to insecurity, and guys can smell a women who is unsure of herself from a mile away.

There’s nothing quite as attraction-killing as a woman who worries about “not being good enough” for the man she is dating. If he senses that you doubt you’re attractive enough for him, he’ll start to feel like he’s selling himself short and will wonder: Maybe I can do better.

How YOU feel about yourself determines so much about how you are perceived by men. Even the best looking women can blow it with guys by acting needy, insecure, and desperate for compliments to be reminded that they are attractive.

Although guys love complimenting women, they love doing it to women who are already confident and who take it graciously in their stride, not the women who need constant reassurance.

Remember: he’s not interested in someone who looks to him for all her validation. He wants a woman who knows she’s amazing and who can let go and enjoy her life whether he’s around or not.

4. You move too quickly

Every guy has dated that woman in his twenties that seemed to run the relationship at 5x normal speed.

And all men have a finely-tuned automatic spidey-sense for women who are too keen to skip ahead and fast forward prematurely to the “relationship stage”.

couple holding onto each other

If you’re wondering why he’s not into you, it may be because you’re subtly pushing him in a way that makes him super uncomfortable. There’s nothing more of a turn-off for a man than feeling like he’s dating someone who is trying to fill a relationship-shaped hole in her life.

Men need to feel like they have been chosen for a reason. They want to court you over lots of dates and earn a special place in your world.

By all means, don’t hide the fact that you are eventually looking for something serious, but keep your cards close to your chest in the initial stages and choose him once he proves himself to be a guy who deserves your exclusive attention.

5. You are choosing “unavailable” men

I remember when I was younger meeting a woman who said she only fell for guys who didn’t show they were interested in her.

Needless to say, this scrambled my brain: “Why would someone solely like guys who don’t like her back?”

Unfortunately, for all manner of reasons, there are plenty of masochists in this world. Many women and men exist who get an odd kind of pleasure in chasing down a “challenge”, rather than pursuing healthy relationships with people who treat them with kindness and affection.man ignoring woman

And I’m sad to say that there are women out there who find themselves only attracted to guys that never want them in the first place. For all kinds of reasons, these women see a man’s disinterest as a personal challenge to “win him over” – they automatically flip a switch in their brain which says, “he doesn’t care about me, that must mean he’s worth locking down”.

Yes…it’s as messed up as it sounds.

Let me give you the story here:

You meet this guy. He acts like he’s too good for you. You chase him down and do everything to seduce him and make him like you. Then he relents and after a while of keeping you in his contacts list, he either gets bored, or realises he’s not interested in you as a serious partner, or he continues to treat you like you’re disposable, picking you up whenever he’s bored or lonely and then moving on to someone else.

This is a horrible cycle to get locked into.

The only way out of this is to realise that the short-term high of “winning a guy” over is nothing compared to years of potential misery with a guy who isn’t capable of showing you the devotion and respect you deserve.

Choose yourself. Choose your own worth. Look for people in your life who see that already and surround yourself with people who encourage healthy relationships. You’ll thank yourself when you’re with a man who feels like he’s the luckiest person alive just to have met you.

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24 Replies to “Why The Guys You Want, Aren’t Interested”

  • This is SO ME. All of the points. Thank you big time. The problem is… I really dunno how to be interested in men who do like me back, because those are usually… I dunno, boring? They give themselves over to me too quickly – or they are needy, clingy, desperate for sex… and I primarily want a man whom I could value. But I cannot find him. How do I stop this cycle? Thank you.

  • I disagree that women who only date / communicate with unavailable men see this as a challenge. They do this for several reasons, 1 is because they do not truly believe they can have a real relationship so stay on the periphery. 2. because they really do like being single but we are all human and need a hug from time to time (NOT a euphemism for sex), to feel a bit alive, to feel validated that they are not unfortunate looking and for a bit of banter. Others feel that they can not be really truly rejected if he is married / emotionally unavailable because they knew this already. Also, there are many layers of relationships. There are women who have long term sparse relationships for years that may or may not involve sex for instance. Also it goes right back to childhood. If a woman’s Dad was always telling his daughter, “later / Dad’s busy / another time” she gets so good at accommodating that and accepting that he loves her even if he never gets round to investing in her. She becomes emotionally independent and eventually singledom is so ingrained that other friendships and associations fill up her life so that she does not have social time for a man. It may not be entirely healthy but its like how a dog with 3 legs learns to run just as well as one with 4. (see I watch all your vids)

    1. Well, women keep saying that the man needs to be a “challenge”, so as NOT to be a doormat and/or a candidate for punishment in the dreaded friendzone. This is a ROUGH ride!

  • I wish some of this was true for me, then I’d know I’d have some work to do on myself, but I find it’s actually the exact opposite.

    The men move too fast; they push me away. For example, I’ve received marriage proposals made ‘in jest’ on first and second dates. Not once, not twice, but thrice since I’ve been single! I thought it was charming (and a frightening thought) at first. But now it’s a big turn off.

    Maybe it’s because I don’t believe in a fairy tale version of some guy is going sweep me off my feet and become the man of my dreams.

    That will take time. He’s going to have to show up, be present, be authentic, and ignite my freaking bones with love and light in order for me to even consider a relationship, much less a proposal.

    Do you have an article about ‘faith’ and you’re doing it all right, girl, just have patience?! And faith. A lot of faith. ;)

    Guide me that way, please and thank you.

  • Great article and a good reminder. Hoping for more articles on building that core confidence that you talk about…..

  • I keep running into rebound guys. I am in my mid-thirties. A big portion of the ‘technically available’ guys are separated, getting divorced, divorced (but not over it) or out of LTRs. They are not really able to give me what I want when I meet them. I cannot take it personally, but it is frustrating.

    I am burned out on the search for that unicorn quality man that is attractive, meant for me, technically available and emotionally available.

  • I was sick of the hit and miss nature of online dating sites until I came across a new site called masqueradar.com. masqueradar lets lets you find other singles at a bar, club etc that you at, who meet your criteria. But the best thing about masqueradar is you can then share with others your positive feedback people you have met. This gives people more comfort to approach someone when they know other people have had a positive experience with them.

  • I have one question. I have struggled with major clinical depression all of my life and my prognosis is not good. Considering that men are looking for confident, secure, happy women – and I am still struggling terribly with all aspects of all of those (and I am now 37) I will be struggling with all of this and major clinical depression all of my life. My question is I wonder if I am wasting my time being alive struggling with this severe and worsening genetically inherited illness that has no cure – the only remaining purpose I have to live is to share life with somebody – if I am unable to maintain a consistent personality that is happy, confident, secure, etc – would the general consensus, among guys speaking brutal truth – should I plan to end my life sooner rather than later? I am aware being suicidal is not “sexy” and if I could choose not to have this severe neurochemical imbalance I would choose happiness and build confidence etc but it is *not* a choice for me .

  • I cannot pinpoint which of these, (if any) are applicable to my current situation.
    I would like to think that I am a smart, independent woman. After escaping a volatile, abusive relationship, I took time out to rebuild myself. After a few years, I began casually dating here and there but nothing stuck. Given my previous experience, I stopped accepting and/or making excuses for people who did not respect or value me or my time. Walking away from those situations became very easy for me to do. I view relationships (in all forms) as something that should add to your life in a healthy way. Romantic relationships are not necessarily sought out, but a kind of bonus, occurring organically.

    So a couple years ago while casually dating one man, I met another. (He lives in a different state than I do.) We would speak platonically maybe every few months. Eventually every few months turned into a couple times a week, then turned into almost daily. Emails, video chats, phone calls, texting. (For reasons completely unrelated to this man, I am currently not seeing anyone else.) Our conversations slowly turned less and less platonic. He has mentioned getting together, asking if I want something more serious with him, discussing the logistics of that, if so. He has told me multiple times that he sees a future with me, he is falling for me, things of that nature.

    Then he pulls back. I asked him why he does that and he says he is scared.

    The thing is, if either of us has been unsure or uncomfortable with something, we have always discussed it in a calm manner and moved forward seemingly stronger than before. We haven’t so much fought as had discussions that end with the both of us on the same page.

    However, the last few months we’ve been trying to arrange a time and place to get together. Every time it gets close, before anything is set in stone (flights booked, etc) he backs off. I called him out on this. Sometimes schedules don’t match, life happens and I understand that. But after the third time, I had to asks, “Are you seeing other people.” Even though he has said he is not. “Do you not want to keep this going?” He says he does.

    So why then, after a long slow progression and building of communication, and him initiating some of the more serious topics, is he stepping backwards after asking to move forward? Why does it feel like I’m being met with resistance when he has been asking for this?

    He has never given me a reason to be doubtful or not trust him until now. If everything were truly fine as he says, one would think this would be much smoother.

    Hoping for the full, unbiased truth here.

  • Dear Matt,
    Everything you say is just great, i completely understand.

    But how is that applicable for a man with whom we are couple for more than 20 years (well, 22 to be precise)?

    Since recently we even started working together… Seems all was really OK…until we started being 24 hours a day together.
    All conversations turned into business discussions, kind of no privacy, kind of no passion, kind of no interest….

    And I am everything (yeah, i really dare to say that) you explain a woman should be.

    I used to have a very successful corporate career, impactful role… all i wanted. I reached my limits or lets say, interest, i experienced burnout and i just left (year and a half ago).
    Took time to clear my mind and my body away from everything i did not want to be part of me and I started over. Supporting family business and developing my own simultaneously.

    This is in a nutshell.

    So? Why the guy i want is not interested??? Why my guy is not interested??

    I hope you respond :)
    Thanks for that :)


  • Right On!!! I’ll keep this stupid simple..

    Keep Clear Away !!!

    My comeback to Men ~ I’m not a Side dish but Main course with Desert.

    Don’t say sorry cause you’re Not giving the benefit the individual asshole.

  • Hi Matt! Help: it’s been 2 years now and we still are friends with benefits. We both know it’s just sex but we dated for a year before that. I’m a really sexual person and so is he. I’m in the best position I feel because I always know I have him if I get the need. And I can look at other men and flirt around if I want to without feeling bad. But we always tell each other if we have sex with someone else. I have had sex with one guy twice and I told him. He didn’t care because he wouldn’t loos what we have. We have the most intense sex and the quality of the sex is amazing! my problem is that in the past weeks I’ve been fantasizing about dating him again. He is 25. And I’m 32. I asked him if he could see us getting back together, his answers was probably not. I don’t know what that means! I know I care about him as a friend and I love him as a friend. But sometimes I just want more out of him. He is an introvert person and grew up with a dad telling him how bad women are. We have talked about this and he is scared of investing and we have talked about it. How should I talk to a introvert? On my part I don’t want a man with a bad view of woman and scared of investment. I’m a big girl I can find someone else to fall in love with. But I haven’t fully let go of him, and If his not right for me at least I can help him. I will always love him in one way or another. We are close! So what do I do? Thanks Linn

  • totally agree.
    Im 25 years old, and I´m in the point of my life taht I want a healthy relation, but the most important its love myself.
    Tranks for the advices. Greets from Mexico city.

  • My sons don’t date, because women are seen by them as too much trouble with too little benefit. Because I’ve never had a good relationship with a woman, I approve of their avoidance of women. They came to these beliefs without any prodding from me. They watched, they learned, they decided. Just what all young men should do before deciding whether or not to make the biggest mistake of their life.

    1. I’ve never dated either. I will not put myself in a position where being respectful and friendly could land me in court because someone misinterpreted my saying hello in a public place as harassment. I’m not saying that all women do this – but I do not know (how could I?) who the minority are who do. I have women friends who always say I’m “a great guy who gets lots of signs from women” and I “just need to put myself out there” – but here’s the thing: they are not the one who would be accused.

  • Honestly, this advice is so ironic. It says don’t take crap, do this, don’t do that… but then says to not obsess over our actions… WTF! It’s articles like this that are EXACTLY why we think we need to be some friggen perfect woman. Forget men. I’m seriously happier just accepting that I’m forever alone. Like how come I have to hide my very human insecurities? How come I can’t treat him as kindly as I would treat anyone I want to impress? I give up. I honestly don’t think men have the capacity to love anyway. I really don’t think they even know what it means to love a woman. It is what it is.

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