Oh honey, that hurts. You’ve been hooking up for a few weeks, and you are SMITTEN, then suddenly he hits you with the talk. You, being certain you can change his mind, lie and say that you also just want something casual. Then, you hook up for a few more months until eventually his texts start dwindling and one day your best friend spots him making out with that girl from your high school in a dive bar, and she has to break your heart for him. Then you drunk text him calling him out, he ignores you, and you live forever in embarrassment that he got the best of you. It’s a very painful and all-too familiar story, but it does not have to be. You can change the ending. Right here, right now.
When he tells you he doesn’t want a girlfriend, you have to hear him; believe me, odds are very good that it has nothing to do with you. So much of relationships are about timing – you don’t know what is going on with him that is holding him back – it could be work stuff, he could have another relationship on his mind, or he could just truly want to focus on himself. That thing people say about “if he wanted you, he’d choose you” is plainly false – even if he wanted you and you were his perfect girl, if he already has it in his mind that he doesn’t want a girlfriend, then no one is going to change that. Hear him, and realize that now is not the time to get any more involved with this person (unless of course you do just want to hook up and won’t get emotionally attached which, if you can do that, power to you!).
I will give you the words. I know you don’t want to end it – you may even think you love him – but if you ever want a real shot with him, now is not the time. This, in my opinion, is the best thing you can say to someone who tells you that they just want something casual: “Hey, no worries. I appreciate you being so up front and honest about that. I’m at a point in my life where I want something special, and I can definitely see that in you, but if you’re not in a place to be in a relationship that is totally fine. I wish you all the best and hopefully we can give this another go in the future.” These words are clear, to the point, and don’t completely cut off contact, should he ever change his mind. I have sent something similar to men a few times and – months or years later when they were looking for something more serious – they called me up. You want him to remember you as someone who was kind, honest and respectable; once he has the image of you as a strong and confident woman, he will not soon forget it. Even if you never hear from him again, you still left it with a kind heart, unscathed.