When a Man Doesn’t Love a Woman: How to Know If He’s Just Not That Into You

A woman who's worried her boyfriend doesn't love her, looking down and thinking.

How do I know if he really loves me and wants to be with me?

This is by far the question I get most from my readers. It makes me sad that so many wonderfully deserving and quality women out there are in relationships where they even feel like they have to ask this question. And yet, I hear it all the time. From readers, from friends, across social media, and Lord knows I’ve heard the same cry from my own heart at least a dozen times: “How do I know if he really loves me and wants to be with me?”

The truth is that I can’t tell you some magical formula for how to figure out if he really loves you and wants to be with you. I can’t tell you this because I have yet to find my forever person who I hope will definitively answer this question for me once and for all. But through my own experiences and through helping many a friend navigate through many a heartache, I think I’ve come up with a pretty clear formula about how to tell if he doesn’t really love you and want to be with you—which might sound harsh until I remind you that a man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you is also a man who doesn’t deserve you.

So here goes.

A man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will constantly leave you questioning everything about the relationship. There will be no certainty, no solid ground. Everything will be fraught with hesitation and doubt and anxiety. He will purposely leave you idling in the gray area as long as you are content to stay there, so he feels safe in the knowledge that he always has a standby if and when the need arises.

You will constantly be walking on quicksand or eggshells. You will constantly struggle to find your footing. He will give a little then take away a lot. You will never feel safe in the relationship. The moment you even start to feel safe, he’ll jerk the rug out from under you just to remind you that he, not you, is in control of the relationship.

A man who doesn’t love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will drift in and out of your life on his own accord and his own timetable. He’ll even leave you feeling as though he’s doing this huge favor to you. He will subtly let you know that spending time with you is not a privilege but an inconvenience for him, so you should savor every precious moment he allots to you because you weren’t worthy of it in the first place. (He’ll do this so subtly, in fact, that it will almost seem charming.)

Here’s the thing, though: a man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will never, ever really inconvenience himself for you. He will never meet you halfway. You will be left to do all the work, all the heavy lifting, all the effort. And you keep doing it because you know if you don’t, you’ll never get to see him.

A man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will never ask you how your day was. Nope, small gestures of thoughtfulness like that aren’t even on his radar. The truth is, he doesn’t ask you how your day was because he doesn’t really care to hear the answer.

A man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will dodge. He will never give a straight answer. He will act shady. He will disappear for long intervals of time. He’s always “crazy busy.” He won’t respond to texts in a timely fashion or at all. His phone constantly dies or he’s perpetually out of cell range. He will be largely unavailable, always emotionally unavailable and often literally.

He will lie. He will cancel plans at the last minute. He will leave you waiting for hours. You are more likely hear from him at 2:00 a.m. than 2:00 p.m. He won’t introduce you to his friends. You won’t see any sign of yourself on his social media pages. He will act single regardless of what his Facebook status says.

And after a certain amount of time dealing with all of the above and of slowly having your dignity, confidence, and self-esteem chipped away at a little at a time, a man who doesn’t really love you and doesn’t really want to be with you will leave you questioning everything about yourself. Why aren’t you enough for him? Why are his friends more important than you? His work more important than you? Why did you dare speak up and tell him that he hurt your feelings? That’s probably why you haven’t heard from him in weeks. What is he doing behind your back? What is he doing when he vanishes from your life? Why are you not worthy of his time, love, and attention? What can you do better to make him love you more? Are you too fat? Too old? Too ugly? Too insecure? Too needy? Too independent? Too MUCH?

(The answer all of those questions is a resounding NO, with the exception of the last question. Yes, you are too much. Too much woman for too little man.)

But finally, I should say that all these signs and all this evidence really means nothing, because you answered your question when you asked it.

“How do I know if he really loves me and really wants to be with me?”

You know because you will never have to ask that question of a man who does.

Mandy Hale

Bestselling Author

Blogger turned New York Times bestselling author Mandy Hale is the creator of The Single Woman social media movement that has revolutionized what it means to be single. The author of four books, Mandy’s empowering message reaches millions of women across the world every day.

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