What Does It Mean When a Guy Says He’s “Not Ready”? Here’s a Possibility…

The more I think about it, the more I realize my problem with dating can be summed up in about three words–“I’m not ready.”

That’s not me saying it, that’s the guy I’m into saying it to me. I swear that’s the line I get almost every time I meet someone I actually care to date, and I just never really understood it. What do you mean you’re not ready? Ready for what?

You see, females and males differ in all kinds of ways (obviously), and most women find this whole “not ready” thing to be an excuse. Why? Because more often than not, we’re willing to make a man fit into our routine and our life without hesitation, regardless of where we are in our journey of life.

Guys…not so much.

The last guy who threw that line at me really left me questioning everything.

Although it’s understandable that during times of heartbreak, one would go to her girlfriends for some guidance and insight, we also need to take one simple fact into consideration–women don’t understand men. So asking another female what this guy is thinking doesn’t always help.

Men, however, understand men. Therefore, I went to my best guy friend for some wisdom and what he told me made sense, so I’m sharing it with you because I know others have been in my shoes.

For background: He already knew a little bit about my situation, but not everything, so when he asked for an update on my love life, this is how it went:

(via text message)

Me: Basically he said he’s not ready.

Him: Damn..Well, its not like he didn’t like you, he just wasn’t ready.

Me: But see I don’t understand that. To me it’s just like, if you really liked me, you’d be with me regardless.

Him: I’m gonna ask one question…Then based on your answer I might be able to explain. What does he do?

(To protect my former lover’s privacy, I’ll just summarize–he’s doing well for himself, but still working toward getting everything in his life in order.)

Him: #boom

Me: But still! I don’t give a shit about any of that stuff because I know it’s only temporary.

Him: I need to write a book or something.

Me: Lol let’s write a book together. But first, tell me what’s going on with him.

Him: K so to you…Those might sound like obstacles you can hurdle over… But it’s the downfall of being a sexy woman with her shit together… Any man (who is actually a man) will only feel comfortable starting something with you if they know they also have their shit together. You won’t understand because you’re not a man.

Me: I don’t understand. I mean I do. Partially. But it feels like I wasn’t worth it. Like he’s willing to let me go instead of just seeing what happens.

Him: Real men, and despite his current circumstances, he sounds like a real man, feel the need to provide and to have something to offer. Otherwise he will feel 1. intimidated by you and 2. less of a man. And no, he’s willing to let it go on good terms with the possibility of reconnection instead of jumping into it and blowing it.

And there you have it.

Of course this theory ran through my mind (during the rare moments when I was thinking logically), and it was nice to hear that because it made me feel like it wasn’t me that he was dissing. And I knew that. I know that. But it’s easier to think oh, I‘m not worth it or oh, there’s someone else which is A. so sad and B. not always the case.

Are there guys who use the “I’m not ready” excuse because they’re cowards and can’t tell you what’s really going on? Yes.

Are there guys who use the “I’m not ready” excuse and then end up in a relationship the next day with someone else? Yes.

Are there guys who say “I’m not ready” because they’re genuinely not ready? Yes.

“No matter how good of a woman you are, you’ll never be good enough to a man who isn’t ready.”

We, as women, tend to complicate things sometimes. I couldn’t accept what this guy told me and just be like, “OK, you’re not ready. I respect that,” because that would make things way too easy. No, instead, I concocted thousands of possible scenarios in my head, created romantic connections to every girl on his Instagram, tried to convince myself that everything he said and we experienced was bullshit and let myself believe that I mean nothing to him.

I let my insecurities and scars from past relationships affect my current interactions, and that is fucking horrible.

Why is it easier for us to believe we’re not good enough? I don’t know. I really don’t. Granted, this guy could be running games, but at this point it doesn’t really matter anymore.

At the end of the day, being told by a guy “I’m not ready” is a good thing, because you know what that says about you? That says you’re the type of woman men have to take seriously. You’re the settling down type. You’re the keeper–and that scares a lot of guys, but it can also motivate them.

The right guy, the guy who sees what a great catch you are and wants to be in your life, will do what he needs to do to man up and become the partner you deserve.

That’s the kind of man you want beside you.

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    • This does make sense. I date a man for only a month, he was so into me and said I was the kinda woman that makes him wanna “simmer down”, he talked about future plans of doing things too. He was very, very affectionate, cooked for me, looked me in the eyes all the time when he spoke to me, i ket his whole family, we laughed and had a genuine connection. Then he went cold suddenly, broke it off and said he “wasn’t ready” and is in a tight spot with his living situation, which I respect (he lives w family rite now). He wants get his own place. I have my own home and good job, so honestly I feel he wants to be able provide for me and be man I want and deserve. He said if he didn’t care he would just said “f#@k it” and kept seeing me. I think this guy’s fallen for me!

  • Wow….did I need to read this. Thank you. I,too, enlisted the help of a male friend trying to figure out why this wonderful guy I was dating, the one I always had a good time with, the one who always kept his word, treated me kindly, told me “he’s not ready”. My male friend said the same things as yours. Your article has made me feel so much better. And, as I think about my life, there have been a few great guys that I have said those words to. Guys I thought were incredible, but I wasn’t ready. You can’t force love….I have come to realize one must trust the process, not try to control it. THANK YOU again…..

  • Hey Bruna, I rarely comment on blog posts because I always feel like a bit of an idiot but I just wanted to say that I really think you’ve nailed this post. It’s so easy to jump to conclusions and to be self-deprecating when we are told something that we don’t understand but I think it takes much more courage to realize that men and women just approach relationships differently, which doesn’t necessarily make a guy’s approach wrong, just bloody frustrating.
    Anyway (side note)- I’m really enjoying your blog, your humour and insight really come through in your writing. As i read, I’m either nodding in agreement (vigorously enough to pop a blood vessel) or awkwardly cackling at the laptop screen. Looking forward to reading more!

  • Omygod you literally made my day. I was told by a guy after 3 months of us talking and thinking about dating after I graduate college (he graduated before me), that he doesn’t think he’s the guy for me.” I was mortified, shocked, and confused. This makes so much sense and made me realize exactly what I needed to realize about this situation. Thank you so much! I wish I could give you a hug.

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