Liking someone but not knowing if you want a relationship with them sounds crazy but it’s more common than you’d expect. In fact, there have been times in my life when I also asked myself the following question – I like her but I’m not ready for a relationship. What should I do?
In short, what you want to do is examine your reasons for not being ready for a relationship as well as your feelings for her, have an honest and open conversation about it with her and then take some time to process what you want alongside her.
What you don’t want to do is run away from her out of fear of commitment or past trauma nor do you want to jump into a relationship with her because you feel afraid of letting her down or hurting her.
These impulsive or emotionally driven actions without careful consideration can lead to irreparable damage to your romantic relationship with her.
Instead, approach this problem with an open mind and a willingness to explore all possibilities before making a decision.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what you should do if you like her but you’re not ready for a relationship.
Reasons Why You Aren’t Ready For A Relationship
It’s too soon
Transitioning from strangers to partners in a committed and serious relationship within a few short weeks is fast.
Apparently, it takes approximately 90 days for someone to let down their walls or guard and reveal their true nature.
Until then, you really can’t say for certain that you know each other properly.
And to fall in love, you have to understand each other on a deeper level.
Alternatively, you’re still in the process of opening up and allowing your feelings of attraction to develop.
You may be someone who needs a significant amount of time and shared experiences to enter a relationship.
In that case, it’s just too soon for you rather than anything else.
Related post: Can you fall in love in a week?
I just started reading The Body Keeps The Score and I realized how past trauma can linger within your subconscious for decades if left untreated.
Every time you find yourself in a situation that leaves you feeling vulnerable in a way that triggers your past trauma, the flight or fight response fires up.
Instead of running to her, your body is urging you to run away from her.
This explains why you like her but you’re not ready for a relationship.
Your past trauma is preventing you from opening yourself up to the possibility of getting hurt again.
Until you’re willing to seek out help, talk about it, muster up the courage and allow yourself to be vulnerable, this feeling will persist.
The fear of commitment is no stranger to me. When I was younger, I felt afraid of committing to one person because I had only known what it was like to casually date.
As I got older, failed relationships and infidelity created further fear of commitment.
It was only until I addressed these issues within, aligned myself with my true values, sought therapy and gained a deeper understanding of companionship that I am able to commit.
The greatest commitment one has to make is not to have a relationship with another.
It is the commitment you make towards cultivating a relationship of growth and honesty with yourself.
Related post: Why do guys like situationships? (explained)
You still have unresolved feelings for your ex
Letting go of those we once cared about is no easy feat.
The heart can remain attached to someone for decades if it wants.
But, what we must realize is that there is only a finite amount of time for us to live this life.
For as long as our vision remains locked in the past, our ability to find love again and experience life with happiness is greatly diminished.
I am of the belief that you cannot love two people at the same time.
You have to choose to let go of your ex or this girl who you like.
One thing is for certain, you are doing a disservice to the person in your life right now by not making enough space in your heart for them by loving an ex.
If there’s no hope for reconciliation with your ex, it’s time to end all communication, remove reminders and start turning over a new leaf until you let go of them entirely.
Related post: 5 Reasons why ignoring your ex is powerful
You’re too busy
As we get older, the responsibilities we shoulder increase.
If you don’t strive for balance, you can find yourself neck-deep in work and deadlines without any hope for change.
A healthy relationship isn’t going to fall into your lap.
You have to make time for it.
Unless you prioritize a romantic interest, there’s no way you can develop the deep level of love needed for a long-lasting relationship.
If you really want to be ready for a relationship, it might be time for you to start rearranging some of your priorities and spend more valuable time with this girl.
Otherwise, you’ll never be ready for a relationship because you’ll have no time or energy for it.
She’s coming on too strong
I’ve noticed that it’s really easy to feel threatened that our freedom is being taken away by someone who is coming on too strongly.
Even if we really like them, we still like our sense of independence and ability to live the way we want.
When a woman doesn’t provide that space for us to pursue and choose her, that’s when we back off and get scared.
Commitment is nothing to joke about and we don’t want to feel pressured into it.
The only time it succeeds is when we willingly opt for the responsibility of being in a relationship.
Also, we like to be challenged and to feel like getting a relationship is the result of hard work.
What you can do is let her know that she just needs to slow down and let you come to her.
Related post: How long should you date long distance before moving?
You’re not happy with yourself
I am of the belief that you cannot rely on someone else to make you happy, especially not a romantic partner.
At best, they should make you the happiest you’ve been but you should be happy enough when you start dating someone.
To be happy enough, it’s quite obvious that you need to work on your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual self to the point of being content.
In this state, you are more likely to meet someone who is of the same level or quality of person that you are which improves the likelihood of falling in love and having a great relationship.
Related post: How to be single and happy
Signs You Like Her
You keep thinking about her
Ask any guy whether he can focus on other things in his life when he has just started to like a girl and he’ll most likely tell you that he can’t.
She’s on his mind quite often and he will spend time even fantasizing about her.
This is just the way we are. It feels good to think about that which creates a compelling and thrilling emotion within our hearts.
And I notice this to be the case with myself.
Any time I’ve been in love with someone, they’re always on my mind and I have to make a conscious effort to actually focus on other areas of my life because love and attraction can be so intoxicating.
If you find yourself thinking about her often, you probably like her.
Related post: How to not obsess over someone
You miss her after some time apart
Let me ask you a couple of questions to illustrate what it’s like to miss someone you like.
- How do you feel when you’re not talking to her or spending time with her?
- Do you start reaching out to her after some time?
- Do you start feeling like something is missing?
- Do you feel a desire to be with her?
If yes, then this is 100% a sign you like her.
Trust me, every guy out there will miss a girl he likes when she’s busy or they’re apart for some time.
You can’t help but admire her
Think about every single girl you really liked, did you admire her at one point?
It might be hard to remember this feeling when you’re heartsore over a bad breakup or rejection but I’m certain that at one point, you adored her.
The things you adore about these girls aren’t only unique to them.
You can find these attributes or qualities in other girls as well but because you like them, these things become special about her.
That’s why you aren’t chasing other girls who are better looking or smarter or whatever. It’s because you like her that these things are so adorable to you.
As your feelings grow, so does your adoration. Most men take this a step too far and start pedestalizing a woman but it all stems from adoration due to romantic interest.
Related post: Why would a guy be nervous around a girl?
You talk about her to friends and family
I don’t even need to talk about this because you already know that there’s no way at all that you’re going to bring a girl home to meet your family or even talk about her unless you like her to some degree.
At the very least, you’ll be attracted and interested in her to the point of talking about her to family or friends.
I can’t think of a single time that I’ve brought up a girl to my family and friends constantly unless I had feelings for her.
You find it easy to talk to her and open up
One of the fundamental keys to any relationship and the development of love is good communication.
What is considered good communication?
In my experience, it is the ability to express one’s true feelings, thoughts and opinions without fear of judgment by someone who has a desire to understand and acknowledge you.
Good communication is a two-way street and requires mutual effort.
If you can open up to her on a deeper and more intimate level than you can with other girls in your life, there’s a strong chance that you like her provided that there’s also some degree of attraction.
Additionally, if you are the one who is initiating contact with her often then this is definitely another sign you like her.
You get jealous and protective
Jealousy and protectiveness stem from desire.
Only things and people we deem valuable and important stimulate feelings of jealousy and protectiveness when another guy is in the picture.
As men, we become very territorial over what we want and care about.
When we sense any form of danger and desire from another person towards the person we value and desire, it’s difficult to feel indifferent.
If you’re afraid of losing her to some other guy and you can’t help but feel jealous if some other guy is in the picture, even as a friend, then you definitely like her.
What You Should Do If You’re Not Ready For A Relationship
Have an honest conversation about it
Honesty is the best policy in any and all relationships.
She may not be immediately happy to hear that you are not ready for a relationship but she will respect you for being honest and not giving her false hope.
What’s important to determine is whether you’re not ready because you need more time but the progression looks likely or if you just don’t think you’d ever want a relationship with her.
The former is something that can easily be worked through whereas the latter is something that can’t and you have to be completely upfront about it.
Yes, it will hurt her if she genuinely likes you but it’s far worse to waste her time and toy with her emotions knowing that you’re leading her on without any real desire to be in a relationship with her.
Stop overthinking things
Is it possible that your fear of being in a relationship with her stems from overthinking and analyzing?
If you are someone who deals with anxiety, then it wouldn’t surprise me if your aversion to a relationship is based on excessive thinking and worry about the future.
Take some time to calm down and then make an assessment of where you stand.
You might find that by not overthinking things, you actually like her so much that you want a relationship with her.
Far too many people suffer from paralysis by analysis and end up regretting when they lose someone or something important because of it.
Related post: How to stop overthinking in a relationship
Have fun and keep things casual
Getting too serious and making everything appear to be a big deal can add too much pressure to a budding romance.
Some of the best relationships stem from a genuine desire to just have fun, make memories and share experiences together.
By doing so, it’s highly possible that a relationship will grow from it without having to stress about it.
Examine your fear of relationships
I would neer discount or undermine a genuine fear for relationships that stem from trauma and past troubles.
But, the only way to overcome a fear is by facing it.
You may not be ready for a relationship right now because of fear but if you can look at it, examine it, learn from it and find a way to work with it, you can overcome it.
I remind myself that in situations like this, fear is merely false evidence appearing real.
In other words, don’t reject a relationship based on the fear of being cheated on from signs that are not present in your current partner but in your last relationship.
The two aren’t the same.
You must exercise honesty and objectivity as much as possible when dealing with fear.
And that can only begin by examination.
Suggest a pace that is more comfortable
I remember a time when my ex wanted a relationship with me and I just wasn’t ready at the time.
Instead of completely rejecting it and running away, I let her know that I wasn’t ready as yet and needed to move a little slower before progressing into something serious.
I wanted to be certain that there was a legitimate connection and that a relationship was something I really wanted.
She was upset but she accepted it and agreed to take things slower.
About a month later, we were in a relationship.
The moral of the story is that if you feel like things are out of your control and it’s scaring you off, then suggest a pace that works for you and see if that helps.
Don’t make empty promises
Trust me when I tell you that I understand how difficult it is to have a conversation about a topic like this.
You like her but you’re not ready for a relationship. We get that. But, it doesn’t mean that she immediately will or that she may not be upset about it.
The fact that you like her means that you don’t want to hurt or disappoint her and this could pressurize you into making promises that you can’t keep.
For this reason, I strongly wish that you do not agree to promises that are going to create an even bigger problem in the future if you can’t keep them.
Be honest and upfront.
It’s much better to let her down now with honesty than to falsely build her expectations even more and then crush them by breaking your promises.
Back off if she doesn’t want to take things slow
Rejection breeds obsession and if she is sensing that you are not interested or backing off, it may drive her to insist on a relationship or to be with you more.
Firstly, you want to suggest a slower pace.
Secondly, you want to be honest with her and give her the opportunity to adjust her approach.
Thirdly, you want to assess whether she’s able to do so.
If she isn’t, then you need to create some of that distance by letting her know you’re busy or going to take some time for yourself.
In other words, help her to slow down but not in a disrespectful manner.
Don’t ignore her, ghost her or lie to her.
Let her know that you will reach out to her as soon as you’re free and create a healthy space for you to miss her and her to miss you.
Seek counseling from a therapist
If your fear of relationships stems from something traumatic or if you feel like the two of you could work if there was someone who could guide you, then I highly suggest therapy.
I’ve been to therapy myself and it has had a profound effect on me over time.
It’s because I willingly sought out a therapist and went into each session with the desire to be brutally honest that I was able to make strides in my growth.
Therapy is uncomfortable and it requires a willingness to listen as much as it is to talk.
But, if you are open to it, you’d be surprised at what you can learn about yourself and about others.
Related post: What to do when a woman goes silent on you
I’m sure that this is something that is genuinely bothering you but does not make a decision to avoid the discomfort that may lead to incredible pain down the road.
Nothing beats honesty and transparency.
If the two of you have any chance of cultivating a good relationship with each other, then this is nothing more than a test of faith, commitment, communication and a willingness to persevere.
Listen to your gut but do not be controlled by emotions only.
Seek out counseling and advice from someone who has your best interest at heart.
With that being said, I hope you found this article on “I like her but I’m not ready for a relationship” to be thought-provoking and helpful. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and questions below.