“I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
What does she mean by that?!
It’s one of those things that guys have asked themselves time and time again, and yet it never seems to have an easy answer…
I know, I know – you’re probably asking yourself if there might be something she’s not saying. You’re probably thinking that there is some unspoken thing that you did to make her come to this decision and you will end up reading into everything hoping that there might still be a chance for you to convince her otherwise.
Do yourself a favor and quit playing the blame game and throwing pity parties, because it’s not going to help you or anyone else.
More often than not, the fact is that if she tells you that, she really means it. And the reason behind it could be anything.
That’s right – anything.
Probably not the answer you were hoping for, right?
But the sooner you remind yourself of it, the sooner you’ll be able to also remind yourself that no matter how great of a guy you are or how great of a chance you think you have, sometimes these things really are just out of your control.
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It doesn’t have to feel quite like that though, and if you take a step back from the situation you’ll have a much better chance of mastering your feelings and being back in the driver’s seat.
It’s important to remind yourself that even if she’s not ready, it’s not the end of the world.
That’s the first step to really approaching this situation when she says she’s “not ready” or “not looking for anything serious right now.”
As tough as it can be to hear, you have to remind yourself that at the end of the day the girl you’re trying to win over has just as many things going on in her life as you do, possibly more depending on the day. So, don’t let it get to you when she says she’s not ready, since there could be any number of things affecting her readiness to take that step back into a relationship with you.
I know it sounds cryptic, but we live in an increasingly complex and demanding world. Some of us are able to handle those demands better than others. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to that, just different.
She might be your perfect girl and you might be ready for a relationship with her, but she may not be in the same place mentally as you. Often, the expectations we have for our own lives are what sets us up for disappointment.
Remove any expectations you have about the situation’s outcome and you’re already miles ahead of most people in dealing with something like this.
Now that we’ve taken a step back, let’s try to shed a little more light on what she’s trying to tell you.
“I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies. And then, you know, if I want someone to eat m- or enjoy warm, delicious, cookie me, then that’s fine. That’ll be then. When I’m done.” – Buffy, “Chosen”
What Might Be Happening
When faced with the ambiguity of this type of situation, it really helps to
- just stop
- take a breath
- and think things through
before you can really see the big picture.
Typically some context is really needed to fill in the missing pieces and get to the heart of what’s behind her feelings on the subject.
You’re definitely not the only person this has happened to, so take some solace in knowing that it’s not just you. In fact, it happens so often that you can roughly break everyone’s individual experiences down into a few categories:
- She got out of another relationship recently (within the past couple of months) and is still focused on that
- She has a lot going on in her life
- She’s wants things to stay casual
- She’s playing hard to get
The vast majority of the time these things all add up to her not wanting a relationship with you at the moment. But, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost, but what it does mean is that you can find solace knowing that it wasn’t just arbitrarily done to confuse you or make your life more difficult.
Let’s walk through these categories one by one to get some additional clarity since they will set the framework we’ll need to get on top of things.
She Just Got Out Of Another Relationship
“I like you, but I’m just not ready for a relationship right now.”
“I like you. I’m just not ready to date yet.”
If she just got out of something relatively recently and made the point to tell you she’s not ready, then consider yourself lucky. She’s opened up herself to you and let you know how she’s feeling and that’s more than generous of her.
It might not be what you wanted to hear, but the good news is that she’s eliminated the uncertainty of the situation and has given you the context to understand she’s not in a place to pursue another relationship.
When she says she’s not ready for a relationship and you already know the background of her previous relationship, then it’s smooth sailing from there.
Here, the word ready is really critical since it doesn’t mean the window is completely closed, it just means the timing isn’t perfect.
Think back on something you were hoping to pursue in your life and the timing just didn’t pan out. Maybe you were trying out for a sports team or maybe you and your band wanted to land a gig but you just weren’t quite where you needed to be. It didn’t mean that you had to give up and never try again – it just meant that the timing wasn’t right and you need to go back and focus on what you bring to the table to get to where you want to be.
Consider this an opportunity that allows you to turn yourself into the person you’ve always wanted to be and that she needs you to be. The timing might not be right, but if you give the situation some breathing space and focus on being the best person you can be, the odds are that she will notice.
You have to remember that other people have things going on in their life. You have to be patient and wait for her to find out about the changes on her own.
I hate to keep going back to the timing thing, but the old saying “timing is everything” really does apply with relationships in most situations.
When someone has a lot going on in their life, it can be distracting. Sometimes it can be so distracting that they can’t even focus on themselves or their core relationships like friends and family, the fact is that you’re going to be at the bottom of her priority list, especially after a breakup.
It’s not personal, and you definitely shouldn’t take it that way.
In this case, the best move is for you to pull back and just let her come to you when she’s ready. Chances are, if you had something solid to begin with then it’ll still be there when the dust settles and she has more mental and emotional bandwidth to really focus on you and developing your relationship.
These things take time, so just be patient and sit back knowing that you’re doing the right thing by giving her space, even if it is tough to do.
If you try to push things by constantly staying in contact or trying over and over to make plans when your schedules never seem to line up, then you can probably kiss her goodbye forever.
She’s Wants Things To Stay Casual
“I’m not ready for a relationship but we can stay friends.”
“I’m not ready for something serious. Why can’t things stay the way they are now, just casual.”
This could be the toughest one to swallow.
Things could be great. You could be having the best time with this girl, and then she drops that bomb…
Where did it even come from?
Well, it could be a few things. You maybe read into things and assumed they were more serious than she wanted them to be. You maybe said something and things seemed strange afterwards, and now you’re racking your brain trying to figure out what happened.
I get it… it’s not the easiest thing to process.
Perhaps you’ve been talking to this girl for a while in a casual sense. Maybe you’re just friends and you’re trying to get out of the friend zone or maybe you’re just casually dating. If you are just now noticing that anytime the conversation has shifted towards relationships she casually mentioned that she’s not looking for anything serious, then she is trying to let you know without just flat out saying it to your face and hurting your feelings.
Or maybe in the past it hasn’t been as explicit and you just didn’t notice, so she finally had to openly say it so that you can get it into your head before you take the conversation somewhere she doesn’t want it to go.
If this is the case, then you would probably be doing yourself a favor taking the hint.
It’s not the most upfront thing in the world, but at least she is making an effort to communicate her feelings – albeit in an a more indirect way.
Alternatively, there could be the situation where you’re actually dating and she blindsides you by saying she’s not ready for a relationship. This is of course confusing because you were already in one and things seemed to be going fine from where you were standing.
The fact is, she might not have been feeling so fine about it. Things could have progressed too quickly, and now she’s feeling trapped in a situation that she’s not ready for. This is not the easiest thing to accept, but handling this scenario calmly and maturely will go miles in the end.
Again, back to the timing thing. Are you seeing a pattern here too?
Things might have moved too quickly and she’s feeling overwhelmed by it, so she’s slamming the brakes. It might be confusing at first, but the best thing you can do is take a step back and tell her you’re okay with hitting that reset button and moving things back a bit.
If she’s really worth the effort you are putting in, then she’ll be worth a little extra time and effort to get things to a place where you’re both comfortable and happy.
She’s Playing Hard To Get
This is where things get a little confusing, but what part of love isn’t? Right?
Playing hard to get is a subtle art. It requires an equal measure of subtlety and reading between the lines on your end if you’re going to be able to keep up with her.
Context is extremely important here if you want to read her cues successfully and not assume that she’s playing hard to get when it’s really one of the scenarios we’ve already walked through. That’s why I saved this for last.
- In this case, it’s not as much about her saying “I’m not ready for a relationship” as much as it’s about the other things she’s communicating to you.
- Does she still text you frequently and ask to make plans?
- Does she seem to get jealous if she ever sees you around other girls or when you don’t seem to be paying enough attention to her?
- Does she insist she doesn’t want to be with you but still expects to see or hang out with you constantly?
These are classic tells that give you a hint that she might just be playing hard to get.
That doesn’t mean that you should discount the fact that she might just not be ready to accept the fact that she still wants you.
If you play hard to get in return, you will be flipping the script and get her to pursue you instead of you having to do all the heavy lifting.
Pretty soon those texts checking in and trying to indirectly see if you might bump into each other over the weekend will lead to her pursuing you full on. It’s just a matter of playing your cards right.
If You Are Going To Take ANYTHING From This Article
If you are going to take anything from this article then it should be that in all of these situations the key is being able to understand context and timing. People communicate more in what they don’t say than in what they ACTUALLY say a majority of the time. So, it’s really important to line up all the information and process it in a way that makes sense.
“She doesn’t want a relationship, but I still like her? What can I do to change her mind?”
I know it seems like the end of the world right now, but believe it or not things could be worse. She could have kept you in the dark and led you on, or simply ghosted you without any explanation.
When in doubt, just take a step back and put the situation out of your mind for a while.
Go to the gym, spend time with your friends, catch up on that show you’ve been meaning to watch.
In the end, trust your gut and remember that the only thing that you’re in control of is how YOU react. You can’t control how she feels or the timing of when you met or how busy she’s been. All you can do is control your behavior, so focus on yourself and the rest will fall into place. If done correctly, she’ll be ready to give things another go in no time.
Now, since you are armed with the info you need to understand where your ex is coming from, let’s talk about your specific breakup.
I want to know three things:
- Tell me about your breakup. How long were you together? What were the circumstances surrounding the breakup?
- Tell me how you responded initially to her saying she wasn’t ready for a relationship.
- And lastly, what do you intend to do moving forward after reading this article, and hopefully some of the EGR material we provide for you on the site.
From there our experts will help you determine what the BEST next move for you is.
Let’s get on it!