Among the most frequent complaints among those who come to therapy for emotional problems, there is one that is based on a contradiction: “he doesn’t want to be with me but he says he loves me” .

It is a relatively common problem that goes beyond a simple communication failure, and that violates the interests of both the person who says “I love you” in the first place and those who suffer the consequences of this incongruity.

In this article we will see what are the most frequent causes of a person expressing directly his love for another and at the same time does not want to form a couple, start a dating relationship or anything like it. In addition, we will review several recommendations and advice about what to do .

He doesn’t want to be with me but he says he loves me: why is that?

In the world of personal relationships, contradictions are the norm . Misunderstandings are extremely common, and in addition, we often fall into deceptions that in turn are raised almost involuntarily.

If we focus on love relationships, these incongruities not only generate discomfort ; they are also capable of generating dramatic situations.

In fact, they can cause frustration to arise due to lack of love, a sensation that causes unresolved tension that makes us suffer for not being able to be with that person and at the same time makes it easier for us to become obsessed with the possibility of initiating a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, given that apparently there are some possibilities of achieving it.

This combination between the refusal to be engaged and the hope that in the future the other person will want to have something with us generates an ambivalence capable of generating quite a lot of insecurity, anxiety and malaise in general, since it induces to ask oneself what is wrong.

Let’s see now why it can happen that someone says he loves you but at the same time refuses to be with you and does not want to establish a strong emotional bond .

1. doesn’t want you to take it the wrong way

Another reason someone may claim to love others is that they don’t know how to refuse offers because of the fear of hurting others’ feelings.

In these cases, a “I love you but I don’t want to be with you” is a way of not cutting short the hopes of the other , insinuating that what there really is is a diffuse love that doesn’t have to materialize in the beginning of a romantic or couple love relationship.

2. Wants to dominate you

When someone tells another person that he or she loves them but does not want to be their partner or make any significant commitment to them, he or she may do so thinking of dominating the other person by letting them see that there is a possibility of seducing them even though nothing beyond that “I love you” indicates that there is reason for hope.

As a result, just two words are able to make someone predisposed to offer special help and protection to the other, by giving them room to fantasize about being together .

There is not always this intention, but in some cases it can be the main reason why this is done, so we can talk about him knowing that there is no truth in those words.

3. You are in a complicated situation

There may be circumstances where the other person might be interested in dating you. Personal circumstances outside your friendship may prevent you from being prepared to have a serious partner.

4. It has a very open definition of love

We must not forget that by love not everyone understands the concept of romantic love which is the most common in relationships both in courtship and marriage.

When someone tells you that they love you but don’t want to be with you, they are really saying that what they feel for you does not fit in with what is usually considered a couple whose bond is romantic love , a type of love union that has its advantages but also its disadvantages.

What to do when a person says he loves you but does not want to be with you

In these cases, the best thing to do is to find out first whether the person is playing with our feelings or not, and then follow one line of action or another. Let’s see it.

1. Knowing whether or not to play with your feelings

The first thing to do is to stop and see if the other person really cares about us or is only interested in submitting to us by manipulating your emotions .

To do this, stop and try to analyze what is happening from a distant and objective perspective: does he care about you? Is he interested in getting to know you and in remembering information about you and your life? In general, these questions should already be able to give an answer, because whoever does not feel anything for someone does not bother to notice these details and remember them.

In case you see clearly that he is playing with you , you already have the solution: cut your relationship with that person, because he is trying to create a toxic relationship based on emotional dependence.

If that’s not the case and there’s reason to think you’re a significant person to her or at least she’s not clear about her feelings for you, read on.

2. Talk about it to clarify what your feelings are.

Communication is the great understatement in this kind of problem, but it is really through dialogue that such an uncomfortable situation can be completely resolved.

Together, try to name what happens . Talk about your expectations of each other, about how you would like your relationship to be and how you would not like it to be. You don’t have to be compatible in this; it’s just a matter of talking about it to find out what’s going on, and you have to do it without prejudging the other person and without making them feel guilty about what they feel.

3. Decide if you are happy, and if you are not, move on

Once you have all the relevant information about how the person you like feels and to what extent his or her intentions fit yours, make a decision and, unless something comes up that gives you significant reasons to change your mind, be consistent with it.

Conclusion: ending uncertainty and tension

As we have seen, the most important thing is to solve the question about what the other person wants, see if that is compatible with what you want and decide to keep investing in that relationship, or it is better to cut it off.

When someone complains with “he says he loves me but doesn’t want to be with you” type of statements, what he really reveals is the frustration caused by the ambiguity in what the other person is saying and the tension generated by not knowing what to do. By eliminating this uncertainty, practically everything will be solved in time; also the possible lack of love.

Bibliographic references:

  • Colin, V. A. (1996). Human Attachment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
  • Panksepp J., Nelson, E., Bekkedal M. (1997). “Brain Systems for the Mediation of Separation Distress and Social Reward. Annals NY Academy of Sciences. 807: 78–100.