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He Says He Just Wants to Be Friends But Acts Like He Wants More (21 Signs and How To Deal With It)

February 4, 2023

Do you have feelings for one of your male friends? 

Maybe he’s told you he wants to be “just friends”, even though his actions say different?

Perhaps you’re looking for help navigating the transition between friends and lovers? 

If so, you’re in the right place. 

The guide below explains why men say they want to be “just friends” and what you can do about it. 

However, if you’re struggling with this situation, I urge you to read the next few sentences carefully. 

I wasted so many years investing time in men who wouldn’t reciprocate my affections. 

I obsessed over “friends”. I got into relationships with emotionally unavailable men. For years, it felt like I’d never be good enough to be anyone’s long-term partner. 

Thankfully, I was able to turn it around, and I want to share how...

It all started when I learned about a powerful aspect of male psychology called the ‘Hero’s Instinct’.

This is a deeply-embedded primal instinct, which massively impacts how a man feels about the women in his life. 

When I learned how to activate this psychological trigger, it made a huge difference to my dating life. 

Suddenly, instead of seeing me as “just a friend” or “a bit of fun”, men were beginning to view me as a potential long-term partner. They’d open their heart. They’d show affection. They ask me to commit to them (read my personal story to learn how I made it happen).

It seems as if few women are aware of the Hero’s Instinct, but it’s actually very simple to activate. 

If you’re hoping to make a bigger emotional impact on a special guy, you’d be well advised to learn how I discovered the power of the Hero’s Instinct.

In the meantime, the guide below will reveal what’s going on with the guy who wants to be “just friends”.  

From fear of commitment to just liking the attention he gets from you, if the guy you like has told you he just wants to maintain a friendship with you but acts like he wants more by flirting or asking you out on dates, then the following explanations could be why.

21 Signs He Just Wants To Be Friends

Figuring out what goes on in a guy’s mind can be tough, especially when you have such strong feelings for him that you can’t seem to envision anything other than being wrapped in his arms. 

However, those dreams can come crashing down once you start to suspect that he just wants to be friends. This article will tell you everything that you need to know. 

You could be in the friend zone, and not even realize it yet. If you’re wondering what’s going on with your crush, watch for these signs that he just wants to be friends. Then, keep reading to learn how to deal with the heartbreak. 

1. He says he’s not ready for a romantic relationship

Some men make things easy by flat out saying that they want to be just friends. He will tell you that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship and might offer a reason, such as the fact that he needs to focus on himself. 

Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want to sleep with you. Just because a guy isn’t ready for something serious doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want a casual fling. If there’s a lot of sexual tension and he’s flirting with you, he wants to get laid. 

2. He calls you his best friend

When a guy just wants to be friends, they will try to make it clear. They want you to know that they want to be just friends without hurting your feelings. He’ll do this by saying what a great friend you are, and make sure that you know you’re going to be friends forever. 

Pay attention to how often he uses that friend word. The more often he says it, the more he is trying to let you know that he doesn’t want anything more than a friendship happening with you. 

3. He speaks negatively about a serious relationship together

If he just wants to be your friend, he might try to convince you that nothing else will work. If the topic of something serious comes up, he might start to point out reasons why the two of you would never work out. 

Guys that want to be in a relationship with you will mention how great things would be if the two of you were together. They want you to imagine the two of you in a relationship. If he’s doing the opposite of that, it’s a clear sign he just wants to be friends. 

4. Compliments on you being a good friend

There is nothing that says “friend zone” quite like him telling you what a great friend you are. He’ll tell you why he appreciates your friendship, such as mentioning that you are a great listener. This is because he doesn’t see you as anything more than a friend. 

He will compliment you on your character. For example, you will hear that you’re an amazing person or a great mother. He’ll tell you that he thinks you’re smart. Men that are interested in more than friends often slip a compliment about your appearance into the conversation every so often. 

5. Says he doesn’t want to mess up the friendship

It can be difficult, if not impossible, for a couple to go from being friends to being in a relationship and then back to being good friends again. If he mentions that he wants to remain friends because he doesn’t want to mess up the friendship, it’s a clear sign he’s not interested in being anything more. 

6. Mentioning it’s the wrong time for him to be in a relationship

mentioning its the wrong time for him to be in a relationship

Sometimes, timing is just horrible. He may be in between jobs or still healing from a heartbreak so he feels like it’s not a good time for him to be in something serious with someone. He’s telling you this to give you the hint that the two of you don’t have a future together. 

7. He doesn’t care about your guy friend

When a guy is romantically interested in you, he’ll want to know what’s going on in your love life. He may ask questions about guys that you’re hanging out with or jokingly tease you about a guy you’re on the phone with to see your reaction. 

On the other hand, when he’s not interested in a real relationship with you, he’ll seem indifferent to this guy friend. He won’t be jealous, protective, or possessive

8. He talks with you about other girls

If he doesn’t feel the same way about you, he’ll talk with you about a relationship with someone else. Don’t expect him to hide it if he decides to start dating someone. It’s because he views you as his friend, so he’s conversating about other things that friends talk about. 

Talking about other girls can extend to checking out other girls in front of you. He’ll feel comfortable telling you if another woman is hot or that he wants to sleep with someone. There isn’t a lot that guy friends hold back when they talk about someone of the opposite sex with their friends. 

If you still like him as more than a friend, it’s important to make sure that you’re ready for this before deciding that you’re okay with being in the friend zone. If you’re not, consider taking a break from the friendship until you get your emotions in check to avoid being on a constant emotional roller coaster. 

9. He doesn’t speak louder when you’re around

Men tend to do certain things when they like a girl. One thing you’ll notice is that their voice gets slightly louder. They want you to pay attention to them, hence the loud tone. 

Guys tend to do this subconsciously, so he won’t notice that he does it. Pay close attention to the way he speaks as soon as you walk into a room compared to the level of his voice when he doesn’t realize that you’re standing there to determine if he has feelings for you. 

10. Body language

Just like men tend to change their tone when they want a relationship with someone, they also tend to change what they do with their bodies. A guy that is interested in you will spread his legs, stick his chest out and push his shoulders back slightly. He’ll take a more dominant stance compared to how he typically sits and stands. 

A man that is not interested in you will not change the way he is sitting or standing when you walk into the room. Instead, you’ll notice almost no difference

11. He doesn’t mind bringing up his ex

Most boys that are interested in more than being friends with someone else will not go on and on about their ex. They might not bring up the emotional rollercoaster that their relationship was. Instead, they will be focused on you, and your time together. 

If a man brings up his ex or any previous relationship because he’s not over it yet, it’s because he’s leaning on you as a friend. He wouldn’t do that if he wanted to be in a relationship with you. 

12. He has commitment issues

he has commitment issues

A man that mentions he’s scared of commitment is not a man that is ready for a relationship with you. Men that have a fear of commitment will also show these signs: 

  • A serious relationship is never an option
  • Avoids discussing future plans
  • Flaky
  • Doesn’t get emotionally attached
  • Doesn’t respond soon to texts

These people generally don’t want to commit to anything, including you. They don’t make plans in advance regarding hanging out with friends as often and pull away before getting too emotionally attached. 

13. He sends mixed signals

A guy that doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you is not going to be consistent. He’ll instantly respond to your texts for a few days and then blow you off when he’s busy. It’s because he’s not emotionally invested in the future together. He’s not working towards anything with you. Instead, you’re getting treated like one of the guys. 

14. Things changed after the first date

Maybe you started out in the talking stage and even went on a first date together. However, just after that, things started to change. He stopped responding as often and started talking to you about other girls. It’s because you’ve been friend-zoned. 

Men occasionally have a hard time when it comes time to set boundaries. He might not feel the need to talk about how all he wants is friendship with you, or he may be intentionally trying to avoid the uncomfortable conversation. Whatever the case, he doesn’t want a relationship. 

15. You never have his undivided attention

When a man is interested in a relationship with you, he’ll want to spend time with you. You’ll notice that you have quality time together. That’s because he’s only interested in you, and building a relationship together. 

Men that are only interested in friendship will treat you as they do everyone else. He won’t mind checking his phone when you’re around and will focus on other people. You may hang out in a group together. He won’t feel compelled to spend a lot of time alone with you. 

16. You’re instantly in his comfort zone

When guys want a relationship, it takes time for them to be comfortable around you. You won’t hear him burp or fart. Instead, he’ll be on his best behavior. 

However, once you’re in the friendship zone, you’ll instantly be invited to the same place all of his guy friends are. There will be farting or burping. He won’t watch his manners just because you’re there. In fact, he won’t even offer to buy you dinner and probably won’t hold the door for you. If you’re upset, there’s a chance he’ll make fun of you

17. He’s ignoring your physical touch

When a guy is thinking about dating you, they will respond positively when you touch them. This includes small touches, such as putting your hand on his arm when you are talking to him. Typically, he reciprocates by accidentally brushing up against your leg. He will shoot you a smile to let you know that he likes you

Guys who do not want more than friendship will ignore those little touches. He won’t smile at you when you accidentally brush up against him and will move away if you’re standing too close. He won’t flirt on a physical level with you at all. 

18. He gives you corrective criticism on your appearance

he gives you corrective criticism on your appearance

He tells you that he’s just being honest or trying to help you, and then lets you know what you could do to be more attractive to other men. This is a huge sign that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. 

A guy that wants more than friendship with you will not want other men checking you out. He’ll give you compliments on your appearance instead. The only change he will suggest is if he thinks you dress too sexy

19. His own appearance is lacking

A man that is into you will always want to look his best when you’re around. He’ll suddenly start grooming himself and putting thought into his outfits. If you’re still seeing him wearing the same boring clothes and he doesn’t bother to put on cologne, it’s because he doesn’t want to be more than friends. 

20. He maintains platonic boundaries

When a man has decided that he does not want a relationship, he’ll make sure that you also have no hope for one with him. One way that he will do this is by sticking to platonic activities, such as brunch and daytime conversations. 

Other boundaries may include not drinking around you or making sure that you are not over at his house at night time. He’ll avoid anything with you that could be considered more than platonic. 

21. He refers to you as family

Sometimes, men will really seal the deal by saying that you’re like a sister to them. It’s their way of saying that they love you as a friend and nothing more. If he is talking to another woman, he’ll also let her know that he views you as family. 

Dating Advice 

When a guy doesn’t shy away from asking you for dating advice or giving you some, it’s a clear sign that he has no romantic interest in you. He might ask you hypothetical questions, such as what she would like for a present or how you would feel if he did something as a boyfriend. Asking direct questions, such as what he should get his crush is also likely. 

Men that feel comfortable receiving dating advice will also feel comfortable giving it to you. He’ll let you know if a guy that you like is a player or he is talking to another girl. He will even give you awesome tips on what to wear for a date. It’s because he’s your friend. 


What does it mean when he just wants to be friends?

It means that he doesn’t want a relationship with you. That means no relationships that are not platonic, including a friend with benefits. He might not feel ready for a relationship due to a previous heartbreak, or he might not feel chemistry with you. 

How do you accept he just wants to be friends?

Be grateful that he told you the truth instead of leading you on. Take a break from the friendship if you fear that you will ruin the friendship due to hurt feelings. Make him aware of what you’re doing. Do not try to be friends with benefits. Instead, respect his decision. 

How do you get over someone who just wants to be friends?

Take a break from the friendship to heal your hurt feelings. Decide whether you can accept just being friends or not. Walk away if you cannot. Then, focus on yourself. Keep yourself busy with friends and family. Pick up a new hobby or two. 

How do you respond to someone who says they just want to be friends?

Ask them why if you really want to know the answer. If you’re scared of hearing the truth, simply let it go. Let them know that you will respect their decision to just be friends. If you need some time to accept it, tell them that you would love to be friends later on down the road. 

Do guys ever want to be just friends?

Yes, boys do occasionally just want to be friends. A guy will want to be your friend if he is not attracted to you, does not have romantic feelings towards you, or simply does not want a relationship with you for other reasons. There are plenty of girl/guy friend combinations!

In Conclusion

Sometimes, you have to realize that he does just want to be friends. These are some of the most obvious signs that there is no relationship later on down the road. How would you accept it if he said he just wants to be friends?


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