His Take: “Why Do Men Say they Don’t Want to Date if that’s Not the Truth?”

Welcome to the debut “His Take” column, in which a few of our awesome male contributors answer a question about the male psyche and behavior. Today’s question is a general one and something I know a lot of women have wondered:

“Why do guys say they aren’t interested in dating anyone and then turn around and start dating someone else?!”

MARK: Sadly, what this usually means is that they simply weren’t interested in dating YOU. It’s a white lie. And, yeah, it sucks. But would you really rather have heard you just weren’t quite what they were looking for in a relationship? Be honest. Actually, I suppose, sometimes, they are speaking the truth. Sometimes guys aren’t genuinely interested in dating until they meet that “special” person. Not that there is anything “wrong” with you — heck, on paper you probably seem pretty fantastic, which is why they are so confused as to why they don’t feel any “real” attraction or connection with you. They then sincerely believe that — aha! — they must not be interested in dating, because if they were, how could they not be interested in you? Cold comfort, I suppose, but there you have it.


JAREK: Guys are all about living in the moment. It’s why we are unable to talk about planning a dinner party that takes place three weeks from now while we are watching the game. Commercials help, but not really. So when a guy says he’s not interested in dating anyone, he truly is not interested in dating anyone. At that moment. But later that week when he realizes that watching “Dancing With The Stars” by himself is kind of sad and would feel much better about himself if he had a girlfriend to watch it with, he’ll likely change his mind. So when he hops on Match.com, meets someone, and marries her, it just means he happened to find someone who made him want to date.


ART: Ten times out of ten it’s because he doesn’t want to date you. Not every person you ask out will say yes, and not every person who rejects you will have the balls to tell you no to your face. And let me tell you, this is not unique to guys, or even unique to some exotic class of jerk people. This is a very usable, relatively gentle excuse to get a suitor off your case. But that’s all it is: an excuse. Sure, it’s bullshit. But some people are just cowards. Be glad he rejected you. Do you really want to date a coward? And, for that matter, a coward who isn’t even into you? Don’t date cowards.


JOE: There are at least a few reasons for that. The first: he doesn’t feel as though you two have the right chemistry, and, instead of telling you that, he says that he’s not interested in dating “anyone” when the truth is that he’s not interested in dating you. The important thing to remember is that dating is all about chemistry, not “better” or “worse”, so the fact that he might choose another woman instead of you simply means that, for him, that woman was a better match. Not a better woman — a better match for him.

Another possibility is that he truly isn’t interested in dating anyone because he’s not in the right place in his life to do so, and then… things change. He gets over an ex, or a stressful situation improves, or something else causes him to be ready again.

A third option is that he truly doesn’t think he’s interested in dating, but then, at the right time and in the right situation, someone comes along and changes his mind. Again, it’s a matter of fitting his needs and interests at a given time, not a matter of someone being “better” than you.

* If you’d like to ask the guys a question, simply email me at wendy@dearwendy.com with “His Take” in the subject line and I’ll pass your question along to them.


  1. ReginaRey says:

    You guys all said exactly what I was hoping and praying you would say…most dudes just are easing the blow about not being interested in YOU. It took me, and it takes the vast majority of females, so long to learn this lesson. Thank you for making it simple and understandable, while not making us girls feel bad about it…you guys are awesome! 🙂

  2. fast eddie says:

    Other possible unspoken reasons include he can’t afford to date. Ages ago I had enough to go on date but not enough to “date”. Once a month just after a payday that I didn’t have to pay the rent out of I could have an evening of fun that included a nice meal and so on, but to romance a girl takes money that I didn’t have to spare. Do you think I enjoyed gusseting beer and watching TV all weekend? OK, bad example, but when that’s all you can afford it’ll have to do.

    You ladies have said you need some time to yourselves after a breakup. It’s no different for us guys especially if we were wounded in the process. At the same time our libido didn’t notice that there wasn’t a warm soft body nearby. An evening out on the town and a sexual release helps but it’s just therapy. The lose of what we had expected to last for long time leaves us to wonder if a commitment of any kind is realistic. It take time and baby steps to regain confidence in ourselves.

    Kids were a huge button for me. There was a time when I was single that the women I was meeting had kids or wanted them in the very near future. Being just out of a marriage that included a toddler I wanted nothing to do with being a father but I did want a relationship. This eventually led me to be celibate for a few years.

    In addition to what the other guys wrote all of which I can relate to, it could be religious differences, appearance, politics or anything else but to just say “your to fat for me” is far more rude then I’m capable of being.

    1. But why go out with a person who you’re not into physically in the first place?

      1. One reason men might go out with someone who they weren’t into physically was because they were very interested in her otherwise and wanted to see if that could make up for the lack of immediate physical attraction. Often it doesn’t, but it’s also quite possible that it can.

      2. fast eddie says:

        Lot’s of reasons, horny among them. Not every aspect of someone’s personality is visually apparent. I’ve had dates that looked and sounded great going in but before the end of the evening I wanted nothing more to do with her. Still I can only echo the others about civility.

  3. Why is a guy being honest that he isn’t interested in dating make him a coward or an “excuse”? Why does someone have to/need to date someone they are not interested in for whatever reason, it is simple, they can say no and that is it, they don’t owe you the book of Mormon or whatever an encyclopedia for why they are not interested, the chemistry isn’t there, they don’t like your personality, they think you are too fat, too skinny, too shrill, too loud whatever reason, they are not interested in dating you and respect you enough to not use you for sex and then toss you aside so realize it isn’t all about you and not everyone you want to date will want to date you just as not everyone whom wants to date you will you be interested in.

    1. I don’t think that an honest answer makes someone a coward or makes it an excuse, but I think one of the things we were getting at is that “I’m not interested in dating anyone” is often a white lie, and it’s entirely different as an answer than “I’m not interested in dating you.” It might also be true, but it often is just a way to soften the blow, and I think – were I to be on the receiving end – it’s not a bad thing to say.

    2. It’s the idea that the guy is saying “I don’t want to date *anyone* right now,” (meaning, in most cases, YOU), but then turns around and, not so shockingly, starts dating someone else.

  4. I think it’s interesting how much the four of us agreed. For the sake of making the commenting more interesting, we’ll try to disagree more next time.

    1. bitter gay mark says:

      Yeah, I noticed that, too. So happy, I am first up — as it now looks like the rest of you guys are all just agreeing with me. 😉 Heh, heh, heh. PS — I think it would be amusing to see all of our little pictures right beside our words so we look more like little talking heads… Or am I just incredibly vain? 😉

      1. Sure, I can put your profile pics in there. Let’s see how it looks.

      2. There, what do you think?

      3. I like; I was just about to suggest this as well. Makes it easier to put faces to names.

  5. bitter gay mark says:

    Ooooh! Kudos! I think that looks totally groovy. It also makes it seem more personal, somehow. Like we really are just four guys talking and not disembodied paragraphs over the internet.. I also imagine it will help the readers keep better track of us since we will all only be popping up periodically.

    1. I agree. Thanks for the suggestion.

    2. I like it as well. However, I think we’ll need to send Wendy clips of us talking and looking in various directions so she can compose a “Brady Bunch”-style view.

      1. You could be the one in the center, not looking at anyone except the reader, giving them that “sex” look. Meanwhile, everyone else is engaging in conversation but we see Joe just staring you down, making your insides tingle.

      2. RoyalEagle0408 says:

        I’m not sure if I should be turned on or really terrified by that thought…

      3. I’m happy to read that my “I hope nobody at work sees me taking a self-portrait with my MacBook Pro” look doubles as a sex look. I’ll be sure to carry my laptop with me should I ever try to pick someone up.

  6. bitter gay mark says:

    Hilarious! 🙂

  7. TheOtherMe says:

    This was cool Wendy !

    I guess that theses answers made me feel as though women and men are not that different when it comes to trying to spare someone’s feelings.

    Either that or both genders just don’t have the guts to say ” it’s not me it’s YOU ” !

  8. I love Jarek’s advice about men being “of the moment”. I find this to be very true. I try to be fairly concrete in my decision making whereas I see a lot of men will make a decision that might last about an hour until they rethink the situation and decide something else, and on and on.

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