“I’m Not Ready for a Relationship”

How do you know when you’re ready to commit to a relationship?

A (female) reader this week asks, “How do I tell a guy I’m not ready to get serious just yet?” 

If you want to know exactly what to say to keep him interested but still get the message across that you need more time, you’ll want to see this…

►► Confused about what to text him? Just copy and paste these 9 FREE texts >>> 9Texts.com

Jameson: All right, so you haven’t seen this question yet, but we’re doing longer form questions.

Matthew: Couple of longer questions. Where was this sent into? Our e-mail?

This is from Brie, which is a pseudonym; always protecting the old anonymity of our people. [reading from the email] “My question is referring to someone who is interested in me – and I’m interested in him – but I am not ready for a relationship yet. I want to give myself a fair chance when I’m not going through so much crazy stuff in life.”

Wonder which crazy stuff she’s going through that stops her from having a relationship. I always think people spend too much time worrying whether it’s a good time for a relationship. If it’s the right relationship, you probably won’t care that it’s a crazy time, is my view, but let’s keep going.

“If he asks me out before January, which I’m pretty sure he’s about to, I won’t know how to tell him. I need time without it being weird and/or hurtful or causing him to feel like I don’t like him. I need some advice about how to go about doing this so I don’t accidentally push this guy away.”

Well, it’s definitely going to push him away saying “not yet,” “not right now.”

“If Matt or anyone can offer advice.” – What does she mean “or anyone”? Who’s the “or anyone”? Not you. [meaning Jameson] She obviously can’t get a [bleep] word out of you year-round. What, she thinks you’re suddenly going to be like – give lots of advice to her?

“If Matt or anyone” – just makes me feel less special – “can offer advice, or if there is a similar story I can look into, that would be great. Thank you.”

I think you might be taking things a little too seriously, Brie. I’m a big advocate for times in our life where we do go through periods of sort of saying, “I’m going to be on my own for a little bit and see what that’s like and learn about myself and grow.” But you can’t really have it both ways during that time. You can’t say, “I want my solitude and I want to be on my own and I need a couple of months to do that. But I am saying yes to you for a date.” No.

If you’re saying, “In two months, I’ll see you; that’s a no for now,” you have to do one of a couple of things. Either say, “I’m not dating right now, and that may sound strange, but the truth is I just have a lot going on in my life and I‘m not in a place where I want to go out on dates, because I’m thinking if I go out on a date with you, I’ll like you and I might get more connected to you. And that’s going to make me want to see you again, and I know I’m not ready for what that might lead to if we do see each other more. So I don’t want to take the risk that I might really like you on a date. Let’s hold off and we’ll re-evaluate in a couple of months.”

You either have to do that and just be honest and not date him, or take the whole thing a little less seriously because, look, you said, “My question is referring to someone who is interested in me and I’m interested in him,” right? Well, what does that mean at this stage? If you haven’t even been on a date, it means you both have maybe a mild crush or even less than that. So you could take it a little less seriously and say, “This isn’t a relationship right now. This is just a fun night with somebody that I don’t know very well and I’m getting to know a little better and I’m just going to see where that takes me.”

Jameson: Is something lost in translation? Because she’s saying, “Go out with me,” and I think you’re taking it as very much like on a date. I think she’s saying that, that it’s like, “He wants to make it official and be in like a real relationship with…”

Matthew: Wait, let’s read that bit again. “If he asks me out before January, which I’m pretty sure he’s about to” – that’s like a blast from the past talking about if he asks me out. That’s what I used to say in school, like, “Will you go out with me?” They’d be like, “Yeah, all right,” and you just hold hands for like five months.

Now, let’s do the version of the answer where he’s actually asking you for a relationship. So he’s saying to you, “Do you want to be in a relationship with me?” and you’re like, “Ah, let me put the brakes on for a couple of months while I resolve some things in my life.”

That’s okay. If that’s the case, then say that to him, “I like you, and if I was in a relationship with you, I’d want to be able to go full out and have fun and be carefree in it and just for us to have a great time. And I don’t feel like I’m in a place to fully do that right now. I know if I said yes to this right now, without resolving some stuff that’s going on in my life, then I know I’d still be holding back, and I wouldn’t be able to just be me. And I know I’m really fun when I’m just me. So I want to figure out some stuff for me, and then at the end of that, if you’re still around, then I think us going out would be a really fun thing.”

Talk to the man.

And do that thing about saying, “I’m really fun, like I’m a really good time when I’m unburdened by some of the stuff that I’ve got to deal with right now. Like I’m a great person to be with and I’d want to be that great person.” Because then you’re setting him up for some excitement when it does happen.

We did two questions in one. Hopefully, one of those addresses what’s really going on in this question.

Let us know if you liked this little style. We did something a bit new. We printed out a question. I’ve liked this. It’s been verbose. Let us know in the comments.

Jameson: I don’t mean to be verboast, but you did a good job.

Matthew: I don’t know if you heard that or not, but Jameson did a [bleep] pun. If you didn’t hear it, he said, “I don’t want to verboast.” Every [bleep] day, I have to hear about a hundred puns from him because it’s his favorite form of humor. You don’t know what I go through.


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85 Replies to ““I’m Not Ready for a Relationship””

  • Oh Matt,
    I liked you so much more when you were you and not the f*ucking little twin to Tony Robbins … I got kinda accidentally in your first show in O2 London and you were a star back then – be more yourself again, less of him, please …

  • I loved it! … loved the way it was done also. I even liked how Jamison put his 2 cents in which made Mathew rethink the question and gave a second answer. Please do more of these!!!

  • I liked the long question format but the question was a bit dumb! (Sorry)
    How about asking about mid 30’s newly single free long term marriage (15 years) and feeling like being stuck in high school…. yet men are very direct and ghost a lot.
    Then a lot of men I meet are “divorcing” or with “issues” and so how can I keep them engaged and not be boring when I’m in school full time so the little time I have I try to meet people and study

    I am a very good woman even my ex wants me back (hell no!) I’m a great mom… but I’m also looking for a partner in crim…errr life! Fun and laughter

  • Hi Mathew

    I hope you’re having a great day! First of all this is my first time writting a comment on your page but I do it because I believe in you and you have given me an amazing insight and perspective on relations. Now, I write to you because I noticed something in this response of yours that made me want to contact you and the woman who wrote to you.
    1.- I have been in this situation where you are interested in a person, you want to continue dating or going out with them but it seems to be a little bit rushed or way too soon for you, everybody has their own situation and timing in life and it is not on us to judge others.
    So after he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend I answered this: I really like spending time with you, it is one of the things that lighten my days… And I would like to continue dating you the way we have been so far, make it official right now is a bit fast for me. But I think that… because you want to make things official this could cause no harm, for it would only be postponed, until we see fit to bring it up again.
    The person I told this to agreed with me, I didn’t have to let him know anymore than what he needed to, and eventually when I was ready to make things official with him I sort of brought it up, so he’d thought it was the right time to pop the question again.
    2.- even though you have not to explain the reasons for your actions or desires, there are several reasons why this woman might not want to take things more seriously with this man, and when responding with advice we have to take into consideration the many options that the person asking might not be mentioning, for example: (because she’s mentioning a deadline)
    she might be getting a divorce, maybe a previous relationship just ended or hasn’t been a long time since it did, she might be expecting some news or job proposals abroad or in a different city which causes her to have to wait.
    What ever it is, there is a reason for it whether she mentions it or not its best to be sensitive to it when giving advice.

    I’m very thankful that you take the time to read this, and would love to get your feedback on it.

    Lots of love from México.

  • Case study is good. I like what you said up front – if it is the right person, it won’t matter what else is going on in your life. You will find the time to make it happen if you want to. Other than that, the best thing is to always tell the truth. Just remember that if you are saying wait, that really means the answer is no for now. They are still free to pursue other options and may not be there when you come back. Do not keep people hanging, that is totally irresponsible and controlling behavior and not a good way to start a partnership based on trust and healthy agreements.

  • Just wanted to say that I liked this format of taking real questions from real audience members like this. I did feel that Matt did not hold himself to the same standard that he normally does. The frequent cussing in the video (even though it was beeped out) made me feel like Matt was disrespectful of what the woman with the question was asking. Also, I like to think of Matt as a gentleman and he gives advice on not how to attract men but on how to attract gentlemen. The ora that Matt had in this video made me question if Matt is the gentleman I hope he is. I understand that this is harsh and I am sure that this is just an isolated situation to which I think most of us have. Matt I do love your videos and I have received great advice from you so thank you for that. I know that you have helped many women and men alike. I in no way want to discredit any of that. Thank you so much for your videos and for your advice. I hope that I can see more of the gentleman Matt that I have grown to admire in future videos.

  • Loved this! Makes you very real with people and you listen. Love Jamison’s pun and when you get all riled up! Haha…so fun and spontaneous.

  • Dear Matt,

    Why did you choose this Question? You obviously didn’t like answering it. If you didn’t feel like helping someone, why not choose a question that you at least find interesting.

    You haven’t been at your best at this one.
    Just don’t loose your charme and your good heart. This woman could be very young or just new to all that and you should inspire her to learn, instead of showing her how ridiculous she was.


  • I loved the Pun!!! Lol

    I recommend your videos to my friends because your advice is amazing. I am happily married but still look through the videos for if there is information I can use but I rarely need it. I wish I had found you when I was dating. Thank you for doing what you do!

  • I’m an NBSB,and untill now still looking for the right guy..but once I already meet the guy who shows affection to me I back off..maybe the problem was me. I couldn’t say that maybe I’m heartbroken that’s why I’m afraid to get into a relationship,because I never tried once..but your videos help me a lot. thank you,now I understand my problem.
    I’ll keep supporting your site and share it with my friends.God bless

  • I like it. You have an easy way of talking to the other person, being honest and straightforward yet comlimentary. I like the part about telling the other person you can be fun…setting up some excitement for later. I found some great tidbits. Sometimes Im thrown off guard by direct questions and cant think on my feet fast like you can. I got asked out and I wasnt prepared. I wasnt dating at the time and wasnt in a place I Could date. I stumbled over an answer and it didnt come out that great. Thank you for posting this.

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