Ask Single Dating Diva: Are They Really “Not Ready” to Date?

not-ready-to-dateWhat does it really mean when someone says they think you’re great but they’re just “not ready” to date anyone? You might be surprised to learn that perhaps it means something completely different. I’m sure it’s happened to you before, you meet a great person and you have great chemistry. Everything seems to be going great but you just can’t get them to “seal the deal”. They keep telling you that “they aren’t ready”. Perhaps they are recently single, or, they just have a lot of baggage they are carrying, or, they say are just too busy to commit to anyone. Whatever the reason, they tell you they aren’t ready. They like you … BUT. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been on both sides of the coin too. The question is, are they really “not ready” to date? One reader asked me that very question …

Ask Single Dating Diva: Are They Really “Not Ready” to Date?

Dear Single Dating Diva,

I’m currently single and dating. I am having a lot of trouble meeting men who want to commit. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get someone to give a relationship a try. I’m at my whit’s end. Recently, my friend introduced me to a man who I just adored. We got along so great and had lots of chemistry, at least that’s the impression I got. Things were going great, we were spending lots of time together and I was so hopeful, he gave me no reason not to be, but, and, of course, there’s a but, he kept saying that although he loved spending time with me he wasn’t ready to date someone seriously (he was separated earlier that year). We slid into the friend zone eventually and recently he told me he met with someone and was dating her seriously. But, this wasn’t too long after we took it to the friend zone. So what gives? I thought he wasn’t ready? Is it me? Did I do something to turn him off? I don’t understand and I’m so sad about this. 


Not “The One”

Hello Not “The One”,

Thank you for your question. I can definitely relate to your frustration. This has happened to me more times than I’d like to admit. It’s definitely confusing, I mean, if they’re “not ready” to be with you then why are they ready to be with someone else? I’ve asked myself the same question, until I did it to someone myself. I really enjoyed their company and we had a great time together. We definitely had chemistry, but, I just didn’t “feel it”. I kept going back to “I’m just not ready for a relationship right now” and “I’m too busy to date someone seriously”. I definitely justified not wanting to “seal the deal” with this genuinely great person because, to be honest, they just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t anything they did wrong, I just didn’t feel it. Then I did meet someone who DID do it for me. I definitely “felt it” and had no question about wanting to “seal the deal”.

So what was it that was the difference? The first guy was a great guy, I can’t say anything bad about him at all, but, something inside me just didn’t feel it for them. Then when I met bachelor number two they totally did do it for me. The chemistry was undeniable and things fell into place on their own. No doubts or questions asked. So what’s the deal? The deal is that if you don’t feel it, then you don’t feel it and often times someone who says they’re “not ready” to date just doesn’t feel it with you, especially if they do date someone else. Remember I’ve always maintained that when someone wants to be with you, they WILL BE, regardless of what’s going on in their life. You don’t have to wonder or worry or have anxiety, it just happens naturally.

Someone who truly isn’t ready won’t date you or anyone else. They may like spending time with people and meeting new potentials but they don’t officially date, they hang out with people or just “hook up”. It’s more about companionship and ego and not being with anyone, but unfortunately, they end up leading people on and hurting others. Some people who truly aren’t ready, however, don’t even date at all and work on unpacking their baggage. Others use the “not ready” as an excuse because they don’t want to tell you they’re not interested in you that way.

If you really look hard enough and not get lost in wishful thinking, then you won’t get caught up with someone who really isn’t interested. If this is something that happens often to you then you might be reading signals wrong and seeing things that aren’t truly there. Remember, when someone says they’re not ready or makes excuses then don’t bother because for whatever reason deep down inside they don’t feel you’re the right person for them. Don’t beat yourself up about it, most likely you didn’t do anything wrong, you just weren’t what they were needing or wanting or looking for. Move on and say NEXT!

I’m sorry for your experience, I know how crappy it is because I’ve been there too (as many others have). I certainly know how challenging it is to meet a partner these days, especially the right partner, but don’t give up. It’s worth the wait, regardless of how painful the wait can be. You get what you put out there so try your best to stay positive and be grateful for each experience you have because it helps you grow and learn. In the meantime, keep dating and meeting new people, be open to new experiences and different types of men, while living your life in the best way possible.

READERS: Have you ever been in this situation? How did you cope? How did it make you feel? What advice would you give this reader? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva



  1. I’ve been on the recieving end of this many times and at least they are saying they are not ready. Better than when they simply disappear. By the same token, It is extremely misleading when you spend a lot of time together and they call often.

    When I’m not “feeling it” I choose to be honest. Not easy to do when the other person is genuinely nice, but for me honesty is the only way to go. I wish more people could do the same! Be respectful of other people and don’t waste their time.


  2. I’ve seen both situations. On one hand I have a friend who is truly not able to date. He is dealing with a bunch of issues (drinking problem, running a business etc). He’s not interested in dating anyone. Whether he is or not in the future who knows but I’m not holding my breath. On the other hand have come across people who claim they aren’t ready to date but they mean not that person. It’s often a way to be polite and say “not you”. I’ve done it myself, told men I wasn’t ready to date (busy usually)and it was because I didn’t like them. An ex boyfriend broke up with me because he claimed he didn’t want to date but not long after I found his profile on several dating sites so he meant not me.


  3. The two strongest human emotions are fear and greed. Fear has kept our species alive. In my experience when someone says ‘not ready’ it means they are being governed by their fear(s). It takes someone who taps into their greed for something – lust, intimacy, acceptance, love, whatever ‘cos it varies – to make them ditch their fear.

    In the OP’s case the guy was probably on the rebound. He met someone who invoked his greed for something. That person was or will be his rebound fling; it won’t last long. Without our knowing it we’ve been someone else’s rebound fling. that in turn sends us into a rebound mentality, so we hook up with someone who’s looking for something more…round and round this absurd circus goes.

    The OP should consider herself lucky to have dodged a bullet with her ‘unavailable to you’ man. She shouldn’t take it personally. His loss.

    Timing and agenda between two people is often off because everybody is in their own headspace. Meeting someone who wants the same thing as you long-term is rare, but so worth it.


  4. This blog arrived at the perfect time and really hit home so thank you. I’ve recently been on the receiving end of “I’m too busy to date and it’s not fair on you” and in the back of my mind I was hopeful that he would get less busy and get in touch. You are totally right though, if someone wants to date you then they will date you – it’s that simple. I’m glad he give me a nice reason rather than just disappearing and I know it’s not personal. I will find my ‘one’ eventually but in the meantime I’m just going to enjoy my awesome life and know that one day he’ll appear and want to join in.


  5. I’ve been in this situation more times than I can count and nothing sucks more. It’s frustrating for someone to act interested and then to just throw you away. I don’t know how to get over it, just time I guess. Meeting guys in this day and age sure is tough!


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