Today we’re gonna talk about what it means when an ex tells you that he isn’t ready for a relationship – and what you can do about it.

Now, what’s interesting about this particular situation is that the language your ex uses to push you away from him can appear in many different forms:

  • It’s not you, it’s me
  • Please, stay away from me
  • I’m not ready for a relationship
  • I don’t want to deal with this
  • I can’t do this right now
  • I need some space
  • I want to be on my own

They all have the same sentiment. Stay away from me, I don’t want you.

So what’s going on in a man’s head when he says this to you?

Does he mean it, or is it just something he’s saying to get you off his back?

That’s what this article is going to explore is going to explore.

But first, if you haven’t already, make sure you take the Ex Recovery Chances Quiz.

It’s a simple two-minute quiz which is designed to tell you what chance you have of getting your ex back.

If that’s something you really want to know, taking the quiz is easy, so do that before you go any further.

Does Your Ex Mean It When They Say They Aren’t Ready For A Relationship?

So, when an ex tells you that he isn’t ready for a relationship, does he mean it?

In short, no they don’t really mean it. Most likely, it’s just a front for the real reason.

That may disappoint you to hear but what most people don’t realize is that decisions about relationships are often made based on emotions.

Therefore if your exes experience has been poor towards the end of your relationship then they are going to definitely want to leave that relationship as soon as possible.

Sound familiar?

But here’s the part no one ever tells you.

The person leaving the relationship will often not want to make you feel bad so they’ll give you the whole “it’s not you, it’s me” line.

Of course, this brings us to the next question you are bound to be wondering. Is there a way to salvage the situation?

Well, to answer that I first need to tell you a story and if you’re an avid reader of my the blog section of Ex Boyfriend Recovery then you’ve probably heard it before.

The Pattern Interrupt And The Brad Pitt Test

I’m a huge fan of the movie Hitch, which follows Will Smith, who plays a character who teaches men how to get women. But he only works with specific men – men who really fall in love with a woman but have no clue how to bridge that gap.

The movie starts with this really interesting pattern interrupt.

Literally the first line in the movie is,

“No woman wakes up in the morning saying, God I hope I don’t get swept off my feet today.'”

Hitch then goes on to tell us that despite everything she might say to put you off, if you do some serious sweeping, she’ll be yours.

So what is a pattern interrupt?

Well, I’ve actually filmed a video describing exactly how I tend to advise clients to use it.

But for the purposes of this article and the movie, it’s doing crazy things like pretending to save her dog from being run over, or some other kind of elaborate ‘accidental’ meeting, all set up by Hitch to make the hapless hero look good.

This is instead of the clumsy approach these guys would usually employ, which hasn’t served them well in the past.

For your purposes, it’s not doing what he expects.

If your ex tells you he’s not ready for a relationship or he doesn’t want to be with you, he expects you to be upset.

He expects you will call and message him and want to see him to talk about it.

He expects arguments and drama. That’s the usual pattern.

You’re not going to give him that. You’re going to interrupt the pattern by pulling away and letting him see what life is like if he does have what he asked for – space from you.

In the meantime, you’ll be showing him what he’s missing via social media posts of you having fun, friends telling him how great you’re doing. And any glimpses of you he does catch, you make sure you look amazing.

All this is part of the No Contact strategy that we recommend to all clients who are trying to get an ex back. There are heaps of articles on the site which deal with the No Contact Rule.

But we need to move on.

The Brad Pitt Test

Back when I was in high school and couldn’t get a girl to save my life, I’d look online to see what I should do and say to attract women. Oftentimes the advice would suck.

But one thing has always stuck with me. It’s called the Brad Pitt test.

If a woman says she doesn’t want to be with you or isn’t into you or isn’t ready for a relationship, give her the Brad Pitt test. Essentially, throw Brad Pitt in front of her in your exact circumstances and have him ask her out on a date.

Does she say yes? If she says yes, then clearly it’s something to do with you.

Now, I often like to say to women, give men the Megan Fox test.

Back in high school, my friends and I were all in love with Megan Fox.

We thought she was the epitome of attractiveness when it came to a woman. But you can choose someone else who you think better fits the bill.

So, put Megan Fox in front of him and have her flirt with him.

Does he reciprocate? Does he go out on a date with her? Does he enter into a relationship with her?

If he says yes (or you think he almost certainly would), then you have your answer. It’s something that he really doesn’t mean when he says that he’s not ready to get into a relationship.

It’s more about you and him, and the circumstances of your relationship and breakup.

I had a client once who I told this Megan Fox theory to and she tested it out on her ex.

She went to her best friend, who was the best looking girl she knew, and paid her (even though her friend was like, “What the heck is going on?”) to go up to her ex and hit on him.

She wanted to see if her ex would flirt back and maybe ask her out on a date.

When he did, she was obviously very upset with the result, but she got her answer.

He Ultimately didn’t mean it when he said he wasn’t ready for a relationship.

What he meant was that he didn’t want to be with her. And after him behaving like that with her best friend, she wasn’t so crazy about being with him either!

Honestly, that situation was more than a little nuts.

But the test worked.

Four Tips To Get Your Ex To Change Their Mind?

Here’s the thing we’re trying to get to the bottom of. What can you do if you’re dealing with an ex who says, “I’m not ready?” What can you do to get them to re-commit to you?

The first thing I think you need to do is have a paradigm shift. Change how you look at relationships, and how you think men make decisions.

A lot of women like to think there’s a Disney prince out there for them – Prince Charming or a knight in shining armour.

This is programmed into us by romance tropes in movies, books and magazines, and even if we know logically that this isn’t real life, those yearnings to be swept off our feet can still arise.

But usually, reality doesn’t work that way.

Men tend to make decisions based on self interest: “Is this going to be the best thing for me?”.

And by the way, we’re all self-interested, not just men. Looking after yourself is essential to your survival in the world, so it makes sense.

Your ex is especially self-interested if he says, “I’m not ready for a relationship right now.” – then goes and dates someone else!

So, digging down deeper, if you understand four essential concepts, you will have a better chance of getting him to change his mind and commit to you.

Here are the things that I would recommend you start doing right away.

Tip #1: Ensure That Every Interaction You Have With Your Ex Is Extremely Satisfying

I’ve been on record for a long time explaining the differences between good emotions and bad emotions and how human beings tend to be addicted to feeling good.

The other day I was driving down the road and went past a Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A is notorious for their great service and tasty food, but even so it was packed there beyond belief. They had people with iPads going and taking orders from those people waiting in line!

But why is everyone sitting there waiting to get fried chicken or one of those awesome triple thick milkshakes? It’s not because it’s good for you. It’s not going to make you look better.

But it is going to make you feel better.

Eating there is satisfying, so we’re addicted to that feeling.

Your ex needs to have that same feeling every time he converses or engages with you in any type of conversation in any way.

Every time you are in contact with him, he needs to come out of that exchange feeling better about himself.

This doesn’t mean false flattery, just genuine and interesting conversation.

You need to catch his interest with a hook, talk about things that are important to him (and no relationship talk at first!) and make sure you are the one to end the conversation, leaving him wanting more.

I have lots of articles and YouTube videos which discuss in much more detail how to text your ex, so check them out.

Think about it. When was the last time that you can honestly say that your ex was satisfied after exiting a conversation with you? If you can’t remember, you’ve got a problem.

Tip #2: Ensure That You Are The Best Alternative

A man who breaks up with you is essentially saying, I think I can find someone better than you.

I can find a better alternative.

So how can you flip that on its head? Well, oftentimes men have a bit of what I like to call the grass is greener syndrome.

Towards the end of the relationship they may be looking around thinking, “You know what? There are greener pastures out there. I can maybe do better than what I’ve got right here.”

So they break up with you and go exploring into those greener pastures.

Here’s the thing. Oftentimes, especially the longer the relationship was, it’s not that easy to get into the flow of things. They start meeting new people but nothing actually seems to compare to you and the intimacy you had.

You can actually further develop this type of situation to your advantage if you do things away from your ex to highlight the great parts of your relationship.

Highlight the aspects of you that he fell in love with.

Maybe he really loved your eyes – so you put pictures on social media showing your beautiful eyes in their best light.

Maybe he loved the fact that you were so spontaneous and adventurous; so go and do some adventurous things with your friends.

Maybe he loved going to a certain place with you, even if that was just the gym or a favorite coffee shop. There’s nothing stopping you from still going there and having fun.

You want him to head on out there into the world of dating and than start thinking, “This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.” That’s when he’s more likely to realise he actually had it pretty good with you.

Tip #3: Make Him Invest A Lot

When I first started talking about this concept of investment, most women took it to mean monetary investment:

“How can I get him to pay for dates?”

But we’re talking about something much deeper here. We’re talking about not only money, but also time, conversation, emotions and feelings. The more you can get him to invest those things into a relationship with you, even if it’s a ‘friend’ relationship, the better place you’re going to be in.

The more invested someone becomes in a relationship, the less likely they are to exit that relationship.

That means you need to do some thinking about why he left you in the first place, or why things went wrong between the two of you.

What was he spending most of his time doing?

A boyfriend should be spending most of his time talking to you, or doing things with you, or thinking about you. If he wasn’t doing these things, maybe you have a good answer as to why he broke up with you in the first place.

Of course, couples are also individuals, and there are things you want to do away from him and vice versa. But if you’re together, you should be spending time together. If he loves sports but you never want to go to a game with him or resent him going to play twice a week with his buddies, the balance of investment isn’t equal.

So have a good think about it. If you two didn’t spend much time together, why was that? Why did you stop having fun together? What used to make him satisfied, and what can you do to revive that feeling?

Here’s another interesting thing.

If you make him super-satisfied, if you ensure that you’re the very best alternative, and you ensure that he’s investing most of his time, and he’s still not committing – here’s where Tip No. 4 comes into play.

Tip #4: Fear Of Loss

I often talk about this concept. If you want to make someone commit to you, there are three things you need to do – make him satisfied, ensure you’re the best alternative, monopolise his time and make sure he invests in you.

But making someone commit to you isn’t the same as making someone want to commit to you. If you want to make someone commit to you – well, you can’t really make anyone do anything. But you can incentivise them to commit by using fear of loss.

Many women think, okay cool – I’ll give him an ultimatum: “If you don’t commit to me by this date, we’re done.”

That’s not really what I’m talking about. Most people aren’t too keen on ultimatums. They’re threatening and negative.

What you need to do instead is satisfy him so that he wants to commit. Follow the first three tips. Then, once you have done so, you start sprinkling in the fear of loss.

You don’t sprinkle in the fear of loss by giving ultimatums. Instead what you do is find ways to show him that other men want to take you out of the dating pool.

You can use what I like to call subtle jealousy here. Letting him see you with other men in photos or check-ins can make him wonder if he’s going to lose his chance forever. If you two aren’t committed to each other, you have every right to see what else is out there. (After all, that’s what he’s doing, right?)

Until you are committed to him, you being with someone else is a possibility, and it’s one he should fear.

If he sees that, he won’t only grow a little jealous, he’ll grow a little worried, and more likely to commit.

These four tips will help you not only re-attract him, but make him realise that he is, in fact, ready for a relationship with the right person…you!

A Final Word

Thanks for getting to the end of this article!

If you haven’t already, make sure you take that Ex Boyfriend Recovery Chances quiz. It’s a simple two minute quiz which tells you your chances of getting your ex back. I feel like a broken record, but I’m going to say it one more time – this really is that simple.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel to get even more help with how to get your ex back.

And if you have anything you want help with or want to say about this article, I’m all ears – please leave a comment and I will try my best to get back to you. Your success is really important to me!

17 thoughts on “My Ex Told Me They Aren’t Ready For A Relationship”

  1. Avatar


    December 2, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Me again!

    The girl who was seeing a guy for 5-6 months (but never became official) and decided he couldn’t be official with me right now because he is in a “selfish phase.” Or as he explained when he ended it, he needs to focus on himself and other things in his life right now that he can’t have a partner because he feels he can’t give them his 100%.

    Anyways you suggested 30 days NC then reach out. I want to give him his space. I don’t care if it’s moths from now if I reach out. I’m not going to be sitting around waiting for him or anything. I’m going to be open to finding someone else because let’s face it his loss. But if months from now I’m still single and think of him, can I reach out on like 6 months from now? Will that ruin the chances more and I should do 30 days instead?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 6, 2019 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Sarah, so what happens is after 66 days of not speaking to someone you get out of the habit of talking to them, so by the time 6 months has passed he will have changed who is somewhat and so would you have. So, yes you can reach out in 6 months time and treat it as in you’re getting to know him as a new person and rebuild your connection – friendship again

  2. Avatar


    December 2, 2019 at 1:27 am

    So my ex boyfriend and I broke up a while ago it’s been a year since the breakup and I’m having such a hard time moving on we spoke this past summer and he told me he’s not ready for a relationship now. So after thinking about it I realized I had to stop talking to him. When I had told him that we should stop talking to each other since I want a relationship and he doesn’t he got mad at me and told me that the entire time that we didn’t talk he missed me and I didn’t fall for it and stood my ground when I would text him he wouldn’t text me back and he would do these things in our relationship. My question is why would someone who doesn’t pay attention to me get so upset about me leaving?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      Hi Serena, so even though he doesnt want a relationship with you right now or in the near future he does not like the thought of you walking away from him. Almost a fear of loss. Its not a bad thing, so make sure you stick to your word and do not speak to him at all for a while, he may even reach out to you to test to see if you would answer him. He likes the idea of you waiting on the sidelines for him to be ready to be with you again, like a security blanket

  3. Avatar


    December 1, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I was with a guy for about 5 months. Unfortunately we weren’t official but we were each not seeing other people. I was hoping he would commit to me, but just yesterday he told me he no longer can see me right now because he is in a selfish phase in his life and can’t make me a priority and he doesn’t want to do that to me. He wished the timing was different I am amazing but I deserve better.

    Blah blah blah. The thing is I really felt we could have been perfect together if he was willing to give the chance. I don’t think 30 day NC would change his mind and make him realize what he is missing out. I feel he will be in the same headspace of not ready for commitment. I am willing to move on but I feel in the future I might think what if and want to try to contact him again.

    Do you suggest no contact? If In his case for how long?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      December 1, 2019 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Sarah yes start No Contact for 30 days and in that time work on dating others just to see how you feel when spending time with others. Work on becoming Ungettable too. In 30 days you can reach out to him as a friend and rebuild attraction, but make sure you are following the value chain so that he invest more into you and hopefully by that time is willing to commit to you properly in fear of losing you

  4. Avatar

    Lil lil

    November 23, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Hello !my ex broke up with me 4 months ago because we didnt have a good time the last months(we were together for almost 4 years).i applied the no contact rule for about a month and after i reached out 2-3 times in order to apologize for my behaviour and to persuade him to give me a second chance but he says he doesn’t want to be in A relationship and he doesn’t want to be with me again .. after that he texted me happy birthday wishes 2 weeks after and a week after that i texted him on his birthday too .its a week that we haven’t spoken at all,what should i do now?do i have any chances?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 23, 2019 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Lil so you need to not reach out to him about relationship things, you need to reach out a friend and work on reattracting him rather than asking to get him back immediately. Look up Chris posts about the Value chain for you to fully understand how this works

  5. Avatar


    November 18, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    12 month situationship-I’m potentially moving to a new city-finishing my last year of optometry school. We both met each other after coming out of a long term relationships with someone else. We enjoy each others company are always laughing with one another, have similar interests and goals, are just happy to be around each other. I’m trying to figure out where my next career stop is in about 6 months and asked him what we were doing; he said he didnt know and always assumed I was moving away-I told him I hadn’t made that decision- and then 1 week later said he didn’t want to have the pressure of me deciding based on him. The ending was very good-I felt dignified and optimistic in front of him (although dying inside) and I felt like I could see the confusion on his face. What do I do from here?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 23, 2019 at 1:25 pm

      Hi Brianna, so completing the No Contact and then reaching out at the end in a positive and friendly way NOT ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP but just as a friend and re build your connection gradually.

  6. Avatar


    November 17, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Hie Chris.
    So my ex ended things with me because he’s scared of something bad happening between us. He did say that he still wants us to be cool and still talk and the interesting thing about this was that he said he still loves me., and he hopes that I’ll take him back one day. Our relationship was good. And we had just clocked a year.. Basically he said realized that I’m just above the average girl and he’s scared of both of us getting hurt in the future.. I’m 18 days into the NC rule.. what should I do?
    I also accidentally butt dialed him and cancelled immediately and he texted asking if I called. I haven’t responded and decided to ignore it.. does that mean I broke the NC rule?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 23, 2019 at 1:20 am

      Hey Mwiza so as long as it was accidental and you have not replied to text then that isnt breaking NC. Look up the posts Chris has made about being Ungettable girl. this is what you need to do next to show him you are not worth walkign away from. As for above average. Do not sell yourself short. Tell yourself he is the best thing he is ever going to get and it is his loss if he doesnt realise his mistake

  7. Avatar


    November 17, 2019 at 3:14 am

    My boyfriend broke up with me after over two years together, we were living together. His reasons were timing, he had become too dependent on me, he hadn’t been fair on me and he wanted to work on himself. I supported him while he was studying and I was working full time. He was suffering from anxiety and saying that being in a relationship is not what he needed. I gave so much of myself and he made it look so easy to walk away.

  8. Avatar


    November 15, 2019 at 12:57 am

    9 month relationship and ex randomly one day tells me he is worried about the future and if I’m “the one.” He says he has never felt this way about someone or been this serious with someone. The entire relationship was great and never had a doubt in my mind that he was feeling this way. He had nothing bad to say at the break up except that he had this feeling of uncertainty of the future and also if he needed more time to himself before the relationship. Break up was very mature and ever since I have been in no contact for 11 days. What to do next/any hope? Or give up?

    1. EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      EBR Team Member: Shaunna

      November 18, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Hi Ally, well done on getting this far, but keep to 30 days and work on yourself in that time so that you are living your life and appear to be the ungettable girl that you can be and then he will realise hes missed out on some amazing times with you and that should draw him back in. Posting to social media about the amazing things you are doing for him to sit on the outside looking in will help you

  9. Avatar


    November 14, 2019 at 12:08 am

    3 year relationship…. I think ex fell out of love maybe 2/3 months before he actually had courage to end it. He told me he no longer felt the same and I think it was because we had got into routine / nagging etc .

    I am 22 days into no contact but to be honest I am not hopeful. If someone fell out of love surely they will not care about fear of loss? Also they will genuinely date rather than rebound?

    1. Chris Seiter

      Chris Seiter

      November 14, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      I think maybe your ex has a bit of the grass is greener syndrome. So, the fear of loss might not come in for a little while.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.