Help! Why Do Guys Keep Ghosting Me After I Ask What They Want Out Of The Relationship?

Why does such a simple question keep driving guys away? Is it really a crime to ask?

By Keelia Clarkson3 min read
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Things were going so well with this new guy. He was cute, he made you laugh like no one else, he was driven, and you really felt like this time, things were different. He was different from all the other guys you’ve dated. You really wanted to be his girlfriend. You were just waiting for him to ask.

But date after date, he didn’t bring up the subject of a committed relationship. So you decided to take matters into your own hands, just to give him a little nudge. You asked him a simple question: “What do you want out of this relationship?” Almost immediately, something shifted in him. He pulled away, stopped replying to texts, and ghosted you. And sadly, this wasn’t the first time a guy pulled the disappearing act after you asked that question. But why?

Why do you keep on getting ghosted for the crime of asking the guy you’re dating where he sees the relationship going? Aren’t relationships supposed to go somewhere? What’s going wrong here?

There Are a Few Explanations

While ghosting is generally an immature, insensitive, unfair way to end a relationship, if you’ve been ghosted even just once, it may be helpful to reflect on what could have caused him to run off – even if he should’ve been mature enough to end the relationship properly.

As is the case with every relationship (or almost every relationship) that ends, there are a million things that could’ve caused him to hit the brakes. Here are a few explanations as to why he (along with other guys you’ve dated in the past) might’ve ghosted as soon as the “Where is this relationship going?” talk came up.

  • You might have brought it up too soon. After we’ve had an amazing couple of dates, it’s understandable to get swept up in a flurry of emotions that say, “He’s the one!” If you brought up where the relationship was headed before you had been out with him more than four or five times, it may have been a bit too soon to start talking labels with him.

  • You might have come on too strong. The dating world can feel pretty bleak and hopeless – until you meet one special guy, that is. And if you’ve been on enough dud dates, it’s natural to want to lock it down and show a lot of interest once you meet a guy you actually click with. However, this can also make a guy feel pressured to move faster than he’s comfortable with. And in his mind, the easiest way out is to just stop replying.

  • He might have just been looking for some fun. He acted like your boyfriend, but as soon as you hinted at putting a label on it, he got shifty, mumbled something about thinking things were better left casual, and suddenly had to get up really early for work the next day. And after that, you didn’t hear from him again. In this case, he was likely only in it for some fun. There was no right or wrong way you could’ve brought up a relationship that would’ve kept him from ghosting you.

  • He might still be hurting from a past relationship. It’s possible that he hasn’t healed from his previous relationship (whether it was toxic or simply a heartbreaking split) and when faced with the choice of beginning a new relationship, he couldn’t bring himself to. This is truly a case of it’s not you, it’s me

How To Bring Up This Topic in the Future

Now that we’ve talked about all that can go wrong when broaching the subject of where a relationship is headed, what about what can go right? How can you bring up this topic in the future without running the risk of getting ghosted?

  • Know the answer to your own question. Before you can look for an answer from him, you should know how you’d answer the question yourself. What do you want out of the relationship? Are you hoping for a lasting committed relationship, or are you just enjoying your time with him and excited to see where things go? 

  • Wait until the time is right. While every relationship’s timeline is different, it’s generally safe to wait until you’ve been out around five times with him. At this point, it’s not out of the question for him to have some idea of what he wants.

  • Be upfront with your desires. You don’t need to alter your desires to accommodate his, so don’t be shy about letting him know what kind of relationship you’re looking for. Being honest with him about what you want will help the conversation and the relationship head where they’re meant to.

  • Approach the conversation without specific expectations. Of course you’re hoping his desires align with yours. But it’s important to hold the relationship loosely until you know where it’s headed. Be prepared for a myriad of outcomes. This way, you don’t run the risk of coming on stronger than you meant to – because you aren’t set on receiving a specific answer.

4 Signs the Guy You’re Seeing Might Ghost You for Asking This Question

We’ve discussed why this simple, well-intentioned question might cause a guy to ghost you and how to approach this conversation in the future, but one question remains: How can you tell if the guy you’re currently seeing might ghost you for bringing up the “What are we?” subject? What are the signs that he’s the type of guy who’d get scared off by this question?

  • He only makes plans to hang out at night. And more often than not, alcohol is involved. He normally attempts to get you to come back to his place, or invites himself over to yours. If you ever try to plan a date during the day, he’s mysteriously busy.

  • He’s very physical with you. He’s physical with you, but not physically affectionate. He doesn’t hold your hand just for the sake of being close to you, but as a means to push things into steamier territory. While it feels nice to be desired, you often feel like he’s mostly interested in your body.

  • He doesn’t ask personal questions. He doesn’t seem to care to know about your family or your dreams or your best friend or your fears. He doesn’t ask personal questions at all. Instead, he sticks with lighter topics, like what you thought of the latest Succession episode.

  • He doesn’t answer personal questions either. Your attempts to probe deeper aren’t accepted. He either changes the subject or gives non-answers to your personal questions. While you want to know more about him and his inner world, he keeps you outside it.

Closing Thoughts

It hurts to get ghosted. And while there may be something you can learn from the situation, if a guy chooses to ghost you for asking such a basic question, he clearly wasn’t the one. Keep looking, and you’ll find a guy who doesn’t ghost you at the first mention of commitment.

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