The Match Lab

13 Signs He Wants a Relationship But Is Scared

Sometimes, guys really do want a relationship but are just too scared to make it happen.


13 Signs He Wants a Relationship But Is Scared:

1. You Have Consistent Communication

If he makes an effort to reach out regularly, responds promptly, and has meaningful conversations with you in person and over text, these are all signals that he’s genuinely interested in a relationship with you.

If he remembers details from previous talks and seems invested in learning more about your life, those are even further signs.

Read: 8 Signs He Wants to Define the Relationship

2. He’s Protective of You

A man who wants a relationship with you will often show a protective nature.

If he’s quick to offer help or makes clear efforts to ensure your safety and comfort, these could be signs he’s invested in your well-being and is interested in a deeper connection.

Read: 10 Reasons Why He’s So Into You So Soon

3. He Shows Fears of Vulnerability

Becoming vulnerable is a significant step in deepening emotional intimacy.

A man might fear to show his true self because vulnerability requires trust, and the prospect of rejection can be intimidating, especially if he’s experienced fear of rejection in past dating experiences.

4. He Seeks Quality Time

An interest in spending quality time together beyond casual hangouts can signify his deeper feelings.

He might initiate plans for future dates or express a desire to share meaningful experiences with you.

This suggests he values having you by his side and sees a potential for something more than just friendship or casual dating.

If a guy doesn’t want a relationship, he won’t carve out extensive quality time for you.

Read: 14 Examples of Quality Time as a Love Language

5. He Gets Jealous Easily

Jealousy isn’t always a healthy trait, but in moderation, it can indicate that he’s afraid of losing you.

You might notice he seems uncomfortable when you talk about other guys or if you’re receiving attention from someone else.

While this isn’t the most straightforward sign of romantic interest, it can imply that he sees you as more than just a short-term partner.

Read: The Psychology of Submissive Men

6. Physical Cues and Body Language

Body language can reveal a lot about his feelings.

Look for extended eye contact, his body turned towards you when in conversation, or subtle touches that suggest intimacy. What’s key is that these things happen during normal time together, not just when he’s interested in sex.

A man who is into you may not even realize he’s giving off these signals, but they can be quite telling.

Read: The Physical Touch Love Language Explained

7. He Has Past Emotional Baggage

Heartbreak from previous relationships often carries over, causing a person to be cautious with their heart.

If he’s been hurt before, past emotional baggage can make him scared to enter a new romantic chapter, fearing history may repeat itself.

Baggage could be one reason why he really does want a relationship but feels scared to make the plunge.

8. He Has Commitment Issues


If a man is scared of commitment, he may worry about losing his independence or making the wrong choice.

This fear might stem from a deep-seated belief that a committed relationship may not work out, leading to potential heartbreak.

What’s unfortunate is that commitment issues can lead a guy to refrain from committing even when he really does want to.

Read: How to Define the Relationship Without Scaring Him: 16 Tips

9. He Gets Nervous Talking About Long-Term Plans

A clear sign of fear in starting relationship is getting nervous when discussing the future.

A guy might be hesitant to talk about long-term plans because it makes the relationship seem more real. That feeling makes a guy feel more vulnerable to eventually getting hurt.

Planning too far ahead can feel like overcommitting, and that’s terrifying to someone with commitment issues.

Read: How to Know If He’s ‘The One’: 11 Signs to Tell for Sure

10. He Pulls Away When Things Get Serious

One typical behavior of someone who wants a relationship but is scared includes pulling away or losing interest when the relationship starts to deepen.

This pulling away is often not about you but his own fear of being deeply committed and potentially hurt again.

11. Fluctuating Levels of Attention

When a man likes you, he may oscillate between showering you with attention and acting distant.

One day he might be texting you frequently and making plans, and the next, you find yourself wondering why he’s ignoring you or being unusually quiet.

This seesaw pattern can arise from fear of vulnerability or uncertainty about how to proceed. It’s a common sign of his ambivalence: wanting to commit but being afraid of doing so.

Read: 19 Reasons to Define the Relationship After 2 Months of Dating

12. He’s Showing a “Hero Instinct”

A concept to consider is the “hero instinct,” which suggests that some men have a deep-seated desire to feel needed and to be your protector.

He may try to impress you or show protective behavior, but then pull back if he feels that his gestures are not reciprocated or appreciated.

So, one way to make him less scared of committing to a relationship is to show appreciation for his protective behaviors. This could validate his masculinity and make him feel secure in that role.

13. He’s Attentive to Your Needs But Holds Back His Own Feelings

You may notice that he’s incredibly attentive to your needs and is even jealous at times when others give you attention.

Yet, at the same time, he may withhold expressing his own feelings to you.

Handling mixed signals in this aspect requires patience and an understanding that his withholding his feelings is likely a defense mechanism born out of fear of being too exposed emotionally.

Read: 10 Signs He Wants to Make You His Girlfriend

Developing a Supportive Approach

When navigating a scenario where your partner may want a relationship but is hesitant, it can be helpful to create a supportive dynamic between you two.

This requires establishing strong communication, building emotional safety, and respecting each other’s comfort with the relationship’s progression.

Fostering Open Communication

Effective communication is the cornerstone of trust and understanding in any relationship.

Begin by actively listening to your partner and expressing your thoughts and feelings clearly and nonjudgmentally.

Encourage conversations that allow you both to share your desires and concerns without the fear of judgment or ridicule.

For example, instead of saying “Why are you always holding back?”, try phrases like “I’ve noticed you seem hesitant about certain things, and I’m here to listen if you want to talk about it.”

Some examples of open-ended questions to ask are “How do you feel about where our relationship is heading?” or “Is there anything on your mind about us that you’ve been hesitant to share?”

Read: 21 Signs Your Current Partner is Not ‘The One’

Encouraging Emotional Safety

Trust is solidified when both partners feel emotionally safe to show vulnerability.

To foster emotional safety, consistently show empathy and understanding.

Recognize when your partner takes a step towards openness, and reinforce that with appreciation and reassurance.

For instance, you might say “I really value you sharing that with me, and it helps me understand your feelings deeper.”

Some other actions that encourage emotional safety include active verbal affirmations, patient and non-judgmental responses, and respect for personal boundaries.

Navigating the Relationship Pace

Respecting each other’s timing is crucial for maintaining a comfortable pace in your relationship.

Show patience, and don’t pressure your partner into making commitments before he’s ready.

Be clear about your own expectations and plans while being open to adjusting them as your partner’s comfort evolves.

This might involve having conversations about future goals and understanding that these discussions themselves may take time.

You could have regular check-ins to assess comfort levels and address any concerns. Also beneficial is to celebrate small milestones that acknowledge the growth in your relationship without overwhelming your partner.

Moving Forward Together

Recognizing the signs that he wants a relationship but is scared is just the first step.

To move forward together, it’s essential to focus on nurturing intimacy, establishing trust, and promoting mutual growth within the confines of a budding relationship.

Creating Lasting Intimacy

To create lasting intimacy in your relationship, prioritize emotional intimacy as much as, if not more than, sexual intimacy.

Share your thoughts and feelings openly, and encourage your partner to do the same.

It’s in these shared moments that you both can truly connect and foster a deep sense of closeness.

Read: 15 Signs You’ve Found ‘The One’

Building a Foundation of Trust

Trust is the bedrock of any healthy relationship.

Begin by being consistent in your actions and follow through on your commitments. That’ll help a guy feel more secure over his own fears of commitment. Show that you’re reliable, and make sure to communicate honestly.

Acknowledge each other’s vulnerabilities and offer reassurance when it’s needed, which reinforces that the trust you’re building is reciprocated.

Embracing Mutual Growth

Growth in a relationship means you’re both moving forward, learning from each other, and evolving as partners.

Set common goals for the future and support each other’s individual dreams.

Embrace the journey as an opportunity to grow both personally and as a couple, knowing that this growth ensures the vitality and longevity of your love and commitment.

Related articles:

How to Define the Relationship Without Scaring Him: 16 Tips

8 Signs He Wants to Define the Relationship

This is Your Love Language, According to Your Zodiac Sign

10 Signs He Wants to Make You His Girlfriend

Recent Posts