Sometimes, it will seem like a relationship is going great, and the couple is a match made in heaven—until suddenly, the guy decides that he wants to put on the brakes and re-evaluate everything. The girl is left wondering what went wrong, or if there was anything she could have done that would have changed his feelings. It’s a tough position to be in for sure. After all, she can’t make him change his mind and magically convince him that she is worth the commitment, but she also doesn’t want to just let him walk away without a fight, either.
The key to working through a relationship issue like this is figuring out exactly why a guy would say that he needs some time to think. It could happen for a wide variety of reasons—after all, no two relationships are the same. In order to get past the issue, she might have to change her ways, or she may have to accept that he isn’t ready to be in a relationship right now, and she will have to let him go. It’s not an easy situation. Here are 25 reasons why her boyfriend is putting the relationship on pause.
25 He’s Uncomfortable With Her Male Friends
It’s totally fine for a girl to have guy friends while she is in a relationship. But according to Cosmopolitan, some guys get a bit insecure about dating a girl who has a lot of close male friends. If she acts flirty with some of them, or lets them think they still have a chance with her just because she likes the attention, it’s likely to make him question whether or not she is truly committed to the relationship.
And honestly? It’s a fair question. Women need to be careful to maintain clear boundaries with their male friends when they’re dating someone else.
24 She’s Still Too Friendly With Her Ex
If a relationship ends with a mutual and respectful breakup, and both parties are mature and trustworthy people, there is no reason why they can’t remain friends after it’s over if they so wish. But according to Glamour, it’s also very crucial that women who choose to stay friends with an ex are clear about those boundaries when they get into new relationships (and of course, guys should do the same).
If she can’t do that, it is inevitable that her new boyfriend will be very concerned about whether or not she is truly over him and committed to their relationship.
23 She’s Not Taking The Relationship Seriously
Sometimes, two people get into a relationship with different ideas of where the relationship is headed and how much it really means to them. But according to Allure, it’s really important to make sure that both parties are on the same page in the early days, because otherwise things are not going to work out.
If the guy feels like he’s putting in a ton of effort, while his girlfriend doesn’t seem to care as much, it’s going to make him stop and wonder if the relationship is really worth it after all. He might think it’s time for a break.
22 His Parents Aren’t Fond Of Her
In this day and age, a guy may not care as much about his parents' opinion of his girlfriend—but let’s not pretend that it doesn’t matter at all.
According to Cosmopolitan, many men say that they do still consider what their family thinks of their girlfriend, especially if they’re wondering if the relationship could lead to marriage.
In that case, a guy may start having second thoughts if his parents both express that they disapprove of her. It’s a shame, and the parents might be wrong, but our families definitely do have an influence on who we date and marry.
21 He’s Wondering Who Else Is Out There
Sometimes, a relationship ends simply because one person wants to be single—not because the other person did anything wrong, but because they are wondering if they settled down too soon without figuring out what they really want in life.
According to Psychology Today, it’s basically the “grass is greener” syndrome—once they start thinking about the single life again, they can only spot the flaws in their own relationship. When a guy starts thinking about leaving simply because he misses being single, there may not be anything that his girlfriend could do in order to actually change his mind.
20 He Doesn’t Fit In With Her Friends
So, if a guy’s friends aren’t super happy about his girlfriend, it could create some problems for his relationship down the line. But, on the other hand, if her friends do not like him too much, or he simply feels like he doesn’t fit in with them, he might wonder if the relationship is really going to work out.
According to Allure, men say that if they are dating a woman whose friends clearly do not approve of them, they often feel awkward and out of place around them, and it can really put a damper on the whole relationship.
19 She’s Not Making Him A Priority
Making a relationship a priority doesn’t mean always pushing your friends and family to the side in favor of your significant other. But it does mean that you should treat your partner as though they are one of the most important people in your life—because they should be!
According to Self, many men say that when a girlfriend clearly doesn’t make them a priority in life, it hurts their self-esteem, and they wonder if they are just not good enough for her. They end up wondering if making her a priority is really worth it if she won’t do the same.
18 She Acts Single When He’s Not Around
Girls just wanna have fun, right? Well, if she’s in a relationship, she shouldn’t be acting as though casual flirting and spending a ton of time with single guys is just typical fun.
According to Cosmopolitan, people who act single when their significant other isn’t around are pretty much destined to end up being single again soon.
Eventually, word about those actions gets back to their partner, and it’s no surprise that a guy would not be happy to find out that his girlfriend seems to be acting like she’s single and ready to mingle. It would ruin any relationship.
17 He’s Ready For Serious Commitment, But She’s Not
Sometimes, people are just at different places in life when they get together, and while one might be ready to take a big step in the relationship, the other feels differently. It doesn’t mean that either person is bad or in the wrong—it just means that they aren’t meant to be together at this point in time.
According to Self, if a guy is ready for a serious commitment, but his girlfriend isn’t at that point yet, he might wonder if he should move on to someone who feels the same way that he does—it’s a serious consideration.
16 She Doesn’t Share His Core Values
When people are young and getting into their first relationships, all that really matters is the spark they feel between them. But as people get older, they need more than a spark. They need to share the same core values to build a life together. According to Psychology Today, older couples say that sharing values is much more important than having a certain spark between them.
If a guy realizes that he and his girlfriend don’t actually share those important values, he might wonder if it’s time to let go of the relationship, even if he still cares about her.
15 They Have Wildly Different Visions Of The Future
In high school relationships, it doesn’t really matter if two people see different futures for themselves—deep down, they know it probably won’t matter in the long run. But if a girl and a guy get together in college or later, they should be on the same page about some important goals and major life decisions.
According to Psychology Today, couples say that if one person didn’t agree on an important decision, like whether or not to have kids, it would be time to at least reconsider the relationship—and it may even be time to let it go.
14 Their Arguments Never End With Compromise
On some level, relationships are about compromise. Two people cannot have a happy relationship if neither party is ever willing to compromise. According to Allure, a lack of compromise can basically doom a relationship. If a guy feels like he is always making sacrifices for his girlfriend, but she expects to always get her way without ever making the same kind of sacrifices for him, the relationship is not going last.
Both parties sometimes have to be willing to set their own needs aside for the sake of the other person, and if they can’t, it will never work out.
13 She Always Puts Her Needs Above His
In a serious relationship, both people have to consider each other’s important needs. One person cannot act like their partner owes them everything, while doing very little to help out their partner. According to Cosmopolitan, men quickly get frustrated with women who act entitled to their efforts without putting the same effort into the relationship.
If she tries to one-up her man every time he comes to her with a problem, he is going to get fed up and feel like his needs are always being pushed to the side, which might make him put the relationship on pause.
12 She Doesn’t Support His Dreams
In any relationship, both partners really need to enthusiastically support each other’s dreams and goals. If one doesn’t feel proud of the other when they accomplish something important, or cheer the other person on when they are striving to achieve a dream, the relationship is definitely going to fizzle out.
According to Self, this is actually one of the biggest deal-breakers in relationships. Both partners need to feel like their significant other truly has their back. Otherwise, the relationship is just going to go downhill because they won’t feel like they can really trust their partner. Supporting each other is crucial.
11 She Thinks His Hobbies Are Childish
Look, every girl knows exactly how frustrating it can be when her man decides that he wants to play video games all day while she was hoping they could do something romantic. It’s frustrating for sure. But according to Cosmopolitan, a guy is going to end up feeling pretty low if his girlfriend feels like all of his hobbies are childish. It’s okay if two people don’t share a bunch of hobbies, but insulting them isn’t really nice.
Both parties should be able to enjoy some of the same things together, and if they can’t, the relationship will probably end.
10 She Can’t Communicate In A Mature Fashion
Communication is key to any healthy relationship. Two people simply cannot have a happy and mature relationship if they do not learn how to communicate well. This quality can make or break a relationship in a matter of months.
According to Psychology Today, most couples say that mature communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. And if it seems like a guy is putting the brakes on his current relationship, it could be because his girlfriend is not doing a good job of communicating her needs and wants. It’s very frustrating to date someone who cannot communicate effectively.
9 His Friends See Red Flags
It’s not only a guy’s family who can influence his decisions about a relationship—it’s his friends, too. According to Psychology Today, a guy’s friends have an even bigger impact on who he chooses to date than his parents do. And if a guy’s group of friends doesn’t like the girl he’s seeing? Well, even if he doesn’t see the same red flags that they do just yet, he’ll start considering the possibility that maybe dating her isn’t such a good idea, after all.
Their opinions will definitely start to influence the way that he approaches the relationship over time.
8 He’s Tired Of Fighting
Let’s face it—sometimes even couples who are deeply in love will fight pretty often. It’s a shame, but as we mentioned earlier, communication is critical, and if fighting is the only way that someone knows how to get their point across, that’s what they will resort to.
According to Self, couples who fight very often are (clearly) at a much higher risk of breaking up. A guy may still care about a girl very much, but if he can’t deal with the constant fighting, it’s understandable that he might start thinking about calling it quits on the whole relationship.
7 He Needs Time To “Find Himself”
When two people get together at a young age, they may think that they are going to be together forever—but as everyone knows, sometimes people grow apart as they get older. According to Glamour, it’s not unheard of for a guy to decide that a relationship isn’t for him anymore simply because he needs some time to be alone and really figure himself out.
It might not even be about dating other people. He might just need to fly solo for a while. And, of course, women often do this too. Sometimes, it really is the best choice.
6 He’s Not Sure If She’s The One
Sure, some people don’t believe in the concept of soulmates or finding “the one,” but some people do. And if a guy believes that he truly needs to find the one, but doesn’t think that his current girlfriend fits that label, he might feel like he needs some time to rethink things.
According to Psychology Today, many people don’t believe that there is just “one” person out there who they truly click with, but for those who do, it’s super-important that they genuinely feel like this person is the one. If he doesn’t, he might be out the door.
5 He’s Getting Attention From Other Women
Who doesn’t love a little attention? Let’s be honest, everyone likes it—and that’s totally normal! The problem arises when someone is in a relationship, yet they are not satisfied with just getting attention from their partner.
According to Elite Daily, some guys will start backing out of a relationship when they start realizing they enjoy getting attention from other women. They feel like attention from one woman just isn’t enough, and they don’t want to give that up. If a guy decides that he no longer wants to be in a relationship for this reason, don’t chase after him.
4 He Has To Focus On His Own Goals
Sometimes, a guy who has some serious goals will realize that he has to make some difficult choices: either he devotes himself to those goals fully and sees the fruits of his labor a few years down the line, or he spreads himself thin trying to juggle a million different things at once.
According to Elite Daily, sometimes men (and women!) who are very driven struggle to stay in committed relationships because they just have so many other important things going on in their lives at all times. It’s nothing personal—they just happen to have different priorities than other people.
3 He Feels Like She Is Too Controlling
No one likes to feel controlled in a relationship. No one wants to feel like their significant other is dictating everything they do. According to Cosmopolitan, this is one of the major reasons why a guy might put a relationship on pause. Even if he really loves spending time with his girlfriend, he may feel that she is trying to tell him everything that he can and can’t do.
If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that he will start missing his days of being single, flying solo, and having no one to answer to.
2 He Doesn’t Really Have Time For A Relationship
Relationships can take up a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, a guy will just have way too much on his plate to devote the time that he needs to a relationship, and he knows that it’s unfair to his girlfriend. According to Cosmopolitan, letting a relationship go because you genuinely don’t have the time for it isn’t just an excuse that people use to walk away—for some guys, it’s true.
A guy may need time and space to really focus on his own goals for a while, and he might not have room in his life for a relationship.
1 He Feels Like She’s Already Checked Out
When one person is emotionally checked out of the relationship, the other person can usually tell that something has gone wrong. And they may start wondering if the relationship can truly be salvaged. If a guy thinks that his girlfriend is already moving on, he might start backing out, too. This is one of those areas where communication is key.
According to Cosmopolitan, long-term couples may go through phases where they both feel emotionally distant, and if one of them decides to stop putting in the effort, the relationship does not have much chance of really recovering.
Sources: Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Allure, Self, Psychology Today, Elite Daily