Is He Afraid Of Being Hurt?

September 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Dating Tips For Women

Have you ever wondered why a man would act inconsistently and give you mixed signals?

And if he is pulling away or seemingly playing games, this could mean that he is just afraid of being hurt.

In this article I am sharing an email I received from one of my subscribers which describes a classic example of a man who is acting this way – he seems to like her, but his actions show that even though he likes her, he may be guarding his heart from being hurt.

She wanted to know my opinion as to whether the guy in question likes her, and to know if something like this has ever happened to anyone else, and how they dealt with the situation to get the guy to ask them out. So, if you’ve had something similar happen to you, go ahead and share in the comment section below!

Here is her email:

Hi Elaine,

I read your emails and articles with a great interest every time I receive them. They have been very helpful in dealing with men.

One question that has not been addressed in your emails is what do you do when a guy you like flirts with me but doesn’t ask me out?

Is there any way I can find out for sure what he wants, and if he is ever going to ask me out or not?

I really like this guy, but if he is never going to ask me out I won’t bother. I want to know one way or the other.

Here is my story:

I and this guy Dan are members of the same club. We met several months ago at an event.

He came up to me and introduced himself first. We had a brief conversation but he didn’t ask for my phone number.

I ran into him on a weekly basis. About a month later he asked me for my phone number and we exchanged numbers.

I called him that same night to tell him it was good seeing him again and to ask if he wanted to go to a late night event that was going on the same night.

He said he had gone out of town, would be back late and wouldn’t be able to make it, but asked me if I wanted to go for coffee the next day.

We met for coffee and had a great time. Since that time he called me regularly, asking me out, and we went out several times. He also took time off of work to go some places with me I needed to go and to help me take care of some things.

We never kissed or had sex. I really liked him but at that time I was seeing somebody else casually. The guy I was seeing casually is also a member of our club.

One day Dan asked me if I wanted to go away for a couple of days. I was very excited and said I would definitely like to.

The next day he called me to tell me he had made hotel reservations.

Although I really wanted to go I felt that I had unfinished business with the guy I was seeing. I decided that since they both knew each other it would not be good if it became known that I was seeing both of them sexually. I was ready to start dating Dan sexually, but was not ready to let go of the guy I was sleeping with because I didn’t know Dan was serious about me.

I had to tell Dan I had decided not to go away with him.

He seemed very hurt.

Since that time he barely talked to me for almost two months.

My casual relationship with the other guy ended because we eventually grew apart without fault to either party.

I wanted to see if I could have a second chance with Dan.

After two months of not talking he finally started warming up to me.

When I see him, he always goes out of his way to come and talk to me. I often catch him looking at me from across the room (maybe my wishful thinking?). But when I ask him if he wants to do something together he always declines.

Recently I asked him if he was going to this one event and if we could drive together. He said yes, and came and picked me up. He drove me there and back, but he didn’t make a move on me.

Later I asked him if he was going to another event and if we could go together. He took me there again but when I asked if he wanted to do something after he said he was tired and was going to go home and go to sleep.

He doesn’t take the initiative to ask me out. I feel like I am the one to always reach out to him. And when I do, he sometimes turns me down, and sometimes he goes along with what I am asking him but doesn’t take it any further.

Elaine, do you think he likes me or is he just being friendly?

Do you think he is afraid to ask me out or is he just teasing me without any intention to ask me out? And is there any way I can get him to ask me out?

Look forward to hearing back from you! And I also would like to know if anyone has experienced anything like this and what others think about this (it would also be nice to hear from men who read your blog)


I have responded to Jessica via email, but before I post my reply here I wanted you guys to share your stories and opinions, so please go ahead and leave a comment in the comment section down below telling us what you think!

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37 Responses to “Is He Afraid Of Being Hurt?”
  1. Gina says:

    First I think since you all belonged to the same club and they knew each other, plus the fact you were already dating one of them it was not a good idea to pursue him unless you were not going out with the first guy any longer. Men want to be your one and only even though they do this to women all the time. The problem arose simply because they knew each other and when he found out you crushed him, ( even though men do this to women to them it isn’t so important) So now my feeling is just be honest with him. Tell him you’d really like to begin where you left off and there is nothing between you and the other man. I think he is hurt and maybe fearful you may have someone else. It all depends on how much you like him.

  2. Kate Kuhn says:

    I have a big question. I lived in Mi and chatted with a man on line for 9 months. We talked about everything. My job finally brought me to Texas where he lives. After 2 weeks we got together, once for a date and once for a hotel room. When we where together, he rolled over and started to cry and said this was so irritating and that he couldn’t do this, but yet we made love 3 times that night, Now he tells me that we went too fast and is not sure if we can get back what we had. He is on the dating site Match every night. I don’t think he is seeing anyone else, but likes to chat with other women, and we barely talk now. Is he just toying with me until he finds his next. He’s only had 2 relationships in 10 years since his divorce. His wife cheated on him. What am I to do?

    • Nicte-Ha says:

      Maybe he is the sort of person who feels better having ciber relationships. This sometimes hapends in online dating. People like to have that connection to someone else, but when it comes to a face to face thing they dont know or want to keep going for whatever reason they may have. Or indeed he is just playing you. Who knows really? All you know is that he backdown. So either you ask him what is the matter with him or you move on to the next guy, wich Id say you should because honestly…is he the sort of guy you want to have something with?
      Best of luck!

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Kate
      Run. Dont walk. This man is bad, bad news. I bet he told you every one of his relationships broke up due to their faults, not his.

      • Kerry says:

        I say run away as fast as you can, this man sounds just like my EX husband….

      • Kate Kuhn says:

        Hi Michelle,
        I really think he has a problem with my roommate situation. I moved in with a guy and not a girl. It is COMPLETLEY PLUTONIC. When he came to pick me up for our first face to face date, I made sure I introduced them to each other. He knew this whole time what my roommate situation was. After he cried and said he couldn’t do this I rolled over and he put his arm around me and put his face in my back like I had put a stake through his heart. He says he’s not working toward any relationships, but I got into his heart somehow, and I know he got into mine. I have been very busy with work and have not chatted with him, nor him with me. After so much time invested, do I just come right out and ask him. I’m a no BS person, so that’s what I really want to do. It’s been 3 days since we’ve IM’d. He sent me a message,on Labor Day, I sent a short one back, because I was going into Dallas to explore the city with my family. Hasn’t come on line to me since. We are so much a like it’s unreal. Do I just come out and tell him how I feel? Thx for being there. : )

        • Michelle says:

          Hi Kate, You have invested 9 months of your time with him. Naturally you dont want to see the relationship goes to waste. But, if he is not a willing partner, shouldnt you cut loss & move on? Do you want to waste another 5 years to get to the eventual outcome? Think of all the potential men out there whom you have missed because you were busy with one who hooked you emotionally by not responding.

          If you dont let go, it’s difficult for other men to come into your life. Yes, I think it is a good idea to tell him how you feel. You will get some kind of answer, whether good/bad. But why are you letting the ball to be in his court? Hmmm…

          Go date others. You will forget about him.

          • Kate Kuhn says:

            Hi Michelle,
            Thx for getting back to me. We did talk for about 10 minutes on line tonight. He always comes back to me for some reason, and we’re not even seeing each other. So I know it isn’t for the sex. I did send him a non threatening e-mail telling him how I felt. About when he put his arm over me and put his face in my back. He says he doesn’t even remember doing that, said he was a little confused by my e-mail, but he was ok and then said he had to go and could I talk later? He stayed on line for another hour. He’s either checking me out on trust issues or just stringing me along…..isn’t he.

          • Nicte says:

            Wow Kate, he said that about your e-mail?
            Let him go, for your own good. Because if he is only looking for you for an emotional thing, what are you really getting out of it? Dont mean to sound selfish, but you have to look after yourself. He seem to forget whatever it is that made it especial for the two of you to meet. Im sure you can find and deserve a man who does value you and is willing to rise to the ocasion. And this I say from experience, but when a guy hookes you emotionally is hard to see the truth and what really is good for you. So take Michelle’s advice and D-Tox from him if you must, then date other guys because you will find real oportunities of being happy.
            Good luck.

          • Kate Kuhn says:

            Hi Michelle,
            Sorry, it’s been awhile. Ya know….I think this guy is just as scared as I am. We both got hurt in our last relationships. I’m not making any excuses for him. Actually, I would like to go and kick his behind and tell him to get with it. He keeps sending me different songs from his Match account, which I’m not falling for. But, the fact is he doesn’t trust the relationship I have with my male roommate. Which is his problem, not mine….it’s strictly plutonic. I just moved to Texas from MI and have no interest in my male roommate. Kraaaap, I’m just as scared as he is. We both go on IM each night and then check out after about 10 minutes, without saying a word. Well, I’m not going to be the first one to say anything, because he said let it go. He’s running scared. No one puts their arm around you in bed and their head in your back and cries, unless they’re afraid of being hurt so bad again, they can’t stand it. I want him, but I want him on my terms. He needs to fess up to his feelings. What do you think? Thx Kate

  3. Nicte-Ha says:

    I think he is affraid of getting hurt. Did She ever explain to him why she wasnt going away that weekend? I say that if she wants to start things again with Dan she should speak out her mind. Be bold, approach him and say that she wants to date him again, and that last time she decided to stop things between eachother because she didnt feel comfortable getting involved with two guys at the same time. But now she is free and willing to pickup where they left.

  4. catrina says:

    Men who guard their heart are the trickiest to date I think. I stupidly tried some of the ‘hard to get’ crap on my man and almost lost him…..was only when I told him that ‘yes I did want to be with him’ and showed some vulnerability that he really expressed ‘his’ feelings and his guarded heart seemed to melt – they are so ready to be hurt and abandoned that sometimes they look for it

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi Jessica. He’s hurt alright. But it doesnt mean you should continue to pursue him. Unless you intend to do it for the rest of your life.

    I read an analogy that “Men are like dogs” as in dogs are human’s best friends. If you chase them, they run away. If you run, they will chase you.

    So, if you run & he doesnt chase you. You’ve got your answer.: move on. All the best…

    • Jelle Meamor says:

      Michelle your right, I agree with you.

      I’ve read a quote to that says… ‘Men are like dogs they chase a car on which they had no intention to drive.’

      If Dan had been hurt from the past relationship he will surely guard his heart secure it from being hurt. I myself is chatting with a man he knows everything about me, uplifting me and even suggest me to file annulment to my husband as he is being violent to me and been cheating me for the past few years. I love this guy but I am afraid of being hurt again!! Just like I can’t live without him. We chat almost every day, we don’t talk about our relationship, yet the way we chatted it seems like I am sitting next to him, he feed me, cook for me, give me or bake treats for me and since were thousands miles part he showed the treats he made for me by sending through picz, and even my dinner he prepared for me, he send through pictures, I dunno maybe were both crazy inlove each other but is afrid to show our feelings, he had been hurt of his 21 yrs marriage and with my 20yrs of marriage. Can anyone tell me if this guy I chat almost everyday is in love with me? He drop off or would talk to me (chat) before he goest to work and when he arrives from work or before he go to bed?

  6. maria says:

    Hi .maybe i got the same problm but there, s one little difference in my story so ..Here s my crazy stoy i call it a crazy story coz i ve fallen in love over internet with a guy who lives in egypt so tht i live in germany i know him since three years and i showed him my feelings coz i thought he feelt the same for me but in fact he does n t i told him i loved him but he said he won t ever love me coz he doesn t belive in love over internet even thought i tolfd him tht i wiil visit him in egxpt but…he said( no you should be more reasonable u don t even know me who am wht do i do in my real life and something like tht but i told him i loved him without anycondition i love him as he is and i don t care abt the rest tht problm is tht somtimes i feel something like he wants me too and loves me but he wont dare tell me tht ..plz help me i feel completly lost and i don know wht to do coz i m in love with wht do u think abt my story ..Am I crazy ???!!??? Thanks

    • Michelle says:

      Yes, Maria, you are crazy.
      Cant you tell he has a woman or 2 back home, & is terribly afraid you will stalk him?

      • sara says:

        Dear Maria,

        I’m going through the same situation. I’m in love with someone I know since a long while. he told me that he loves me too and he was willing to meet me but at that time I couldn’t take off from work to fly to him He got upset about it and we didn’t talk for 2 months then I wrote to him again, he answered telling me that he suddenly fell in love with someone else but we can remain friends…
        I feel that he loves me and he just told me that story to make sure that I won’t ask him for something serious but his behavior is confusing…
        I don’t know what to think?
        is it possible that a man falls in love twice within 2 months?

        (I’m talking about a middle aged man)

        thank you

        • Nicte says:

          If he loves you…he wouldnt mind having something serious with you, unless there was some sort of problem that didnt let him have a relationship, if so the case he would be honest and open about it with you. A wise man told me once, “when a man meets the one, or falls in love, he is ready to commit no matter what”. I’ve come to learn that it is true. I know it hurts when they dont give us our place. But if he sais he has fallen for someone else, either he wants you to compete for his attention or he is telling the truth. If is the truth…let him go. If he wants you to earn the right to his love…ask yourself if it is fair for you to be in such position. If you consider that you deserve better, wich Im sure you do, then go get better.
          Best of luck

    • Nicte says:

      lets be honest. If he loved you he would not let you go or let you feel uncertain. Dont waste your time and emotions on him. Get it together girl, love hurts sometimes. Dont let this stop you from finding a man who will care for you the same way you could care for him. Forget about this guy. Now you know he is not interested, and you cant force him to be. If you continue to seek his love you will make him hate you. So let it go, and move on. You will be happier.
      Good luck.

      • Jelle Meamor says:

        Don’t waste your time to someone who doesn’t take time to care.
        think this way that…

        Being in love doesn’t mean you have to be lovers. Sometimes, you just have to be friends which could possibly last forever….

        Have a great weekend.

  7. Charly says:

    seems like you are doing most of the chasing. which to me is inappropriate. you have given him enough reasons to pick up the hint that you are still interested and he has done nothing much so far. if he really likes you, he wouldnt make you work so hard. you dont need a man like that anyway. you’ve done your part girl. move on.

  8. abigael says:

    Hi Jessica,

    although you don’t know me, i wanted to share to you my same stories. im getting crazy as i am experiencing your situation and really don’t know what to do. i have already ask mine out, being confident with poping always the question. the problem is he is not going beyond what i am expecting of. 90% he is afraid to get hurt, and the other 10% he may not want you to loose as his friends. only two things you can do, maintain the friendship & wait for it to bloom again. Or pop up the questions with him you wanted to know but make sure to be ready to his answers.

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  17. Dan says:

    He was hurt because you led him on!! You hang out with him and say you want to go a place with him, however, as soon as he gets the reservations you change your mind??!!! Seriously that is kind of an ass hole move. Then the fact that you were banging someone else that he knows!!! while you were dating him??!!! Seriously look at yourself and ask “would I date myself?” Women always act like guys sleep around and cheat… however, I have found that women much like yourself are just as common as the guys. Anyways do “Dan” a favor and never talk to him again.

  18. Alex says:

    Hi all,

    So I have been seeing this guy for over nine months now. He was hurt real bad by his last girlfriend over two years ago (he proposed but she walked away from him, and he was crushed). He told me from the start hes not looking for a relationship because he does not want to be hurt again. Now when I recently told him I went on a date my friend set me up with he was asking me all these questions and said he was jealous but if I was happy then thats all that mattered. We don’t lie to each other about things and he is usual very upfront with me, but I don’t know what to do anymore he outright says hes not seeing anyone but me, and we see each other a lot but it is getting so hard not to want the next step. I want it to be serious and he knows how much I care about him ( I told him I loved him that was a mess in itself, saying hes just not at my level yet and not sure when he will be and its not fair to me). I really don’t know what to do anymore. I do love him, but I don’t know how much I can take. I need advice.

  19. Kate says:

    Definately need another woman’s opinion on this kind of relationship that I have. OK, it’s a little strange, but inticing all at the same time. We met on an on line dating site,(we had chatted and talked on the phone for 9 months because I was in a different state. Now we’re but a few miles apart) had 2 dates,(after the 1st date he couldn’t wait to see me again, yep second date we went to a hotel. I think big mistake on my part. But, after 9 months…well you know) and then he just ran. Well, so did I sort of.The last time we chatted, he said he was seeing someone else….occasionally…..why put that last word in there? We haven’t chatted in 4 months. We both love our music, and on the dating site we always put a song and who it’s by up in our tag line. For the last few months, his songs interact with mine, or mine interact with his. When he changes his song, he’ll be checking on the site many times a day. He’s not surfing, I can tell by how long he’s been on there. I keep telling myself the song thing is just a coincidence, but gosh….time after time? I have to tell you that the songs we put on there sure aren’t going to get us any dates. Lol I even had a man e-mail me thru the site and ask me why I’m on the site when I’m clearly in love with someone else just because he read the lyrics to one of my songs. Oooops. I’m finding out men really read into words, I guess women do to. Probably more so. I e-mailed him once and he never got back to me, so am I just being a fool and grasping at straws? Should I just move on and leave this alone. Really haven’t felt this way about anyone in a VERY long time and I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that he feels the same way. Am I just in a fantasy world here? Thx much

    • Michelle says:

      Yes, Kate, you are in a fantasy world. You imagine he is your boyfriend when he is not. You imagine there is a relationship when there is none.

      Dont you have better things to do? Like a job? A kid? A hobby? Or divert your attention to make more money? Or make yourself more beautiful? Do something. Do ANYthing.

      Maybe he could sense that you are clingy, & ran away from you fast? How can he have the same feelings for you when he doesnt want to meet up with you? Are you sick?

      The last I wrote to you was in Sep 2011 regarding this same guy. If you dont want to follow any advice, why bother to ask.

  20. Kacie Kuipers says:

    I think it is really a reputable institution. I even think so many people trust it. I’ll definitely concur that if it is actually a scam place, then it would not have lasted this long in the industry.


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