Has this happened?
You slept with a guy believing it would lead to more. Maybe even to love.
He is gone with the wind.
High-tailed it outta there before the sun came up and your heart slowed down.
And you haven’t heard from him since.
Or maybe you have, but it’s just another booty call.
We women constantly need to navigate handling ourselves and the situation when we sleep with a guy to discover later he wasn’t that into us in the first place.
We may ask ourselves, “So…he sleeps with me but doesn’t want a relationship? How do guys not catch feelings?”
Unfortunately, our hook-up guys aren’t always up to the task of discussing how they feel and answering these challenging questions.
You don’t need to feel left in the dark about understanding and handling his behavior.
Knowing why so many men can sleep with a woman without establishing an emotional connection can help you understand how to approach the relationship and if you should even hop into bed with him in the first place.
Do Guys Catch Feelings After Hooking Up?
It’s possible a guy can fall for you after sleeping together but not dating seriously.
Here are a few different emotions that may be running through his mind in this scenario:
- Desire: He may feel a strong desire for you and want to take things further. You may notice him shouting this from the rooftops, but he may choose to play it cool if you two haven’t known each other for a while.
- Guilt: He may feel guilty for how he’s treating you and how he’s not dating you despite the connection that seems to be there. If he knows he’s not going to take things further but sees you’re interested, he may feel bad about it.
- Pining: He may express his love for you in subtle ways, such as lingering touches or thoughtful gifts. Although it isn’t directly addressing his feelings, his non-verbal signs suggest he’s intrigued.
- Fear: He may be scared to show his true feelings or admit them to you and himself, as this could mean significant life changes he may not be ready for. Fear of rejection is also a common feeling with men after hooking up.
- Apathy: Unfortunately, not all guys catch feelings, and one possible emotional response is, well…not much of a response at all. Your connection may not have been as meaningful to him as it was for you, and this could make it difficult for him to feel anything at all. He just wanted sex.
Any of these outcomes is possible, and it may be hard to read the situation right away. Talking to him about how you feel and how he feels can help you both get on the same page.
Can a Man Sleep with a Woman without Developing Feelings? 11 Honest Reasons He Can
In short, yes, many a man has slept with a woman without developing feelings. But why?
Here are some reasons:
1. He’s Not Looking for a Relationship
Sometimes, we overcomplicate the situation and assume that a guy is looking for something more than he is.
If he’s made it clear from the start that he isn’t interested in anything long-term, then there’s no reason to assume that sleeping together will change how he feels.
He may not want a relationship for various reasons, and if he’s sure of it, there’s very little you can do to change his mind. Perhaps, down the line, he will have a change of heart.
In the meantime, it’s best to take him at face value and not allow yourself to get too caught up in how he feels.
2. He Doesn’t See You as Relationship Material
He might be attracted to you and enjoy being intimate with you, but how he views you may prevent him from catching feelings. Some reasons you may not qualify as girlfriend material include a difference in values, lifestyle, education, or even financial status.
It’s not necessarily that he doesn’t value you as a person, but rather, he feels you two are too different for a traditional relationship.
3. He Is Afraid of Commitment
Commitment can be scary for some guys, even if they do have feelings for the person. He may worry about how a relationship could change his life and how he would need to adjust to accommodate it. It may also bring up his fear of failing another person.
As a result, he does everything he can to prevent having feelings and ending up in a relationship.
4. He Is Not Ready to Reflect on His Feelings
Perhaps the guy you’ve been hooking up with isn’t having any specific issue with you emotionally, but he’s simply emotionally unavailable overall. He may suppress emotionally in other areas due to a past experience or trauma that taught him the world isn’t safe.
He will have to peel back plenty of layers and look deep within himself to uncover his true feelings. Recovery could look like therapy, making a major lifestyle change, or making regular time for him to practice touching base with his emotional side.
5. He Has Trust Issues
Trust is a critical element of any relationship, and if your guy has trust issues from prior relationships, it can be challenging to date someone new.
He may project these into your relationship and make assumptions about you, whether or not they’re true.
He may assume that you’re going to break his heart or are already seeing other guys, which could prevent him from catching feelings for you.
6. He’s Not Over His Ex
It’s possible that he still has unresolved feelings for his last partner, whether or not they broke up recently. It could be that hurtful things were said during the breakup, or he feels regret about how things ended.
These emotions could cause him to keep you at arm’s length.
And if he’s hoping to get back with his ex down the line, he may be using you as a rebound friend with benefits and holding back his feelings until she comes back into his life.
7. He Prioritizes Other Parts of His Life
Another reason a guy won’t catch feelings for you is that his life may be too busy to even think about a relationship.
He may have other goals and ambitions he needs to focus on, and he may struggle to make time for each area of his life, leaving you hanging in the wind.
He may see sex as a way to blow off steam to distract himself and unwind from a busy day. After the brief break, he’s back thinking about his next work project or how to get ahead in his career.
8. He’s Sleeping With Other Women
It’s possible that he plays the field and doesn’t focus on just one person. This type of lifestyle may make it difficult for him to form any connections or get close to someone, as he is likely more focused on how many women he can sleep with and how quickly he can move on to the next one.
Openly dating and hooking up doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t have feelings in a relationship. But he has created a lifestyle where having a girlfriend doesn’t fit, at least in a monogamous relationship.
This choice makes it easy for him to remain attached.
9. His Friends or Family Don’t Approve
We are very impressionable in how we view the world and interact with people, especially regarding our decisions around relationships.
If the people in his social life disapprove of a particular type of person or relationship, your guy may be afraid to push against that pressure. He may want the approval of his family and friends, so he makes decisions based on how they would react.
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10. He Has Poor Self-Confidence
Perhaps your guy doesn’t think that you would ever be interested in someone like him for the long term, so he shuts himself off before he even gets the chance to catch feelings or get hurt from rejection.
He may think that he’s not interesting or attractive enough for you, which can lead him down a path of low self-esteem.
11. His Lifestyle Is About to Change
Sometimes, the guy you’re hooking up with is withholding feelings for reasons that have nothing to you with you, him, or the connection overall.
External factors such as starting a new job, returning to school, or even relocating could prevent him from taking things further.
He may not want to invest in a relationship if his life will change soon, and he would rather focus on how to adapt to the transition ahead of him.
Can a Man Forget a Woman He Slept With?
Certainly, it is possible. People are different, and how they process their feelings after a sexual encounter varies greatly.
It depends on how invested each partner was in the relationship before and during the physical connection and how emotionally mature they are.
Some men may be unable to move on quickly and struggle with thoughts and memories of the woman they just slept with.
Others may find it easy to forget, particularly if they aren’t as emotionally invested and don’t have strong feelings for her.
In some cases, a man may be so determined not to develop feelings after being intimate that he will take extreme measures to ensure he doesn’t.
He could block your number, delete all contact information, and avoid seeing you in person.
What to Do If You Like Him But Know He’s Just Having Sex Without Feelings?
It can be complicated and downright painful when you like someone but know they’re just having sex without feelings.
You may feel taken advantage of and wonder how you could have misread the situation so badly.
But ultimately, if you’re aware of his feelings and the relationship is consensual, then it’s your responsibility to decide what step to take next.
Here are a few helpful options for processing and moving forward:
- Write about how you feel: It’s easy to get caught up in the moment when you’re around someone you like, but it’s more important to take the time to get back in touch with how you genuinely feel. Writing about your experience can be a great way to process and understand how things went wrong or could have gone differently.
- Talk to friends: Talking with people you trust can help provide perspective and support when you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed. It’s okay to need advice from those who know you; they may even help provide you with some perspective that can fill in any blind spots you’re facing.
- Pause on the intimacy: You don’t have to decide to completely stop sleeping with this guy right away, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a few days or even weeks to assess how you’re feeling and how to move forward. Let him know you’re taking a break and that you’ll be in touch shortly after you figure some stuff out on your own.
- Talk with him: If you haven’t had any substantial conversations before, now is the time to start. Having an honest and open talk with him can help you clarify his feelings and your relationship.
- Be honest with yourself: Honesty is the best policy, even when it’s hard. If certain things you know won’t make either of you happy, it’s crucial to have a conversation about what those boundaries should be before more feelings get involved.
It’s not always easy to take the abovementioned actions and open yourself up to potential hurt and disappointment.
But by doing something about your situation, you move from the victim’s position to the empowered partner. It leads to healthier relationship outcomes down the line.
If you’re sleeping with someone who doesn’t seem to have feelings for you, it’s time to ask yourself why you’re continuing to invest in the relationship and decide if it’s satisfying enough for you.
Hooking up doesn’t always need to lead to intense feelings, but it’s essential that you’re both on the same page about how you feel.
So take a moment to reflect on how you’re feeling and how you want to move forward. No matter how he feels, you have the power to decide how you move forward.
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