Ask Wendy

What Does “I Can’t Give You What You Need” Mean?

Reprinted from February 10, 2016
How can I tell if he wants kids
Hey Wendy,

If a man you were dating said to you he can’t give you what you are after, but you don't think he really knows what you want, how would you go about addressing this with him?

Brenda S. - San Jose, CA

Hey Brenda,

I would say, “Hey. So what is it that you think I want?” Then I’d listen. I’d clarify. Most of all, I wouldn’t pull any punches with this guy since I’d know in my heart of hearts I had very little to lose. Usually when a man says this, he actually means, “You want me to love and commit to you, and I’m not going to do either of those things.”
If he’s genuinely worried that he can’t give you what you want and just needs a little nudge in the right direction, then he’ll be grateful to you for the above conversation. If, however, he’s really just saying goodbye without coming right out and saying the words, then it’s better to clear the air now so you can move on.

Happy Dating!

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