My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.
Most women don't enjoy playing second in a man's life, but when you are filling a void for him, often you will never be first.
Is he keeping you around for selfish reasons?
There are many men who have a difficult time being alone, don't want to give up their bachelor ways, or who spend too much emotional time pining over their Ex—a relationship that countless times has not worked. Instead of opening their hearts to the process of “anew,” they will fill this empty space with a “for now.”
Often when a guy is emotionally guarded or shutdown, but still wants you in his life—you are there to fill a void for him. This void could be mental, emotional, spiritual, physical or all four. Although this might sound like an appealing situation to be in, it's not—especially if you are wanting more.
A guy who wants you—just for the soul purpose of filling his void—will work hard not share his heart space with you. There will be an obvious emotional wall between you (that he has put up) and he will dart from any type of commitment—not letting himself get too close to you. But, he will continue to keep you around. Why?
The void you are being used to fill in his life is happening until something or someone better comes along. Or, maybe it's because he's bored and selfish.
Here's the thing, when the connection is there—you can feel it—but, he is set on "not wanting to be in a relationship"—and removes all other options off the table—not letting the experience between you be organic—not only are you are wasting your time and energy, he is also missing out on the opportunity to connect with you in a meaningful way.
Filling a void means we are a temporary stand-in until someone or something else better (in his opinion) comes along. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop—you don't know when or where, but eventually it will happen (you will be push out of his life)—the second a new (or possibly old) pair arrives. Ouch!
Becoming his void filler occurs when:
- He is not over his Ex—he is hoping one day they will get back together, but for now you are “good enough”
- He is emotionally unavailable—he has been emotionally scarred from past relationship(s) and is emotionally closed off, but still enjoys the company of a woman
- He is a guy’s-guy—he has become overly depended on his male friendships—he doesn't know how to make time, effort and frankly the space in life for a woman
- He doesn't see you in his future—he's keeping you around until a “better” suited woman comes along.
- He is a game player and enjoys playing the field (sleeping with multiple women)
- He is afraid to be alone, but again, does not see a future with you
- He is stuck in his “bachelor” ways and doesn't want to disrupt that
- He does not believe he deserves love
- He is afraid of getting his heart “broken” so he keeps you at a distance
Dating a man who is closed to the possibility of a committed relationship, even in the future, can end up being a difficult experience.
You want to understand why he won't let things flow naturally between you, but unless he opens up, you may never know.
Most men who let women fill an emotional and/or physical void for them are horrible at communicating. You will feel like you are in a continuous guessing game—never knowing what he exactly wants or how he truly feels towards you. Wonderful. The sad thing is; he might not actually know how he feels—since he will waste significant time and energy keeping you at bay.
Maybe he is scared of getting hurt, or is still emotionally attached to someone else? Unfortunately, these are things that he needs to understand and overcome, and you will not change him by continuing to date him. He is the only one who can change himself.
When you get your heart broken, or a relationship ends in a negative way, it is natural to want to take a break from relationships. If you need to "find yourself," go find yourself. If you need to seek therapy to understand what went wrong, go to therapy. What you should not do is start dating when you are not ready.
Most women don't want to hear that a man does not want a committed relationship because he need to "rediscover" himself, especially when he expects us to keep dating him while he does his "soul-searching." News flash, men, we are not here to fill an emotional void while you search around for the meaning of life.
How do you know you are filling his void?
- He is emotionally disconnected
- He rarely (or never) will be physically intimate with you in public—no kissing, hold handing or hugging
- You will feel like you only see him as his last resort
- He keeps texting and calling at a minimum
- He has a hard time emotionally connecting during sex—rarely looks at you
- If you feel like the connection between you is growing he will emotionally pull away
- You are unsure of the depth of his feelings towards you
- He rarely kisses you—when he does it will feel forced
- Foreplay is one-sided (and not in your favor)—his way of staying disconnected sexually
- When you are alone together he is not overly affectionate
- You will feel like he is keeping an emotional wall between you (because he is)
- He will occupy his free time with activities, events, friend, trips, etc.—that don't include you
- You haven't met his friends and family or have only met a small few
- He still keeps photos of his Ex visible
- When he travels communications stops or is sporadic
- He shy’s away from any “future” talk
- Usually when you see him it's not when you “want” to see him, but when he is “ready” (and willing) to see you
Basically ladies, when you are filling a void for him; the relationship will feel one-sided (his) and there will be a feeling of disconnect (from him).
Communication is important in all relationships. However, when you first meet someone, you probably will not be discussing your future committed relationship. That conversation will hopefully happen later—after you get to know one another, trust is built, respect, and love has grown. Does this mean we should close ourselves off to the possibility of a relationship until that happens? No. How will any of those things one day happen if we do?
Every time we close ourselves off to the possibility of love we are preventing ourselves from finding lasting love.
If we want the option to have a relationship that develops organically, then dating a guy who is only looking to fill a void is bound to be frustrating and frankly, a disappointment. You deserve to be with a man who is willing and able to keep all options open—a man who can let go of the past or accept it. A man who can conquer his fears, ignore his ego, and jump back into the possibility of love.
Everything happens for a reason…
Let's keep it real, there are no guarantees in love. However, if we weren't looking for a connection and one is brought to us, then maybe, just maybe the connection is worth exploring?
All things are brought into our lives for a reason. Why close ourselves off by predicting the future—assuming a relationship won't work—therefor we subconsciously end up creating an emotional barrier—keeping potential love away? Creating this type of barrier can cause us to flee the second we start to feel—happy, vulnerable, excited, a sincere connection or love…
Life is short, and caring or possibly loving someone can be scary—especially when we have had relationship failures in our past. The question we need to consider is, "do we want to be with someone who has closed themselves off to the possibility of a committed relationship because they are too scared to take a risk?"
Ladies, hold out for a man who has healed himself; a man who is open to the possibility of a committed relationship. This isn't about needing a guy to rush into a relationship, instead it's about being will a guy who is open—wholeheartedly—to the process and doesn't purposely or subconscious hold himself back.
Bottom-line…it takes two whole people to ultimately have a successful relationship. If you are in his life to fill a void, chances are, you will one day be replaced.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Kennie Adaramola on March 15, 2020:
This website has never disappointed me.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 17, 2013:
I believe society has taught men that they need to woo women regardless of their intent to have a serious relationship or even if it's just "kicking it". A lot of men don't believe they can get with a woman without the flowers, wining and dining, greeting cards, and investing time. Therefore they treat all new women the same way.
In my youth when I was a "bad boy" I can remember (asking women for their phone number) after having met them in a nightclub and having sex that night; of which I had determined was not a good enough experience to warrant seeing her again. It was a backwards psychological attempt on my part to not make her feel used or disrespected. I knew I was never going to call I wager some them also knew it as well. Trust me if the chemistry had been off the charts it would not have been a "one night stand". My point is some men are nice, attentive, affectionate, because they believe that is what is (expected) and it has nothing to do with how they feel about them.
Having said that I agree with you both men and women have been known to change their mind about the direction they want a relationship to go. Generally it's easier for people to accept someone who wants to evolve from a casual relationship into a serious one then it is be in what one thought was a "serious" relationship only to learn their mate simply wants a "friends with benefit" arrangement.
Hearing the words: "I love you but I'm not (in) love with you." translates into "I care about you and enjoy spending time with you (but) you are not (the one)!" Too often we only hear and see what we want to.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on December 16, 2013:
I do agree that we are all responsible for our own choices, however there are many men who will put there need of not being alone, but also wanting "eat their cake too" so they proclaim right away that they don't want a commitment.
When I don't want a commitment I don't treat a guy as if he's my boyfriend. In fact I will date other guys, not spent a lot of time communicating and refrain from doing things together that might make him think that there is something more or even the possibility---the diffence between men and woman.
Unfortunately, a lot of men don't do the same thing---in fact opposite. When a man spends a great deal of time with a woman, wooing her, consistantly reaching out---she is bound to get attached and develop feelings. That's part of bing human.
Communication is important as well as being honest with yourself to know when it's time to end a relatinship that isn't going anywhere or meeting your emotional need.
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on December 16, 2013:
I have also had both---the guy who claims he doesn't want a relationship then changes his mind and the guy who says he doesn't and keeps his word. At the end of the day it is about communication and avoiding games. If there's a feeling you can't shake even though his actions speak differently, talk to him. If he's still on the same page as when you first met don't sell your self short---move on and find a guy who wants the same thing you do. :)
Stephanie Bailey (author) from Denver on December 16, 2013:
Thank you for reading!
marketeconomy on December 16, 2013:
What if the onion tastes like an apple? Even though you were happy with the onion, and accepted the onion, now you are wondering....is this an apple that presented itself as an onion? I know that I have dated men that say they do not want a commitment, or long-term anything, but act as if they do.....and sometimes they do, and sometimes their original statement is true. Dating can be confusing with these mixed signals, but dashingscorpio is correct that we are all in charge of our lives - assess the situation, communicate, and decide if you want to stay or move on.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 16, 2013:
I believe if a man tells a woman he does not want an exclusive relationship then she should move on if her ultimate goal is to have an exclusive relationship with (him). The other option is for her to see other guys.
One of the major differences between men and women is women are always tying to "fill in the blanks" (for men). He said this but does really mean that? What does it mean if he doesn't do.... but does .....?
Stop making it about (him and his) wants!!!
It's your life. Take the wheel!
(What do YOU want?) - This is how women should live. Never (assume) a man is going to change his mind. It's gamble on (her) part if she decides to invest time and emotion only to learn he's a "George Clooney" (showers you with attention and affection but has NO plans to ever get married again.)
The biggest mistake women make in this scenario is taking on "the challenge" to be "the exception". Our ego as human beings thrives on conquering. It's the fact that he said he's not "emotionally available" that makes him that much more a catch! When it falls apart you have only yourself to blame for your heartache.
Each of us (chooses) our own friends, lovers, and spouse. There is no way to get around that. If you go to the store to purchase an apple but buy an onion instead, whose fault is that? Do you curse the onion for not being an apple? No! You learn to become a better shopper!
Anytime someone elects to blame other people or outside forces for their choices that led to their unhappiness they are giving away their power! Self-empowerment comes from making choices and decisions with complete awareness and taking responsibility for the outcome of their actions. Thankfully one can learn from their own mistakes!
In a world with over 7 billion people odds are in everyone's favor there is more than one person who is seeking what you are seeking at any given time. One man's opinion! :-)