Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Jessica Reid
What It Means When A Guy Says The Ball Is In Your Court
Has a guy recently told you that “the ball is in your court” but you have no idea what he means? Then you’ve come to the right post.
Not only will you learn what it means when I guy says “the ball is in your court,” you’ll also learn how you can respond.
Let’s dive in:
The Meaning Of “The Ball Is In Your Court”:
The basic meaning of “The Ball Is In Your Court” is that it is up to you to make the next move.
In the context of a friendship, a “we’re talking” relationship, or exclusive relationship, “the ball is in your court” means:
- What happens to our relationship next is completely up to you
- It’s in your hands and/or,
- The relationship will move forward or end based on your decision.
Ultimately, You must make the next move.
Is Being Told “The Ball Is In Your Court” A Good Thing Or A Bad Thing?
Now, you may be wondering whether or not being told by your guy “the ball is in your court” is a good thing or a bad thing.
If a guy expresses to you that “he loves you” and wants to be with you but he won’t wait around forever so “the ball is in your court,” and you have feelings for him and want to be with him too, then this is a good thing!
That means you are 100% in control of whether your relationship with your guy friend becomes exclusive or you remain friends, given you give your guy an answer within a timely manner.
This is also a good thing if you care very much about your guy friend but only see him as a friend and you’ve struggled to find a way to friend-zone him without hurting his feelings.
In this scenario, he is giving you permission to tell him the truth, good or bad, and will accept whatever you decide.
As such, this is the perfect opportunity to tell him “I just want to be friends.”
You’ll walk away from the conversation with the piece of mind that you finally got it off your chest and he won’t push you again about being more than friends.
Most of the time, however, being told: “the ball is in your court” is a bad thing.
It usually means that guy is done putting any effort into the relationship, has almost (if not entirely) given up on it, and if you want the relationship to go anywhere, then you must make the next move.
I put the latter half in italics because a guy who makes this statement is usually making an empty and hopeless ultimatum:
You must pursue him or it’s over.
But two problems come up when guys make this sort of statement:
First, it takes two people, mentally and emotionally involved, to have a relationship.
If your guy mentally checks out of the relationship or isn’t interested in putting forth any effort independent of any action you take, that’s not a relationship.
That’s a “situation” that goes one-way and you don’t deserve to be in a relationship that goes one-way.
Second, NO WOMAN should pursue or court a guy. And for several reasons:
- If you have to pursue him to get his attention, he is not interested in you.
- You open up room for him to take advantage of you – a friend with benefits and no commitment.
- It’s a turn-off to most men. They view a woman who pursue a man to be desperate, clingy, insecure, or have low self-esteem.
- Most men want to be the one doing the pursuing. Some men may feel emasculated if they are being pursued.
- Some men being pursued will feel that they have no incentive to “work” for your love. That means you’ll be doing all the calling and texting. They won’t take you out, you’ll have to initiate that. They also won’t go out of their way to impress you with gifts or compliments or take the time out to learn more about you.
Her world also provides other reasons why you shouldn’t pursue a man which is worth mentioning here:
- he won’t treat you well – he knows you want him without even trying so he’ll treat you like a doormat.
- You risk losing yourself – he could cut things off for good and then you go down into a deep depression because you don’t know how to feel loved or wanted without receiving attention from someone else.
- Always on an emotional rollercoaster
- You’re just stroking his ego. Most guys already have a big ego and pride problem. Don’t make his head any bigger by giving him attention he doesn’t deserve. You’re just humiliating yourself.
If you want to learn the best way to find and keep a good man that will pursue you, check out my post, College Relationships: Your No B.S. Guide to Getting it Right.
It is everything that I wish someone told me before I started college and living by these tips really saved me a lot of heartache and regrets!!
So what should you do then if your guy says “the ball is in your court” in a bad way?
The relationship game ends when your guy plays the “8-ball.” So my advice would be to say sayonara to that relationship!
You don’t deserve to be in a one-sided relationship that will only take from you – mentally, emotionally, and financially.
Your time is precious, girlfriend. Don’t waste in on a guy who is not interested in you. He’s not worth it.
Focus on yourself and turn your energy toward your friends and family who love you and want a relationship with you.
In time, you’ll meet someone who will love you for you, who will pursue you, treat you like a rare diamond in the ruff, and handle your heart with care.
But in the meantime, you’ve got to respond to his text/call/or his bombshell line (“the ball is in your court”) that’s been hanging in the balance…
How To Respond To The Ball is In Your Court
How should you respond?
Well, you could simply choose not to respond.
You could decide that “You know what. This dude does not deserve any more of my energy. It’s clear to me now how much I mean to him and I do not want to say anything more that could stroke his ego. I’m done.”
Or you could respond by saying:
- “Goodbye [Name].”
- “I will never beg you to (be my friend/be in a relationship) with me. If you feel that way, that’s fine. There is nothing more to say. Goodbye [Name].”
- “I’m sorry but I am not going to chase you. I have way too much respect for myself to do that. Goodbye [Name].”
The Perfect “The Ball Is In Your Court Relationship” Example
Want to see how this all plays out in real life? Well, I’ve got the perfect example: my story.
Yes, being told “the ball is in your court” has happened to me.
In my freshman year of college, I was talking to a guy that I met back home.
I liked him a lot and hoped so bad that our relationship would become something – a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.
I wanted to go out with him so badly despite receiving several signs that he wasn’t interested in being in a relationship with me.
In the few weeks leading up to Christmas, and in a desperate attempt to win his heart, I bought him $60 worth of gifts and spent $40 on shipping to get it to him.
Note, he bought me NOTHING for Christmas.
He provided a bad address and didn’t even bother to go to the post office where my gift was hanging out. My package came back to me void.
He ignored me for weeks and finally responded after a strong text from me saying how upset I was that he made me waste my money sending him his gift.
His response was more or less this: “Look I don’t know why you’re so upset. If you want to continue being friends, the ball is in your court!”
I did not know what he meant by “the ball is in your court,” but my gut said it wasn’t good.
I was too embarrassed and too afraid to ask him what he meant because I didn’t want this to be the end of our friendship/relationship. I also didn’t feel comfortable asking my roommates.
So I went to one of my guy friends since guys know how guys think.
And that’s when he broke the bombshell and told me exactly what my friend meant:
He wasn’t interested in putting any more effort into our relationship and that whatever happens next is up to me. Unless I reach out to him, I’ll never hear from him again.
So I just didn’t respond. And I was okay with that.
I realized I had embarrassed, humiliated, and disrespected myself enough.
I let him walk all over me like a doormat, use me, take advantage of me, and play with my emotions for many, many months.
And guess what.
It’s been 9 years since I’ve heard from him.
That’s how NOT INTERESTED he was in having a relationship with me.
So imagine if I had kept trying to pursue him…
It would have been a COMPLETE waste of my time.
But don’t worry. Don’t be sad for me.
Today, I am happily married to the love of my life, Ro-Jay Reid.
He’s tall, dark, and handsome.
A Board Certified Physician.
And best yet, he loves God.
(This is us on our wedding day… December 30, 2018)
And when we were talking, I didn’t have to guess if he liked me or not.
He told me straight up, pursued me with a passion, drove hours and took flights just to be with me, and made me his wife.
The other guy…he’s not married yet. (I checked his Facebook, lol). Not sure what he’s up to but I wish him the best.
Anyway, I digress.
If you been given a bad 8 ball, change pool tables! You don’t deserve to be treated that way.
I pray you will heed my advice and make the best decision for you!! I’m so so rooting for you.
If you want any further advice from me, feel free to contact me. I would love to connect.
Finally, if you want some tips on how to make a relationship work in college, check out my post, College Relationships: Your No. B.S. Guide To Getting It Right.