I have been on and off with this guy, and every time the conversation gets to "Should we get serious and be exclusive?" he sort of shrugs it off and says the timing isn't right. Then he'll date or hook up with other guys, then get close to me again. I keep going back because I want us to get to that point where we can just be together, but I feel like, when is that going to happen? I don't understand what he means about timing. Is that a real excuse? What do you think?
I don't have a crystal ball to tell me how long this back and forth will last, but here's my read: Something smells fishy. You might be playing the waiting game for a lot longer than you hope to.
If two people really want to be together, they'll make it happen. Sometimes it takes risk or sacrifice: People change jobs, move across countries or date long distance because they know that relationships that are meant to work take a little work. If you love someone and want to commit to that person, you find a way. So, yes, saying the timing isn't right is an excuse — one that people make when they're either afraid or simply not feeling it.
Maybe your guy is scared of making a serious commitment. Maybe he was betrayed or heartbroken at some point and is still bruised by it. Maybe he doesn't believe in monogamy or marriage. Or maybe he's just not that into you. That's a tough pill to swallow, but all the signs are there, my friend — he's hooking up with other people. You don't do that if you really want to be with someone else.
It's possible that some real time apart would help him realize what he wants from you. But you've already given him time. You've told him what you want. You're ready to be together, and he isn't. Don't let him take advantage of your loyalty anymore. Tell him you're done waiting. You have love to burn — now go find someone who wants to start that fire with you, and only you.