Ask A Guy: If He Won’t Commit Now, Will He Ever? post image

Ask A Guy: If He Won’t Commit Now, Will He Ever?


I have been dating a man for about 5 months and everything is pretty good. He was married for 10 years and has been divorced for about 2. His ex still gives him a hard time, but he says that he has moved on. He has custody of one child and she the other.

We spend majority of our time together. We go out often, I’ve been introduced to the family and he to mine, and he treats me like I’m his girlfriend. Last week I bought up the subject and the answer wasn’t what I expected. He told me how great I was and that he loved what we have, but at this time, he didn’t have the capacity to commit to more. I processed this and the next day told him that we probably shouldn’t talk or see each other anymore. My rationale was that I was too emotionally caught up and didn’t know when he would have the ‘capacity.’ He was in utter shock!

He said that he expected me to pull back, but not cut it off completely. Then, he back peddled and said he prays daily for god to release some of the things in his life. He also said that just because he doesn’t have the capacity today it doesn’t mean that he won’t have it in 2,4, or 6 months. Being a woman, I accepted his logic and things have been good. He continues to treat me well, but in the back of my mind I’m scared things aren’t going to change and that I’m wasting my time. I want to have kids and he knows this (and says this is fine) so this further complicates the situation because I don’t want to waste these years with someone who doesn’t have the capacity to commit at this time.

Lately I’ve also notice that when we talk about things like houses and cars he uses ‘us’ and ‘we.’ For example, I am considering purchasing a new car (sports). We were talking and he told me to purchase whatever I like, but remember that I want to have kids in a few years and that I would have to get a new car. I said that my future husband would just take my car and I would take his. He told me that if we marry that that car switching wouldn’t work (he doesn’t like small cars) and that I better buy a car that could hold the entire family (including his family). Mixed signals?

I’m really confused. Do I leave since the one thing I know for certain is that he doesn’t have the capacity or enjoy our time together?

See our guy’s response after the jump!

I can tell you right off the bat that I can’t tell you what the best move is going to be, but I can understand the guy’s reluctance to make it official… even if it basically already is in every respect.

For a guy who’s already been married and has custody for one of his two children, I can imagine why he would be very cautious in making commitments with a new woman. My bet is that the root of it is some kind of fear or bad experience. I don’t know the guy or have much information on him, so I am just making a guess. For all I know, he might have committed to his ex-wife and once he did, it was all downhill. For that reason, he might believe (on an emotional level) that if he starts defining commitments that the relationship will go downhill.

It sounds to me like he wants to have a good relationship – he talks about the future, he introduced you to his family, he treats you like a girlfriend. From what you said, it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to avoid commitment so that he can see other women. It sounds like he’s reluctant because he’s dealing with his own stuff and he wants to make sure that both of you are ready for a relationship.

Take it from me, sometimes a guy can really love a woman and not be ready or in a position to have a relationship. But I believe that things can change as time goes on. I can’t guarantee it in your situation specifically, but generally speaking things can work out as long as the guy is working through his issues.

I understand your concerns though – you don’t want to waste your time with a relationship that won’t work out, especially since you want to be a mother someday. I can’t really help you make the call on whether to stay or leave. All I can say is (from what you’ve told me) is that he sounds like he probably had a rough time with his first marriage and wants to be extra careful this time around. Or maybe he believes that the dating dynamic works a lot better for him than the committed relationship dynamic at this point in time. At the very least, if you can see it from this point of view it will probably help you decide how long you’re willing to wait to find out.

I’ll touch upon a few things that I’ve said in previous Ask a Guy posts. One thing I said was that if you’ve been seeing a guy for 3 months and he’s not calling you his girlfriend, chances are he won’t. Now, in the context of when I said it, the gist of the situation was the girl wanted more and the guy seemed comfortable where he was. I don’t get that vibe from what you’re talking about here. I get the impression that he is working out his stuff and his intention is for the relationship to develop once he’s stabilized himself. It still raises the question of how long that will take, but it’s a much different situation than an apathetic guy passively seeing a girl with little effort or interest in the future of the relationship.

Having a title sounds like it would be reassuring, but if you were forced to choose between having an amazing relationship or having the title, I am sure that you (and any other woman) would choose to have a great relationship. The good news is… it sounds to me like you do have that. At least, for the most part.

I would say that it would be a good move for you to take a look at what your thoughts are on the matter. Write them out. Get objective, get clear. Try your best to be rational and to avoid jumping to conclusions… I say this because when you mentioned that you proposed leaving the relationship after he didn’t want to call you his girlfriend, it struck me as kind of an extreme, all-or-nothing type of response. I would bet there were assumptions that you made that upset you that very well might not be the case. It is quite possible that if you talked with him calmly and rationally, it would put both of you at ease.

But it’s not for everyone… it really depends on how easily each of you can have a calm, understanding discussion to let the other one know where you stand. If either of you has a tendency toward anger, or jumping to conclusions, or assuming you know what the other person is thinking, etc., then it probably would not be a good situation to talk about it.

All in all, it’s a choice for you. How much compassion are you willing to extend to him? How long are you willing to wait for him for him to come around? If he were to come around, how would he be in everyday life? How would you be in everyday life? Can you picture it clearly and realistically?

He’s told you what he wants at this moment, so the ball is in your court to decide what you want. All I can really do is shine some light on the situation.

Hope it helps.

– eric charles

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leanne

So dated this guy for nearly 11 months..

We recently ended because he wasn’t ready for a relationship.
We’ve met each others friends, familys we did act like a couple even told each other we love each other it recently feels like he has panicked. Everything up til this point has gone really good.

He is keen to have me still in his life and wants to come talk about stuff so we can be in each others lives just not intimately he said he isn’t ready for that with anyone.

At first i told him it wasn’t realistic for us to be just be friends. But i feel if i push him out my life completely i cripple any chances of anything between us.

Tonight we are going to the same gig and he has had alot of contact with me he phoned me this morning and i said how i miss us just talking normally even the pet name he used to call me, all day when he has been texting me he has been using it.

I’m going to have the talk with him but i feel i need to pull back for my own sanity and for him to miss me.

He said right now he isn’t ready for a relationship even though he cares about me.

I know i can’t put my life on hold for him, i wouldn’t ask him to do it. but i do still want him what should i do ?

Reply October 31, 2014, 12:00 pm

Jenny

My husband and i separated four years ago after he had an affair. We tried to work it out but I was angry and hurt ad he eventually left. We have both seen other people, although I quit dating over a year ago to work on myself an take care of our son. He lived with a girl for almost 2 years that let him move in after he had to moveof his sisters. We talk daily(and we always have) an he recently moved out. During a coversation, he said it was because he was still married. I know we still love each other and asked him if we could work on us. I am getting mixed signals. He says he doesn’t know if he can sleep with me because I have been with another man. He also says he is hurt because I said mean things to him. I am not sure what to think!

Reply October 24, 2014, 2:43 pm

Mariah

If he says he doesn’t want to lose me that it will tear him apart, what does that mean? How does he feel? If I’m the only person that he allows to call him babe or baby, does that mean that he has feelings? If I’m the only female he has ever introduced to his family and let stay at his house for more than one night, how does he feel? If he doesn’t like to read (AT ALL) for any one and he read an 8 page letter I wrote for him. Front and back. What is he feeling? Why is it taking him so long to say how he feels?

Reply August 25, 2014, 8:49 pm

Brenda

Could really do with some help. Will try and explain best I can. He is 34. He’s kind, hates letting people down, honest, loyal, would never cheat, sensitive and caring. He is also scarred from his ex wife. They haven’t been together for 3 years now. They have two kids ( one is not his as she cheated) she cheated lots in fact and he took her back twice. Anyway when he ment me we became good friends. I met his kids b4 we got together, he has never let a woman met his kids, he said he just knew we would be together and it felt right. So we did get together, I was not so keen. I was planning to move away. He asked me to please give this a chance. I was mis treated as a kid and had been cheated on lots to. I’m 32 btw. Anyway I did. And it was amazing. We got on, had fun, I got on well with the kids, I met the ex just out of respect cuz of the kids. She has a partner also who is the kids step dad. So twos down the line, he started to quiet, withdrawn, I asked him what was wrong. He said he didn’t know, he needed time to think. So I kicked off as I do. But I soon charmed down. We both cried. I gave him time. It came to the kids weekend again, we said we wanted to keep things normal for them so we would spend time with them together. That’s when the nightmare began. Out of nowhere the ex called him screaming at him saying I don’t want her near my kids, u split up with her or u don’t see them. No reasoning behind it. So I didn’t see them but kept seeing him. But we started to argue, I became weak and needy. I would question if he was seeing her again. Which he never would, his family and friends hate her and he could never trust her. But we both realised he is not over the pain and maybe not over her. Anyway I decided to contine standing by him, he would push me away, I would come back and he would let me back in. We are now 8 months down the line. We are not together but was getting on very well( and sleeping together). He would never use me tho. I am not a woman blinded by love or anything like that. Anyway, I saw the kids two weeks ago. He had gone to his ex and said me and him are getting on a lot better and I am in his life, and wants me to see the kids. She said it wasn’t a problem. So out the blue he text me and said come round all the family are here. I was cinfused as he didn’t tell me he had spoken to her, but I went with it. I saw them all, we had a great time. I said to him how come ur doing this. He said he wanted me there and he would deal with her after. He said this because he didn’t want to upset me and tell me he had to ask permission. He try’s to hard to kept everyone happy. So the ex played another game, text him that night and said she wanted to be a family again!! I was so upset. His mate was round who we have both known for years. He told me he had had words with her so that explained the text. But it ruined the whole night for me. I started crying again. He said didn’t want to keep putting me thru this. He cares for me a lot. He did text her back and said it wouldn’t work between them and to think twice b4 messing up her relationship with the man she is with now cuz he is good to her and good to the girls. So she rang him a few days later and said sorry and to ignore her. But the damage had been done to us again. I sat him down for a talk. I asked him if he wanted me to still be by his side, he said yes but he didn’t know if he could love again but he’s sacred to let me go and then realise I am gone and he missed out on the best thing ever. I got a bit mad and wLk out. I called him later and said I I didn’t know what to say. He said will I see u again. I said I will maybe see him in a week or so. Anyway stupid me went storming in the next day. I was crying and I told him he has to sort his head out, cuz I can’t do it anymore. I texted and called him a few days later which he ignored. I saw him and he said he was trying to sort himself out a bit. So went to see him a few days later and he has finished it again, saying it’s not fair on me, he doesn’t want to use me by sleeping with me. I said to him that he told me he wasn’t using me. He said I’m not but it’s not fair on you. He said I think I just want to be friends and it’s easier to be alone.I said I can’t do that. I said if u want me out ur life just tell me. And he refused to tell me this. I told him let take two weeks out and clear our heads. So the way I am seeing things is when he got with me, maybe he thought I would make him forget the past and move on, but over time it was clear it wasn’t working that way. And he could see as the relationship went on I got weaker and weaker and maybe he sees me as not up to the job of standing by him and being solid and strong. He said to me, just sort urself out don’t worry about me. Is he trying to save me by letting me go because he can see I am getting hurt. I am seeing a self help counseller at the mo, I am trying to rebuild my relationship with my mum and dad. Changed my job. I have done a lot already, but I know I need to do more work on me. I have just lost my way in all of this, I need to get strong, stop crying and worrying and toughen up. I text him yesterday saying I want to take responsibility and say sorry for my part of all this madness. I let go of my values and self-worth to try and please and got very depressed doing it.I thought I could help u heal and move on. no one can do that but u. I may have gone about things all the wrong way, but I did it for the right reasons. Have a good weekend, please wish ur mum and dad happy anniversary from me. Hope they have a great time xxx he replyed you don’t need to be sport, it’s not u. I will do xxx. He has always said it’s not cuz he doesn’t want me. So what do I do from here. Do I just be a friend without sex. Do I walk away altogether and hope he will come back. Do I try and talk him into sorting himself out. Like I say I am not a love blind woman. But I know we can be good and get on. He knows we get on when we are both in the right frame of mind. We are good our sex life is amazing, we get on amazing, we trust each other. I am not scared to be on my own, I’m very strong on my own, I just don’t want to be anymore, I am ready to have someone else and share with them and be one, and I want that to be him. But I just need to work on being strong when I am in a relationship. I’m sorry I have gone on and on. I really want to get this right. Can you please advice on what to do, it would mean the world to me

Reply July 11, 2014, 9:33 am

sad

heres my question.. I have been engaged for 7 months,we are 55 years old and he will not set a date..I AM CONFUSED .I thought when a gves a girl a ring hes ready to get married. we have both been married before and his daughter and grandson live with hm.Should i back away from the engagement and give him space and time to miss me in his life and reflect? I am ready to take the ring off and tell him to never ask me again. he keeps saying hes not ready .blah blah then why did he give m a ring if hes not ready.. very confused i need to know what to so and how to handle this

Reply July 7, 2014, 1:24 pm

G

Hi Sad. I’m sorry. This is a terrible situation to be in. I know. I lived it. My guy proposed (finally) after about 6 years. I was ecstatic. Now in retrospect it just looks like he wanted to buy time because he didn’t want me to leave, but he didn’t want to marry me either. Or in his case “he did, he was just waiting for something (intangible) to happen.” He wanted respect-which respect is not something you give one time, you give it over and over continuously and sometimes you don’t give it at all, especially when you don’t feel respected. And he was losing mine quickly with each passing year. Another 10 years without marrying, and other situaions affected by that coming to a head, I finally left. For the last 2 years now since I left, he has asked me to go to counseling with him so “maybe” we can marry. I told him I had enough of “maybes”. And sadly even when he says he wants all those things, I want to believe him but I cannot. Yes I am bitter. I loved that man completely and spent 17 years of my prime years with him and now may never have children because of it. (Because I’m over 40 now.) By the way, he made me believe he wanted kids too.

You don’t have the risk of losing your baby-making years but if you did I will let you know that in my situation, as much as I loved that man, I wish I had left waaaaaaaaayyyy sooner. Had I left the year after the proposal, maybe he would have acted like he is now amd gotten his head on straight and gotten the job done. Or maybe I would have a beautiful family with some other fabulous man, a dream of mine that I have now had to grapple with letting go of because I wasted that biological time I had.

In your case, you are not taking the same risks I did. So you have to ask yourself how important marriage is to you and why? What would you be risking by staying and what would you lose if he never did marry you? Can you live with that? If not, I think you should tell him, “It is misleading to propose to a woman if you are not ready to get married. I said yes and I was expecting we would plan. If you are not into it then I am giving you the ring back and I am leaving because I was led to believe that was where our relationship was headed, and if is not going anywhere, I don’t want to stay. Marriage is important to me for these reasons …”

Sure wish I had done that.

Reply December 5, 2014, 2:54 pm

georgie

ive been dateing this guy for 3 years and we talked ab marrige but when i talked to him about it he says when u stop asking me so i drop the subject but weve live together and been liveing together for almost 2 years and i dont no what to do anymore because he is my everything and i love him more then anything but he wont ask me to marry him but he talks ab it beforesaying he loves me and is going to marry me but i so confused y wont he just ask me ?

Reply January 29, 2014, 11:12 pm

Jen

I’ve read through all the columns on this website, but I am still so torn. The advice on here all makes sense, but I am still being pulled in two different directions… I need someone to shed some light on this because I don’t know what to do anymore :(

I’ve been dating this guy for three months now. The sex is phenomenal – I’ve never had such incredible chemistry in my life. We are extremely attracted to each other and we have an amazing time every time we are together. For the past two months, we’ve spent almost every weekend together. He’s introduced me to his dad and grandmother and he’s met my mother. Last night, he met my girlfriends for the first time and he was so sweet, engaging in conversation with everyone and then bought everyone (even my girlfriends’ boyfriends) a round of shots. We act like a couple and have committed in the sense that we will only be sleeping with each other because I told him I have a rule that I do not sleep around – I only sleep with one man at a time. He agreed and so we are exclusive – sexually. We talk on the phone and text a few times a week. Essentially, we are boyfriend and girlfriend.

Tonight, I brought up the topic (again) about making it official. I am on the edge of making it official myself, simply because I’m not sure if I have everything in my life under control to be a positive contributor in someone else’s life. However, my silly little heart and girlish tendencies make me want to make it official anyway. He told me tonight that he is like a train – “If a train is turning, you have to slow down to make sure it turns without crashing. Once you are headed straight, you can accelerate and put on additional weight.” He told me he needs to straighten things out on his end (career wise, living situation, etc) and that he cannot add on “extra weight” at this point, but he loves to be with me. He reassured me he is not seeing anyone else. Is this supposed to be enough for me?! Am I supposed to trust and believe what he says? I want to trust him – all his actions show that he cares about me, values me and respects me – but he won’t commit. I don’t know much about his past or his ex-girlfriends and have no idea if he got majorly burned… He doesn’t talk much about things like that.

I want to make him commit, but I don’t want to drive the relationship into the ground by pestering him and constantly bringing it up as if I am super insecure or something… What do I do?

Reply December 2, 2013, 2:23 am

Linda

Jen,

I would be interested to know what happened. I am in a similar situation right now and feel stuck. Thank you!!

Reply December 5, 2014, 11:40 am

Michelle

To be honest, I would do exactly the same thing as the woman did, if I was put in that situation.

If I my significant other and I did discuss about the matter and mutually agreed that he needed some issues to work out before we can have a label, how are we suppose to act afterwards? He’s not exactly calling me his girlfriend and I’m certainly more than a casual friend to him.

It would annoy me on a daily basis thinking what kinds behavior and action will be appropriate with my significant other. “How will I introduce him to others?” “What shall I refer him to as when I tell him about my friends?” “We’re definitely not friends of benefit but certainly not girlfriend and boyfriend” “I want to give this gift to him but will it be appropriate? – such as Valentine’s day, birthdays, and Christmas”

I’m a very practical and logical person, and to avoid reoccurring issues about the matter we discussed (whether we should have an official title), I would suggest some boundary lines so neither of us gets hurt or angry. **Of course, I’m not sure if my significant other would be comfortable as I would be laying down some boundaries or what not.

Reply November 15, 2013, 7:36 pm

Miranda

I have loved your column and have grown a lot reading it. I have experienced a lot of the same things you talk about it, but where mine is different is I lost a son in the middle of it. I really would love your advice, but I don’t want it up here for everyone to read. I hope that makes sense. Is there a way I can contact you directly? You could email me at focusitup@gmail.com He means a lot to me and we have been friends for a long time.

Miranda

Reply September 25, 2013, 9:43 am

Kate

I need advice. I have been seeing a guy for about 4 months now. We talk almost every day, I have been on a trip with his family, and he has met mine. I brought up once about 2 months ago where this was heading, and he said he needed more time before he could say we were officially “in a relationship”. He rushed into his last relationship and the person turned out to be different then he thought, and he wants to us to really get to know each other. The other night he brought it up this time, and said I was one of his best friends, but he still was not ready to make a commitment.

I told him I just needed to know it was heading in that direction where we would be boyfriend and girlfriend, and he said it was. I guess my question is how long will it take for him to decide. I am worried that I will continue to wait, and he will never commit. I am wondering if I need to soon give him an ultimatum of we either date or I need to move on. I like him a lot and I am very happy with how we are right now, but I feel like at some point there has got to be a level of commitment.

Reply July 1, 2013, 5:58 pm

G

Are you sleeping with him? If you are sleeping with him then you have every reason to want and to expect a commitment of “boyfriend/girlfriend” -which unless you have to spell it out is actually a commitent of fidelity (unless pf course you two agree together on some non-conformist terms). If you do not have that commitment, then you shouldn’t be sleeping with him. I don’t know what to say if you have already slept with him, as I’m not trying to condone using sex to control a situation, but I would say that if you are sleeping with him then you slept with him too soon. You should have a commitment/known intentions prior to sleeping with someone if you are looking for a serious relationship. At least it may serve as a lesson for your future or for someone else who is reading this that may need to recognize it. Most men don’t want to think of “their” woman as “easy”. And it takes away the mystery, the hunt….men like to hunt…to make you their’s. Don’t take that away from them. Let them catch you! (It’s so much better than begging them to commit to you!)

Now you may already know all this, in which case, I would say to your inquiry that people move at different paces. I have more than once been with a guy who moved much faster than I (“I love you” on the first date, marriage proposals before you are ready), having seen this from the other side, I can appreciate a guy who wants to slow down a bit and really make sure. (On a side note I will point out the interesting dichotomy was that it was those guys who “knew” right away -at which time I thought them ridiculous and not-possibly-authentic, that really ended up proving their love to me at the end of the day.) So while I would say give him a little time, I do say it with caution, and an emphasis on “little” (like not drawn out into oblivion). And it may be wise to remember that real men, or very masculine men (i.e. men who know what they want) do make definitive decisions rather more quickly. It’s those left-brainer artistic types that may string you along forever while they “seek their truth”. If he is one of them he may need some time but you should have a conversation and make a commitment to yourself as to what is reasonable to you and stick to a course of action if you go past that. Much easier said than done if you are invested. But the longer you are invested the harder it is. And leaving will often give you the answer you are looking for rather than limbo which can be very painful when prolonged.

Reply July 2, 2013, 3:57 am

Sandra

Thank you ladies, I have been going through the doubt / denial / bargaining stage. I know deep down not to call but late at night and early morning, when I have time to think, it hits home hard.

I have been re-reading what you have written for support when I feel low / bit weak to remind myself of the situation. It has helped to get a reality check and put things into perspective. So thank you once again and taking time to respond – you’ve helped me out ;) ok no more self pity and I need to get out there .. .. xxx

Reply March 26, 2013, 9:15 pm

Sandra

Hi all, just looking for some help as I am at a pretty low point in my life. I met a great guy 7 months ago on a dating site. We clicked immediately and I started to have feelings that he was “the one”. We spent every weekend together and talked everyday and had lots in common.

After a while I tried to ask him how he felt and told him my feelings, vaguely. He backed off immediately and I could tell he wasn’t ready to open up, so decided to give him time. He told me he was selfish adn controlling when we met and i coild see he wouldnt talk at all about enotion.

We only spent set times together, Saturday – Sunday afternoon. He would also seemed annoyed /distant if i called him first, a control trait i thought. we didn’t really spend any extra time over Christmas together as Saturday was the routine and he lives close to me, although he lives with his parents and i am at home too for the short term. My friends thought this was strange and how he should want to spend extra days with me in the holiday period.

It started to worry me that he had not introduced me to his friends or family and the label / title of the relationship started to really bother me as I felt in limbo. I had lots of advice to just leave him and make myself happy… But just wanted to see where it would go as i liked him a lot and felt that i had fallen in love with him. He made the relationship so emotions were not spoken about and I followed along. He acted like my partners, having dates, holding hands but the authentic / emotional side was missing and was something I started to yearn for, having had these sorts of conversations in previous relationships and openess. This left me feeling empty and wondered whether I was being used for sex and comfort. I now know I made that too easy for him also. It was sort of taken for granted that we would keep every Saturday open for each other.

The night I was to ask him what we were, I had decided to just ask, I saw a text message from a woman flash up on his phone… The contact picture was quite revealing and of a sexual nature. I asked him what we were and that I had found my answer, that we were just casual it seemed. I was a bit drunk at the time and it soon escalated into an argument. He got angry and told me that he had not known what the relationship was for a long time and he wanted to see other people and had only been on this dating site for just over a week. I told him that was fine, but I was really hurt underneath, I told him he should have spoken to me about it and let me know before going off to find a new woman /sex and wasting my time stringing me along.

I was devastated. We broke up but he kept calling everyday, he said he wanted to keep the lines of communication open as it was all a shock. We met a couple of times and he hinted at us working this out. One night he called me from a girl a works birthday party whilst I was ill in bed. He said he wawnted to call me befo he got drunk. I lost it, thinking he was up to all sorts, and told him to stop calling me as it seemed cruel and that he was enjoying himself having fun, whilst I was upset and ill, he knew i was sick. The next day I told him he was confusing me and what was going on. He told me what he said the previously on the night of the argument still stood. He continued to call. We met again and spent a really lovely day together. He held my hand, told me how easy it was for him to talk to me since the fight and he walked me home. On the way home he asked me “what happens now?” I said I didn’t know and needed time to find myself again. A few days later I called him and he seemed distant and pissed off with me. I asked him why he was giving me mixed signals again and he just plainly said that he didn’t want a relationship. I told him calmly that he needed to stop calling me then and I don’t need a wishy washy, flakey indecisive man in my life. I said there was no point from here and I wished him good luck in life. He said if he could still call, I asked him for what?

I was angry at the time and now regret what I said, it was out of frustration and tiredness that I said this to him. I feel I forced his reaction from reading this site. I now regret it and wish he would call me… Which he hasn’t. I think we could work it out… Could someone please advise or am I being extremely naive in thinking this… Was he letting me down gently all along? I know it sounds silly and my brother told me I would be an idiot for taking him back after catching him looking for other women but I really can’t help the way I feel….

Reply March 18, 2013, 2:06 pm

Sandra

Ps. Sorry for the typos… Writing on the train!!!

Reply March 18, 2013, 2:12 pm

blue

Sandra,
He’s giving you as much effort as he’s going to at the moment. He’s obviously still curious about other girls and not ready to be exclusive. You have to decide if you are ok with that, and I honestly don’t know many women who would be after 7 months. You even said he’s not really someone who sounds like he is all that emotionally supportive of you and that you miss that (I don’t blame you).
Here’s what I would do, possibly keep him around but tell him if he’s going to date other girls, you are going to date other guys (this won’t go over well). And DO IT! get out there and date other guys. He’ll either be cool with it or he’ll hit the roof and committ.
It’s so important to tell him what you need and expect and want out of a relationship, by not doing this and by going along with the way he sets the pace, tells him you are ok with it when you obviously are not.
Also, don’t make yourself so available to him, he has gotten comfortable in a relationship that has all the benefits of you being committed to him without him actually having to be committed.
I really feel for you, I’m sure you are very hurt and devastated over his behaviour. He wants to keep talking so you will be on the hook (but probably not doing it in a malicious way), he doesn’t know what he wants, and I think you do.
Gather your guts and tell him exactly what you expect, want and need and if he says he can’t do that for you, then honestly just move on. That’s my advice. I hope it helps a wee bit. Cheer up :)

Reply March 18, 2013, 3:20 pm

G

Hi Sandra,
I think blue gives you some good advice. I would stop beating yourself up for what you said to him because I think it is right on. I have dealt with a wishy washy man. It can be very confusing. You need to nip it in the bud. Don’t give all of yourself unless and until he is ready and willing to do the same. You said and did the right thing. Now all you need to do is wait. If he is a man that wants you, he will “fix” it. Men like to fix things. And if he doesn’t fix it, then he doesn’t want you or isn’t ready for the kind of commitment you want…as much as that may hurt. But you need to ask yourself if you really want him? He sounds too controlling for your taste from your own description. And he also is giving you mixed messages, having inappropriate relations with other women while not being open and honest with you…and he is stringing you along even if he doesn’t realize it. He wants to keep you on the sidelines while seeing if there is something better out there for him. Don’t stick around and wait when there could be something better out there for you. It is much easier to deal with this after 7 months than it is after 7 years…and take it from me…it can go on that long and then some. And it’s much easier to fall in love the younger you are. You did the right thing. There are many men out there you can fall in love with…and falling in love is fun…so look forward to it…and make sure you pick a better one than the last one. Learn what you want and don’t want and learn from your past relationships.

Reply March 18, 2013, 5:19 pm

Sandra

Thank you both for your replies and taking the time to message back, very much appreciated. It does hurt a lot and my thoughts have been very circular as this has been a fairly recent occurrence; I need to stop the destructive thinking. It’s done now, I said not to call and he hasn’t, so in a way he is respecting my wishes. There’s not much else to do but focus on myself and trying to get my confidence back to before I met him as i know i cant call him now – its too late. I suppose I gave him an easy way out in the end.

It is amazing that I have read so many women in the same situation, at my age – mid thirties, I did not think this would happen to me! Lol I guess it’s never too late to learn from experience for next time and I have never been in this situation before so I found myself addicted to this seeming enigma.

I had doubts as to whether it was right to do what I did, it felt right at the time, or whether I let someone I care about slip away and live with regrets of “what ifs?”

I really couldn’t cope with feeling like i was going crazy all the time and the vague / flakey attitude to me was the last straw, I interpreted it as insult to injury. Next time I will hopefully take heed of the warning signs in myself and other party and try not to go down this painful path again…

Thank you once again xxx

Reply March 18, 2013, 6:45 pm

Sandra

Hi again,

going through a tough patch and am now wondering whether I made a mistake in confronting my ex and forcing an answer from him when perhaps I should have given it more time? I am also wondering whether i am just taking the breakup badly… I can’t accept it’s really over for some reason.

Still wondering if I should contact him and am wondering if he will ever call after I told him not to? Is this a really bad idea? Can this be worked out or should I just accept it really is over?

Reply March 25, 2013, 7:13 pm

G

Honey! I am sorry you are feeling low…what you need to do is get angry! Really…READ your initial correspondence here. You can not call this man. For one, he is wishy washy. For two, men are hunters. The only way this relationship will ever work is if you let him come after you. You say yourself that each time you have called him (i.e. “pursued” him), that he is “distant”. That is because you are now the hunter. This does not make a man feel very manly. Secondly, if he has not called you yet, it is possible that he really is just not that interested or he doesn’t want a relationship….which he has actually already stated. And you do. So if that’s the truth, then you want two different things and you need to move on. In fact, moving on is the best thing you can do to make yourself more interesting to this man so it works on two ends. It’s also possible that you haven’t been “gone” long enough. You need to give this man time to miss you. He may be going through emotions and he hasn’t got to that one yet. It could take up to 8 weeks. But I can tell you this, the longer you do not call him, the more it is going to drive him crazy until he contacts you…and pursues you…which is the way it needs to be in order for it to ever work.

Still on the other side of things, this man had texts of a sexual nature from another woman on his phone, he calls you late at night (booty call!), he doesn’t spend the holidays with you….my point: there are plenty reasons more not to call him because you can do better. All the “drunk” and “drinking” comments also point to a lack of maturity on both your parts…or sheer addiction troubles which will only get worse in time. I’d say, work on yourself to be more mature, know what you want, and expect it. If you take care of yourself first, the rest will fall into place. And from the looks of things stated here, you are actually better off without this man. I’m mean, I’m all for supporting it if he contacts you and is willing to give you what you NEED, but unless and until he does, you need to end your pity party, and get out there and have some fun with someone who makes you feel good about being you! There really ARE men out there who will treat you right. When a man is in love AND sure of himself, he will act right. You do not need to accept someone making you second guess yourself all the time, making you feel like you are not worth while, because you are! I am telling you again, if you think doing this after 7 months is hard, imagine if you invested years….it seems you are young enough to find a new love and still have time for this man to “grow up” and return to you at a time when you both want the same things IF you still are under the illusion that he is better than all the rest. Don’t waste your time waiting. And I really do think that if you call him, you will only be sabotaging yourself and your relationship with him. Get out with some girlfriends NOW!!! You need your spirits lifted. Friends are the best medicine. Cheer up. Being single means you are available to fall in love <3 What fun!

March 25, 2013, 8:24 pm

blue

Hi Sandra,
Yup you are in those shakey few weeks after a breakup where you wonder if you maybe should give him another shot. Ok a few tips for you:

1) suppose you did call him… how would you feel if another girl answered the phone? or if he was a jerk to you? or if he said he’d like to give it another shot but still won’t give you what you want? OR what if he says ok he’ll get back together but you let another month or two or five go by and he still won’t committ and you are right back where you started. The thing is, he knows what you want and if he wanted it too he’d be calling even if you told him not too. He knows he screwed up with getting involved with another girl and in some way he probably did that on purpose to show you he’s not in it for anything serious. I know that sucks but a lot of times men are just not very verbal about it all and they do things to show you how they feel.

Tip #2) write out how you feel about all of this, just keep writing and writing and writing until you get it alllll out, every angle, every scenario, everything you would like to say to him or scream at him or throw at him :)

Tip #3) I know this sounds like something you probably have zero interest in but honestly the VERY best way to get over someone is to get a crush on someone else. so start dating, do yourself up, look cute, smile at everyone, get yourself on a dating site and start flirting… look at it as something you HAVE to do for yourself to move forward, In other words, don’t do it because you realllly want to meet someone, just do it to get your feet wet in the dating pool and then TRUST ME in a few weeks this guy will be history in your mind. My favorite saying is “men are like buses, if you miss one, wait five minutes and another one shows up” :) it’s sooo true!! Just sayin he didn’t, can’t, won’t, refuses to, is too afraid to, not ready to give you want you want, doesn’t mean he’s a horrible guy, just chalk it up to bad timing and keep moving forward :) Hope that helped. Keep your chin up, don’t let men get you down ok, it’s just not worth it.
Write back in if you need anymore support :) good luck :) xo

March 25, 2013, 10:11 pm

Stacey

After having read this entire page, over the course of the past few days, I would appreciate your opinion regarding my situation.
I’m 45. He’s 43. Both divorced in past year. Though we initially met through a Facebook Group, we have a mutual acquaintance….being my cousin. Started out as simple as playing Words With Friends! LOL. In October, messaging daily and now chatting, calling, messaging throughout the day. Early on, we talked about neither of us being ready for a relationship. He said maybe we could be friends with benefits. I told him I did that when I was younger, but was not cut out for that anymore. So…..after about 3 months of chatting, he tells me to watch his location on chat, as he is heading my way. I live about 40 minutes from him. We spent 7 hours talking, oh…..and shopping! He convinced me that I needed a Battery Operated Boyfriend, which I had never shopped for. Came back home….just talked, listened to music, sang, danced, silly flirty fun. Long hug goodbye. Continue to chat every day. A month later, I see him again. Things heat up fast. Next thing I know, he is erect and telling me that we can’t go any further. That he values me too much as a friend, and does not want to lose that. And so…..after me questioning him so much, sending stupid emails, and driving myself crazy with questions as well…..I have tried to just stay cool and “go with the flow”, as he says. We still text, chat, talk off and on all day every day. Nothing has changed, other than he now calls me babe, baby, etc. We have shared a lot of feelings, and know a lot of each other’s secrets/ fears/ dreams. I understand your concept concerning “the chase”, and it makes perfect sense considering this man has job/financial troubles/living arrangement that he needs to find his answers to. He has moved from one relationship to another, with no “me” time in between. I believe that he is not ready for a relationship, and I am not going to push him. I just stay confused as to his “go with the flow”. Why does he stay in constant contact with me?

Reply March 1, 2013, 12:32 pm

G

I think he likes you, is playing “getting to know you”…and just moves slower than you do. He is probably still working out emotions and healing and logistics of his divorce and reconciling moving on. I would allow him this time and be patient. It seems as though things are growing and will continue to grow if you let it. Enjoy his constant comments and sweet texts and reciprocate in kind. Sounds nice.

Reply March 1, 2013, 3:48 pm

Stacey

Thank you for your quick reply “G”. Things are continuing the same, and I am happy to just appreciate him for the smile he puts on my face every day. I think he is just playing it safe, as he sometimes contradicts himself with things he says. I say that in due time, he will want more. If not…..I will be glad for what I have learned from him and sadly move on. If so…..One day at a time!
I absolutely love this site, and my daily email. So many women could learn a lot here, if only they have the open mind to it.

Reply March 16, 2013, 8:03 pm

G

I’m curious what ever happened with your relationship Stacey?

Reply December 5, 2014, 4:06 pm

Vivian C

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. We are an official couple: i’ve met his family and friends, he introduces me as his girlfriend, we spend most of our free time together etc. BUT in all of this year he hasn’t said that he loves me. So I started wondering if there was something wrong, specially since lately he has been super withdrawn.
So, I asked him about the withdrawing and he said he feels that I’m more into the relationship than he is, that he’s afraid of opening up and falling in love with me, and that he doesn’t know why he’s having such a hard time being open and vulnerable. I couldn’t believe that after a whole year together being super serious he now pulls the “I’m afraid of love/relationships” card. So as I was leaving for good he said he really wanted to work things out and he didn’t want to lose me. After the conversation, he’s no longer distant but I feel so confused and hurt and I’m not sure what to do. Please help!!!!

Reply January 22, 2013, 2:31 am

Vivian C

Please someone give me some advice!!! :(

Reply February 5, 2013, 1:11 am

G

I think you already did the right thing when you started to leave. He said you were more into the relationship than he was and then when he thought he might lose you, he changed his tune. I would listen to what men say, as they often mean what they say… but it can be confusing when their words contradict – in which case I will repeat my friends advice ala her therapist “Words and actions need to match”. For now, I would go with it as long as he is acting right, but keep an eye out, as he may be one of those hot and cold men that never know what they want and are always toying with your heart.. I’ve had/have one of those for a long time and after a very long time, wish I had heeded the warnings better sooner because although I still have my love, I’ve never have had stability in the relationship and it’s hard to live with, especially when so much time has gone and you never planned your future together and it’s just the two of you realizing all the time you wasted.

Reply February 5, 2013, 3:01 am

Dawn

I was with this guy and I knew he was dating someone else but I thought I could get him with sex. he likes kinky kinds of thing like in the butt and stuff like that. i am way into anything as long as i get off to. he woud lie to me that he wasnt seeing her and then bang me, i did everything for him. i cleaned his house his laundrey watched his bratty kid gave him blow jobs cooked him meals. everything. he told me he was still with tht other chick and that he was through with e but i’m not done. he just didnt know how good he ad it with me. yeah she is prettier and thinks shes smarter cause shes a teacher and into God and stuff but i sm at s level. he likes woman like me and i know how to please him. theres no way he will not cheat n her. theres no way he can resist me. it is just a matter f time. and when he does i will make sure she knows all about it.

Reply February 28, 2013, 11:56 pm

Michele

I feel very sorry for you as clearly you are under the impression that all men want good/kinky sex!! Let me just say that sex is nothing if you have no respect for yourself or your partner!! You will be used for sex but don’t expect a relationship with this man as he has no emotional attachment to you,, only sex!!! Stop deluding yourself and realize there are also other woman out there that also enjoy kinky things in the bedroom and the other woman he is seeing is probably giving him the same as you,, you are not special and certainly sound very naive!! Stop being so nasty and get your yourself some morals and have a little respect for yourself!!

Reply March 1, 2013, 1:54 am

Mary

Wow. I know there are still woman like you in the world, Dawn, but I can’t believe you posted this online. You not only don’t gave any morals and vales, but you really have no idea of what a healthy relationship is. I am going to pray for you that you realize what a woman should be, and that some how through Christ you will become one. I also pray for this guy that he will quit using woman. Not just you but the other woman. If he doesn’t, he is the one who will lose. Woman like you are nothing but a piece of a$$. If. I knew the other woman , I would tell her. No one deserves to be disrespected like this. I pray for the other woman that this guy figures it out and figures it out, fast. If he is this big of a loser, God will take him out if her life and bless her with a man who will treat her with respect and decency. Not one whose going to continually be lying to her and cheating on her. I know. I had been married to a guy like that. Not anymore. Through Gods grace I now have an amazing man in my life. If you get right with God, He will do the same for you.

Reply March 18, 2013, 5:05 pm

Lily

Hi. Great advice!
I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year now. We’ve been very happy together and we are an official couple. He asked me to be his girlfriend after I read Eric’s and Sabrina’s advice and realised that I shouldn’t act as his girlfriend if he hasn’t given me the title. So after a couple of weeks of me going out and being single, he snapped out of it and asked me to be his girlfriend officially. He said that he didn’t think it was important, that he referred to me as his girlfriend in front of his friends and coworkers and he didn’t though it was important to me for him to have to ask. He just assumed we were official. Guys, huh? After that, things are pretty serious. Most of his free time, if he’s not working or exercising, he spends it with me. All weekends are reserved for me and one week day. We make future plans and often talk about marrying and kids. He even wants to give me a huge loan for college. He talks to me about important stuff going on in his family and friends.
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Well, the problem I have is that I feel there is some kind of “wall” between us. That he hasn’t really opened up to me. He never tells me when something is wrong, he just gets really angry and silent and speaks in one-word sentences. Whenever I say something nice to him, “I’m really proud of you” or “You look great tonight.”, he replies with a “Pffff…” Like he doesn’t believe me or thinks I’m just saying that to please him and not from the heart. On Christmas I gave him a bigger gift than he did and he went all weird that I shouldn’t have, and then said “I really care about you”, instead of ” I love you ” (which he hasn’t said at all and I’ve been thinking of telling him first.). A week after that, he said that I was TOO nice with him. But strangely after he said that, he became the most loving and affectionate person. He wanted to see me every day and I woke up daily with a text from him saying “you are the best girlfriend” and “I really really care about you”. And lots of hearts and kisses emoticons etc. And he bought me gifts and surprises and took me out for romantic dinners. I was static.
.
So, vacations ended and he went back to work and I went back to college. Since then, all the loving went gone. He is cold, distant, angry, irritable. He nags me about everything I do: “You are so messy.” “You are so undisciplined about exercise”. “I’m to tired for sex right now, I’m really sorry, try to understand I’m really tired”. ” You never call me or text when I’m at work”. “You came in too late yesterday after seeing your girlfriends”. “You are distant”. “Your perfume smells funny”. We went out separately with friends one night (which I support 100% ) I was cool about it as always and told him to have fun. He on the other hand got all weird and started asked where I was and with whom and what time I planned to get home etc. But he didn’t even tell me where he was, just “out with the guys from work: a friend is leaving the company” I kept asking because normally, when it comes to his workplace and work-friends, he’s a bit uninformative. But he kept replying generally: “At a friend’s house.” No detail no nothing. I trust him so I let it go.
.
Aside from that, he is irritable and answering my texts and calls curtly and annoyed. Yesterday, he texted me and I said I was exercising that I will talk to him as soon as I finished. I left his chat window open so I appeared as online, but I was in fact on top the elliptical. He said “I see you are done, because you are online and glued to your phone chatting with someone.” That was it for me. I explained to him but I got really angry. I asked him why he was being such a jerk and why he had been so angry and irritable. He said he didn’t know what was going on with him. So I said that we should talk about it, not right now, but when he feels ready. He said ok. I asked him if it was because of me and he said “I thought we didn’t have to talk about this right now haha.” So I said ok, let me know, good night.
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End of story.
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I thought of giving him space but then I remembered that he got angry that I never text him first (that is true, I just feel a little insecure of taking initiative and have him take me for granted, but I do it once in a while). So I texted him today when he was working. A quick hi, how are you? And then we had a regular conversation in which he was a bit more polite but still curtly and distant. Maybe he’s busy at work, who knows…
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The thing is I’m losing it. Normally I’m not needy but I feel so confused right now. He normally accuses me of being too un-needy, meaning that I sometimes seem not to care. (And I do care, I’m even madly in love with him, but I’m just a bit guarded because I’m afraid to tell him I love him and put everything out there and get hurt or make him feel pressured.) But right now I feel awful ’cause I don’t know if it’s best to move on or to try and fix things and if so, how can I? My major issue about all this is that I don’t now what’s going on. I don’t know if he’s being repelled by me being ‘too nice’ as he said, or he’s angry because I don’t call him or text him at work and he feels unloved, or he’s upset about work, or the fact that I don’t work and he does or he doesn’t love me and I’m fooling myself in believing he does. I’m even thinking of doing something crazy and snooping on his phone to see if he’s cheating.
I know the solution is for him to tell by WTF is going on so we can fix it and carry on, but he doesn’t seem to want to talk to me at all. Specially because we haven’t said ‘I love you’ yet and I’ve been close to tell him before this all started. Sorry for the big long post and complicated story but I’d really appreciate some help.

Reply January 18, 2013, 4:58 pm

Michele

I have been seeing this man for over 6 months (previous posts) without the title of G/friend/b/friend but everything else seemed like we were in a relationship. I went to my friends place for Xmas drinks and my friend told me to invite him over (we have all been friends for a long time).. He arrived and brought my friend and her mother drinks and his body language was not good!! He hardly spoke to me and talked to my friend for most of the evening!! They had been intimate last year but she is incapable of having a relationship and he says he is emotionally unavailable!! :-) the thing is I started to feel sick and fell asleep on the couch! They woke me up and put me to bed but I didn’t actually fall back to sleep!! I could hear and see what they were doing!! They both then had a conversation in regards to liking each other and got quite intimate. He then asked her to dance which they did slowly and with his hand on her butt.. He then asked to sleep in bed with all of us ( later played it off as a joke) which was enough for me.. I got up and asked him to move his car and after him basically calling me an idiot and that nothing was going on I left!! He sent me a few messages but blamed me and said he did not do anything wrong!!! Please let me know what you think cause I believe it was wrong!!!

Reply December 26, 2012, 8:08 am

John

Hi Michele. From your post it is pretty clear this guy has no regard for your feelings. I can’t imagine you are fine with that, so I won’t even ask. It’s easier said than done, but you just need to drop this loser and move on. You are better than that and deserve so much more. Collect yourself, hon. Regain your composure, get your confidence back, then consider putting yourself back in circulation. Personally, I wouldn’t start dating too soon. I’d give it at least a month. WHEN you decide to date again, just date – date A LOT! That doesn’t mean sleep with everyone, in fact, don’t sleep with anyone, and you certainly want to avoid “falling” for anyone. The point is to have fun first and foremost. At the same time, get to know as many men as possible. Yes, you are going to date a lot of guys only once. So what? Enjoy it. Have fun with it. Eventually – probably sooner than you think – one of these men, maybe two, will step up and ask you to be his girlfriend. Until you get a request like that from a man, don’t get emotionally or sexually involved with one. Doing so will put you right back in the situation you are currently experiencing: Wondering if you will be a girlfriend or not.
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Having said all that, just remember, I am not a psychologist, a behavioral scientist, a life coach, nor do I have any credentials to give information of this type. I am just a guy on a keyboard telling the way he feels it. If you feel you need professional help, then you should seek it from a documented, licensed professional specializing in the help you need. Best of luck to you, and as always, take care of the self.

Reply January 3, 2013, 1:05 am

isabella

Hey,

kind of was googling to understand how to deal with my current situation. I met a guy two months ago. I met him in a bar, while I was sitting there with a friend. A guy he was with started talking to us and eventually we had a conversation with the 4 of us for 4 hours. then i discovered he lived in the same street as i do.. so i was like.. what? because i immediately felt drawn to him. We talked about lots of things, even about love. The only thing he said about it was: love had hurt him like hell in the past.

Eventually we went to another pub and my friend left. I joined the guys and as he went smoking outside the other guy said to me: ‘what are you waiting for? he likes you.’ So I went outside and indeed he eventually kissed me. Later on that evening he brought me home and stayed over. We didnt have sex all the way.. just some touching. The next day he said: I would like to see you again. Would you like that too?

I said yes. he responded: ‘well, you dont have to.. only if you want .. i’d like it.’ I was totally amazed by this actually, because i have been hurt a lot by guys he wouldnt care or bother to see me again. I also have huge difficulties with opening myself up to men so i usually appear a bit distance in the beginning. In the weeks to follow he called me very regularly, but only texted once a day or so. We saw each other about once a week. We went for drinks, to the theatre, to another city just for some drinks, and occasionally he’d come over to my place. We usually drank wine and talked or had sex or he played the guitar (he is very musical). it was all very nice and he did very sweet things for me: he bought me breakfast out of the blue when he left my house.. he came back a bit later just to give me a croissant he had bought for me. He cooked for me, he once stopped his car at the bus stop when i was standing there just to give me a kiss.. (i feel it’s these small things that matter).

in the beginning i backed off when he tried to kiss me, and he once asked me: why are you always doing this (i in fact did that because i was afraid to get hurt if i’d let myself go). Eventually i decided to open up more. the problem is that i am the kind of person who has difficulties with moderation, so i opened up COMPLETELY. from that moment on it seems he became more distant. it is very confusing for me.

I do have to say that from the beginning on he told me: i like you very much.. i hope that is clear. i just am kind of confused. i don’t know what i want with my life at the moment but i am trying to figure it out. i just want to take things slow because i know from experience that it otherwise goes wrong.

he also met some of my friends and told the same exact thing to on of my male friends: that he liked me alot but wanted to take things slow because he knew from experience that it otherwise always goes wrong. i also met some of his friends and they told me he is a good guy and they thought he definitely liked me. one of his friends called us lovers.. and i know that he has been talking about me to his mom and to some of his friends.

i accepted the going slow thing, but it made me scared at the same time. we still kept seeing each other, but i started to ask more often what it meant between us (especially if i had had some alcohol) and it made him take more distance. i started panicking that i might lose him.. which i am still doing. and i am afraid that made him even taking more distance.

So there is some background info i need to add: he is half south african half dutch. He has a huge love for south africa (we are in the netherlands right now) and told me he has never felt happy in the netherlands. he therefore is not sure if he wants to stay here, which for him is part of his reason for being distant (he has never kept the maybe going to africa thing a secret for me). He also says he doesnt know if he is at the right place for a relationship because of previous relationships and the fact that he feels unhappy with himself. he says he needs to sort a lot of things out at the moment and that he doesnt know if he can make me happy whilst in the current position. he even said he doesnt understand why i like him and that he feels i am very special and that he can be himself around me.. something he generally does not experience with many people. he also told me he kind of tried to slow down his feelings for me because he doesnt want to hurt me by giving me hope for something he doesnt know yet he will be ready for and that he is also afraid of getting hurt himself. I actually genuinely believe him in that respect. he is very open and when we talked about this, he took about 5 hours time to talk to me and console me (because it upset me). We also havent had sex since we talked more about his issues. we havent even kissed (well normal kisses on the mouth yes, but not the more intimate kisses). So i dont think he wants to use me for sex. i actually think he genuinely doesnt want to hurt me nor wants to get hurt himself.

The thing is, I really really like him. I now realize it is not good that i totally get upset and worried towards him when he is being honest.. and we have only known each other for 2 months. So I am now thinking of talking with him and just kind of subtly exploring what he is scared off etc without pushing a relationship. i actually feel i would want to become friends with him and then just see what happens.. and hopefully he’ll then sort things out.. would this be a good approach maybe? or do you think it is too late? i got really emotional a couple of times now.. so i am really afraid that i may have totally screwed up already. sorry if the story is a bit mixed up.. so many things happened these months..

Reply December 19, 2012, 6:41 pm

John

Hi Isabella. You have lots of story there, but I see only a few things that get my attention. The first thing I noticed: “I don’t know what I want with my life at the moment.” It’s all right if you don’t know what you want, but take care not to meander into something you will later regret. If you don’t determine for yourself what you want in terms of a relationship, and you get with a guy (or stay with this one), you are likely to find yourself wondering how you got hurt, what went wrong, and why did it happen again. It seems that may have already happened. You might then punish yourself for “being so stupid for not seeing this coming”. In addition, it’s pretty clear he is in the same boat. He doesn’t really know what he wants other than to NOT get hurt again. And he’s made some mention of wanting to move away – FAR away. So watch out!
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Now let me quote some of your last lines here: “[…] we have only known each other for 2 months. So I am now thinking of talking with him and just kind of subtly exploring what he is scared [of] etc without pushing a relationship. I actually feel I would want to become friends with him and then just see what happens.. and hopefully he’ll then sort things out.. would this be a good approach maybe? or do you think it is too late?”
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“Would this be a good approach?”. . . . To what? “Or do you think it is too late?” . . . . For what? In all of your post you never mentioned exactly what you want. So the big question is: “What do you want?” The best answer I can find in your post is: “You don’t know what you want with your life at the moment.” And therein lays a BIG issue. So here are a handful of things you can do.
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First, stop trying to analyze what he is feeling, interpreting what he really means when he says something, and predicting where this relationship will go, assuming it is a relationship. That is an incredible waste of time, effort, and energy. You must feel totally drained all the time trying to predict, interpret, anticipate, wonder, analyze, second guess, etc., etc. Really! STOP doing that. It is meaningless, wasteful, and circuitous. The irony is, you don’t even know what YOU want and here you are trying to analyze him. Seriously?
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Second, determine for yourself what you really want from a relationship. Now don’t assume I am telling you to either marry this guy or not. You actually have a lot of choices here. Do you just want to hang with this guy on his terms? Be there when he wants you, and gone when he doesn’t? If so, that’s all right, and it seems you have mastered that one. But make sure it’s what YOU want. And hey, while I am at it, let me just say, if all you really want from the guy is sex and an occasional dinner, that’s all right too! Do you want just a weekend lover? Do you want to be exclusive? Do you want to put a time limit on the relationship, say two years and that’s it – time to find someone else? Any of those are fine, but determine what you want, make a goal, and carry it out. And shed the artificial influences society may be imposing on you such as “get married”, or “there’s something wrong with you if you’re single”, or “If you date too much people are going to think you are a slut.” All of that is just utter nonsense, and it drives you to do exactly what you have been doing here: Wasting your time analyzing nonsense.
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Third – and most important – have fun!! Time is life. And YOUR time is YOUR life. You only have a short amount of time to actually enjoy it, so you should do just that: ENJOY IT! It sounds like this guy is pretty infatuated with you given his honesty and how he does all those cute little things for you. Relish that! Take it all in. And understand that this may be the best it will ever get with this guy – which isn’t all that bad, really!
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Fourth, while you are having fun, don’t forget to date – date LOTS of guys. Make them treat you like a lady, and get to know as many men as you can. Why not? It’s good to get out and meet new people, have a few guys treat you to dinner, go to some places perhaps you’ve never been before – just get out there. It may put a new perspective on your life. Go out with friends. Make new friends. Plan a ski trip with three or four gals and see if you can ski down one of the harder trails. Take a sculpting class or a dance class. Volunteer at a hospital or an orphanage. The point is to explore life and enjoy it.
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I must make a disclaimer. I am not a psychologist, a behavior specialist, or a life coach of any kind. I am simply a guy on the other end of the Internet who is telling it the way he feels it. If you feel you need professional help, then please seek it from a documented licensed professional. Best of luck to you and be sure to take care of the self.

Reply December 20, 2012, 12:29 am

isabella

Thank you for the reply. it is actually pretty helpful. The irony is that I am a psychologist myself.. it is just damn hard to analyze your own problems objectively ;). So, thanks for your advice.

I guess part of me wants to be in a relationship with him, pretty badly. But I am trying now to be a bit more calm about everything that is going on. I have been seeing the dating with him in very black and white terms (its gonna be relationship or nothing at all). So I felt that if he didnt tell me that the thing between us was official he must not like me enough and it would be completely over. I guess that was a bit of a harsh conclusion. I have now decided to talk with him and tell him that i am fine with taking things slowly and that i dont expect anything as I might have been too fast concluding that i want him so much. The latter is really true. I do know that i have never met someone like him before, and I genuinely like him a lot, but I think i have been too fast in concluding things about what I feel myself, which may have scared the shit out of him too.

I dont want a solely sexual relationship. Been through that many times and it doesnt make me happy. I also know it is not what he is into either. So, friendship could be a good start. either way, you are right. I am better off not trying to analyze every step he does or does not take. Thanks once more.. I needed to hear some stuff from an objective party instead of my own brain!

Reply December 20, 2012, 1:01 pm

blue

I was in the same situation, although we did get engaged after a year. He had 2 small children, a lot of debt and didn’t feel ready to proceed into an actual wedding marriage but I think placated me with the engagement. All that did was secure me into it even more and make it even harder to leave. I had the same doubts as the OP, insecurities, fear that it wouldn’t work out… I stuck it out for YEARS engaged but not married, watched everyone else around me get married and start families. All the while believing him and having a lot of compassion. In the end I walked away because we planned a wedding a couple of times and each time “something” would come up and he would feel it was more important than planning a wedding and often it was but at the same time I just was feeling more and more and more insecure, it affected my self esteem in sooo many ways. So I walked away thinking he really doesn’t love me, doesn’t want a marriage with me etc etc but surprise he ran after me and wanted to make it official… however by that time, I was just emotionally spent and felt like any more decisions we’d have to make together like having kids would take me years of waiting and convincing and so on… and I decided to save myself and said no.
My suggestion would be to end things, let him get his life in order, you move on with yours… if he comes back with a real committment offer, then reassess at that time. It’s not to force him into it, you don’t want to force him but he really needs to work out his issues on his own. It’s unfair to you to wait around while he figures his issues out.
btw, after my relationship was over, I met someone else who WAS ready to get married within 6 months but I was so messed up from the previous relationship that he walked out on me because I couldn’t committ and he married someone else.
So you just have to know where you stand on it all… good luck.

Reply December 8, 2012, 5:12 pm

Anna

Whenever my guy gets too comfortable or stops going out of his way for me, I automatically (and out of instinct I believe), I back off a bit and focus more on myself. However, instead of making him want me more or chase after me, like I understand is supposed ti happen, he instead becomes a “nagging old woman”.
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He takes it as though I’m withdrawing because I’m not longer interested. It doesn’t spike his hunter instincts, instead he becomes very insecure, and even irritable and angry. (Why haven’t you called? Why are you distant? Is everything ok? You don’t love me anymore… Are you cheating on me? You are abandoning me… I feel like I’m talking to a stranger and not my girlfriend…)
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Strangely he gets all defensive and instead of thinking ‘Oops, I’m losing her, I better make more effort’, he acts as though he thinks ‘If she’s withdrawing, the only explanation is that she isn’t interested anymore, or is cheating on me.’ And if I just go directly and tell him that I want him to be more affectionate and romantic, he also get’s all defensive and tells me not to nag.
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Please help me understand another man-mystery.

Reply November 14, 2012, 12:59 am

Anna Bell

For myself, actions speak a lot louder than words. I had been dating a man for almost two years. Although he would tell me he loved me, his actions spoke volumes. He would never introduce me as his girlfriend; he would never change his status on Facebook to “in a relationship”, but as single and interested in women; he would never hold my hand or show me any form of attention unless it was just us and he wanted to get laid.

I had organzied my schedule so I could meet him on his business trip and fly back with him. Picking me up at the airport, he made it seem like it was such a burden, and throughout the next day he allowed me to not only pay for my meals and any items throughout the day, but also for his. His trip had been paid for by his company: the only expenses he encured were paying for gas and parking after we got back from the airport. He also had said we would go to a show- do something special- we never did.

Then to top it off, when we got back, he tried to make me feel that everything had been my fault. Needless to say, we are not dating anymore.

So, for a man to not say he loves you but treats you with the dignity, respect, and appreciation you deserve, I guess I wouldn’t be too concerned :)

Reply November 13, 2012, 1:58 pm

Willa

Wow, this advice is really good. After all, the solution to most of this relationship issues is just putting yourself first, before anyone else’s happiness…
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With that in mind, I have a situation that I’ve been having trouble to view objectively.
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I have a great boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost a year, and we’ve known each other for years. (We used to go out in high-school and got back together in our late twenties.)
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He’s attentive, sweet, funny and caring. He spends most of his free time with me, but we also are independent and have time for ourselves. He makes sure that I spend time with his family, and has introduced me as his girlfriend to his friends. He is very open emotionally, he’s not afraid to tell me most of his feelings or to cry in front of me. He definitely has his “guard down”. He does special things for me, things I know he doesn’t like doing, but he does them anyway because it makes me happy. I know he wants to make me happy and overall I feel very loved.
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But he hasn’t said that he loves me. I know these are only words, and that I should focus in all of those things that he does and all the signals that Eric and Sabrina talk about. But it’s been a year, and, the last time we dated, he used to say it all the time. I know we are different people now, and high-school love is probably “puppy-love”, so I shouldn’t compare.
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But it would be nice if he expresses with words what he shows me with actions. I know I feel loved, but maybe I’m misinterpreting his actions? I do love him, should I just say it first? Isn’t true that guys say “I love you” when they know they’ll get an “I love you” back? Should I just forget about it and just enjoy the relationship without ever expressing how I feel?

Reply November 13, 2012, 1:30 pm

Danni

I’m going through a similar situation as this one, only it’s been more that a year. Could anyone help us out?
John?

Reply December 8, 2012, 12:40 pm

Alia

18 months and he still won’t be exclusive!
H, im writing to you today as I really need some advice. My situation is a little unique and I cant get any non bias advice. Im 25 years old and I met max (he’s 30) in june ’11,, I was immediately drawn to him sooo… I approached him casually (which i never do) and we exchanged numbers. The next day we texted eachother from the moment we woke up till we fell asleep. We met a couple days after for coffee during lunch break as he worked in the same building coincidentally. our little coffee dates became a regular thing and it was evident there was a strong attraction. Then after about a week he kissed me :) we started dating outside of work hours. It took him a while though to take me out to dinner which made me have some doubts, but eventually we were regulars at fancy restaurants. He ticked all the boxes for me and I apparently tick all his boxes too. We weren’t intimate till about 3 months after dating, until i was confident that this was not a friends with benefits situation, everything was perfect. One night he picked me up from work and dropped me home and when i kissed him goodbye and got out the car I heard him say i love you… I was a bit shocked, I acted like I didnt hear anything and said goodbye (at this point I should mention, I have never had a boyfriend or been in love). After a cpl of days of thinking about him and ‘us’ I decided to have ‘the talk’ we met up for coffee and spilled the beans, basically said I really like you and I think we should be exclusive. He immediately put his guard up and presented me with a number of road blocks 1) his culture and 2) his past relationships. I was a bit taken back because I felt he had tried so hard to get my attention and reel me in and now he is trying to push me away. I backed off a bit until I could work out what just happened. He still contacted me everyday and told me that he thinks im an amazing girl but he is not ready for a relationship, he said he has a lot of baggage and wants to get to know me better before taking that step and getting hurt again. So I agreed that we could continue to keep dating. I didnt feel like he was seeing anyone else and he was giving me loads of attention and he was acting like a boyfriend would, however he never asked me to come meet him when he was with his friends or anything. He helped me through a really rough time and stood by my side. as christmas approached and we had been dating for 6 months and not a day passed that we had not spoke, i asked him if he wanted to go away on holiday over the break he never gave me an answer and went away interstate by himself instead to go see friends and family, he told me he was leaving the day before he left. When he returned I was upset with him and this was the start of our ongoing battle! By this stage I was in love with him, he was talking to me about our future and babies and wanting to get married. All i wanted was to take it to the next step be exclusive, i wanted to be apart of his life and at least meet his friends… we had a big fight and i gave him the ultimatum if you wanna be with me then cool if you dont then im gone… I wrote him a beautiful letter explaining how I felt, he called me after recieving it, he was so excited I had never seen this in him, he invited me to comeover to his parents house for a BBQ that weekend . I went out and bought a new outfit and was so excited – this was a big step, the relationship was stagnant for some time. He called me the day before and cancelled, he said his mum doesnt want to meet another girl unless she is the one (he has had 2 long relationships in the past 7 and 5 years) I could understand where she is coming from a breakup affects the whole family. But he still wouldnt introduce me to his friends. which i thought was strange. At this stage i thought the worst – that there was someone else or he is hiding something. We had another fight but then I got sick and was in hospital and he was by my side showering me with gifts and comforting me through recovery, Then when i got home he started acting all weird, he would always tell me what he;s doing etc without me asking, that night i was dosed up on painkillers I asked him what he was up to and he snapped at me saying he doesnt have to answer to me im not his GF… wow… so we had yet another fight… then his best friend died and my grandad with in a month of eachother, so we were there for eachother for support and again gave it another go. Everytime we fight its me who pulls away because I want a commitment and he doesnt and Im not ok with it because Im a glorified friends with benefits. He always wants to talk after a few days of not talking and says he will change and spend more time with me and include me in his life…
He then came over to cook me dinner one night and two girls were texting him, i had seen there names on his phone before months ago when we first started dating and i had asked him about them, i asked him again who they were and the story changed 3 times. Now i knew something was wrong. We ended it again… he crawled back again saying its not what i think, im the only one, he loves me. so Again i went back to him… things were going good for about a month and then he found out his dad has lung cancer and his family has to be his priority right now and he doesnt want to see me anymore… It was exam time and I was a comlete mess… I knew that once he said it was over – it was over. He has never said that to me, its me leaving him and he always says ” im not going anywhere, im always going to be here for you” he cam around last night and took it all back and said that he loves me and could never say goodbye. But he said ” you deserve better and that true love your looking for, i dont know what to do I could never let you go but do i string you along giving you false hope or do i let you go so you can be happy” At that point after days of heartache ( because i absolutely adore him) said this has to stop its been 18 months its killing me. I broke down in front of him and he has never seen me like this. he started tearning up to and i could hear it in his voice that he was hurting too. he then turned around and started talking about a relationship with me, this was not my objective at this point i know he is not ready for a relationship and I did not want him to make that decision based on me being upset. He said he loves me and he knows how much i love him that he would hate to see me go and he will give it some serious consideration . He asked me to have lumch with him on the weekend, the weekend past and he never made plans with me but continued to drag it out and send me cute loving messages that just kill me while im feeling like its over. This is a messed up situation and i dont know what to do, i feel like he does love me but at the same time if i love him and he loves me it would be a simple resolution. he plays the commitment phobe card alot. both his exes have cheated on him and he just feels like he cant trust anyone. HELP…

Reply November 4, 2012, 10:03 pm

Rosie

I’m not an expert, and I have no idea what I’m talking about, because I have posted here looking for help too. But, what I get from your story is that this guy probably does care about you, but he is not ready for a relationship. The reasons don’t matter: his family issues, his ex-girlfriends, etc. etc.
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If he wants a relationship with you, he’ll make sure it happens. “Give it some serious consideration”? A guy who is truly interested shouldn’t be considering anything. He should be trying to convince you that YOU choose him. You are giving him all the power and he’s just stringing you along. He knows he’s stringing you along, and feels bad about this because he probably cares about you. BUT, you are letting him string you along and that’s why he says that you deserve better. He is treating you like a second choice (or third, fourth, fifth) and not like a priority, and he know it. And you accept this, so he feels bad for you because you take an average treatment, when you deserve better. He won;’t give you “better” unless you encourage him.
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That thing about he “considering” things and then not make plans with you on that weekend was disrespectful. But he knows you will wait for him so he easily cancels plans, or worse, he won’t even MAKE plans with you, but he’ll send those cute loving messages that kill you to string you along, because he knows that with him sending that messages he doesn’t have to make any ACTUAL effort because you’ll take crumbs instead of the whole dinner.
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My advice? Back off a little. Don’t answer his messages for a week or so. After that, answer casually saying that you were busy and that you’re sorry. Treat him like a friend. Don’t bring up any love related issues, or commitment or girlfriend status. NOTHING. Treat him like a friend from work. If he asks what’s wrong, tell him that you’re done waiting for him, and that now YOU are considering if he’s worthwhile or not. That you are moving on with your life and you don’t need anyone to make you happy. Don’t sit around and wait for him to choose you, like he was King of The World or the only guy that exists… Take control of your life and stop giving him all the power. Contrary to popular belief, guys hate having this much power over you. It makes you look easy, boring and safe. Guys hate this. They want excitement, a challenge, a WOMAN who will stand up for herself and not tolerate crumbs.
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Regain your dignity and put yourself first. He’ll respect you and admire you for that.

Reply November 13, 2012, 1:54 pm

Anna Bell

I love this!!!! This is exactly what I had been doing. . . accepting crumbs. After eveyrthing I had gone through in my past relationship, it is going to take me some time to heal. But, already I have friends who want to introduce me to their friends. Exciting to think that after I was treated so disrespectfully that there are some good men lfet out there :)

Reply November 13, 2012, 2:46 pm

Bekah

Hi everyone!

I made a post on here about how I broke up with my “boyfriend” because he wouldn’t commit and make it official. Pretty much wouldn’t give me the title due to some of his insecurities to commit to another woman after his divorce. I was looking for answers and some advice and that’s how I came to find this website!

Just wanted to say thank to you G and John for taking the time to write out great advice and supportive responses. I also wanted to give an update to my current situation!

As like most women, I gave in the next day and called him and said.. “Lets forget what I said, and pretend like nothing happened”. I was so heart-broken and couldn’t deal with the ache that I lost all of the dignity I had to make the pain go away. I knew I couldn’t force him to be with me, because in all honesty we did have the perfect relationship minus the title. He did everything for me, treated me like a princess, was faithful to me and wanted no one else but me. I just couldn’t grasp why he didn’t want to call me his girlfriend.. So, I had to make the decision to either call it off, or deal with it. Obviously I dealt with it!

Because I did deal with it, On September 19th (THREE months after making a post on here) he finally just asked me… with no coercion on my part I might add! He asked me to be his girlfriend. I was caught completely off guard and couldn’t believe what I was just asked. Well, of course I said yes! And he has really opened up emotionally. I have everything I want now, with no regrets on his part. We talk of the future (marriage & kids) travelling the world and just living day by day with each other. I asked him .. “why now? what made you want to take this step?” His response? “I found myself having more feelings, stronger feelings over time. I didn’t want to lose you and thought I should work on developing a great relationship with you. So after really thinking about us. I asked you to be my girlfriend. It’s only gotten stronger and I truly like this feeling I have when we are together.” ….. I’m sure if he knew I just copied and pasted his text he wouldn’t like it but this is really what he said!

Patience worked out for me in the end, and I am so glad I waited.

Reply October 23, 2012, 4:46 am

John

Congatulations, Bekah! I am so glad to hear it. This reminds me of when I, as a child, used to try to grab a kitty cat becasue I wanted to pet it, force it play with me, and generally have my way with it. If the cat didn’t claw and bite the crap out of me as I was trying to grab it, then he would wiggle and move and “spaz out” until he finally managed to break free then run for the nearest hiding place.
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But when I’d set out a saucer of milk and run a string in front of him, play with him, and give him kindess, respect, and “space”, he would come out and play and eventually allow me to pick him up and pet him. Sometimes he’d even purr.
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Isn’t it interesting that when you try to force a cat to do what you want it to do, it usually does just the opposite? I swear they do it just to piss you off! But when you play with it, give it food, fun, love and so forth, thereby EARNING it’s trust and respect, it will usually come out and play, doing what IT want’s to do, but also accidentally doing what you want it to do.
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Damn cat! He is too independent, too wild, doesn’t know what’s good for him and doesn’t know a good thing when it’s forced on him or otherwise right in his face! All I want to do is shower it with my love. Why can’t he see that!? ;-)
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Best of luck to you, Bekah. As always, take care of the self.

Reply October 23, 2012, 1:06 pm

Nique

You’re awesome John!!

Reply December 5, 2012, 1:51 pm

John

Thanks, Nique! ;-)

Reply December 20, 2012, 12:39 am

Michele

Hi Rosie just thought i would share my experience with you as i too have been in an identicle situation as yours!!! I fell in love jan 2010 with a man and he too seemed like the love of my life!! He moved in with me 4 wks after we met as he was living in his car.. I doted on him and i gave him everything to make him comfortable and supported him in everyway except financially. I would cook him breakfast and dinner (he had very expensive taste) i supported him through all of his problems and lost my job as he wanted me there to look after him.. He said all the right things, spoke of marriage children opening a business together etc. I thought everything was going along wanderfully and then he started not coming home, taking his ph everywhere including the toilet and not answering it when i was there!! He too was always angry and started accusing me of cheating on him. Deep inside i knew it was him not me!! I found another womans name also and as much as it hurts you need to let go!! Most men like this have already found someone else to cling to before they leave!! you are going to get hurt regardless and in my experience these men take advantage of good hearted woman and have a game plan!! You are no longer required and he has moved on to his next target!! Let him go and find someone worth your time and effort!!! My post is below yours and im about ready to give up on this one if he dosent stop dragging his feat!! :-) take care and good luck!!

Reply October 21, 2012, 7:25 am

Rosie

Hey. I’m having some trouble with my boyfriend and could use some insight. We’ve been together since January, and so far everything’s been fine. Things are pretty serious even though he hasn’t said “I love you” yet, but he gives me signals that he does.
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Lately, he’s been very withdrawn, to the point that I feel that he’s just angry at everything all the time, including me. We have had sex only once in the entire month, when we used to have sex every time we saw each other (2 or 3 times a week).
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He is having a lot of trouble at work, and his Grandpa just got very sick. I talked to him about this and he said that his withdrawing has nothing to do with me, that he just feels like he’s unhappy and stressed and scared for his Grandpa’s life. I understood and gave him space so he went into his “cave” and solved the world, and patiently waited.
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I thought he came out of the cave because on night he called me crying saying that he was scared and sad and stressed and that he needed me for support. I was supportive and patient and let him know that he can count on me, and planned a romantic dinner for the weekend so he can relax. We had sex that night and was wonderful. After that, it’s been up and downs. He still is very withdrawn and angry, (he got very angry at me because I went out for drinks with some friends…) and once again he won’t initiate anything sex-wise, and if I say something about it and try to initiate things, he’ll say he’s really tired and just wants to cuddle and sleep, or he’ll say he’s bloated from eating and isn’t in the mood, or that he doesn’t feel comfortable having sex when my parents are downstairs. (I live with my parents.) NONE of this things were a problem before.
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Tonight was the romantic dinner. I went to the salon, got my hair done, bought new clothes and lingerie, I cooked everything, and even freaking bikini waxed. He seemed very happy with dinner, and gave me random kisses and hugs through the night, but once again, after good food and wine and me hinting for sex all night long, he fell asleep, so we didn’t have it.
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I invited him to brunch at my Aunt’s house tomorrow, and he said he couldn’t because he had stuff to do. He hardly wants to go to my family stuff, only if it REALLY important like my mom’s birthday or something like it.
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During tonight’s dinner, he was going to show me something in his cellphone, and the text messages were open. He closed them quickly, but I still saw that he had been talking to a girl named Gaby. I never heard of her, she has no family, friends or coworkers that I know of with that name, so that made me wonder. He left early to his home. When he got home, he sent me a text saying “Thank you for being so good.” WTF???? Does it mean he thinks ” I’m too good”? Is this Gaby the reason for our decline in our sex life? Is this just how men react to stress and tough life situations?
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There have been so many mixed signals, that I’m very confused. Maybe you can tell me if I’m reading into things or there is something I’m just not grasping.

Reply October 21, 2012, 2:52 am

John

Hi Rosie. Let me start here: I don’t know your guy, and even if I did, I would not know what he is thinking unless he told me. Also, I don’t know what he is doing (besides what you just posted here) nor what he is going to do. But I can tell you this: Look out for Rosie. Take care of her. She comes first. There are 7 billion people on this planet and you cannot control a single one of them, not even your guy. But you CAN control what YOU do. I seem to think you are being “played” by this guy. And I think YOU are allowing it because so far, that’s pretty much what it looks like. Why do I think that? Because you keep “interpreting signals”. STOP THAT! It’s nonsense. He’s not giving signals. He’s just doing what guys do: He’s “filling his oats” however he can. And YOU are allowing it.
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Instead of doing that, take charge of your life. It doesn’t matter if you suspect this guy is “cheating” or if he actually is. What difference does it make? It’s not something you can control anyway, so stop lamenting over it. (Easier said than done, I know.) Yes, I am being callous here, but it seems a relationship does NOT exist between you two. I am assuming he hasn’t even declared you his girl or declared a relationship exists since he hasn’t even said “I love you.” Most guys won’t say that until they mean it. So if he’s not saying it, then he is not meaning it. Yet there you are interpreting it. And THAT is the error in your judgment. You are assuming a relationship exists and playing off of that assumption, or you are expecting this to grow into a relationship. Now YOU may be ready for a relationship, it takes TWO people to make one.
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So this is what you do: Let the guy go. That doesn’t mean “hate him”, or call him an enemy. Just move on with your life. Let go of the exclusive feelings you may have for this guy. It’s pretty clear he has no exclusivity for you. That may hurt, but it’s all right. It’s best to know now so you can move on. Go out with friends, family, and yes, even other “guy” friends, or actual dates. Get on-line and start filling your calendar with fun things to do FOR YOU! Purposely exclude him from your activities. If he calls you, see what he has to say. If you like what he is saying then YOU get to decide if you want to be with him or not. If you do, MAKE SURE it is something that you want to do and will add fulfillment and pleasure to your life. In other words, beware of the “booty call”! You are too good for that.
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The “cave” thing? He probably did do some cave time. Men do that (dammit!) I notice you said you “patiently waited” for him to come out. That’s not really the thing to do. When a guy goes into his cave, don’t wait for him. You might be waiting forever. Instead, go be a girl. THAT’S when you get yourself dolled up – when he’s in his cave.
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On that note, I wish to commend and encourage you for how you “dolled yourself up”. The salon, hair, new clothes, bikini wax? ALL of that is great stuff!! The trick, however, is to do it for YOU. Do it to make yourSELF feel and look sexy and hot. Don’t do it “for him” or for any man in particular. Do it so that you radiate sexiness and confidence out to the world. Exude that hot sultriness, that girly fun, that warm loving giddiness which makes the men stare and the women snarl. The idea is to attract a man, not chase one down. The man is the hunter; you are the prey. But in this particular version of the “game”, you get to decide who catches you. Have as many of them chase you as possible and make sure they all know you are being chased. Men start to do random things when they know other men are vying for your attention. They’ll approach you, buy you gifts, give you their phone number, etc. They are competing for you, and that is exactly what you want them to do. Eventually one will step up and offer his world to you. And there’s your power. Again, YOU get to decide if you want the guy or not.
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Just a reminder: I am not a life coach, a dating expert, a relationship guru, or a psychologist or behavior specialist of any kind. I am just a guy on the other end of the Internet who tells it the way he feels it. If you think you need professional help, then please seek it from a qualified, licensed professional specializing in the kind of help you need. Best of luck, and as always, take care of the self.

Reply October 22, 2012, 12:16 am

Michele

Hi all,, my name is Michele and ive been seeing this man for 4 months and he is an absolute gentleman im almost every way.. Except when he has a few drinks!!! He opens the door for me, pays for me when he takes me out, treats me and my children with respect and so on.. I have known this man for 26 yrs and 15yrs ago had a brief encounter before he went back with his ex who had 2 children ( not his ) but they broke up 4 yrs ago.. He still refers to them as his step children which i do not comment on!! He has no contact with them anymore as she left him to be with his friend,, same old story!! My problem is 6 wks ago he called me and said he could not give me the attention i deserved and he needed to go see his psychologist because he was depressed and i thought it was over. I said that was cool and had to go finish washing my car and acted like i didnt care. The next morning he started texting me sweet texts again!! I see this man every weekend and on occasion when drunk he has said , he wants to have a threesome, i refused! He stated that he was going to screw this good thing up and would probably sleep with someone else before i did!! Whilst in the heat of the moment told me it was to intense and to stop kissing him!! These things have me a little baffled as i really dont know where i stand!! He always tells me how beatiful and sexy i am. I have not been asked to his home ( he lives with his sister) or met any of his friends! I to do not know where i stand in regards to my relationship status either. Please if you can shed some light on this i would appreciate it,, regards Michele

Reply October 14, 2012, 10:41 am

Michelle

Hi! I have a problem with my new boyfriend and was wondering how was the best way to deal with this.
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We’ve been together for 9 months now, a couple of months ago we became “official”. Everything has been just great, we have tons of fun together and he makes a great addition to my life.
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But, lately he has been super withdrawn. It’s not that he doesn’t contact me, we keep talking everyday via text or call. I just feel that when we are together he keeps me at arms length, when normally he’s a mushy ball of cuddles. (A manly one, hehe.)
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He just got promoted so work has him twice as busy and tired and stressed out. I’m being very accommodating due to this new schedule change and new stress source, but I sometimes feel he takes me for granted.
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He is colder and distant. The other night he made a bunch of hurtful remarks, for example, I asked him to fix my cell phone because it collapsed, and when he finished, he said “Anything else you are going to bother me with?” After we had sex he told me that he was being honest but that he didn’t enjoy it that much as the night before, that maybe he was too tired. Then I told him I was leaving because it was getting late and he said “Yeah, you better leave. It’s not that I’m kicking you out, I’m just too tired and I want to sleep…”
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I told him I thought was being hurtful and a bit of a jerk and he replied that he thought I’d understand that he was really tired.
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I think this is the reason he’s been pulling away, (work and me being so accommodating) so I just let him be and continue doing my thing and also being supportive, appreciative, and caring with him. But I have definitely given him his space, to the point that I’m using his “pull-back” to enjoy a space for me too and keep busy with things I love.
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Obviously he has noticed that I’m not as available as I always am for him, and he’s starting to resent me for “pulling away”. I’m not always ready to answer his calls or to see him, and he reacts hurt and pulls back more. I feel like I’m being tested.
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I’m I playing my cards right?

Reply September 25, 2012, 1:00 am

John

Hi Michelle. First off, I don’t know your guy, so I don’t know what he’s thinking or feeling. There is probably some source of stress in his life, but even if he knew what it was, it’s unlikely he’ll tell you. And even if he does, chances are, that’s not what it really is. Guys are kinda “stupid” like that. The Mars and Venus books talk about this somewhat. Dr. John Gray calls it Cave Time. This is where a guy retreats (into his cave) to think about the problems of the world. The biggest mistake women make is trying to “help him” with it; they follow him into his cave. BAD IDEA! The man responds by biting off your head, and then you feel like crap wondering what you did wrong, why he won’t let you help, and feeling unloved and unsexy, and thinking he is one big jerk – which, of course, he is!
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Your man needs a number of things not necessarily in this order: One, a gigantic long dose of “me” time; Two, a gigantic long dose of “guy” time. During this time he needs to reconnect with what it means to be a man. Specifically, three, your man MUST find a challenge – something important and significant (in his own mind, anyway) – to take on and overcome. And he must win! Each man is different, so each one interprets challenges differently; one man’s challenge is another man’s nemesis is another man’s cake walk.
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A man needs this from time to time because it makes him FEEL like a man. And it’s one of those things that can really get him into trouble if he doesn’t understand why he’s feeling the way he’s feeling and then channel those feelings into careless actions. It’s why men “cheat”, race their cars on neighborhood streets, get into bar fights, and accidentally wind up on TV shows like America’s Most Shocking Videos. But it’s also why they hunt, participate in collision sports (football, hockey, and the like), and take on difficult jobs like iron work, fossil fuel extraction, engineering, and medical surgery. These activities provide a stream of challenges for him, and the more he takes them on, the more manly he feels.
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Cavemen would do this: They would band together and hunt the game – a mammoth, say – in a pack. As a band of men, they would unite in a common goal to go kill that damned thing and bring it home. As they did, they were hailed as heroes. Talk about feeling like a man! But when there was no game to kill – no challenge – and the community was depending on them to bring some home, they would become withdrawn and sulk in the cave. The only thing that would break that sulking cycle was the arrival of game. That was the catalyst which gathered all the men to go on the hunt and feel like men again. This took place on the tundra and the savanna over hundreds of thousands of years. This is deeply ingrained in the DNA of men and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. You may as well train a cat to bark.
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In today’s society, there is no mammoth – not literally anyway. Our technology and social laws have removed many of nature’s challenges and replaced them with a series of mundane nuisances which don’t provide many challenges for a man to overcome. In short, our posh society has had the effect of emasculating men. (In the long term, that’s bad for society. In my opinion, it’s one of the reasons the divorce rate and child abandonment are so high. But I digress…)
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This is what you need to do: Leave him to his own thoughts in his cave and go be a girl. This is a perfect opportunity for you to reconnect with your femininity. Go out with the girls, get your hair and nails done, do a huge amount of window shopping and just basically ignore this guy. If you have a “mad money” fund now would be the time to splurge on that frilly dress and yummy shoes. Try that new perfume. Get a facial. Shave “down there”. Get yourself away from this guy and get yourself feeling as womanly, as feminine, and as sexy as possible. The key is to FEEL it, because as you feel it, you telegraph it. And your man will hone in on that. Again, this is DNA – impulsive, undeniable chemistry that you CAN control if you understand it.
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Your actions will have a multiple “one-two punch” effect. It will give him his space and time to reconnect with whatever it is to be man. It will give you your time and space to reconnect with whatever it is to be a woman. It will get you “off his back” and get him off your mind. It will get you feeling womanly and sexy; it will get him feeling manly and strong. How long will it take? It will take as long as HE decides it will take. He MUST have the time that HE needs to reconnect with his masculinity. And given that there is no game to hunt, it may take a while. That’s all right – it just means more time for YOU to be girl! Your challnege will be NOT to freak out about it.
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THEN – when he decides it’s time to come back, watch out! He will feel VERY manly. And since you have spent this time reconnecting with your womanhood you will suddenly be VERY attractive to him. At this point, the sparks will fly. (You might want to make sure you have a strong kitchen table.) And your relationship will feel more solid than ever.
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Now if you decide to make a life with this guy, he is going to need this “caveman time” often. Again, each man is different, but you count on this happening about once every three to six months or so. Some episodes will be worse than others; some will take longer than others. When it happens, don’t lament. Don’t fall into those bad clingy habits. Take it as your cue to go be girl, and embrace it. If you keep doing this, your relationship should come back a little stronger each time.
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Now for my disclaimer: I am not a behavior specialist, a social scientist, a life coach, a psychologist, or a therapist of any kind. I have no credentials that qualify me to provide advice or help of this type. I am just a guy on a computer keyboard telling it the way he feels it. If you feel you need professional help, then you should seek it from a degreed licensed professional in this particular field. Best of luck to you in your endeavors, and as always, take care of the self.

Reply September 26, 2012, 9:54 pm

Michelle

I think I just fell in love with you.
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This is GREAT advice.
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I have loads of trouble when communicating to my guy, I normally bottle things up and keep my emotions to myself. My guy says he needs for me to communicate and be open with him, be it good or bad. So honoring this, and even though I felt almost nauseous, I let him know that I was feeling hurt because I felt he was withdrawing.
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Anyways, his reaction was as I knew it would be, he got angry and said that even though he understood that I needed to speak up when something was wrong, he asked me not to nag him.
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So I think your advice is spot on, it feels like regrouping the troops for battle. If he’s in a place where he can’t bring his best self to the relationship, it’s best if he retreats and regroups so he can come back stronger and feeling manly and polarizing my feminine side.
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I really appreciate your selfless advice.

Reply September 27, 2012, 2:04 am

John

I hope it works out for you. If you are so inclined, please get back with us here and tell us how it goes. Once again, best of luck!

Reply September 27, 2012, 10:22 am

John

It took me a while to put it together, Michelle. See what happened here? I hate to call them mistakes, so I’ll just say you took two miscalculated steps. First, using the cave analogy, you walked into your guys cave and second, in his interpretation of things, you attacked him. You basically blamed him for hurting you because of his withdrawing. A man is wired to defend himself when attacked. And since there is really no pleasant way to defend ones self, he became angry, and he bit your head off. His message, “Don’t nag me”, is very clear. He’s telling you “Get out of my cave!” Perhaps you did these steps to test the waters? If so it seems you now know for sure that he is in his cave.
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Please understand, he isn’t withdrawing in order to hurt you. He is withdrawing because he needs to reconnect with his masculinity. He can’t do that AND tend to this relationship at the same time. Guys can’t multi-task like that. So you need to give him his space and time.
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But – that means YOU get your space and time as well! Definitely take advantage of it. Go be a girl! Use this time to get yourself sexified and feelin’ ultra-hot. (You might even allow yourself to flirt just a little with the guys. Use your best judgment, but nothing tells you “Yep! I’m hot and sexy” more than recieving that cute smile or extra long glance from a total stranger. It always makes me smile when I get that “glance” from a lady!) It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, and it’s best thing you can do for your guy, and it turn, it will be the best thing you can do for the relationship.
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Take care!

September 27, 2012, 12:20 pm

Eric Charles

As always, John, thank you for taking the time to write out such a well thought out and articulated response. We’re lucky to have you contributing to the discussion – much appreciated.

Reply September 27, 2012, 2:45 pm

Michelle

Thank you both of you. (And Eric congratulations on the book! I have it and think it’s great!)
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A little thing I don’t understand about this whole “cave” thing.
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My guy kinda emerged from his cave, he contacted me again saying that he missed me. I was thrilled and then I started telling him about how much I respected that he worked so hard and how I understood that he needed space, I said I missed him and loved him.
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Immediately after that, he started asking that why was I withdrawing and saying that he felt I was distant and cold…
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It doesn’t make any sense to me at all: he withdraws. And if I follow, he gets angry. If I don’t, he says I’m cold and withdrawing and thinks there’s something wrong…
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Reply September 28, 2012, 9:37 am

John

It sounds like he’s “pinging” you. It’s his way of checking to see if you are still there. The best way to respond to a ping is to not respond at all. It sounds like a game, and in a way it is, but he is the one trying to start it. And he’s doing it for reasons he doesn’t understand.
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This is another thing that men need: The chase. He is looking to chase you. He’s pinging you to see if you are there or not, because he’s ready to give chase. It goes back to that impulsive chemistry. He’s wired for the chase, and he needs one, so he’s trying to precipitate one, but he doesn’t quite know how to get you to run. This need to chase is a masculine instinct that can compel a man to “cheat”. If his woman is ALWAYS there, then there is no chase, no excitement, nothing to make him feel like a man, so he goes out looking for a chase. And it seldom just ends with the chase, now doesn’t it? Remember hunting the mammoth? What’s at the end of that chase? The kill. Well, in this case he’s not out to kill, he’s out to conquer. But just like you can make yourself a prize for any man, he is quite prepared to chase and conquer any woman even though he knows he’s not supposed to! And there are lots of lonely women out there who adore being chased and don’t mind being conquered. (Ut-oh!)
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Now this sounds horrible, archaic, animalistic, brutish, pigheaded – go ahead, give it a nasty name. Any one of them will do. But Michelle, we are talking about that undeniable chemistry that has been developed over hundreds of thousands of years. Don’t despair. You can use it to your advantage because YOU are wired to do exactly what you need to do to keep your man interested. Your job, simply stated, is to give him something to chase.
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As he pings you and sees that you are still there, it’s really kind of a letdown. Why are you still there? From your post you say you are being very accommodating. Of course you are! You want to be there for him and help him because you love him. But he also needs a challenge and a chase. If you make it too easy for him, it doesn’t give him a chance to feel like a man. And if he’s not feeling manly, then what is he feeling? Womanly? He’s stuck in a sort of limbo – no woman to chase, no mammoth to kill, no challenges set before him, an overwhelming new job, and a series of head-aching nuisances. What’s a man to do? As a result, it’s not a whole lot of fun being in his presence. The caveman does not want to be spoon-fed. He wants to earn his prize. He needs that challenge. It would actually be more exciting to him – perhaps even a bit scary – if you were NOT there for a change. Your absence will get his attention.
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So he was taking some cave time. He pinged you to see if you were ready to be chased. Since you were still there, then the answer was “no”, no chase. Bummer. Back into the cave. Had you not been there, he would have been compelled to go find you. Do you see what a chase will provide for him and for you? He can’t both chase you AND be in his cave at the same time, so if he finds you are not there, he leaves his cave and “it’s on”!!
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Now remember what you are supposed to do while he is in his cave? Leave him alone. Literally, leave! “Stop nagging me!”And while you are gone, you must reconnect with your femininity, become “sexified”, and be that glowing prize of a woman that all other women envy and all men want to chase. During your away time you need to make yourself noticeable and effectively available to whomever. Hair, nails, perfume, frilly dress, yummy shoes, yadda yadda. As a woman you should find this self indulgent activity not only natural, but fun! You are wired for it. And there is nothing “slutty” about this, especially if you are only giving it up to your man, but you will probably get some sour faces anyway. So what? It’s not about them. It’s about you, your guy, and your relationship. (Besides, they are just jealous!) You are getting sexified for those reasons, and you are not required to appeal to a series of arbitrary social standards anyway. Don’t fall into that “how I should act and feel” trap because it’s a bunch of crap! Go get sexy, girl! It’ll do you good; it’ll do him good.
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So he’s in his cave, you are out being a sexified woman, he pings you, sees you are NOT there, and starts looking for you. Let’s say you are out with the girls. What is he going to find when he catches up to you? A scared, desperate, emotionally shaken little girl? Or a confident, warm, loving, too-hot-for-mortal-man type of woman? He is not going to find the emotionally shaken little girl very attractive. In fact, he’ll see that as a burden. Yuck! But the hot, confident, warm, loving woman? Lady, he won’t be able to keep his hands off of you! You’ll be lucky to make it back home before he tears your clothes off.
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When your guy sees your hot confident self out there showing it off, it instantly triggers his competitive and protective instincts, and he steps out of his cave to reclaim you. And THIS is where you have the power. You now have the upper hand in the relationship because YOU get to decide if you want to be with him or not. YOU get to determine if he is worthy enough for you. Did he just show up and demand that follow him home? (Imagine the caveman dragging a woman to his cave by her hair.) Is that how you want to be treated? Or did he arrive and start having fun with you, getting into your groove and trying to match your vibe? Is THAT how you want to be treated? See? YOU get to decide this. Whether you are married, committed, his sworn sex slave, friends with benefits – whatever kind of relationship arrangement you may have, your decision to be with him, or not, is YOURS. There’s your power!
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Do you see how much of this is about YOU, and how much you can control? Yes, he is your man and he is in your life, but you cannot control anything about another person. You can’t stand at the opening of this guys cave and demand that he act a certain way or do a certain thing. And doing so, frankly makes you look like a pathetic fool, and makes you feel just as bad. As those feelings are telegraphed to him, he finds them unattractive, so he doesn’t want to be around you either. It’s a spiraling mess!
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Instead of wasting your time (ergo your life) wishing and hoping and pining it away, spend it being and doing the things you love which will brighten your feelings. You CAN control that! You said, “[…] he makes a great addition to my life.” Yeah, when he’s not stuck in his cave being the withdrawn jerk that all men are from time to time, he is a manly ball of cuddles. Cool! But when he becomes his distant self and says those hurtful things, it’s not all that fun to hang around him. So don’t. Then it’s up to him – not you – to do a self attitude adjustment if he wants to get you back. Meantime, while you are not hanging around him, be your warm, loving, confident, hot sexy self. And when he comes back, take him on YOUR terms. Next time he might be a little nicer to you.
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Remember my disclaimer: I really have no clue what I am talking about. Best of luck, and as always, take care of the self.
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p.s. Eric! Thanks for the supreme compliment! Also, I am looking forward to reading your book as well.

September 28, 2012, 5:47 pm

anonymous

The response below is very much influenced by the ideas of Evolutionary Psychology, some of it’s useful, but bear in mind it’s mostly hypothesis – speculation and conjecture as opposed to scientific fact

Go shop girly, is interesting advice, as a woman I kind of take exception to it though – bear in mind that shopping is mostly a sex substitute (i.e. hunting, seeking, excitement, attainment, reward, temporary satisfaction – the all too short after-glow!) and when a woman’s bank balance is being badly affected too often by her man’s inability to communicate, she won’t be hanging around for long.

Far better that she nurture her more meaningful and rewarding hobbies, skills and talents – further study, creativity – these things bear actual fruit. The scary thing for men is that, the more she develops these skills and talents, and is recognised for them, the more she’ll attract real men, you know, the ones who can actually articulate their emotions?

Cheer up though you guys who prefer their girlies to ‘go shop’ , she’ll probably still have sex on the side with the alpha males, they may be becoming a bit side-lined in modern society, but they’re great for a few whirls in bed!

Back in the day, we were more like Bonobo apes (the observation of which formed the basis of many of the concepts of evolutionary psychology) In Bonobo society the females have sex with the beta males behind the backs of their Alpha male life partners, the up-shot is that they get plenty of sex, while at the same time still enjoying the protection of the alpha male, who needs to be pretty physically tough to protect the group.

Food for thought anyway..

February 24, 2013, 1:01 am

Siobhan

Hi.
I am in a similar situation my ex boyfriend tells me he loves me but can’t commit as his head is messed up because of past relationships. He says he knows I would never hurt him but he can’t commit. We were fine having fun together having with eachother friends and met each others families until his ex messed with his head again then he started pulling away. We broke up then got back together then broke up then he begged me to meet him and told me he loved me loads of times then changed his mind the next day. This is tearing mr apart as I love him so much. He sends me love messages then ignores me I know he is seeking help for his issues

Reply September 16, 2012, 6:34 pm

John

Siobhan, is this REALLY the relationship you want? Seriously, now, go back and read everything you just wrote, look yourself in the mirror and ask, “Is this the relationship I am looking for? Is this the man of my dreams? Is my ‘love’ really for him? Or is it just ‘love of the relationship’ that keeps me tied to this guy?”
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Let me tell you something: There are MILLIONS of viable, tangible, romance-seeking, relationship-minded men out there. Thousands of them probably live within 100 miles or so of you. And if you know how, you can have your pick of the lot.
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As I read your post, the first question that went through my mind was “Why is this girl doing this to herself!?” You deserve better AND can find it, Siohban.

Best of luck to you.

Reply September 17, 2012, 5:03 pm

SO VERY TRUE SAYS

i am one of many STRAIGHT MEN that can certainly COMMIT to one woman, if i can only find the RIGHT ONE to commit to. i was married at one time, and i was a very caring and loving husband that never CHEATED on her. however, she did CHEAT on me. i really loved her very much, and i thought that i was going to spend the remaining years of my life with her. now divorced and single again, it is without a doubt VERY HARD to meet a GOOD WOMAN for me this time around. being that i am in my late fifties, my age is against me as well. but it is really the women that are at fault, because many of them just do not want to COMMIT TO JUST ONLY ONE MAN ANYMORE. many of the women today, just want to DATE as many men as possible. i hate going out as it is, because it is like a game trying to meet a good woman again. many of the women now have their ATTITUDE PROBLEM, and that certainly adds to the problem too.

Reply August 12, 2012, 10:40 am

John

To Penny: Just to set things straight, Eric is “The Man” on this web site. I am quite the interloper. I would defer to him any advice given on this web site. That said, I’d point out one key to a successful relationship is communication. If you tell him what you want and he gets upset about it – oh well. At least you are talking about it. Now don’t bring up the subject just to piss him off. But if you are not getting what you want out of the relationship you must somehow communicate what it is you DO want out of it. And if you are not getting it, then you have every right to find a relationship that will give you what you want. You want the title “Girlfriend” and he is not giving it? Then you are NOT his girlfriend, and, Eric said it best: Date freely.
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This is what I suggest: Bring up the subject one LAST time. Tell him what you want from ANY relationship, and contrast it with what you are getting from this one. You want to avoid threatening statements. If you threaten a man, his warrior instincts kick in and he is compelled to destroy the threat. Hence, he gets mad. So avoid saying things like “You should be like…”, “You are not giving me…”, “It makes me mad when you…, “It’s your fault when…” See? The word “you” in these statements put him on alert because they are insinuating an attack. In that case, he is obligated to defend himself. It’s just the way men are wired.
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If you put yourself up as a prize, however, a prize that ANY man could have provided the man in turn gives you your desires, then that triggers his competitive instincts and makes him want to “win” you. And don’t ever forget: You ARE a prize – one to be cherished as the treasure you are. Use statements like “I want to feel ____ in a relationship.” “I am NOT feeling secure…”, “It seems I am free to date other men or move on from this relationship because…”, “I want to be a girlfriend – yours, yes – but I am prepared to seek a relationship that will give me that.” In these statements you are telling him what you want, how you feel, what your options are, and NOT putting him in the hot seat. This is a mindset where you are thinking about you, putting yourself first, above him, even above the relationship. But you are not making it his fault, or even insinuating that it is his fault or his responsibility that this relationship is not working out. In short, tell him what you want for yourself – not from HIM specifically, but from any man, any relationship.
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If you have told him this much and he doesn’t respond, say, in four to six weeks or so, then go ahead and date. He should not ask you “why” if you have already told him this much. But if he does, then he has asked you to remind him, so remind him. Be polite about it. YOU have the power here, not him, so it is not necessary to be nasty about it. It’s all right if he gets upset about your “dating”; don’t take it personal. That’s just his way of coming to grips with the fact that he is going to have to work for you. (I said “dating”, not “sleeping around”. You’re an adult. Use your best judgment.) Caution: It could go the other way. He may decide that he has given 99% and if that’s not good enough for you, then you can take your 1% and shove it. There is a woman out there – many of them in fact – who will accept 99% . . . for a while anyway. And “a while” may be all the time he wants to spend with any woman anyway. I don’t know. But even I knew your man, I couldn’t tell you what he is thinking. Sweetie, these are risks you may have to take if that title is so important to you. And if he does break off the relationship because of this, then it is best to find out now, not a year, 2 years, 5, 10 years, after your fourth child out of wed-lock. . . See where this could go?
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Now, having said all this, I am floored yet again by this ubiquitous, unending, nerve wracking, incessant female desire to have the GODDAMNED title. What is it with being called “Girlfriend” that fuels and pervades the female psyche? By your own admission, he gives you EVERYTHING, except “the title”, and yet you find it is not enough? I am curious, Penny – and serious – I want to know. Must you be “owned”? Must you belong to someone in order to feel important, validated or special? Is it worth hooking up with, say, a scumbag that will call you “Girlfriend” giving you nothing else in return, in favor of rejecting everything your current guy is giving you? I mean it seems you (and nearly all women) are prepared to go that far with it JUST to be called “Girlfriend”. I have seen beautiful, loving, attentive, career minded women shack up with abusive jerks, and STAY with them because “he’s my boyfriend and I love ‘em.” (I know of one drop-dead gorgeous woman, a second-grade teacher, who was abused to the point she was killed by her unemployed stringy-haired grease ball of a jerk boyfriend. I wanted to find that motherf*cker and cave his head in! Too bad the Law got to him first, but I digress…) That perplexes me. So, how much is enough, one way OR the other?
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Some women say they feel more secure with that title. Why? He could easily leave you, cheat on you, beat you, break your heart, rip you off, and give you a social disease under ANY title, be it Friend, Girlfriend, Soulmate, Wife, Slave, Wench, Enemy, Ex-wife – whatever. So what’s the big deal? If you are really enjoying this (almost) relationship, then isn’t 99% good enough? Really. I want to know. And you don’t have to be nice about it either…
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I must state my disclaimer. I am not a behavioral specialist, a life coach, a dating expert or a relationship guru. I have no credentials whatsoever that would qualify me to give advice of this type. I am just a guy on a computer telling it the way he sees it. If you feel you need professional help or advice, please seek it from a licensed documented professional. Best of luck and take care of the self.

Reply August 8, 2012, 5:34 pm

Penny

I’ll give you my opinion, this way anewmode can be about guys learning about girls also.
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I guess, this need of the title has two sides. For girls, it’s all about having a sense of security. The minute you become his “girlfriend” he is declaring that he wants to be with you and only you. And this sets like a base on which to “build” the relationship. I don’t know if I’m expressing myself correctly, but the title defines what you have so you can understand were things are. It’s a declaration to one another that you choose to be together exclusively for the time being.
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You say guys love the chase, well, girls love being caught. We like the feeling of a guy wanting only you, and that title gets it out in the open.
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I know that having the title won’t secure anything in the future, he could dump me or cheat on me or kill me for all I know, but it gives a sense of security about the guy’s intentions regarding other girls and regarding what we have.
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Imagine it’s like going to college for 6 years of architecture for example (my major). You study and study and invest all this time, but when you finish, but don’t graduate, imagine they don’t let you have the Architect title. They just don’t. I’ll just be Penny Adams forever. Even though I know the exact same things as any other classmate, and maybe more, but just because I don’t have the title I won’t have that validation from myself and from others either. Terrible analogy maybe but I think it gets the point across.
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This validation thing brings me to the other side of this. Social validation. We live in society whether we like it or not. THe boyfriend/girlfriend status is also to let everyone ELSE know that you are officially and for the time being, choosing to be together. It let’s everyone else know that he chased and she got caught.
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Superficial? Maybe. But if you notice is something that us women WANT and need. Security. Validation. Comfort. We wan’t to be taken seriously.
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If I have to choose between a great “relationship” and the title, I would choose the “relationship”obviously. But why settle for someone who can’t give me both? As you said, I rather know that this isn’t going anywhere before I get in too deep and find out 3 years from now that he was never serious about me or was dating 3 girls at once all this time. (been through both).
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99% is good, is great! That’s why I come to you for advice because I wouldn’t want to throw it all away. But that 1% that’s missing defines a big part of the relationship, hell, it’s the part that tells me if this is a relationship or not!!!
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Thank you again! I’ll talk to him one last time and see how he reacts. I’ll just wait for the opportunity to talk about it casually so he doesn’t feel ambushed or confronted.

Reply August 8, 2012, 6:39 pm

John

That is a fantastic explanation, and your analogy is perfect! I know what it means to get a degree – that title. I know people who have gone to school and missed it by six hours, say. They have virtually the same education as I do, but their career path and mine are not even on the same plane. So, yeah, academically anyway, the title is the difference between night and day.
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Once again, Penny, best of luck to you.

Reply August 9, 2012, 6:13 pm

Penny

Thank you! That was kind of the point.
Just another thing,
Asking a guy “how do you feel about our relationship?” will put him in a defensive mode?

Reply August 12, 2012, 1:25 am

Penny

Hi John!
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I just wanted to thank you for your advice. I followed it and confronted him. I never accused or ask anything from him, I just told him how I felt and what I wanted out of life, and out of any relationship. His reaction was all of what I expected. He said I was being silly, that he already thought of me as his girlfriend and that he didn’t think it was necessary for him to ask me. He said he thought that it was made clear what he felt about me when he brought me to meet his family and how every single free minute he has, he tries to spend it with me. He was understanding, caring and sweet.
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Thank you for helping me realize how lucky I am and how communicating your needs in a healthy and simple way can work wonders.

Reply August 21, 2012, 12:54 pm

annabell

I have come to realize that all people- not just guys- are going to do exactly what they are going to do. Accepting this has helped me not only to be more accepting of others, but it has also given me freedom in my own life to make choices that will not only be the best for myself, but more importantly my children.
I had been married- and that ended horribly. Infidelity. We have children together which always complicates things.
Although I know I will never again be with him, my heart’s desire is to have someone in my life who values me, respects me, appreciates me, and above all loves me. honestly- isn’t this what we all want and deserve?
I have been dating a guy for over a year and a half. I had initially wanted more from the relationship- I wanted him to call me his girlfriend, to be an exclusive couple, to feel like I was important to him.
he is, sadly, not at the same emotional levl as I am. He is the kind of guy whose accustomed to dating women who are co-dependent, dress a certain way, and look a certain way. I have worked hard to be an independent woman and not only attract a man with my physical appearance, but more importantly get to know him on a deeper emotional and spiritual level.
At first I thought I was doing something wrong that he would not commit to me. Old records started playing, and I thought I wasn’t good enough.
However, after taking some time and looking at the core issue, it’s not about these things. The problem is me- but in a different way. The problem is with what I had been willing to accept.
I no longer accept that I am not good enough, that I am not beautiful enough, that I am not smart enough, that I am not worthy of the attention of this guy. I had been the one trying to make all the changes- trying to get him to realize how amazing I am- but in reality, he has to be the one who is man enough to figure this out for himself.
I like spending time with him, and he is still part of my life. however, it is different.
For example: this past weekend, he had taken no initiative to make plans with me. As always, he had assumed I would be around. Instead of asking him what we are going to do, I made plans and did what I wanted to do. It was a wonderful weekend.
I went dancing, to social gatherings, and in doing so, I met some very nice men who are very insteresed in me. It was not only an ego boost, but it made me realize that in many ways, I had been settling. I had been settling for someone who is not man enough to ask me out on a date. To make plans, to want to spend time with me.
I don’t know what the future will hold, as he has had more than enough time to commit. Either he will come to a point that he can’t imagine his life without me in it and take measures to ensure I will be there, or he will not.
And if he doesn’t, at least I will know the kind of man he is, as it will save me a lot of heartache in the future.
Also, it will open the door for a man who will.

September 17, 2012, 10:42 am

Akerr

Hi, my “boyfriend” and I have been together for about a year now. We are basically in a relationship, but without the titles. At the start of our “relationship”, he just got out of a REALLY BAD relationship. Months later, he told me that I have helped him move on, and that the only reason we are not in a relationship was because he and his ex were still in contact somehow, so before he jumps into a relationship with me, he wants to make sure that everything between him and his ex are COMPLETELY over. We had a fight few nights ago, and he admitted that his ex isn’t in the picture anymore, they have stopped all contacts but HE JUST DOESN’T WANT A RELATIONSHIP “AT THE MOMENT”. So considering he said few months back that the only reason that we’re not in a relationship was because he was still in contact with his ex, I am confused to why we’re not in one yet. He said that it is going to change, and that he is going to want a relationship with me SOON. I don’t know what to do or how to react to this!

Reply August 6, 2012, 12:17 am

Eric Charles

When a guy says he doesn’t want a relationship… that’s the message. Everything afterward is just to soften the blow.
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Strangely, though, you’d be amazed at how quickly a guy can magically solve all the problems standing the way of him being in a relationship when he thinks he’d lose you otherwise. So if you’re single, be single. Date freely.
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Sitting around waiting for him to want to be in a relationship with you while giving him everything he’d get while actually being in a relationship with you sounds like kind of a weak negotiating strategy, don’t you think?

Reply August 6, 2012, 1:03 am

Akerr

It’s hard for me to date other people, even if I want to, considering I already look at him as my boyfriend and I have been committing to him and only him ever since we’ve started seeing each other. Would you think asking for “space” to figure things out would make him realize that I’m not going to wait around any much longer?

Reply August 6, 2012, 1:52 am

John

Akerr, the best way to make him realize that you are not going to wait around is by actually NOT waiting around. There are a couple of issues here. First, “you have taken him as your boyfriend”. It doesn’t really work like that, much as you may want it to. HE is the hunter; YOU are the prey. You don’t take him; He takes you. But look what’s going on. The second issue is, he already has you because you have already given yourself to him. It may seem like he’s got you on a string, just stringin’ you along, havin’ his way. . . But no. You have put yourself on a string for him – and handed the other end of it to him. . . freely, willingly. He has nothing to work for, nothing to gain, nothing to win. Where is the challenge? Where is the reward? A man NEEDS that in a relationship. He needs to chase you, and he needs to win you.
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Okay, so you don’t want to date other people. That’s cool. Then don’t date him either. It may seem like a game, and in a way it is. But right now, the game, as far as he is concerned, doesn’t even exist yet. He want’s the chase. Where is it?
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The next time he calls and wants to see you, deny him. You don’t even have to make up anything. Just tell him you are busy and he’ll have to call back another time. You don’t have to date to be busy. Go out with friends, with family. Clean your house or your car. Work extra hours at work or school. Have a facebook binge where you do nothing but facebook for three hours on a Saturday night. The point is to make yourself quite UN-available to him. When he sees you have cut the string and taken yourself back, he’ll take notice. And then you’ll start to see him chase. He’ll start to work for you. Don’t give in to easily, Akerr. Make him work for it. Make him want you. Make him hunger for you. Then – on YOUR TERMS – you can let him have you. See what kind of power you really posess?
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My disclaimer: I have no credentials or certifications of any kind that would qualify me as a life coach, a relationship expert, or behavior specialist. I am simply a guy on a computer keyboard who calls it the way he sees it. If you think you need professional help, then you are encouraged to get it from a licensed qualified professional. Best of luck, and take care of the self.

Reply August 6, 2012, 3:14 am

Penny

John and Eric I think this is wonderful advice.
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I’m in a similar situation except he hasn’t told me he isn’t ready for a relationship, I asked him once when we started going out and he said he thought that 5 months in was too soon and got really angry saying that my asking made him feel pressured.
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I backed off and we continued dating normally for 3 months after that without bringing the subject again and he is very committed to me, (exclusivity, meeting both families, we see each other very regularly, we text or talk sweet corny things every day etc, ) it’s almost a relationship, except for that GODDAMN title we girls want.
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Should I just start dating and going out with others, out of the blue, or should I talk to him about it first to see what are his thoughts on the matter, even though he reacted so badly last time we talked 3 months ago?
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Also, knowing this guy, when he takes notice that I’m no longer so available, he’s going to start asking me why. Should I tell him that it’s because were not an official couple, or should I play it cool and say nothings wrong?
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Thank you!

August 8, 2012, 1:09 pm

JClair

I have a situation where I have a guy who is really great, we are a couple in practically every sense but not officially, and lately I feel that he is too comfortable and he thinks I’m not going anywhere. So,
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I’ve been going out with my girlfriends and meeting new guys, and I feel that I’m starting to care less about what happens with this relationship. I no longer feel as worried about him committing fully and calling me his girlfriend because, even though I’m a little upset, I can find someone new in a heartbeat.
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The thing is that HIS behavior is changing a bit. He suddenly is very upset when I tell him I’m going out with the girls clubbing, and has told me that he hates when I go to bars because he knows how guys are and that they’ll be all over me. He’s starting to become jealous of every guy I meet. And he said that I was now taking HIM for granted and that I stopped being as attentive and loving and caring as before.
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Did I do something wrong (took it too far) or is this a normal reaction?

Reply June 28, 2012, 11:43 am

John

Hi JClair. You have every right to find a relationship that is going to work for you. But don’t forget that a relationship is a two-way street. In other words, it has to work for him too. Anyway, it comes down to what you want out a relationship and if he can or is willing to provide it. But it sounds like you are ready to let this one go. And that’s okay, but I see a few things that I’d like to toss around with you before you make a move. First of all, does this guy know what you want out this relationship? Are you sure? You can’t assume that he knows what you want only because YOU know what you want. He can’t read your mind, and he is not a woman who happens to look like a man so he is not able to infer your desires. And if YOU don’t know what you want, I promise you, there is NO WAY HE will know what you want.
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What makes me think that he doesn’t know what you want is his reaction. It seems to be one of bewilderment. He is confused as to why you are acting the way you are, and he is now grasping at straws trying to figure it out. That tells me that he does not know what you want out of this relationship and that you are not telling him.
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So here’s what you do: First off, make a decision. Do you want this relationship or not? If you want it, then you need have a sit-down talk with him and tell him what you want out of this relationship. Now, I don’t know what it is. You said you are a couple in every way except “officially”. What the heck does that mean? What would make it official? Again, does he know? Have you already told him? I would guess not, given his reaction. And I’ll bet if you tell him, he would do what you ask and make it “official”. And if he doesn’t, well then, you know what you need to do. And if he DOES make it official, then you need discuss the boundaries of your relationship. Does he want you to give up going out with your girlfriends? Will you be okay with that? Remember that “two-way street” thingy.
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If you don’t want this relationship, then stop trying to analyze it, and stop hanging around him, then going out with your girlfriends and meeting other guys which makes him jealous. You probably wouldn’t like it if he was doing this to you. It’s time to move on, so move on. Let him go. Make sure he understands that the relationship is over and that you are leaving. Period! Then find you another guy in the next heartbeat and keep living life to the fullest.
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Disclaimer: I am not a relationship specialist, life coach, or councilor of any kind, nor do I have any credentials or training that qualify me to give personal advice. I am just a guy on a computer keyboard telling it the way he feels it. If you think you need professional advice, then seek it from a qualified, certified professional. Best of luck, and take care of the self.

Reply July 5, 2012, 12:32 am

JClair

Well, I guess I don’t understand why he is acting so clueless either because I have told him twice that I don’t understand why he doesn’t call me his girlfriend. Both times resulting into huge fights were he says I’m being insecure and that I’m pressuring him and that he doesn’t want anyone to tell him what to do. I just said that I don’t want to pressure him but that he being so reluctant to call me his girlfriend makes me doubt about his intentions and feelings about me.
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I do want this relationship, he is a very nice guy, he is funny and caring and we’ve known each other for years. It just seems strange that after 7 months going out, after meeting both our families and friends, after sharing loads of things, he still has this reluctance to call me his girlfriend. I mean WHY is it so important to him to keep that distance? To date other girls? To feel in control?
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So I’m tired because he’s making me feel insecure, which I’m normally not.
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Thank you so much!

Reply July 12, 2012, 1:45 am

JClair

Any opinions?
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He went as my date to my cousin’s wedding. with all my family and friends there. Several people commented if I was the next one getting married in the family… I said that first I wanted to finish college and get a masters degree and that maybe in at least 8 years.
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He protested saying that he would be 35 and that he wanted to get married before turning 30. I answered that why would he be talking about marriage if we weren’t even boyfriend/girlfriend yet, to which he replied (paraphrasing) “honey doesn’t mean anything”.
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What does that mean?

Reply July 22, 2012, 10:46 pm

JClair

Actually what he said was “honey, that’s the least of it.”

July 22, 2012, 10:50 pm

John

To JClair
My take on it: Stop trying to figure it out and just enjoy it. BUT! What it really means is that HE is going to make the decision to be boyfriend/girlfriend – or not. And HE is going to make the decision to marry you – or not. And he is NOT going to be pushed, asked, told, coerced, nudged, chided, railed or otherwise forced to make that decision before he is ready – period! – not by you, not by anybody. I can sense your guy’s confidence and arrogance in his actions. Fortunately for you, your role in all of this is to just enjoy the ride – IF you will allow yourself. What you need to do: Be the woman and stop trying to guide the relationship.
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Now, again, if you can’t deal with any of this, if his handling of this relationship is something you simply cannot tolerate, if the timing is off, if the feeling is off – whatever – then you still have every right and reason to abandon it and find a man who WILL give you control of the relationship. A word of warning: Despite what you think you want from a man, eventually you will not like the responsibility of guiding a relationship, and it will unravel at the seams.
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Okay, let’s go back to your earlier post. You asked this question, somewhat: “Why is it so important for him to [not call me his girlfriend]”. I am going to ask the same question of you, but slightly different: Why is it so important for you to be called “his girlfriend”? It appears he provides you everything EXCEPT that. Has your relationship reached an impasse over this point? You MUST be called “girlfriend”; He WILL NOT call you “girlfriend”. Hold that thought as I run a barrage of questions at you.
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If you do finally get “girlfriend status”, is that going to be enough? Will being called his girlfriend make you happy “ever after”? If not, what then? Will marriage make you happy? Will you be hounding him about that in one or two years? And what if you get married? Will that enough? Will you want children too? A mortgage? A car payment? Doctors’ visits? Clothes, food, shoes, etc.? A stack of bills you can’t pay? Screamin’ kids with loaded diapers, and it’s your turn to change it AGAIN?! No time for yourself? What if your marriage is NOT a thrill a minute like you may think it should be? And what if that doesn’t make you happy? Will a divorce then make you happy? Lawyers’ fees? Child support (maybe)? Alimony (maybe)? Bashing the ex? Dating as a single mom? STILL having a relationship with the ex because they are his kids too?
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I am railing you to get you to think about happiness. The reason you are posting on this site is because, basically, at some level, you are not happy with your relationship. What is happiness? And how do you get it? Happiness is just a state of mind. You cannot depend on someone or something or some situation (a relationship, for instance) to MAKE you happy. Your happiness is something you make for yourself, therefore, no one else can do it for you. I am saying this because too many women look to relationship as a way to define themselves and their happiness. (I don’t mean to pick on women. Men do the same thing, just not as prevalent.) And yet you CAN define yourself for yourself by yourself and derive happiness from that. You are allowed to do that in this culture at this time in history. That might seem like a weird thing to say, but not too long ago, women were NOT allowed to, say, own property, have a career, vote, or, in some cultures, even be un-married. Okay, so, with all that in mind, let’s see what we pick apart.
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He is “acting clueless” because you keep dancing around the issue instead of putting it on the line, as best as I can tell from your post. In short, he is not acting: He really IS clueless about what you want because you have not specifically told him. You need to tell him specifically this: “I want to be a girlfriend, and I want a boyfriend. I want to be an official couple with SOMEONE. This is what I need from a relationship. If I cannot get that from this relationship, then I have and lay claim to every right to go out as I please with whomever I please. If a relationship is nailed down, then I will stop going out, I will be more secure with us and myself, and I will be the woman-half of this official relationship.” (Only say these things if these are indeed what you want, however.) Statements like that leave no room for cluelessness. Further, notice how the statements are open-ended. You are not forcing HIM to do anything. You are simply telling him what you want. And you need to keep that mindset of “What I want”, not “What HE must do for me” throughout this conversation.
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A man is a creature of action. He DOES things much better than he FEELS things. Telling him “I don’t understand why you won’t call me your girlfriend” does not tell him “I want to be your girlfriend”. Those two statements draw from two completely different trains of thought. The first statement asks him to explain himself in an effort to help you understand him. That is very complicated and frustrating for anyone, but especially a man. The second statement is telling him to do something, and that his actions have a consequence, which a man understands much better, and to which he WILL respond. Now, he may not respond the way you want. He may just abandon the relationship as he may feel forced to make a choice that he is not ready to make. Losing a relationship will hurt to be sure, but it will not be the end of the world. And if he does abandon this relationship, then it’s better to have it happen now so you can find a man and a relationship that WILL give you what you want.
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You say in your post, “I do want this relationship, he is a very nice guy, he is funny and caring and we’ve known each other for years.” All right, you have known each other for years, and I am sure he is a funny guy. Laughter is a powerful aphrodisiac. But I am not so sure he is such a nice guy, nor is he all that caring. (I said above he is confident, perhaps arrogant. These are not to be confused with “being a mean guy”.) If he was a caring guy, then he would clue in to what you want and provide it.
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And finally, given everything that has happened in this relationship – him NOT calling you his girlfriend, NOT making it official, you feeling insecure, going out with your friends, meeting other guys, and so forth – I am compelled to ask WHY would you want to keep this relationship? Does it really mean that much to you? Are you concerned about “failure” and how it may look to your family and friends? Do you absolutely need this man in your life?
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I called your situation an impasse. That means neither one of you is willing to give. Well, something has to give, of course. And there are three things here: You, him, and the relationship between you. So, one of three things is going to happen. One, you give in, and concede that you will never be called his girlfriend, that this relationship has reached its pinnacle, and you will always just be stuck in a sort of Limbo as long as you are with this guy. Two, HE gives in, calls you his girlfriend, devotes himself to you, and the two of you move forward as an official couple. Or three, the relationship gives. Both of you decide that neither of you is getting what you want from the relationship, so you terminate it. That sounds horrible, but sometimes the best opportunities arise from bad situations.
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My advice: Give it four more weeks or so, then try one more time, and this time, no dancing around the issue. Make it perfectly clear what you want from A (not necessarily THIS) relationship. Remember, you are NOT asking this of HIM, you asking it of ANY relationship. Leave no room for interpretation. If it erupts into a gigantic fight again, then just back off, realize that you have said about all you can say to him concerning your wants, and understand that he is either unable or unwilling to give you what you want. At that point, YOU will have to make a decision, because, apparently, he already has.
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Best of luck, and, as always, take care of the self.

July 23, 2012, 2:39 am

Aimee

Hi I have been with my partner for 7 years now. We have been with one another since we were 15, hes 23 and im nearly 24. We also have a two year old little boy together. Furthermore, my partner proposed to me a year ago but everytime I talk about planning the wedding or even getting married he just says he doent want to get married just yet he will tell me when he does? and when I say well why did you propose to me then? he just ignores me! and then goes on to say he feels hes too young to get married yet. I feel I am at the stage where I want to get married,as I have been with him so long! I dont feel I can wait for him to let me know he wants too? is this wrng of me to feel this way? X

Reply June 21, 2012, 5:53 am

char

I would suggest giving him back the ring and explain that you were under the impression that with a proposal, you assumed this meant he wanted to get married. Let him know that you accepted based on the fact you thought marrying you is what he meant and that it it what you wanted. Let him know you understand this is no longer what he wants, and maybe not something he really wanted (own if there was some pressure you might have put on him). Let him know you do not ever want an engagement ring unless the person who gives it to you is completely ready and willing to marry you. Ask him to hold on to it until he is truly ready to marry you. Let him know it is okay if you are on two different pages and glad he can be honest with you, because you do not want to marry someone who does not want to marry you. That would not make for a good (or long) marriage!

Consider if you want to keep dating him, and consider giving both himself and yourself permission to pursue relationships that can offer what you want, and let him know there is no pressure to get married. (Pressure + proposals = bad combination). You got together young and he may be afraid he has not tried other relationships or that he doesn’t know what he really wants. You want him to want you as a life partner for who you are, not just because you’ve been together for so long or because he feels obligated since you have a child together. It could be good for you to date other people and see what you really want, if it’s him or if someone else might be a better fit. This doesn’t mean you two might not end up together, but maybe checking out other options could help him decide if he really wants you. Or it may help you decide you just want to co-parent with him but don’t really want to be married to him!

(Obviously your tone and approach does not need to be in an angry or threatening way, but in an honest and matter-of-fact way that shows you accept where he is at).

Reply March 3, 2013, 2:37 pm

Lisa

Hi! My boyfriend and I have been dating for 10 years…but he still hasn’t committed. His elderly parents are his main concern; we have not been sexually active or intimate together for several years now. He experienced some issues after turning 50 and has problems getting and maintaining a hard erection and has to take pills. You cannot drink with these pills and he lives to have some beer in the evening (about a 6 pack) and therefore has not taken the pills. I dunno what to do… Any suggestions??? Does this mean we are just friends-which is okay with me too? If so, should I move on and find another if I am wanting a commitment and marriage one day?

Reply June 9, 2012, 2:37 pm

G

Hi Lisa,
It’s my feeling that once you stop having sex, things are on the downhill…I’ve seen this happen in a relationship of my own as well as for others. Even my sister’s pastor recommended maintaining intimacy through a separation if she wanted to save her marriage. I mean you have to have intimacy to build intimacy so it makes sense. I think without it, you are only encouraging growing apart. If he chooses beer over intimacy with you, well…that is very sad and I’m sorry. Although to give him the benefit of the doubt, it could be because of self-esteem issues/inadequacy involved around not being able to have and keep a proper erection. If this is the case, I would visit Life Extension’s website (…lef.org), and type in “erection” or “erectile dysfunction” into their search engine and read all the articles and supplements that help solve the actual problems associated with this (either vitamin deficiency or hormonal imbalances-as happens with growing older) rather than just using the “pills” you speak of (which I am assuming are the pharmaceuticals of the latest popular variety). These will not help solve the underlying problem that led to this issue in the first place. But other measures may help you/him. (P.S. Smoking also leads to arterial damage and the first signs of arterial damage can be felt is a not-so-strong erection.) But moving on from that and on to the other things you mentioned…10 years…he says his elderly parents are his main concern getting in the way of marrying you? Well, you know as well as I do that after 10 years, he should know by now if he wants to marry you…. as much as you may want to believe otherwise. (Been there…try 16 years of good faith…). They say a man usually knows within the first 6 months to a year. Even then, if you wait (as I did… mine actually proposed to me in the first 6 months but I didn’t take him seriously)…after 10 years he may have changed his mind…he no longer sees the point. I’ve met a few men who have said, “I used to want to marry her, but not anymore.” And they don’t intend on ever doing so. Further exacerbating your issue is that if his elderly parents were a real concern getting in the way of your marriage, you would think he would be interested in allowing them to see their son get married before they pass away. So this “excuse” makes no sense to me. And I’m sorry, but after 10 years, it probably is just an excuse even if he isn’t aware of it. The fact is if he really wanted to marry you, he would. I bet you can think of a million things he wanted to do the last 10 years that seemed particularly impossible but he managed to do it, or at least pursue it, anyway. Lastly, you ask, “….does this mean we are just friends-which is okay with me too?” If it’s okay with you to be just friends then maybe in your heart you know that you want more our of your relationship than what you are getting in this one. You want a marriage. That is different than what you currently have. And although it’s hard, I think that if you push through it you will find what you want. Just don’t settle for less unless you truly are okay with it. So yes, I think you should move on. I think you will be happier in the long run. And as you are walking out the door, his actions (or lack thereof) will be even more telling…and may help you in your conviction to leave. Because if he just lets you go (even after a momentary “Don’t go…”) but doesn’t stand in your way…then you know that he is only capable of loving you “so much”, while you are capable of loving much more. His lack of interest in stopping you will have you wondering what you stayed so long for. Personal experience is where I get my assessment…and that too is from a hopeless romantic who believes love can conquer all-but both parties got to be feeling it! Just remember, it is not a certain “man” you are looking for, it is a certain “relationship” you are looking for. You need to find a man with whom you have that kind of relationship.
Good luck in love!

Reply June 9, 2012, 6:42 pm

Bekah

From what I am reading on here, a lot of people are in similar situations as I am. So here I go with my problem!!

I have been dating a guy for a year and 5 months. He went through a divorce at the beginning of our “relationship” but was separated for 5 years before everything was settled. He says we are dating and he isn’t seeing anyone else and doesn’t plan on it. He takes me out to dinner, on trips to the beach, and makes time to just hang out when he’s not working. I have met his friends and some of his family. He says this is a big step for him considering that he is getting over some issues. One being he is afraid to commit. I have expressed my needs for a relationship. To be given that title of a “girlfriend” but he always comes back with he is too scared to commit right now. I know he cares about me but I couldn’t wait any longer. So today, I left him. Told him I couldn’t do this anymore and needed a real relationship because I wasn’t happy. I just got to the point where I didn’t see anything changing and that he would just remain comfortable where things stood. He begged me not to leave as I packed my belongings from his home (extra clothes and bathroom amenities) we didn’t live together. But I wasn’t hearing what I wanted to hear. I know I have to hold my ground and live with my choice however I want to know how good of my chances are of hearing back from him? If he will contact me and try to work things out. I love him and want to be with him. I know I made a rash decision but I was very much unhappy and my emotions got the best of me and didn’t handle it in the best way. (calmly and not crying my eyes out). Is there any chance that he will come than decision? Or have I made his decision for him and time to move on?

Reply June 1, 2012, 12:52 am

G

Bekah, I would be very interested in hearing how this all turns out for you a year or so from now and I am sure others will too. Be sure to check back then. My guess is that if you hold your ground (which I think you will) that this guy will step up and come after you or you will find someone else who will come after you because they want the same things as you. I think it’s rare to see the strong action you have taken, especially in such timely fashion (before you have waited and invested endlessly in the relationship never to get what you want in return). You know what you want and I think you will find the relationship you want if you stay strong-minded…maybe not with this guy. But if that’s the case, I think you will all fair best in the long run, because he may never want to be “that” serious again. You are right, there are too many women in this situation; and men that want traditional families are getting harder and harder to find…but they are still out there. I think it is up to us women to help bring the nuclear family back. Relationships are suffering the more they are broken down. I think most women in these circumstances (long term, never married, some with children) are never completely happy. They always feel less than worth while…it erodes their self-esteem that their man does not deem them “good enough”, it causes resentment…and resentment is the demise of most of these relationships. We need to protect our relationships from building resentments. Even if couples stay together (the woman always hoping, waiting), there is always that “missing” piece – for her – and she can never give fully of herself. Sadly, some men will just never see the rewards of what happens when they give all of themselves to their woman…because they just won’t do it. It is my belief that when a man honors his woman in such a way, that his woman will do anything for him, and in turn, the man will feel like the King that he is. She has such high regard for him when he cherishes her in such a way. Because many men (usually it’s the men) do not do fully give of themselves, both parties suffer, and neither ever receives the respect they truly deserve. Instead, she feels worthless and invaluable, and he never feels respected. I think we all deserve exceptional relationships where both parties hold each other in the highest regard and I am proud of you for not settling for mediocrity. I hope you are able to find someone who is willing to be that vulnerable for you. Maybe this guy is just too wounded to open his heart again. Sadly, even when they do give it all, it doesn’t always work. That’s why it’s called “taking a leap”. I just believe you have to take the leap regardless if you want it to work. All the best to you.

Reply June 1, 2012, 3:42 am

John

Hi Bekah. By all means, if you are not getting what you want out of a relationship, then what you should do is break it off and go find one or MAKE one that gives you precisely what you want. I am a staunch advocate of this philosophy, and I applaud you for standing your ground. Nevertheless, I am going to make a couple of analogies:
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Let’s provide you with a house. A four bedroom, three bathroom house with wall to wall carpet, tile where it counts, a gourmet kitchen, stone accents, vaulted ceiling, custom paint, Jacuzzi tub, a heated three car garage, a gigantic picture window with a view to die for. . . It’s efficient, elegant, functional, and FUN! Oh! And it is totally loaded with furniture, wall hangings, appliances – you name it. I mean, this house has everything – EXCEPT! It has no street address. Oh you can still get your mail; I mean, mail delivery is no problem. It just has no street address.
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Here’s another one. You have a car. It’s big, beautiful, fully automatic, power everything, comfortable, air conditioning, seat warmers, XM radio, fuel efficient, powerful, problem free, totally reliable – all the amenities, and paid off! And you even love the color. It has everything – EXCEPT! It has no model name. You can get parts for it, and it’s registered and all. It’s just that the manufacturer never gave it a name.
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Would the absence of a street address make your house any more or less cozy, fun, efficient, useful. . . or “real”? Once people know where you live, knowing the street address has little significance. Would the absence of a model name make your car any more or less functional, reliable, dependable, fun to drive. . . or “real”? Once people have associated you with that car they would recognize you when they see it.
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Does the absence of the word “girlfriend” make a relationship with your man any more or less significant, reliable, loving, fun, or “real”? When people see the two of you together they recognize you as a couple. Or, were they to see one of you, they would most likely ask about the “significant other” clearly referring to the fact that the two of you are indeed a couple. I find it interesting how you said you need a “real relationship” immediately after you described all the things that basically make up a real relationship.
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Now the questions I have asked are for you to answer on your own. (Or post them. That would be cool!) I am only providing weak analogies as a means to draw comparisons. I am not trying to convince you that it is all right to be in a relationship that does not provide you with everything you want. There are some things that are simply non-negotiable. Period. Those non-negotiable items are different for each person and for each couple. And yet, one thing that makes a relationship successful is compromise.
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Another thing that make a successful relationship needs is honesty. It’s pretty clear you were getting plenty of honesty from this guy. He knew what he wanted, and didn’t want, and he told you as much and never pulled the wool over your eyes by leading you to a false relationship. I have to admire him for not caving in to your self-described rash behavior. If he had relented and simply told you what you wanted to hear, there is a pretty good chance he would have developed some resentment toward you for feeling manipulated. And resentment typically spells the end of most relationships.
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So now that you have broken it off with him, you want to know if you are going to hear back from him. First off I must ask, “Why do you care?” He wasn’t giving you what you wanted so you made the very adult decision to break up and leave. Kudos! Now go live your life the way you want. But here is the real answer to your question: I don’t know. You know this guy better than anyone reading this web site, and if you don’t know what he is going to do, I promise you, no one else will know. But let’s assume you do hear back from him, what would there be to work out? It seems the only way for this guy to get back with you is for him to conform and commit to you on your (strict and self-admitted rash) terms – which is what you want. So if you do hear back from him that means one of two things. 1) He’s ready to commit to you. Personally, I wouldn’t count on that. Instead he is most likely 2) trying to see if the storm has blown over and he can get back to business as usual with you. At that point, you will have the same decision to make. Do you go back to him on terms you don’t like, or do you stand your ground?
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Since you don’t know what he is going to do, all you can do is live your life for yourself. Ironically, one thing that may get him back on your terms is if you indeed start dating other men. Doing so may trigger his male desire to compete for you and win. He knows what it will take to win you over because you have told him. But you are talking about trying to force someone to feel a certain way about you. And you can’t do that. It may be that he has no real incentive to win you over. I mean, what’s in it for him? And can he get what he wants elsewhere? It will be up to you to provide that incentive. Basically, you need to get him to chase you. But it may not work. He may simply decide that he never really wanted a relationship with you anyway, and just let the whole thing go. That’s a risk you take, but it seems like it’s not all that risky at this point since you have already broken up with him. My advice is to simply move on. If he contacts you, see what he has to say. If he is telling what you want to hear, then you get to make the choice to take him back or not. Please understand, I am not berating you for what you did, nor should you be. You needed to get what you wanted out of the relationship, so you took a chance and made a move that might give you the upper hand, or nothing at all. Seriously, that takes guts. And if this guy is half as smart as he is honest, he should want to add the value of a very strong, impressive woman to his life.
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Finally, a word on happiness. You mentioned you were not happy and that’s why you broke up. Many people look to another person or a relationship (with a person) to make them happy. That usually doesn’t work. What makes a person happy? Happiness. If you are unhappy, then you need to make the changes in your life that will precipitate your own happiness. (I think you’ve done that where this relationship is concerned.) If you have issues that are causing you unhappiness, then starting a relationship isn’t going to make you happy. It could, however, make your partner unhappy, and what would that do to the relationship? And if you are happy, then starting a relationship is really of no consequence one way or the other. Being married, being loved, being wanted and so forth may make you feel good, but that is not really happiness. It’s just feeling good which can be confused for happiness. But what happens if (when?) your partner leaves you, betrays you, or otherwise takes a dump on you? Depending on a relationship for happiness is setting yourself up for tremendous disappointment, so beware.
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Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, a life coach, a relationship specialist, or behavior specialist of any kind. I am just a guy on a computer keyboard who says it the way he feels it. If you feel you need professional help, please seek it from a trained documented professional. Best of luck to you, and take care of the self.

Reply June 3, 2012, 10:44 am

Janet

Your comments are both wise and sensible.

Reply August 28, 2014, 10:40 pm

Linda

I have a similar situation to the Original Poster. I’m in a relationship with a guy who seems to be really invested in me. The only problem is that we’re not official yet, and it’s been 6 months. We are not boyfriend-girlfriend yet, and I haven’t met his parents, even though he talks about me to them and when we go away for the weekend he tells them that he is with me. So, what to do?
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When we had like 3 months going out I asked him what did he think of us and he said he wasn’t sure if he was ready for commitment. So I started to date other guys and he freaked out and came after me and said that now he was sure he wanted a relationship with me and didn’t want to lose me, but that he thought it was too soon for the relationship to reach that level of commitment. (this was about 3 months ago). I understood that maybe I was going too fast so I stopped worrying about the title and started to focus on getting to know him and have a good time.
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And these 3 months after that talk have been great. He is twice as committed and invested. We see each other very regularly, we talk everyday, text cute things all day long, we spend every weekend together. He stopped going out as much with his friends, and he tries to spend as much time possible with me. He treats me like his girlfriend. He took me to buy his new car with him, because he wanted my opinion on what would be “our car” in the future. (Guys, huh?) He constantly talks about a future with me. He talks to his friends, coworkers, and family about me, and he is very attentive and sweet. He listens to me and respects me, and takes care of me. We have great sex. Overall, it’s a GREAT relationship, probably the best I’ve ever had.
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But still, no title.
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I do know that his last relationship was trouble. His ex was really needy and problematic and their breakup was awful, so maybe he is being extra careful into getting into a new relationship? Or I’m I dealing with a commitment-phobe? If so, what should I do?

Reply May 30, 2012, 11:53 am

Anna Bell

Wow- you sound like you have a really good man :) I am happy for you- sincerely- as it gives me hope. From my experience, titles truly are not that significant- unless you let them be. Apparently he is committed to you, treats you well, is not actively seeking out other woman, and you know you can trust him. That is the biggest one. I have had men who had called me their girlfriend, but that didn’t keep them from dating other woman. I believe that a woman has to trust her gut. We seem to intuitively know if a man is genuine and sincere. For instance, I had been dating a man for well over a year. I was under the impression that we were exclusive. I learned a very valueable lesson, once again, don’t assume anything. I had found out from a mutual friend that he was not only still on the dating site on which we had met, but that his status is continually active. You can about imagine how embarrassed (not to mention betrayed) I had felt. I had removed my profile after we had begun sleeping together. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but I don’t sleep with more than one partner at a time :) I have recently found out that he had been readily pursuing other woman, texting them, facebooking them, etc. all the time I had assumed we were just seeing each other. I had believed him to be a decent man, but at least now I know the truth. Instead of being overly disappointed, it has given me a new viewpoint. Since he definitely doesn’t see me as a woman of worth and value, he has moved over to make room for someone who will. From what I had read, your man sounds like he is the real deal. Men (not guys- big difference) don’t call, text, and make plans to see you on weekends if they are not truly interested- well, unless he’s extremely co-dependent- which I don’t believe is the case, either :) Thank you for sharing this, and I truly do pray things work out with him. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and love.

Reply May 30, 2012, 12:32 pm

Linda

Thank you, Anna Bell. I had a similar experience last year, with a guy I thought was committed to me, but ended up dating multiple girls. He never called me his girlfriend. Even though that guy was a player and is completely different from this new guy, I’m worried because I don’t want to fall for the same “trap” again.

Reply May 30, 2012, 5:28 pm

G

Anna Bell, In regards to this comment: “…at this time he doesn’t have the capacity to commit more…” They say when a man tells you something, believe it. I don’t know when he told you this and yes his “us” and “we” and family car talks with you are misleading…and contrare to that statement…so if it has been some time since that last conversation, maybe you should bring it up again. Maybe at “this time” he is now more ready? If not, I say give him that 2, 4, or 6 months…either without him or while dating others (let him know you will be dating others as well, of course, and tell him to let you know if and when he has the capacity…and you will let him know at “that time” if you do.) The thing is, a man will tell you what you want to hear, just enough to keep you around, possibly without even realizing he is stringing you along…but he is. Because a real man who knows what he wants will let you know. You won’t have to guess hot or cold. If he wants you, he will tell you, and he will do everything in his power to get you. I’m not saying this guy won’t come around…maybe he will. Or maybe he “thinks” he wants the same things you do more than he actually does and you will end up waiting endlessly. Just don’t waste your child-bearing years putting all your eggs in one basket. While you are waiting endlessly you could instead possibly meet someone who is really trying to seize you! And you may end up with the new guy instead who may be more worth YOUR while, OR this guy you are with now may realize what a challenge and prize you are and will step up. Unless you can happily accept what he is offering “for now”, which really is just a “maybe I’ll consider a future with you”, then don’t do it. If he is second-guessing whether or not you are worthwhile, he will only be influenced to want you more the less available you are… And for the webmaster…this grey text on pink is awfully hard to read! Black on white..MUCH better!

Reply May 30, 2012, 7:00 pm

Linda

Thank you G, I agree on almost everything you said….

Anyone with a guy’s perspective? John? Eric?

Reply May 30, 2012, 9:21 pm

G

Oh, oops…that note was suppose to be for you Linda… ( ;

May 31, 2012, 1:55 am

G

Oh wait a minute – it was for both of you! Lol!

May 31, 2012, 2:03 am

John

Hi Linda. I have written a response to Bekah’s post, and most of it applies, I think, to your situation as well, except that she actually broke up with her guy. Especially read the part about the word “girlfriend” and the analogies. If this is the best relationship you’ve ever had, I am compelled to ask why the “title” is so important. Now you don’t have to answer these questions specifically (it would be cool if you did, though), but do ask them of yourself. Will the title make you feel better about yourself? Will it make the relationship better? Will it make you feel more secure about the relationship? Do you believe that the official title of girlfriend will prevent your boyfriend from cheating on you? Is the title of girlfriend a status symbol you seek to hold up to your friends and family? Is the title of girlfriend important enough that you will risk losing the best relationship you have ever had in order to obtain it? And once you get it, will it be enough? Nevertheless, if that is what you MUST have from this relationship, then I say “get it at all costs”. So how do you get it? More on that later.
It’s been six months, and, I don’t know. . . that seems like a modest amount of time for a relationship. I seem to think that six months still qualifies your relationship as a fledgling. I mean, in a half year, you have yet to experience about half the various holidays together. Have both of you experienced either one’s birthday together yet? Do either of you have an annual family outing that has yet to take place? Does he place special importance on Halloween, say, steeping it in a satanic ritual of incense, pentagrams, candy cursing, and sacrificial pumpkin torture? I am being silly of course, but my point is, do you think you really know this guy so well that you really WANT a commitment from him? There is another side of my point: He may feel like he doesn’t know YOU well enough yet to offer a commitment.
From your own post, you tell that his last relationship was a disaster. So, yeah, he is definitely gun shy about getting into another disaster, perceived or otherwise. Is he a commitment-phobe? I personally challenge the “fear of commitment” card like this: Place an ordinary glass of water on the table. Are you afraid of it? Probably not. Would you drink it? Sure. It’s just water and you could probably use a drink anyway. Now fill the same glass with mud. Does that scare you? Again, probably not. Would you drink it? Of course not! That’s how I personally view commitment. I am not afraid of it; I simply find it repulsive. Now that is MY assessment of commitment. Your man’s experience may vary, but remember, he just finished going through a nasty break up. He doesn’t want to risk it again.
I don’t know how much of my stuff you have read here, so forgive me if I am repeating myself. But to a man, a commitment is EVERYTHING! And a man typically doesn’t like to simply hand over EVERYTHING to any one single person unless he is ABSOLUTELY SURE that person is the one with whom he intends to share his world, live with forever, and die for. This is pretty serious stuff, and it seems women are out to get a commitment from a man – as quickly as possible, no less – without really knowing what commitment means.
Given all that, I still advocate for your demand to get exactly what you want out of this relationship. The first thing you need to do is clearly understand what you want and WHY you want it and what you are willing to do in order to get it, and what will do if you DON’T get it. You must have this clearly understood in your own mind. Write everything down, sort it out, line it up, get it all organized and be ready to execute it. Once that’s done, you need to schedule some time – at least an hour – with your man, just you and him. Make sure there are no distractions, no TV, no Internet, no phone calls. You could do this during a weekend outing, perhaps. The point is this time must be uninterrupted. Now that you have him, explain to him everything you want just like you have it lined up. Lay it all out. Hit him right between the eyes with it. When you have done that, let it go. Don’t mention it again. He now knows what you want and it will be up to him to provide it. That simple. If he brings it up again, then talk with him to the extent he wants to talk about it, but no further. Give him eight weeks or so. If he gives you what you want, great! However, if he doesn’t provide it by the end of that time, then it’s likely he never will. At that point, you need to start making the changes in your life that will bring you what you want from another person. Don’t tell him “I warned you”, or “I told you so”, or “What did you expect?” Just quietly, calmly leave him, break it off, tell him goodbye, have good cry, and tend deeply to the self. That is all much easier said than done, of course. But if you must be called “girlfriend”, then you need to find someone who will do just that.
Again with my disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, a relationship specialist, nor a life coach, nor do I possess any credentials that qualify me to give advice like this. I am just a guy who tells it the way he feels it. If you need professional help, please obtain it from a qualified professional. Best of luck, and take care of the self.

Reply June 3, 2012, 10:58 am

Linda

Hi John. I’ve given much thought about it, about why is a title so important. I feel that having that title is reassuring. No, I don’t think it will keep him from running away, or cheating on me, and yes, my parents and friends ask me everyday if he is my boyfriend yet. So there are various reasons of why I want it, but the MAIN one, is the fact that I’ve been before in a “relationship” with no title, just to find out after 2 years, that there was no “relationship” at all. My ex cheated and justified himself by saying that he wasn’t my boyfriend yet).
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I think I must have mentioned that this current guy I’m seeing used to be my boyfriend in the past. We dated for 4 years, broke up for 2, and now we are trying things again. So, I know him like the back of my hand, and so does he. I’m assuming he want to be extra careful this second time around.
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Last night I told him how I felt. I asked why he hadn’t take me to his house again, and why I felt that he was so reluctant to come to mine. He gave me a lot of excuses that his Mom was redoing the kitchen and didn’t want me in all that mess. He answered ” I don’t know what you want from me, we are practically boyfriend-girlfriend, I’m giving it my all.” I said that he was perfect, and that I was falling in love again with him, but that sometimes not being his girlfriend yet made me feel like there was a distance between us.
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This turned to a HUGE fight. He exploded and told me that I had to stop PRESSURING him and that he was really upset that I couldn’t focus on the nice things that he does for me. He made a list of all the nice things he does (which I don’t question he does) and said that he couldn’t make me happy no matter what he did and that he HATED WHEN PEOPLE TOLD HIM WHAT TO DO. (I capitalize this sentence ’cause I feel it’s important). I told him that I have had some problems in my past with guys and that it made me afraid to become vulnerable. He said that that was my problem, not his. The fight was awful and I felt like I started a forest fire with a match. Like that a small thing like that blew out of proportion and made this huge fight.
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So, the question now is, what to do? How to I relieve a little bit of that pressure? I feel like a need some space for myself, because if the thought of being my boyfriend again repulses him that much, I need to regroup and reassess. Do you think this is savable? Or should I throw the towel?

Reply June 3, 2012, 11:49 am

Linda

And by the way, just to add. This guy is a little different from the guys that are posted here all the time. He is really needy and high maintenance. He constantly asks if something is wrong, and if I’m happy, and he is CONSTANTLY making me talk about feelings and such. He often moans about me being too distant or too cold, and he gets upset if I don’t call him or text him in work, every Saturday instead of making plans with the boys, he wakes up and calls me to make plans for the night. So it’s weird. Because most of the time he’s the one bitching about this stuff, but when I have something to bitch about, he explodes.

June 3, 2012, 2:19 pm

John

Okay, so there are a few more things to consider. Rekindling a relationship with an ex carries some specific risks. The two of you broke up once before, and there were reasons why. It probably won’t be too long before you are starkly reminded of those reasons. And then, it’s the same ol’ crap, you can’t get over it, and you find yourself breaking up again. It doesn’t always happen that way, but it’s a fairly common story. So watch out for that.
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Based on your latest post, you are in love with a man who will not give you what you want. More specifically, you are in love with a man who will not commit to you. It seems he shares my “mud in the glass” analogy. Shoot. A relationship must have mutual understanding and agreement. It is a two-way street. I’ve said it before: If you are not getting what you want out of this relationship, then you are allowed to find one that will give you what you want.
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You want to know if this is salvageable. Perhaps. Here’s what you can do: First, let this fight blow over. Give it a couple weeks, and lay low. Then do as I stated before. Only make sure you leave yourself an out. If this subject is so volatile for him, then you definitely do not want to have him trapped in any way or be trapped with him giving yourself no way to leave should the need arise. Also, when you tell him what you want – you know, during that hour I suggested – don’t make threats, don’t try to convince him, and don’t try to force his hand. ALL you want to do is tell him what you want. That’s all. There’s no reason to get upset about it, and if he does, just inform him that you are not putting him on the hook, and you have no expectations of him. Let him know that you are just telling him, in general, what you want from a relationship – WHOEVER that relationship may be with. See where I am going with this? He needs to be reminded that he is not the only man in world, and that there are LOTS of men (and I do mean an uncountable number of them) who would be ever so willing to call you a girlfriend.
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One thing you need to consider: If during this hour he suddenly, hollowly declares you his girlfriend, then you need to reject that. The reason he will spontaneously declare you his girlfriend will be rooted in desperation to either get you off his back, or avoid losing you. This will eventually lead him to resent you for feeling manipulated, and it will be the death knell for this relationship. He really does need time to digest everything you tell him, so make sure he gets that time – eight weeks or so. Don’t think everything is “just fine” if he happens to cave in and say something like “All right! You are my girlfriend already, Shees!”
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Note, this is a threat: “If you don’t make me your girlfriend, then I am going to leave you.” This is a series of negotiating statements: “I need to know that I am in a committed relationship. If you cannot call me your ‘girlfriend’, then I cannot assume that we are in a committed relationship. Under those terms, I feel I am free to live a life that reflects that non-committal status of our relationship.” See, a “threat” places a man in defense mode. It triggers his warrior instincts. The “negotiating statements” put him in compete mode, making him consider a number of options and directions his decisions will yield. In warrior mode, his goal is to destroy; in negotiating mode, his goal is to win. The object in this case is you. If you threaten, he is compelled to destroy you. If you are the prize at the end of the negotiations, then he gets to win you. So when you line up all your wants, make sure you don’t offer anything threatening. Give him the facts as you see them, and what you are willing to do in order to get what you want. A professional can really help you here, so you may want to consider that.
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Keep this in mind: You are a gem, a treasure to be cherished by a man who loves you with everything he has. You deserve that kind of relationship because you are an amazing woman who is willing to give completely of yourself in return. And there are lots of men out there who are willing to love you in that capacity. Perhaps this guy is it, and he just doesn’t know it yet. Perhaps he is NOT it, and you have yet to convince yourself of it. Either way, don’t settle for less than everything you want out of a relationship. The right man will gladly provide you with it, and you have a right to find him.
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Best of luck. Take care of the self.

June 3, 2012, 3:53 pm

John

Wow, Linda, given the way you have described this guy, I am forced to wonder why you even want a relationship with him. I am going to be pretty direct here: If this is the best relationship you have ever had, then you must have had some really bad ones. It’s fascinating how you describe how wonderful he is in your first paragraphs, and then describe how needy he is in the last. I am compelled to think that you need a committed relationship more as a means to reassure yourself, or perhaps your friends and family, that you are a desirable woman. I don’t know. A number of red flags are waving in my head, and I only know you and him based on the writings you just provided. I think you need to back up a few levels and ask yourself why you even want a relationship to begin with. Is it a fashion statement? Are you afraid to be alone? Do you not like yourself, so you look to someone else to like you? Cold, hard questions, I know, but if you are having these kinds of issues for reals, then they will always get in the way of your relationships. Your guy may be very much in tune with these issues, assuming they exist, and that could be why he’ll never commit to you. That could be why NO ONE will commit to you. Again, I am not qualified to derive conclusions like these. But IF – a big IF – you are having issues like this, then THEY could very well be the source of your relationship problems. The first step is to love yourself. If you make yourself the most trustworthy, dependable, honest, loving person you know, then everything else will fall into line – everything, including relationship, sure, but also your bills, your career, your education, personal assets. It all fallows your attitude about yourself. Before you go further, you really should see a professional. It may do some good for both of you to see one together, sort of like marriage counseling, only you are not married. There’s no problem doing something like that. Both of you may discover something important about yourselves that could lead to a brighter future for both of you, whether it’s together or apart. Again, best of luck, hon. And I know it sounds kinda silly, but I am serious when I say it: Take care of the self. You are the only person you are going to be with for the enter length of your life, birth to death, so you better take care of that person. ;-)

June 3, 2012, 9:57 pm

chris

Sometimes it seems that woman need to find the courage to choose what they want out of life, even if that means dumping their boyfriend or husband.

Woman focus so much on trying to get married as quickly as possible, that they lose sight of who and what they want to be in their life.

My advice would be, go follow your dream, take that hairstyling class that you wanted, be that adventurous flight attendant you wanted to be and focus on only pre paving your life experience the way you want it to be.

Focus only on what you want in your life and the guy that fits into your lifestyle will come to you. It’s so much more satisfying to live your life on your terms than trying to fit into someone else’s lifestyle.

Reply May 27, 2012, 3:22 pm

John

Hey Chris, you’ve got the right idea, and I subscribe to it, but in a broader way. Hair styling? Sure, I guess. Flight attendant? Seems rather conventional. Why not truck driver school? And if you’re going to work on an airliner, then be a pilot. How about electrician? Plumber? Automotive technician? Heavy equipment operator? Let’s transcend the trade skills and be an archeologist, an astronaut, an engineer, a physician, a lawyer (NOT a legal assistant!) The point is, the entire work field is open to all people, especially women. My frustration lies with those women who arbitrarily restrict themselves to stagnant traditional roles and then cry foul or play the role of the victim when they are merely victims of their own short-sighted decisions. We live in the most enlightened age in history, yet much of society is still clinging to outdated lifestyles, euphemistically called “traditional roles”. C’mon, ladies! The world is yours. Partake of it!

Reply May 29, 2012, 2:53 am

Sparkle

LOL I’m almost afraid to leave a comment haha! But I’ll be brave… So. Here’s my story.

I dated a guy back oh about 7 yrs ago… for about 2 yrs 17-19. Total rebound from my kid’s father. (<– Young, immature, lacked responsibility, yada yada you get the pic.) Along comes rebound guy, total player… I'm looking for a good time, he's looking for a good time, next thing you know… KABOOM! We fall for each other.. and HARD. So hard, it knocks me on my butt and scares the living crap out of me. It threw him for a loop as well. We were both really tender about it. I didn't even have such intense, POSITIVE feelings for my daughter's father… Fast forward, two years down the line, he's changed his player ways (for the most part), and we're living together. I'm 19, can't find a job, so he's footing all the bills while I play 'housewife'. Then there's the ex, trying to cajole me back into his arms. "I'm a changed man, and I want our family back."

And what do I do? Come on, take a guess? YES! I go back to the ex whilly nilly believing all his crap. Ripping my daughter away from the only man who has actually been a father to her, and breaking the heart of the man I loved. See, I couldn't figure out at the time how one could possibly "love" two people at once, nor could I differentiate between what I wanted or needed from a genuine relationship. Hello, 19. But pay the consequences I did.

Went back to the ex, MARRIED him, had two more kids with him, and now at 26 am in the midst of a non-contested divorce (meaning he could give a rat's a** whether I stayed, went or died)… Now an independent woman, taking care of three kids alone, holding down a decent job to pay the bills, knowing what I don't want from a relationship, and knowing what I do. I'm taking the time to heal & put things into perspective….

But… the clencher. Player gone good guy rebounded himself after our breakup. Dated then married my best friend at the time (all in the span of a year), had two kids with her, got divorced from her 2 yrs ago and is now a happy bachelor, with full custody of his two kids. And guess what, silly naive girl turned independent woman & player gone good guy are talking again… on a heavyish kinda level.

I know, I know… so it started off as a light conversation. How are you? How have you been? Where are you now in life? Have you matured? You know, the feeler questions. Then two days later I called him & he told me he has always been in love with me to this day and all the ladies after me have been poor replacements. I professed mine in return (after all his name is tattooed on my chest- didn't mention that did I) letting him know that I was young, dumb, and have not given up one ounce of love for him since the day I ran away those years ago. From that point on (4 months ago) its been texting for the most part everyday & phone calls when we can (maybe twice a week- we're busy people). Also I've met his kids, (he hasn't met mine- my choice since they're still trying to figure things out w/ their dad), we've gone out on a few dates, & I've stayed over at his place on a few occasions. He's been talking about renovating his house to accomodate all of our children (down the line), sent me a pic of an engagement ring that had my name on it (Sparkle), & basically making it seem like things are definitely headed that way. Now.. I know I'M getting a divorce, which means I do love player gone good guy, want something genuine & special with him (victims of youth & fate), but at the same time need to address my emotional garbage. I get that NOW. So I'm taking the steps to do that. Mind you, I have not been the one to initiate the "future" talks, but unfortunately I have fallen for it… Sigh. Which brings me to my point.

Lately, like the last 3 wks or so, after professing his love to me and seeing me all laid up at his house with his babies (they adore me :0}), and talking about how he could definitely get used to this, he's been distant. I haven't really bothered him, gave him some space. But yesterday I knuckled down and asked him, how are we supposed to be getting to know the new parts of each other, if we're only see each other once every 3 wks or so, and if we're not talking as much on the phone anymore. It seems like things are starting to majorly slow down and/or reverse. Then he tells ME, that he thinks I am looking for more than he's ready to give right now. What is that?? I've been trying to keep things kinda mellow and pacing things out because I don't want another rebound relationship with him… I have not been the one hem-hawing about the future & how I'm making him picture or want certain things. Can you give a blunt honest opinion like you did Sara?? I need that right now because I'm super confused and a little hurt…

Reply May 15, 2012, 3:24 pm

John

Hi Sparkle! I can imagine your name is quite descriptive of both your looks and personality. You must be one hell of a lady to have tamed the “player”. (Incidentally, a “player” typically has his own interests at heart, but that doesn’t always mean he’s a bad guy. But I digress…) Let’s explore a little. This guy found you to be so captivating that he gave up his bachelorhood for you. To a player, his bachelorhood is only EVERYTHING. So he traded in EVERYTHING for you – and your daughter – and what did you do? Run back to your ex? Who happened to lose all interest in a relationship with you a few years later? Yes, well, that was quite an eviscerating episode endured by the former player. Ouch! (Given that he was a player, I’ll chalk that one up to karma. He probably had it coming. Nevertheless – Ouch!)
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So what else? He married and then divorced – AND WON a custody case? I am left to wonder why he has FULL custody of his children. It’s a pretty rare event for a father to be awarded full custody. Winning it could not have been an easy feat! Either way, he effectively lost the mother of his children. As if the divorce wasn’t bad enough, I have to conclude that he endured yet another eviscerating episode in his life from the custody battle – a double whammy – from what was your best friend, no less. Ouch again! Twice even!
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From your own posting, you now know what you do want and what you don’t want in a relationship. Are you sure? Because you also say you are taking the time to heal and put things into perspective. How’s that going for you? Keep that thought in mind while you put yourself in his shoes for a moment. Do you think maybe he now knows what HE wants and doesn’t want in a relationship? Do you think maybe HE TOO is healing and putting things in perspective? He’s taking care of HIS babies too, you know – ALL BY HIMSELF no less. Sound familiar? (I imply that due to the custody status, he has no help raising his children. My guess is he actually has help from extended family, mom and dad and so forth.) To top it off, he has re-acquired his bachelorhood, and at great cost.
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So, some seven years later, after he’s re-acquired his bachelorhood (everything) but with a couple of little players at his side (and more), along comes the lady for whom he gave up everything once before. I don’t mean to belittle it, Sparkle. He was so overwhelmed that he flat fell off the proverbial horse for you. His giving up everything for you made you his everything in return. And now, here you are, both of you, looking at the possibility of re-igniting an old relationship. Problem is, he’s been here before, and he’s been stung – HARD – by it once before. In addition He’s been stung – HARD – a second time by a full blown marriage, divorce and custody battle. Keep that thought in mind through the next paragraph.
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Okay, so why is he talking about the future with you in the first place? Well, because, frankly my dear, he cares very deeply for you. (I have to place some restraint on the “L-word”. It is an extremely powerful word. So when I say “love”, it is meant to describe, at a minimum, an intense desire for someone. Warning: “Love” does not imply exclusivity. Your posting makes mention of that.) Men, like women, have their Cinderella Dreams too, although they may be aligned more with Larry Flint than Walt Disney. You know – the cottage in the woods, the white picket fence, 2.3 kids, the family dog, the smell of home baked cookies, and “Honey! I’m home!”… and the occasional, but ever pleasurable rough-n-tumble pickle tickle after the kids are asleep. And men will verbalize these dreams with “A” – not necessarily “THE” – woman they love. (There’s that L-word again – watch out!) But again, he’s been here before. He’s lived a version of this story once with you already. He lived a version of it with someone else. Both times, it did not end so well. So here he is, having said what he said, thinking now that he said too much. But once words are said, you can’t take them back. So what do you do? You retreat; you back off; you go distant; you re-assess; you slap yourself for saying something so stupid. And then you get scared shitless. That’s what he’s doing now, and that’s pretty much why he’s doing it. He shared a fantasy with you, and now he believes he will have to live up to that fantasy. He opened his big fat mouth, inserted his foot deep, and thinks that you are going to hold him to delivering more than he bargained for. That’s why he tells you he thinks you want more than he is ready to give right now. What’s worse, you’ve fallen for it. And he knows it. And he doesn’t want another rebound relationship with you either, because the results can f**kin’ hurt!
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This has to do with how men think. They use their language to negotiate, to get what they want. So when they talk about things as they envision them, as in cases like this, they feel obligated to follow through. A good man believes he is as good as his word. This guy sounds pretty stellar to me, given that he has full custody of his children. He has said something to you that you have fallen for, so it has become, in his conscience, an agreement. But literally, he hasn’t really made one with you. He’s stuck in a bit of a moral dilemma. And he’s not sure how to get out. So he goes distant.
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So what do you do? That depends on what you want. I don’t really know what you want other than to clarify what he means by “looking for more than he is ready to give”. I think I answered that one, but let’s set up a couple of scenarios. If you just want to hang with this guy and be “friends with benefits” or just “weekend lovers”, well, then, I think you have that one mastered. Status quo, steady as she go!
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If you want to scare this guy off and make sure he never comes back, then go ahead and start chasing him. You know that phone call you made? “How are we supposed to be getting to know the new parts of each other” etc. etc.? He mentally ran a few extra hundred miles away from you the instant you asked him. The light barrier may have been broken during that conversation; we’ll never know. But if you keep contacting him asking him where the relationship stands, and things like “why aren’t we together right now?” and “you promised we would be taking this to the next level”, or “I can’t be wasting my time waiting for you”, “make a move, you fickle bastard” and so forth, then look for him to change jobs, skip town, and delete his phone number.
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If you really want this guy, then you are going to have to treat him, his children, and the potential relationship like Jell-O in your hand. The best thing you can do with Jell-O in your hand is to carefully set it on a plate, put some plastic wrap around it and put it in the fridge. Because if you hold it so tight that you squeeze it, you will make an unrecoverable gooey mess out of the whole thing. (Please forgive my elaborate metaphor, but try to relate to it anyway.) This is very tenuous right now and one wrong move, which may have already been done, will send him running for his life, desperately clinging to his bachelorhood like it’s a giant tree in the middle of a flood. After all, it’s the one thing that has served him well, or at least hasn’t crapped on him, and he’s regained it, but at significant cost.
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You need to make it clear to him that you are not only capable of living life on your own, but that you are so happy to do it, that you will gladly open your schedule to date other men, and maybe even leave town to hook up with someone. I know! This is totally bassakwards to what you were thinking, but you must obtain that mindset and make him at least BELIEVE you will date other men. Because if you make yourself completely available to him, give all of yourself to him, wait endlessly for him, or worse, chase after him, he’s gone!
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What do you say to him? You can say something like this: “I have greatly enjoyed our time together and I do look forward to more. But it seems you have become a bit distant lately. That’s all right. I understand how you feel. Things were moving pretty fast for me too. I need to back off as well, and try to understand where everything is my life. But I am a young woman, and I am going to live my life as full as I can. I am not making a threat. I am just telling you that I am not going to wait around for you.” He may ask you to clarify, in which case you can say: “I realize that you shared some personal stuff with me. You told me how you want to renovate your house for all of us so we can all live together. That is a huge bite to take out of life. Those are big words, big dreams, and I want you to know that I don’t hold you to any of it. I don’t take it as a promise or a commitment. You were just sharing a fantasy and I am a big enough girl to recognize it as such. Basically, you are off the hook, but I never placed you on the hook to begin with. Well, I should be around. If you decide you want to see me again, look me up and I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, I am going to accept that we are not a couple, we are not committed, and so I am going to live my life in that way.” If he presses for more clarification, hit him right between the eyes: “I intend to date other men!” If he protests, then tell him: “Then you better man-up! I am ready to make the world mine. You contact me when you have made a decision. But until we are a committed couple, I am going to live like we are not. That’s what you would do.” If he hastily offers a commitment, beware! In fact, you need to reject his offer. He may not know it, but he is going to need time to digest everything you have told him.
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Warning: This could backfire thereby making the Jell-O explode all over your face. He could just flat give up on you and leave. I don’t really know your guy, so I don’t know what he’s going to do. Like I said, it’s tenuous, but I have a hunch he’ll let you do what you want, effectively let you go. Basically, you may not hear from him for a while – several if not many weeks. Don’t freak out about it. He is going to need this time to wrap his head around it. And if you want him, do not – again DO NOT CHASE!! Don’t call, don’t text, don’t email, don’t “check up on him”. You have to make him believe that you are living a fully emancipated, free-singin’, dick-swingin’, got ‘em all lined-up-for-the-night kinda life.
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So what do you actually do at THIS point if you want to keep this guy? You CAN follow through on your promise to date other men if you want, and maybe you should. (Use your own judgment. Are you comfortable dating other men? Only you know that.) If he calls or writes, however, don’t answer too hastily. If he asks for you, deny him based on your schedule. Or go to him, but do it reluctantly and make sure you have another appointment to go to in an hour or so, even if it is just to sweep the cobwebs off the ceiling. The point is you want to get the upper hand in the relationship. You can’t do that if you answer his every beck and call, or if you are there for him at the drop of a hat. Basically, you need to make HIM CHASE YOU which is good for a relationship. It makes you feel like a woman; it makes him feel like a man. He WANTS to chase you, even though he doesn’t really know it. Right now, in his eyes, you are a possible relationship OR a burden. You need to show him that you are the relationship he wants by making him chase you. But if YOU chase HIM, then you are a burden. And he doesn’t need one of those in his happy bachelor life.
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My same disclaimer applies. I am neither a psychologist nor a relationship specialist, nor do I have any credentials that entitle me to give this type of advice. I am just a guy on a computer keyboard who tells it the way he sees it. If you think you need professional help, then you should get it from a documented professional. Best of luck to you, and take care of the self.

Reply May 15, 2012, 9:26 pm

Sparkle

Thank you for the very thorough response John. :-)
Update: So after that text I sent, asking him about his time & where we stood and so forth, I basically told him once he responded, that basically things might be moving a little fast emotionally for us. 7 years of bottled up emotions can be pretty intense. I let him know that I would be backing off (I was kind of hunting him like prey now that I look at it), and letting him set the pace of our relationship. But I also let him know that in the meantime I would be focusing on continuing my journey to heal, work, school & my kids. Very busy. He said basically that he’s stuck on me and not going anywhere.
After that day I have been respecting his needs while tending to my own. I only text after he texts me, if it ends up a conversation, great! If it’s just a quick hello, fine. I have noticed that since I’ve done this, he’s called me alot more, been texting throughout the day if he’s able to, and been much more comfortable with me. We set up a playdate where he’s met all my kids, and they’ve gotten the chance to play together.
However in respect to my needs, when he brings up “future talks” I either change the subject politely, or in the last instance let him know that the future talks are nice but I don’t want us to get carried away. I let him know I’d rather us focus on what’s happening now & the very near future. So far he has respected that.
I’ve been in the habit of sending him letters, which he enjoys but I plan on putting a temporary stop to that for now since my letters consisted of the last 7 years of bottled up emotion. I sent one last one, last night explaining my reasonings for why I left, giving him an apology and letting him know that I would like us to give this a genuine second chance, when he’s ready. I had to explain that although I like everything we are doing, I can only accept a full-on relationship with him if he’s willing to take a leap of faith. Nothing less. My body comes as a package with my heart and he’ll need to embrace it all if we’re going to continue this. Just so that he knows where I’m coming from. I also said I will not be mentioning it again (not in a threat like way, just as in there will be no more pestering).
I’m more than willing to wait for this guy, not as a love-sick puppy but as a woman who recognizes when she’s got a good thing. There’s no title, yet, but that’s not important to me right now. Even though we know each other well, 7 yrs in between is alot of time so we’re still in the baby stages, and we’ve just got a decent head start. Player gone good guy is very attentive to my needs, genuinely listens, gives me good solid advice to my personal problems, teaches me a some valuable lessons in parenting, treats my children and me like precious cargo, and tells me/shows me he loves me in so many different ways. I’m very happy. The guy is slow to move I’ll tell you, but when he does he’s like a crab. Strikes quick and gets you with those pinchers. Go figure! His astrological sign is Cancer, lol. Good luck ladies!!

Reply June 4, 2012, 7:34 pm

John

Hey Sparkle! It sounds like you have things going in the right direction. Isn’t it fascenating that when you stop chasing, and just let him know your desires, he in turn chases you? I am curious how you feel about being chased as it compares to chasing. Could you write something here about that? What were your feelings of yourself and of him before during and after you would call him, asking him about the status of the relationship? What kind of emotions did he respond with when you asked him where the relationship stood? And what are your feelings of yourself and him now that you have stopped chasing him and allowed yourself to be chased? How do you feel when he calls or texts you? What kind of emotions does he radiate now when he calls you, when he’s with you? Is he confident, shy, forward, reserved, attentive, neglectful, withdrawn, engaged? What kind of emotions do you have? The reason I ask is an effort to show what kind of impact your actions as a woman can can have on the emotional aspects of a relationship. You as a woman can trigger those “tiger instincts” in a man and make him go head over heels for you based almost entirely on your actions. The right ones lure him; the wrong ones repel him. Looking forward to it. Thanks!

Reply June 5, 2012, 10:47 am

Sparkle

Hi! I’m back. I know it’s been awhile. Wow! So much has happened and although things didn’t go the way as planned I gained alot of insight and added experience from this situation. So it the end player gone good guy decided that a relationship was not going to be in his future because he was still having some serious hangups over his ex wife. BAM! That’s all I needed to hear. Vanished…

Meanwhile I am getting my single on! Dating and dating some more. I haven’t talked to the guy I was previously posting about in a serious manner since the beginning of August at which point he started sporatically reaching out to me on a once a month basis. Finally in the beginning of November I asked him to stop putting his feelers out via text and just leave this all alone. It’s obvious nothing was going to come of it and I didn’t want to waste anymore of my time and emotions.

But yeah, it felt great to let him take the lead and also to take everything he said at face value. I’m learning that when a man says something to a woman, he means just that. Usually it’s not all cryptic like women like to make it. In doing this I saved myself alot of time and heartache. Still sucked to walk away with my dignity and everything else intact but hell… I did that!! Thank you John for all your wonderful advice. MUAH!

January 22, 2013, 3:14 am

Emily

thanx.. nw m trying to lead a single life.. i have stoped saying him as my boyfriend.. he is my X.. but m having a very difficult time.. i miss him so much.. i dont have friends hear because m new here.. n also may b i was much dependent on him in every little things.. each n every thing or place etc keeps me reminding of our past beautiful days that we have spend together.. but what ever or how ever i have to fight to live a happy life as before.. GOD knows how much time it will take me to regain my confident n love myself.. m going through a very tough period.. hope u all will be there for my support.. n also xpcting some suggestion to get over this break up..

Reply May 13, 2012, 6:14 am

Erin

I got back together with my ex. We dated for 3 years, broke up for 2 years (and dated other people) and this year we started talking again. (on his initiative).

After 3 months dating again, I asked him what was the status of our relationship. He freaked out and answered that he wasn’t sure if he wanted a relationship and that when he started calling me and emailing me he wasn’t 100% sure if it was because he wanted something serious or not.

As soon as he uttered ” I’m not sure if I want a relationship.” I ignored all the reasons he gave me and transferred into the MINDSET you talk about all the time. I continued with my life, met other guys and made it clear to myself that I had (and still have) other options. Obviously this worked wonders him. Not a week had passed when he took me out for dinner and said that I had changed radically, and that if something was wrong. I answered that everything was OK, but that I was just matching to his level of commitment. He was very upset and told me that he screwed things up and wanted to “start things over”. I agreed but had ZERO expectations and kept my options open.

From that day on he’s been twice as committed.

He calls me everyday and texts me all day long, he wants to spend as much time as possible with me, he’s always saying nice things and giving me presents and is super sweet and attentive. He told his parents and friends that we were dating again, and is CONSTANTLY talking about the future. He uses ‘us’ instead of ‘I’ whenever we talk about the future. And we make plans weeks ahead etc. And he is constantly asking whether I’m happy and how am I feeling and how that ‘conversation’ we had (which in fact was just me changing my mindset) was such a wake up call for him.

So everything sounds just about peachy, right?

But, suddenly I have all these feelings creeping inside of me. We still aren’t boyfriend-girlfriend, he still hasn’t come over to my place or invited me to his. (we both live with our parents). And I can’t help but wonder, did he really change his mind? Or is he just doing all the things that he thinks I’m expecting of him, in order to keep me around, without committing?

Reply May 12, 2012, 12:48 pm

Erin

Oh, and lately, he gets very upset if I don’t take initiative on texting or calling him. And if I have plans without him he’ll get upset and start saying that I’ve changed or that I’m acting strange.

Reply May 12, 2012, 2:57 pm

John

Hi Erin. You shouldn’t have to take the initiative to call or text him. HE should take the initiative. Remember, he is trying to get on YOUR schedule, and YOU have control of that. Yeah he’s getting upset. Now he’s having to WORK for your time and attention instead of just having it handed to him. Now he’s having to step up, and that’s not easy. But it’s okay. It’s not supposed to be easy. He NEEDS to work for it, and he needs to totally win you over. Yes, you have changed, and for the better. (You MUST feel better about yourself.) You have taken control of your life, living for YOU instead of him, and that is strange to him. He’s gonna have to deal with it.
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If you are still not boyfriend/girlfriend, then you certainly don’t have to act like his girlfriend. Just keep living your life the way you want to live it. If that means dating other men, so be it. If that means excluding him from some of your activities, so be it. If that means staying home on Saturday night by yourself and reading “The Darwin Awards”, so be it. (That’s the book I am reading now, is all.) Until he – or another man – steps up and takes you exclusively as his girl in a committed relationship AND it’s the relationship YOU WANT, then all options are open – ALL of them. You are an emancipated, fully entitled woman, so live it up, girl! Take no compromises, and take care of the self.

Reply May 13, 2012, 5:35 am

Emily

my boyfriend told me that he wants to stay with that girl(his new
girlfriend).. Because she have helped him and supported him at that
time when his entire family was against him and at that moment Me too
went against him.. now he fells more emotional intimacy with her then
me.. so he want to leave me n wanted to stay with her n WANTED me to
support him in his relation with his new girlfriend.. So What you
think.. my hope to get back his love is finished..?? will he never
come back to me..??

Reply May 12, 2012, 11:43 am

Clara

Emily, I can only give you my advice and I hope you really listen to the advice that have been given to you here. I’ll be 100% direct and blunt so you get the message better.
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WHY would you want to be with someone who treats you like a piece of garbage? He cheated on you, lied to you, manipulated you, and worst of all, blamed you for everything. This guy is an asshole and you should run away as far as possible from him.
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To answer your question. YES. Your hope is gone. You will NEVER get him back, because you never HAD him in the first place. He was never yours, he was only using you and he wants to be with someone other that you.
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When he said he wanted you to support him in his new relationship, he meant he wants you to leave him ALONE.
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Move on, girl. You deserve someone who will treat you with love and respect.

Reply May 12, 2012, 2:33 pm

Clara

And stop referring to him as your ‘boyfriend’. He is not your boyfriend because he has another girlfriend.

Reply May 12, 2012, 2:34 pm

John

Emily, I support Clara on her stance. It’s harsh, but real. Let him go, move on, and make a better life for yourself. You deserve that.

Reply May 13, 2012, 5:40 am

Anna Bell

He acts like we’re in a relationship, as we have been seeing each other for over a year. He invites me to his family functions, yet he never introduces me or acknowledges that we are dating. He calls ever night, and I listen attentively to his day, and how he is doing. Recently, I have been given the opportunity to move closer to where he lives- he had said that living an hour away has been what has been missing in our relationship. Now, that I will be moving closer, I am not certain if this will change anything. I am not moving just because of him, as I have children to consider, and I want to do what is best for them. I had gone through a divorce 3.5 years ago, and I would like to start fresh- new job, new place to live, a change for myself and my children (their dad is in prison and will still be there for quite some time.) I am looking forward to the change, as I have prayed about it, and I know it is the right thing to do. Since he has always clung to the idea that our relationship would not work because we live too far away (always felt more of an excuse to me than anything), do I contine seeing him after we move? Although I had thought it could be a possibility that he and his son and my children and myself would all get a place together, he has made no committment to this. And, I am fine with this, as I am used to taking care of things myself. When we do move, I could all of a sudden see him viewing me as “important”. However, it is difficult, as I have a hard time understanding how I only could come valuable to him when I am in close proximity. He is a very good man, and all for which I have looked in a partner, but his inability to view me more than a “friend with benefits” has really hindered my ability to beleive that it would be anything more.

Reply May 4, 2012, 1:36 pm

John

Hi Anna Bell. Let’s start with a quote from your post: “I am not moving just because of him, as I have children to consider, and I want to do what is best for them. I had gone through a divorce 3.5 years ago, and I would like to start fresh- new job, new place to live, a change for myself and my children” The content of those statements – namely, yourself and your children – is ALL YOU MUST CONSIDER in your life. Everything else about your post is, frankly, minutia. But let’s hash it out anyway.
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First off, I wish to commend you on your cautious approach to this “potential” relationship. Further, your insight serves you well. You’ll see what I mean as we go. Based on all you’ve said here, I’d hesitate to say that he has all for which you have looked in a partner. For one, after a year, he has yet to introduce you as a girlfriend to his family. Also, I think you are correct about the “excuse”. If he considered you his one and only, or was otherwise head over heals for you, nothing, and I mean NOTHING would stand in his way of you. In short, there would be no excuses, distance would be irrelevant, you would be HIS girl, and there would be no question about it. Men are fairly predictable like that. When the chips are down, and it comes to HIS woman, he will walk through hell to move heaven and earth for her. Apparently he is not doing this, so clearly, he does not consider you his girl. In that regard, then, I’d say your proximity to him will not place any more or less value on you than he currently places on you. That’s okay. It’s not the end of the world.
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Let’s take this: “Although I had thought it could be a possibility that he and his son and my children and myself would all get a place together, he has made no committment to this. And, I am fine with this, as I am used to taking care of things myself.” He knows this. He knows it because that is exactly the vibe you are sending him. That in conjunction with you ALLOWING your self to provide him both the friend and the benefit give him no motivation to take this relationship to any other level, up or down. Why would he? He’s getting everything he wants, pretty much when he wants it, in a way he wants it, and you are letting him have it. Anna Bell, I am not sitting in judgement on you, so don’t take what I just told you as if I were shaking my finger at you. Please read on…
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Finally you ask, “Do I continue seeing him after we move.” That’s not the right way to ask that question. Instead you need to ask yourself “Am I comfortable seeing this guy after we move. Am I all right with it?” Let’s back up one more step. “Am I comfortable continuing to be in a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship with this guy?” Let’s skim away one more layer and ask it like this: “Is this rleationship working for me?” And finally at the core of the minutia, “Is this the relationship I want?” And THAT is the question you must answer for, whom? For your SELF, of course. Because, let me tell you, this is indeed the relationship HE wants. If it wasn’t, he’d have changed it within the year you two have been seeing each other. Now a couple of things to consider before you answer that question:
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You have been married and are now divorced. So, you have already been down that path once before. Was it really a big deal for you? (You know that I answer; I don’t.) Perhaps you just want a committed relationship where the two of you decide to see each other exclusively. You can do this without moving in with each other, you know. It can be a wonderful arrangement. The two of you and your children can all get together for the weekend and play “happy family” for a couple of days. Then he goes to his house, you go to your house, and it’s back to the grind for the week. There’s a lot to be said for this kind of arrangement. I call it “weekend lovers”. (It works pretty good for me. Your experience may differ.)
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But what about the FWB arrangement? This is, or could be, a two-way street. Are you getting no benefit from an arrangement like this? I mean, if it were THAT bad, you would not be in this relationship at all. So you must be getting something out of it. Maybe the FWB thing is all you need. Again, YOU answer that for yourself.
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So back to the big question: Is this the relationship YOU want? If so, then steady as she goes; don’t change a thing. If not, then change it. How? That depends on what you want AND if he is ready to provide it. The only way you are going to find out is if you talk about it with him. Go ahead. Make your move first. Get all that important stuff done and out of the way. When you are settled in and after you have seen this man a few times, make some special arrangements so that you and he are together uninterrupted for at least an hour. You need to know CLEARLY what you want before you do this, so make sure you have it all understood. (You may need some professional help here. Go get some anyway. You never know what you may discover of yourself.) Then, when you have him entirely to yourself, undisturbed, tell him what you want for a relationship. I don’t know what it is you want – and neither does he – until you tell him. This will not be easy, but it will be necessary. And it will be a major step for you because AFTER you tell him what you want, it will be his move. And it will go one of three ways:
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1) It will scare him away. Good. You want to know this early. If he is scared away now, then you were chasing a dead-end relationship anyway. Again – NOT easy, but important. 2) He may slap his forehead and say “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” and then procede to move heaven and earth for you, you’ll “live happily everafter”. 3) He may do nothing. He may decide that he has had it so good for so long that he doesn’t want it to change. In this case, YOU need to make the change. You don’t have to break it off cold turkey. But you don’t have to be his booty call either. He already knows what you want, so your actions should come as no surprise to him. From that point on, you can still be friends… just no benefits. Then start dating. Don’t date as a means to find “The One”. Just date and enjoy all that life has to offer. Date LOTS of men – don’t sleep around – just date, and let them pay for it. Allow them to spoil you. Allow yourself to be spoiled. And do whatever you do with fun first in mind. Mr. FWB may begin to change his tune. You never know. But if this relationship isn’t working for you, then you are allowed to find one that will. And you need to give yourself permission to do so.
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Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist, a relationship therapist, or life coach of any kind. If you think you may need professional help, then please seek a documented professional who can help you with these matters. Best of luck. Take care of the self.

Reply May 6, 2012, 12:40 am

Sara

Well, I was looking on here for some answers to a few questions I have. I would love to hear ur opinion. So, I’ve been dating this guy for a month..we’ve seemed to hit it off very well. We spend a few days a week together. We chat on the phone and txt pretty much every day. Well, I asked him if he ever wanted to get married his answer was if the right girl comes along, very hesitant. My question is, I’m just really confused cuz he told me he doesn’t want anything serious…I’m not sure if that’s now or forever. He seems to have his guard way up…obviously he’s been hurt pretty bad before. So, should I ask him if this will ever be anything and if he’s willing to open his heart up for me? Or is it just too early in the dating stage for that. I don’t wanna waste my time…but I really like him. Plz help!

Reply May 1, 2012, 3:30 pm

John

Hi Sara. So let me get this straight. You have been dating a guy for a month, and you already hit him up with the “M”-word? Shame on you, Sara! There is little more than infatuation at this level of the relationship. In fact, you can’t even call it a relationship. Of course he was hesitant. You took a stab, so to speak, and you caught him completely off guard. His thoughts now are probably something like “Shees! Her ‘clock’ must really be ticking to even consider marriage at this point! She seems desperate.” So what’s the story, Sara? Are you desperate? Do you need a man so badly that you would jump to the “M”-word before you even have a chance to decide whether or not you would even wash this guy’s underwear? I am being facetious, of course, and I expect your answer would be “No” anyway. But do have a conversation with yourself about that “desperate” thingy.
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There’s nothing to be confused about. If he told you he does not want anything serious, then let me tell you, he does not want anything serious. It is irrelevant if that is “for now” or “forever”. In fact, take it as both. You damned right he has his guard way up – and it’s a good thing too. Remember that “stab” you took? Well, that’s one reason why. And it’s likely to stay that way for quite some time. His pain should also be irrelevant to you. If there is pain, then it’s his pain and he will deal with it on his own terms. You should not assume to “help” him with it.
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Here is one of your questions: “So, should I ask him if this will ever be anything and if he’s willing to open his heart up for me?” Answer: Absolutely not! Unless you want him to bolt, then, sure go ahead and ask him. Seriously, if you do ask him this question, look for him to disappear before next weekend, because, yes, you hit the nail on the head, it IS too early – WAAAY too early in the dating game to be asking this question.
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Finally, “I don’t wanna waste my time […]” Then don’t! You are just dating my dear, so date – and date and date and date again. Don’t waste your time looking for “The One”. Don’t waste your time – and effort, and emotions, and hopes, and wishes, and dreams – thinking that THIS guy is “The One”, because – I’ll say it like this: ANY man can be “The One”. But you are never going to know if you hang EVERYthing on this one guy. Just date, and make yourself the best self you know. Just date, and let the guys – MAKE the guys – treat you like a lady and pay for your dinner. Just date, and get to know every man you meet. Notice: I did NOT say “Sleep with every man you meet.” That’s not dating; That’s “slutting” (I guess!) And that’s not you. In the meantime – so as you are not wasting it – go to school, get a degree, establish a career, and make Sara the envy of all women everywhere, and the burning desire of all men. You want, in fact, you NEED something to take care of you, provide you with a home, food, clothing, heat in the winter, wheels, insurance, and a retirement. That something is a career. (Were you thinking “a man?” Ut-oh!) A man provides companionship, someone to share things with, perhaps a helping hand here and there. A good one can make repairs around the house and on the car. A man can also provide semen to make a baby (duh!). A good one sticks around to be a father and help raise them. A GREAT one does all that, has a career of his own AND delivers a few head-busting orgasms during the week. Is this guy all that? How would you know? It’s only been a month.
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Best of luck. Take care of the self.

Reply May 1, 2012, 6:16 pm

G

Oh boy John! You blasted poor Sara and while I had to laugh, I also had to add my two cents. For one, perhaps this girl is on the edge of her baby making years and just doesn’t want to waste time… in fact, we know she doesn’t want to waste time…and I can’t blame her. Many men know that they want marriage and/or kids in their lives and many men know that they don’t. And many just aren’t honest about it-to themselves or to the people they are dating. And for a man that says “not right now” – well it hardly lends one a clue as to his real feelings on the matter regarding the future. But you are right, not right now, means “not right now” and very well could mean not ever. My suggestion to Sara at this point is this: Just tell this guy that you really like him a lot and one day you would like to be married and have children, and it’s okay if that’s not something he wants right now. BUT if he thinks that is something he doesn’t want EVER, then tell him you would rather not get invested knowing that. On the other hand, if it’s something that he might consider in the future, then tell him you would like to continue seeing him with the caveat that you will also date (not sleep with) other people until he decides he DOES want something serious. Lastly, should he continue seeing you under these aforementioned terms, please tell him that if at any time he realizes marriage is not something he could ever do with you, to please let you know. And of course, if he decides it is, to please let you know as well (so you can toss your other suitors aside of course) ( ;

My feeling is at this point you have already laid it on the line and got nothing to lose. (Nothing to lose but him anyway-which may be the best route if he is not interested in the same kind of future you want.) But rather than coming off as desperate as John indicated you might sound…just TELL him your terms and what you want. If he thinks there is a chance he might want to make a life with you, then he should give it a shot. But again, if that is the case and he still doesn’t want anything serious “right now” then the way you keep it “not serious” is by dating other men as John suggested. That is what he said he wanted after all! And that will give you time to get to know him and some others that may prove more suitable for you. Good luck!

Reply May 1, 2012, 6:37 pm

John

Ummmm – oops! Hey, G, and Sara, I didn’t mean to blast anyone. I am just delivering it the way I feel it. That’s why I make my disclaimer – I am NOT a behaivioral specialist, relationship therapist, or psychologist by any means. I have no credentials in that arena. I am just a guy who says it the way I feel it with the woman’s best self-preservation tactics in mind. I have seen so many women hang their entire “life’s work”, so to speak, on one man only to have that man fail them utterly. The emotional devastation is bad enough, but when you are left high and dry with 2.3 screamin’ kids, a stack of bills, limited marketable skills, unmanageable house repairs, and aging parents on a fixed income, the devastation is augmented exponentially. Oh sure, there’s child support and alimony and whatever, but if the guy is unemployed, well, as the saying goes, you can’t squeeze blood from a turnip. So, to whom can you turn when the man you depend on decides to effectively skip the country? The only person who has been with you during your entire life, namely, yourself. You really cannot depend on someone else – not exclusively, anyway. And if you can’t depend on anyone, then you can only depend on yourself. So you need to make sure you can. That’s the motivation for my posts. Best of luck all – and, as always, take care of the self.

Reply May 2, 2012, 2:08 pm

G

John, I actually thought it was well written and comical even…and sometimes us ladies just need to hear the cold hard truth. No harm done…I just remember after reading it I had that “Whoa!” reaction…but “Whoa” with a chuckle…kinda like the a bad joke that you know is not funny but you still have to laugh…

May 2, 2012, 2:50 pm

Sara

John, thx for the advice. Ur so good with words…really good. Well, I had to update u on my progress or lack there of. I had to let this guy go…I do know what I want and it wasn’t him or his lack of commitment. I know it was soon but I just had a feeling that it was just not going anywhere…ever. On to the next guy. :) Well, anyway thx again. Oh and I’m just curious how old u r and r u married? :) just curious!! Have a great night!!!!!! Keep giving that awesome advice babe!

Reply May 9, 2012, 7:25 pm

John

Hi Sara. I was surprised to see you reply, given that my original post was a little abrasive. I like to keep things grounded where relationship is concerned, but as I do, it invariably turns the ladies off. I don’t simply tell them what they want to hear, so they stop asking to hear it. Imagine that! ;-)
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So you are asking for a bio, huh? I’ll start with my age. I am 46 years old. I married my high school sweeheart in June of 1985. I was 19. Silly me! We had one child together, a son born in December 1988 – during finals week! Over the years I chased my career – and the ladies – and as we grew, we eventually grew apart. We discovered that neither of us wanted to live each other’s life style. So we separated in February of 1998, and divorced in February of 1999. Ironically we became better friends after the divorce than while we were married. (I saw her last week, in fact. She works at a coffee shop along with our son – who is 23. Eeek! I am OLD! LOL!) Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t all bad. In fact, a lot of it was good, and there are parts of the marriage I miss. But the trust between us deteriorated, and you just can’t have a relationship without trust. Would I ever go back to her? NO WAY! ;-)
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Since then I have had a number of relationships, as you can imagine. I have resigned myself to just having fun, playing with the ladies, making the world my playground, and chasing “the dream”. I have an awesome career that allows me to do all that too! I am quite up-front, honest, and real with the ladies. I tell everyone very clearly and repeatedly where I stand long before we get involved. She knows – or at least she is TOLD – that this relationship is temporary, I will break it off at some point in the future, don’t look to marry me, and my only commitment is to make her laugh until she pee’s herself. Despite that, hearts have been broken and I am blamed for it. Maybe it’s not fair to say “I told you so”, and I am never comfortable with the emotional pain involved, but at least I know I was honest.
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(Wow! I didn’t mean to talk so much about that!) I like your attitude, Sara – “On to the next guy”. Attagirl! Were I to give any advice on that, I’d say “Why only the next ‘guy’ (singular)?” Date all of them, make sure they all know you are dating, and let them compete for you. Somewhere out there, some guy is going to determine that HE has what it takes to make you his, he’s not going to like seeing you dating all these guys, and he’ll step up and make a bonified offer. It won’t be marriage at first, of course, and if any of them asked you to marry him out of the blue, just laugh at it because there’s no way he could be serious. But he could be very serious about having a committed relationship with you. If that’s the case, then YOU get to determine whether or not you want a relationship with him. See? YOU are in charge! Don’t get too caught up in a commitment before you decide you even like the guy. I mean first things first, you know. But make the men chase you. They LOVE that. And it puts them in a competitive spirit, which makes them feel like men. The best man (the “best” as he defines it in his own mind, anyway) will try to show the others and you just how good he really is. And that’s when he’ll hit you up.
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Take care of the self, Sara – always.

Reply May 10, 2012, 7:31 am

Emily

I m in a relation for 3 years.My boyfrnd is 7 years older then me.At the begining every thing was OK but as the days passed a found him changing. his a bit flirty in nature but before I always felt that he loves me. But since last 1 year he is avoiding me,he does’nt seems to care for me,my feelings,answer my messages, pick up my calls or call me back. he does’nt seemes to respect me.I always finding him texing his other friends or busy in calls. Since very begining he has a habit of hiding his cell phone from me.Even he dont like to address me as his girlfrend in front of his frends but at the same time his family knew about our relation(once his sister asked me about our relation and came to know about it. Then she told her family about us.) One thing I would like to mention is that, last year there was and issue and I did not supported him and instead I supported his sister in her break up with her EX. At that time my boyfrend supported his sister’s EX. And as a result a cold war started between Us.Since than I found him withdrawing sometimes completly. But after a few months I had a talk with him and than things came to the right track for few months again. Hear I wana say that my BOYfrnd is still unemployed and searching a job to support his family.They recently lost their house due to some legal cause and also have a responsibility towards his elder sister’s marrage.I understend his problem and is always ready to do anything for his happyness. But he never shares his problem or tensions with me. Being his girlfrend I fell helpless and mad at his conduct.He doesnt care for me and take me for granted.He remains busy with his male as well as female frends but has no time to share with me. I am totaly confused how to make my relation as before and rest his interest only into me Or shall I leave him..?? But I wana mention that he is my first love and wana have him as my lifepartner.. But now at this point of time am totaly confused.. PLZZZ HELPPP…….

Reply April 29, 2012, 10:50 am

John

Hi Emily. Let’s explore one of your comments that struck me: “I [am] always ready to do anything for his happiness.” That’s is a big part of the problem. You have become his servant, his maid, his push-over – he can have anything he wants from you and he knows it. So he is taking advantage of it. As long as you continue to do what ever he wants, he will see little value in you. There is A LOT of work to be done for yourself before you can even think of this relationship, and I suggest you get some professional help to achive that. You need to obtain much greater self-esteem and self-confidence BEFORE you do what I am about to tell you.
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You need to re-capture your life. You need to rediscover Emily. And you might not be able to do that AND stay in this relationship at the same time. It seems this relationship is part of the “drain” you are feeling on your life. NONE of what I am telling you is easy, nor will it be easy to do. First, STOP being so availabe to him. Stop waiting for him to need you or to tell you what to do. Instead, make fun thing for yourself to do, and purposely exclude him from the fun. This will help you build a new Emily. When he calls for you, do NOT simply drop what you are doing and run to his call. Instead, see first if you are available. If you are busy right now, or at the time he says he will need you, then he will have to make other arrangements. If he gets upset, that’s too bad. He will have to deal with it. If you ARE available, then assist him as he may need, but do it on your terms, and only if it helps you as well.
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You are NOT an object, Emily. You are not his property to be treated like a dog or a servant or some sex toy. You are a human being, and a treasure to be cherished. You need to live like a free, emancipated, fully entitled human being. Seriously, hon, go get you some professional help for your SELF. That’s where the solution to these issues lie. Once you rediscover Emily, and place more value in her, you will see other aspects of your life start to turn around including your relationship, which may not even be with this man. Bets of luck to you.

Reply April 29, 2012, 7:04 pm

Emily

Thanx… Hy can u plz show me the perfect way how to get him back by not loosing my self esteem n dignity. I love him very much,itz very difficult for me to leave him. Isn’t there any solution to my problem..??

Reply May 1, 2012, 12:55 am

John

Unfortunately, Emily, there is no “perfect way to get him back”. The problem is you cannot control what another person does. You can only control your own actions. As you take control of your actions, you take control of your time. Time is life, so your actions are your life. Or, put another way, “As you do, so you are.” I am left with echoing my previous post, but let me dive in a bit further. Right now you do everything for him. You are available to him in every way. You are idling your time waiting for him to effectively tell you what to do. You are doing this out of love. You believe that if you are there for him totally in every way possible, that he will see it, appreciate it, and love you for it. You’re actions for him are done out of love, and you are anticipating a reciprocation of love from him because of those actions. Emily, that is a trap. No matter how much you make yourself available to this man, he is not going to appreciate you for it. That makes you feel like an idiot for trying so hard; it makes you feel like crap. And this is what makes women think men are jerks. (Many of us are anyway. We can’t help it.) So what’s the answer?
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Emily, you need to make yourself LESS available to this man. I know this is counter-intuitive, but a man needs a challenge. You are not a challenge. You are too easy, a pushover, a rag doll. You are always there ready for him to do whatever he wants to do. A man quickly grows bored with a woman who is like this. So how do you make yourself less available? Again, echoing my previous post, you need to re-discover Emily. You need to start living a life for Emily instead of for this guy. You have handed your life over to him thinking he will love you for it, but he doesn’t and he won’t. So now you need to take your life back. This is where you will need some professional help. You have lost yourself chasing this relationship and you will need help to find yourself. One way to help find yourself is to ask, “What have I always wanted to do for ME, but never had the time?” It could be something as simple as re-aligning your finances. You may have always wanted to learn how to play a guitar. Perhaps you’ve wanted to remodel your kitchen. Only you know the answer to that question, but again, you will need help finding out.
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Another thing you can do is start seeing your friends more often. Make some new friends. Go to a gym and work out with them. Take in a movie. Go on a picnic. These friends can be women, or men. They can even be your family. The point is to DO THINGS – do LOTS of things for YOU!! not for him. And you want to purposely exclude him from these things you do for YOU. That will get his attention, but it might not get him back.
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He will likely take notice of you when you start doing these things because, like I said, as you do, so you are. He will recognize the changes you make, and when he does, one of two things will happen. 1) He may decide that he doesn’t want any part of your new life and simply disappear. This is a risk you take when you re-acquire your own life. If that is the case, then it will be painful, so be ready for it. But also, and more importantly, you will know that this relationship was a dud from the beginning. As long as you were there to do whatever he wanted you to do, then he was all right with you. He didn’t LOVE you, but he liked having his way with you and the fact that you did everything for his happiness. You don’t need someone like this in your life anwayway, so it’s good that he leaves instead of having to chase him away later.
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2) He may like the new you and start to call you more often, or ask you to do something for him. Watch out! This could be another trap. If you just drop everything a run to him, there you go being a rag doll again. So this is how you handle it: When he calls you to do something for him, check your calendar. Are you available then? What if he is asking you to do something for him RIGHT NOW?! Well, are you available right now? If not, I guess he’ll have to wait or make other arrangements. He is going to have to get on YOUR schedule, instead of you dropping everything you are doing and running to his beck and call. THIS is the situation you want. In this situation, YOU are calling the shots in your life – like it should be – instead of him calling the shots for you. The only way you can get into this situation is to make sure you are doing LOTS of stuff for yourself. Look at it like this: If you are really busy and some stranger comes along and asks you to drop what you are doing so you can do something for him, would you do it? Probably not. So act the same way with this guy. Treat him like a stranger when it comes to your schedule.
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This is only a beginning. Again – and I can’t stress this enough – get some professional help to help you through this transition. There is SO much that must happen between now and the time you actually take back your life.
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Best of luck, Emily. Take care of the self.

Reply May 2, 2012, 6:42 pm

Emily

hello john.. just before 3 days I found that my boyfriend in a relation with another girl( his classmate).. i caught him through his massages.. this was the same girl which i found with him in relation 6 month ago..at that time he asked time from me to change.. but this time i found him again with the same girl.. he said that she has supported him 1 year ago at the time of some of his issue as i have said in my 1st message.. so he told me that it will is difficult for him to leave her so soon.. but he asked me for time.. he also wants me to wait for him n support him.. but i rely dont know what to do..?? i love him but at the same time he have cheated on me with the same girl even after i gave him 6 months of time.. i rely dont know what to do..?? help..

May 7, 2012, 6:32 am

John

Wow, Emily, on the twisted side of my mind I kinda wish I had a girl like you. I wish I had someone who was totally plyable, move when I tell her to move, say what I want her to say, be what I want her to be, and go away when I want her to go away. I imagine the perverted sexual things I could do with someone like you, dress you up the way I want, dress you down the way I want. . . . lordy, lordy, It makes my head spin.
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Now back to “helping you”. Emily, I just described you as I see you: an object. You are ALLOWING yourself to be treated badly by this guy. He is USING you, and he has you so twisted up, you can’t even think straight. So, right from the top I am going to tell you: Get professional help! You MUST see a psychologist as soon as you can and discuss this facet of your life with that professional.
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This man is totally having his way – with you AND with the other woman. You have “caught him with this other woman twice now. He made lame excuses and appealed to your vulnerability so he could continue to have both of you. And you are letting him do it. To him, you are hardly more than a door mat. Emily, you are in love with a man who simply does not love you. And YOU! need to end it. I am back to my original posts. You must find the brave, strong, confident Emily and make her leave this brute. That’s what he is: an emotional brute. If he were doing to you physically what he is doing to you emotionally, he’d be in prison by now.
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That strong confident Emily is lost right now, and there is no way you are going to find her while you remain locked in this emotional quagmire. The “help” you seek lies with a documented professional, and you can’t get there fast enough. The solution lies within yourself, but you need someone at your side to find it.
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As far as telling you what to do? Here it is: Lose this guy. Let him go. And don’t look back. He doesn’t love you, and he never will. He has been trained to use you. You have been trained to be used by him. From here on, anytime the two of you get together, you will both assume these respective toxic roles, and it will be emotional mayhem all over again.
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Get help, Emily. Get lots of it, and get it quickly. Best of luck, hon.

May 9, 2012, 6:34 pm

Gin

So my bf of 3 years and I agreed to split up last weekend (my doing). I wanted things to proggress and know that there was a future and that the long distance in our relationship was going to come to an end at some point. The long distance itself wasn’t the issue and we had been doing it for the last nine months. Neither of us were thrilled about breaking up but we had tried a month break with no real progression or answers coming out of it. He still wasn’t where I needed him to be. He sobbed a lot of said he tried hard to get there, but that he still wasn’t there yet. Realistically, I know that a month isn’t enough time, but he and I have been having the same convo for a year and he said he wouldn’t be in a relationship with me if he thought it was going nowhere, but he couldn’t provide a timeline of when things might happen. I just needed to know the long distance was going to end at some point and that there was a future. So we (I) decided to split so he could figure out his marriage issues and so I wouldn’t be so toxic by constantly nagging or feeling upset just b/c I’m unhappy in my situation with my job that I moved for and being away from him. I feel like if he comes back and has time to miss me and think things through, then it’s meant to be.

Just hoping he does come back and gets it together which I don’t know if that’s realistic. He was crying Sunday morning and told me that it wouldn’t be the last time we’d see each other, that things would work out and I had to have faith. I said but we’re breaking up…and he told me that this was good for the future of the relationship and that I was too important to not have in his life. I told him not to contact me unless he had come to a decision because he had suggested we still keep in touch, that I can call whenever I needed, and that he wanted to hang out during easter when I was back in town. Sigh. I hate this because I feel like we both want it to work but we’re at two totally different places. He wants to get married at some point but has no idea when and won’t articulate anything unless he’s 100% sure he can commit. He said he’s thought about it often and with me, but can’t give an answer. There’s no one else in the picture and I truly believe he is just indecisive and has a lot of fear (he’s been poisoned by some of his coworkers unhappy experiences and wonders if the same things would happen to us). I now also feel like I have this hope or maybe even false hope that it could work out and I’m not sure if that’s realistic. I really love him, I know he loves me. Our relationship was otherwise great minus the progression piece. I don’t know if I should wait around a few months and see if he comes back or just move on. He’s already broken down and texted me twice (five hours after he left and the next day) but had been respectful of my wishes since then. And do I date in the meantime, give it a few months, or just move on completely and see if he comes back on his own accord?

Reply March 27, 2012, 7:21 pm

John

Hi Gin,
Really, my routine advice applies to your situation as well, except this time, you have already made the first critical step. Now I don’t advocate splitting up; That’s not my message at all. The advice is to have a relationship that works FOR YOU. Apparently, it was not working, so you broke it off. That pretty much answers your question, “Do I […] just move on?” Well – yeah. The hard part is over. You have broken it off. Another question you had: “Do I date in the meantime?” Meantime of what? What are you expecting? What are you waiting for? The question you should ask yourself is “Am I comfortable dating now?” See how it’s turned back onto something that YOU control for YOUR benefit? How do you feel about dating right now? If it feels “weird”, not right, or too soon… well that doesn’t sound very comfortable now, does it? If you are okay with it, or just want to give it a try, sure! Get out there and date! But don’t date with the idea that you are looking for or going to find “The One”. Date with the idea of just getting out there and enjoying the heck out of yourself and all that life has to offer. You are going to find men of all kinds, most of whom you may only date once. So? If they are paying for it (and they should!) just have fun with it. No expectations, no presumptions, no judgments, no hesitation, no pain, no pills – just fun. Notice, I did not say “go sleep with everyone you can.” That’s not dating. And you have more self respect than that. And a “date” doesn’t always have to be with a memeber of the opposite sex. You can go out with a friend who is a girl, or severl friends who are girls. You can even go out with friends who are guys. Get my drift? And finally, don’t give it a few months. Give it whatever time you want. Date three, six, or ten guys in one month – bam, bam, bam – then take a month off if you want. This is YOUR life, it is YOUR schedule, so YOU get to fill it however YOU want. See how much control you really have in your life? I know you may worry about hurting someone’s (a man’s) feelings. Well, if they are actually dating, then they should not be so emotionally invested too soon. Most of them know this, and are quite familiar with it, so it’s usually no big deal to go out once or twice, and then not go out again. Oh, and the “three-date” rule” Just toss that one in the trash can. If you date once, if you date ten times, you are NEVER obligated to have sex. Simple as that.
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So what about the guy you just broke up with? Well, where there is loss, there is pain. Yes, it hurts, and it is going to hurt. Simply put, that’s life. It is a risk a person takes when getting emotionally involved with another person. No one likes it. No one likes inflicting it, but it happens. An adult understands this and deals with it in an adult way. What if he comes back? Well, he just might. If so, look to yourself once again. What are you comfortable with? Do you want him back? It’s all right if you don’t. Again, don’t worry so much about his feelings, his needs, his desires. If he is man enough, he will show you why he is the man for you, and it will be up to him to “step up” win you over. And even if he does, and you do want him back, take him back on YOUR terms. A word of caution: You broke up with him for a reason. If you get back with him, you may re-discover that reason, and find yourself breaking up with him all over again. I re-kindled a relationship with an ex once. We broke up again for the very same reasons as before. Silly me! She shall remain an ex henceforth.
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Finally, in the middle of all this, don’t forget to re-discover Gin. For that matter, you may want to re-invent Gin. Why not? She’s worthy. Take an art class or a music class. What have you always wanted to do, but never really took the time? Cut and color hair. Do your nails in a way you’ve never done before. Re-decorate your room. Get a couple of plants. The point is to live life to the fullest. Don’t be so mired by society’s arbitrary relationship convictions. There seems to be a stigma associated with “the single woman”. Don’t let that crap influence you because, remember, it’s YOUR life.
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Disclaimer: I am NOT a behaivior specialist or psychologist of any kind. I have no credentials that qualify me as a person to give professional life advice. If you feel you need professional help, please seek it from a documented professional. Take care of the self, Gin.

Reply March 28, 2012, 7:17 pm

Cynthia

I just came out of a 1.5 years relationship that was ended by him because he realizes that he is not ready for a serious relationship with a girl like me and that we just doesn’t click to him and sometimes we click sometimes we don’t. He also say that sometimes to him it only feels like he is sleeping with his best friend, sometimes he feels the sparks, sometimes he is 100% sometimes he is not.
A bit of a background, we were originally best friends. Shortly after we become best friend he went into a serious relationship with another girl and the relationship was very volatile, she’s got a lot of issues and he deals with it, he invested a lot in it. They break up a lot of times. During one of the longer breakup, we became close and he told me that he’s had a crush on me for a while. At the time I didn’t know what to do, I like him to but too scared to take the risk. We decided to leave things as it is. A few days later after thinking for a while, I decided to give it a go. What if he is the one and I let this chance slip by? When I told him, he was so confused about what to do. Apparently during that few days the ex came back and the rekindled. He asked me if I was serious and begged me not to break his heart if he chose me. He said I’m too good for him, I’m smart, better educated, better job, stable, etc. And I assure him that it was never in my intention to hurt him or leave him. He said he chose me and later changed his mind. He went back with the ex, and they broke up again and we start seeing each other again. After a while the ex came back and he got so confused that he decided to be with either me or the ex.

We remained good friends, but then things happened when we’re together and we start seeing each other again. He told me that he is not ready to be in a serious relationship yet and he doesn’t wanna hurt me. But I still stayed by his side, support him and dedicate a lot of time for him, during this time he went through a family member passed away and other problems. And I was always there, I assured him that I understand and for him to take his time. About a year later he finally asks me out, to be “official”. Saying he is ready now for a relationship and he wants it to be with me.

It was good and it’s great to be with someone that is also your best friend. I then got a new job and was really busy in my new jobs, I have developed new interests and wants to spend more time to develop myself and do things that I like. I think around this time, things get more complacent, we see each other every day he stayed at my place almost every day. One day he told me that we’ve lost the spark, it was there at the start and it’s not there anymore. We were becoming this boring old married couple and it’s only almost a year into the relationship yet. He said that he was tormented the whole time, questioning why I avoid him or too busy for him. Is he getting fat, not good enough for me, etc. I failed to recognise that this was how he’s been feeling and one day he just exploded. I told him to give our relationship another go and that I learned from my mistake. I gave him time to think and he decides to give it another go and we will take it slow.

4 months later the same thing happened again, we start seeing each other every day but this time I feel that we still have the spark. It was going good and he asked me to go on a planned family holiday with his family and then we will visit my family after and then we should move in together once my sister move out (I was living with my sister but she will move out once she finishes uni). He had always invited me to all of his family function and family holidays before.

I then have a bad news at work, there are plans for retrenchment, I might lose my job and I have to start looking for a job and figure out what I want to do.
I became pre-occupied with myself again, getting busy figuring out what I want to do and get so stressed that I resort to make myself busy with something else and I didn’t realise that I started ignoring him again and get agitated easy.

All the sudden he blows up and we had a fight. During this fight I asked him, Sometimes I wonder why you never actually said you love me. Which he never, though I know he does because he go out of his way and bend over backwards to make me happy in many occasions.

This got him thinking and then he came back to me saying that we are done. He’s made up his mind. He is still unstable, that the last four months he’s been changing from 100% ready to be with me, feel the sparks to 80% and then 50% and then back to 100%, etc. And this reflects back on me, make me reluctant to show too much to him, afraid to make him freaked out (which is correct).

That he said sometimes he looked at me and thinks “I love this girl a lot and she means a lot to me”, but he just can;t say it. He realises something is holding him back and that he is not ready. And he was such a coward for not telling me this is how he is feeling for the last few months because he doesn’t want to hurt me.

He moved on too quickly from the last relationship that he is not ready to invest so much again and not ready to be hurt again, and most of all he doesn’t want to be the guy who always break my heart every time things like this happened.

He also explains that maybe he expected too much of me, that he’s been praying for a girl like me for ages and it’s a cruel joke on him that when he finally find a girl of his dream, the sparks is not always there, and we don;t click to him. He said he’s been in so many relationship in the past that the girl cheated on him, took his money and other problems. But the sparks was always there. I ask him maybe because I was different from his ex girlfriends. he said, it shows that he is not ready for something serious, something steady like me, and that I am too good for him.

He said he doesn’t know what he wants in relationship, life and love and he doesn’t want to be selfish and stayed with me when he is not 100% with me, that it is all bad timing for us. Had he met me and got together with me before the previous ex it will be different. He should just stayed with me the first time around.
I asked him whether he is sure that we just don’t click. He said sometimes we clicked, soemtimes not and it need to be constant for him. He is not 100% sure and he is not ready.

I told him that I understand his issues and I accepted it, but he can’t stand seeing me being hurt again each time he changed his mind and that it hurts twice as much since we are best friend. He said he doesn’t want to lead me on and it’s best to end it. He said he wants to figure out what he wants to do and he realises the risk that he will lose me, he doesn’t want me to wait for him. He said one day he might wake up and realises that he is ready and if he still wants me he will come after me hard and I better be ready for it, unless I am already happy with another guy…

He said that he wishes that we can still be best friend, that he will always be there if I need anything and that he will come check up on me here and there to see if I’m alright. but if it’s too hard for me he will dissapear from my life. He said it will be very hard for him because I am his best friend, but he will do it for me. He wants to see me back to real happy me before we got into this mess, and he need to be back to the real him.

The thing is, I don’t want to lose him, I love him and want to be with him. I know that he is not ready yet and waiting will be stupid because he might never wake up or he might find someone else. But I still want him and I’m willing to wait for him… which is stupid, but I can’t help it.

I don’t want to pressure him, telling him that I want to wait. But I want to tell him that I will support him all the way had he choose to be with me again and showed him that it’s worth taking the risk and invest in me. Should I tell him this?

I am sure that he has made up his mind about not getting back together now and I can’t change it. Should I wait until he sort his issues? Is he telling me the truth or he is just making up excuses?
Am I just not the one for him?

Should I still be friends with him and be there for him when he needs me? or should I just cut the ties?

Reply March 27, 2012, 7:51 am

John

Hi Cynthia,
There’s a lot of story in your posting, but your entire situation can be addressed by asking just one question of yourself: Is this the kind of relationship you really want? It sounds like this man doesn’t have his act together, nor is he likely to anytime soon. Some people – not just men – are that way. They never figure out what they want out of life, so they go from person to person, hopping from one messy relationship to another, trying to figure out what they are looking for. It would be different if he KNEW what he was looking for, but it seems he doesn’t even know that. Now if you want to be involved with a person like this, then it seems you have found your match. In that case, stay in this relationship. If you DON’T want to be involved with a person like this, then you pretty much know what you have to do.
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But let’s explore a few things. You say you don’t want to lose this man, you love him, and you want to be with him. Why? So he can make you wait for him to find out what he wants? For me personally, I would never “wait” for a lady to find out what she wants out of life. “Waiting” is polite way of saying “wasting time”. And time is your life. As you waste time, you waste your life. Sure, let this guy figure out whatever it is he needs to figure out. But don’t invest any of your own time, effort, or emotion into it. If he wants to talk with you as a friend, have a shoulder to lean on, or just toss some ideas around, fine, let him do that, but don’t be his “booty call”. You are better than that, and deserve more. You deserve a man who knows what he wants, knows you are a treasure to be cherished, and will treat you as such.
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Further, it seems you are making yourself WAAAY too available for him. You are making it VERY easy for him to be so wishy-washy. Frankly, stop doing that. A man needs a challenge, he needs to meet it head on, and he needs to conquer it. And he needs challenges frequently in his life. Events like this make a man FEEL like a man. If you are too pliable, too easy, too available, then there is no challenge, nothing to meet head on, and nothing to “win”.
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So let’s assume you don’t want to be in the relationship you are in now. What do you do? This is advice I have given before: Live your life to the fullest. Fill your calendar with fun things to do. Include family and friends, and specifically exclude this guy. If he calls and wants to be involved, deny him at first. Let him know that your plans did not include him this time. If he persists, then at your discretion and on your terms, involve him. Don’t just suddenly drop everything you are doing and then devote all of yourself to him. You may have done too much of that already. Instead, you may consider including him in your plans, bringing him along with your other friends, not as a date or a couple, but as a friend. And don’t worry about hurting his feelings on this matter. He will take the situation you have handed him and think about it. This will be him meeting the challenge head on. As you “put him in his place”, for lack of a better phrase, he may begin to see more value in you. As he sees your value increase, he will start to “step up” and act like a man who knows what he wants. Specifically, he will want to add your value to his life, and do what it takes to get it. Now, it could go the other way. He may get discouraged and decide he doesn’t want to pursue you. If that is the case, then you will know that he was not the man for you. And really, you don’t want a man like this in your life. I am not saying it will be easy. It will hurt; Loss is always painful. But imagine “waiting” for years and years only to discover THEN that this man is not for you. What a waste that will be, especially when you consider that there could have been another man just down the street who wants you, loves, and cherishes you they way you want.
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Now I need to disclaim myself here: I am not a relationship specialist, nor a psychologist, nor do I have any kind of credentials that would qualify me to give such advice. I am just a guy who has had a number of relationships, and find the interactions between men and women fascinating. Don’t take my advice as the answer to all your problems. If you need professional help, please get it from a professional, someone trained to help you with issues like this. As always, take care of the self.

Reply March 27, 2012, 11:51 am

Cynthia

Hi john,

Thanks a lot for this. Just what I needed, to hear something from someone who are not biased. I frankly still not sure what I want to do.
I’ll take my time figuring whether I’m willing to go back with him, should he choose to.
But I agree that I shouldn’t wait. I’m glad i have this thread when I’m emotional and feel like contacting him.

Reply March 28, 2012, 12:20 am

Poets

My friend and coworker became involved in the midst of his failing marriage. I felt guilty and tried to keep things just on a friendly level. But after becoming emotionally attached we both gave in and began a “relationship”. During the time we were on top of the world in love but I pressed for him to divorce. He agreed but my words came to late as his wife confronted him about US. They separated and things between us became a little rocky as he felt guilt and pressure from both sides. He said he was still in love with me and wanted a future but he was scared of losing his kids. 6 months later he told he thought we should cool things down. I was devastated but decided to give him his space. During the period he didn’t act like we were cooling things down but I could tell that emotionally he was a wreck as was I. He talked about getting his life settled and me taking care of my promotion while he’s working things out and then maybe we could start a life together. I felt sad because he made it sound like I was just plan B. 2 months later he tells me his wife filed for divorce. Then 2 months later they were selling their house. He was still emotionally unbalanced but I made sure to give him space.

A month ago he moved into his own apartment and now he’s dealing with the move and finalizing his divorce. He still comes over to mine and we still act like we are more than friends and our talks are deeper than just buddies. But it killed me the other night when he got all stressed and said that he needs a friend and finds that in
me but that he feels obliged to be more than that and he’s finding that hard to do right now. I was hurt because I thought we WERE more than friends! Now when he comes over I feel different. I feel like I had much compassion and patience and understanding for his situation for more than a year and now it may be all for nothing. He’s always hot and cold. One day he tells me he loves my soul and the next week he’s saying that he feels like he’s letting me down because he can’t be there for me the way I want him to. The messed up part is that he assumes Im always thinking that! I told him I don’t know WHY he says that when For the past 2 months Ive actually been focusing more on my career rather than him or US. He says Im forcing the issue of our relationship but I told him WHEN? And what did I do or say? He said I don’t do it aggressively but passively. I told him it’s all in his head and that HE feels frustrated with himself that he can’t produce right now but wants to reflect the blame onto ME. I believe he loves me but has been trying to distance himself for the sake of getting his new life together. I feel like he cannot balance taking care of things AND making time for US. THIS I KNEW AND KNOW. I don’t understand why he doesn’t just be a man and stop feeling sorry for himself and use his energy to accomplish his transitions instead of focusing on the negative aspects of his life. I also am confused as to why he keeps saying he’s letting me down. I guess I’m even more confused with his remark about feeling obliged to be more than friends but yet he acts like we are.

Sometimes I think the stress of divorce and life changes makes him lash out and he’s like an emotional time bomb. I’ve been nothing but supportive and he always thanks me about it and says Im wonderful. But I don’t feel wonderful right now not knowing where things stand between us. If I ask him about it he gets stressed and pushes me away. If I don’t ask him he seems to gravitate more towards me and US. And if we have an argument about anything he always brings up “I feel like Im letting you down” routine and then I feel bad even tho I honestly had no intentions of that…. Frustated and confused

Reply March 17, 2012, 4:52 pm

G

I think it’s natural your guy is feeling very confused and torn over this situation. Divorce is a difficult thing and your part in it is adding to the confusion. I would suggest you tell him what you want (a relationship) and give him the space to work his emotions out until (if and when) he is ready to give that to you. I would not try to be his “friend” in the meantime, as that is not what you want, and he is right to feel you are passively pressuring him into more than a friendship right now. You wouldn’t be writing here if that were not your head space. It’s too difficult and does not help either one of you to be just “friends” right now. If he needs help reconciling his feelings, he needs to go to an objective friend. And I think that by being his friend, and not in a relationship, you are only hurting yourself and your chances for a future with him. You are redefining your relationship from what it once was and from what I understand, it’s that very relationship you want back…not a redefined one. Move on with your life and if and when he is ready, he will let you know. Or you may find something better in the meantime.

Reply March 19, 2012, 4:44 pm

John

Hi Poets. You got a tough one here. I am going to open with my disclaimer: I am NOT a psychologist, behaivior specialist, or a life coach of any kind, nor do I possess any credentials that would document me as such. So, don’t take my post as help by any means, and if you need professional help, then please seek it from a documented professional specfically trained to provide this kind of help.
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You’ve been nothing but supportive. And you don’t feel wonderful. When you bring up the issue, he withdraws. When you make no mention of it, he gets closer. The reason he doesn’t “just be a man and stop feeling sorry for himself” is because you are enabling him to be a wimp through your “support”. Notice that when you make no mention of the issue, he get’s closer. That’s because he really does not want the kind of “support” or help you are providing. He does need help, but not from YOU, and not in the way you are providing it. When he goes to you, he wants a place where he can escape from all the crap going on in his life. As you mention it, bring it up and try to discuss it with him, you are reminding him of all the crap, making him face it, and wind up making his place with you “unsafe”.
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First off, this man really needs professional help. He may already be getting it. If so, good. If not, then DON’T help him get it. I know that’s counter-intuitive, and it seems horrible, but DO NOT help him. You might want to suggest to him that he seek it, but that’s where it ends with you. If he does get help, then he needs to get it on his own accord, on his own time, in his own way, and he needs to deal with it on his own terms. And when he does, frankly, you just need to say completely out of the way. You may have contributed to a mess here. That, perhaps your guilt of that (if you are feeling it) and your love for him make you want to help him. But basically, it is his mess and he should clean it up himself. THAT is how you give him his space.
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So far you THINK you have given him his space. But everytime you bring up the mess, you are effectively invading his space, reminding him of the problems which are festering right now and won’t seem to go away, which makes him feel helpless. A man who feels helpless does not feel like a man, and won’t act like a man, and that’s what makes him feel like he is letting you down. Also, as you make him feel helpless, he lashes out at you for doing so. Funny thing is, he doesn’t even know why he lashes out at you. It is a primitive response to what he unconsiously percieves as an injurious act. You are indeed passively hurting him by reminding him of all this. As he gets hurt, he hurts back. This is probably why you don’t feel wonderful.
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Your role in this is one of two things – NOT both, so you are going to have to choose. And you need to make the choice knowing that no matter what you do, you cannot control the actions of another person. Role #1 is this: Leave the entire situation. Leave him, leave the mess, close this chapter of your life and move on. Somehow I think you are not willing to do that, so here is the other role:
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Role #2: Be only his “fun place” and nothing more. Don’t “support” him in his struggles unless he specifically asks you for some input. And even when he does ask for it, try to dodge it. “Honey, you fix this this however you think best.” If he persists, then give him short one-word or two-word answers. Try to sidestep it as much as possible, and resume the fun as quickly as possible. The point is, this man NEEDS to solve these issues on his own. He needs the challenge and he needs to rise to it. This will make him feel like a man. If you rise to it for him or with him, then he is left feeling emasculated – even though you have never done that or tried to do it, he will FEEL like you have or are trying to. He will feel more “manly” as he rises to meet this challenge in his life and solve it. And as you remain his “fun place”, he will come to you to retreat from the challenge, and that will further enhance his manly feeling about himself. While you are together, do only fun things together, and BE that safe place for him to retreat. THAT is how you help him through this; THAT is the kind of support he needs from you.
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Now, here is the risk. As he gets over all this mess, he may decide leave you. So if you take on Role #2 as I have described above, you CANNOT do it with the idea that you will be rewarded with a “happily-ever-after” relationship. Remember, you cannot control what another person does. And you cannot assume that because you have “done all this for him” that you are entitled to an exclusive relationship with him. Instead of thinking “I am doing all this for him and I shall be rewarded”, thereby setting you up for potentially HUGE disappointment, think “I am being rewarded right now because I get to spend all this fun time with him.” In the end, all you may have been for him is a retreat while he was battleing the monsters. I don’t know how long that will take. It could take years only to end with NO permanent committed relationship between the two of you. That is why Role #1 may be the better option.
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Of course, you WANT that committed relationship with him. Very infrequently, remind him of what you want in a fun, casual, “imagine us being together all the time” kinda way. Perhaps you can work it in, so to speak, during the massage you give him on Friday night after work. However you do it, you cannot push for this. Pushing will simply push him away. It is difficult to be both his “fun place” and his commitment. Ironically, the best way to get him to commit is to simply be there as his “fun place”.
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It would stand to reason that when all the static and tumoil has vacated from his life, he will see you standing in the clear and recognize that you have been a huge source of support for him, then decide that he wants to have you with him permanently. That stands to reason. But emotions are not reasonable, and his feelings are at the core of this issue. So still, you cannot expect to be rewarded in that way for your efforts.
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Again, don’t take this as the answer. I am not qualified to provide one. You should talk to someone who really knows what’s going on here and can interact with you in person. A professional will gleen more information from you both verbally and non-verbally and will inhearantly help you make the right choices. Best of luck to you, and regardless of where you go or what you do, always take care of the self.

Reply May 11, 2012, 11:44 pm

Clara

So, I think we all got Eric’s email about commitment and how do guys commit to a guy once they are faced with the fear of losing the girl to some other guy.

I believe that Eric left something out that is REALLY important about this “trick” for helping him commit.

Isn’t it LAME and potentially destructive to get in a relationship with a guy out of fear? I mean, he’s asking you to be his girlfriend, or moving in with you or whatever not because he wants to, but because he is afraid of losing you. This means that, 2 months or so after he finally “brought his A game” and you are boyfriend/girlfriend officially, and you let your guard down and he finally knows you have no other options, he’s going to doubt if he was really ready for this and freak out. Isn’t it a load of bullshit that a guy suddenly is ready for a realtionship after he clearly said he wasn’t, but just because he became afraid of losing you to some other guy? Isn’t it just postponing the inevitable?

Reply March 16, 2012, 3:58 am

Eric Charles

When I was younger, I had certain ideals about how relationships *should* be or what women *should* respond to…
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What I eventually learned in life was that it doesn’t matter what I think *should* work… only what does.
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When I write about what works, I’m writing about it because it works. I’m past judging it for whether or not I like it or think it’s “lame”.
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I’m not trying to be a dick, but it just is what it is… men and women want a prize… not a parasite or beggar who ultimately fixates on the other person being their savior.
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One of the ways that men and women see the value in another person is the “social proof” around them. We desire people who are desired by others… it amplifies their attractiveness and desirability.
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Plus it gives us the feeling that we were CHOSEN among all the others because we were the *best*… not because the other person had no other options or because the other person is so weak that they’ll just settle for any glimmer of hope.
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To clarify that e-mail… it’s not just fear that makes the guy want to step up and bring his A game… it’s his innate, primitive desire to want to win against his competition and be crowned as the BEST.
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I do understand your thoughts and feelings, but really, it doesn’t matter whether you think it’s lame or not. To be really blunt (but with appreciation and respect towards you), I have to assume that you’ve been doing what you think you SHOULD be doing the whole time… and it hasn’t you gotten the amazing love and commitment you’ve always wanted.
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Bottom line: Instead of getting angry at what is… accept it, work WITH it (not against it) and make peace with it.
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Hope that’s helpful.

Reply March 16, 2012, 2:09 pm

Clara

Ok, I understand. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is pretty good advice.

So, this means I should tell a non committal guy something along the lines of: “Hey I think this has been great and you are amazing, but I’m not getting what I want from this. I want a serious relationship and you have shown that it’s not going to be with you. It’s ok, I understand, but I’m not going to wait around for you. Good luck and bye-bye.”

And then back off. And if he’s truly afraid of losing me and really wants me in his life he’ll follow?

Reply March 16, 2012, 2:36 pm

Eric Charles

Sort of…
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Don’t say it and don’t slam the door in his face.
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To be honest, I’ve resisted saying it like this for a long time, but I figure just putting this idea out there directly is going to be best for everyone’s benefit…
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Like it or not: Relationships must have both push and pull. It doesn’t need to be cruel or manipulative, but frankly relationships NEED to have push and pull because LIFE is push and pull.
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In life, great opportunities can present themselves to us all. Those that rise to the occasion and fight to be around great opportunities have a higher likelihood of having them presented to them on a regular basis.
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And those that rise to the occasion to CLAIM great opportunities may just get them… they MAY.
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… or they may not. Why is it a maybe?
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Because in the end, they might not have what it takes. They might not claim it – sure the reward might be amazing, but if they don’t put in what it takes to claim the reward, they don’t get to have it…
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And this is exactly the point where people say… “That’s life!”
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And it is life! That’s what happens in life – you are given great opportunities and you get a SHOT.
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Which is why it’s amazing to me when people think that if they should just immediately give all of themselves to another person (when that other person has put in little to no effort) and then they’re surprised when the other person shows them no attention, no priority and no effort.
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In that example, you’ve TRAINED the guy that you will settle for anything and expect NOTHING. Think about it.
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But with your question, you’re talking about extremes…
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Hypothetically, you (or any woman let’s say) came in and handed yourself to him with little to no effort on his part.
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Now you want to say one magic phrase and slam the door in his face and you want that to get him chasing you?
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It’s highly probable that the above strategy will not work. Why? Because it’s way to extreme and way to obvious.
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If you want to have power in relationships, you need to motivate the man’s energy… not have “conversations”.
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You need to tap into his motivations… As they say, talk is cheap.
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With push and pull, it’s gradual, unspoken and not extreme. That’s why I keep saying MINDSET and everyone wants me to give them some magic button to push and get instant gratification.
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That’s not realistic… you adopt the mindset and you’ll naturally make the right moves, say the right things and send the right message because it will be natural and within you. It won’t seem forced and obvious – it will be gradual and subliminal.
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So, seeing as how the mindset is required, these are examples of what a woman might do if she has that mindset:
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– Instead of sitting around all weekend with the guy watching movies, take your girlfriends up on their offers to go out. And when men want to talk to you, take them up on the offer.
– In the back of your mind, always be looking.
– Stop blowing off men with saying, “I have a boyfriend” or “I’m seeing someone”. Like I’ve been saying – if your guy says he doesn’t want a relationship with you, he means it… stop trying to force it!
– If you have admirers, don’t shut them out of your life. Allow them to keep in touch with you and continue to orbit.
– STOP whining, begging, pouting when your man doesn’t step up. That just further shows him how weak and dependent on him you are… instead, when he doesn’t step up, simply and calmly look for some other way to fulfill your wish. *(Note: I’m not saying cheat, betray trust or do something hurtful to “get back at him”. I’m saying that you must become self-sufficient in filling your needs or you’ll have no POWER in your relationships.)
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And don’t worry, I liked your question and none of either answer was against you – I think this is such a hot topic that I’d rather speak passionately about it without any room for misinterpretation or sugarcoating. I would risk being slightly offensive (and getting the message across) than having the real message diluted.
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Hope that helps.

Reply March 16, 2012, 3:58 pm

Clara

And I think that your popularity comes from not sugar coating and telling it all as it is.

Ok, I finally get it and I guess that the general problem is getting into the role of the girlfriend before you actually are.

One last thing, does a change of mindset help AFTER you’ve given an ultimatum to a guy? I made the mistake of telling him to man up and cut the crap and the fears and to leave me alone if he’s not looking for a relationship. How can I redeem myself after being too extreme?

March 16, 2012, 6:10 pm

Eric Charles

(This is a response to your final question…)
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What’s done is done… you gave him an ultimatum… at this point it would be best that you stick to what you said in the ultimatum – if you want to be taken seriously…
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In the end though, ultimatums seldom have much power other than to raise someone’s defensiveness against you. They are not PERSUASIVE… they are overt threats and are always greeted with resentment, defensiveness and opposition.
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But assuming that the ultimatum didn’t totally nuke the relationship, yeah, just adopt the mindset and be persuasive, not abbrasive.
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Somehow the ridiculous media culture/Hollywood adopted this idea that women should be “bitches” or “tough” or “just say how they feel”, which is expressed through women just dumping ultimatums on a guy, then attacking him as being some kind of asshole when he (rightfully) reacts poorly.
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Frankly, it’s stupid. I mean, act however you want, but personally I pray to the church of being EFFECTIVE… and ultimatums, raising people’s guards and creating resentment is extremely counter effective.
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I’d love to ask the supporters of the “in your face, I say whatever is on my mind and eff you if you can’t handle it” camp to tell me how EFFECTIVE their method is in relationships.
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Anytime I’ve ever asked, they come back with some angry, spitfire, flacid response about how they should have to but up with a man’s BS and that a “REAL MAN” would step up and cater to their every whim and fancy (hahaha… of course he would with that chaaaaaarming personality).
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OK, I’m getting on a tangent here. My point: MINDSET is persuasive because it is subtle, not obvious, and therefore EFFECTIVE.

March 16, 2012, 6:29 pm

John

(WOW! Eric, you, Sir, are a Master!)

May 4, 2012, 12:21 pm

Eric Charles

Thanks John.

May 4, 2012, 1:00 pm

Amanda

Hey I need some advice and I don’t really know where to find it so here goes. I recently got back together with my ex and things were great but going really slow, so slow I just could’t bear it anymore. So today we had THE talk.

I told him that I wanted to know where was things going, if he had got back together with me just for a good time or to really get things serious.

He replied that he loved me and that he wanted to be with me, and that he had an internal clock ticking telling him that it was time things got serious. But that he is afraid of losing his freedom and that when he contacted me saying he wanted to come back, he did it because he was afraid of losing me to some other guy and that he had to snatch me before someone else did, but now he realizes he probably wasn’t ready for a relationship.

And that now, he was in a tough place because he doesn’t want to lose me and knows he has to man up and be the man I deserve, but deep down he isn’t sure if he wants to be in a serious relationship just yet.

So, he asked me to give him a week so we both think things through, a week with cero contact so that we can see things clearly. So, NOW WHAT?! I know I shouldn’t contact him during this week. But I don’t know what to do regarding our situation because a week from now we are talking about this again. All I know is that I really really really don’t want to lose him again, but I’m not sure if things can go back to what they were.

I don’t know if this sounds like a good strategy, but maybe I could tell him next week that I want to slow things down and then just concentrate on myself and let him know that I don’t need him? He’ll probably commit to me but he would just be with me not to lose me, instead of being with me because he really wants to?

Any thoughts?

Reply March 12, 2012, 3:40 am

G

Amanda! DON’T do anything but WAIT for his call. No games. He told you he is going to make a decision. Let him do that. He will either tell you he is ready to commit so as not to lose you, or he will tell you he is not. If he tells you he wants to commit so as not to lose you, then you should be happy with that. If he tells you he is not able to commit right now, then it’s up to you to decide what you want to do from there. In that case, I suggest you give him a time limit. Say, “Okay, I will wait 6 more months, but if you are not ready by then I am going to have to move on with my life.” Make sure you look at the specific date that you are willing to wait until and say it out loud so you both know it. That way as it approaches, he will either make a move or you will and there will be no surprises.

Reply March 12, 2012, 3:01 pm

Femme

I recently asked a guy I have been dating for 6 months(friends for 10 years) now if we’re ready to be official couple. He said he needed time to think and sort through some stuff. Two weeks have passed and we talk and text as usual, but he hasn’t mentioned anything and neither have I. I decided to say text him and say casually if he had thought about what we spoke about. His response was so hurtful. He said “kinda, but not really” and he says that he fears the responsibilities that come with that title since he has a day job and night job and barely has any time. We both are very busy and as is we do have tons of scheduling issues when we go on dates. We both live with a child each and it has been a bit rough to mesh both our lives, but I still think that being in a relationship would be a good thing. And I want to know that we are just gonna pursue eachother and no one else. Is it time for me to walk away now?

Reply May 6, 2012, 12:22 pm

John

Hi Femme. From your post, YOU, Femme, think that being in a relationship would be a good thing. A relationship requires TWO people to make it work, not one. You have known him for 10 years and dated him for 6 months. Don’t you think he’d have made a conclusion about a relationship between the two of you by now? I think he has, and it’s pretty clear to me that he doesn’t want one – not with you anyway. That may soud hurtful, and I am sorry if it is, but consider that you two are NOT an official couple, you are being hurt by his statement, and you still think being in a relationship with him is a good thing. Read through that a couple times. It twisted MY brain. So, two things: First, frankly, Femme, chasing this relationship is chasing a dead end for you. After ten and a half years, he’s not going to give you want you want. Sorry. Second, I want to point to his statement: He “kinda, but not really” thought about being an offical couple. I am trying to see where and how this statement is “so hurtful”. Femme, if a statement like that causes you so much hurt, then I am concerned about your level of sensitivity. You should do some self-exploration with a professional therapist at your side. There is something much deeper leading you to feel so much hurt from such a statement. And I am pretty sure it is going to get in the way of any relationship you chase. In fact, I suspect it has already done so at least once before, and I think it is sabotaging this relationship as well. That’s all just conjecture on my part, but seriously, do seek some help for youself about your level of sensitivity. Best of luck, and take care of the self.

Reply May 6, 2012, 7:25 pm

John

Yeah, I have some thoughts. Don’t think “strategy”, don’t think “relationship”, don’t worry about what he is going to do or say next week, and don’t be afraid – of ANYTHING. Instead, think about yourself, and what you want out of life in general. Is this relationship necessary in order for you to get what you want out of life? If not, then, frankly, cut him loose. Let him go figure out whatever he needs to figure out, but he should do it without wasting your time. I mean, there just too many men out there who would adore having a relationship with you. (And that’s the truth, sweetie!) If this guy doesn’t see it, then it’s his loss. If this relationship IS what you need, then you need to hear his decision next week. And then you do just what G said. The “6 months” time frame is an arbitrary amount of time, though. I’d say give him the amount of time that YOU are comfortable with, whether it’s 6 months or 6 hours – whatever. If he decides he wants to wait longer, then all he is really doing is stringing you along longer. How long do you want to go for that ride? That’s up to you. You’ve already said that he want’s to be with you so that no one else will have you. That’s kind of lame, frankly. He’s afraid to lose you, he’s afraid to lose his freedom, he’s afraid to see you with another man . . . is he afraid of spiders too? Seriously, though, it seems he is NOT afraid to keep you dangling. Hmmm. He just wants his cake and eat it to? Yeah, well, so do I. He CAN have a relationship like that – just not with you because you are not an object to be dangled. And just like G said, don’t contact him – AT ALL! Even if it goes into next week, two weeks, three? Let him call you. I hope you decide to live your life without him if he doesn’t contact you in three weeks, though. One more thought: I notice you said this man is your ex. Beware of that. He is an ex for a reason. I re-kindled a relationship with an ex before, and I wasn’t too long into it when I was flatly reminded why we broke up in the first place. She became ex again, and shall remain so. Finally, I need to disclaim myself here: Iam NOT a professional psychologist or behaivior specialist of any kind. I am just a guy on a computer keyboard. If you need professional help, please go get it – not for HIM, but for YOU! You are the one who counts here. Take care of the self.

Reply March 12, 2012, 4:02 pm

Amanda

Thank you G and John! It’s good to have people like you with an objective view of things.

I actually have no intention of letting him get away with having his cake and eating it too. His fears are his to deal with, not mine. And he knows it. He knows he’s being selfish and he knows he has to sacrifice his “freedom” in order to be with me. Because I don’t want a 50% relationship, I want to go all-in. Specially since we already passed the “get to know each other phase” YEARS ago.

I don’t plan on contacting him, but he IS calling me and sending me texts messages saying “I miss you” etc. I answer back politely but shortly.

I don’t know if this is too harsh, but I’m thinking (independently of what he says when we talk about this again) that even though I love him with all my heart since the day I met him years ago, and MY WORST FEAR IS LOSING HIM, I don’t want to be in a relationship with him right now. Because now I know that even though if he does commit to a relationship with me in this opportunity, it would be out of fear of losing me and not out of love. Is this too unflexible?

If not, maybe I could give him a time frame for him to get his act together, but wouldn’t this be just postponing the inevitable? And during those weeks should I go out with him and hold hand and kiss and act like nothing? I’m I being too negative?

Reply March 13, 2012, 1:59 am

John

Amanda, no matter what, you don’t want a relationship based on, or born out of fear, jealousy, or need. In this culture, what with social freedoms and available technology, the only basis for a relationship is love and companionship, which is the way it should be. You need to ask yourself why you fear losing him. What is there to fear? The pain of loss? Loneliness? Yes, pain hurts, but if you lose this guy, who is to say that you won’t find the REAL love of your life later on? And why would lonliness be something to fear? Do you not like yourself? If that is the case, then you will never achive happiness, because no matter where you go, there you are – still not liking yourself. This is why I put a lot of emphasis on “the self”. You need to learn to love yourself first and know that you are a good, dependable, honest, trustworthy person to yourself. Once you get the self straightened out, everything else – and I mean everything! – falls into line. Yes, relationship, but your career, education, bills – it all seems to work itself out when you know you can depend on yourself. When a man sees this in a woman, he is attracted to her because she clearly has her act together, and again, relationship just falls into line. To answer your other questions, you need to do what makes you comfortable. Are you comfortable going out, holding hands, kissing, being intimate and so forth with this man who is really just stringing you along for now, and for how long no one knows? If you are okay with that, then why not open up your calendar? Start dating other men. If he is not going to commit to you, then why should you just wait around and “act like nothing”? As long as you are NOT in a committed relationship, you might as well act like it. Fill your schedule with fun things for you and your friends, your family, and yes, other men. I am not suggesting you sleep around, and I am not telling you to play games trying to “make him jealous” or some nonsense like that. I am suggesting that you live your life FOR YOU! not for him, especially since he can seem to make up his mind. The world is YOURS, my dear. Partake of it. If he is worthy, he’ll know what he has to do and he will do it in order to make you a part of his life. In the meatime, what should you do with this guy? Just leave him alone. Let him figure it out. If he comes around, texting you, calling you, whatever, then deal with him on YOUR terms, based on what makes YOU comfortable. As always, take care of the self, and best of luck.

Reply March 13, 2012, 11:34 am

G

I think that you could be a little more flexible on that issue. If he decides to commit to you, which is what you want, then you should accept that…and happily! It shouldn’t matter if he did it out of fear of losing you because I am sure part of that is love too, and there is no way to measure how much of which. If he decides to commit, which is what you asked for, then you should allow him to respond to your needs and be grateful for it. If you don’t, he is going to wonder why you are being so resistant when he has given you what you want! And then he may fall in to the syndrome of “Nothing I do makes her happy so I may as well not do anything at all!” You definitely don’t want that! Let him give to you what you asked for and take it from there. If he ever holds it over your head with comments like, “Well yeah, you forced me to be with you,” well, then we have a problem. But otherwise, enjoy his commitment and be responsive to his decision in a positive way and move forward in your lives together.

Reply March 13, 2012, 3:57 pm

Amanda

Thank you guys, really!

March 13, 2012, 6:23 pm

Amanda

Thank you guys!

I guess it all comes down to 2 choices, isn’t it? Should I wait for him or leave him and date other guys?
Waiting for him is not an option though, I love myself to much for that and I know from experience that this NEVER works.
Leaving him alone to work things out and in the meantime date other guys sounds like the only option, even though I don’t WANT to date other guys. (sigh).
My fear of losing him is not about being alone or fear of loneliness, because I’m used to being single. My fear of losing him is fear of losing HIM, the guy I’ve been in love for years. Well, I guess that if it’s meant to be, he’ll grow a pair and face all of his fears once and for all.

Thank you again for your advice!

March 13, 2012, 7:12 pm

Mary

I have some concerns that i need to get off my chest and put it out there..
I am seeing a wonderful man that i have been with for a year and we fullfill eachother in every way. The views on life, conversations, support, fun…you name it. He has 3 kids from a previous relationship and this is where my concern is at. His ex is a very unstable woman and doesnt at this point have full custody of the children. She of course hates me and manipulates the children so that everytime they come home to their dad, there is a lot of work for him to get them back on track so to speak. I love these amazing kids and i do want children myself soon. I am 30 and he is 31. We talked about this and he is reluctant to have anymore kids as he knows his ex will do her best in bringing poisonous thoughts and spiteful things to mess it all up. He is worried that she will say so many things to the kids that will affect their relationship with the new child in the picture. He thinks it will be so much drama and that it wont be a happy family picture. He says he is not putting the thought of having another child off, but that he is worried about it. So my thoughts are that i dont want to sit around and wait for something to change in the family situation..i am finding myself pulling away and just not really seeing how i can be happy if we had a child together. Its very hard for me as i do love this man and his kids, but the risk i will be taking is to be miserable if i had a child w him!! i just need advice……..its hard because we are so happy together…….

Reply March 6, 2012, 3:11 pm

G

Gosh, Mary… I think in most, if not all, of the posts you see on here it is hard, because we all love our partner and don’t want to leave. The question really lie in whether you can live with your relationship for the duration of it if circumstances don’t change. And when one decides that they will never be happy in the circumstances and knows they need to choose to leave, it is a difficult thing to do. Many will not do it just for that reason. It is not common to take the hard road, but if you can look beyond the tough times, there will likely be great happiness for you on the other side-only it will look different than the happiness you have in your relationship now. But from what it sounds like you have found a very healthy relationship on all other counts and you can take what you have learned to your next relationship. As far as your particular circumstances are concerned, you say you love these children…and I think your boyfriend is correct to have concerns that bringing a “new” family into his life will cause troubles in his relationship with the children he “left”. (Not that he left them, but a child may see it that way.) If you love them, you should be concerned too. I see lots of troubles with second families and it’s the kids in the first families that are usually hurt most. That’s why it is so important to choose wisely in marriage and with whom you want to have children (so that second families never become an issue). You could end up staying with this man and never having children because he doesn’t “really” want to. Or you could have a child with him and deal with the troubles that may ensue, possibly even him resenting the fact that you pressured him to have an additional child (something to think about). Or, you could find someone who really wants children and is excited to have them with you. You are young and have plenty of time. I think you would be happier in a lifetime commitment without these concerns. You could just try it. Give it a year. If you find that you think you made a mistake, it sounds like you and your current guy communicate well enough to navigate the situation and he would be open to a reunion if you discovered you were willing to give up having a child of your own. Good luck.

Reply March 6, 2012, 3:37 pm

John

Hi Mary. It’s important to remember what you can control and what you cannot control. You cannot control the actions or thoughts of another person, not even the ones you love. However, you CAN control the actions and thoughts of your SELF. When I am faced with a “tie breaker” like this, do an exercise that may seem trite at first, but it really does pay off. This is the exercise: Write a list of PROs and CONs about the decision at hand. At the top of this page write something like “If I stay in this relationship” (or whatever the situation at hand may be). Just below and to the left write “PRO’s”; To the right write “CON’s. Then list all the good reasons and good things that make you want to stay in this relationship under the “PRO’s”; List all the bad or wrong reason to stay in this relationship under “CON’s”. Now this isn’t somthing you can do in 5 minutes, nor do you want it to do it in such a short amount of time. I mean, this is a BIG decision you are going to make. So you need to give yourself as much time as you need to sort it all out. Work on it a little at a time, then put it away, and get back to it later. During that time you should evaluate events and actions that take place in the relationship. Keep track of those that make you say, “Ah! THAT one is definitly a CON.” Or, “I think I rather LIKE THIS aspect of being together. It’s a PRO!” Either way, go write it down while it’s fresh in your mind. When you think you have explored every part of the situation at hand (i.e., this relationship) and written it all down, take some time to “add it up”. You may even assign points to the various PRO’s or CON’s depending on how much each one really affects you. In some cases it becomes obvious: You’ll have one PRO – “I love the man”. Then you’ll have 27 CON’s. That’s a very clear sign that you need to leave. In some cases, you may wind up with a tie, or very close to a tie. In that case, make a decision, resign yourself to it, and see it through. You may discover that you want this realtionship no matter what, and that may mean you will NEVER have children of your own. So be it. Make that choice. Make his kids your kids, and never look back. You may discover that you need your own child(ren) no matter what, and that means you need to let him know clearly that you have come to a fork in your life, and lay it all for him. Make sure he knows clearly what you want and why AND that you have spent X-amount of time working it out. It may be that you will have to break it off with this guy and his family. Despite the pain, you have made a decision that YOU have the power to make. Regardless of which decision you make, make it on purpose, and own it. Stand by it, and don’t look back. In short, life is filled with decisions. You make hundreds of them everyday. This one just happens to be a DOOZEY!! But it is a choice that YOU make for yourself because it is at least one thing you CAN control in your life. As always, take care of the self, and best of luck!

Reply March 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

mnkaties

So I have been seeing a guy for almost a year. We have fabulous chemistry, have fun and everything. I have met all his family, they love me, his brothers have told him in front of me – that I am the one for him. He was married ten years has been divorced for 5. His wife cheated on him for three years. I was very honest with him and said I could not see him anymore, that I was not happy and told him that I wanted a commited relationship. He said well we will can talk about it. The talk consisted of him belittling me and saying nasty things. He is a very good looking guy, I am also good looking and in good shape for my age. Is he that not willing to commit that he does something that I can no longer stand him, so he doesnt have to make the decision? Because I won’t be with him anymore because of the deplorable things he has said to me. What is wrong with him? It is like he does not want to be close at all but doesn’t want to say it, like he would have me hate him more than him saying no I don’t want to commit. Like he wants me to be the leaver of the realationship. What is that mindset?

Reply March 5, 2012, 12:02 am

G

You know, I would have to tend to agree with what you have already suspected. The alternative is that he was hurt so badly in his marriage from having learned his wife was cheating on him that he can’t trust any woman enough to get that close again. It’s possible he is trying to hurt you before you hurt him. When a man endures this kind of pain, it may take him awhile to heal and learn to trust again, or he may never fully trust again. If this is the case, you need to consider if you are willing to put in the time with no guarantees that he will ever be able to give himself to you. I would probably try expressing to him the feelings you have expressed here and talk to him about any trust issues he may have. If you are able to communicate about this, than that is a good sign and you should accept his apologies and continue where you left off. If he will not open up, continues to belittle you and refuses to apologize, than take care of yourself first.

Reply March 5, 2012, 7:46 am

Brooke

He belittled you and said nasty things? That is never a good sign. I don’t think people say mean and belittling things to “end” a relationship. Were you begging him for something at the time? Crying for him to committ? I don’t know what would push him to feel he has the right or need to belittle you or be nasty. NOTHING deserves that. I do not see why his wife cheating has anything to do with him being “nasty and belittling”. Can that make you insecure? Yes! Does it mean you have the right to treat someone else poorly? NO! Have you ever wondered if maybe she cheated because he was “nasty and belittling” to her? Who knows, and most importantly, YOU don’t know. There are two sides to every story. I do wonder, what does “he is a very good looking guy” have to do with any of your story? What the two of you look like should have no bearing on how you treat each other. My advice would be that you should be happy to be rid of him (if you are). If you aren’t, you both need counseling. Together and apart. You for why you would let someone treat you so horribly, him for being abusive, and the two of you together so you can see if there is any way you can make it work in a healthy manner that satisfies both of you. I would think that if you really loved yourself you would leave this relationship for good, or at least until he gets the help he needs. No one deserves to be treated badly, not even him. Just my two cents…

Reply March 5, 2012, 2:43 pm

bella

I really needed to read this. I have to echo a few other comments and say that I’m going through something very similar, only the man I’m involved with was in a 5 year relationship and was lied to and cheated on (among other things). After three months of dating, we talked about progressing and he pretty much said the same thing the original poster’s guy said. He never really disappeared after the talk, though, and we still spend time together and talk all the time.

After another talk about things last night, it seems to sound a lot like what eric is deducing, so I actually feel more calm now that things have been discussed and defined. I don’t know how others fare in this kind of situation, but I hope the original poster is doing well and that her relationship is progressing. Building trust takes a long time and if someone is worth the effort, be there for them. Your loyalty will not go unrewarded if the person truly cares about you.

Reply March 2, 2012, 8:07 pm

Emerald

My situation is similar to the original one. I’ve been dating a man for over a year. He was married before and he says that he truly was a good husband but things ended badly. He loss children due to death and a custody issue with a child he had with a woman when he was 17. He is 34 years old. He sends me mixed signals. I know he s extremely hurt from the past, but I am not those women. He is unwilling to fully commit. We live together and I have met his family and established relationships with them. Our relationship is good other than the unwillingness to fully commit. He says he didn’t want marriage I r kids now but he doesn’t know what he will feel in the future. I am only 24 years old, and I eventually want kids and marriage. I don’t want to leave him but I want a full commitment. I feel like maybe he wants to be able to have sex with any and everybody. His family says that he has been hurt but that was four years ago when he ended things with his ex wife as over 4years since she gave birth to an under developed baby. I don’t know what it’ll take to get a full commitment out of him.

Reply February 24, 2012, 3:09 pm

John

Hi Emerald. I hope you have been reading other posts here. There’s some good stuff here. Anyway, the last line of your post hit me like a block of ice to the chin. So I’d like to work off of that. It sounds like you are trying to force, coerce, manipulate, or otherwise demand a commitment out of this man. Let me tell you, don’t do that. Moreover, you really CAN’T do that. Oh you can try, but it will end badly to be sure. A commitment, like trust or respect, is something to be earned, not expected, and certainly not demanded. And you have to understand what a commitment really is: It’s only EVERYTHING! – Especially to a man who has ten more years of life experience than you, including marriage, an infant death, a divorce, and a custody battle (and bills, and legal issues, and job concerns, etc.) Believe this: The second-to-the-last thing this man wants or even needs is a committed relationship. The ABSOLUTE last thing he needs is a DEMAND for a commitment. He’s basically told you as much, and you need to hear it! Finally, I’ll tell you, yes, this man is likely QUITE interested in having “sex with any and everybody” Why shouldn’t he want to fill his oats, especially after the hits he’s taken in his life? He probably feels like he deserves it, and I am inclined to share some warm knuckles with him on it. Besides, the desire for a man to “have sex with any and everybody” is just “hardwired” into the genetic makeup of a man, and sweetie, there is not a darn thing you can do about it. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not okay to do it, especially since the two of you are living together. Nor am I advocating it or telling you that you have to put up with any “screwing around”, because you don’t. But those biological urges are genetically ingrained in every virile man. It’s just the way we are. But we as men DO wear a “jacket of decency” to control ourselves because we also know that we are human beings, not animals. Now let’s talk about you. In your life experience you have had no children and no marriage. Therefore you have also experienced neither a divorce, nor a custody battle, nor an infant death. These are very serious, emotionally hard-hitting life events, Emerald, and you need to have a long sit-down-talk with yourself and ask “Am I really sure I want a relationship with a man who has THIS much baggage?” Seriously, Emerald, I have a hunch you are more concerned about having a relationship for the sake of having a relationship. In your entire post, not once did you mention that you loved the man. You listed all kinds of issues and problems and drama and established relationships and fears and wants, and yaddayadda, but in the end, all you wanted was a commitment out of this guy. So the first question is, “Do you love this man?” The third question is “Why? But moreover – WHY!?!?” (The second question, in case you were keeping count is, “Really??” Yes, I have assumed your answer to the first question is “Yes.”) Anyway, here is my totally unprofessional, non-credited, unsubstantiated advice: Sweetheart, this guy is out of your league. Plain and simple, he is emotionally, mentally, cognitively, and perhaps even spiritually unavailable. Not just to you, but anybody. You damn right he’s giving mixed signals. Why? He’s got WAAAY too much static in his life, WAAAY too many irons in the fire. Not even HE knows what he’s feeling or likely to feel. Your post even says that. Listen to it! And understand its meaning. This guy is simply not available and won’t be for a VERY LONG TIME. I suggest you look for a man who is closer to your age, is MUCH less jaded, has NONE of that baggage, and is prepared to START some of his own life experiences with you, not thow you into the middle of a dramatic life-work in progress. In other words, take advantage of your youth. Don’t take on a man and a situation that’s already filled with all of that “crap”. You don’t need to deal with it, so why do it? If you had, say, a marriage, a divorce, a child and/or so forth of your own, then at least you would have some of those heavy things in common. As it is, you will never fully understand this man, never fully appreciate his situation, his feelings, or his needs, and it will always be a point of frustration for you, which will lead to frustration for him. And you expect him to commit to that? Anyway, best of luck to you. Take care of the self.

Reply February 24, 2012, 7:57 pm

Paula Cronic

I have a similar situation going on. Dating 7 months, things are great! We kiss, cuddle, spend all our weekends together and time during the week, everything is like a relationship should be, except he says he doesn’t want one. And we don’t call each other boyfriend or girlfriend. What is so hard is that I know I love this guy, and I do get what I want from the relationship, he makes me so happy, has taken me on vacations, introduced me to some of his family, the only thing I’m not getting is the title, so then I get scared. Because people are telling me he’s really not into me and just using me for sex and biding his time until someone else better comes along so then that causes me to become insecure, jealous, and I hate to say it, needy. Plus it’s snowboarding season and he goes away for a lot of weekends with friends snowboarding and I’m not a big snowboarder so I don’t go and I’m thinking, would he cheat? I know I have to trust him, and he’s never made me feel like he would, but I guess not having the title makes me more aware of the fact that he could. I just don’t know what to do cuz either way I’m screwed, if I stay, I’m not getting the title and secure feeling of knowing I’m in a relationship, but if I leave, I’m saying goodbye to someone I deeply care about and not sure if I will ever find someone I feel this way about again. And it’s only a 50/50 chance if I leave he will want me back, and even if he did want me back, it sucks that I would have had to do that to get him to realize he wants me, but it would hurt the most if I leave and he just lets me, I tried to break it off before but he said he’s gonna fight for us, that he’d be hurt I left, that he doesn’t want to stop seeing me, what do I do? Please someone offer me some advice.

Reply February 20, 2012, 5:40 pm

John

Hi Paula – Your paragraph is filled with dichotomy. You say you are getting what you want out of the relationship and then you list several things that you are NOT getting, namely “the title”. (I assume “the title” is Mrs.?) And therein lies your answer. You gotta tell him what you want. If you already have told him, and he is not responding, then, frankly, you are not going to get it. If you haven’t told him, well, how is he supposed to know what you want? He’s just a man, and I’ll bet he isn’t clairvoyant. If things are hummin’ along just fine for him, then why would he think there is anything wrong? And why would he want to change it? Other dichotomies: You don’t even call each other “boyfriend and girlfriend”, yet you want to be called “husband and wife” (apparently.) You say you are in a relationship, but if you stay with him, then you are not really in a relationship. Yeah, I had to think about that one too. He makes you so happy, and then you are insecure and jealous. Now I am NOT a professional councelor by any means. I have no credentials concerning human behaivior, psychology, or how to make relationships work. So if you need some help like that, then I strongly suggest you get it from a professional. But what I gather from your dichotomies is a somewhat conflicted self. Your conflicts, whatever they are, need to be resolved. They will get in your way of happiness more than anything else, no matter what your status , single, married, divorced – whatever! Those conflicts may also play into your jealousy and neediness which are both major turn-offs to a man – to anyone, really. So it seems that you have some work to do on the self. Concerning marriage, don’t be disillusioned by the status or concept of it. Many women are taken under the spell of “happily ever after”, and wind up falling in love with “falling in love”. They want a relationship for the sake of having a relationship without really questioning if the relationship is good, bad, or even necessary. You say you are concerned about ending a relationship with someone about whom you care very deeply. Let’s assume you stay with this relationship for years, and you still don’t get what you want. The only difference between then and now is – YEARS! So if the relationship ends NOW, think of all that time you will have saved. Think about all that time you could have spent working on a relationship that DOES give you what you want. Finally, you seem to believe that if you are married, then all will be better. In particular, he will not cheat on you. Paula, that’s just not true. People, either men or women, can cheat under any circumstances. Marriage does not solve or stop that, nor does it make it any more difficult to achieve. Take care of the self. Best of luck to you.

Reply February 22, 2012, 11:36 am

Eric Charles

Great comment John. I really appreciate having you contribute on the comments – your feedback has always been well thought out, constructive and helpful. You’re clearly a guy with good life experience and someone who truly wants to help women find happiness. Thanks for that and please feel free to comment anytime.

Reply February 22, 2012, 12:06 pm

John

Thanks Eric! That’s quite a compliment. Have a wonderful day, sir!

Reply February 22, 2012, 12:18 pm

Paula Cronic

Hi John, thanks so much for your response! The only thing is as far as the title, I’m not looking for marriage at all, the title is boyfriend/girlfriend, that’s what I’m not getting and your right, I am happy but then again I’m not! It’s like I feel I should end the relationship but I’m holding on “just in case” and because I know I’m going to be on a world of hurt when it’s over because I do have fun with the guy I love hanging out with him but like you said, I guess if he says this isn’t a relationship, then its not, it’s like we are exclusively dating but not serious? Doesn’t make any sense right?

Reply February 22, 2012, 3:32 pm

John

Actually, Paula, that DOES make sense. It makes PERFECT sense – for a guy! He’s getting everything he wants out of this relationship. And YOU are letting him have it. And there is nothing wrong with a relationship like this provided you are BOTH getting what you want. Clearly, you are not, so this is a fairly one-sided arragement. Look, this should not turn into a battle of wits, or “tit for tat” type of arrangement. That’s not a relationship; that’s a war. But if BOTH of you care for each other, it should be very natural for BOTH of you to get what you want from the relationship. So all of my original advice still applies: Tell him what you want. Just change “husband/wife” to “boyfriend/girlfriend”. Also, let’s explore WHY you are hanging on. First you are afraid of pain. Yes, pain hurts. Emotional pain is the worst because there is no anesthesia for it, so everyone wants to avoid it. When you experience pain like that, all you can do is take a deep breath, have a good long cry, and let time do its thing. Keep in mind, though, you are not the first, you are not the last, and you are not the ONLY person to have ever experienced this kind of pain. You have LOTS of company there. Everyone experiences it at some point in life, and everyone survives it if they give it enough time. Secondly, you say you are holding on “just in case” . . . You didn’t finish that thought, but I think I know where you were headed with it. To respond, let me turn it around on you. You should NOT hang on “just in case” the relationship you always wanted happens to come along. I know we are talking some serious stuff here – break ups, emotional pain, lost love, heart break. All that stuff just sucks! But the only constant in life is change. And change usually brings about some pain, confusion, uncertainty, a myriad of bewilderment. But it also opens doors and makes some opportunity to build new paths, maybe better ones based on what you have learned from the old paths. Finally, please understand that I am NOT telling you to break up. I am simply telling you that you are faced with some choices based on your situation. 1) If this relationship is working for you, then great! Stick to it! 2) If it is NOT working for you, then you can either a) stick around and tolerate it, OR b) work it out with your guy so you BOTH get what you want, OR c) make the changes necessary to get the relationship you want, which MAY include breaking up. Again, best of luck!

Reply February 22, 2012, 4:32 pm

G

Paula,

Here’s my 2 cents. You say you love this man…have you told him this? Has he said it to you? That’s my first questions. Either way, I’m thinking you say something like this to him: “I have been falling in love with you for the last 7 months and I have been giving myself fully to you. As a woman who has fallen in love, I require to be in a committed relationship. I am not asking for marriage (at least not right now), but I do require exclusivity, and with that, the title of girlfriend. I realize you are not comfortable with titles, but unfortunately, because I feel so deeply for you, I am beginning to resent that I am giving all of myself to you and do not have that title. It makes me question your commitment and your fidelity. I do not want to become resentful or suspicious and then take those feelings out on you, so I must remove myself from the equation until you can commit to me as my boyfriend. I respectfully accept your decision if that is not something you can do for your own comfort level, but in order for me to love you properly, it is something I need. I would not want to mar our perfect relationship with such feelings of inadequacy as I value it too much.” After you say all this to him you allow him time to respond. You must leave and you MUST NOT call him. He is a man and he will mull it over. Give him 8 weeks. If he does not call AND commit to you within 8 weeks then move on. Date other people. If he calls you in 2 to 4 weeks than he loves you and that means he realizes you are right. If he calls you in 6 to 8 weeks than he is making a rational decision as a man will do. A man sometimes needs to lose what he has to realize how much he appreciates it. If after 8 weeks he has not called you, than you were likely a consistent booty call for him that he was never going to commit to and you are better off without him. Good luck! From what you have written, I bet he calls…just make sure you let him call you…DON’T call him. I repeat: DON’T call him. Let him be the pursuer/the man or it won’t work. All you need to do is tell him your requirements and let him decide if he wants to give you what you need. If he loves you, he will give it to you. It’s really not asking that much. Any woman he “gets” with for that long will want the same thing and probably more (marriage). He will not give it to them (or anyone) if he doesn’t HAVE to. It’s the woman that requires it, asks for it, and waits for it that will get it. He will value you for valuing yourself enough to require it. My best,

Reply February 22, 2012, 4:33 pm

Paula Cronic

John and G, thanks for your Advice and taking the time to give it, you both gave me a lot to think about, just a quick update. We had a talk last night and he said yes we are in a relationship without the title, I said his actions dont match his words and he said yes that’s true but also said like Eric, wouldn’t I rather him treat me well and have a good relationship not using the title other than having a title and a crap relationship? I said I wanted exactly what we have now plus the title but he’s under the assumption if we do have the title of bf gf things will turn bad that I’ll go in and change up what we have somehow and that we will start having expectations of each other and that the relationship will end because of that. I honestly tried to walk away and I got as far as the door, I was crying and he was crying too, hard, and he asked me almost begged me not to leave. I told him I loves him and he said he knew that I did and wanted to fall for me like I fell for him and as fast, but that sometimes it just takes time and longer for the other person to have those feelings too but after us crying and not being able to let go of his hug, I just couldn’t leave. Does that make me an idiot or weak?

February 25, 2012, 3:43 pm

John

Hi Paula. Answering your questions, I’d say it makes you human, not an idiot and not weak. It’s pretty obvious both of you have deep feelings for each other. If not, then he’d have likely shed no tears over it. I have to go with G on this. You have now told him what you want. Give him 8 weeks. See what he does. Meantime, don’t press the issue, don’t lament over it or dwell on it, and for heaven’s sake, don’t just sit there waiting for him to want you or have you and then just give yourself over. Instead, enjoy life in all it’s glory. You should consider making some plans that specifically exclude him. Include your family and friends and, yes, since you are not really in a relationship and you don’t really have a title, go ahead – date other men. When he sees that you are able and willing to do things that exclude him, especially date other men, he’ll see more value in you as a woman and in having a realtionship with you. This isn’t a game, and it is not about “making him jealous”, which is indeed an 8th grader’s game. Let me put in perspective. To men, sex is a recreational activity, and that’s pretty much it. Pick one: Golf, skiing, boating, . . . snowboarding? In order to partake in those specific recreational activities, you need golf clubs, skiis, a boat and a snowboard. In order to have sex you need a partner. Golf clubs sit in the closet until he needs them. Skis sit in the closet until he needs them. A boat sits in the garage until he needs it. . . See a pattern here? These objects lie in wait until he calls upon them. So what does his sexual partner do? Lie in wait until she is needed? Paula, you are a human being, not an object, my dear, so don’t act like one. Don’t just stick around waiting for him to have you. Don’t just wait and hope that he’ll want a relationship with you. Instead, BE a human being by doing things that humans do, and use these 8 weeks to do just that. (Note: I said DATE other men – I did not say “have sex with them”. Use your best judgement, but remember: You are NOT in a relationship – “he” said so!) I know that having sex with this man means (nearly) everything to you. But seriously, it doesn’t mean so much to him, even in light of his tears. That doesn’t make him a jerk or a bad guy, nor does it make you weak and helpless. These are just some of the biggest differences between men and women. But understand this: If you just lie in wait, if you just stick around like a lonely puppy waiting for it’s master to come home and then be there at his beck and call, then you lower your value both to yourself and to him. To increase your value, show him and show yourself that you are quite capable and willing to live a life that doesn’t always include him. That will get his attention, and it will raise your value to him and to yourself. If he has the feelings for you that he displayed (i.e., tears), then it won’t be too long before he decides he wants to add your value to his life and make a bonifide relationship with you. As always, take care of the self, and best of luck.

February 27, 2012, 12:24 pm

SummaSky

Oh my goodness!! This is the best possible advise I could have read. Tonight my non-boyfriend boyfriend and I are ‘talking’. We embrace every aspect of having a relationship, we are both aware neither is dating/ sleeping with anyone else, yet he still won’t use the ‘G’ word. And exactly what you said is happening- I am starting to feel resentment towards him, because I have to hold my tongue to not say I love you to him, and yet he isn’t even willing to say we’re in a relationship. I’ve asked myself why being ‘the girlfriend’ is so important to me, and can’t come up with another answer besides “If he can’t call me his GF after six months, will every aspect of our (hopeful, maybe one day relationship) be this slow moving? Aye….. So frustrating!!

April 25, 2012, 8:04 pm

Stac4

Great advise… Somethings a little confusing n not specified for me. Ive been with my boyfriend for 6 yrs. Loved every moment.. Things get tough but nuthing that we/i cant handle.problem is commitment..surprisingly after 6 yrs not commitment of getting married. I think its from previouse relationship where things were suppose to be but werent..i feel at times he hasnt moved on from his past and i dnt want to live in it anymore.. He dosent recognize tht hes carrying me along with him on his journey to accept it and get over it.. I think alot of his pain comes from his child.. And he dosent want to give me or his other child what he didnt give his first.. (?). So i have to live with it.(?)i am happy and content with the relationship,but time is inevitable im getting older and dont want to keep putting things off.. (anxiety) should i keep going or demand a change and give altimatm.. He could b ready in a year.. Or in 10 or maybe never wht should i do..?

Reply February 17, 2012, 12:44 am

John

Same advice applies to you Stac. Are you getting what you want out of this relationship? If so, then keep going. If not, then make a change. I can’t tell you what your man is thinking or what he is going to do. Guessing, second guessing, and analyzing him are futile and wasted efforts. All you can do is take care of you. A few things you said struck me: “So I have to live with it (?)” No – you don’t. You are not required to live with this situation at all. Since it is YOUR life, YOU choose how you want to live it. You are also in conflict: You are happy with the relationship, but then you lament getting older assumbaly without marriage. Hint: You are going to get older no matter what. (AND you can be committed without marriage.) So pick how you want to live that time you have left, however long it may be. So here are your choices: 1) Be happy with what you have right now and resign yourself to the fact that it will never change. (That’s not a bad thing, especially if you are happy with it like you say you are.) 2) Tell him EXACLTY what you want out of this relationship. Don’t drop a hint. Don’t drop an obvious hint. Hit him right square between the eyes with your wants and needs. He can’t read your mind, and frankly you don’t want him to, so a detailed outline would be most helpful. Once you’ve told him, give him some time (an amount of time that YOU are comfortable with) to figure it out. He will need at least a weekend, but you should give it more. One of three things will happen. 1) He’ll see what you need and want, then he will move heaven and earth to make it happen. I mean, if you’ve never told him what you wanted before, how was he to know? Now that he knows, he just might move on it! 2) He will do nothing. He will just play it “steady as she goes” to see what you are going to do about it. If that happens, then start filling your calendar with fun things for YOU to do. Purposely exclude him, and start living YOUR life to suit you. Note: You don’t have to sleep around. In fact, it’s best not to! Just go out with friends and family to do friendly and family stuff. This may make him start to realize just how much he likes you and he may start trying to get involved in your life again. If he does, then allow him back in on YOUR terms. Then again, 3) he may break it off. Yes, if he does break it off, it will hurt. There will be pain, so be prepaired. If that happens, retreat for awile, tend to the pain, lick your wounds, rediscover yourself, gain some confidence and self-esteem, then start dating. Take a class in something fun. Art, writing, karate. Pick up an instrument and learn it – something. Don’t start looking for a relationship immediately. It just won’t happen. Just date. Let the guys treat you to a good time. Let them pay. They are all too happy to do it. Don’t worry about whether they like you or not. But do consider whether or not you like THEM. And when you date, do it to have fun, not to search for “The One”. Eventually a great guy – that YOU like – will come along and a new relationship may start. Best of luck

Reply February 17, 2012, 4:00 am

Paula Cronic

John and G, thank you both so much for your advice and input, it’s always good to get the opinion of someone outside looking in, who doesn’t have an attachment to eithe one of us. You have both given me a lot to think about and consider. I’m sure it will come down to me having to walk, it’s sucks that it has to be that way, I just hope I’m strong enough to walk away and move on instead of being the girl that instantly regrets her decision and goes right back to the same situation. Thanks for the well wishes, I’m gonna need it.

Reply February 23, 2012, 9:16 pm

G

Hi Paula,

I hope it’s going well for you. I’m sorry I’m not very timely in response to your previous post, but here are a few things I wanted to say about your meeting: First of all, you are not weak. But I wish I would have warned you that he could manipulate you in such a way, to have such an evening, where you suddenly find yourself back in his arms in the same situation, under the same illogical terms, and asking yourself, “How did that happen?” He basically begged you back into sleeping with him when he feels like having you around. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you get my drift. Try asking him (and yourself), “What exactly does that mean?” when he says you are “in a relationship but without the titles”. What are the expectations of this so-called relationship without the titles of “boyfriend/girlfriend” (which usually denote exclusivity)? I have a “relationship” with my mother, my father, my friends-but that doesn’t tell you anything! The only thing you can gather from that statement about my relationships to these people is who these people are-and that is because of their “titles” (mother, father, friend)! He says he thinks having titles would suddenly turn the relationship bad and may cause you to have “expectations”-well, yeah, I’ll say… they would cause you to have expectations – expectations of exclusivity! Also, he is “assuming” the relationship will go bad if he honors you both with titles (and hopefully exclusivity), yet his lack of addressing your feelings, honoring you, and respecting you enough to make you feel worthy is what is causing discourse and turning the relationship bad! His paranoia that titles will turn the relationship bad is irrational. And if it’s not paranoia than he is rationalizing with you so he can keep his options open. It’s concerning that he doesn’t care enough about your feelings to make you feel secure in the relationship. He asks you, “Wouldn’t you rather have me treat you well than give you a title, than have a title and me not treat you well?” Well this is not even relative because he is not treating you well! He is basically dodging defining your relationship. To say you are in a relationship but not boyfriend/girlfriend is confusing and contradictory and leaves you in a guessing game of what your relationship is. Additionally, he has admitted that he wants to fall for you like you did him, but HASN’T YET…and there is no guarantee he is going to. When a man says something like this, you can pretty much take it at face value. You say he goes snowboarding and you don’t go because you don’t snowboard…is that really the reason? Has he ever even invited you? My friends and their husbands/boyfriends go snowboarding all the time and the girls (who don’t snowboard) just enjoy the snow, hot cocoa by the fire, jacuzzis and after-snowday parties. I’m going to bet he doesn’t invite you and if that is true, I’m sad to say that John is right when he compares your relationship to your “non”-boyfriend’s pastimes. If he wanted your company, he would ask you to be with him. Or he would take less weekend trips away from you and do something you wanted to do. (Maybe I am wrong and he has invited you on snowboard trips, which would be to his credit. But if he hasn’t, beware.) At this point, it may be true that he hasn’t fallen for you the way you have him because he needs more time, but I’ll say that by leaving the situation in search of an exclusive boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, you are allowing him the time to decide if he wants to give your relationship more time in order to fall in love with you. And if he chooses to do so, he should be willing to give you the honor of calling you “girlfriend”. At some point it’s just so immature for him to even argue this point…and he may just be too immature to have a meaningful relationship. Lastly, I believe that if you just stay in this situation status quo, you will be unhappy and he will never respect you enough going forward to take care of your feelings…and this will likely be more that just the “titles” issue. If he can not acknowledge your feelings on this issue (which is really not asking much after 7 months), how will he handle other, more important, issues? You need to negotiate the terms of this relationship until you are both comfortable or you need to walk away. It will only continue to nag at you until this can be settled one way or another. If you lose him by leaving him this decision to make and he decides it is not for him, then you never had him in the first place and you were probably never going to. Furthermore, you will have cut your losses short, leaving you to find someone who loves you as much as you love them. If he agrees that you are worth the titles in order to spend more time together and see where your relationship goes, than you have earned respect from him that you probably were never going to earn otherwise. And mutual respect is a necessity in a healthy relationship. So it’s a win-win even if the former endures more heartache to get there. My best.

Reply March 5, 2012, 7:31 am

John

Wow! Awesome advice, G!

Reply March 12, 2012, 4:27 pm

G

Thanks John…I just can’t help myself sometimes. But it’s much easier to dish advice than to actually make the moves. Hopefully it helps someone by giving them the courage to do what they know they should and leads them to a happier future.

March 12, 2012, 5:32 pm

Anna Bell

I have been dating a man for almost a year who has yet to call me his girlfriend. His reasoning is that we live too far away from each other (we live about an hour). He and I are both divorced; I have full custody of my two children, and he has full custody of his child. During the “get to know” each other stage of our relationship, he had told me that he really would like to get married- someday. (Not specifically to me, but as I later found out, to whomever may be available who lives close to him, as I highly doubt he would ever leave his hometown or his mother). I told him I was not at that point in my life; but anything was possible. I had believed he and I to be on the same plane- mentally, physically, and most important, spiritually. We have had some fun times together, and we have gone on a small vacation together. His inability to even acknowledge me as his girlfriend has made me assume we are nothing but friends with benefits, and I had told him this. I don’t know if I should just “let him go” or continue to see him. When we have taken “breaks” from each other, I had missed his phonecalls- the excitement of seeing him- as I truly do enjoy spending time with him. Is it possible that through all this we can remain friends- or is this unrealistic. My life is so full, that I honestly have to schedule time to see him; as my children are young and my main priority. It’s not that I want to date anyone else, for I truly am in love with this man. I would honestly rather be alone than not have him in my life.

Reply January 10, 2012, 1:44 pm

G

Anna Bell! A YEAR and he can’t call you his girlfriend? An HOUR apart??? That’s nothing! In Los Angeles, an hour is called “lives pretty close”! I’ve had guys across the country call me girlfriend in waaaaaaay less time! What does that mean anyway if you are schtouping him and he won’t call you girlfriend? Is he dating someone else? You get what you negotiate. He says he wants to be married (although clearly not to you since that is what he TOLD you!) and he can’t even call you his “girlfriend”! If he wants marriage, then “girlfriend” is the first stepping stone. A year is long enough. He is just biding his time. Nip it in the bud. You don’t have time to make for him when you have little children who need your time more if he can not even call you “girlfriend”. If you tell him,” I’m sorry, I want to be in a committed relationship so I can no longer see you…” then he will either come after you and make a commitment or he will not. And if he does not, then you know that not only will his mother always be more important than you, but you were never really that important in the first place. I’m sorry if I’m being harsh…but seriously it pisses me off…and you should be pissed off too. You deserve better. And so do your kids. Remember what kind of example you are setting for them as well. Would this be good enough for them? (The answer is “No” should you need help.) Well, if it’s not good enough for them, then it isn’t good enough for you! There are plenty of guys in your town and all over the world that would plead to call you “girlfriend”…and from there, they just might want to marry you and love your little ones as well.

Reply January 10, 2012, 6:11 pm

Anna Bell

Thank you so much!!!! I have a date with a friend who has been asking me out forever, but I had felt bad, as I was committed to the other. I am getting ready, looking super awesome, and going out Saturday night!!!! :)

Thank you, again :)

Reply January 11, 2012, 3:48 pm

G

It takes guts-and I am so proud of you!!! Stay smart and good luck!

Reply January 12, 2012, 4:37 am

Hanna

Hi,

The original post helped alot, but I have a couple other details that might change the answer. The above post generally said to give him time, if all the other signals are moving forward.

I’m 29, super-religious, never dated before, still haven’t been kissed, and I started seeing a guy recently who’s also 30, super-religious too, had a bad relationship for many years, only girl he’s ever dated and she dumped him in the end although he wanted to marry her. He met me later, and we became friends a few months after their break-up. I thought he liked me, because he was always trying to be where I was, and hanging out with me all day, and we would email back and forth for 6 months or so.

One day, we were on the phone, and he was telling me that I didn’t like him, so I ended up telling him that I was in love with him. I know! I shouldn’t have. At first he told me no way. Then when I was ready to move on, he said let’s try. He laid it out frankly for me. He said that he was not attracted to me but he really liked my personality. Honestly, it felt like he was attracted to me because he said I was beautiful, but he was talking about my character. Anyhow, so I agreed to try and lose weight to be fair. I was 180 pounds with 5’4 height, but I have a nice figure and okay face. I couldn’t promise anything, but I said would try.

3 months later, I am 165 pounds and we only got closer everyday. Like this Christmas, we hung out all day, everyday over the vacation. However, we would always fight whenever we got into a discussion about defining our relationship. Honestly, I freaked out a couple times. I didn’t know he was not attracted to me to that extent. It’s one thing to ask me to lose some weight, but I didn’t know that his type was tiny, skinny girls. So he keeps struggling with that.

We haven’t kissed or anything cause he thinks I should do that with my future husband. He says now that he’s not unattracted to me but still wants me to lose alot of weight, and he thinks he could marry me, and that he likes me more than his previous girlfriend, and that we’re a great fit. But he wants to date other women. He said that by taking our relationship to the dating area too quickly, he never got the chance to look around. It makes sense to me, after knowing only 1 girl for 8 years, why he’s reluctant to jump into something else. Especially since attraction is a big thing. Sometimes, when we’re hugging or something, he’ll be turned off by the fact that I’m bigger than him in some places, like my legs or something. He says he’s trying to change his type to me. Is that supposed to be sweet or something?

So sometimes I want to break things off. We had a big fight recently, when he said we should stop hugging and stuff cause he’s not sure he wants me marry me. And he doesn’t want our relationship to be the same as it was with his last girlfriend, and he wants us to pursue other good works and religious activities to see if we’re a better fit. Because we get along very well as a team when we do these things. You know, I think he’s looking for something higher to decide our fate. (I think this is not the way God works though)

Basically I’m not sure how to date someone, and be so close, like meet his parents and friends, spend alot of time with him, do lots of activities together, and still let him look around. If our relationship were lighter, or when it was lighter, I was fine with that, it seemed fair since he wasn’t 100% satisfied with me. But now, I get jealous, and anxious when he even talks like a single guy to other girls, since we’re telling people we’re just friends until we solidify things. He gets jealous when I talk to other guys too.

Honestly, I’d rather have him see and date lots of girls and find out how great I am and what I great fit I am. We’re both pretty weird people, honestly, I don’t see him finding someone too much better, without alot of time passing. Also, I want that time to take care of myself and pursue work. Because I’ve never had a relationship before, I keep putting him first. So part of me does want to break things off, until he’s figured things out.

But my heart isn’t taking going back to being completely single well though. I miss him a lot and want to continue sharing parts of our lives together. Sometimes I feel physical pain when I don’t talk to him too long. Crazy, eh?

Haha, I don’t want a ring from him yet, we’ve only started trying 3 months ago. I just want him to date me seriously. But I suppose in about a year, I’d like for us to finally get married, mostly cause I’m dying to have sex!

Reply January 6, 2012, 3:52 pm

John

Hi Hanna – Please allow me to tell you about my credentials in the dating and relationship arena: NONE! I am not a life coach or dating coach or anything that has anything to do with love and relationship beyond my own personal experiences and reading lots of advice on the subject. So, if you want some real PROFESSIONAL advice, please seek it from a professional. Having said all that, here is MY un-credited advice: This guy is stringing you along – simple as that. He wants a relationship with you exclusively on HIS terms. And so far, it sounds like he is getting it. Why are you losing weight? To please him. Why are you letting him have his way? To please him. What’s in this relationship for you? To please him? Seriously? You even said “[…] I keep putting him first.” STOP THAT!! Lady, if you want to lose weight, then you do it for YOU. Period. You do it for your health, you do it for your looks, and/or you do it for your own personal satisfaction. Hell yes! Vanity DOES have a place in your life, and don’t let anyone tell you different! Futher, jealousy is a sign of insecurity. You need to work on that, and some prefessional help is just the place to get it. In the meantime, this is what you do (and I have stated it before): Fill your schedule with fun things to do involving family and friends, but EXCLUDING him. Don’t even think of inviting him to your next movie outing. Take a couple a girls to a karaoke bar and sing “Tequila”. It’s a fun, fast, popular song, and you only have to SAY “tequila” three times into the microphone and the song is done. You don’t even have to sing!! If drinking is not your thing, no problem! Have a Diet Coke or something. If a man wants to buy you a drink – let him! Tell him you are drinking Diet Coke. If he wants to dance with you, DANCE! The point is, make yourself apparently available to the world. Notice what I did NOT say. I did NOT say, “Act like a slut”, “Have sex with whoever”, “Abandon your priciples at all costs.” No – nothing of the kind. Go OUT. Enjoy what life and the world has to offer. Experience it with fun, love, grace, goofyness, cheer, liveliness, and all those fun things that make life a sheer joy! When your man starts to see that you are living life on YOUR terms, he will suddenly see your value, and he may even see it increase. Suddenly, your weight becomes a non-issue. Suddenly, he is attentive to your needs in the relationship. Suddenly, he will call to get on YOUR schedule. When he calls and wants to “see you”, check your schedule. Are you busy that day? Well too bad for him. But maybe you could work him in for dinner on Wednesday night, say? In this way, you are living life on YOUR terms. And there is nothing wrong with that, in fact, there is everything RIGHT with it. It is YOUR LIFE , after all. Now he just might insist that you do things his way. If he does, then you stand right in front of him, get in his face and tell him, “THEN YOU MAN UP!!! You have certain wants and needs of me? Fine – I have certain needs and wants that must be met as well! When you figure that out, I MIGHT be here waiting for you.” Now, if he walks, then good! You want to discover this EARLY in a relationship. If he leaves you over this, then he was NEVER going to be a serious candidate, NEVER going to commit. It will hurt, to be sure, but it’s important to discover it early. And if he does leave the picture, then you might be able to catch up with one of those guys you met at the bar. Or maybe you can meet another man in your church – or a differnt church! The point is to LIVE **YOUR** LIFE – not his. Best of luck to you.

Reply January 6, 2012, 5:41 pm

Anna Bell

This is soooooooooo true!!! I am grateful that I had finally stepped back and come to my senses. If he doesn’t love you for whom and what you are- he just doesn’t. Point blank. I have given up trying to make this guy see what so many other men see about me. And that is truly the difference: he is a guy, and who you (as well as all women) deserve is a man.
I will no longer turn myself inside out , and I refuse to believe or accept that there is anything wrong with me. I have found that the guys for whom I had tried to change need to take a look at themselves. For one, they need to accept and realize there are two people’s feelings to consider when dating. I had always thought of “him”, and I never gave much thought to the idea that “he” was just not good enough for me.
Knowing who I am does not make me vain or arrogant- it just is that “who I am”.
And in knowing this, it has been a lot easier to accept that the dating world is full of men (and women) who say one thing and do completely another.

Reply January 31, 2012, 12:56 pm

Cat

Hi, I met my guy on an internet dating site about 9 months ago.
He admitted pretty much straight away he was only on there to get sex. But,
We had an amazing connection, which blew us both away. our first date lasted 15 hours, and he came over every other night ( he lives an hour away, and i dont drive and I am a single mum). We didnt always have sex either.
Right, he left his wife a year previous to meeting me. (there hasnt been love there for years he says his kids are old enough now).
After 4 months of bliss, he started getting distant, which made me needy, and the cycle goes on. Until he ended it. (there was no screaming or crying from me, i was very calm and self respecting) We met up to say goodbye, and for him to get his things, chatted, had dinner. And we decided to just have a break instead and meet up in about a months time. After 5 weeks, we spent the most wondeful weekend together, we got our connection back, we talked, cried etc. I found out alot of stuff had been said and done between his ex, he found out alot about what she got up to during their marriage, and it has sort of fried his head a bit. He says he now has trust issues.
The following 2 weeks afte that weekend, we didnt see each other, he said cos he has to be at work early these next few weeks, (he’s self employed) and he would have to leave at silly o’clock. but our texting etc in that time was so loving and intense, just like it used to be. We met again after a fortnight, for a whole weekend, and every thing was great til i got a text off a number I didnt know, saying ‘hi, gorgeous’ he got a bit funny with me, and the rest of the weekend was a little strained.
The following 2 weeks, were awkward (from my point of view) in our texting etc. Didnt get one single honey or anything like that.
He came down after 2 weeks again, (he has his kids on the other weekend by the way, lol) it was new year, he stayed for a day longer than normal. Again, another amazing weekend!! When he leaves, he seems to distance himself from me in the last couple of hours. Now he’s gone again, once again our texts are not as loving as they used to be, i’m trying to pull him back to me, by saying touchy feely stuff, like we used. he responds, but it still seems one sided. Like he’s saying all the right things, but there are no feelings with it. Last night, i was really ill, and was hoping for a bit of sympathy…but he still sounded uncaring! even tho he said all the right things….eventually!! lol

He wont tell me he loves me anymore, and he wont say he doesnt…he says he wont say it again til hes sure. At present, he’s buying a new house, his divorce should be final today!! whoop! got a huge tax bill to pay in a couple of weeks…and still getting earache from the ex … very long story that is very suitable for a soap opera!!
i did ask him what exactly our relationship was, and he said we are getting things back on track, and he’s happy, just sort of ‘bumbling along’ together… but no real commitment there! I know he’s got alot on his mind. and had been hoping that he would come back to me (he said that he would) once things are sorted (financial stuff and house will be done by end of january)….but I’m getting this feeling i maybe being used as emotional and sexual support, and because he knows I’m there when he needs, and i love him, he doesn;t have too try to hard to keep me happy!!!
I know I shouldnt make myself readily available but i’m scared he will get funny and pull away… Am I being a mug? or will he come back to me? How do i go about pulling myself away without rocking the boat..(sort of make him chase me a little). he commited once to me, do you thikn k he will again, and now I’m rambling…I just dont know what to do…i can’t let go of something so special we had, quite so easy, and i know he doesn;’t want to lose me…. but i need some attention too!!!! sorry for rambling…please help :-) xx

Reply January 6, 2012, 2:22 pm

John

Hi Cat – Just a warning: I am completely UN-qualified to provide any dating, love, or relationship advice. So, if you want some professional help, I suggest you get it. Having said that, here is my unqualified advice: The sentance from your posting that really stuck with me was “I know I shouldnt make myself readily available but i’m scared he will get funny and pull away…” Seriously, Cat, what are you scared of? Losing him entirely? Being lonely if he leaves? Feeling like a fool in front of your friends? The pain and subsequent tears of a break-up? None of that is any reason to be scared. Now if an intruder breaks into your home and threatens you at gunpoint – THEN you have something to be scared of. Why did you meet this man in the first place? From your post, it was to have sex. That’s all. Sounds like you got what you wanted from this realtionship. So, what changed, and why? Those are questions you need to ask yourself. More importanty, ask this: “Am I getting what I want out of this relationship?” If “Yes”, then keep going. If “No”, then find out what it is you want from it, and make it happen. Do you want commitment? Do you want more attention? Do you want more sex? Only you know what you want. Also, you said you became “needy”. Stop that, Cat! You are better than that! Most any man can provide you with your needs if you know what they are and how to ask for them. NOW – what YOU want may NOT be what HE wants. And that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. And it doesn’t even have to be the end of the rleationship – but it might be. And if so, well, it’s better to find out earlier (now!) than later. Otherwise, you just drag a dead-end unfulfilling relationship around with you. And you deny yourself – AND the potential love of your life – the happiness and fulfillment you want and need. The FIRST thing is to discover or determine what it is that YOU want. You may not even know what you want, and that’s okay for now, but you’re gonna have to find out. Because if YOU don’t know what you want, I promise you, HE won’t know either. You may need some prefessional help through this. You may just need a day or two of “me-time” and soul seraching. Then again, you may already know. Okay- once you know what you want, then you need to “communicate”. Talking with a man is actually pretty easy. You need to hit him right between the eyes with what you want. Don’t drop a hint. Don’t drop an OBVIOUS hint. Don’t assume that he knows. He can’t read your mind, and frankly, you don’t want him to. Take the time – 5 minutes? 30 minutes? an hour? – to sit with him face to face uninterrupted, and TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT out of this relationship. Don’t chase, don’t chide, don’t accuse, don’t threaten, don’t make deals, and don’t expect a response. Simply tell him what you want. Then leave it. Let him come to terms with it. Give him some time. How much time? That’s actually up to you. If he can’t make a decision,then you need to make one for yourself – because you can’t control what he’s going to do. He may walk. If so, yes, it’s going to hurt, but at least you’ll know where the two of you stand. Then again he may just say “Why didn’t you tell me? Of course I’ll give you that! I just never knew you wanted it.” Wouldn’t that be funny? In short, Cat, live life on YOUR terms and make sure you are getting what YOU want out of it. The man of your dreams will give it to you. Others will not, and you don’t need them in your life. Best of luck.

Reply January 6, 2012, 6:17 pm

len

thanks for this advice i can relate myself with this..coz as of now I’m on doubt of my feelings towards this guy and you’re completely right maybe I’m just afraid of losing a guy whose never been mine…

Reply January 11, 2012, 3:40 pm

Lisa

Thanks for the reply John:
I’ll take it all under advisement. I get it.

Reply January 5, 2012, 8:25 pm

Lisa

Also he gets an attitude if I don’t respond right away to his calls and text, but has been taking his sweet time getting back to me. Like he knows I’ll want to see him. So that’s why I don’t want to give him anymore priority.

Reply January 4, 2012, 6:13 pm

Lisa

Hi Eric:
ok, I’m now dating a decade old ex who married someone else. Now he says he regrets his choice and was just not ready to be a real man for me. She took his worst and paid for it. They’re now separated for about 2 years.
He has been trying to get to me for years but I declined, but this last plea was sincere and full of humility and honesty. So I agreed to explore the option. A couple of months have gone by and he’s been honest, not pushing intimacy and always calling texting and wanting to spend time, until the holidays. He’s been flaking out. We aren’t exclusive and every now and then he mentions something about a random woman. He says he does that to discourage me from getting to serious because he dosen’t want love or commitment. But then he’s planning dates and daydreaming about how our life is going to be.
He has been good at calling but has stood me up 3 times during the last 3 weeks and then called like he never did it. I haven’t said much because I’m not his girlfriend.
But this last time I didn’t contact him and when he did call 2 days later, I told him I’d seem him next week. Not to be vindictive but that threw me of and I’m not happy. First every thing was good, I wish he would go back to the guy I spoke to months ago. I think he may have had a little freak out because we were really spending a lot of time together. Now he’s back to calling but I’m no longer ready to trust, nor as available to see him.
Should I walk away or give him a chance?

Reply January 4, 2012, 5:33 pm

John

Hi Lisa. Apparently you have already walked away from this guy once before. What makes you think it is going to be different this time? I have dated an ex before, and months later we broke up for the very same reasons we broke up before. Figure that! And frankly, it sounds like his flakyness is reason enough to move on. This is the same question I presented to Brooke below. “Are YOU (Lisa) getting what you want out of this relationship?” It sounds like you are more concerned about “not breaking up”, or “keeping the relationship”, or “not hurting his feelings” than you are about your own needs and desires. Sweetie, there is nothing wrong with wanting a life that fills YOUR needs and desires. And it sounds like this guy is getting what HE wants – copping an attitude when you don’t text back, but not recprocating that action himself and so forth. Just keep living life and maintaining this (or ANY) relationship on YOUR terms, hon. It’s not ALL about the man all the time. It is about a partnership that enriches BOTH of you. If you aren’t getting that, then you are totally in the clear to move on.

Reply January 5, 2012, 4:14 pm

Brooke

O.K., my curiosity is peaked. I have been dating a guy for about 4 months. We tell each other we love each other. He told me from pretty early on that he loves me, but he isn’t in love with me. He said that he is not used to spending so much time with a woman (we were together pretty much every night of the week for the first 2 months). He has broke it off with me two times stating that he doesn’t want to hurt me and he doesn’t know what he wants. We spend less time together now but he says he is committed to only me and does not want to date or have sex with anyone else. He has an 8 X 10 picture of us hanging up in his man cave next to a picture of him and his niece (who he adores) and a picture of his mom. They are literally all hanging together right by his TV so anyone who comes in there can see them. That would be his friends and family. He has introduced me to all his family who lives here and we hang out with his twin brother and his wife every other weekend. When I am there on the weekend he insists I stay the night because he likes “waking up with me in his arms”. We don’t have sex every time we see each other. In fact he has asked me twice if I am using him for sex (this was early on also). He texts me every day and both times he broke it off he was texting the very next day saying his heart was aching and he was miserable thinking about not being with me. The first time we broke up it was only for 2 days, the second time it was for 5. But each time he texted me every day. He often just stares at me and strokes my hair. He acts like he is “in love”. He has told me that in all his past relationships he has only seen the woman a few times a week. He is 38 years old and has never been married. He asked his last girlfriend to marry him and they were together for 4 years. She was a drunk and treated him very badly. He says she gave him butterflies and I don’t. He feels “very good” and “happy” when he is with me and he says he is insanely attracted to me. He says we have the best sex he has ever had. He usually cooks me dinner when I come over and he will buy me my favorite drink or something else he knows I like and it will be waiting when I get there. For Christmas he made me a flower he carved out of wood and painted. It took him about 2 months to make. He has a note I wrote him hanging in his living room on a board with all his pics of family and notes from his niece. He has never had children because he is unable d/t medical reasons (you fill in the blank). He also has a pair of my panties on his headboard. His house is filled with things that are mine. My picture is his screensaver on his cell phone. He tells me he is not used to a woman being so kind to him and loving him the way I do. He said at first it was really uncomfortable and now he is “getting used to it”. He has never been mean to me and as far as I know he is very honest. I would like to hear some opinions on what people think of this. Is he in love with me? Is he using me? Am I being stupid to invest time in this relationship? I would love to know what other people think!

Reply December 28, 2011, 12:23 am

John

Brooke – Keep in mind that you have only been in this relationship for 4 months. Frankly, that’s not very long, and at this point I’d consider it a whirlwind romance. My opinions aside, take first things first. Answer this questions to yourself (or post it. That would be cool!): What do YOU want out of this relationship? Second question to ask yourself: Are you actually getting what you want out of this relationship? If the answer is “Yes”, then stay in it. If the answer is “No”, then you have some work to do. At that point, tell your guy what you want out of “a relationship” (not specifically this one that you are in). It would be best if you told him this at the end of a date or some other activity. Don’t make deals, don’t apologize, don’t threaten, don’t belittle, don’t make any demands or schedules, and don’t expect a response. Just tell him what you want. (That’s different from a demand, which requires something FROM HIM. What you want is FOR YOU, and could be FROM any one, even yourself.) Then kiss him, hug him, and generally let him know that you love him. Now give it some time. How much time? That’s up to you. After “your time” has expired, don’t just dump the guy, and don’t recant your wants. After you tell him what you want, he will KNOW what you want from then on. Unless he asks for a reminder, you don’t need to repeat it. After “your time” has expired, start filling your schedule with fun things exclusively for you. You especially want to start spending more time with friends and family. And yeah! Take yourself out to dinner and a movie. Whatever you do, the point is to start doing them FOR you and to start excluding this guy from your plans. When he calls and asks to see you, check your schedule. Do you have something planned for that time? Well, too bad for him, but maybe you could schedule him in on . . . “Tuesday, say, for lunch maybe?” You get the point? I know I’ve said a lot of “don’t’s”, but here are a few more: Don’t change your schedule for him, don’t rearrange your life for him, don’t, sit and wait for him to call. [[[[ Make a life for yourself all unto yourself, exclusive of him. ]]]] In fact, you should even consider dating (not necessarily having sex with!) other men. If he calls and asks of your whereabouts, be honest with him. Tell him what he wants to know. When he sees that you have a life exclusive of him, that will, in his view, signifcantly raise his value of you, and he will start to do “whatever it takes” to be with you, up to and most likely giving you what you want. Could you lose this guy? Sure you could! But the earlier you lose him, the less time you waste on a dud relationship. And it’s better to know that ASAP. YOU are the one he wants. You just need to remind him of that by having a schedule too full to accommodate his every whim. Let me know how it goes.

Reply January 3, 2012, 12:46 pm

Brooke

John,
Thank you for the reply! I will do what you have said. It is funny to note that since my post he has been way more attentive and sweet to me. He says he is “loving me more” every day. He has been having me over more often and he gave me a key to his house. I have to admit he is very confusing. What do I want? I would like to have an honest, committed relationship. My final goal would most likely be marriage or at least living together. I don’t have any time frame for how long this should take to occur. I am pretty patient lately, which is a new attittude for me. I used to be very impatient and it got me no where. (Advice to all you impatient girls out there==STOP!)
I believe his change in attitude is because of my patience and my willingness to give him his space. He doesn’t feel any pressure from me. He likes that. And I know he knows I am very honest and straightforward. As far as telling him I eventually want marriage or living together as an outcome…I don’t know if that is a good idea at this point. I believe it will just make him feel pressured into having an outcome he might not be ready for. He is VERY gunshy. What do you think John? Should I REALLY tell him about that desire of mine at this point? And thank you for the reply! It was perfect!!

Reply January 4, 2012, 9:46 pm

John

Hi Brook
It sounds like you are taking it all in stride. And that’s really the best way to handle most any situation, especially relationship. No matter what happens, always be yourself. Don’t ever change or contort yourself for someone else or something else. Also, keep that big question in mind: “Are YOU (Brook) getting what you want out of your current relationship?” If your answer is “Yes”, then go with the flow. If your answer is “No”, then make it so that you ARE getting what you want. Your guy is all too happy to make you happy, so he’ll help you get what you want. But he first needs to know what that is, ergo the word, “communication”. Men don’t take subtle hints. They don’t take obvious hints. They need to be hit right between the eyes with your wants and desires. So if you spell it out for him – and he cares about you – he’ll go get it for you. Best of luck to you both.

Reply January 5, 2012, 4:02 pm

Pretty One

I have been involved with this married man for 5 years. About 6 months ago his wife found out about us. They ended up separating. He says that the reason for him cheating is because she cheated on him. I feel that the only reason he left is because we got caught, all the other reasons he gives me are second to none. I am in love with him but not sure if i want to stay in a relationship with him beacuse I cant stop thinking about if he is cheating on me or not. I need some advice please help.

Reply December 4, 2011, 7:40 am

John

Dear Pretty One – It sounds like you need to leave this relationship. That may seem like a hard thing to do, but Pretty, you have more respect for yourself than to worry about whether this guy is cheating on you or not. Seriously, you need to close this chapter of your life, make a life that is filled with fun activities that involve friends and family, and rediscover yourself from a loving, self respecting point of view. Your value to this man, and perhaps to yourself, is low right now, and you need to raise it greatly. And you can’t do it while you are in this relationship.

Reply January 3, 2012, 12:53 pm

John

To all the ladies who want their man to commit, but he wont: Your problem is pretty simple. You are TOO AVAILABLE to him. You solution is even simpler, and can be even more fun: Stop being so available. Stop being so helpless that you can’t live without “your man”. Instead, GET A LIFE. Go out and date other men. YOU HEARD ME! DATE OTHER MEN! Why? That will show “your man” that you can easily live a full life without him. That will show “your man” that you are attractive to other men. That will show “your man” that if he doesn’t step up, some other man just might, and then HE will become “your man”. Notice: I said D-A-T-E! I did not say sleep around, act like a slut, be a mattress-back, whatever. Dating means meeting other people of the opposite sex and just enjoying a good time with them. And for heavens sake, STOP BEING SO PATHETIC! Stop clinging to this guy like he is the end-all, know-all, do-all, catch-all solution to your world. He’s just a man! You don’t NEED a man in your life to make it complete. That’s why Equal Rights and Civil Rights exist. You don’t need to be married to get educated, get a high paying career, pay into a retirement fund, purchase some property, and build an estate and/or a business. And if you want kids, then HAVE kids. You don’t need to be married to do that either. God! Act like an adult, would you??!!

Reply November 23, 2011, 11:51 am

Eric Charles

Blunt and a little harsh… but the message is good advice.

Reply November 23, 2011, 3:20 pm

John

Hi Eric – yes, my apologies – to you AND to all the ladies for my being so harsh. I got on my soap box on that one. Really, I do care very much about women, and it pains me to see what they do to themselves over a man when they have so much untapped power in and of themselves. Seriously, ladies, look to youselves first. Make the best life you can for yourself. THEN take on a man only if he is worthy of your standards. Good luck to you all. . . but still. . . be an adult, okay? Laters!

Reply November 23, 2011, 6:21 pm

Eric Charles

No worries – all good. Thank you for the comment.

Reply November 23, 2011, 7:06 pm

Chasity

John, your advice sounds like a parents advice…TOUGH LOVE..so true it is important to WORK on YOURSELF first…you dont need a man to be happy..work on YOU..(especially if you are in school for all you yound oladies out there), everything else will fall into place. Plus name a guy who does not love a succesfull well gounded woman. As a freshman in college..i have noticed something so far, do you and trust me you will always have admireers..these admireers will love you from afar the one who is really worth it will take his time and hav e the courage to step up to you and get to know you…dont and NEVER GO running and chasing after men..as John said dont make yourself available take pride in yourself..let the RIGHT one come for you..work on YOU..better yourself..get hobbies, enjoy life soon will find a man that compliments you..one you LOVE/LIKE but dont need to survive.

Reply December 25, 2011, 8:27 pm

Liz

That is the BEST advice that I have seen on any website ever!! Thank you so much for it! I felt absolutely lost in what I knew (But refused to admit) was a dead-end relationship. Well, I began to date and go out and have fun without him…. and now? Well, he’s trying to play it cool, but he asks me round about questions about where I’ve been and who I’m going out with.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Reply January 30, 2012, 7:06 pm

Eric

Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate that.

All of us, myself included, need a reality check and some perspective at times. Glad I could be that for you in this case.

Reply January 31, 2012, 1:26 am

Tammy Lademer

GRETCHEN: Thanks for your response! It does make sense! If you are done with the book could you mail it to me? If not, I can buy it. Contact me at tlademer@yahoo.com. Thanks!

Reply November 22, 2011, 10:25 am

marie

A few months ago my best friend introduced me to a guy she knows and said that we would be absolutely amazing together and i was not that set on the idea as i am 21 and have been single for a year after a 2 year relationship ended as i was unhappy near the end and i had to leave him and after this i couldnt ever give my heart to any one and coulnt commit but i decide to accept his request on facebook and we would chat about eachothers life and got to know eachother we decided to swap numbers after a month and were texting for a few weeks and decided to meet up we had an amazing first date and both got drunk and really could let our har down with eachother and he new i was a very bubbly girl and hes very loud and outthere too and we both bounced eachother after that date we both started seeing achother and we were getting close and after a month he ased me out and i really did like him because he liked me for me and would buy me flowers braclets and cook for me and do really specail things for me and i loved that he like me for me and decided to say yes. but through all of this i alredy new that he was going in the navy in february but we he would always reassure me this was what he wanted with me and that he was falling completley for me and i also was but i couldnt tell him. i never bought up the navy untill one ay he told me that he had a massive descison to make in february which was to travel more in the navy which would mean him not coming home as much and wouldnt be able to have a family life never mind a girlfrend or one where hed be home at weekends and i told him to that this was his drea so if he wanted to do the travelling one to tell me as soon as possible and i could see where its left us because long distance is hard. After a month of me falling in love from this i went to stay at his home for 3 days and on the way to the train station he said he was applying for both and would pick in feb and when i got home i text him and told him i was worried id hold him back and i dont want to come to febraury for him to choose the trvelling one and for him to leave me and he wsnt very reasuring and cut me off for the whole night, i then got a text the next morning which was nothing to do with it and he just asked how i was and i told him i was upset hed cut me off and wasnt being here for me as he was the one who wanted the navy and me and now i needed reassurance he wasnt there and he cut me off for 2 days and i finally got him to come and see me and when he came round he was off with me and couldnt look at me and told me he was messed up and couldnt be with me any more because he cant commit however hes been very full on and i havent and he said it was him not me! he then got his stuff and left. that night i messaged his friend who i have met 3 times who has always said to my face how much he likes me and that im good for his bestfriend because i make him happy but then i got a reply off his friend saying you are not right for him and that i am rude and i get drunk and he has told his bestfriend to stay clear of me, which broke my heart because my ex loved how fun i was and how wed go out and have a laugh and get drunk but he comes from a posh family and his friends are posh however they are always drunk and being fools too! I then decided to call my x and i went to see him for an explanation and he said that he didnt no that his mate had sai this and he didnt no that he didnt like me and i stayed the night and in the morning he was cuddling me and kissing me and then an hour later he said he doesnt want a relationship and wouldnt be happy if we got back together an that things wouldnt be the same after hes hurt me so bad after cutting me off and i left the house and i havent spoke to him since. I really miss him and never got to tell him that i loved him. I am a prettey strong person and i wont beg him but it hurts so bad and i dont no whether the fact that his mate doenst like me has affected him or whether he was falling for me and he new that moving to the nevy would effect his dream or whether he did something very silly like cheat when he was drunk and thats why he hasnt been in contact or cant be friends. I am no exspert but when a lad brings you flowers in to work and cooks for you 4 days before this i feel like hes cheated hence why he couldnt look at me and hence why he cnt be friends! It really hurts because if he cant be with me because of the navy or commitment then why cant we be friends as he split with his ex 2 years ago and they are still very good friends, also before me and him he told me he had been with a girl who works in his local pub and he found out she had a boyfriend and he really liked her but i recently found out that they were still texting and i never questioned him but told him to think about how hed feel if i was texting someone i went with before u and he said that he had to be nice to her because shes family to the owners of the pub but he told me he was seeing her for a bout a week before me and him however on facebook theres comments of him chatting to her on her wall in april 3 months before i met him and i cant help but feel like hes been with her. I dont think the lad i knew would do that as he was so set on me and would look at me and say how amazing i was and how lucky he was to have a stunning gf but i cnt help but think this is the only explantion hence why hes had to cut me out all together as friends an a gf! I am in love for the first time and i lost him as i fell in love and its now been 3 weeks and i havent hear from him and i still have our pictures and picture on our keyring. I have tried to move on and i think i will in time but ill always love him, the last morning i saw him he wasnt smiling and his nickname is smiler because he never ever doesnt smile and it killed me and for that i had to walk away. He tried telling me he doesnt care any more and his feelings have gone and i said how can your feelings go after cooking for me and bringing me flowers and he finally said i was telling you that because i cant hurt you when i leave and i said your hurting me telling me that and he said i do care and nothings changed but i need to stop caring so i can go away and not hurt you but i dont get why we still cant be friends or why he hasnt contacted! I just need a guys point of few on this im normally really good at the signs but this has through me completely and i dont understand is he just cutting me out of his life coz he cant be friend at all because of the way he feels and because he nos that he wont be able to commit when he goes? or has he cheated plese help. Thank you x

Reply November 15, 2011, 8:15 pm

gabriela

so, i am kinda seeing this guy that was after me for some time, once i started to like him he backed off. he told me that we would be better off as friends with benefits. he used to text me and call me all the time now its like i have to text him for him to talk to me. when we are together he treats me so good. i can see the look in his eyes. i always tell him that i love him but he never says it back. he says he cares for me as his friend with benefits. it upsets me a little because before he would tell me that he loved me. my question i guess would be, is does he have any type of feelings for me. when we go out he treats me like his girlfriend and he tells me that if i ever get a boyfriend, he will still be there for me forever.. help me please i dont want to hurt anymore.can friends with benefits become something more.

Reply November 7, 2011, 10:58 am

Jody

No, he’s not going to commit to you until you A) find someone else and he realizes what he’s missing or B) you cut off communication and move on (and I don’t mean pretend to; actually do it). You need to stop telling him you love him, stop putting out for him, and stop calling him. The next time he texts you to hook up, ignore it or text back that you can’t because you’re busy. That will turn him around if anything will.

Reply November 22, 2011, 6:28 pm

Heather Deeze

I feel the same way about my boyfriend. I have been in love with him for so long, we r both divorced. I’m scared of marriage n he doesn’t want to marry again but I want to marry him. I don’t question his commitment to me at all. We both know and say we will be together forever n promised that to each other, so no doubts. It is the same commitment as marriage without a ring n paper. I just want to show the world that our love for each other is real and just the same. I have thought of something like maybe a commitment ceremony. Might be a good idea for those in a house divided situation. Any opinions?

Reply October 29, 2011, 12:10 am

amanda

I am having a mind blowing issue with a man i have been what i would call “involved with” for 8 months now. let me tell you the factors of this
– we live 60 miles apart from each other (a little over an hour away)
– we talk on the phone multiple times a day EVERYDAY
– text all day every day
-he has come out and slept over , we have met each other half way a few times.
-we have an intimate relationship
for the first 5 months i played it off as if i didnt have any feelings for him but then decided one day to tell him that i had caught feelings and he replied with ” i dont know what you want me to do , i dont want to hurt you” yadda yadda yadda .. also stating that “i feel if we ever were in a relationship you would want me to come down to see you every day” I told him i wouldnt want anything to change between us
another month goes by and he sends me texts saying <3 you bunches
he came down a couple days ago and told me he "appreciates me" WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN? he calls me baby,dollface,tells me how he misses me and also mentioned how we are like best friends cause we talk EVERY DAY …. might i add he told me that he said he feels like hes known me forever then jokingly said we should prob stop hanging out.
he has mentioned to me about me quitting my job to go work with him in his company. He has braught up the fact of the two of us going on a road trip together for a vacation(more than 10 times) if he wants to just be friends then why is he sending me these mixed signals, and more importantly if he doesnt want to hurt me why is he doing this? should i be patient? am i holding on to nothing but hope here? i just dont know anymore!!!! PLEASE HELP!
i have fallen for this man…and he knows it…
i dont know what his motive is behind all of this. I feel that he has crazy commitment issues or maybe his past relationship did him in . i know hes got a lot going on right now trying to get through school, work,and opening a business. Should i give it time or is this going NO WHERE?

Reply October 27, 2011, 7:52 pm

Kate Smith

I am 21. I recently met a guy, whose in one of my classses at the university. He seemed really interested in me. We went out to the movies 2 days after we intitally started to talk. Then every night for the next week i was always by his dorm. We went out to the club and had a great time. After that he would tell me that he likes me, but everything is on my terms, since i havent dated anyone in 9 months. So through conversation I guess i “assumed” that we were in a relationship. We had sex and everything was fine. however he did things i didnt like sometimes and i told him about it. He then asked me what i labled us as and i told him a couple. He said that he didnt know thats what i was thinking and said that he is sorry. he wants to see where things may go but he is not ready for a commitment as yet. I told him that he had me confused and what were all the implications about. All in all he still wants to have sex and said he would give me the repsect of seeing me alone but he is not ready to commit. Should I leave or stay?

Reply October 27, 2011, 12:28 pm

Jody

Honey, you are only 21. Leave. You are young and have plenty of time to find yourself and a better man. I know you feel you’ll never find someone better, but trust me, a better one is always around the corner. Men that young are often not in a place to commit, so leave, and if he comes back, great. If not, you will soon move on.

Reply November 22, 2011, 9:38 pm

Tammy Lademer

I am 45. I have been divorced twice. I have been with a guy for 7 years. He is 46. His wife died. Both of his parents have died. He has never had kids. He, from the start had a condition that said,” If you quit smoking we can get married.” I tried but I am still smoking. He is a wonderful partner but he is stuck in past grief or grave fear of losing me due to my health. Funny thing is I am Bi-Polar and a recovering addict of 10 years. I have three kids ages 21,16 and 13. He is so close to my kids. He loves them as his own and they love him. I have internalized his conditions and say to myself,”I’m still not good enough..” and even moved out because it hurts me. I want to be accepted just as I am!!! We’re still together but we talk/argue about this frequently. Any suggestions??

Reply October 22, 2011, 11:30 pm

Gretchen

Quit smoking. It will benefit you even if you don’t ever marry. Read “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking” by Allen Carr….read the reviews on Amazon, they are inspiring! The book does not talk about being sick and it encourages you to smoke while you read…so don’t put it off. It will help you. I know many people who decided to quit after reading this book. (There are CDs too if you are not a reader.) A friend who quit told me about it. I bought myself a copy shortly thereafter. Best $10 I ever spent. I haven’t smoked for four years. ( : (P.S. No non-smoker (or anyone for that matter) wants to have to take care of someone who got ill from this terrible habit …I can tell you this from personal experience as well.) Marriage is a promise to be with a partner in sickness and in health. So what you are asking for is this promise from a man who knows you are slowly poisoning yourself, and therefore he is being asked to make a bet that you both won’t have to go down that road…but you are not helping the odds. This is a bad bet. Obviously, the man loves you enough to ask you to stop. Marriage is his only leverage at this point. If he doesn’t hold out, you will never quit-especially if you won’t do it for what you say you so desperately want. It’s not about “loving you for you”…. he loves you enough to care that you are hurting yourself. When it comes to smoking, it’s not a matter of “if”…it’s a matter of “when”.

Reply November 21, 2011, 9:02 pm

Caty

I have been dating someone for three years. He has a child from a previous relationhip, she is 14. I have never met his child and he does not have contact with her. He says her mother does not encourage it, but he does pay child support and- writes her letters and e-mails and sends her presents regularly. She never responds. He is very hurt by this and don’t even have all the details of how things got so bad. The fact that he has taken so long to open up to me makes me sad, as if he has been so hurt that he is reluctant to let me in, even though I have done nothing to make him doubt my love and loyalty. It also makes me feel like he has all the control in the relationship and I have none.

He is a wonderful guy and makes me very happy, but we live almost 90 miles apart. He comes to my house almost every weekend (he works from home and travels for his job). Occasionally I go to his house. At one time he talked about where we could live in retirement and I was glad to hear him talk in terms of “we” and “us”. However when he started talking about moving to my city, he started looking at homes that are clearly only meant for him (much smaller than the home I live in, only a little bigger or the same size as his condo.) I am past the age of thinking of realistically expecting to have babies, but I do want to live my life with the man I love and in a state of marriage. I talked to him about this in July and he said he understood, but nothing has changed. I am going to his house this weekend and I think that I am going to have another discussion with him. If he is not willing to make a real commitment of being engaged and married, although I love him, I am not sure that I can continue this way. Whether I want to admit it or not I *do* want to to be married and I also know that the older I get the smaller the dating and marriage pool gets. I feel heartsick, because although I want to believe he will make that commitment, part of me realizes that it is just as likely that he will say no. I am so sad right now. I am hoping for the best, but really preparing myself for the worst.

Reply October 5, 2011, 8:01 pm

Marissa Sa

Asking for some advice, I am in a similar situation as well, my guy and I have been dating for a little bit more than 2 years now. He lives with his two kids one from a previous relationship and the other from his marriage with his wife which he has been separated from for a little more than 3 years. When I first met him and we started going out it was on the basis that he advised me that the divorce was going to be completed shortly. Well it has been almost 3 years and the last time I asked him about the divorce he stated that it has been finalized. I thought it a bit strange that it was resolved and he did not offer that information to me so I asked him to show me proof and he told me it was “personal” I was like WTF??? I was really upset and told him that this should not be personal since we are both in this together and we I think he should be more open with me as this is affecting my future. He knows that I will move on if he doesn’t get his stuff in order as I have walked away many times and he has tried to get me back. I do not have any kids, never been married and he is way older than I am. He has not even told me that he loved me as yet! I love the guy but I am ready to leave. He mostly tells me things that I want to hear instead of actually meaning it as I told him that I want to be married before I have kids since I am just starting off my life and not even 30 yet! I caught him saying once that he does not want to go down the marriage road again and how it is not for him. I immediately said then we should not be together then he stated “anything is possible” and then he says that in a few years we can have kids. I am so confused…….. I am to the point where I am so confused that I just want to leave. Any advice Please.

Reply September 27, 2011, 3:44 pm

Alison

Awe, girl, I feel your pain. I know you love this guy. I love mine, too. But, still, I wonder, everyday, if what I want is what he wants. All we can do is hope for the best and if we don’t happen to coincide, we gotta move on. It sucks, it hurts, but seriously, if we let them go, and they don’t come back, what do we have anyway? PLEASE email me, honey, I could use the cartharism!
Much love, baby!! I’m not kidding around!

Reply July 18, 2011, 10:30 pm

Katie

If a man tells you he “can’t commit” or “doesn’t want to commit” it just means you’re not enough for him, and he wants the freedom to know he can go out and find someone he likes better. He wants all the benefits of a relationship (sex – ding ding ding!) without actually being in one, and by not committing he can get those benefits elsewhere too! F*** that, and tell any guy that doesn’t want to commit to you to f*** off. You deserve to be with someone that wants to actually be with YOU and only you!!!! And why would you settle for something less than you deserve??
The only time I myself have ever used the whole “I can’t be committed” bs is b/c I was trying to get out of being involved with the person I was saying it to.

Reply April 27, 2011, 11:48 pm

Brooke

Some things are much easier said then done.

Reply October 8, 2011, 5:34 am

NELLIE

DEAR BOYFRIEND:

I LOVE YOU. I THINK YOU ARE A TERRIFIC GUY. I WANT BOTH US TO BE HAPPY. PLEASE TAKE ALL THE TIME YOU WANT TO DECIDE. IT FINE WITH ME. BUT IN THE MEAN TIME YOU NO LONGER HAVE THE RIGHT TO HAVE ME EXCLUSIVE ALL TO YOURSELF. TO TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF OF THE RELATIONSHIP I WILL NOW BE OPEN TO ATTENTION FROM OTHER MEN. I AM NOT LOOKING, POSTING MY PROFILE ON LINE NOR SLEEPING WITH ANOTHER MAN, BUT I THINK HIGHLY ENOUGH OF MYSELF TO KEEP MYSELF OPEN AND AVAILABLE FOR THE MAN THAT WANTS ME FOREVER AS A WIFE.

Reply March 21, 2011, 1:22 pm

L

THIS IS FANTASTIC!

Reply June 16, 2011, 4:43 pm

Beverly Anderson

Wow, you go girl….I wish I had that kind of nerve! I am in a similar situation.

Reply August 10, 2011, 4:41 pm

katiiieanne

This is awesome ! That’s how I feel. I am monogamous with a guy, but he’s told me a few times that he isn’t going to be ready to date for a while. He is still coping with his recent breakup. Although he has told me a few times that he “would” date me or could see himself dating me, I’m not sure I believe it. I figure if a good enough girl came along, he’d date her even if his heart was still tender – he’d just work through the hard times.

Reply October 17, 2011, 10:13 pm

Kelsi

sorry, but considering the fact that this guy was married although 2 years divorced with kids, along with the fact that you have only been dating for 5 MONTHS?! marriage is a huge commitment, and it seems like it is especially for a guy. i totally understand this situation, you really need to give this guy time. not only for him, but for yourself as well, cause it seems as though he respects you enough to not jump into things.

unfortunately i am faced with this same issue, but i have been dating my guy for almost 3 years now. he was my high school sweetheart, and i am now in college. i am constantly waiting for him to pop the question, but his response is that in time we will get married but he doesnt want either one of us to change?? thats what i dont understand. ive spent years with this guy!! lol, im not changing, and im def. not going anywhere. but he is all the time talking about buying “us” a house, and “us” land, and so on and so on, so this reminded me a whole lot about my situation. i think with my guy, hes committed, but worried because his mother went through a very, very tough marriage/divorce, as well as some of his other family members, and it ended up breaking their rellationship. but yet he says he wants to spend the rest of his life with me?? idk, but it is very annoying!! lol. i feel as though if someones relationship broke “because of marriage” then they werent meant to be to start with, and it would have happened sooner or later anyway. idk, but i know how you feel over the basic situation, and it is very tough.

hang in there girl, and give him time && ill try to take and learn from my advice. lol.
:)
stay strong.

Reply January 22, 2011, 2:05 am

kassey

i have been with a guy for almost a year. He now since we have met owns a bar and is very”well off”, I asked him if we will ever live together and he says he doesnt know! I want to see where things are going and where he sees us in the future and all he will say is “you never know” well i wanna know! He takes me on vacation and buys me stuff and always wants to hang out but he did al this with his ex’s i dont wanna be one of the ex’s that he leaves in three years cause he said to me that he knew after a year that he wasnt “in love” with them but i am different i dont know should i believe this?

Reply December 3, 2010, 2:26 am

mandy

ok well i been with this guy since jan. of this year 2010 and i found out that i was pregnant bye a nother man in dec. and i told this guy that i was and he said it was fine well we hung out ever night and day and about in march he told me he loved me he said there was just somthing about me and i met his family and he met mine and i met both of his bestfriends and he wants me jeoluse of girls he was seeing and he gets mad if i go out and tells me not to give it up but then he saids but u can if u want i was just saying and hes off in pipeline ! and idk what to do he wants his pie and cake but he came home for 3 days and had fell in love with my little boy i had and he tells me he wants to riase him and be there for him and this and that and i just dont know what to think i wish i did i do love him he makes me feel like no other and when hes home and where together he is the best guy ever and when hes gone and apart from me its like it all turns into shit and i wish knew what to do cuz i want to be with him he makes me happy and i just want to make him happy! so tell me when i can do or how to talk to him cuz every time i talk about us he gets mad and tells me off or somthing then calls me back ina week act like nothing happen idk what to do please help oh theres waymore to this store and us but this is what i need help with PLEASE

Reply October 24, 2010, 9:49 pm

Lori

I just ended a 3 year relationship with a guy who I thought was available but has told me that although he loves me he “isn’t in love with me”, and then told me he didn’t know what love is!
At the beginning of our relationship, he once told me that he was told he was a “good catch”, which to me said that he was available. He had been a widower for 3 years before we got together and both his children were adults and married with their own families. We had a lot of fun together, hanging out, having sleepovers at his house (I have my own house) and taking trips together. I met his kids, all his best friends, even his former in-laws – he never hid me away from anyone. It was a really good feeling at first when all this was happening, because I thought he was a really nice guy and was the real deal. He retired after we were together for two years, and I had a premonition that things would change for us once he retired – I was right on the money with that. He started taking me for granted – once he took a phone call from an old girlfriend (we were on a cruise together) and I would have thought he would have said something to her about being on a cruise with his girlfriend – then he lied about some things – little stupid lies and said that was habit from his marriage – if his wife didn’t like something she would not speak to him for days. I never was anything like that. I could see I wasn’t very important in his life, and all he wanted was an activity partner/sex partner/someone to accompany him to family functions, sort of a friend with benefits. When I broke up with him the first time, I was miserable and we talked and decided to keep doing things together and ended up sleeping together again, then the taking me for granted started again. Well, what did I expect, huh?! So then two weeks after we got back together I broke up with him for good, telling him that I wanted and needed someone who could commit to me – maybe not marriage – but a commitment! He said he couldn’t do that, so we’re through.
What is really strange is that we were getting on so great before his daughter and her family moved back to the area after being in another state for a few years. What I think happened is that he used the excuse with me that his kids wouldn’t accept us sleeping together if we were not married, but has no intentions of getting married. I think his late wife wore the pants in the family and now the married daughter took on that role, as a friend told me that a comment was made that my guy was afraid of his daughter. It sucks to have taken 3 years for me to figure out this isn’t going to work, but at least I ended it, telling him that as long as we kept “pretending” we were a couple, I wasn’t ever going to be able to find the guy who is going to appreciate me the way I deserve . This just happened, and I’m okay with it.

Reply August 5, 2010, 8:14 pm

saggi girl

i don’t know. i am in the same situation. I have spent almost 3 years with my guy. today he was telling me that he can not guarantee the future..he was having financial issue and job issue, but why tells me that? i think what he told me is to push me away.. i told him today to stop talking to me, but he told me that he needed time and will call again.. i hung it up and will not answer his call.. i know he was dealing with his job issue but what about me?? it has been 3 years and we only see each other on sundays..i guess he was just not in that stage to commit to anything right now.. i think i don’t mind waiting for a guy who says that he wants me and asked me to wait for him to get his life together, but if after 3years of being together, if you still tell me that you can guarantee the future, then i would take it as a sign for me to walk away on my own…

Reply May 10, 2010, 5:59 am

Beyonce'e

Don’t worry about commitment just yet . i have a boyfriend and i love him to peices but i never push him into anything . if were invited to a party he calls me ‘ the missus ‘ even though were not married . i glow , he smiles we have sex and he asked me to marry him , good luck ;)

Reply April 5, 2010, 9:27 am

www.mybeautyblog.de

@trip5 – that does sound more like being unsatisfied in the relation-ship because he seems to be gelous. you should go dancing. do not give up YOURSELF in the relation-ship.
he does not commit other things, I guess that is the case for you?
About giving in relationships: It is never equal, that’s what I learned. But for both giving should be easy and nothing to talk about, then it works. And both should get enough from one another in the relationship.

So commitment means to put things to another stage, to go further, and NOT to continue as what it has been. Guess that is what happened to me, I wanted to go further, he wanted to stay same. (Now after two years he wants to go further with his new partner but she does not commit, and now he feels what I felt).

So probably women want commitment the same as they want evolution in their relationship, men who do not commit want things to stay like that, maybe because it is fine, maybe because they are lazy, maybe because they have another pace.

See, most weddings I have been here in Germany were after 9 or even 11 years of living together. Talking about pace.

Reply January 18, 2010, 12:29 pm

trip5

Thanks for your comment, and my thoughts: I wonder the same thing- am I off base here? Is this some need I have that masks my own deeper insecurity issues? If I were marriage-bound with this guy, would that really solve the issue and give me peace? He has said he’s fully committed to me now and I should be happy with that. but when I wrestle with it, I feel deep down that I am wired this way, that I want to know he will be around next year, that he has really decided on me as his life partner. There are a few complicating issues here- when we met I had been studying ballroom dancing (which is how we met) and since we’ve been together we have not danced. For him, it was a way of meeting women, for me it was something that gave me absolute joy, and also a social outlet. I was at a point that if I met a guy, fine- but if not that was ok, I just wanted to dance. I have wanted to get back to it but he has said it won’t work for him if I’m dancing with other men and how would I like it if he were doing the same?? I’ve tried to tell him that I wouldn’t be an issue for me because I am the most loyal person when I am in a relationship- I suggested taking lessons from the gay guy who teaches, but that still met with disapproval. So I wonder- why would I give up something I love for a guy who will never marry me?? I already give so much to this relationship. It’s not a complete vacuum- he gives me love, sex, companionship- we love doing so many of the same things. I truly love this man. I suggested counseling to see if we could reach some answers, but he doesn’t want to do that either- he just wants things to continue as they have been. I feel like I need to take a stand for my own self=respect.

Reply January 18, 2010, 12:16 pm

www.mybeautyblog.de

I still wonder reading the comments WHY is commitment so important for us women. We only have enough self-confidence as a pair? I think, because this time I would not commit, or would I? is the point that women set commitment equal to “I love you”. Men do not.
Men are pragmatic – commitment means responsability, in an really hard way: Financial and humanly. That is what they have been taught, and I can undestand the some guys are afraid to take it, especially when kids are involved.

So the question is WHY women want to marry? My partner wants to marry me, I am not sure if I want. It is a beautiful relation-ship, but I do not want to commit ever again. I do not want to separate and be hurt again.

See it that way.

Reply January 18, 2010, 5:28 am

www.mybeautyblog.de

I still wonder reading the comments WHY is commitment so important for us women. We only have enough self-confidence as a pair? I think, because this time I would not commit, or would I? is the point that women set commitment equal to “I love you”. Men do not.
Men are pragmatic – commitment means responsability, in an really hard way: Financial and humanly. Thet is hwat they have been taught, and I can undestand the some guys are afraid to take it, especially when kids are involved.

So the question is WHY women want to marry? My partner wants to marry me, I am not sure if I want. It is a beautiful relation-ship, but I do not want to commit ever again. I do not want to part and be hurt again.

See it that way.

Reply January 18, 2010, 5:27 am

trip5

Here I am looking for similar experiences so I can make sense of mine..I can use some feedback. My situation: I am 53, divorced after a 22 year marriage; one child grown and engaged to be married in August. I’ve been in a relationship for 19 mo. with a guy, 58, who has never been married, no children. He is a rather unconventional person- he has said he always known he never wanted children, and when I decided to feel him out about his feelings about marriage 6 months ago, he told me flatly that it is not for him. I was very undecided at that point as to whether marriage was something I really feel that I would like to build toward. We spend a great deal of time together, 3-4 nights a week at his (very large) place. At this point, I’m happy to have my own place, but I still would like to know that I am building toward a time when we could actually merge our lives in a meaningful way, which for me feels like marriage. So, I decided to give it another 6 mo. and see what developed. We have been quite happy together for the most part, but this commitment thing nags at me. I love him, he loves me-but he says he can ‘give what he hasn’t got”- whereas I am willing to give it all. I feel that I tend to live my life around him- I mostly cater to his needs. He does sweet things for me, but when we have this discussion (only twice in the 18mo.) he says he likes just going on a ‘day to day’basis.
Today, I made a decision to leave. I am so sad, I hope I’m doing the right thing- I’m still an attractive woman and will certainly date. We did have so much in common, so much fun- why wouldn’t he want to at least consider marriage??- But, he doesn’t. I wonder what woman would really feel fulfilled in that kind of a relationship- bottom line is, I probably won’t. I am a loving, kind, sexy woman and I deserve more. What do you think?

Reply January 17, 2010, 11:44 pm

Smellyboo

I know exactly where you are coming from especially with a guy that has been married and divorced and maybe burned in the process. Some men become very reluctant to enter commitment after the last experience was a disaster, they dont want to fail and hold pictures of only ever commiting again if they find the perfect woman, which wont happen as there is no such thing but hell its a loop hole to avoid going that route again. My partner married ten years divorced 2 when we met, three years later still baulking at any further commitment, I can see the walls in his aura and they havnt really altered at all in our time together. At the end of the day I have provided him the time and experience to know what he wants from this and he finds reasons he cant do it, I love him but now that doesnt even cut it. ENough is enough and what I want to experience in a loving relationship is not goig to evolve here. Best bet is to cut him loose so he can find out what or who he wants this may take him ten years and 3 other relationships, who knows. He might meet a girl next week and maybe he will want to commit, thing is it just isnt happening in this relationship for us and love just isnt enough sometimes. We have one life and if your not experiencing what it is you want in a relationship after a reasonable period of time its better to be alone than feel stuck in a relationship that has no future.
Adios

Reply January 7, 2010, 7:03 pm

wendyw

I know I know I know.. the love. I love mine, too. Love is what we cannot get away from. We make decisions on it, often getting mistreated when the other does not love as much or in the same way. It is a decision made. Being without him, I was quite sad and miserable.

Things can change, yes, but it could take 5-10 years! (in my romance) or 15 years.. does anyone really have that long to wait? It is rare that people change their basic behaviors, unless they feel the motivation from within. It comes from within.

MY moment came when he was talking about his parent’s 60-something anniversary and said he wanted a ring before we continue on. He said it after I have said I want a ring! Imagine my emotions.

Reply November 18, 2009, 3:06 am

maria

i’m 51 yrs old he is 54 i am divorced and so is he. i have 4 children but only 2 live with me 17 and 12, he has 2 but only one lives with him and is 24. we have dated for 6 yrs and have been engaged 4, his son is a bum, lazy , smoocher, partying drunk, does not contribute. my boyfriend has a home with 4 bedrooms, plenty of room for all of us but he says, he would rather buy another home, im tired of the same story, and now he says when he is good and ready and nothing i say will make him do anything else. i think he likes it this way, im there every other weekend when my kids are with their dad, and everytime i mention about moving in , he says no , well i guess i have answered my own question right? I do have other men who are interested , so what am i waiting for? oh yeah, i love him ; /

Reply November 10, 2009, 3:08 pm

Ree

have fun but wat ever u do please dont waist your time because your feeling toward him will become deeper and deeper then it will really be hard for you to leave him alone. Trust me i no i was talking to this guy and still is and we have been talking for 3 yrs and he still havent made a commitment and everytime we try to leave each other alone it never seem to work but i hate the fact thats its been 3 whole years and no commitment but we have a great relationship with each other im still lost after this i will never experience this again and if you do leave this guy alone the next guy you talk to just ask them from the start what are you looking for in a female and that will tell you right there.

Reply November 9, 2009, 12:52 am

www.mybeautyblog.de

Eric gives great advice!
Imho five months are not much for commitment. How much more commitment – when he introduced you to his parents/family?
He might take far longer then you for this, so ask yourself if you want to wait, and how long you want to wait. I am or I have been in the same situation with a guy (really big love for us both) who was not able to make a commitment after four years (!!). I guess he could have done it, but how long can I wait? Plus other things that did not work out, still – I decided to go. Now I have a new relation-ship, and he definitely says stuff. But – he never had such bad experiences like a divorce.
Maybe there is something that will make you more self-secure, giving you more self-confidence on that issue – living together. A ring. That he introduces you to somebody as his “partner” (I do not exactly know what you say in english waht is stronger then girlfriend).
It is up to you to find out what it is and tell him. Just talk, no pressure. Otherwise live today – buy yourself a sportscar as long as you can do it. As a mom you will probably not do it anymore!
All the best for you!

Reply September 28, 2009, 4:53 pm

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