I’ve been seeing this guy for a few months now and I really like him. The thing is, he has some major relationship issues. All of his former girlfriends have cheated on him which has caused him to be very closed off and wary of relationships. I really think we have something real here but I don’t wanna waste my time with a guy who will always be too afraid to commit. Is there any way for me to help him with his issues and help him trust women again?
Read our guy’s response after the jump!
My short answer would be: Don’t try to help him get over his relationship issues. Leave it alone.
Instead, lead by example. Be the type of girl that does the right thing and wants a serious relationship.
If he’s going to be receptive to it, he’ll come around and get over his baggage. If he’s not willing to let go of his issues, there is nothing that you’re going to be able to do to “make” him.
All of us have had crappy things happen to us in our lives. Some of us have had major misfortunes, some of us mostly minor ones. But how we choose to handle those stumbling blocks and misfortunes is entirely our responsibility.
I’m not saying that it’s not difficult. It can be extremely difficult and, moreover, all of us have our own way of dealing with things.
Personally, I have a tougher time dealing with things when I’m in a relationship. When I am working something out, I want to be completely by myself and left alone for a while. Sometimes days. I think it’s because, for me, I don’t like people seeing me when I’m in a bad place… plus I know that I’m not pleasant to be around when I’m in a bad mood and I prefer to spare everyone from having their feelings hurt. But that’s me…
In general, guys don’t want help with things. If we want help, we’ll ask. But working out our own issues is an especially touchy subject.
There’s a trap that people can fall into where one person “engages” with the other person’s issue. And at that point, instead of being just the guy’s issue, it becomes an issue with the relationship.
How do you avoid “engaging” with someone’s issue? Don’t fight with it. Don’t reason with it. Don’t try to solve it. Just leave it alone.
If you’re really interested in him and you’d like things to work out, I would say your best bet is to: 1) listen to him when he wants to talk about it, 2) be receptive to what he’s saying, but don’t judge it, 3) don’t take any of it personally, 4) don’t interpret it as some kind of hidden message, like it means something about you or him or how he’ll be in your relationship, 5) DON’T even think about trying to solve his problem.
Chances are, if he feels he wants to talk about it, he probably just wants you to listen so that you can understand where he’s coming from. And once you’ve done that, you can both let it go.
If you genuinely care about him and are acting like a good girlfriend, he will see that you’re different and not like those other girls. It’s just going to be a matter of being patient and non-reactive if he brings up his “issues”.
To tie this answer up with a short and simple thought: It’s only as big a deal as you make it out to be.
Hope it helps,
– eric charles