Ask a Guy: When Is It Time To Leave? post image

Ask a Guy: When Is It Time To Leave?

I’m dating a guy that is really hard to understand. It’s like he’s determined to find reasons why things won’t work out, and yet I know he cares about me and doesn’t want to end it.

We are long distance right now so he has legitimate concerns, but what I want to know is this…when do you throw in the towel for a guy who is clearly putting up tons of walls and protecting himself from potential pain, and when do you keep putting up with somewhat ridiculous behavior knowing that once his walls are down, it could be a gold mine under all that fuss?

He’s been acting like a huge jerk lately and I really want to just tell him to get over himself, but I’ve seen very clearly how amazing and loving he is and truly think this is all just a form of protection “in case we don’t work out.”

I want to “crack his code,” but at what cost? Normally I wouldn’t ever put up with this kind of behavior, but something tells me to keep digging and to be patient. Am I wasting my time?

I don’t know how much of my stuff you’ve read, but you will notice that I nearly never (maybe never… not sure) tell a woman when to throw in the towel. It’s not because I can’t see when or  because I don’t want her to know, but mainly because I know that if she’s determined to keep banging her head against the wall and wants to figure out a way to not make it hurt anymore, the only thing she’s going to want to hear from me (or anyone) is how to make her situation work the way she wants it to (and she will ignore anything that says, “It’s time to go…”).

That said, if this were my situation, I would already have thrown in the towel. My feeling is that if I’m going to have a relationship, I have the intention that it could grow into something more… deeper… more committed… more connected… etc. And sure, there would be titles and anniversaries and all that jazz to go with it, but underneath all that stuff, the only thing worth anything is the quality of the relationship…and if that’s not top-notch, the best it’s going to be is a casual thing…which I’m not against and there’s nothing wrong with that sort of thing… but it’s important to be extremely clear on what has potential and what doesn’t.

MORE: 5 Signs He’s Not The Right Guy For You 

If there’s one thing I’ve known about my very best relationships, and the very best relationships of other people’s (the people they end up marrying), it’s that the relationship never had a quality of having to “crack” the other person… or make them come around… or one person putting in crazy effort to make it work.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t instances where one person does eventually win over the other person… that happens. Sometimes those people even become couples, move in together, get married, start families.

Unfortunately, those are also the couples where both people feel cheated… that they were never “all in” with the other person… and there is a feeling of dissatisfaction that underlies the relationship (even if they have all the titles and statuses to say that they’re together)…

I wouldn’t be willing to settle for that being the quality of my relationship. For me, that’s much worse than being single since at least there’s the opening for someone great to come along who I connect with (and who connects with me) perfectly, naturally, and effortlessly. What a lot of people don’t realize (especially people seeking relationship advice) is that good relationships are mostly effortless. The effort that is required doesn’t feel like effort… it feels like giving love that they’re happy to give… not effort, not work, not a means to an end, not quid pro quo.

MORE: What No One Tells You About Being in a Good Relationships

My point is that being with the wrong person isn’t just frustrating, painful, and heartbreaking (not to mention digging yourself into a hole), it’s also blocking you from the opportunity to find and have something with someone who is a great match… someone who you just click with, who is as delighted to give to you as you are to give to them.

Actually, it’s even worse than blocking yourself from meeting that person. It is sowing seeds of resentment, distrust, and discontent into your heart that will likely haunt you next time you go looking for love (and this tends to increase the longer you stay in a bad relationship dynamic). Instead of your love life coming up roses, you grow a garden of tangled brambles and thorns.

Who you select is the most important variable in your love life. Yes, relationship advice can help you turn around tough situations, but there is no relationship advice in the world that can force an incompatible match to become a compatible one… and the greatest sign of compatibility is the ease of the relationship in general.

Conversely, I’m not saying that compatible people don’t have rough patches where things fall off track…… (continued – Click to keep reading Ask a Guy: When Is It Time To Leave?)

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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Kelly Sandoval

He would never open up to me . Soon I started sleeping in seprate room. He would alway out me down in front of my girls. He never wanted to take me anywhere. I kept holding on in this relationship. Then recently in February of this year. I was doing his laundry and found a receipt from a restraunt, guest two. I confront him and he said the waiters made a mistake. Then I finally got it out of him. That he took a girl out to dinner. He and up leaving me and his cloths and all his other stuff behind. I never knew the reason why he did what he did to me. I feel that i wasted half my life being with him. And now I cannt afford the space rent were I live and now I have to move out. I feel so betray from him. I wish he would of did this to me like five years ago . And he was a type of guy that would worshop the ground I step on.

Reply July 8, 2017, 9:03 am

Kelly Sandoval

I was in a relationship for 17 yrs of my life, I was engage to him. I had one daughter from him and two daughters from someone else. He was alright accepting my two other daughters. My parent bought us a mobilehome. For us. At first ten years were greet. But eventually r relationship started sifting apart. I try so hard to try to make it better. And every time I try to communicate with he would just sit there and say nothing. I told him that he needs to communicate.

Reply July 8, 2017, 8:53 am


One of your Best Articles Eric! Clarity is key! Thank you very much for this.

Reply April 13, 2017, 3:19 pm


GREAT advice!!

Reply October 31, 2015, 4:48 pm


I would love some advise please .
I met my recent ex boyfriend while I was travelling and we fell inlove and after a few months I moved my whole life across the world to be with him . I lived on my own as he lived with his family and in his country people only move out when they get married. That was fine but I only saw him on weekends when I stayed in his house and I felt very alone because he never made an effort to make time for me during the week . I loved him and I felt like he cared so I dealt with it . As time went on I felt like we didn’t have a close bond and I felt he was closer to his female friends which made me jealous . He used to complain about me to one of his girl friends and tell her what I would say to him etc ( I read his messages to her as I felt in my gut he had a closer bond with her than he lead on ) there was times I felt he cared about me but times when I really needed him he wasn’t there , example when I was sick and I needed medication ASAP but I couldn’t leave my house as I was so bad, he said he was going to work and to ask somebody else ! I was angry then and he fought with me and didn’t visit me that night when he had said before he would. I always felt I was begging for attention and that the relationship wasn’t secure and that I was hanging around on a foreign country just waiting on him to make a big commitment , and I felt I was wasting my time . I felt insecure and my self confidence dropped as he never complimented me or made me feel good about myself , he told me that he doesn’t need to tell me things like that and that I should feel good about myself anyway . So many things happened but at the end of the day he broke up with me as he felt I was a bad person cause I would fight with him because I wanted attention and I wanted affection and I wanted us to live together and I wanted a future and he said he only wants to focus on himself and his future now . He said he’s selfish . He wouldn’t ever communicate with me or resolve situations so I always looked like a psycho trying to talk about things to make things better . I feel empty now because even though I wasn’t happy I feel like he threw me away after all my efforts and now I think he’s seeing some new girl just three weeks after I left the country . Now I feel he’s giving her lots of Attention and compliments like I always wanted . How can I heal from this pain of feeling unwanted and not good enough for him to treat me well .

Reply October 31, 2015, 3:23 pm


I could use some suggestion or help with a situation. I have connected back with a guy whom when I first saw felt like he was the one, but at the time he was already seeing someone. We stayed friends, but eventually we lost contact he moved which I did not know until I ran into him again in Atlanta which is where I moved to go to school. He had eventually married the person he was seeing at the time I did not know this because we had lost contact. Well when I saw him again in Atlanta once again we exchanged numbers but because he was married at the time I did not contact him at all. I just wanted to respect his marriage. So, for the next few years we would run into each other occasionally and talk but that was it. I eventually moved back home and he stayed in Atlanta. Fast forward years later and I am on Facebook while looking to connect with friends I had not seen since high school. I decided to look him up and found him he contacted me within I want to say maybe two weeks or so. I was shocked to hear from him but happy. He gave me his number and told me to call him, I asked him would that be okay with him and just felt weird calling a married mans house. He then stated that he was divorced and had been for about 2 years now. When I heard that it was like now I my chance, sorta in a way…lol! It is now 2015 and I have had these feeling for this man for well over 10 years now. We have meet up and talked and texted for over 5 or so years now been on a few dinners and movies as friends. He knows I have feelings for him and like him very much but he is not ready to date or any type of relationship. He works literally all of the time and has custody of his kids so he barely has time for anything else. He has told me on several occasions that he likes me but just does not want to be in a relationship or date. I just need to know how I can get over this guy who I have loved for so long as he is not emotionally available and I want so much to be with him. He told me he does not want to lose our friendship. I think in his mind he sees the whole dating or relationship as doom and gloom cause of the failure or his marriage. He stated to me that his divorce was not a good one and that his ex did some pretty bad things and in a way feel like he is comparing me to her. I am a very simple type woman don’t ask for much. I just want to feel loved, I have not told him that I love him for fear of scaring him away, but battle with myself every day on whether I should cut off all communication with him. I also know that I may have brought a lot of this on myself and have been living in a fairytale world hoping and wishing that he would see that I am a good woman and would not harm him in any way. as crazy as this may seem I have no clue what his ex was like or what she promised and told him because I stayed away from him knowing he was married. But you know the saying that there are three side to every story his, hers and the truth. Any help or ideas are much appreciated. If clarification is needed just asks. Thank you for listening!

Reply January 19, 2015, 3:48 pm


i met a guy on line. we messaged &everything was cool. we never discussed sex. after we met he messaged me to say he thought i was frigid, cold etc…. (he’s been an attorney for 30 yrs which i didn’t know at the time) i thought wtf? where would he get that idea? next time i saw him i gave him the blow job of his life. then we started seeing each other. we’ve been to dinner twice. we email but mostly for sex. when we’re with each other we have fun talking. i give him lots of mixed messages like you’re my friend, then ask if i’m his main squeeze which he says yes to etc… he once told me he was open to anything, then he said he enjoyed his time with me. we always have sex. he’s hooked on my blow jobs. i’ve asked him personal things & he answers. but he never asks about anything personal about me. the other day i was asking him things & he wasn’t mad but says why the grilling? then firmly said i enjoy my time with you. i asked him to the movies for today last night. but i slept hard & didn’t wake until 2:PM. I checked my mail & there was nothing from him. he’s very considerate when we’re together. but he takes off on trips with his sister & bro making him incommunicado. then he pops back up like a bad penny & asks me over. i found him on a dating site where the site sited me as a great match for him as before. i laughed & told him to go for it. anyhow he gave me some bullshit story about how he’d joined & how he wasn’t into it at all, that it was the same old shit. being an attorney he’s good at lying. i am not digging this at all because i feel like i’m being used. i told myself never to fall in like with him. but somehow it happened. i am furious with myself. especially since it wouldn’t be at all difficult to date anyone else. but i’m completely stupid because i think is there hope, can i turn this around, or should i use my favorite: ignoring him completely until he realizes that i mean it’s aloha on the string guitar for you buddy. i need help & could really use some of your thoughts.

Reply January 18, 2015, 9:06 am


Why advice for women have always to be simplistic, non manipulative and putting the woman at the weak position. Men are players when they don’t have feelings for a woman.
if that was advice towards men it would had been: sleep with her whileyou date other women, ignore her tantrums and talk to her only when she is behaving.
I don’t understand why women have to be so nicey nicey to men that are scumbags.
and no being completely single and waiting is not always and a good idea.

Reply January 17, 2015, 5:21 pm


Despite the fact that I’m not young, and have two children, I’m not very experienced with men and don’t understand them very well.

I met up with an old male friend from 10 years ago. We were both single parents, and had studied nursing together. We are still both single parents. Ten years ago, we spend a year studying together and were quite close friends, but nothing more. So I was thrilled to meet up with him again at a theatre group we both belonged to. I asked him and another girl to join me for a cheap meal between theatre performances (he had hiw 10 year old son with him). A week or two we went out for pancakes and a week after that, we caught a movie. But all he wanted to do was come round to my house and even asked to use the shower. I never invited him inside (actually because the house was really messy) and after our second outing (which was nice although he appeared a bit nervous), he no longer contacted me. I’ve never had that situation with any of my girlfriends. He commented on how kind he thought I always was. I’m assuming now he just wanted sex, and when he didnt get it, wrote me off and went about his normal life. Can someone explain what happened?

Reply January 17, 2015, 6:17 am


Hey! I need an opinion!! I have a friend who is gay (male) and I am a girl. We became really close. He was sending messages every day during Christmas holidays, so I was answering back. We are almoast every day together, holding hands. I can say, he became my best male friend. He always takes my hand first. Sometimes he does that after we drink, but he does that when we are not drinking as well. He kissed me couple of times. Few days ago when we were out, he became silent. Thats not his natural behaviour, so I asked what was wrong. He said that he is in love with me. I asked him since when and he said since always. I asked him if he was joking and he said no. He was really, really serious when he said those things. Later on the way home I asked him one more time if he really ment it, but he didnt want to talk about it again. I took his hand and we talked normaly about other things. We met for coffe today and I asked him if he ment that what he said few days ago, but he said that he was just joking and how I even can think that he ment it for real. He also tried to convince me that he said in other context, but I am sure what I heard. It was clear as a day that he said he is in love. He even tried to say that I imagined all thing, because I am maybe in love with him. He is generaly really honest person, but when it comes about his own sexuality, he sometimes changes stories. Few month ago,he told me that he was attracted to some girl and that she made him to think that he maybe wasnt gay. He also said that all of us are bit bisexual and friends can be sexually attracted to each other… Couple of month later, he denied all of that as well, like he is not bisexual, he is just gay… He easly changes stories. Do u have any clue why he would denie it all?? He is married with a gay guy and I am married as well. We are in our late 20 es. I really like him as a friend and nothing more, but I would like if he can admit it at least, so we can talk about it.
I am generally very relaxed with him, because I know that he is gay, so holding his hands doesnt seem like someth. wrong. He knew that I broke up friendship with one of my male friends because he fell in love with me. Maybe that can be some reason why he doesnt want to admit?? I just dont understand why he denies his feelings if he admitted all before?

Reply January 14, 2015, 10:58 pm

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