he seems phobic of the words commitment and relationship

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  • #801817 Reply


    hi ladies.
    Was seeing a guy for a few weeks, and I thought all was good. He was more full on than me and I was the one keeping things slower paced. Then one morning after he’d share some personal stuff about himself which I felt privileged that he did, he sent a text saying he couldn’t commit and he was sorry. He thought he could and he really wanted to, but couldn’t.

    We talked a little on and off since, and he’s warmed to talking more as times gone on. He clearly feels strongly for me and what he describes is a real fear of the label to what we have. He was in a long marriage although that ended over five years ago. He relayed a pattern of things being great for a few weeks then feeling trapped and he can’t fully describe this as he says what we had was great and there wasn’t anything about it he didn’t like, but he just switched after talking to me about things personal to him and felt trapped and the need to be alone and free

    He said he lives in the moment, and through talking it seems to me he associates bad times with the word commitment or relationship almost to an aversion, yet when I ask if he thinks we should be together he says he wants to be and wants us to be basically in what is perceived at a relationship- exclusive, sharing our days through text etc, dating and spending our time together, caring about each other etc

    When we last met he agreed that all those things are a relationship, however he all but broke out in a sweat when he said it. He definitely wants all the things to a relationship and he’s very clear about that. I jokingly say well you’re in one, whatever you call it and he laughs with me about it.

    At the moment he has said he’s asked if I’ll be his girlfriend and let’s try this, knowing the label if you like is important to me, as without it I’ve explained I don’t feel there’s solid parameters to what’s OK and what isn’t within whay we have,and agreed he’ll try and if he’s struggling he’ll talk to me.

    Am I wasting my time here?

    #801853 Reply


    He sounds like he is blowing hot and cold. I’ve read this site for years and people have written- believe the negatives. When he texted you he can’t commit, that would have been the time to walk away. How has your relationship changed since that text? Is he asking you out on dates? How is he pursuing you?

    #801863 Reply


    thanks Anon. We have only just had the talk this week. We are due to see each other tomorrow and I’ll stay at his. He’s currently saying he wants to try and we are together. I guess time will tell – likely sooner rather than later, maybe how the next couple of weeks go ?

    #801875 Reply


    I think to make sure his actions follow his words. How long was her married? He seems divorced for a long enough time to be over the ex.

    #801891 Reply


    This isn’t going to get better on it’s own. He’s traumatized and it’s not resolving. Five years is long enough for him to heal, but he hasn’t. He needs therapy to resolve the underlying problems from his past marriage, or he’s going to keep getting to a certain point with a new woman and then running away. I wouldn’t stay involved unless he willingly starts working with a counselor. Or you will wind up being his therapist and eventually he’s going to take off again.
    Willingly means you don’t have to twist his arm, he sees there is a problem and he wants to change, not just for you, for him, because he’s unhappy being like this.

    Don’t be a fixer. Waste of your time and energy. Guys will often stay with a woman who helps them work through problems and then leave and find someone new when they get emotionally healthy, because she’s a reminder of their past pain. I”m guessing if you agree to be his girlfriend it won’t last more than a month or so. You’re going to get hurt for sure unless he gets help making the changes he needs to make to be in a relationship.

    #801900 Reply


    I have to say i agree with WTF … the gf thing seems a bit like his arm was twisted in to it. Maybe not, hopefully not but it sounds like you know this may not work out how you want.

    Do not go into Florence mode – care, fixing and free therapy because you’ll end up the woman who fixed him for someone else.

    Lean back, let him lead, don’t bring up status questions and just be warm and receptive but keep your guard up. Watch and see if his actions match his words x

    #801901 Reply


    thank you both. I think you’re right, I need to lean back and see if he comes forward. Actually I guess for someone who struggles with commitment its the only way to be ? The whole point is they would feel overwhelmed easily and trapped. Pushing would increase that. And yep I am kind of torn that the girlfriend agreement wasn’t his wish really- think he’d like no label at all

    #801903 Reply


    You are a seriously bad listener. He tells you flat out he doesnt want a relationship and gets cold every time after a few weeks and what do you do? You keep it going and see he is clearly into you and go in pleading mode. Dont you think its kind of humiliating to plead a guy into a relationship with you? And whats so great about him anyway. Listen to guys so you dont keep the time waisters clinging on to you while you actually wanted to find a bf. And Meanwhile those timewasters suck all the energy out of you. Next time a guy says he is not into it say goodbye. Not what you did here.
    Even if this last thing was real where he sort of says do you want to be my gf? You really want a guy that doesnt want it for real?

    #801914 Reply


    Oh dear… I suggest ending it. Space might bring his mind to realizing he wants you.

    #801926 Reply


    Do you live in the usa midwest in very large city? The be in the moment stuff sounds a lot like my ex.

    #801927 Reply


    As does divorced for 5 years…

    #801929 Reply


    Pretty much any guys likes to live in the moment and the no willing to commit kind use it as a disclaimer. So there are tons and tons

    #801930 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    Yeah the behavior pattern is troubling to me. My bf of 2 years had a traumatic divorce, he was a few years out of it when we met, but had not had a serious relationship in that time. He dated casually, but nothing serious. He verbalized fears of commitment to me when we were first dating, but he never once *acted* afraid of commitment. He initiated, we made it clear we were dating each other exclusively & not looking for others, he took me out regularly, he paid for dates, he contacted me daily, he made me feel special, etc. I didn’t bring up labels until 3 months of dating, and he was nervous about it. He wanted to continue dating but was anxious about a label. I chose to lean back and not push and we continued to date (we had been having so much fun dating!) A month later he was ready to make things “official” with a label. I don’t know what would have happened if I made a big scene and insisted on a label after 3 months. Maybe he would have complied, maybe we would have broken up. It’s a moot point because we had a label soon enough.

    But again, the main reason I stayed and didn’t worry about labels was that he ACTED like a boyfriend from the very beginning. He clearly WANTED to be a boyfriend but just needed to get there, mentally, to slap a label on it.

    This doesn’t sound like the case with your guy. The hot and cold behavior indicates he has unresolved issues. Men frequently say one thing, but don’t follow through with their actions. I think you’ve been given some good advice in this thread. If you choose to continue with him, lean way back and make him step up.

    #801931 Reply


    Does not work because has big money from ex wife and family and loves music and concerts?

    If so, this man is not capable of real relationships so best to be glad and dont get pulled in by the sweet words, the cold part will only come back. Why should you have to lead and suffer as he adjusts???

    #802001 Reply


    Leaning back and letting him take the lead isn’t going to cut it. You need to protect yourself better and value yourself more. You do realize the chances of this working out are slim to none right? Given what he’s already said and done? Very bad risk for him being able to go the distance. I’d ask him straight up if he’s ever gone to therapy or would be willing to try it before you get any deeper into this.

    #802050 Reply


    At this point, throw the dice and see where they land.

    Listen, I get labels have a lot of expectations that goes with them and can feel *smothering* to someone who is unsure of what to expect. Its natural, I’ve been through it many times where they either panned out or didn’t. Just be yourself, the same way you were when you met and the same way you are today. Don’t coerce or force it, just let it flow naturally and give him time to see your not the boogey-woman (stage 5 clinger) that he may have met and scared the bejezeezers out him haha.

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