This topic contains 37 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Jacqueline 4 weeks, 1 day ago.
September 27, 2020 at 1:55 pm #815221
I’m in love with a man that has clear commitment issues at this stage in his life. The logical part of me knows no woman that values herself should “wait” for a man to want to commit to her. Yet, my heart and emotions are so invested that I don’t want to give up.
I’m 33 years old and he is 43. He’s been married and divorced (9 years divorced – was married for 8). We met 2 years ago when he interviewed me for a marketing job. He said he wanted to hire me but couldn’t pay me my salary requirement. So i turned the job down. At the time he had a gf that ended up being with him for 3 years. They broke up in 2019 and he reached out to me multiple times throughout that year making it seem like he was checking up to see if i wanted to work with him. So i kept it professional, until he said “well if you’re not going to work for me, can i take you out to dinner?”. Our romance has been a whirlwind since. We started dating in May 2020 and are at about 5 months at this point of dating.
The first 3 months were amazing. He told me he was in love with me at 2 months. He met my family and they loved him. Since he said i love you he started referring to me as his gf to people we’d bump into or his friends on the phone. It felt so right. Then beginning of August i went away for a work trip and received contact from a complete stranger (woman) on social media telling me she’s been with my guy for a year and that they are in an “open relationship” and that I need to know about her. When I spoke to my man about it he told me she was a colleague he had joined up with a few times many months before we ever started dating and that she’s never been in any sort of romantic relationship with him.
I cried and was heartbroken that the shoe had finally dropped and i was no longer on cloud 9. He then proceeded to ask me if i was interested in being in an open relationship because he wasn’t sure he could be monogamous. I was shocked because prior to that we had talked about marriage and him wanting another child (all things i want in my future) and within a 24 hour time frame i found out about some casual fling he had, had my trust shaken in him and was being proposed an open relationship for the first time in my life. I adamantly said NO i am not the kind of woman that wants an open relationship and you knew that when we started dating. So then he said ok well i don’t want to lose what we have, can we date for a few more months since we are only at 4 months and progress naturally to an exclusive relationship.
It was hard to wrap my head around because in my mind we already were committed to each other and this was us taking a step back. He wouldn’t admit he ever committed to me in the first place. Said casually referring to me as his gf isn’t the same as having an in depth discussion about it. I asked why he told me he loved me thinking it was a lie and he said “because i truly do and i didn’t expect to fall for you at all, especially not this quick. My last relationship sent me into a depression so I just need to take it slow”. I could get on board with a lot of what he said, BUT i felt like our actions were already to the commitment stage. We spent 4-5 days a week together, say i love you, know every aspect of each other’s lives (good and bad), and has asked me to consider moving in with him when his lease is up next year in March.
The woman was blocked by him and he reassured me I didn’t have to deal with her anymore and that truly has been the case. I agreed for us to date without the title for a few more months. Unfortunately within the rest of August and September, I’ve found out he’s on a few dating sites, talking to other girls, took one on a date and kissed her, and hooked up with another when he went on a work trip to AZ. It didn’t all come out at one time but it was about one incident a week I was informed of by the other females. They found out about me and the woman in AZ apparently has a bf and was only interested in a hook up. The girl he took on a date is 20 years younger than he is (22) and when she spoke to me she said she wasn’t that invested so she wasn’t going to pursue him anymore and hoped it worked out for us.
In any other relationship i never would’ve been able to get past any of this. When it all came out i was on the floor of my home crying in shock and drank wine to get myself to sleep. He did a lot of work to try to keep me. Said all the right words and showed up at my house with flowers and said he didn’t want to lose what we had. It took me a few weeks to process and remove the baggage from my emotions to allow us to try again.
So the last week, we’ve been in a really good place. We said we would wait a couple months (so November) to readdress exclusivity. He told me last night he can see himself wanting that with me. But then when he fell asleep i went into his phone (i know terrible idea) and saw he started text convo with 2 girls from Bumble (a dating app). He hasn’t met them yet but he had some inappropriate comments and i called him out on it.
He was mad i went in his phone but i feel like he’s pushed me to this point. We worked it out last night but today I just feel like trash. He’s telling me in November he sees himself being ready. Obviously ready to give up other females attention. I just don’t know how it got so convoluted and terrible. I’m so in love and want it to work but it feels like i keep getting so many signs to run. But i can’t bring myself to do it. Our connection is so strong and i don’t want to give up on it.
Is this a wasted mission to wait until November to see if he will commit exclusively?September 27, 2020 at 1:58 pm #815223
He also has 3 kids and he and his wife are amicable with coparenting.September 27, 2020 at 2:15 pm #815228
Oh man, alexandria and you are really asking this question? You are totally wasting your time and in avery bad way since you want a loyal partner and have kids. But you chose a guy already past kids, who is not faithfull, does not want to commit, but likes to keep you hanging and openly tells you he doesnt think he can be monogamous plus has another Gf for a year (i do think its odd though she e-mails you so i dont think its that open on her side). Can we shake you until you become sane again? This guy has done nothing to deserve you except being on his best behaviour first few months. After that he turned out to be a frog and youre still in total denial. I guess there will be no loving partner and kids in your future. And he will also not be in it since he is a lying playerSeptember 27, 2020 at 2:24 pm #815230
Sorry but this is so upsetting that i do feel the need to hopefully make you snap out of this. You dont have friends who tell you are absolutely totally bonkers to wait for mr i stay on bumble for a few more months but then i will be ready totally or maybe not. NOT. If you really have a hard time calling this off i would suggest you try therapy because you do the exact opposite of what you really want and thats selfdestructing behaviourSeptember 27, 2020 at 2:27 pm #815231
You’re kidding, right?!
Please tell me you’re kidding…September 27, 2020 at 2:39 pm #815233
ps: This is not any kind of (healthy) relationship…September 27, 2020 at 2:41 pm #815234
I don’t really need to be bashed here. I’m coming on here sharing my personal life and being vulnerable.September 27, 2020 at 3:07 pm #815240
Yeah i understand that. I truly do and i dont mean to bash you at all. But all you are doing will hurt yourself in the end big time and you dont see it. I rather be blunt in this case and hope you might see this wont work out for you. Even two days ago he was flirting on a dating site and you convinced thats ok. Its not ok.September 27, 2020 at 3:09 pm #815241
And im not even saying something you dont agree with. Your mind agrees. Your heart just wont follow yet. Talk to people you care about and see what they saySeptember 27, 2020 at 6:10 pm #815251
Not the real Lilly Collins
I don’t think that was Newbie’s intention. The good thing about this site is that all the ladies here offer genuine (and true!) advice.
This guy has commitment issues. He won’t be emotionally ready to be exclusive by November. No guy is able to set a date and time to tell you if they want you as their gf. It’s not maths, it cannot be calculated and analysed.
If you want to analyse, I’ll give you one: You both want different things. You want to see him exclusively but he’s sleeping around = not compatible. Simple as that. I’m sure you’re a smart woman, surely you see this right?
Look you went through his phone and now you’re posting on here so you know deep down something is off. A guy I was in love with years ago told me I was different, beautiful and special blah blah blahhhhh, super charming but refused to be exclusive because he was ’emotionally unavailable’ and told me to keep dating him until the end of the month to see how he was ‘feeling about it’ by then. After a week of that, I had enough and told him to f-off. Talk is cheap, guys will say a lot of things.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s hard to cut ties with someone you love. But he is treating you like trash.
Think about this, what if one of your closest friends or your niece told you the exact story, would you tell them to stay with the guy or leave?
Finally, as your title stated, ‘its already a relationship’, so if it’s already one, why are you allowing him to cheat on you by hooking up and chatting up girls? Have some self respect.September 27, 2020 at 9:02 pm #815264
Hypothetical question. What is something, that if he did, you would undoubtedly be able to leave him?September 27, 2020 at 10:05 pm #815245
No i know, i appreciate you being blunt i need to hear it. But i meant to the person who is making it a joke. None of this is a joke and it’s very much my real life and real emotions. It just is so hard to date now a days. Constantly investing your heart and trusting people when they seem like great people and out of nowhere they turn into someone else and at that point it’s too late because your emotions are already heavily involved. I feel so undervalued because it’s just all about him and what he’s ready for and when. He wants all the aspects of me being a girlfriend in his life but isn’t ready to stop the “f**kboy” part of it. And in any other situation in my life i would’ve already left. I can’t really understand why i can’t here. It feels toxic but I’m still in love.September 28, 2020 at 4:56 am #815352
Not the real Lily Collins
You need to go into dating strong nowadays, have a I-don’t-care attitude until exclusivity. I’m so mad reading your post as you don’t deserve to be treated like this. I’m all for girl power and I have zero respect for f-boys.
There’s no point going round in circles here. He’s not going to commit to you I’m sure, and if he were to in November, what’s to say he won’t cheat on you later on.
Be the dumper instead of being dumped, trust me you’ll feel more superior later on, especially for a f-boy.September 28, 2020 at 6:17 am #815366
I totally agree with not Lily. You really have to snap out of this. Youre 33 and looking for a good partner and dad. And the chance of you succeeding are pretty big. But every day you spend thinking this guy is worth a wait is a day less of possible succes. I honestly cant understand how this guy can get away with everything and you still being on good terms. Reading this its almost like you suffer from Stockholm syndrome. Really talk to friends or whoever you trust because if you dont and stay ‘so in love’ you can put up with this for a few more years. This guy clearly doesnt care about that. He is 100% all about himself. I think he got to you at a moment you were feeling really Low and thats when the first class *ssholes fly in. And stuck like old chewing gum.
Move on, pleaseSeptember 28, 2020 at 7:59 am #815375
I agree with what the ladies here have said. You have to snap out of this. What strikes me about your posts is that you know this guy is toxic. You are well aware of the dynamic here, it’s not like you’re fooling yourself. And yet you still claim to love him. Realistically you only dated a couple of months before his true colors emerged. That’s not even enough time to really fall in love with someone. You were still in the infatuation/honeymoon stage when this all fell apart.
I would suggest you change the narrative that you are telling yourself. You feel undervalued by this guy even though he’s clearly trash and is not deserving of your loyalty and love. This is a victim mindset. Why are you giving him this power over you? He isn’t even capable of recognizing and appreciating your value, from the sound of it. He’s garbage and a f*ckboy as you are well aware. He’s the kind of guy who hooks up with women on a business trip (women that already have a boyfriend, even). So expecting him to appreciate you is not realistic.
I also suggest you stop telling yourself you’re in love with him. You’re not. Infatuated, yes, but no guy you’ve dated for a couple of months deserves this level of devotion.
He’s stringing you along (probably for the ego boost) and has no intention of being a faithful, monogamous boyfriend to you. If he wanted that, he would have been doing it this whole time already. The whole “I’ll decide in November” line is bullsh!t. He’s already decided. You’re barking up the wrong tree if you expect this guy to change.
It’s commonly said on this site that you have to watch a guy’s actions more than his words during the first months of dating. This guy talked a good game, he said everything you wanted to hear, but his behavior completely contradicted everything he said. You have to believe a guy’s behavior over his words for the first 3-4 months of dating especially. All the talk about moving in together, marriage, kids, introducing you to his family– it’s meaningless, because his behavior is showing who he truly is. You have to believe his behavior.
Really if you can shift your mindset on this, I think you can snap out of this pretty quickly, because it’s so obvious this guy is a piece of sh!t. I really encourage you to try.September 28, 2020 at 12:23 pm #815396
Listen, this is WHO HE IS, someone who IS going to mess around with other woman regardless of the type of commitment you have. If you stay, then you HAVE TO accept he’s going to cheat on you for the entirety of the time you’re together. That’s *the contract* you will be signing up for if you stay with him. Totally up to you but you cannot keep calling him out on it knowing the type of man he truly is—“what you see is what you get.”
He is incapable of monogamy which is OK, its his right, as each individual gets to choose or decide the type of lifestyle they want to live. He’s SHOWN you time and time again he will not be monogamous or faithful to you, or any woman for that matter. There is no timeline that will ever change it, its innate in his character, something HE NEEDS and will keep doing it.
You have to accept he will never be faithful. Like my mother always said “if you make your own bed you get to lie in it” meaning, you have to accept the consequences of any action you take knowing the risks involved by doing so. If you decide to stay with him, then you have to accept the consequences of him repeatedly cheating on you by laying in the bed you made with him.September 28, 2020 at 2:40 pm #815407
I value all of this advice for sure. I even agree with a lot of it. His behavior, however has not been all bad. In fact it’s been the opposite which is what got me hooked in the first place. He was so different and a breath of fresh air in comparison to so many men out there.
He followed through on his word, made effort to consistently communicate (still does), is very affectionate and loving, openly communicates how he feels about me, attempts to resolve issues and apologizes for his mistakes, and works hard at making effort to actually “date” me by taking me places and spending 4-5 days a week together. It’s almost as if we (as he’s said) part time live together.
He has made this “time frame” more about the difficulties going on in his life and let me tell you, he has a pile of them. Currently his businesses are being investigated by the SEC. If came about 3 months into us dating which was exactly the time frame I was contacted by other females. Since his businesses are on pause until that is done,he’s not doing as well as he would like to be financially. He is much better off than most people in the world financially, but not at the level he’s always been at. He also has 2 other open court cases (not involving his work) that aren’t my place to say the details about, but he’s kind of a wreck about it all. He naturally didn’t want to open up about this until he felt comfortable about it with me. I appreciated his honesty when he did because it’s obviously pretty embarrassing, but everyone’s life right now with COVID and work and family and emotionally is kind of chaotic. I pride myself on being someone who does not judge and my life isn’t in the best spot either. So, he confides in me about literally every aspect of my life and knows I’m there to advise, comfort him, and support him with no judgement. He even has 3 kids and an ex wife that he’s managing and juggling issues with. His oldest daughter is having behavioral issues (shes 12) and he’s had to change his schedule with them from an 80-20% custody split (his ex wife does not work so he has only had them every other weekend) to now having them every other weekend AND M-W. He asked me if i could give him my every other weekend (when he doesn’t have the kids) and Th+ Fri. This was a conversation just a few days ago. I was under the assumption based on conversations that he had STOPPED talking on dating sites so I agreed. Thinking it was just us and i was giving him time to get his personal and business affairs in order.
He made this “around November” time frame about when he thinks his mind will be in a better place about his life in general. Told me that he will be able to give me his full energy toward our relationship to worship me and be devoted to me, but that right now nothing is extremely serious for him and that he never expected to fall hard for me so he doesn’t know how to proceed but knows he doesn’t want to lose me. He tells me he truly loves me and begs me to hang in for a couple more months so that we can “have the chance” we deserve. In me being an understanding person about his life, I had agreed to do that UNTIL i found out that that also included him chatting up other women. He only hooked up physically with ONE other woman (the one who has a bf and clearly doesn’t take her own relationship seriously). The others never moved to meeting them in person but were chats via bumble and text. ALL of which I’ve made clear make me feel disrespected and uncomfortable investing more emotionally toward him if he thinks that’s ok.
He tells me because we have not exclusively committed to each other that he isn’t technically “cheating” or being “unfaithful”, but then my response has been that our relationship in every other aspect has graduated to a serious and exclusive relationship. So this is what i mean by saying “it’s already a relationship”…. he just took back the title we had for the first 3 months. Also, I realize from the outside looking in it’s a pretty logical decision. It appears he wants his cake and to eat it too. I don’t really agree this is a bed IVE made for myself. I went along with a dating situation that I thought was normal until all this stuff came out within the last few weeks. It’s been a lot of emotional upheaval and i HAVE left. 3 diff times.
When i leave, he shows up to my house with flowers and asks if we can work it out. Pulls and tugs on the emotional ties we already have developed and it really isn’t as easy as many of you are making it seem or a simple “light switch on/off” solution. This may have only been a few months time frame but because we’ve spent so many days together consecutively every week it FEELS like it’s been much much longer and is much much deeper of a connection therefore this isn’t just an up and run situation.
As of the most recent discussion (2 days ago in person) he has promised to not date other women while he works his life out and then we can talk about commitment and exclusivity at the 6 month marker (November). I have a ton of emotions here. Anger and resentment that I feel I’m being taken advantage of and for granted. Then love and connection to the relationship we HAVE developed. I am by no means giving excuses for his behavior, it frankly disgusts me. I’m simply providing more background details to the evolution of our relationship and that his actions have never really been like this. It’s sort of a feeling of …. perfection in a connection to … wait what just happened?!
What I have told myself is to try to slowly detach myself from him by spending time with other men. I don’t really have a desire to do so since I’m genuinely in love (not infatuated – I’m 33 i know what love is) but more as a distraction. To create a bit of a distance from my emotions related to him to reevaluate if this is really who I want for myself. And in the meantime, I still feel like i need to give myself the 2 months so i can say I’ve given it my absolute ALL and if he can’t give me exclusivity then… i am forced to leave. But there’s a part of me that feels he’s being genuine when he tells me he just needs a couple more months to get his own life and affairs in order before he can give me everything i deserve.
Relationships are really hard and I have purposely taken a while since my last relationship to allow myself to open up to others. My last relationship was 3 years and we lived together. It was REALLY hard getting over it and moving past it, but I’m 100% fine about it now. However it took me about a year and a half to let go of it all. So i took 4 years in between of not making any commitments to anyone while dating to make sure I was ready. This man has been the first person I’ve allowed my walls down for and it isn’t really something you can just easily reel back in.September 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm #815408
As mentioned, if you can handle someone who may be acting single even though you are in a relationship with them, then go for it. Maybe the positives outweigh the negatives- you seem to really want them to. However, I would read up on the difference between love and lust- it’s enlightening. Love is calm, while lust is intense out of control feelings. You are still in the stage where it could be lust or an infatuation and it’s very powerful and overwhelming. Journal through this time so you can recount the feelings you have and self reflect as you move towards the November deadline, you may discover more about what you want than just going along with what he wants.September 28, 2020 at 3:06 pm #815409
ANON i really appreciate that approach, I’ll definitely do that. Documenting feelings and situations as I go would be very self reflective. Thank you.September 28, 2020 at 3:48 pm #815412
I really really feel for you. I get that you love him. I get that he has a lot going on. However, his issues and struggles don’t translate to just a lack of exclusivity. He is actively seeking out other women – looking for another woman. Men in love no matter how stressed don’t seek out new partners. By not being exclusive he is simply not all in. The fact that his life is a mess doesn’t seem like a reasonable reason for him to want to date around and meet others. It doesn’t make sense. What happens if he connects with someone he likes as much or even more than you??
He is treating you like a place holder. A toy to play with whilst still looking for something better and despite all you say about being disgusted you are actually accepting that. You are accepting being used. You are accepting him not being all in with you. If he was sure about you then all the stresses in world wouldn’t lead him to seeking out others.
You love him so you say its not easy to switch off. I get that. No one is saying its easy but we are all saying his actions are not lining up with his words. He warned you he cant do monogamy. Maybe you think you can be the one to change him? Maybe you want to “win” him but he has shown you loud and clear who he is and you are sucking it up, saying its awful but still continuing this mess of a relationship.
This man does not love you. This is not how someone in love behaves. If you continue its on you when he ditches you or continues to cheat on you whilst waving his get out of jail free card that is “but we aren’t exclusive”.
Its sad you can’t put yourself first. It will hurt to end it but carrying on this far will ensure you have a whole lot more pain for a whole lot longerSeptember 28, 2020 at 4:05 pm #815414
I have asked him about that. Saying what if you fall in love with someone else and he said “it wasn’t about an emotional connection” and “that would never happen”. Then he promised he wouldn’t do what he’s been doing (talking to other women) but i obviously have a hard time believing that because i went into his phone.
I just feel like it’s all about indulging for him. He drinks more than he ever has, smokes weed every day (he started bc he broke is back a year ago and uses it for pain), and openly admits he self medicates because of his life issues. I think sex and women factor into his indulgences so he can convince himself with women who don’t know his life obstacles that he is someone he’s not right now. I don’t think he had intention of the other women getting serious and said most guys go into it thinking just about casual sex and that the nature of our relationship is serious and different. But that as a whole he can’t commit to ANYone right now but that once he is able to he wouldn’t want anyone but me.
So basically the definition of emotionally unavailable, but he went into it saying and showing me the complete opposite. My fear is if i leave, he’ll pick another woman and replace me with her and that will be who he commits to. I’ve had a few men in my past do exactly that and no one can describe to you the blame and hurt that brings you seeing someone you desperately wanted that commitment and exclusivity with giving it to someone else. And everyone can tell me “it has nothing to do with me” and everything to do with him … which may be true. But in the females mind that’s emotionally attached and as a human being in general it’s giant hit to my ego and self esteem. It makes you feel like you aren’t worthy of someone committing to you.
I know i have so much to offer and have given all of it to him thus far. I think fear of going through the same hurt I’ve been through in my past is really another wall placed in front of me that I’m not able to address or get past. It feels like ANYone you date now a days has so much baggage and whether i deal with HIS issues or someone else’s…. it doesn’t really tend to ever turn out much different for me. Even if i dedicate years to the relationship.
My last relationship I was cheated on in the last year (of 3 years) and when I finally agreed to move my things across the country to live with him again (he moved to Boston from CA for work) and uproot my life here in CA …. i spent money and time preparing to move my life there and left my job …. all to be stood up at the airport and left (ghosted) after a 3 year relationship. It feels MOST men I meet or love don’t have respect for me in return. Regardless of how much i give or understand or love. It took me 4 years of being single to be ready for THIS relationship… so even if i decided to leave him now…. i don’t really have much faith I’ll meet anyone better.September 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm #815417
Please go to a therapist. If random strangers can’t snap you out of this, they can.
This man is not suitable as a partner and never will be. Please stop making excuses for this piece of garbage. He can’t commit until November? Wtf?
This man has more baggage than most. And your beliefs about men are not helping you, they are attracting you to men like this. You will not upgrade until you want to have other experiences and won’t tolerate these crappy ones.
And ask yourself why on this green earth would you accept this bullhonkey? You have convinced yourself that this man is better than being alone. Is it better than the tears? No man is better than loving yourself.
If your friend presented this to you, what would you say?
Please find a therapist to work on you.September 28, 2020 at 4:37 pm #815420
My heart goes out to you. I understand this awful Möbius strip of misery.
Years ago, I got involved with a man who is well-known in my town and well-liked. He is very sexy and charming and even seems humble at first. But boy does he do a number on women, every single on of his exes, including me. He seemed to genuinely love me and care about me….when he wanted. He cannot be faithful and he is a narcissist to the highest degree. Not a malignant narcissist, but a narcissist nonetheless.
I really fell for him and when our relationship fell apart, I didn’t think I would ever get over it. It messed me up. I thought there was something about me that was disposable and unlovable, or I wasn’t special enough.
Eventually I got a little better, then briefly dated more jerks because I had no standards. After a while, I gave up. Then I started to enjoy my own company. Then, I decided to give a friend of mine a chance, a nice and cute fellow who I’d known for a while. He liked me for years but he wasn’t what I imagined for myself.
It is the happiest, healthiest relationship I have ever known. He is considerate and kind, he is affectionate without being cloying, he is communicative without being clingy, he is reliable and helpful and respectful and he is also hilarious. Early on, I broke up with him because…well I don’t even remember why at this point, but I didn’t expect to feel the amount of grief and loss I did during that period. Even during the breakup, he never berated me, yelled at me, or was manipulative, and I realized I loved him.
Recently we were talking about how awful the dating scene can be, and I said “Yeah, I hate not knowing where on the rotation I am.” He looked at me and said, “I can’t speak for your exes, but with me, YOU ARE the rotation.” It was beautiful.
Guys like your current fella are like drugs. We get addicted to them. They’re so bad for us but we can’t shake them. It really is an addiction.
But it’s possible to get past it. I realized that if my sexy narcissist ex came back and begged me to come back, I’d laugh in his face—the idea is preposterous to me now.
Know your self-worth, know you deserve better than this. You deserve to be treated with love and respect and kindness and patience and honesty. It will hurt to extricate yourself from this situation but it must be done in order for you to find the right man.September 28, 2020 at 4:48 pm #815422
I want to add: 33 is young. Of course you’ll meet someone else. I’m 42 and finally met the right man. It’s never too late. My mother passed away a few years ago, and my dad found a lovely (and age-appropriate) girlfriend at the age of 75. Life is not static, and I know there is someone out there who will love you so very much.September 28, 2020 at 5:02 pm #815423
Ugh, sorry, one last thing
You state your fear that you will be replaced and the next woman he’s with will be the one he commits to.
There are a few problems with this—
First, he won’t commit. Guys like this do not commit.
Second, this guy is not a prize. He’s garbage.
Third, even if he said he is committed, would you believe him? He is not trustworthy.
Let this man go—you are only hurting yourself by staying.