Will He Ever Want a Committed Relationship? 3 Signs He Might

Of all the questions I'm asked, the one subject that gets more attention than anything else is whether or not a man will ever come around and commit.

Will he ever want a committed relationship?

There is just so much fear around this subject.

We're afraid that as soon as we leave, as soon as we decide to let go and move on, he will come around and want that committed relationship, and we will miss the kind of relationship with him we'd been waiting and holding on for so long for.

I remember having this exact feeling; I was just so sure that if I gave up waiting, if I let go of holding on and hanging around waiting for him to finally see the light, it would be at that exact time that he would be ready and I would miss out on everything I'd been waiting for!

First of all, let's set the record straight. If he were to come around and suddenly be ready to commit to you (and that's a huge if) and you had just left him, he would chase you. There's no way a man in love and ready to have a committed relationship with you is going to let you just walk away if he's made that decision, or is very close to making that decision.

He will know how to contact you and he will! Men are wired to be the pursuers; it's in their genetic makeup, and nothing you do or say (or don't do or don't say) can alter that. He is going to find you and track you down if he decides he's going to step up and make the commitment to you that you've been holding out for – it won't matter where in the world you've gone too! He's very resourceful!

But that was a huge "if".

So if you're in the same situation I found myself in many times over my dating career, staying with a guy wondering all along if he's ever going to want the kind of committed relationship that you truly want, here are three signs that make it more likely:

1. He's been in a committed relationship before. Not just a long-term relationship or a live-in relationship that gave the appearance of being a committed relationship; I'm talking here about a fully committed relationship where he was emotionally present from start to finish. This is a slippery one though, because sometimes it is because he was so committed before that he doesn't ever want to be involved like that again. If he was really hurt before, if there was a betrayal of trust, then there is a greater likelihood he will not want to be in another committed relationship.

But still, to know that he was emotionally capable of one in the past, gives some hope that he could eventually be capable of one again, given enough time and trust building to see that it could happen again. How many relationships he's been in is also a factor, because someone who has been in many committed relationships but has never committed fully to any one of them is a warning sign that this person is not capable of moving beyond a certain level of commitment, even though he may think he is because he has been in committed relationships before.

Unless he is willing to dig deeper and discover why he cannot move beyond that point for him, there is usually not much chance that you will magically be the one who prompts him to suddenly change that point of no return.

2. You can talk to him about commitment or the lack of one. If you can talk about this subject with him, there is hope. Most of the time these guys are so emotionally closed, that you intuitively do not even attempt to talk to him about his lack of commitment and you're desire to have a committed relationship. If you're able to be this direct with him, and he responds without changing the subject or giving you the cold shoulder or silence, or simply disappears, this is definitely encouraging.

Healthy, honest communication is the most important cornerstone/basis for a strong relationship and without this type of direction communication on both sides, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to have that deep kind of emotional connection that is the precursor to the kind of committed relationship we're talking about here.

You can have all the attraction or chemistry in the world, but without being able to actually engage each other and be engaged with each other's thoughts and minds, there is nothing deep enough to hold the relationship together, and no basis for that true commitment to grow out of.

3. He has a good relationship with his family, particularly his dad. This one is huge. Back in my single days, when my girlfriends and I were all about dating these emotionally unavailable non-committal types, we found over the years of conducting informal polls, that in every single case our Mr. EU (emotionally unavailable) man could be linked to a poor or non-existent relationship with his family, and in particular, his father.

Time after time, we would compare notes trying desperately to figure out what made these guys tick, and we would come up with the same thing. This guy either wasn't talking to his dad, didn't care to have anything to do with him, or didn't have anything to say about him at all. And the exact opposite was also true; those men who did have a strong, or at least a good relationship with their father were the ones who were emotionally available and wanted a relationship with us!

Which made for a very interesting story when we realized that in when the tables were turned, and we found ourselves in relationships with men who actually wanted that same commitment from us that we were looking for from our other non-committal men, it was we who were the ones who had difficult or strained or non-existent relationships with our own fathers!

Hmmm.

That really got us thinking. Whether it's the example that's set in these all important first relationships where we learn what a real love relationship looks like (whether it's love or not), or whether it's how we feel about ourselves and respond to this first relationship with the father in our lives, it seems there is something to this unique relationship that directly influences the ability of these men to desire a committed relationship, and ironically, the very thing that may be attracting us to these types of men in the first place!

The bottom line here is this: You are not going to change him. You are a beautiful, special, wonderful woman with so much to offer someone worthy of what a gift you truly are, but you are not going to change him. You can try, but it's ultimately got to come from him. There are many things you can do to try to move things along and see if that can bring him around, but he will be the one deciding if he's ready to dig deeper within himself and do the work he needs to do to have a committed relationship with another person. If he's not willing to do that, or just doesn't want to, the best thing for you to do is move on and find a guy that wants the same kind of committed relationship that you do. The most important thing to do is to keep living your life and focusing on you.

Never ever forget that it is only when we refuse to accept anything less than a fully committed relationship that we find that is exactly what we eventually end up with in the end. You are worth so much more than any crumbs you might be holding onto hoping they will turn into a real relationship.

You, my beautiful friend, deserve nothing less than this.

About Jane

Comments

  1. Excellent as always Jane. I've written to you before a couple of months ago when I was miserable about my boyfriend of 3 years who was hemming and hawing over committing to me (at that point, getting engaged). He low balled me with an offer- stick around for a while until he gets hhis job transfer, live together for a year and THEN he'd think about proposing. What I did instead is start doing the things I wanted- I accepted a fantastic job offer in a city 500 miles away and am now backpacking solo for 6 weeks in South America.

    The second I decided I wasn't going to compromise myself for him or put off my dreams for a guy who wouldn't commit, he changed his attitude completely- we've looked at rings and he knows if he wants me moving back here next year it will be on MY terms- engaged or married. He's writing me emails every day talking about how he can't wait to spend the rest of his life with me while I'm having a blast traveling. He says he'll do whatever it takes to make our rewlationship work with the distance and to get me moved back this time next year.

    Doing what YOU want is the only win/win situation. If my boyfriend is serious about commitment, it's going to happen in the next couple of months and after my contract is up I'll move in a house with a totally committed man. If things don't work out? At least I've been living the life I wanted instead of WAITING for him.

    • I remember you, Kate, and you have no idea how thrilled I am to hear how you're doing! You've so got it, my beautiful friend; you bring me to tears with your strength, your confidence - your passion for life, for living your dream, your life - regardless of what he's saying or doing, that come through in your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing this inspiring update with all of us.

      "If things don't work out, at least I've been living the life I wanted instead of WAITING for him."- May we all get what that looks like, what that feels like to live those words and how that mindset changes everything before we spend any more of our time and energy waiting.

      • Hi Jane! Just another update. He swore up and down that he would propose in Dec 2013. He told his family and my family this. BUT: December came around and he didn't propose. He didn't even have the guts to break up with me, or at least tell me he had changed his mind and didn't want to marry me, even though I gave him every opportunity to do so.

        I walked. It was a horrible breakup, I felt like I had lost a limb. I turned 28 and I was starting over again. Sometimes I missed him but then I remembered I live an 8 hour drive away. He could have "fixed" everything in 8 hours. It's been almost 8 months now and although he sent me one BS "I miss you" email, he never took the 8 hours to see me. So I had my answer there. It sucked, but I'm better off now :)

        • Remember that, Kate - "He could have "fixed" everything in 8 hours. It's been almost 8 months now and although he sent me one BS "I miss you" email, he never took the 8 hours to see me." And so, as you say, you have your answer confirmed for you by his actions which say so much more than words ever can. You are so, so much better off now! Can I even begin to tell you the conversation your future self will be having with you on this one?!!

  2. Hi Jane this is a very interesting article. I have shared before the story of the guy who never wanted to commit to me. We would be sleeping around and hang-out with my friends but after that, no plans for us. no dates or anything. Five months ago, i gathered all my strenght and told him exactly what i was looking for. He said he wasnt looking for anything serious as he is leaving for Australia soon. I left him since and never initiated communication. Just last weekend though, we met again in an event where we had talked about things that happened for the past five months. He said he might stay here longer. I asked if he ever went out with another woman, he said yes but nothing serious. He said he missed me and he was sorry for everything. There was a girl trying to get to him that night but he stayed with me all night. The night ended with a kiss and he said he was really glad to see me again. He was sweeter this time around. Not sure just bec he missed me or he realized what he lost then. All i just wanted to share after this is that I was glad to see him but after all I already know what I wanted. If this time he still cannot give me a committed relationship, I wouldnt think twice about leaving him again. Been there, done that.. Cannot stand anymore insecurities due to a non-committed relationship.

    • Love to hear your strength come shining through here, Reann! Thanks for sharing your update; you have no idea what it does for me to hear your story, how when you take a chance on you, when you give yourself a chance to reveal what you're really made of and just how strong you really are, you open up your heart and soul to see just what can happen for you, regardless of what he says or does. That is really what it all comes down to, and for you to have figured this out for yourself, that you are no longer willing to put up with the insecurities that come with a non-committed relationship is huge!

      You will know if he's worthy of you this time, Reann, and it is only from finding out that you can stand strong on your own without him that you now have this first-hand experience of all that you are, all that you are capable of, and just how attractive and desirable that kind of beautiful confidence really is. Yes, you can!

  3. Hi Jane
    Another eyeopener! I love the fact that the more aware i become the more confident i am on meeting a new guy, i am absolutely able to trust myself and what i love most is i am now able to bring awareness to my daughter too. Every dating experience where i see a guys unhealthy patterns now sees me walking away, and after all these years i cannot begin to describe how empowering it is to be able to do that. . Thank you for the insights that come through in your articles, they are written with so much compassion.I am learning so much everyday and so happy for it!

    • I love how you're experiencing this in real time, Ann; that feeling of empowerment is no small thing when you consider what you went through and how you rose from the place you were in to get to this point. Be so proud of yourself for realizing you had that strength in you to do exactly that - and that you took a chance on yourself - on you! - to find out just what you were made of and what new life there was in store for you! And what a beautiful gift to be able to pass these lessons - the ones we've had to learn the hard way - onto our daughters. There is so much more to come, my beautiful friend! :-)

  4. Great insight and helpful on so many levels. One thing to add about the link of not having the relationship with the father. My theory is that it is during these younger years where one decides its important to grow up and have ones own family or not and if your role model is not committed to the family it reduces the value of having and working for owns own family. Today especially, it is not necessary to get married and for those who do it can be very hard so it has to be something that is truly important in order to make the commitment and sacrifices needed to be sustainable.

    • Thanks for adding your insightful perspective on this topic, LJ. You are so right that since we now live in a time where in our culture marriage is no longer a requirement for intimacy, motherhood, fatherhood or financial and social status, unless there is that role model to show commitment and marriage as a priority, it shouldn't be a surprise that there are so many men - and women! - struggling with commitment issues.

      My hope is that as we raise the bar on what we are willing - and not willing - to put up with from the men in our lives, this will eventually translate into men who become the new role models for the next generations of sons and daughters who recognize the benefits of being in a committed relationship between two people who equally know their worth and refuse to settle for anyone who isn't on the same page, who doesn't want the same thing, and who doesn't treat them the way they deserve to be treated - regardless of gender.

  5. I met my bf September last year online. I was jst coming out from a bad relationship and that's what I needed. We dated online for 6 months before we finally met. On meeting him I saw some chats with a friend that relates to him having a baby. Which I asked him about but he denied. I later found out on my own he has a baby with an ex. I confronted him about it and he opened up. Said he was afraid to tell me cos he didn't want to lose me. I wanted to end the relationship then but he kept pleading that everything will be ok. It was a long distance relationship. He Said he's not dating her anymore. The baby was jst some few months old then. I asked if they ve formally broken up, he said no. But she knows its over. I told him I want it to be formal just to be on the safe side. That was in february. He promised May, May came, he said June..then July. I got fed up and threatened to leave. That's when he texted her that he appreciates her taking care of the baby and he will alwys be there for his son but they need to move on with their lives.

    Previously some months ago, his aunt saw a pix of me and him on fb and commented telling him..he has not introduced me to them. So after he sent the text..he went on fb some days later and deleted my pictures. I asked him why and he said some chain of events occured. His Aunt told his mum about the pictures and his mum complained that he is supposed to be careful he has a baby..that mistake need to be corrected. He said his Aunt don't knw about his baby. Cos of his mum concerns, he had to delete the pictures. Also told me the mother of his baby complained to his Sister who forwarded same to his mum. I was lost in all the family drama. Wondering where do I fall in all of these? He's an Adult of 28 yrs old. So why all these? He said his parents ve alwys being aware he is not settling with the lady but they want him to be careful handling her cos the baby is with her.

    The baby is a year plus now. I asked him what all of these ve to do with the fb pictures and what he told me seems to be like his extended family don't know about his baby yet..that air need to be cleared before he can start showing off to them, he's in a relationship with another girl.
    He didn't say it this way but dts the impression I got. I ve met his friends on several occassions and his brother but not his parents. He said he is ready to ve a commited relationship with me and introduce me to his parents but he cnt put the pictures back on fb. I am jst so confused. Him deleting them on fb is telling me he's nt certain about our relationship and really hurting. I want to walk out of the relationship but m not sure if m overreacting or m doing the right thing. Pls advise me. Thanx

    • It sounds like he's not comfortable making his own decisions about his own life, Ivy. His family clearly plays a huge role in influencing what he does or doesn't do - and it sounds like there's a lot of drama around this innocent little baby. It doesn't sound like he knows what he wants either, which is understandable since he just became a father, no matter how he says it happened, the bottom line is that he brought an innocent child into the world too, and he's responsible for his actions and now has to live with this new reality that's all new to him.

      Personally, I would give him some space to figure out what's going on with his life and to sort out these details that seem to be controlling what he does or doesn't do concerning you. Since he wasn't ready to take the initiative for himself and end the relationship with his ex before you threatened to leave, I'd want to know he was on the same page as you and not just reacting to you putting your foot down. It sounds very complicated right now, and whenever you have someone who isn't comfortable making his own decisions about what to put on his Facebook page, I'd be asking what else isn't he comfortable standing up for.

      This reminds me of the time I received a surprise phone call from a stranger who told me she was the girlfriend of a guy I had recently started dating, and that they had two small children together. I realized he hadn't been honest with me when he told me he was single - again, probably because they don't want to lose us - but when I heard her side of the story and confronted him, I realized just how complicated the situation was. I made the decision to exit the whole thing to allow them to have a chance to work things out for the sake of the children without adding a third person into the mix, and I heard later that he did go back to her and work things out. I'm not saying this is the case here with you, but the reality is sometimes the best thing you can do is give people the space to do what they need to do - that's right for them - without you getting caught up in the process.

      Ultimately, you have to decide what's right for you, Ivy, but this just all seems very complicated from here. If he's on the same page as you and wants the same thing as you want, a little time and space isn't going to change the potential for a great relationship if that's what both of you eventually want with each other. Now just doesn't seem like the time.

  6. Hi Jane, Thanx for the reply..was really insightful. That's what I thought too, like he can't make his own decisions. He's always been acting like a Mummy's boy since I met him and even though he's working and earning well, he still lives with his parents and was pretty comfortable with it till I told him I would rather he move out. Even after telling him that. He went back to tell his mum he needed to move out and she said he is not moving out till he gets married. I was shocked when I heard it.. Like where is that done? Although he put his foot down but he had to shift it to a later date to give his mum time to adjust to the idea.

    With this recent incident, I tried walking out but he made it difficult for me. Kept calling and texting when I stopped picking his calls. Telling me of how he's being faithful and loving to me and m gonna leave him cos he made a mistake having a baby with a girl he dnt ve anything with anymore. He promised to let the girl know he is in a relationship (cos the other time he merely told her its over), as well as introduce me to his parents. Whenever I point out that we should take a break so he can decide if he can work things out with the other girl, he seems to get angry and keep saying the only connection he have with her is the baby, he can't marry her and he has already informed his parents about that. And even if I leave him, that won't make him marry her. I feel he's sincere about his intention not to settle down with her for reasons best known to him, cos when I met him I didn't meet them together. Instead he seems to be dating other girls. Which he stopped when we became serious. But m just not comfortable with the influence his family ve on him. I don't know if this is something we can work out with time or it will always be this way. This afternoon he texted the girl to let her know about our relationship. He said next month I will meet his parents. Do I still need to give him give him space (no calls or seeing him) or I should just step back a little, give him a chance and see how it goes?

    • Do what feels right for you, Ivy; this isn't about following any particular rule or formula; this is about what you can live with and what you can't. You can try one way and see how it feels, and you can always try another. He's going to do what works best for him; you do what honors and respects your beautiful self - and what works best for you!

  7. Jane - I really appreciate the valuable insight you provide in this article. Yet, I still feel so helpless. I've been seeing my current boyfriend for about 6 months. He got divorced about 3 years ago and since then his ex has re-married. I know it's hard for him to trust again and I'm trying to show him that he can trust me. The thing is, we've spoken twice about where the relationship is going, and I understand it is still in its infancy, but sometimes I feel like I'm the one driving the relationship. He tells me he cares about me, and enjoys spending time with me, but isn't sure of what he wants in the future i.e. if he wants to get married again. I was very honest with him and told him what I want (which is to get married) and he understands that and has let me know he doesn't want to lose me. So I don't know if he is just unsure about me, about being in a committed relationship or about both. It is very hard to ask someone that. He has let me know his feelings but sometimes I feel that's not enough. He is extremely kind, and sweet to me, I've met all his friends (not his family yet), so I would feel bad to completely end this and throw it away when there is still so much good. I'm really confused and I'm not sure if I should walk away or like you said what most women do, wait for him to come around.

    • There's usually a reason you feel like you're driving the relationship, as you say, Natalie, and that's when you're both on different pages. He knows where you stand and what you're looking for now; you don't have to keep having this type of conversation with him. He knows. Now this is about you. If what you're getting from him isn't enough for you, than you have to decide what he's worth to you.

      If you can live your own life and focus on you - keeping your options open - and maintaining a mindset that he's just one part of your life, then what he does or doesn't do won't matter as much to you and you can maintain both a relationship with him - that he's comfortable with - and a life that fulfills you as well. But if you can't do that without compromising yourself and having a negative affect of your self-esteem and self-confidence, then you have to decide which is worth more.

      It's always about what it's all worth to you, and what you can and can't change. You can always change yourself and your own expectations; you can't change anyone else. Set your own time limit to yourself if you're not ready to make any decisions yet; this is always about you and what you need, Natalie, and choosing what brings you the most peace and calm and happiness and leaves you with the least amount of regrets is what this is all about!

  8. ConfusedCap says:

    Hi been with a guy over a year, we are military. We met in July 2012 became serious in August. Found out I was pregnant with my first his second child in September. How we were before we became pregnant was out of this world, I thought "I finally found the one". But as the months gone by, he had to take care of his career, enhancing it. I didnt mind, yes I was pregnant and even though he wasnt with me physically I had other support channels. 2013 rolled around, and he deployed. Things were starting to change, heard many rumors about him. Well when we met, and he was giving me the run down of his life, he mentioned that he was divorced. I started to poke his brain, asking if it was true, and 9/10 the cause of the divorce be usually their fault and they dont be divorce. I was on guard when he said divorced, others told me he was still married. It sent me through a whirlwind when he was deployed, being half way through my pregnancy. I needed answers, i dig and we argued. Then made up. I threaten to leave him and he fought it. He was becoming comfortable with the idea of being a dad again. He has an older daughter whose 7 but its not the child from his former marriage. I am highly positive that he hasnt told his family. Our daughter was born in May and he returned from deployment this october and he has kept our relationship and daughter a secret. Recently I asked for a break encouraging him to come and see his daughter spend time, but that will be it.The only time we talk is if its about our daughter. But then I needed him, the break was driving me insane, because this time he was okay with it. Yes we had sex. lol. I betrayed my vow to not become intimate with him until he got himself sorted out. Because his Ex wife and him was set to go to court to finalize the divorce recently but i dont know what happened. He hasnt spoken to me about it but i received concrete evidence about it. We are back together but now I've lost "interest" in him. My body isnt reacting to wanting the need for him. I laid beside him the other night and slept while he toss and turn, i feel he wanted to be intimate but with me being extremely tired and yes, i wanted to hold out on him at least for a night. I am at the point where I want to walk away again. When we are together its quiet til we lay in bed and i'll cuddle but i am feeling emotionally detached and want more out of him. I want to be a family, and want my daughter to see his face more often. He seems to acknowledge his older daughter more than our 6 month old.

    hope i made sense

    • It's never easy to make these kind of decision when young children are involved, CC, so first and foremost, make sure you have the support you need to help you make the best decision for you and your sweet baby daughter. True love is never complicated, my beautiful friend; and this is always one of the red flags to look for whenever you're looking at what you really have with someone. We can make it complicated so that it seems like the norm, or we can be used to it being so complicated by the role models who showed us what love was all about, but if it feels complicated in the everyday living of a life that's meant to be shared with someone you love and trust, that's a sign to look at what you've really got.

      Only you know what being with him is worth to you, what having your little family together is worth to you. This is something that no one else can determine for you. One of the hallmarks of someone being a keeper, is availability on both an emotional and physical level. Only you know if he's emotionally and physically available to you. It's always your decision, CC, as easier as it often is to defer to someone else and have them tell you what to do, trust yourself, trust your gut instincts to know what you need to do. There are no rigth or wrong answers, only the answer that is best for you and this little life you've brought into the world. Find that support, talk to someone who you can trust, a counselor, a doctor, a trusted friend, someone with an open heart and an open mind to hear you and your situation who can support you to make your best own decision. And know that whatever you decide, you can't change him, you can't make him be or do what you want him to do or be. You can only change yourself, you can only live your own life. He is going to live his life the way that he chooses to and whatever he does or doesn't do, it has nothing to do with you.

      • CuriousCap says:

        Hi Jane
        Well my childs father and I been bickering earlier this week and i end up contacting his ex wife. All in All he wasnt really divorce. They both used "Ex" very loosely but they werent legally divorced til last month. Well she told me alot, she knew about me but he denied his involvement with me even when she saw me pregnant. She too is dating someone and apparently they are married now. I told him over and over how i felt, cursed him out, wished him death (yeah i was truly hurt) . Well speaking to her she mention he has 3 other kids, i knew about the other he spoke about but there were two more. My heart sunk. Hes away now due to his grandmothers sickness, I can vouch for that. But he says when he comes back he wants to talk face to face. What pointers should i bring up? Please help Jane.

  9. OMG! What a mess! Met a guy and got pregnant in one month! The guy has a kid with one woman, is married with another woman, is sleeping and getting pregnant the third woman! Well, my own personal life has never being too orderly either, but at least if it is a mess, I try to keep children out if that mess, or more precisely not to have kids when me or the partner is not ready and all messed up. But well, this is mot anyones fault. Life just happens, I guess.The biggest problem here is a guy, wjo is very, very messed up in his relationships with women. And I am glad he is back with you now, but I see why your body does not respond to him. Your body probably can just srnse it that he can be anywhere with anyone at any time. He is unpredictable,.or at least he has being so far throughout his life. But I think at this time it is too late to make the choice whether to get involved with him or not. Yoy,are already involved. And it is to early to decide to quit him. He has not done ro you anything that bad so far.So at this point I would give it my brst shot. Do whatever is possible to make it work. And whatever will be will be.Now, one thing I do not really know is what would be precisely that best thing to do to make it work. I would love to know it myself. Perhapse others could help.

    • Confusedcap says:

      Yeah I surely would appreciate the help! And yeah its becoming more apparent that I am not finding him sexually attractive anymore. He has told me before that I should initiate sex from now on, but I cant because my body is not responding to him sexually. He cooked for me for the first time this week, but its not the same. Now an ex has come into the picture. I am torn because i dont want my daughter seeing all these different men come in and out her life. And with my boyfriend now, its like he has more admiration and acknowledgement to his older daughter than our daughter. Its becoming unbearable.

    • Thanks for chiming in here, Nina; the decisions are never easy when those decision affect more than the adults involved, but also the innocent lives of children.

  10. I have been dating a man that I am currently two months pregnant with.

    • Sorry I accidentally posted that. Anyways he is ok with being there for me and the baby as a father figure. But he is on committal and has dated other girls. I think he has been hurt in the past from the little pieces of things I can put together... I don't know if this is a wall he's built up or just a habit. I would love to have a relationship with him cuz I think she is a very good guy But I don't know if he is capable of any advice? Do I just say forget about it? Do I ask him about his on committal ways? I know we have a connection but I don't know if its worth me getting heartbroken over If I do bring it up and get rejected....just very confusing......

      • Choose whatever action will give you the greatest amount of peace and happiness, Julie, and leave you with the least amount of regrets. You're the only one you ultimately answer to, and you're the one who has to be able to live with yourself. Love is never complicated, as much as we like to believe it is; it just isn't. Whatever you decide to say or not to say to him, it doesn't change where he's at; it just gives you more information to make your own decision. Only you know what he's worth to you!

  11. I have waited a long time to reach out about this...PLEASE HELP I love my boyfriend we have been together for a long time. I have a child from a previous relationship. He is the best man I've ever met but he is scared to commit to me and my daughter. He treats me and her so well. We spend time together with our friends and family. He is so good to me and lately offers to help me with her. We laugh and we have fun every time were together. I am included in all of his plans and there are no other women. But he will not commit to a future with me but he also wont let me go. How do I let go of something so close to what I've always wanted? The only thing missing is a possible future together. I don't know if it will happen or not or if Im wasting precious time? My life doesn't revolve around him but I feel pretty lost in where or if this will ever get more serious. I also question why I need it to when everything else is so great. Do I move on and date other potential men or would this make things worse or do I just let things be and hopefully one day he'll commit. PLEASE HELP SOON

    • You first get clear on what you want, Jennifer, and on what your own terms are in this relationship. It's not going to come from him - he's happy with the way things are - so you're the one who has to make your own decision on what you want for you and your daughter. I know we'd all love to have that crystal ball that can tell us what the future holds, but this is one of those decisions that you have to make for yourself based on the reality of what you know to be true right now. What is being with him worth to you? What are you willing to compromise on in order to have him in your life on his terms, with the level of commitment that he's comfortable with? It's not up to him to let you go, if you really want him to let you go, you'll let yourself go.

      It's natural to want that commitment even though everything else is so great, but it's all about what you can live with, what Jennifer can live with and not anyone else. I've found that using a criteria of choosing what brings you the most peace and happiness and the least amount of regrets is helpful as you make your choices. Can you communicate with him? Do you feel like equals or is this more one-sided with him setting the pace of the relationship? Each of us comes to our own place of what we can live with and what we can't, of what having someone in our lives on their own terms instead of ours is worth to us versus not having them in our lives. No one can answer these questions for you, Jennifer. You have to look within yourself and listen to your own gut instincts and hear what the little nudge within you is telling you. Trust yourself that you'll know. You do already.

      • Thank you so much this is very helpful to me. The nudge within me tells me to go. I feel if he can't commit to me by now there's something holding him back and how will it ever change? But on the other side I feel like if I love him I should be patient. I want him to love me at his own pace not because I'm ready. Do you feel in what I've explained thus far that this is a typical situation and that it's better to move on? I want to make the right decision. What I want for my daughter is someone just like him, who treats me how he treats her and I, who I feel good with every time I'm around and vice versa. This is why it is so hard for me. I can and have talked to him. He just doesn't have an answer right now. I don't want to ruin such a good thing but I don't know what to do. I appreciate your opinions very much.

        • You can't change him unless he wants to change himself, to dig deeper into his own commitment issues and figure out why he's not able to give you more. Know that if he does change, you'll be the first to know, Jennifer,so make whatever decision that you can live with, and don't worry about what he does or doesn't do. If it's meant to be, if the two of you get on the same page, if he comes around and is ready for what you are and is ready to do whatever it takes to make that happen, you'll know. Of course you want this to come from him, but only you know what waiting for him is worth to you. I can say that I hear countless stories of women who've wasted so much of their lives away waiting for someone to come around who never did, but we all want to believe we'll be the rare exception. Most of us never are. It's a decision only you can make, because you're the only one who knows what you can live with and what you can't.

  12. Also, we have talked about this and he has no real answers. So I don't know what to think or what he's afraid of. I think I love him but I definitely don't want to say it. If I leave will he think I'm not interested? Im very confused.

  13. Thank You. This has helped me so much. I have made some changes that I never thought that I would with him. I've never even brought up that anything was wrong before. However, I feel miserable. I honestly can not even function. I feel like I've lost my best friend. I question my decision. He is in denial and continues to call. Do I answer.....or do I not? Do you have any advice on how to get through this stage? If you decide to break it off but feel like this? Its hard to keep busy and feel happy. I haven't even let my daughter know. This is truly the worst I've ever felt in my life. He was such a huge part of me that I feel terrible.

    • Do what feels right to you, Jennifer. If you want to answer, if you need to for your own peace of mind, then listen to that, if you need to get stronger, than listen to that. There's no right and wrong here. You can always change your mind if the timing isn't right after all. This isn't about making things harder on ourselves; this is about making decisions on how we want our lives to be, on how we want our loves to be. You're still in control, you're still doing the choosing. Find the support you need, surround yourself with the people, the places, the things that love you and support you. We're not meant to go through any of this alone. And sometimes, it's in letting go that we find out we're not ready to let go. And that's ok, too. This isn't anyone else's life you're living, this is your own. The only person you answer to is you.

  14. I spent 4 years with a man who I thought loved me, we dated years ago and he dumped me, I was heartbroken and it took me a long time to get over it and I should have learnt from that. We bumped into each other again years later, he pursued me relentlessly, told me that I was 'The One' and he never forgot me. I had always loved him but I was cautious because at the age of 44yrs he had never appeared to have made any real commitment although in long term relationships and still lived with his parents. For the first year he was wonderful I have never felt so loved or special, he even looked at wedding venues for us but then as soon as he realised he had won me over again and I relaxed it seemed that beacuse he felt secure again in my love for him I could almost feel him slowly bailing out emotionally and distancing himself but it was so difficult to pinpoint. I decided to set myself a time limit on how much longer I could wait so that we could discuss a future together and this went on longer than I intended as I was so emotionally involved and still loved him. My self-esteem however started to take a nose dive and I ended up not liking the insecure clingy person I had become. I eventually ended the relationship myself because it was starting to feel one sided. Stupidly I hoped that he would see that he could not live without me and track me down like he did before. That was a year ago and I never heard from him again and it still hurts every day that I clearly didn't ever mean that much to him I was taken in like a fool. The painful lesson I have learnt is as you quite rightly said, always look at their history. If they have a pattern of not committing, especially if they still live with their parents at 30!! or even worse in their 40's & 50's....see the warning signs, don't think that you will be the one to change them. The pattern is already well entrenched. Let's face it, there can't be something wrong with every other girlfriend they ever had and by telling you they haven't met the one yet they are secretly leading you on by getting you to think that you might be the one that can change them. You won't...The problem lies with them.........walk right away as this is a one way street to hurt! Believe me I know.

    • Thanks for sharing your story, Dawn; when you've been there you understand so much more than anyone else can. We always think we're going to be the ones to change them, even if we don't admit this, but it's there. And as you say, it's only when we understand that you can't, that it's their problem and not anything to do with you, that you find the strength to live your own life the way you deserve. So many of us learn this the hard way, but eventually, we come to see exactly as you did, Dawn, that nothing is worth your you!

    • Annette says:

      I was in the exact situation with a noncommittal man for over 7 years. However, he has dependent on me for the first 5 while trying to get his medical license reinstated. I hung in there thru recovery and rehab and all of the job rejections and requirements of the medical board. His family has been close to me for over 20 years, he and I had been friends during that time as well. We ended up running into each other after we each got divorced.

      Slowly he started getting more and more verbally abusive. We are now broken up because the last cussing was so bad that after he went to work I packed up all my stuff and left. I was driving 2 hours a week as I did not quit my job when he relocated. I had no intentions of coming back to him and still haven't as 2 days after we split I heard he was on match.com and in touch with his previous girlfriend. Every time I would bring up something he did with regard to inappropriate conduct he would cuss me out so bad with terrible words telling me that if I didn't change my attitude I could get the --------out and take my stuff with me. I could never prove anything but my instincts were so strong it would wake me from a dead sleep. He constantly pushed every weekend to know exactly what time I was leaving on Sunday and if I talked to him any time after I left he was always hateful. The majority of the time he was so good to me, kind and giving with all of the gifts, trips, dinners at the club, etc., etc. He said for me to get counseling and let him know how it went and then we could discuss things because I need it for me insecurities and he was sorry for "raising his voice" but I am the one that is delusional. I wrote him a long letter and just let him have it about how I had sacrificed the time in my life, my kids and grandkids and all the support/money/time off work to help him, etc., I have not heard anything back and that has been 2 weeks-he now has his big house, big truck and is making $500,000 or more a year-guess I'm not needed anymore. I decided to do no contact after that letter. While we were together I sold my condo and bought a new car and now I regret both of those decisions but I know there is nothing I can do about those choices now.
      How can he possibly justify all of this? I am so hurt and so sad as I can't believe after 7 1/2 years a man would just walk away, see other women but in the same breath say "I love you more than anyone I ever loved but we can't live like this until you get help." I can't quit thinking about it all the time. Why in the world would I do all of this for a man that never promised "commitment" just material things. I have done a lot of research and have realized that perhaps I have just been in a narcisstic relationship and was too dumb to realize it. I was a single mom for over 30 years until my 2 daughters were grown and worked 2-3 jobs to accomplish that goal. About ten years ago I was finally able to work just one job and really started enjoying life. I have always been a head strong, confident gal who had her act together. How in the world did I let this happen again after 2 failed marriages - how will I ever learn to stop caring for grown men and focus on me????

      • By forgiving yourself first, Annette. By recognizing that you're human and you did the best you could with what you knew at the time. We all make mistakes, we all have regrets, but it's in learning to have compassion and love for ourselves in the midst of those "mistakes" that we give ourselves the gift of grace that allows us to begin again. However many times it takes. We learn to stop caring for grown men and focus on ourselves when we understand what we need to do to give ourselves permission to do exactly that.

        When we find the story inside us that holds up to these deeply ingrained patterns of behavior. Change doesn't happen overnight, but it does come when we're open to looking within ourselves and giving our own selves what we need and what we're looking for so desperately in someone else. If you haven't already read it, Codependent No More by Melodie Beattie may give you some additional insight into what's going on here. Because it's only when you put the focus on you and take care of yourself first that you'll find yourself able to be a whole person in a relationship with someone else. You deserve nothing less than this.

  15. As a footnote to my posting above I should also add Jane that I had a bad relationship with my Dad I think he loved me but never showed it and often I felt that he didn't even like me very much. I was very close to my Mum though. Interesting that you mentioned that yourself and I'm sure this has something to do with our relationships with emotionally unavailable men.

    • It sure does, Dawn; it is always interesting to discover this connection from our earliest relationships with our dads and how it translates into the type of men we attract and find ourselves attracted to. As you say, it's not so much whether or not they loved us, but it's how we felt about their love and how much we felt loved and worth their time and energy that makes all the difference. In a different time and place, when we raise our little boys to express their feelings and show their emotions without being shamed for doing so, they will be able to grow into men and fathers who can freely express their love and emotions to their little girls and begin to break this cycle.

  16. Hi, I am having some thoughts and confusion. I met this guy online last September. I dont think we both knew what we were looking for at the time. He was hurt in his last serious relationship and so was I. We hung out a few times and it was good but we were both busy and I started falling hard and I guess I showed it in more ways than one. I think he thought I wanted to start something serious right that instant and so he backed off. We went through a bump in the road but still talk now every day. We have not had sex ever nor does he pressure me about it. He texts me good night almost every night and if I dont talk to him for a few days he will always text me something to let me know hes there. He has shared some personal things about himself to me such as he sometimes gets anxiety and gets bummed out easily. I understood him and listen and was there for him through some sad stuff. He now calls me often just to say hi or check in, we text throughout the day and laugh almost all the time. I have touched the subject about a relationship after our bump in the road and we had a serious convo a couple months back about being in a committed serious relationship. I think he thought I wanted one from him right away at that time but took it the wrong way, So he backed off for a bit. After we discussed this thoroughly we put everything on the table and he mentioned that he was not looking for/prioritizing a serious relationship right now as one of the things being he could not offer me certain things(I said I also probably could not handle being in a serious relationship at this time) Yes I would eventually one day like one with him but not right away. He also told me a couple times in between that he sees relationship potential in me but is not looking for a committed serious relationship right now in his life. I dont know how to take this. Theres so many things like we havent slept together, he is genuine and honest, he was really hurt by his last girlfriend, I trust him(which is rare I rarely trust guys as I was cheated on), he has a close relationship with his dad, kind heart, smart, very different from other guys, etc. Does he not want a relationship with me ever or is he hurt or is there hope. Do I have a chance? I hope this makes sense as there is so much to this and I just hope I am in this for nothing, and wonder what hes in this for........Thanks hopefully you can give some advice.

    • Natalie, I'm in the same boat. I met someone I had no intentions of being more than friends with and after talking every day and getting to know him and realizing I like him a lot, we decided we wanted to be more than friends, shortly after he tells me he isn't ready for a relationship now but wants one but has some things he wants to do for himself and wouldn't be able to give me all of him right now like move out ect, we still talk and hang out. He has in the past two weeks got his own place so I pray this is a step in the right direction for me and him. I want to move out on my own and get back in school as well. I pray things go the way we both want them too

  17. I have just been mopping about the internet for inspiration and soothing words and have several times found your articles... your warmth and wisdom is just lovely and accurate and I love how you have been here and done that. I am 40 this year and have never experienced a long lasting healthy happy relationship. I have chosen the wrong partners every time... finally I meet the man of my dreams who ticks every box... but when we hit a bumpy patch after ten months of total loving he dumped me. I have spent the last six months waiting for him.... going back, hearing love, declaring love, healing, letting go, reuniting.... it has just gone on. He is 20 years older than me and in the last 25 years he has had a succession of short term relationships... the longest was three years and they broke up 3 times. I didnt twig to this until the day he dumped me... how ridiculous is that! I thought love could overcome. Now he wants me to wait for a couple of months while he does therapy ( which is great for him... yes deep issues with his father) ... still "loving each other and being together" just not committed. I think I am just in the initial days of pain as we had spent four nights together this past week on a romantic holiday... but i was clear that by the end of the holiday we had to walk away from it either committed together or our separate ways. I guess what my mother says is true ... "just get on with your life..... count your blessings.... there are so many" just feel so sad that he was without doubt the closest man to my dream man and now i am alone all over again. I know i am projecting on to him a man that doesnt exist.... because if he was who I thought we would be together. Argghhhh the mysteries of life... I so wish that I could learn a lesson from being loved... it seems to be lessons around the tough things in life.... finding my own strength to overcome rejection, or learning to be in charge of my life instead of dictated by abusive or controlling people, or learning to say no to people who want to be with me as a loose connection, learning to trust that the universe will provide me with a loving healthy committed relationship with my dream man, or learning amidst hard times to count my blessings and realising my cup is full
    actually these are all good lessons to learn. I guess when I have found that relationship and dream man look back and feel happy that time and experiences werent wasted.... trust.

    • I know exactly how done we can be with learning any more lessons, Rose, but I hope you can see how huge this is that you have such insight to be able to see that "I am projecting on to him a man that doesn't exist.... because if he was who I thought we would be together." That is no small thing to see that reality!

      And these things you're learning - to find your own strength to see rejection for what it is and not what your programming would have you believing it to be, to have the confidence to say no, to trust in yourself and the universe - and the biggest one of all - to recognize that love cannot conquer anything without both people in a relationship wanting it to, these are the truths that are never too late to learn, that change everything once you see them like you are!

      The best is still to come; the lessons you learn from being loved will be there, too, just as surely as we learn the ones we most need to learn. They are never, ever wasted, because it is because of them that we're able to see what we might not otherwise be capable of seeing. See this turning 40 as a celebration, Rose, of you, of life, of all these lessons learned. We are only ever as old as we allow ourselves to be!

      • Thank you beautiful Jane. Your words for me like for so many others are comforting, soothing, illuminating and inspiring. Yes I will celebrate all that I have done and been and felt and learnt. Collectively as women we are slowly reclaiming our power through these tests, trials and tribulation with relationships... every act of individual self empowerment is adding to the team's power.
        And for now until the time comes to experience a loving committed long term relationship with my dream man I will just trust it will happen in good time and enjoy what I do have inside and out. Warmest regards and many thanks

  18. Jane, Thank you for your time and energy that you give to this blog.
    I recently ended a relationship with a non-committal guy!
    I have been loving myself, enjoying my life and moving forward. I have not looked
    back. Ladies, We WILL survive! Ladies, You are beautiful and there is a wonderful man
    that will love you unconditionally. I send healing, peace and happiness to you all!!

    • I'm so glad you're enjoying these, Angel; you're so very welcome! Your beautiful words speak so clearly from the heart of where you've been and the place you now stand without looking back. To all!

    • Deborah says:

      Thank you for the encouragement Angel. I was just able to speak the truth about what I am willing to accept in a relationship yesterday. the next step is ending it and walking away. Healing peace and happiness back at you! :-)

  19. Hello, I have been roaming the internet looking for answers and came across this article. I have a 22 month old daughter and a man who is gone the moment he wakes up until the moment we go to sleep. We are young, going on 20 and hes 21. We live with my mom, im in college. He is a bit slow, can not keep a job. He works on cars and junk with his dad this whole time hes gone. His dad is on disability and social security. When he doesn't go with his dad his dad gets all lonely and depressed. He insists on Bryans company pretty much 12 hours a day or more. He is a good father, She loves him and goes with him sometimes. He does things for her and there is no problem what so ever in the father department. But he is just gone all the time. He doesn't do anything nice for me to make me feel special or anything. I feel so distant from him. But I love him with all my heart. im mad at him all day while hes gone, but when he comes home I just cant stay mad at him. But he keeps repeating the actions. My mom has a business which I offered for him to do but he still is gone constantly. We have this argument every day and he says hes gonna be better but never is. I love him with all my heart but I am miserable. He says he loves me more than anything. I feel like I don't get any love I feel lonely and useless. I have tried to leave many times but I just cant do it. Plus my daughter loves him to death. I am forever linked to him through my daughter and it would be hard to leave him having to constantly see him for my daughter. I honestly don't want to leave him and feel as if I cant leave him. I LOVE HIM! I just want to be happy. and I am never happy. I don't know what to do!!!! I keep looking for answers but I am lost!

  20. So I met this guy and we were/are both going through a divorce. He was in love with his wife, however, I cannot describe how awful she treated him, but he stayed until finally he had enough, but he is definitely scarred from this experience. Not to mention scarred from a previous relationship of three years. We started off as friends with benefits, but of course I started having feelings for this guy and he for me. So now we consider ourselves dating/boyfriend-girlfriend. However, he is confusing and I don't like confusion. I dealt with a lot of confusion in my marriage and I don't want to deal with it anymore. For the fourth time, last night being the fourth, he has said that he loves me but doesn't know that he is ready for a serious relationship. So for the fourth time I said let's take a break. Of course twice before when I said this I initiated conversation within a couple of days and on another occasion he asked me to wait and I told him I couldn't and he immediately wanted me back in his life. So last night I said let’s take a break and he acts as though he doesn’t because his comment is “if you want to”. I know he really likes me even probably loves me by his actions. I know he is scarred from his previous relationships so I try and give him the benefit of the doubt. And he is reading up on how to become emotionally available because he wants to be. My problem is should I just not make any contact with him and let him contact me (which is what I told him last night) or should I be there for him as a friend and cut out all the love talk, sex, etc. I just don’t want to be selfish when he is clearly struggling and trying to help himself and then on top of that I pull away. Please give me some advice.

    • He's leaving this all up to you, Misty, because he doesn't know what he wants and what he can give you. So it's so much easier for him to let you decide what you want to do and then leave it up to you. So you're not going to get his input here on your decision; it has to come from you. When you can become clear with yourself on what you can and can't live with, then the back and forth pattern will no longer exist. Don't worry about him; he's an adult and he knows what he can and can't live with, too. Give him some space to be himself while you do what you want to do for you. Don't make this anymore complicated than it needs to be. If you want to contact him, contact him. If you want to let him contact you, then stick with that.

      You say you don't like confusion, but it sounds like this is exactly what you have; more confusion. If you can become less confused yourself here, I have a feeling that this pattern of confusion in your relationships will go away. You have every right to be strong in your own choices and decisions and in what you want for your life, Misty. In fact, being clear and focusing on yourself regardless of what someone else wants you to be or uses against you, is anything but selfish! I hope this helps you see what may be underlying your feelings here; if you need more clarity, just let me know :)

  21. Hi Jane, I need some advise,I've been married for 22 yrs, my husband is 18 years older then I, eight months ago I made the mistake of pursuing a guy I've know for over 30 yrs the attraction was strong. I knew he was divorced the problem is that his ex wife was under going heart surgery and his mother in law asked him to move back in and take care of the ex.now I find myself in love with this man we have great conversations and enjoy each others company immensely .problem is that we always manage to talk about our families but never of our relationship.three months into the relationship he said he's commiting himself to me,six months later I asked him what are his plans or intentions for me and he feels he's content with the way things are between us I on the other hand want more.yes my marriage is over not because of my affair but because we simply grew apart no one knows of the secret I hold with in.what should I DO? wait to see if he text me ?or should I just give up and walk away?I'm truly in love..trying to heal a broken heart although this happened yesterday I'm going crazy missing him.

  22. Hi,
    I'm going through a situation with a guy I've been seeing for two months now. He is recently divorced, about 6 months ago. He was married for 30 years, and his ex left him for another man. He and I met online, and got along amazingly well. I had never met anyone like him before. He fell for me so quickly, and told me everything I've always wanted to hear. He wanted me to start moving my stuff into his home soon, and we were already talking about getting married one day. He introduced me to his family and friends right away, and everything was falling right into place.... Then suddenly his ex discovered he had a girlfriend (Me), and she wouldn't leave him alone. Suddenly she started calling and texting him all the time, crying on the phone, she made excuses to go to the house to see him, she was manipulating him to get what she wanted from him. She has been diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline personality. Suddenly, since she came back into the picture, it has caused tension between him and me. His texts and calls have become very limited. I'm usually the one that initiates the texts. He says repeatedly he doesn't want her back, and is now saying that he feels like she has doing him a favor because his bills are cheaper, electric, water, etc. So, in the meantime I'm thinking what is he saying about me ever moving in with him. He was so into me for the first 3 weeks of our relationship, and now I hardly ever see him, or rarely hear from him, usually only on the weekends, maybe. He told me a few weeks ago he wanted to slow things down, and make sure I was what he wanted.... I really enjoy the time we do have together, but I just wonder if I'm wasting my time.....

    • The best way to tell if you're only wasting your time with someone is to stop being the one doing the initiating and give him some space and see what he does with it. If he fills in that space by coming to you, and picking up the initiating slack, you'll know where he wants to be. If he doesn't, you'll know he's glad for the space. It's not uncommon for someone to move fast in the beginning and then back off or disappear like he's not the same person, but don't take it personally. This is always about him - and his comfort level - and never about you. You're not here to convince anyone of your worth; if it's meant to be and he wants it to be, you'll always know!

  23. As I write this my heart is breaking and I am constantly reminding myself I have done the right thing in ending my relationsip of 2 1/2 years. In that time I have ended it before 3 times because he wouldn't tell his family and friends about me, because after promising me he would take baby steps to get our relationship to a 'normal' status, I know now he doesn't love me....can't love me because he either just doesn't or is just too scared to. All I know for certain is that being with him makes me feel bad about myself. I have no doubt in his fidelity. I have no doubt that he wants me. But to be told I want no-one else but you, and I care so much for you isn't enough. I am his emotional support, his friend, his lover but he to the world he leads his life as a single man. Although he did make two huge steps this year by telling his two young adult sons and taking me to meet his senile mother in her nursing home, he has embroiled his sons into the secrecy and we are no further forward. He has two failed relationships behind him.....he now feels a failure and doesn't want to fail again. I he is in no doubt about how much I love him but he won't heal while he is with me. The saddest thing for me is by my letting him go will give him the chance to self-heal hopefully, and he can go on to have a healthy relationship and find love with someone else. That breaks my heart. But i need to be loved by the man I am with. I don't deserve anything less so I have said goodbye to the loveliest man I have ever met. I have hurt him in the process. Two very sad people now who perhaps might have made each other very happy. Life is too short to settle for things ......I keep reminding myself of that. Thank you for your article.

    • I'm glad this article helped with what you're going through, Joy. Sometimes it helps to remember that you're the one in control of your own life, even if it doesn't feel that way. It doesn't have to be so final unless you want it to be. You can change your mind, you can still talk to him, you can do whatever you need to do for you. There are no rules to relationships and love and letting go and moving on. It's a dance that follows more of a two step forward, one step back pattern than anything else. But how you feel and what you need to do for you is the most important thing!

      "All I know for certain is that being with him makes me feel bad about myself." Explore that, peel away the layers of your words to find out what that's all about for you and I think you'll find some peace to all this. Relationships grow us, they force us to see things that we often wouldn't otherwise see, and if you can look at it this way, it can help you get through this. And remember that it always takes two people on the same page who want the same thing with each other - and are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen - to make a real relationship work. When you can see that for what it is, it becomes less mired in emotion and more in the practical reality of "what is", not what we want it to be or what it could be. I hope this helps!

      • Thanks for your reply :-) but at the moment nothing helps. Being resolute one minute and making the right decision for yourself in the long term is just followed by so much pain of losing him. But thank you .

  24. I need your help. I really like this guy, he's 21 and I'm 19. I met him in school and we began dating and messing around for 3 months then after pressuring him to take it to the next level, he finally asked me out which was a big step for him since he didn't want a relationship because "he had always been hurt". We broke up after a month right before he turned 21 because of my trust issues but kept seeing each other and messing around. Recently, we've gone on dates and we see each other every so often but when we do, we can't keep our hands off each other, he'll kiss me on my forehead, will be sweet and we'll act like we're in a relationship BUT when I brought up being exclusive he said he couldn't do it and that he would flirt with other girls but wouldn't take it past that because he's 21 and needs to live and such. I didn't want to hold him back and have him do something he didn't want to, I mean I'm the only one he's seeing but I want him to commit eventually. The day I brought up being exclusive he told me he's been dealing with a lot of things since his step dad passed away and going out and having fun was his way of dealing with his death. It could've just been an excuse so I wouldn't leave but I don't know what to do anymore because my biggest fear is that it might go far with one of the girls he's talking to or that he'll never commit and i'll eventually become old news... please help

    • On top of all that, when we broke up he said he couldn't have feelings for me, yet when I try leaving he always says he likes me and cares about me and like I said, when we're together we act like a couple.. its been 9 months since he came into my life and i don't get why he says he can't have feelings for me but acts like he does. I feel like no one wants to be with anyone they don't want to be with but the fact that he doesn't commit even just as exclusive friends with benefits confirms he doesn't care

      • You don't ever need to pressure someone into a relationship with you, Selena. Someone who's truly right for you - and on the same page and wanting the same thing - will choose to be with you all on his own! That's what you deserve and it's how people act when they want to be with someone. They don't have excuses, they don't have reasons that leave you wondering if they're only excuses, they don't leave you second-guessing everything or wondering what's going on . They care enough to make sure you know.

        Believe what he's telling you when he says he couldn't have feelings for you, and that he didn't want a relationship and that he wants his freedom. It's so easy for someone to simply respond when you're already there and when you're the one doing all the initiating and all the work in a relationship. It's when you give him some space that you find out what he really wants by whether he comes closer by picking up the sack and initiating things with you, or whether he's content with that space.

        Whatever he does, this is about him and not you, so don't take any of his behavior personally. We're not here to make anyone love us, we're here to see who's truly compatible with us and take our time to really get to know someone before we decide they're worth our time and energy and love. You're the one doing the choosing, Selena. Remember that. And if he can be swayed by one of the girls he's talking to, then you'll know for sure that he's not the one because someone who's right for you, will only want to be with you. It's how you'll know.

        You have your whole beautiful life ahead of you. Your twenties are for getting to know who you are and then deciding what you're looking for in someone before making any quick judgments on whether someone is all that. What matters now will be different from what seems to matter now, and if you're looking for the real thing, there's no rush. Over time, when you know more about who you are and what you're looking for, it will happen naturally on its own. That's the kind of love you want. Not the kind you have to manipulate or "make" happen. Remembering that will help you in so many ways!

  25. OMG! I just realized that all those men I chased after had twisted if any relationship with their fathers!
    That is a huge thing! I kept thinking all these guys were different, but now I see they are exactly the same with different names and packaging, slightly different lifestyles, but at the core the exact same thing!!
    Yet another thing to watch out for.
    I do think sometimes though, that it is very difficult for me to open up to men, especially because most men I meet, even if they are just acquaintances, end up being influenced by the same things. It seems so hard to spot one that's healthy. I tend to shut down after I've been hurt, and I feel so scared someone will hurt me, I do not open up at all. How can I work on this?

    • That was the same epiphany I had, Angel. The missing "link" that tied them all together. It is huge to see that kind of a consistent pattern! How you can work on this is by not getting yourself so emotionally involved too soon. It's when you remember that you're the one doing the choosing, that you don't know if someone's even a possible candidate for what you're looking for, so you keep your own strong boundaries and keep your stories and those intimate parts of you close to you and you share only as much of yourself as you would with someone who you've just met, who you're only beginning to get to know. We can have such a pattern of putting someone on a pedestal before we even know if they're worthy of being with us on any kind of level.

      When you live like this, you don't have to be scared of someone hurting you because you don't put out too much of yourself prematurely, even if it's in your own mind. You keep yourself separated enough until they've proven themselves worthy of you opening up a little more to them, and it happens gradually as you take your time to get to know them. You're not here to convince anyone of your worth; the ones who are right for you and belong in your life will know as they get to know you better, too.

  26. Hi Angel,

    I can understand how it can be hard to open up to men, especially if you were not able to with your own dad. Also, It is good that you are recognizing guys who are not a good fit for you, so now you can stay away from them. I think the best thing is to work on loving yourself and getting to know yourself and think about what exactly it is that you want in a relationship. Imagine the qualities that you desire in a guy and then work on those qualities in yourself. For instance if you want someone who is honest, really focus on being honest yourself. You will find that you will start recognizing and attracting the kind of guy who is good for you. I hope this helps. You are a beautiful person and will attract the man of your dreams when you are both ready:)

    • Thank you, Kate for your kind words. I just feel so vulnerable right now as I recently walked away from a guy that ended up being just one of those you need to avoid. It was too much for my self-esteem. I am trying to get back up again, but sometimes I just fall. I know and can see clearly now how he really is not great at all... he has serious issues. But I can't help feeling sad, somehow defeated. I hope this passes quickly and I also hope I can continue to work on myself without shutting down... quite frankly, I find it hard now not to shut down.
      I have hope though, that when the time is right, I will find a man who loves me as I am and who I can love the same way.

      • You're welcome, Angel:)
        I know how it is to feel so vulnerable after leaving a guy who you know is the kind to avoid. It definately can leave you feeling sad and defeated. Funny how those "bad boys" can have such a hold on us. We must learn to release them and not give them any power over us. We deserve so much more. Just imagine how great it will be when you are with a terrrific guy who let's you know that he is interested in you and respects you and is kind and caring and still turns you on:) That great guy is out there for you...in the meantime...know that your sad feelings will pass, even if it seems like they never will. Know that there are always supportive people in your life to help you through the tough times. Just buckle up and ride that amazing roller coaster called life! It has it's ups and downs and you are ready for some ups!

  27. I have been seeing a man for the past six months whom I've known for over a dozen years. At the outset he said we were not monogamous. He said he had been in an on again/off again relationship with a woman for over six years. He said she is loud and emotional. He said he'd like to break it off with her but wants the idea of the breakup to come from her. I think he might be stalling. Should I give him a time frame or give him his walking papers? He said she had threatened him and he doesn't want me to become involved with the mess. What should I do? I love this man so deeply it hits knowing he is sleeping with her while I'm home by myself.

    • It sounds like he has some specific requirements that he's putting in between you and him, Dee. If he wanted to be with you, he would be. Only you know what he's worth to you, but you deserve someone who wants to be with you, not someone who has all these reasons why he can't be with you. The bigger question to ask yourself is why you "love this man knowing he's sleeping with her while I'm home by myself"? Real love doesn't treat you like that, or allow you to do this to yourself.

I'd love to hear from you. Let me know what you think!

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