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He refuses to commit. what needs to change to make this relationship work?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Dating, Health, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (30 May 2015) 3 Answers - (Newest, 30 May 2015)
A female United States age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I’ve been seeing a guy for around 7 months. We get on really well and we really like each other, but he refuses to commit.

Things have been rocky from the start. When we first met he was still kind of involved with someone else.

Even though she had moved overseas, he still continued to be involved with her (although he told me they were not in a relationship) throughout the time we were together.

I believe he has ended things with her now, but he has not confirmed this.

I’m so confused by this man.

He was so into me at the start – messaging me constantly, wanting to see me all the time, giving me a lot of positive attention and praise.

Within a month, I was also completely infatuated. But the situation with this other girl made me feel incredibly insecure.

I wanted him to formally end things with her and focus on me, but he never did.

We ended things a couple of months in (just for a few days) and his first instinct was to book flights to go and visit her.

Even though we got back together a few days later, he still took that holiday.

He went to visit her, leaving me in one of the worst states I have ever been in. I have never been in so much emotional pain.

Despite all of this, we have somehow still stayed together.

We break up and then we start to miss each other, and the cycle starts again. The thing is, he never seems to want to commit to me, or go out of his way to make me happy.

For the past month he actually agreed to be exclusive (I could not handle the thought of him being with someone else while we were dating), but it still did not help my paranoia. If he doesn't reply to my message or if he tells me he is somewhere I don’t expect him to be, I immediately suspect him of being with another girl.

And then, he gets angry, and uses my “hysterical moments” as a reason he cannot be with me in an official relationship.

Last week we broke up, but still carried on seeing each other.

However, a few days ago, he suggested that we go on a break of a month, so that he could have some time to decide if he “misses me”.

I got upset and we had an argument. I told him he had to start putting effort in now, if this is ever going to work. He got angry and stormed off. We haven’t seen each other since, although we have been sending the occasional friendly message.

I told him to take his time and get back to me when he knows what he wants, but that I couldn’t guarantee I’d be waiting.

The problem is, I don’t actually feel as strong as that message suggested.

I feel like I am losing my mind. I feel like I am completely obsessed with him and the relationship and I have no idea who is right or wrong or what I should do.

He has always had an excuse not to want to be with me – whether it’s because I’m too emotional/dramatic, because we work together (although we don’t anymore), because I might leave the country (which I didn’t) – there have been so many excuses, and when I try to remove one obstacle, there is always something else.

I know this paints him as being a terrible person. He’s not.

I think he’s very complex and confused, and my emotional responses don’t help. He has talked about being serious with me, as a possibility for the future, but he doesn’t seem to be able to commit right now.

I have no idea what I'm meant to do. I want to be with this person – he is amazing and when things are good, they are really good, but he simply won’t commit, on any level. I’m going completely crazy – I want to cry whenever I think about it (which is almost constantly).

Is there anything I can do to make this relationship work? I’m desperate.

View related questions: a break, broke up, got back together, insecure

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 May 2015):

I'm afraid you're being way too insecure and controlling and yes dramatic for having only been in an on again off again dating relationahip. Maybe he does want to commit to you but you're extreme paranoia and all of the above is putting him off it. And he's not wrong to feel like that. He's been honest with you. He's also been honest about his ex too. I would give him that space and see a counsellor for yourself. Trust me... I know how you're feeling and that Is why I'm being so brutal here.

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A female reader, janniepeg Canada + , writes (30 May 2015):

janniepeg agony auntIf you didn't get so attached to him, you would have never accepted his excuses and end this relationship, which is never one to begin with. You long to get back to the state where he was sweet to you and coming on strong to you. He is someone who could only love from afar and idealize. He only wants what he can't have. Fantasy is always exciting and unpredictable while reality means responsibility, lack of freedom and hearing lots of nagging. He sounds like he is using you as a rebound or he is a commitment phobe.

When you like someone, don't get hooked on feelings, but look at actual, consistent behaviour. He is not a terrible person as in being abusive, but his treatment of you, the relationship being on and off, had been a terrible experience for you. You need to change the guy, not any tactics or what you did or didn't do. A guy who hurts you and can't be moved by your emotions is no good. Commitment is not something you can urge him to do just because it's the right thing to do. If it's not in his heart then he will continuously find excuses. When dating, you can be as positive as you want but always remain an ounce of skepticism until you get the official label. Otherwise you are wasting your time and energy.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (30 May 2015):

Just end it with the dick head already! He is not worth your time and all this hurt. You. Are. Worth. More.

Don't allow someone to manipulate you like he has, and do not settle for such a rubbish relationship.

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