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Is he a commitment-phobe? Is there still a chance?

Tagged as: Breaking up, Dating, Faded love, Family<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 March 2017) 10 Answers - (Newest, 18 April 2017)
A female United States age 41-50, anonymous writes:

Hello!

I'm a 39 yr old female who was dating a 38year old male.

We dated for four and a half months and he broke up with me almost a week ago. I was on the verge of suggesting we take a break but he beat me to the punch.

Sex was enjoyable except he never performed oral on me or tried long enough to give me an orgasm still I hung in there. For the last three weeks of our relationship I could not have intercourse due to prolonged menstral bleeding. I was embarrassed to tell him but for whatever reason we were seeing each other less so that conversation was easy to avoid. I was devastated because I didn't want this to affect our relationship however he did not seem to be pursing sex with me much.

Typically we saw each other every weekend and maybe a day during the week. We met each other's kids and began to spend time (I cooked for him and his kids once, he had dinner with mine, we all went to the movies together once). Although we had a few issues we never argued. Sometimes he would say he was busy working a second job from home which was more like a hobby and I tried to be understanding. Alot of times he would cancel and reschedule plans but we always had date night just not the particular event we had planned initially. I gave him the benefit of doubt because his communication never waned nor did his enthusiasm to see me. Since we met we never went a day without talking, texting or video chatting with him initiating about 90% of contact throughout the day. He was a single dad of two teens at home and I'm a single mom too with one teen in college and one at home.

My birthday was early March and he told me he made reservations at a nice restaurant. The night before my bday he started texting as if we were going to miss our reservation. I was confused as we did not have plans the day before my bday. He tried to act like he told me about the plans and stated he could not take me out on my birthday to dinner because he had to work hence him making reservations the night before. I was disappointed nonetheless and he never rescheduled. He gave me a small gift which was nice but time spent with him was what I was really looking for.

He soon began to use his kids and mom as convenient excuses to delay plans and that's when I grew extra weary. This guy also needed constant reassurance about himself, life and goals and that was tiring too.

When he broke up with me he broke it off face to face saying he did not think things were going to work with us and he didn't want to cheat on me but he felt he would. I asked him if his decision had anything to do with my medical issue and he said no. I asked was there anything I could have done differently and he said no. I cried a few tears and he asked if he could hold me and I told him yes. After a few minutes I decided it was time to leave and at my car he gave me a hug and kiss on the cheek. Later that nite he texted me saying he was sorry and I let him know I had fun and no regrets. The next morning he texted me good morning like he usually would and I returned the text. Later that afternoon he texted asking how my day was and that's when I told him I was sorting thru my feelings and I did not feel us communicating was a good idea at the moment. He apologized and said he understood. Now 5 days later today he texted me to say hello and said he hopes things are going well. I did not respond.

I think he feels more guilt than anything that's why he is texting me. We had a great friendship and that's what I truly miss. I did nothing to hurt him during the relationship only motivate him and treat him with care and respect. My friend seems to think he only broke up with me before I broke up with him because he could sense my growing frustration with the relationship. He would also mention he had issues with money.

Is he a commitment phone? Is there still a chance? Should I just continue no contact until he makes more of an effort to show me he wants me back IF he wants me back? I'm confused why he is still texting me if he dumped me? I'm confused why a man who claims he had sex withheld in a previous relationship, was cheated on and disrespected would dump a woman who was good to him. Any insight and/or advice is appreciated. I fee I should have checked some of his bad behavior but I failed to do that. I wonder if he messed up my bday plans so I would break up with him? I didn't want to be a doormat just show him he was worth love and respect. Sorry for the long story.

View related questions: a break, broke up, money, orgasm, text

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (18 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntYou are telling us you can have a friendship, but your words are screaming something very different. Answer me this truthfully.

Tomorrow night he rings up and asks to meet up with you at a bar, so you are happy you have missed him, you get ready and go and he is their with a girlfriend. The are hugging, holdings hands, he is stroking her hair, kissing her and laughing. Are you telling me you would be 100% happy? You would look at them and think they would make a cute couple? Or would you feel jealous? Because honestly I think you are pretending to yourself you are okay with friends, because you are not ready to let him go yet.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (13 April 2017):

Hi all....thank you all for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate it!

Just to clear a few things up I would like to have him as a friend as we discussed various topics. Our relationship did not revolve around sex so I thought this was a plus.

I feel I may have pushed a little for a commitment even though I wasn't even sure if I was ready. Things from my last relationship contributed to this. My ego wasn't crushed because he beat me to the punch it's just that he led me to believe he was happy with the way things were. Once I asked him to describe how he felt and he said he was happy he met me, scar d he was going to mess things up and I made him feel like the most important man in the world.

I was blindsided and thought we could work out our issues instead he stated he did not think things were going to work.

I once told him I loved him which I meant and still do. He never told me but that was fine because I understood we're two separate beings having different experiences. I don't understand why he would try hard to make his last relationship work which he claimed was bad but had someone drama free, supportive and independent and he let go.

I miss him so much.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (5 April 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntIf you miss his friendship and you feel you can handle it then tell him. Me personally I wouldn't be able to handle it because I would want more than friendship. It would kill me to be friends with him while he dated other women and moved on. If you can handle it then great.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2017):

Hi all....thank you all for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate it!

Just to clear a few things up I would like to have him as a friend as we discussed various topics. Our relationship did not revolve around sex so I thought this was a plus.

I feel I may have pushed a little for a commitment even though I wasn't even sure if I was ready. Things from my last relationship contributed to this. My ego wasn't crushed because he beat me to the punch it's just that he led me to believe he was happy with the way things were. Once I asked him to describe how he felt and he said he was happy he met me, scar d he was going to mess things up and I made him feel like the most important man in the world.

I was blindsided and thought we could work out our issues instead he stated he did not think things were going to work.

I once told him I loved him which I meant and still do. He never told me but that was fine because I understood we're two separate beings having different experiences. I don't understand why he would try hard to make his last relationship work which he claimed was bad but had someone drama free, supportive and independent and he let go.

I miss him so much.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2017):

That's true however why lead me in for so long? Sometimes I would say things and he would reply that we were in the relationship to have fun and see where it goes. I was ok with that but I felt pressure to make us official so I wouldn't look lonely to my ex and kids. I may have lost a great guy because he sensed I had ulterior motives. On the other hand why should I not get my needs met in a relationship? I'm confused and I want what we had back. I wish he would have been honest face to face with his doubts instead of just ending things.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntOP, could be he simply wasn't ready to date yet?

I think when someone rather throw in the towel then figure out if it CAN work, it's because they don't see a LONGTERM thing working.

As far as pushing for commitment - I think it's fair to not ACCEPT something "half-arsed" if that is not what you want.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 March 2017):

Hi all....thank you all for taking the time to read and respond. I appreciate it!

Just to clear a few things up I would like to have him as a friend as we discussed various topics. Our relationship did not revolve around sex so I thought this was a plus.

I feel I may have pushed a little for a commitment even though I wasn't even sure if I was ready. Things from my last relationship contributed to this. My ego wasn't crushed because he beat me to the punch it's just that he led me to believe he was happy with the way things were. Once I asked him to describe how he felt and he said he was happy he met me, scar d he was going to mess things up and I made him feel like the most important man in the world.

I was blind-sided and thought we could work out our issues instead he stated he did not think things were going to work.

I once told him I loved him which I meant and still do. He never told me but that was fine because I understood we're two separate beings having different experiences. I don't understand why he would try hard to make his last relationship work which he claimed was bad but had someone drama free, supportive and independent and he let go.

I miss him so much.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

Honeypie agony auntOP,

You stuck it out because you thought maybe it will get better (like the sex part) but YOU weren't totally into the relationship either otherwise, you wouldn't have been considering a break.

HE just beat you to it.

SO, really NEITHER of you felt it was going to work.

I think when people feel a NEED to take "breaks" from the relationship the relationship IS NOT working. 4 1/2 months in things ought to be in the "I'm crazy about you and still getting to know you stage" - not the... I think we need a break...

He MIGHT have let issues from his past relationship complicate tHIS relationship - it happens. Overall, though, he just wasn't a good match for you.

I also think when a person brings up issues they had with an EX it IS a kind of manipulation thing - maybe not on purpose but a "don't do these things to me" and they usually result in the other part going overboard in trying to show that they are NOT like the ex-partner. Like you said there were a few times you felt you sHOULD have "checked" some of his "bad" behaviors but you didn't because you wanted him to feel you were NOT going to hurt him like his ex. THAT you were a GOOD woman.

If I were you I'd cut the contact. I would not try and BE friends nor would I want to continue to be his ear to talk to.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (29 March 2017):

I think he gave you enough reasons, and you picked up enough clues to just let it go. Continue no-contact and don't punish or torture yourself with wouldah-couldah-shouldahs!

He is texting you to nurse you through the pain. You're a big-girl and you don't need it, so ignore it. He's a big-boy, so you have no obligation or responsibility to soothe his conscience or guilt.

It was only a few months. It was your trial and probationary period for a long-term relationship; but it just didn't workout. Everything seemed to go in the right directions and you covered most of the bases relationships cover between a couple dating. Having children from previous relationships.

Having financial problems; he knew that would eventually become a problem in the next relationship. It was probably a major issue in his past relationship. He has to focus on that and his kids. You don't drag old-baggage into the next relationship.

When raising children as a single-dad, especially teens; you can't always be reliable. Sudden changes or rescheduling are not an excuse, it's usually a sign he's got to deal with a problem he doesn't wish to go into detail about. If you find that to be a problem; then that was to be considered either as a red-flag, or a deal-breaker. Your choice. You've got your list of criteria of what works and what doesn't. Your post set a few examples.

I think the breakup warrants less concern, and getting back to your life and children is what you need to focus on.

Mend your feelings and focus on yourself. Continue no-contact to show you are dealing with this your way; and his pestering messages are unnecessary. Don't look at anything as anyone beating the other to the punch. The point is, you were both coming to the same conclusion. Maybe you were more hesitant, but apparently he wasn't.

No further explanations are necessary. Being good to people doesn't mean they won't dump you.

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A female reader, Slippers  United Kingdom +, writes (29 March 2017):

This is tricky because . Somehow you don't match what you say .. I nensing sweetie you say you wanted to break up for a while so then it should be more a relief that he has or is your ego took a little knock ?

You talk about all the things he didn't do with you , with mega disappointment, and I get it . But you seem keen to say a few times you wanted the relationship done with anyway .

Why not tell him that you need a little time and then try and get back to being friends . Maybe he just doesn't have the time or money for a long term full blown relationship . That could be the reason behind the dinner cancellation and then he felt like he wasn't able to provide so he made excuses up instead . Maybe he feels your better as friends as you seem to indicate .

So why not see if that works ?

It's sad when things don't work out the way we hope or plan . But you can see that your friendship was important and he maybe texting not just because he too is a little sad but maybe because he respects the friendship too

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