Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
My ‘guy friend’ and I have been dating for five months. We’re both in our mid-20s, out of college with full time jobs. We get along great. He’s already decided that he doesn’t want to see other people and I’ve already decided that, too. But the further we go in our relationship, he tells me how he doesn’t want to fall in love and have a deep relationship. In my mind, we already are a couple! My definition of a relationship is that we’re exclusive and do not see other people.
He is saying that a relationship is more than that; there are so many obligations and responsibilities and he’s not ready for that right now. I don’t understand what he means because I’ve never been in love or anything like that, but he has and he’s been engaged to someone before too. Obviously, it didn’t work out though. Maybe you can fill in the blanks for me.
Dear Seriously Confused:
One important thing missing from this letter is the part where he said “a relationship is full of obligations and responsibilities” and you asking him “give me some examples of what you mean exactly?” Most women, and it seems you fall linto that category, allow men to give them half-assed, incomplete, b.s. answers to some really serious questions. Whether it is out of fear of losing the relationshp, insecurity about having the right to ask for more details, or a failure to understand when game is being run, I don’t know.
All I DO know is that this guy is full of it. He is running game on you with double talk that means nothing, and you are allowing him to do it.
Explain to your little apple DUMBLING that the #1 thing he needs to remember is that you are not his ex, and whatever dramas, hurts and issues he had with her and their relationship would best be left in the past where they belong.
Make sure he understands that you are not going to put up with him blaming you, punishing you, or rejecting you in any way for things that SHE did. Let him know that you are not the type to be charged with and serve time for a crime you didn’t commit and that this nonsense he is talking… well, you just ain’t havin’ it!
Secondly, never allow a man to give you b.s. answers to questions. Whenever you go away not clear about what he meant, then you don’t know WHAT he was talking about which means you didn’t really get an answer to your question. Full disclosure is mandatory. You should always be able to explain with examples to your friends that you will be discussing your dramas with, exactly what your guy is talking about.
What I sense is that he has met someone else. He wants to feel free to investigate action and sex with her, but still keep you around “just in case” or until he decides which woman he wants. Basically he is playing a game a lot of men play, trying to set up a situation where he can have all the benefits of a committed relationship without the associated responsibilities or obligations or ties to you.
I highly recommend that you not fall for this game.
After five or six months of dating, he knows if you are the woman for him or not. If the answer is NOT, then he needs to move on and not try to manipulate you into a relationship of convenience that fully meets his needs for sex and companionship but leaves you without the commitment your heart craves.
Let him know that if he truly wants you two to be exclusive, he will have to be prepared to step up to the plate and position himself emotionally, psychologically and physically to be the one man you can count on. If he truly wants to maintain his exclusive access to your time, attention and body, he must position himself to be the one man you go to in order to satisfy your emotional, physical and social needs. Such positioning is called a committed dating relationship.
If you want a committed relationship, you have every right to demand it and to receive it. If he truly isn’t willing to open up his heart on that level, all you have with him is a long-term booty call. Since you and most young women in your age group are looking for something a lot more serious than that, it’s time to have a seriou conversation with your guy.
Sit him down and tell him that you understand he has reservations about moving forward. Tell him that you are not asking for marriage after only five months, but that you do expect that understand that you are dating only him with the expectation that he agree you are a couple. Tell him that in order to continue having you see only him, he needs to know that he WILL have demands on him, he WILL have to respond to your needs and expectations, and he WILL have responsibilities towards you.
He must be set straight on how this thing is gonna go, and understand that if he isn’t willing to meet your needs for emotional security, you will be totally free to have them met by other men. Explain to him that you two are either going to be a couple with all the commitments and mutual emotional risk that entails, or that he needs to get out of your life and stay out. Tell him that you have no time for cowards who live in a prison of fear created by the past, erecting ridiculous barriers and blockades to their hearts.