Why Won’t He Call It A Relationship?

datingquestionpicDear Jess,

I just read your book, WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID. I have been dating a man for 5 months. Right away he told me he wasn’t looking for a committed relationship and I told him I wasn’t either. Honestly, I do want that but I just didn’t want to lose him by telling him. Now it’s been several months and he is still hung up on not wanting a commitment even though we act like a couple. We see each other on a regular basis, spend weekends together, and have even vacationed in Hawaii. I know he is not seeing anyone else. Really, we are in a relationship, but he refuses to really acknowledge it.  He texts and emails me everyday to say good morning and good night. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk.   How do I get him to commit exclusively and call this what it is… a relationship!

Thank you!

Confused in Kentucky

Dear Confused,

Here is the good news. You are correct. You are in a relationship. Here is the bad news. It’s not the kind of relationship you want. If this man is verbally telling you that he doesn’t want to commit to you, then it means he wants to have the ability to walk away whenever he feels like it. It does not matter that he spends all his time with you now, because “the now” is not his concern. The concern is “later”, as in next month, next year, or five years from now. He is happy with you at the moment but unsure how he will feel tomorrow, and that is why he won’t commit. Is that because of you, or is it because he’s just that type of guy? The best way to find out the answer is look at the rest of his life outside his relationship with you. Does he have a problem committing to other people, such as his friends or family? Does he back out of plans often or wait to the last minute to make them? Does he agonize over major purchases because buying a house or a car is a long term commitment in itself? If the answer is yes, you are probably just dealing with a commitment phobic guy that needs more than a little nudge from you to tie the knot. Therapy may help, but many commitment-shy guys never really learn to fully settle down…even if they get married!

If, however, you find that he is solid in other areas and doesn’t have trouble committing to anything else, the problem may be specific to you and your relationship. If that is the case, your only recourse is to have a serious heart to heart with him and discuss what you want and need from him.  If you continue to see him, and sleep with him, while still holding your tongue, you will only grown more resentful as time goes by. What’s worse is that you are likely going to put all your time, energy, and heart into someone that won’t stick with you when tough times hit.  Do yourself a favor and own up to what you want.  You should be more afraid of what will happen if you don’t say something, than if you do!

If you have a question to submit to Jess’ blog, email her at coach@jessmccann.com
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Posted in abusive relationships, Am I in a relationship of convenience?, Dating and Relationship Book, Dating Coach, Dating Tips, Dating Website | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Why Won’t He Call It A Relationship?

  1. Serena says:

    Thanks Jess! I have both your books on my ipad (makes them easy to read anywhere). I’ve been dating a guy for just over 4 months who is giving me similar problems. He is a wonderful boyfriend, and very generous (I’m not used to that). But he’s not quite relationship-ready and so he’s always warning me about things b/c he doesn’t want to hurt me (but he loves me so he doesn’t want to break up with me). He used to live abroad and he’s having trouble adjusting to living in Canada. So he’s always warning me that he doesn’t know if he can live in Canada. I’m open to living abroad, it’s just that I can’t do that for a few years. He’s trying to sort out what he wants to do with his life. Some of his ideas could include me, but others are completely incompatible with my life. I’ve even wondered if I was getting the “silent no with excuses”. He asked me to be his girlfriend early in the relationship, he brought up love first, he hints at us having babies. Then he went on a holiday for several weeks (b/c he can’t handle winter) and when he came back he started warning me that if Russia invades Ukraine he’s going to go fight to protect his extended family over there (he used to be in the army). He’s admitted that he’s once again having trouble readjusting to life in Canada, and I’m being patient to see if he calms down in a few weeks and comes to his senses. I flat out asked him if he wanted to be in a relationship and that I had considered that maybe we should be friends until he sorts out his life. He proposed that we keep dating to see if we are compatible, but dial back the physical part of our relationship. I was impressed that he was willing to give up sex to keep dating me. He said he doesn’t need that and I am more than enough (and he has a very high sex drive). He’s very loving and attentive and made plans with me this weekend.

    I just don’t know what to do. It’s only been four months so I’m not expecting a comittment yet. But these constant warnings make it impossible to build anything with him (or just enjoy the moment). He has realised this and has promised to stop, but at some point I need to know that he’s comitted to me no matter how cold it gets or what is going on in world politics.
    (P.S. My apologies I posted this under the wrong post the first time)

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