How to Get A Guy to Commit (If That’s What You Want)

You think that the man (or woman) you like will never commit to you, because he can’t or won’t, or both. And that you’ll never, ever be able to find a man who will commit to you, because men suck and then you die. Ok. Rewind.

A woman I know from Miami, Barbara, told me about a brief affair she had with a gentleman. They had delicious chemistry and kissed with their mouths open and all kinds of lovely, sexy stuff happened. “But it won’t work out because he’s noncommittal.”

They had just met. How does she know this? She doesn’t. She made up a story based on her own insecurity that no one would want just her, and blamed him for it. That’s convenient. How would you know someone is or could be committed to you after knowing them a week? You can’t.

This persistent idea here, that some people can’t commit, is bullshit. Why? Because anyone can commit. It’s a decision, not a personality trait—as convenient an excuse as that may be to explain why someone left, or by the way, why you didn’t hang around (ah—knife cuts both ways, see?).

Oh trust me, I know. I was the queen of the “What? I can’t even commit to hanging shelves” ba-dump-bump joke. It was a handy story I used to “explain” why I wasn’t in a committed thing. As if it were because I wasn’t evolved or mature enough. That couldn’t be further from true. (And it’s not about fate either, as I argued here.)

Fact is, you can get anyone to commit. It’s not rocket science. I’m going to use the clichéd/stereotypical “he” here for simplicity’s sake, not because it’s always true, but I hear this most from women about men.

To get a man to commit, you need to do two things:

  1. Rock his world.
  2. Make him earn it.

I told you this wasn’t rocket science. How could it be that simple? It is. It’s just that you’re not doing it.

Let’s break it down, shall we?

1. ROCK HIS WORLD.

This is a critical first step. If you can’t blow his mind, he’s not looking to commit to you. Why would he? Because you think he should? Nope. He has to want to be with you and enjoy your company and feel pretty fucking awesome around you. And you should feel that way, too. Yes you have to be at your best. Not perfect, because no one is. But you got to bring your A game.

And the same goes for you. If you even consider committing to someone when your world hasn’t been sufficiently rocked, then you’re in for a very long haul. Plenty of folks commit out of pressure, or a sense that it’s what they “should” do. Don’t let this be you. Commitment with love, an easy decision. Commitment without love is a jail sentence.

 

2. MAKE HIM EARN IT

Once you’ve rocked his world, you don’t then give away the keys to the store. You don’t say, “Ok, I rocked you, now pay me back with your lifelong commitment.” That won’t work. You show him that he must earn that privilege. And keep earning it. I’m not talking about berating, withholding, or any other mind-fuck thing we all despise.

(If you’re not sure what I mean, find out why “you go girl” thinking is the worst advice.)

I mean you must teach him how to treat you, so that he has to initiate, make an effort, and earn the thing he wants. And I don’t just mean sex because you can get sex anywhere. I mean the great stuff he loves about being with you.

Too many women get clingy and fearful and needy, and end up rewarding the very behavior they hate. As soon as a guy backs off or seems uninterested, she starts to deluge him with texts, show up at his apartment, go into overkill mode trying to “win” back his attention and affection. When you do this, you give the power away. You’re saying, “I’ll do anything for this, and you don’t have to do a thing.”

Wrong. He needs to do something. He needs to feel he’s earning what he wants. That’s how he knows it has value!

And this was Barb’s undoing: She compromised what she wanted off the bat by letting him know she was down for “whatever” and you know what that means: noncommittal, anytime sex without strings. Fine if that’s what you want. But it wasn’t what she wanted. She thought he did and was going low-rent on him hoping he’d come back.

Opposite. He’s gone.

Men don’t want it easier. They want to know what they’re going after is worth their time. I’m far more committed to something I’ve invested in than something that was lobbed at me.

This also doesn’t mean you won’t get rejected along the way (read why this is really important). But when you can really wow someone and then make him come back for more, you win.

This worked for me. I started dating a fella in the fall who was fresh out of a 6-year committed, live-in relationship, who said he was unlikely to call anyone his girlfriend anytime soon. I didn’t say, “Oh yeah, buster, well you better decide now or I’m out!” Nope. I didn’t force him into having The Talk (read why to avoid this). I really just liked the guy. So I made sure that I blew his mind and made him earn it. I didn’t crowd him, barrage him with emails, or ask incessantly about how he felt about us. Uh-uh. I did my thing, kept my life going, and made it clear if he wanted to see me, he had to let me know. When we were together, I made him feel like a million bucks.

And he kept showing up. Six months later, he spends most evenings with me, cooks me dinner, and invited me to his best friend’s wedding (which is three months away). Over the holiday weekend, he took me on a romantic road trip, during which he whispered in my ear those very words you’re dying for a man to say to you.

Over dinner one night, I said, “So it sounds like I’m kinda your girlfriend now,” I teased.

“Yup,” he said.

So yeah, it works. Sure we’ve had a few crossed signals along the way, and I had my share of insecurities. Does this mean we’ll be together forever and ever? Who the hell knows? But the decision to be committed to a relationship is a choice you keep making in the present, which is where you always are.

My point is, this isn’t a trick you pull to “get” someone to commit, and then stop. Because the day you stop is the day you give up. It’s the way you live your life together—and can you think of a better way than to continue to impress and engage and deserve each other? I can’t. The key is to practice that NOW, not so you can stop doing it when you find someone, but so you can really start.

And sometimes things don’t work. When you’re knee-deep in pain and confusion, my Break-Up 911 online workshop can gently get you back on your feet. 

25 replies
  1. indivisual
    indivisual says:

    I think the chasing part does make a man feel worth it. But I think a challenge for a man has been the confidence to trust his voice. When he sees that trust in the partner, it rises his confidence and he feels motivated to do anything for her, to earn her! He becomes a Man.
    But one already has to be a Man to get a woman, not a girl.

    Reply
  2. JM
    JM says:

    I needed this. When you said, “Too many women get clingy and fearful and needy, and end up rewarding the very behavior they hate. As soon as a guy backs off or seems uninterested, she starts to deluge him with texts, show up at his apartment, go into overkill mode trying to “win” back his attention and affection,” that was me. My ex and I moved in after 3 months of dating (I know, a no-no. I know. Trust me I do now), but he is a guy who shows zero emotion and won’t talk about anything. He never gave me a sense of security, so I OVER did it with my lovey doveyness. I did everything for him. He didn’t earn a thing. He knew I’d do anything to get his love. Guess what? It didn’t work. Not a surprise. He dumped me after 1 year of being together with never an indication that he actually wanted to be with me. Thanks Terri. I needed this!

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      Ugh I’m so sorry! But you now understand what made you do that, and why it wasn’t fruitful. I’m glad I could help–thanks for reaching out.

      Reply
  3. Mia
    Mia says:

    Thank you for this post (and the others, too – I really like your style and views). I find this very helpful in my current relationship (of 7 months). But, I would like to know more about the “Make him earn it” part. How should that actually be done so that one doesn’t do the “berating, withholding, or any other mind-fuck thing we all despise.”?

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      You do it by making him make the effort to be with you, to show him that life goes on even when he’s not around (which it does). One of the biggest mistakes chicks make is rewarding BAD behavior–which means texting and being overly affectionate/needy precisely when he’s NOT returning it, as a way to ‘get him back’ to paying attn. this never works. You do it by not sending him 5 texts for every one he sends, not broadcasting need at every second. Hold back, live your life, and if he wants to join, he needs ot jump on the train b/c i’ts moving. You’re not going to keep it stalled in the station all day til he decides to show up. Does that help? Tell me what’s not working for you and I’ll see if I can help.

      Reply
      • Laura Trone
        Laura Trone says:

        My boyfriend and I been together a couple months Im attached to him mom and kids. I was with him for a over a month and stayed at his house everynight. He started to get distant and kinda mean. He told me he was sick of it and that he needs time and space. I haven’t seen him for a week and he dosent say anything about seeing me. Im kinda hurt over it. I don’t know what to do. He texts me a lot but never calls. Im always texting which is the worse mistake. Any advice

        Reply
  4. Leah
    Leah says:

    Thank you, I also needed this wake up call. I need to stop worrying and live my own life! I’m currently in a “not” relationship. He made it clear he just got out of serious relationship and didn’t want to get into another one. I thought I would change his mind by showing him how amazing I am, but month after month, it’s still clear he doesn’t want a relationship. I thought I should “break” it off with him, but your advice is much better. I’m just going to live my life–if he doesn’t want to be in it, so be it.
    Thanks again, and Happy New Year!

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      Oh yes I have been there!! We feel if we just show him how great we are, he’ll change his mind. Fact is, he’ll be more open to changing his mind if you’re NOT in his life than when you’re readily available. what do YOU want? If you want more, then I say you let him know that you understand he needs time and that you’re going to move on for now and see other people. And if he ever changes his mind and wants to take you seriously, he has your number. DO NOT fall into the friends-with-benefits thing unless you want that–b/c it gets you nowhere closer to where you want to be. To make him realize how amazing you would be in his life, sometimes you have to leave it altogether, and let him know what life feels like without you. Walk away, but not mad–wish him well. He’s not giving you what you need so you need to find someone who can. End of story. Pls keep me posted!

      Reply
      • Ashley Jones
        Ashley Jones says:

        Same thing happened to me he treats me like a girlfriend all the way but says he’s not ready for a relationship cause he just broke up with somebody and he wants me to wait until he decides he’s ready ummm no I’ll be living my life long gone while your trying to figure your life out I can’t continue to let you treat me like a girlfriend and I’m really not your girlfriend

        Reply
  5. charmer
    charmer says:

    Thank you so much for this eye opener. When my ex and I broke up it was like the end of the world for me. He came back but not the same person. He won’t commit this time. He had a relationship when we were not together but only for a short time. It is more obvious for me as I know how he is if he is committed but because of fear I am showering him with all the good things a guy can ask even if I really feel so broken inside I pretend that I am fine and it is certainly not going anywhere. I actually am starting to feel the toll of this whole “please him to get him back” situation and I would like to move on and be truly happy without thinking of him. I don’t think it even matters if he commits eventually but I will surely take pleasure with that if ever. Thanks again!

    Reply
  6. Jaime
    Jaime says:

    I just read this, and holy crap this is what I’m going through with my ex. We broke up last March because he said he was “pulling away” even though he didn’t know why, and even admitted he was probably being stupid. Well, I pulled the trigger and broke up with him because I didn’t want someone who didn’t know. I moved on, even though it was hard, and dated another guy several months later. Well, that guy and I ended up not working out because I was insecure in the relationship, and then suddenly my ex starts reappearing with texts every time he’s out with friends, etc. We got into the habit since Sept now of texting when we want attention, see each other etc. But neither one is commiting. Finally I was really drunk one night and poured out my heart, but he was sober so he said he has thought about getting back together but I was drunk so we should chat some other time. Of course he hasn’t brought it up and I feel crappy still. I know that I just need to get back to being busy with my life and stop responding to his texts when he’s needy. He’ll get mad then and write “or don’t respond.” But of course he wants me more when I ignore him. What should I do? Just move on, or how do I get him to finally say I want to be in a relationship with you. Even his friends know that we are right for each other. GRRR.

    Reply
  7. Maria
    Maria says:

    Help! I love all your articles. You have such great insight. My problem is needing to know “what is this?”
    Right now I’ve been seeing a guy for about 4 months. We spend time together every weekend, I stay over his place, we go grocery shopping together, he cooks for me all the time. We have a great time when we’re together. I’ve been fine until recently. That stupid nagging need to know keeps tapping me on the shoulder and I’ve started to develop scenarios in my mind that get me nervous. Yes, he seems interested. Yes, he also has a good time with me. Yes, he has said things like, “we should go to Boston for a weekend.” The problem is that after 4 months, I’m too invested emotionally to not have some sort of affirmation. I am very laid back and easy going so sometimes I fear that comes across as not interested, or uncaring. But I do things for him and try to make him feel special. I need you to guide me! Should I attempt to ask if he sees this going anywhere? I’m pretty sure he’s not dating others, but we’ve never really discussed any of that. It’s just been going along nicely until now. My past experience just won’t allow me to have peace of mind without a “talk.” HELP!

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      Usually around 6 months it’s worth a conversation. But rather than probing and wheedling “ARe you seeing anyone else? Am I special, am I? Huh?” You tell him simply that you really like him (maybe love, if you do?), and that you’re interested in being in a committed, long-term relationship with him. And that if he’s not interested in that, you would like to know because you may need to move on. Tell him you’re not going to nag or bother him about it every day, but I want you to think about it, seriously, because I will need to know so I can make my own decisions.

      It’s not an ultimatum or a complaint. It’s simply letting him know how you feel, and giving him the opp to return it, think about it, and decide. If he’s not ready, and you don’t want to wait, you have to leave and end it.

      What you can’t do is say you need to know and then wait around 10 years, pissed about it. You have to decide what’s more important to you: To have someone say they are in it for the long haul, or to have the person you love. Don’t confuse your own insecurities with your own wants. And if you want something longer/bigger/better, you owe it to him to say so.

      Reply
  8. Jen
    Jen says:

    So perfect for me to read! I’ve been dating a guy for about 6 weeks. So, very new. I’m pretty certain he’s seeing no one else and I’m not seeing anyone else. I have been on the fence about having “the talk.” But after reading many of your blogs… that’s NOT gonna happen. I definately do NOT over text him and act clingy, of that I’m quite sure. We have had a day here or there that we don’t talk. There are times he contacts me first. If he says he’s gonna go do this or that I simply say “Have fun, ttyl!” and then leave him be. He gets ahold me later. He does work alot sometimes (crazy job). And he has this hobby that he gets busy at, so I make sure to give him space for that. I have my own hobby to and we both have kids (yes, we’ve met each others kids) so our lives get busy. I am joining the local gym soon to take classes there so… more for me to do! BUT, I can be SUCH an overthinker and do get insecure and that’s why I thought about the talk. I also know that I’m super afraid and I’m convinced I’m gonna get hurt. But, I know I just need to let this ride, not force it, see what happens. give it a few more months (if it gets there) and if it does, then I can casually ask if we’re a thing. We see each other about 1-2 times a week (more if his job allows). We get along great… I need to just chill and not overthink. Good thing I recognize my overthinking! Haha!

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      Yup. too soon. Get to know him. Enjoy. Don’t spend time trying to figure out how to make it more real than it is. I do fear that I hear you filling your time while you wait for him to be done with work/hobbies. I want you to see it differently: As engaging in your life, a life that, if he wants to be part of, he has to make an effort to be part of. You’re a moving vehicle too–not a bus stop. You don’t have to ask him permission for if it’s a thing. If you see him a lot and spend your lives making plans to see and do stuff together, then it IS a thing. What you need to decide is if you want a committed thing, with him. ANd if you do, in 6 months, you don’t “ask” — you tell. YOu say, “I really love being with you and I love what we have. I am interested in a committed relationship with you. I’m not going to nag you about it, but I do want to address it in the next few weeks.” Then, if he doesn’t ever bring it up again, you start to move away from him. WHen he asks what’s up, you tell him, you were pretty clear what you wanted, and if he doesn’t think he can do that with you, then you need to be moving along. Then you have to make good on that. Don’t see it as “convincing” him to be with you or wondering if it’s a thing. The real question will be if he is interested in a longer-term thing, and if so, he’ll hop to.

      Reply
  9. Tams
    Tams says:

    Hi Terri, I love this blog! A quick story … As a single 20s in the 1990s, I started taking my mom’s advice and writing “10 uncompromisable attributes” that within 3 dates I could decide without any emotional commitment whether a guy was worthy of me or not. As I went on more dates, I found myself writing more and more than 10, finally getting to FIFTY attributes and I could eliminate a guy by about mid-dinner on a dinner and movie date on a first round! It worked. Like my mom said, putting it in WRITING, a hand-written list I found myself carrying to the bathroom on dates writing a new one on the margins, I realized I AM worth something and, just like my mom said, I also found myself quickly with a “the” guy everyone would dream about. I married him. Unfortunately over the last half of a 19 year marriage, I found myself lost in a relationship where he began seeking other women. I blame him for that, but the other side of that is I LET his life overwhelm me and lost sight of who I am and what I need. Years of counseling to save the marriage for the sake of the kids ensued, but in the end, the woman he chose to be with yet one of his MANY of the women he chose to have affairs with during the course of our marriage … a “rival” I unbeknownst at the time randomly introduced him to at a social function who is fair beneath me in every way. Of course divorce, and then I met someone … someone who ROCKED my entire world far more than the ex-husband ever even was able to. I don’t even know what it is about the new guy, but just know I’m head over heels. I didn’t beat around the bush with my 50 rules of dating, a rule list that has over the years been passed around at sororities and within women’s groups all over my stomping grounds. I told him upfront what I would and would not deal with in a person, my toleration level pretty slim to get in the game with me (or sack). Well, in the last year and a half, somehow, I’ve quickly become that girl again, now a grown woman. I’ve become that submissive little follow along with that rock my world guy’s way of doing things and I’m looking for a way to turn this around. Your simple thoughts on this encompass a lot of what I wrote in my “50 rules”. On my rules, for example, I am a person of Christian faith, so anyone who has the privilege of a 2nd date with me must implement some of those values. Otherwise there’s really no point in continuing. A man who is intolerable of cats for whatever reason is incompatible with me, as all my life, my home has never been without a cat for a pet. It’s easy stuff, simple, my personality into the whole idea, but I’ve been told I should create a blog for it, yet I still, with all my little rules, have found myself in exactly the same position I was before! Not intriguing enough maybe to keep a man’s attention? No, I don’t think that’s it. I’m plenty intriguing and mysterious enough and looks aren’t a problem. At 45 years old getting hit on by 25-30 year old good-looking young men doesn’t seem to be an issue. So, obviously looks aren’t my problem. I’ve lost sight of who I am allowing myself to get lost in the world of men I fell in love with. They have to take the lead! Though I will say I find it comical the ex-husband would constantly ask why I didn’t take the lead. Well, because I thought it was his job! And it was! I am still having a lot of blame games of the lost nearly 2 decades of my life, but I am working on that. In the meantime, I know I am about to lose “THE” guy for me, because I let ME, my interests get lost in his world. Girls, a word of advice. GO see a movie BY YOURSELF! GO eat dinner BY YOURSELF, someplace nice where you have to dress up and take a good book with you! People are intrigued by seeing a beautiful woman doing stuff like that by herself, but forget about that! Point is you can see the comedy romance with your box of tissue without being embarrassed and eat the steak over the salad! Also, don’t forget to write on your calendar your girlfriends where a date with ANY man, whether it be a casual non-committing lover, a boyfriend or a husband has to fit his time with you into his schedule. It’s not a game at all! It’s about making sure your interests don’t get over-shadowed by even the guy who rocks your world. I like what you said, Terri … make him work for it! Also, ladies, don’t forget to compliment your guy for doing the little things like opening your car door. Too much of our culture has bred men who forget that stuff. Say “thank you” to him. If he’s not the kind of guy to do that every time or even often, but randomly does, say, “thank you, wow I feel special today”. A guy does need to be encouraged with a positive manner when he does something so right. Also, set your boundaries! There are things you won’t tolerate I’m sure. One of mine is drunk-fests with the fraternity style behaviors for 40-50 year old single again men. It’s annoying! I’m constantly learning even from my own mistakes, but I know as I’m learning, I so want to share too.

    Reply
  10. Teri
    Teri says:

    Hi Terri,

    Ironically my name is Teri as well & your article touched me deeply because I’m all about teaching people how to treat me! I’m a traditional Southern Bell so I believe in being a lady & letting a man pursue me, but now I’m 41 years old & my last relationship was 13 years & I’ve been single for 7 years by choice. I met this amazing guy who completely took my guard down & we have been dating for about 4 months now & in the beginning we both just wanted a “casual sexual relationship”. We fell for one another. We both are business entrepreneurs & we are in the same investment group. I help him alot in his business & I am his “business trainer”. He has a lot of female fans & now we know that our feelings are more than sex but we haven’t made a commitment & I don’t have the rest of my life to try to figure it out. Not only that but where we are going in business I feel if we can’t do it together then why would we keep doing this? I said all that to say that I’m falling for him & I know that he has feelings for me but I don’t think he wants to give up his single life. I feel like just walking away completely but it seems you have some really good advise & I would like to know your opinion. I may have been vague but don’t want to bombard you with this story.. Thanks for your time though!! Be Blessed!!

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      OK, my dear. In brief:
      –Doesn’t matter how many female fans he has
      –Doesn’t matter whether he wants a single life
      –Doesn’t matter if he wants you for t his and not that (business v pleasure)

      You have to decide what YOU want. And if you want a committed relationship, you need to say it and stick by your word, meaning, not also sleep with him “sometimes.”

      You also have to give some serious thought to whether you want to be in business with someone who won’t commit to you, and whom you have feelings for. Esp if he ends up dating other people. No amount of money is worth that.

      If you can compartmentalize, and want the client/biz, then I beg you to not just say what you want, but act that way. Be consistent. Walk away if you must, but don’t think you’ll “change” him by wanting something more than he does. Ain’t happening.

      You have to decide what you can and will live with, and I’d say if you must keep him as a client, or business partner, do it with your eyes wide open, and start dating other people. Pronto. But I think being involved with him to any degree will be hard.

      You can’t teach him how to treat you until there are consequences for him not treating you that way. Show with actions, not words.

      Reply
  11. Shawnna
    Shawnna says:

    Hi, I’m Shawnna and I’m an overthinker. “Welcome Shawnna.” (smattering of applause) I just wanted to get that out of the way before I become “that girl” and start in on my situation, ha! Ok for starters – THANK YOU, for stopping me from committing a kamikaze and taking my own life by initiating the dreadful “what are we?” talk. Brilliant post on that topic, I LOVE your insight 🙂 Which is why I’m soliciting you for advice now after reading this second post.

    The good news is that I don’t think I’ve completely blown it, but the bad news is that I think I’m walking on thin ice and need to put the car in reverse, stat. You can be the judge on whether or not the situation is salvageable. I started seeing a new guy a little over a month ago (which makes the idea of even coming CLOSE to having the “what are we” talk that much more ridiculous. I’m blaming the terrible idea on my girlfriends. And insecurities of course). I digress. I would venture to say that I successfully rocked his world upon meeting. We shared a great night (no sex) but the chemistry was immediate and we engaged in a super fun and steamy make out session. Talked about a LOT of topics – all initiated by him. He’s extremely open and honest so upon meeting we already established what we were looking for and our individual dating and sex history. He’s had minimal partners for a guy (bonus), not interested in sleeping around, a relationship-oriented guy looking for a wife rather than anything else. Also shared that he was hurt by his previous relationship (which ended last summer) and just recently got closure on the situation. All good things to know. The first few days after we saw each other, he initiated all conversations including a meeting. Came over a few days later expressing how excited he was (and that he hasn’t felt that excited about someone in a long time), loves how smart and affectionate I am and shares that he’s not yet met a girl with some of my qualities. Good signs, I think. Watched a movie together and acted on the chemistry a little more (still no sex). More good conversation about how comfortable we are together. Again, these tidbits are almost always initiated by him. This is where things started getting wonky on my part. I started feeling insecure because we didn’t have another meeting set up, I never called him a million times or texted him non-stop. My limit on texting was 1, maybe 2 and then I would let him respond. And he did. Another week of communicating here and there goes by (phone and text) and we discover we have mutual friends (and he keeps asking them about me) Then I suggest we do something again and he says “yeah because it’s been a week and a half since I’ve seen you.” Ohhh-k. Invites me over to his place and offers to cook me dinner. More good conversation and fun and then I couldn’t hold back on the chemistry any longer (yes to the sex, mind blowing) I’ve never had sex with someone that soon and have limited partners myself. But definitely no regrets, it was amazing. Afterward he reiterates he hasn’t felt that great in a long time and that he’s not looking for just a casual relationship and is in search of his wife (if I’m not already her, he says). I, too, say that I’m not the kind of girl who is able to do that or looking for anything casual. We get up in the morning, he’s not acting any differently, and we both go to work. And don’t set up another meeting again which is where my insecurities come raging back in full force. Since then, we have talked regularly – sometimes every day, sometimes a few days go by. I would say that I have initiated MORE of the talking but I’ve tried to stay to my “no more than 2 messages” (two texts and or text/phone call) before I let him respond. But it’s been a couple weeks now and he has not set up another time to hang out. This is the purpose of my message.

    I’m now coming from that awful place of insecurity, trying to analyze and over think what could be going on with him. If anything. Other than not setting up a meeting right away, he has not acted any differently from the time I met him until now. Sometimes there are extended delays in talking and then all of a sudden he will call me several times in a row. But now I feel like mentally I’m trying to make something happen. I haven’t asked him to do anything again and he will talk futuristic-ally about getting together again but isn’t coming out and setting something up. Am I just being impatient? After reading your “do not initiate the talk” post, I definitely feel like that could be the case. But I do think that I’ve perhaps made some mistakes along the way. I want him to invest more. I’d like to go on a proper date rather than just getting together at our respective places. I want him to initiate more conversation and set up some regular meetings rather than just sporadic, whenever the mood strikes you sort of thing. I think that I’ve done a fairly good job of keeping my life going regardless of whether I’m seeing him (I mean dealing with insecurities is never fun), I don’t sit around and wait for him to call and when I do talk to him I’m never berating him for not getting back to me sooner. When we do see each other, I place an emphasis on being fun, exciting, affectionate, etc. Also, I have no idea whether he’s seeing other people (I’m not naive in my thinking that he isn’t, I just simply do not know). He will tell me all about his weekends but is not asking me to do something with him. So have I been too relaxed? Should I be seeing other people? Have I given him the indication that I’m OK with “whatever” when it comes to when we see each other? And if so, what do I do now? Should I tell him I’d like to see him again and then wait for him to set it up? Or do I just simply do nothing? 🙂 Thanks for reading – and responding!

    Reply
  12. Hannah
    Hannah says:

    OK. I understand what you’re saying in your post. I have a few questions though…

    1. What if you have known each other for 20 years and have dated off and on between those years? Timing has always been our nemesis. His father was terminally I’ll, then my faher was. We always seem to get back together.

    2. What if right now we both decided on ‘no commitments’ yet he said he knows I don’t want him to be with another woman and he doesn’t want me to be with another man.

    3. He travels for work so much so that he wasn’t at his home for 9 months, so he got rid of his place (since it was such a waste of money). He was 12 hours away and came to spend the night with me. Stayed in a swanky hotel. The rest of his time home (a couple of days), he’s spending time with friends and family. I wanted to make sure his time home was enjoyable and asked if he didn’t already have plans (which I felt certain he did) if he wanted to have dinner. He said he did have plans and said sorry. And then, here is the clencher, he said, ‘just so you know, no, it’s not another woman.’ To which I told him I pretty much figured he was busy and then said, ‘even if it was, we said no commitments.’

    Does he want to commit, but is afraid of doing so. In the past 20 years, we’ve both had our fair share of heartache.

    I’m so confused by his actions and words.

    Reply
  13. Tris
    Tris says:

    Hi Terri.
    So I was living with my boyfriend. We were serious, I was considered his “wife” to HIS FAMILY. Everything was fine. Towards the end of our relationship he started to say he wasn’t happy and I needed to change. So we kept moving forward then randomly he wanted space. Our lease was up & he broke up with me. I moved back to my parents as I had no where to go. I was heartbroken. I should of lost my job as I could not show, my body gave up, I couldn’t eat. ( It was the worst thing ever). I found myself & changed everything I knew I needed to. I continued with my life. I had begged & became that women no one likes, but I changed. He asked if I could pic my stuff up, a few things I left & I told him I didn’t have time. I was busy & the truth was that I was busy. He started going off that it was weird that I didn’t want to see him anymore. He was upset & we ended the conversation. That same night, he asked if I could workout with him, I was as nice as possible, but then he asked if I wanted to have sexual relations with him. I went off that I couldn’t believe he would ask this after what I went through. I love this man, but I laying it all out there. He told me I did change as I didn’t want to see him anymore. I told him I grew up, I knew what I wanted & what I deserve. That I would never beg for a man. That I would only be with a man who knew he wanted me & knew he loved me because I was not a booty call. No one really understands a women or man when they love someone because they are not in that situation. I have moved on & I am heart broken but I think with my head. I would still give him a chance if he changed himself & worked to get me ONLY if he did it for himself & truely wanted to. My questions is, what can I do to help him figure out what he wants? Do I continue to ignore him & wait to till he contacts me? Do I move on? I know what I have to do, but it is always great to get as much information on what I should do. Please note that we made our family each others family & it was horrible break up for everyone.

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      You’re only as good as your word. If you say one thing and act another, your word is no longer good. THis guy sounds like an ass, to be honest. I knew everything I needed to in the first line: “he wasn’t happy and I needed to change.” Someone who expects others to change to make him happy is a man who will never be happy–with you or anyone. You can’t change him, and I dare say, you shouldn’t attempt to change to fit what he needs, because that’s a losing battle. You’ll never win it. Two words: Move on.

      Reply
  14. Erin
    Erin says:

    What happened? Did you follow me around with cameras and document my life? Have you been talking to my therapist.

    Kidding, its not that bad, yet, and you just saved me weeks, months, YEARS? or potential heartache. This quote from you just changed my entire mindset:

    …… a life that, if he wants to be part of, he has to make an effort to be part of. You’re a moving vehicle too–not a bus stop….

    Reply
    • terri
      terri says:

      ha haaa! You crack me up. I’m glad I could help, and save you some time. Plus some heartache. Tho I wish I could save you ALL the heartache, fact is, no one can do that. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Nicole Guss
    Nicole Guss says:

    Hi Terri,

    I am in a similar situation. I met this this who was married for 23 years (thought he would be for ever) so divorce was not on his mind, but it happened. I met him at a time I knew he was dating others….and fell for him. He has told me repeatedly he wants me in his life but not ready for committment and its tearing me apart he is still seeing other women when Im not around his place (we live in different countries) so I travel to see him (he pays for travel). I knew he was dating others but knew also he was looking for someone then, but now he seems (or says to me) he seems he doesnt want any ONE yet, he is enjoying life. How do I be strong to get my own life back…I seem obssessed and dislike my attitude of being needy. How do I get my mojo back?

    Reply

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