WHY WON’T HE COMMIT?
I have been dating a man for eight months. He says that he is not ready to make a serious commitment yet, but our long-term goals are our careers, living abroad, marriage and children. I am 26 and in my second year of a degree; he is 29 and in a high-powered job in the capital. Our plan is for me to move in with him when I graduate. We only see each other about every six weeks – even though he knows that I am free every weekend and could easily hop on a train, whereas he is busy seeing friends or going skiing. It’s always on his terms. Sometimes I worry that he is dating behind my back, but he says that he wants only me. He tells me that he loves me and that I am the best thing that has ever happened to him. He is supportive in all aspects of my life. He was scarred by his parents’ divorce and is very closed off from me emotionally. When we are together, I feel so loved, but when we are apart, I feel that I am the last thing on his mind. Should I give him more time or just walk away? He is giving you mixed messages, which may indicate underlying personal problems. Do you think that you can definitely rule out the possibility of another girlfriend? If he says that he loves you so much and is seeing friends at weekends, surely he would want to include you and introduce you to them? I would be wary of someone who keeps you so distant. A man who fears commitment can make you feel wonderfully loved and desired at the beginning of a relationship, but when he feels that you are falling in love, he panics. He either decides to end the relationship or keeps his distance, which leaves you feeling understandably hurt and confused. He may still be deeply affected by his parents splitting up and fear getting hurt if he makes a commitment and things go wrong. Part of him longs to be with you and the other part pulls away. This makes you doubt that he means what he says. Talk to him about all of this and say that you would like to see him more often. I recommend joint counselling with BACP (bacp.co.uk, 01455 883300) to work on your relationship and the fact that he is emotionally closed off, because that could prove to be a big problem if you want a future together.