He Acts Like a Boyfriend But He Doesn’t Like the Title

I have been in an exclusive relationship with a man for 6 months now. He has shown up in every way AND more. I had major surgery and he stood by me, slept in the hospital, and took care of me at my worst for my 3-week recovery. He just took me on our first trip away. He wants to see me every day and I love that.

Basically though, I was blindsided the other day because after everything, he said that I am not his “girlfriend” and he doesn’t want the expectations that come with the title. Yet he says all the important people in his life know about us (family, close friends, few of which he has) and that he doesn’t want to be with anyone else. I asked what would change with the title? We already have exactly what a relationship is and he “checks in” with me even though I don’t ask that of him.

He tells me to please be patient, that he’s never been with a woman like me, one who trusts and loves unconditionally and makes him feel good when he’s with me, yet he says he’s not with me with the whole girlfriend/boyfriend thing! I don’t know if I should wait and see, since what we have is basically the committed relationship – until he made the comment that I m not his girlfriend, everything was great. Or should I move on at this point? Even his friends address me as his girlfriend and he doesn’t correct them, so why can’t he say the words to me? Yes, we are exclusive, and everything seemed and felt right, but I feel like he negated everything we have had now and feel like maybe I shouldn’t trust him. I hope you can answer! Thank you! –Kris

Dear Kris,

I’ll admit it. I don’t get men like this.

It doesn’t matter what an amazing guy he is if he’s told you things like “I never want to be married,” “I’m too busy for a relationship,” or “I’m not looking for anything serious.”

If he’s acting like a boyfriend, what’s the harm of calling you his girlfriend?

Beats the hell out of me.

And I can understand why it’s mystifying and why you’d be tempted to run.

Personally, I’m of two minds about the whole thing. Which is why I can’t weigh in all that heavily and tell you exactly what to do. But I hope to lay out the pros and the cons for you so that you can make an informed decision on your own, okay?

Cons: One of my dating credos is “believe the negative, ignore the positive”. In other words, it doesn’t matter what an amazing guy he is if he’s told you things like “I never want to be married,” “I’m too busy for a relationship,” “I’m not looking for anything serious,” and so on.

Women waste years on men who said they want a casual relationship on their terms only – and then claim to be shocked when it turns out he was telling the truth.

Next, I’m a big believer that good men do whatever it takes (within reason) to make their partners happy. Sometimes it’s sleeping at the hospital or taking care of your dog or fixing your car. And sometimes, it’s saying “I love you” or referring to you as his girlfriend, just because it makes you feel safe.

And if I have one big opposition to this man’s behavior, it’s that he’s standing on some sort of principle, putting his needs above yours, and refusing to take the very simple step of calling a spade a spade: yes, you’re his girlfriend.”

Add in the fact that “he doesn’t want the expectations that come with the title,” and, well, this is the one thing that I’m not sure I’d be able to get past if I were you.

I’m a big believer that good men do whatever it takes (within reason) to make their partners happy.

Then again, I don’t know how old he is, I don’t know his relationship history, and I don’t know his family history. Maybe he’s really young and doesn’t know how to compromise and please women. Maybe he’s really old and set in his ways. Maybe he got burned by his ex-wife and is unduly cautious of making a mistake or making promises he can’t keep. Maybe he comes from a divorced family where his father never said “I love you” to his mother. There are lots of possible explanations for his behavior.

Which is what brings me to the Pros. In your words:

Exclusive relationship with a man for 6 months now. Has shown up in every way AND more. I had major surgery and he stood by me, slept in the hospital, and took care of me at my worst for my 3-week recovery. He just took me on our first trip away. He wants to see me every day and I love that.
He tells me that he’s never been with a woman like me, one who trusts and loves unconditionally and makes him feel good when he’s with me.

Those are no small feats, in a world where you consistently hear about the lack of good men. Those things are the foundation of your six month relationship and the reason that you’re agonizing over this man who claims not to be your boyfriend.

And I must say: it’s entirely possible that he’s acting in full integrity, letting you know that he’s afraid of hurting you, that he wants to go slow and choose wisely, and that he really does value you and your relationship. He wants to be judged for his actions, not his words.

So what do you do, Kris?

I’d have this conversation with him. Try to get it on the table. Not to negotiate for the title of girlfriend, but to fully understand why it’s so important for him to reject the title and the responsibilities when he’s already acting like a full boyfriend to you. Make it clear that you’re trying to understand him and let him know that he wouldn’t have to do anything different, but that it would make you very happy if you could feel safe in knowing that he was your boyfriend.

And if, after this conversation, he can’t give you this nominal gift of safety, I would highly consider moving on to a man who has the ability to step up and make you feel safe.

It’s not that this is a bad guy at all, but rather that you might be waiting your whole life to hear some words that shouldn’t cost all that much to say.

7
10

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Sherel

    @Helene This is golden!!!! 

    “There is nothing inauthentic about reestablishing healthy boundaries, and right now this relationship is unbalanced. Spend more time with other people – any people – and focus on other aspects of your life. 

     “I would add let time take you where you need to be.”  Maybe he is a bit ambivalent at 6 months, and needs more time.  There is no absolute 3 month or 6 month rule as others have suggested.  But realize that at some point soon you will have to make a decision about what is important to you.    

    Also know  there are many BFs and GFs that willingly accept the title  but do not do any of the work like this guy

  2. 62
    Kathleen

    I agree with Ruby about men responding to distance . Post 61 and 62 make a lot of sense. This dilemma would make me feel very guarded.  

  3. 63
    David T

    @Susan61 60 53 (hut, hut, HIKE! :) )  You keep writing like the OP has not spoken with her boyfriend yet.  Did you see Kris 33 back there?  In the process of openly talking she learned better where she stands, and they probably grew a bit closer. Now, he may be completely lying, but that will come out soon enough.
    Having a man experience what it’s like to not have a women around so much, to not be automatically receiving her patient  unconditional love, can be a very powerful experience for a man on the fence..
    Umm…sounds like the love is actually rather conditional or at least the expression of it is. That is OK. You should never be completely unconditional, because that means putting up with abuse or anything thrown your way.  I wanted to point out the contradiction.
     
    Any well rounded man will see that a woman is inexplicably becoming unavailable, won’t  feel safe counting on her and turn away further to make himself content in other pursuits, like hobbies, male friends and yeah, maybe dating someone else. 
     
    If you have a man who has completely isolated himself, then cutting him off might generate a frantic response, (I have been that man, so I know this is the case), but withdrawing without discussing why or what is bothering you will send a healthy person looking elsewhere for fulfillment.
     
    Obviously there are two nearly diametrically opposed opinions here and I have said my perspective a few times now. I am going to agree to disagree and leave Kris to pick the perspective that suits her, or something completely different.  I do hope she checks in again and we learn how it turned out. Good luck, Kris! :)
     

  4. 64
    Leigh

    In going to keep this short. 

    Do not spend anymore of your youth with this guy.Move on now.

  5. 65
    Ruby

    David T #64
     
    I’m not suggesting that Kris disappear, cut off her friend, or even date others, I’m suggesting that she should not have daily contact with her guy, as it sounds like she was doing. Daily contact and the unconditional love and trust that she had been giving him should be reserved for a committed boyfriend, and this man is not that. They have already discussed this, so it’s not “inexplicable” at all. As Kris herself said, “I need to set boundaries for myself.” If he doesn’t want to lose her, he will give her the reassurance she needs.

  6. 66
    Susan61

    Oops. thanks David T.  You’re right, I missed that update from Kris.  I hear what you are saying.  Navigating relationships is tricky stuff indeed, “healthy person” being the operative word here.  I suppose when one is dating a healthy person then this types of issues are not presented as often…
     
    Also, I don’t believe this quote can be attributed to me, that would be Ruby @61:  Having a man experience what it’s like to not have a women around so much, to not be automatically receiving her patient  unconditional love, can be a very powerful experience for a man on the fence…

  7. 67
    David T

    @Susan67….sorry about that. See the confusion when you put a number in your alias? :) Healthy is an important point, and it is not clear to me the OPs bf is there if he is hung up on that word so much.  Sounds like he feels like he doesn’t deserve her, or he is generally afraid for some reason.  But, all of us have our quirks or problems in one way or another.  It is about what you can accept in a partner.  If  it turns out he simply can’t commit, then yeah, she needs to protect herself, but if it really is about money fears, that is workable.
     
    @Ruby66  I am guilty of lumping your opinion in with all the other folks who were simply saying “run away”.  Sorry about that.  I can see dialing back on the intimacy for self protection if she feels that is appropriate, but I still object to just doing that with no explanation of why, which some posters seem to advocate.
     
    The “unconditional love” thing got me spun up too, because I don’t think that is ever realistic (and I did not see the OP ever say that was where she is). People sometimes change and become misbehavers in unacceptable ways. You can call that a breach of trust or that the other partner just didn’t know them well enough, but the fact is you do see this even ten or twenty years into a marriage sometimes where someone become abusive or neglectful. In a committed relationship or marriage you make a try to work on it, but ultimately, you walk if the other partner won’t work with you.
     
     
     
     

  8. 68
    Rachael

    @Clare Hell-to-the-yes!

    I’m with you…I find all the talk of power and one up, one down unsettling.

    People of course struggle for some power, and butt heads in relationships. Totally normal, and even healthy. The active pursuit of power over someone however is not right, selfish, and emotionally destructive. 

    Have power over yourself and maybe someone will give you a little power over them. 

  9. 69
    Rachael

    I should add when I say “…maybe someone will give you a little power over them.” I’m not talking about the power to control how they act, feel, what they do, or who they are to you. Just…When you have power and control over yourself people are more inclined to trust you, and see you as an amazing person. They are more inclined to allow your very existance to change how they see things. Like a passive sort of power.

    Hope that makes sense. 

  10. 70
    Clare

    @ Rachael, yes that is exactly what I was trying to say. People do respond to power plays in a relationship *if* you make it about that. Personally I think the only power worth having is personal power, over yourself.

    I think it completely possible to remove power struggles and ego from any relationship whilst still operating within the limits of your own boundaries. My most wonderful and fulfilling relationships are where I don’t worry about giving too much because I *know* the other person will give back to me in their turn. These are the only relationships I’m interested in having. I agree with you and honestly do believe that people are drawn to those who respect themselves but also strive to respect and understand others.

    I’m not going to close my heart off and be a way that I don’t wish to be because I fear looking foolish or being taken advantage of. I trust that I will know when to do what I need to do and have the strength to stand up for myself.

  11. 71
    Katarina

    IMHO I think he is using the “past relationship” expectations, and the financial issues as an excuse to whittle Kris down to the point of expecting nothing from him.  The one last bastion of keeping low expectations of him is to keep the “boyfriend” title at bay.
    When you get to a point of asking yourself:  “why would he continue to do this if he loves me and cares for me? I wouldn’t do this to him” I think you have your answer.  The Golden Rule: Do unto others… 
    It may be hard, it may hurt. But I say cut your losses.  He will probably tell his next girlfriend, “I was in this relationship once, and I told her I had some financial issues, and I wasn’t ready for the boyfriend title, and she dumped me. I hope you don’t do that to me too.” The cycle continues….
     
     
     

  12. 72
    Rachael

    Well said Katarina. I personally would be long gone…Those excuses wouldn’t stand a chance. You can’t say “It’s just a title” while at the same time say “It’s a big step, it’s too important and I can’t do it.”. It does mean something. It means alot, and he’s intentionally holding it back from her.

    Puff up your chest girl, and walk away into the sunset. 

  13. 73
    Marina

    I’m in the same exact position, but I haven’t met his family nor his friends, so all of the comments are helping me out in this situation.  I’m glad I came across this issue.  For some odd/stupid/foolish reason I believe him when he says “the title will come just be patient…”

  14. 74
    Katarina Phang

    As a person who has just written a book on this very subject, I have to tell Margo and others who think this guy isn’t into her: really? Would a guy who isn’t into a woman do what he’s been doing?

    Absolutely not. You won’t hear much from a guy who isn’t into you, much less pursuing, taking you to vacation, taking care of you when you are sick and calling you every day.

    Guys are simple but there are a few things that make them look more complicated than women are. One of them is this very subject.

    I write all about it in my book, why guys like Kris’s “bf” behaves the way they do. And “being not into” isn’t one of the reasons.

    If he’s courting her and by the sound of it he is, let him lead and trust his leadership. Guys who are not serious about a woman WON’T court her for 6 months and beyond. They know the ramifications of continuously seeing a woman if their heart isn’t in it. Number one he wont be able to do it if his heart isn’t in it. Number two, no guy in the right mind would want to deal with the drama unless he has a plan of some kind with her, only he’s not telling her yet because he’s worried about the expectations that might ensue.

    Don’t throw the baby with the bathwater.

  15. 75
    Katarina Phang

    And interestingly, mind you, I title the book “He’s Really That Into You, He’s Just Not Ready” for this very reason.  Do not listen to simplistic approach to love/relationship.  I’ll go for substance than label without substance each and every time.

  16. 76
    marymary

    “And if, after this conversation, he can’t give you this nominal gift of safety, I would highly consider moving on to a man who has the ability to step up and make you feel safe”.
    I agree. It’s been six months and he can’t even call you his GIRLFRIEND?! It’s not exactly a marriage proposal.  
    He has shot a straight and clear warning right across your path. “Do not depend on me however nice I am.” Ignore at your peril.  it’s been six months and he’s been treating you well so it is worth having the conversation. But do listen to what he says and even more to what he doesn’t say.
    and, unfortunately, I believe some men AND women will do all the right things for  six months or a year, or longer and you can still be wondering “am I his girlfriend?” “will he marry me?” “where is this going?” “will this ever be a real marriage?”  You’ll be wondering if you’re too needy. You’ll be telling yourself he’s a good guy/good woman.  You’ll be telling yourself if you act a certain way he/she will come up with the goods.  They aren’t doing anything WRONG but it’s not entirely right either. Your friends, family and dating sites will be giving you conflicting advice. And it’s been so many months/years already.
    it’s not called a headf*ck for nothing.

  17. 77
    Heather1982

    I am so happy I stumbled upon this blog! I was dating a guy for 3 months (just ended) who I saw almost every day, professed his strong feelings for me, communicating constantly throughout the day, met all his friends, said he has no interest in dating other people….and yet when I asked the big question he said he wasn’t ready and there was no difference. My first piece of advice: don’t bring it up first, ruins it. If the guy wants you to be his gf he will ask you. And if you must be prepared to walk away if you don’t like his response. Because it was all downhill from there. I questioned if I was being stupid for thinking: well if we are exclusive, what’s the difference? And shouldnt you be proud to call me your gf?! I ended up bringing it up again and we got into a heated fight where he said I was pressuring him took much and needed space. He asked to speak after the holidays….but not without saying how much he already misses me. Good riddance! I should have never stopped dating others without the title. 

  18. 78
    Kris

    Well, if anyone is still reading this post, basically I just walked away on New Years.  He practically was living with me at that point, came home for the holidays with me, and on New Years when asked if I was his gf, by women who always sees us together, he said no. He claims it’s the financial thing still, that he loves me, that he’s just this way for now, and ppl who care for one another compromise, I asked then why can’t he say a couple of words if it is just to make me feel validated.  I’m heartbroken, but I have to move on.

  19. 79
    Ruby

    Kris #79
     
    Thanks for the update, sorry it didn’t work out. Your ex doesn’t sound like a bad person, and I think he really does care about you, but he’s not ready to take on the responsibilities of a more committed relationship, and probably won’t be for some time. I said it before and I’ll say it again, your “unconditional love and trust” should be only be reserved for someone who can reciprocate that. Otherwise, you are giving too much too soon, and the relationship becomes too one-sided. I can’t remember when you originally wrote, but I think it was a few months ago, so you’ve invested a fair amount of time at this point. Sounds like you made the right decision, though, and if he changes his mind, he knows where to find you.

  20. 80
    marymary

    Kris
    good call, better things await in 2013.

  21. 81
    Amelia2.0

    Wow.  That is unbelievable!  You really deserve a lot, lot better than that utter bullshit, Kris, I’m glad you could find the strength to end things with this gentlemen and not allow him to set the terms of your relationship any longer.  If “he’s just this way for now”, then he needs to be that way on his own time until he realizes that excuse does not cut it in a mature relationship.  I know how much it sucks and that the only cure for heartbreak is a healthy dose of time.  However, I would take immense pride in standing up for yourself and in voting with your feet.  There is no excuse for him not getting over himself and showing that he appreciates you and respects you in the way that you need after all this song and dance.
     
    I recommend cutting all contact/deleting phone numbers if you haven’t already.  Call up a trusted relative or a friend and talk about it if you find yourself overwhelmed by feelings.  I wish you all the best.

  22. 82
    Susan61

    Wow.  I’m not sure how I revisited this thread but I was googling stuff about my own current dating situation (which is not going all that well….)
     
    Sorry this happened to you, Kris, but it does appear to be for the best although I’m sure it hurts like hell.  You definitely did the right thing and it is best to have full No Contact in these situations. 
     
    Best of luck.  You may even hear from him in the future….and will have to figure out how to deal with that.  They often do “come back” in one form or another…

  23. 83
    ImThere

    I’m in a similar situation, and I read everyone’s comments and thoughts.  IMHO it is wrong to just label the situation and set expectations that may not be realistic.  “If he’s not willing to call you GF at 2 months he wont be”.  Thats silly.
    My guy has a dating history he doesn’t like to talk about.  We’ve known each other for years, in fact he was the guy that other girls warned girls to stay away from.  Fast forward a few years and friendship turned into more.  I have my own history, divorced, bad relationships, less than proud moments. 
    But being labelled as “BF or GF” doesn’t work for him.  He hadn’t dated in almost 2 years when things went our way… and because I dont care about the past, I dont pry.
    He’s good to me.  Better than anyone ever has been.  Ever.  He is caring, and kind.  Physically we’re perfectly matched.  We have fun together, have similar interests, and spend a few nights a week together.  We’re both successful and busy with our own lives, but have comfortably found a good balance.  our friends know we’re together, we’ve met each others parents – but we do not drag each other to visit family constantly.  we’ve been “together” almost 7 months.  And yet, he does not want to be called boyfriend.  At first, I felt a little sick… but when I sat back and looked at the whole picture – who cares.  he is with me, and only me, and he’s not looking to date anyone else, nor is he dating anyone else.  So who cares? We’ve both in our mid-late 30s – we’re not teenagers.. who cares really.  When I introduce him, I introduce him by name – not by label.  We are appropriately affectionate in public, so I never feel like he’s hiding me. 
    So thats my story.  Im sorry things went how they did for Kris.  I’m not her, I have no idea what it is like to be her.  I have no idea her or his history, or how she felt when she looked at him. 
    But I know how I feel.  And I feel happy.  And what I have going on right now with my guy either will or will not work out and become something more in the future whether I call him my boyfriend or not.  Its just a label people.. actions always speak louder than words.

  24. 84
    Katarina Phang

    Here’s an update after I wrote my well-received book.  Yes I have had many women come to me with the same problems and I will tell them all the same: focus on being an attractive and secure woman a man naturally seeks for commitment, practice being a woman and all feminine skills that will hook any man up and do not pull all your eggs in one basket.
     
    I did ALL that myself dating my EUM (emotionally unavailable man AKA a man who is not ready for relationship or to label your relationship a relationship or you his girlfriend).  In December he pulled away for 9 days after 10 months seeing each other regularly 3-5 days/week (Holidays, personal issues and stuff, I guess it was just too much for him).  I met a guy on Thanksgiving who showed interest in me.  And I ended up hanging out with him a lot especially during the time he was pulling away.
     
    When he was back after the New Year, this new guy was very much hooked on me and was courting me.  And weeks later it was obvious he didn’t want me to see other guys and claimed me.
     
    The rest is history.  I had to choose.  If I could I would have seen them both because I wasn’t really over my EUM (we had a great time and great memories together).  My new guy didn’t want any of that so finally after a couple of months of inner conflict I decided to let the old one go since the new guy showed up in such a way that I just couldn’t say NO.  
     
    Don’t worry about labels, and do not initiate the conversation.  Guys who are ready and into you WILL ask you.  If he hasn’t, do not stop dating others and yet absorb all the positive energy to raise your vibration.  When you are ready (meaning you are really the type of woman a man can’t resist thanks to your inner beauty mostly), the right guy will step up and claim you provided that you put yourself out there.
     
    Be in the moment, enjoy every day like it is your last.  Love happens when you least expect it.  I never thought I would be in relationship with a great super doting man who would want to give me EVERYTHING I wanted in a man in such a short notice :), and when I was still seeing a man who didn’t want to label me/our relationship.
     
    My ex EUM still calls me every day.  He’s hooked on our friendship.  A woman who knows the trick with guys don’t chase.  She is “chased.”

  25. 85
    R

    I got out of a relationship like this last summer. I started dating someone new this past month and already I can see the *DAMAGE* the previous guy did. Having someone “date” you (OH, BUT HE WAS NOT MY BOYFRIEND) for almost a year and then say he never wanted you, and he told you, will really, REALLY mess you up.
     
    Basically, Kris? He’s not trying to avoid the “expectations” of the relationships. He’s trying to avoid the inevitable break up. He knows he’s going to eff it up, or he doesn’t want you enough, so he doesn’t want to be the one to blame. It’s cowardice. Everyone should know two simple things:
     
    1. Break ups suck
    2. Everyone hurts
     
    Plenty of guys out there who will not waste your time. Trust me. And more importantly, you can be happy by yourself FIRST and then you’ll find that person who thinks you’re so great they cannot let anyone else have you. ;) Good luck.

  26. 86
    Courtney

    Wow I actually googled this question and this site came up, then I read through every response carefully. I needed this. I needed this so bad. I’m “with” someone but he says we don’t need titles, yes were in college but so what. Wow, this is mind blowing but not surprising at all at the same time. I know this is a huge red flag now. it hurts to have someone you care about so much say that they don’t want a title. When he told me that I thought why not? We are basically dating. But then it hit me, duh he doesn’t want to date me for real. So now this sucks, I am with him but it’s not official and to be honest we probably never will be. Yeah we’ve been through a lot together and I like him a lot, but a lot of actions arnt reciprocated. It’s weird because even though we have made it clear that we’re single, it’s I hard for me to see other people because I feel like I’ve invested so much time in him. But I’m going to have to unfortantely. Everything I thought we would be will never be, and I’ve slowly accepted that. I’m going to wait a few weeks before I completely pull back, before I pull back to the point he thinks I’m seeing someone else. of course it would warm my heart if he explained why he doesn’t want a title but I know it’s all bullshit. I agree with everyone else said, if he really truly liked you and wanted you, he’d make it known. I’m stupid. thank god I’m only a sophomore and I have 2 and a half years left. and actually after reading all of this it made me feel like it won’t be so bad to know other women go through this all the time. He’s not the end of the world and I learned my lesson the hard way. Thank you all so much, this is a true blessing. 

  27. 87
    Glyo

    I have been dating someone for almost 2 months who went backwards…he is in a weird place in his life and understandably doesn’t want to feel serious (I’ve been there)…he doesn’t want a label. But says he really likes me, and cares about me, I’m the only one he’s sleeping with, and in every way acts like my boyfriend. He did say he didn’t know if he’s going to date other women at this point because he just got out of a long relationship. I decided that I am going to continue seeing him and not put all my eggs into one basket, and I told him that. I will be going out with other guys, see what happens. I figure if things get deeper with another guy I’ll go for that one. I also decided that when he gets lovey-dovey and says sweet things like I miss you…etc…I’m not going to respond. I’m not going to give him myself as a girlfriend. I’m going to give him myself as a potential girlfriend and check out other men. See where things go. If he doesn’t come around I won’t be sticking around. 

  28. 88
    RTAYLOR

    What a phenomenal thread filled with intelligent, well-spoken people. I eagerly read through all 87 posts, given that I’m in a similar situation, and I’ve come to this conclusion as an advocate for authenticity vs. game-playing…We only have today, this moment, to live, be happy and thrive. Your personal choices are a reflection of who you probably are throughout many parts of your life, not just romance. If you are the type of person to insist upon eating healthy food, despite the price availability or proximity, unwilling to make exceptions for junk food thats closer, more affordable or a quick fix, you are probably the same person who, no matter the moment in time, will always insist on the best in your relationships, from our clients, from your friends and with strangers for that matter. Bottom line is that if you are living for the moment, as we should, you should expect that your environment is in alignment with your needs RIGHT NOW. Living for the future means you are postponing your needs today, which creates resentment no matter hard hard you try to be “patient” or “understanding”. Those two emotions are 2-ways streets, not reserved to be giving only to the party who “isn’t ready”. A man can be a great person/friend/business partner/son/brother, and STILL be a lousy partner in the end. Just like one poster said, he’s giving you everything ACCEPT the most important thing…commitment, and that’s enough reason to refocus your energy into investing in yourself. I am choosing to focus on myself, kids and career NOT “making myself available for other men”, only because I think that is a more authentic reason for letting go. I’m not swapping him out for “something better”, I’m simply honoring his comfort level of no commitment, and while my inevitable absence may feel like a blow to him, its simply more important to me to honor and protect my needs as much as he is his own. I’ve given it 18 months of a committed relationship, with a 2-month “no contact” period where is did a ton of self-work, then reconnected on mutual friendship terms. Ironically we’re more committed as friends than we were with the label, but he has verbalized that he does “not want to be accountable to anyone but himself” due to financial pressures and career stress (which will ALWAYS be there, if you ask me, thats LIFE!), so i HAVE to retract my natural “girlfriend” habits or loyalty and accountability or I AM the one responsible for making it nice and cozy to be emotionally distant and unaccountable, and I can’t live with that responsibility. I am 43/kids, he’s 40/no kids. We’re marriage-worthy in 99 ways, but not being able to compromise in little ways for me is the straw that breaks the camel’s back for me. And I’ll bet if Kris came back with another update, we’d see that in hindsight, she was likely happy with her decision to move on. I want to finish by saying that women place too much importance on a man labeling/claiming them, and not enough importance on labeling/claiming themselves as the most important person! This entire thread comes down to self-worth and the value that we place on ourselves, TODAY. -7/24/14

  29. 89
    Esther

    Just leave him. I went out with a guy like this, and it was not worth my time. Despite the fact that his relatives and friends married and had kids already. He kept saying we weren’t FWB nor were we BF-GF. The only thing I regret is not leaving sooner.

  30. 90
    A.

    This was/is something that has bothered me in my most recent relationship. I just ended it after 7 months. I got so confused by the actions being present and seemingly progressing. But then the words were “My life to too unstable right now. I’m emotionally unavailable until I get it sorted.”  This can be confusing because we are told that actions speak louder. He was very actions based… in all things. So I read the actions, but I still felt like something was missing and this made me wonder if I just wanted to much or wasn’t appreciating what I had or something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Finally it struck me… Sometimes actions don’t speak louder. Actions need to MATCH words.  I’m pretty sure he was just as confused and ambivalent as I was. The timing was just way too off… but we were both trying to hold out to see if that would change. It didn’t. 

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