Will Improving Myself Make My Boyfriend More Attracted to Me?

I followed all your advice, went online and found a guy who I have a great compatibility with a decent attraction/chemistry with that grew over time. Fast forward two years, we live together and our families are eager for us to get married. This should be a thank you email for solving my problems. 

BUT about six months ago, my guy started voicing concerns and doubts and started pulling away. I’m 34 and he’s two years younger. Given how serious we are, I dismissed everything as run of the mill cold feet and expected he would eventually get with the program.

Recently, he told me that he’s lost his attraction to me and he feels he can’t give me what I want or make me happy. He has asked for some time to think things through and said he’s grown increasingly convinced that, despite how much he loves me, he doesn’t see the relationship working out. He’s renting a room nearby and starting therapy and trying to sort through his feelings.

My question to you is, what do I do in all this? Part of me feels for him and wants to be supportive and patient. I have taken this opportunity to improve myself by starting therapy and hiring a personal trainer. I want to feel my best for this relationship and if it tanks I figure it’s still good for me to better myself. But am I being duped here? Is it stronger/smarter for me to walk away? I thought the way things were going we would be getting engaged by now and my whole world has flipped around. I’m curious from a guy’s perspective if me giving him space is perceived as weakness or strength. Is it more endearing to him to show my strength by being patient or by moving on without him?

His family is counseling him to work on things and wants our relationship to work. I’m starting to fear he’s just been ‘along for the ride’ so to speak but has been having doubts some time.

I feel a bit lost and unsure how to proceed.  Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Layla

Dear Layla,

I’ve seen this story before. Perhaps, if I share it, you can avoid a similar path.

A guy friend dated a woman and they were the best of friends. Objectively, they were an amazing couple and everyone thought they should be married.

Except for my friend.

He struggled with attraction from the beginning, and even though he and his girlfriend had a decent sex life, he didn’t feel what he thought he should feel.

Given his strong aversion to building more intimacy and a future, I told his girlfriend to break up with him after two years. When she didn’t listen to me, I told him to break up with her, so she could be free to find a partner who was more into her.

Neither heeded my well-intentioned – if awkward – advice.

She was in love and wasn’t going to let go without a fight. He may have wrestled internally with whether he could have a happy marriage with limited attraction but outwardly, he was content with the relationship.

So, they moved in together. They got a dog. They were inching closer to marriage, except he still maintained that he couldn’t see himself marrying her.

She got fit. Went to therapy. Took up his hobbies. Read books about relationships. She did everything she could to win over her boyfriend. But the truth is: you shouldn’t HAVE to win over your boyfriend. He should WANT to marry you by his own volition, without you jumping through hoops to prove your worthiness or convince him you’re “better.”

The truth is: you shouldn’t HAVE to win over your boyfriend.

Finally, after they took a “break” for him to try to see if he missed her, they broke up – after five years together during which both could have been looking for a better fit.

To her credit, she moved on quickly and found another man who married her after two years, turning her sad story into an incredibly happy one.

Listen, as you’ve already mentioned: therapy is good. A personal trainer is healthy. But motivation matters. Are you doing this for you? Or are you doing this for HIM? It sounds to me like it’s the latter, which means you’re giving him unnecessary power over you.

Instead of trying to posture and influence his opinion (Does he perceive me as weak? Is my behavior endearing?), let go of worrying about what he wants and focus on what YOU want.

Remember, YOU’RE the CEO and he’s the intern applying for the job with you.

Right now, it seems the intern is highly ambivalent about taking a long-term position with your company. That’s okay. You don’t have to panic. You don’t have to take it personally. In fact, you don’t have to do anything except what you want to do.

Since you can’t make your boyfriend be attracted to you, fall in love with you or want to marry you, what you can do is figure out what works best for you.

Take your power back and realize that any man who is working this hard to NOT marry you is probably not a man YOU want to marry either.

You are a strong woman if you patiently wait for him to figure things out.

You are a strong woman if you cut him loose because you want a man who is all-in.

I just want you to know that this is your choice, not his.

Take your power back and realize that any man who is working this hard to NOT marry you is probably not a man YOU want to marry either.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Jeremy

    I agree with Evan.  If after several years together he needs you to get a personal trainer to maintain attraction and still want to be with you, what do you think will happen as you both inevitably age?  He should love you by now, and if he is telling you he doesn’t see things working out, listen to him.
    But one further bit of advice.  You wrote, “will he perceive my giving him space as weakness or strength.”  This is very female-type thinking.  For women, as I’ve written before, attraction is based (at least in part) on respect.  If a woman loses respect for a man, she will lose attraction.  So it behooves a man to wonder if his behavior demonstrates strength or weakness, because too much weakness will kill attraction.  Not so for men, usually.  If he loses attraction to you, it will have nothing to do with him perceiving you as weak, and if he maintains attraction to you it won’t be because he respects your strength.  He either is or isn’t attracted to you.  He either wants to be with you or doesn’t.  Your demonstrating strength will not change his mind, nor will a demonstration of weakness.  IMHO.

    1. 1.1
      Emily, the original

      Hi Jeremy,

       If a woman loses respect for a man, she will lose attraction.

      This is very true. So what makes a man lose attraction? I don’t mean something physical like she gains a bunch of weight.

      1. 1.1.1
        Jeremy

        Often times it is the loss of the sexual goal – if the goal was novelty, she is no longer novel.  If the goal was validation for a particular quality (attractiveness, intelligence, etc) attraction can be lost when the perception of that quality is reduced, either by actual change or hedonic adaptation.

         

        Other times, loss of attraction happens as a result of behavior – she becomes annoying to him for one reason or another – needy, nagging, complaining, etc.  Other times attraction is lost because a quality that was assumed is proven absent.

         

        I guess there are many potential reasons why a man would lose attraction to a woman, but it likely isn’t because he thinks she is a doormat.  That’s a female thing.

        1. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Often times it is the loss of the sexual goal – if the goal was novelty, she is no longer novel. 

          The problem with sexual goals is very few people know what their motivations are. What does a woman do? Meet a man and ask, “What is your sexual goal? Because if it’s novelty, while I consider myself highly inventive, I am only one person and I only have so many tricks up my sleeve, so I need to know before we proceed. Thank you.”

        2. Sylvana

          Emily,

          “highly inventive” – omg, I love you girl…L O L

        3. Emily, the original

          Sylvana,

          “highly inventive” 

          What I lack in skill I make up for in creativity.  🙂

  2. 2
    Jenny

    I agree with Evan and Jeremy’s comment. Attraction is so subjective and sometimes non-PC that it’s impossible to “make” someone feel attracted to you. It has to come from them authentically.

    I wish the OP the best of luck moving on – she deserves a man who tries as hard as she is in striving to be her best self. Relationship is a two way street, it doesn’t work if only ONE party wants it to work.

  3. 3
    Nina

    He is cheating. Cheating men move out. I have seen it a million times. you are currently his plan B.  That is your cue to move on.

    1. 3.1
      Theodora

      I don’t know, in my experience, cheaters are rarely, if ever, as honest as admitting “I think I’ve lost my attraction to you” or “I don’t see this relationship working”. Usually people who cheat are masters at telling lies or what the other person wants to hear with a straight face. Also, they are usually cowards who avoid confrontations or uncomfortable situations and for what is worth, this guy admitting his reluctance to go on with a marriage that everybody around wants, including his own family, is not exactly a coward, IMO, on the contrary.

      My guess is that he was not very enthusiastic about this relationship or the idea of marriage in general since the beginning and when he felt the wedding day approaching, his doubts became too overwhelming to be ignored.

      1. 3.1.1
        Nina

        I disagree. “I love you, but I am not in love with you” is a common cheater line. Many people don’t set out to cheat, but when they do, they are genuinely confused (or think they are). This attraction thing seems like a good way to justify his behavior. Maybe he loved his girlfriend, and always thought, “well, she isn’t the prettiest girl, but she is x,y, and z. Then when he meets someone else, he starts comparing…and the attraction thing becomes this big deal because it is a justification to go elsewhere.

        When my ex-husband cheated, it was much the same way. It wasn’t attractiveness, but it was stuff that had a grain of truth to it.  I was more attentive to the baby, etc. When comparing that to the woman that was single, 12 years younger than him (I was only 5 years younger) and could spend all her free time going ton dates, well, that became the biggest thing. I wasn’t attentive enough. Yep, grain of truth. He moved out to “think” or whatever (atop that girl apparently).

        I tried that whole self-improvement thing too, in an attempt to be a sexy, available super-wife. I finally realized that he sucked and that he could “think” on his own time and dime. And gone I went.

        I have talked to many victims of infidelity and the stories are all the same. Justification of perceived flaw…move out…etc…

        I have moved on and up in the world…great relationship with a great man now… =)

        1. Theodora

          I think “I love you, but I am not in love with you” is established as the classic line of the people who are not that into you and convinced that something better (from their perspective) might come along.

          The classic lines of cheaters would be “No, honey, nothing wrong with us, I’ve just been very busy at work lately” or “I’m going to a business trip next week, I’ll be in meetings all day long, I’ll call you when I have time”.

          Other tactics include denying the obvious (“Who, Annie? I didn’t even notice her!”,  when it’s obvious for everybody he was looking at her all evening) or trying to make things relative and insignificant in a ridiculous way (Bill Clinton: “It depends what the definition of is is”).

          Yes, sometimes people who are not that into their partner might find somebody whom they consider more suitable along the way. But this is the effect, not the cause of their action (their ambivalence about their partner since the very beginning), IMO.

      2. 3.1.2
        Bee

        Theodora have you never heard expression” I love you but I am not in love with you”?

        Its pretty much the same as “I think you are a great person but I am no longer attracted to you.

        It is also a very common cheaters’ statement.

        so common that when I googled  it ( after hearing it from my ex husband) it was the most common answer on yahoo.

        He is cheating.

        1. Theodora

          I googled myself the expression because even though I’ve heard it in many sitcoms, movies and TV shows, English is not my first language. The most common explanation is something like “a person who says… says that he cares about you, but is not excited about you”.

          So, it seems I understood it correctly: it’s the classic line of the people who are not that into you and who wait for somebody more exciting, not of cheaters. The two categories don’t necessarily overlap.

          Anyway, I stand by my opinion that this guy doesn’t have the profile of a cheater, just that of a person who is not that into her. He cares about her, but he believes that he might miss something more exciting – a person or the future stage of his life.

  4. 4
    Tom10

    Over the Christmas holidays I met several old friends and class-mates from high-school one night and was struck how the interpersonal dynamics that were established then haven’t changed now, even though most have changed somewhat in the meantime.

    So despite all my self-improvement and everything I’ve achieved over the last 15 years their perception of me hadn’t changed one bit. Once a dork, always a dork. Once a jock, always a jock.

    So I have a theory now that when we meet someone for the first time we instinctively establish an interpersonal relationship/power balance and once this is set it’s almost impossible to change this perception. For the rest of time.

     Therefore, if someone isn’t really attracted to you from the get-go you’re better off moving on asap as they’ll never really be attracted to you.

    @ Layla (the OP)
    “Will Improving Myself Make My Boyfriend More Attracted to Me?”

    No.

    I agree with Theodora: he’s just not that into you. Or just not that into relationships. Either way; same difference. Move On.

    1. 4.1
      Emily, the original

      Tom10,
      Over the Christmas holidays I met several old friends and class-mates from high-school one night and was struck how the interpersonal dynamics that were established then haven’t changed now, even though most have changed somewhat in the meantime.
      So despite all my self-improvement and everything I’ve achieved over the last 15 years their perception of me hadn’t changed one bit. Once a dork, always a dork. Once a jock, always a jock.
      I stay away from those types of reunions. Not only will old high school acquaintances not see me as changed, but I don’t want to be reminded of who I was at 16. That person doesn’t exist anymore. That was 30 Emilys ago. I once saw a greeting card that had a picture of a kitty on it. He was looking in the mirror and the reflection was a lion. The card read: It only matters how you see yourself.

      1. 4.1.1
        Tom10

        @ Emily, the original #4.1
        “I stay away from those types of reunions. Not only will old high school acquaintances not see me as changed, but I don’t want to be reminded of who I was at 16. That person doesn’t exist anymore.”
         
         
        Ditto. And for the same reasons. As it happened, the reunion was incidental rather than intentional; that’s what happens when you go back to your hometown at Christmas.
         
         
        “I once saw a greeting card that had a picture of a kitty on it. He was looking in the mirror and the reflection was a lion. The card read: It only matters how you see yourself.”
         
         
        Lol.
         
         
        Is it healthier to have an honest, objective assessment of yourself in-line with how others see you, no matter how painful the results, or is it healthier to live in your own bubble with a distorted deluded picture?
         
         
        I’ve often wondered why humans have evolved cognitive disorders and mental illnesses like schizophrenia, paranoia, anxiety etc. What’s their purpose exactly? Maybe the original purpose of paranoia was to act as an internal mirror to our consciousness; constantly checking whether our perceived reality is in-line with our actual reality? And some peoples’ mirrors are just a bit of whack.
         
         
        So I think, on balance, it depends on whether the individual is living the life they desire and obtaining the results they wish: if their deluded viewpoint is working for them then it’s better to stay in the bubble; if, however, they’re not achieving what they wish then painful self-analysis might be in order.
          

        I, of course, see a big beautiful lion in the mirror every morning Emily. 😉

        1. Mrs Happy

          Dear Tom,

          apropos of your lovely lion:

          when I was at university I worked casually in a big department store.  We staff learned in training the store had mirrors facing customers as customers rode escalators, because women (who made over 80% of purchases in the store) invariably looked in the mirrors, thought “I don’t look so good”, and went and bought some makeup or clothes or something.  I was fascinated to learn this because every single time I’d noticed my adult self in one of those mirrors I had thought “man do I look gooood”.

        2. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          So I think, on balance, it depends on whether the individual is living the life they desire and obtaining the results they wish: 

          If by “results they wish” you mean landing 9s and 10s … as you know, Mr. Thomas, I shan’t go down that road with you. 🙂 In my case, I was extremely shy in high school and though I had friends, I certainly wasn’t popular. I have nothing against the people I went to school with, but it’s not a time I wish to revisit.

          But I’ve worked on that shyness (most people are surprised when I tell them I am shy person, although it’s much better than what it was). I also spent too much time worrying about what other people thought of me. Or thought I had to explain myself to people. Thank goodness I got over that.

          So, yes, a healthy appraisal of what you are and what you’re not is good, but you do have the right to die and live again …

        3. Tom10

          @ Mrs Happy
          “every single time I’d noticed my adult self in one of those mirrors I had thought “man do I look gooood”.
           
           
          Lol. I know that feeling. But then Ms. Samantha Brick pops into my head to say hello (remember her); and I wonder how is one to ever to know our truth, as all mirrors (both literal and metaphorical) have an inherent bias and will naturally reply; “thou, O Tom10, art the fairest in the land”.

          I suppose the website hotornot.com might be one way of assessing the truth.

          Ultimately, I guess, the proof of the pudding is in the eating:  we are who we date. So the most truthful mirror is simply to assess those who wish to date us.

          @ Emily, the original
          “If by “results they wish” you mean landing 9s and 10s … as you know, Mr. Thomas, I shan’t go down that road with you”
           
           
          Lol. Every time, Emily. 😉
           
           
          “In my case, I was extremely shy in high school and though I had friends, I certainly wasn’t popular. I have nothing against the people I went to school with, but it’s not a time I wish to revisit.”
           
           
          Ditto again!
           
           
          “So, yes, a healthy appraisal of what you are and what you’re not is good, but you do have the right to die and live again …”
           
           
          I suppose the moral from this thread is that we get the right to die and live again…but only with new people.
           
           
          Therefore, Layla, the op (segue: d’you know, I’ve been commenting and writing here for years and only learned the other day what “op” actually means, lol) should improve herself to make herself more attractive; but to other men. The time with the current guy has passed. His perception has been formed.

        4. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          Ultimately, I guess, the proof of the pudding is in the eating:  we are who we date. So the most truthful mirror is simply to assess those who wish to date us.

          Yes. Why do so many people not get that?

          I suppose the moral from this thread is that we get the right to die and live again…but only with new people. Yes, always new people. You nay even have to ditch your parents. They knew you since you were born!  🙂  But, seriously, is there nothing more annoying than a cousin who will remind you of all the dumb things you said at 9 years of age? SHUT the hell up!  The OP should improve herself to make herself more attractive; but to other men. The time with the current guy has passed. His perception has been formed.

          Yes, true, but let’s be honest. Most of the “attraction” perception was formed very early. Like maybe within seconds of meeting her for the boyfriend. It’s either there or it’s not for most men, right? Or at least you know when it’s a strong attraction.

        5. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Why do so many people not get that?”
           
           
          Faulty mirrors Emily; not ours of course: everyone else’s 😉
           
           
          “Most of the “attraction” perception was formed very early. Like maybe within seconds of meeting her for the boyfriend. It’s either there or it’s not for most men, right?”
           
           
          Right. Which is why there is universal agreement on this thread that Layla is unwise to spend a minute longer with this guy.
           
           
          Now, if I was to be a little bit nefarious I would question why a few female commenters here took so long to learn that the only way to deal with ambivalent men is to cut them off. Early 30s is like, 15 years? I learned in less than 1 that the only way to deal with ambivalent women is to cut them off.
            
           
          But this perspective is probably unfair as both genders experience such different dating motivations, pressures and timelines. I.e. men “need” sex much earlier in life (teens/early 20s) than women “need” commitment (early to mid 30s). And needs must.

        6. Emily, the original

          Tom10,  Now, if I was to be a little bit nefarious I would question why a few female commenters here took so long to learn that the only way to deal with ambivalent men is to cut them off. 

          Because you want the person, that’s why. When behavior doesn’t make sense, it’s probably because emotion is involved.

          What I don’t understand is staying in a relationship for 2 years that you’re on the fence about. I could see hooking up for a bit if it had been forever and the other person was doing all the work. But even then … who wants access to a lot of mediocre sex? (Maybe the sex the OP was having wasn’t mediocre. I’m saying it would be for me if I was on the fence about the person.) You ever do that, Mr. Thomas? You got your outfit on and you’re all ready to go, but then the doorbell rings and … your heart sinks. men “need” sex much earlier in life (teens/early 20s) than women “need” commitment (early to mid 30s). And needs must.

          You don’t “need” it. As my friend in my 20s used to say, “I’m the best f*** I ever had!”

        7. Tom10

          @ Emily, the original
          “Because you want the person, that’s why”

          Well yes; I figured.
           
          When behavior doesn’t make sense, it’s probably because emotion is involved

          Emotion. Instinct. Conflicting meta-goals. Societal pressure. Peer pressure. Yep. Lots of reasons. Maybe that’s what takes all the time to resolve?
           
          “What I don’t understand is staying in a relationship for 2 years that you’re on the fence about.”

          I think Mr. Jeremy would probably be able to give a better answer to this than I. He mentioned something in a recent comment about some women being “guardian” types; and for these women their position as a pillar in society is their primary objective, rather being “in love” per se.
           
          Other people are serial-monogamists: you know those people who are literally always in a relationship. The minute one ends they’re immediately onto the next. For those people the goal is simply to be in the relationship. I’m sure they’re on the fence quite a lot but that suits them.
           
          For some people it seems that there are things more important than love or chemistry with regards to relationships and marriage. I know, crazy right?
           
          “But even then … who wants access to a lot of mediocre sex?”

          Lol. I don’t think that’s the way they see it; rather that mediocre sex is the price they pay for the other *tangible benefits* (no-strings for men; commitment/resources for women).
           
          Although, actually, for others (like your buddy Mr. Magoo perhaps?) a lot of mediocre sex is still a lot better than…a lot of no sex.
           
          I guess, ultimately, it comes down to your priorities: which is more important Emily; the person, or your goal? No, you can’t have both (just kiddin’; hopefully we get both).
           
          You ever do that, Mr. Thomas? You got your outfit on and you’re all ready to go, but then the doorbell rings and … your heart sinks.

          I don’t think this has ever happened to me dear Ms. Emily; as I only date 8s, 9s and 10s as you know! Mwah hahahaha 🙂 😉
           
          “You don’t “need” it. As my friend in my 20s used to say, “I’m the best f*** I ever had!”

          I disagree Emily; have you ever read about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
           
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
           
          The very first level of needs is the physiological: “If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. Physiological needs include: water, food, sleep, clothes, shelter and…sexual instinct”

          Sex is one of the most important human needs: it can literally be a matter of life and death.

        8. Jeremy

          Actually, Tom, I don’t think I could have given a better answer than you did.  You covered it all, with a very thorough understanding IMHO.  It warms my heart (and gives me loads of validation!) to see others assimilating understanding of meta-goals and personality types when sussing out motivations.

        9. Emily, the original

          Tom10,

          Emotion. Instinct. Conflicting meta-goals. Societal pressure. Peer pressure. Yep. Lots of reasons. Maybe that’s what takes all the time to resolve?

          I don’t worry about peer pressure. I was talking about a guy a woman is really attracted to but knows the situation is going nowhere slow. If the sex is good — I mean top 5% good — it’s hard to walk away from.

          Sex is one of the most important human needs: it can literally be a matter of life and death.

          Bullshit. If that as true, I’d be dead many times over. What about men or women who lose their spouses and chose not to look for anyone else?

          Although, actually, for others (like your buddy Mr. Magoo perhaps?) a lot of mediocre sex is still a lot better than…a lot of no sex.

          I’m trying to remember who I was referring to by Mr. Magoo. For some people, the seduction can be a lot sexier than the sex itself.

          Here is a link to a very well-written story about a young woman and her evening of bad sex. It really captures the ambivalence a woman may feel about a possible sexual opportunity. I thought of you when I read it because of the aziz ansari article. (I’m not implying that this in any way describes the majority of a woman’s sexual experiences. I just saw several news programs where a couple of female journalists were being interviewed about the ansari article, and every one of them started with, “We’ve all had a bad hookup.”)

          https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/11/cat-person

        10. Jeremy

          Oy, that article Emily.  Started my day with a hefty dose of anger and frustration.  It should be titled, “Tales of an emotional infant who seems to need to make her own mistakes to learn lessons that she should have known with a small modicum of common sense.”  Probably too long of a title to be clickbait, though.  I mean, seriously:

          – Don’t have sex with random dudes you don’t know or it might end up like this (or worse)

          – Don’t text and communicate too much before you actually go out on some dates, otherwise you establish intimacy where none should or does exist

          – Communicate clearly because other people can’t read your mind

          – Sexuality can not be totally narcissistic.  If the only reason you are with someone is because of how beautiful you believe that person sees you, your relationship is all in your head

          – Stop having pretend conversations with imaginary boyfriends who just parrot back what you want to hear.  It sets up unreasonable expectations of what a real relationship is

          – When you are no longer interested, break up clearly, especially if the person keeps contacting you to request clarity

          And FFS, act like an adult.

          Of course, I could write about the guy in the story too – don’t date emotional children, be clear with your desires, accept break-up gracefully, express emotion appropriately to the appropriate people, etc. But because the story is told from her perspective, I’m uncertain of what she wants the moral to be.

        11. Chance

          Hi Emily,

          “Bullshit. If that as true, I’d be dead many times over. What about men or women who lose their spouses and chose not to look for anyone else?”

          Sexual deprivation appears to affect men and women quite differently.  I actually believe that one of the primary causes of situational depression and suicide for men is a lack of sexual intimacy (if not the primary cause when you consider what is at the root of the other common reasons that men become depressed and/or suicidal).  It seems to have a more pronounced psychological effect on men than it does on women.

          Hi Jeremy,

          Careful now, you might be accused of blaming the victim:).  Btw, I enjoyed Thinking: Fast and Slow.

        12. Yet Another Guy

          @Tom10

          Sex is one of the most important human needs: it can literally be a matter of life and death.

          I have to call BS on this one.  Sex is a want, not a need.  No one is going to die without it.  I went a decade without sex, and I am still very much alive.  Heck, I could probably go the rest of my life without it.

          To be completely honest, I was astonished to discover how many women my age have lived very vanilla sex lives, even though most were married for years.  It is like they have N x 1 year of sexual experience, where N is the number of years that they were married.  I wonder if most married people do the same darn thing every time they get naked.  Are most husbands that boring in bed?  Or is it that women who have good sex lives remain married?

        13. Evan Marc Katz

          On behalf of vanilla couples, YAG, if you do things that are enjoyable and are committed to pleasing each other, you really don’t need to mix it up much. If you like a good steak, you can eat it once a week for pleasure without asking for the chef to poach it or put ice cream on it, you know? If I wasn’t married, I’d take delight in the variety in the sexual “whom,” but I don’t need much more than 5 positions and oral sex to enjoy my sexual “what.” I’m a bit surprised that people need to bring in props and foods and costumes to make the act of sex enjoyable, but to each his own.

        14. Jeremy

          Hi Chance.  I think that “touch” is a basic human need.  Without some form of physical contact, most humans don’t do well.  And given that after puberty, sex is really the only form of physical contact that most men have – we don’t hug each other, we don’t often have the opportunity to hug children, we crave sex more than women and so other forms of touch seem to us to be foreplay – we don’t do well without sex.  An adult male can go on without it, but not usually without psychological scarring (right YAG?).  I agree that this seems to affect men and women differently, but I think that is in part due to women’s greater options for other forms of touch, and lesser focus on those forms of touch as foreplay rather than having value in and of themselves.
          Glad you liked Thinking Fast and Slow.  I found it life-changing, so I read the bibliography.  We humans are not at all rational creatures, are we?

        15. Yet Another Guy

          @Jeremy

          An adult male can go on without it, but not usually without psychological scarring (right YAG?).

          That is BS.  Men do not need sex.  Like women, men need intimacy/affection; however, most inexperienced men confuse sex with intimacy/affection.  I went without sex for a couple of years before I married, and I did not miss it.  If a man has only been with a few women, then every experience was/is special; however, sex loses its luster after a man conquers more than his fare share of women by a large margin.  Sex, by itself, is no better than taking care of one’s own sexual needs, and taking care of one’s own sexual needs is a heck of a lot safer, not to mention more expedient.  What I missed during the dry period before I married and the dry period during my marriage was affection coupled with the feeling of being desired.

          If sex is a basic male need, then how do you explain men who live happy lives who have been celibate for years for one reason or another?  I can assure you that sexual desire starts to wane for many men after age 50 just as it does for many women. The refractory period extends, firmness and sensitivity decline, and delayed ejaculation is common.  All of these changes are  normal parts of aging.  I know quite a few age 50+ men who have close to no desire to have sex, and I am talking about healthy men, most of whom are married.

        16. Chance

          Jeremy – “Glad you liked Thinking Fast and Slow.  I found it life-changing, so I read the bibliography.  We humans are not at all rational creatures, are we?”

           

          Quite true.  But, it’s amazing how our conscious selves feel like we are, indeed, rational.  That goes for situations where our biases are influencing our conscious beliefs that we believe are rationally supported, but also how we tend to find a way to “make sense” of things we don’t actually understand (if you’ve never read The Black Swan, I’d recommend it as it touches on this).

           

          I’m not intimately familiar with the most common news outlets in Canada, but in the states, our two most popular cable news outlets have found it to be very profitable to appeal to people’s confirmation biases, and they’re extremely good at it in that a solid percentage of the people who watch the outlet that confirms their worldview actually believe that the particular outlet is reasonably fair, while they believe that the other outlet is biased.   I even remember that as I moved from high school into college, and my political beliefs began to shift from one side to the other, it actually coincided with my changing opinion on which outlet was biased and which one was fair.  After college, I began to become increasingly independent in my views, and this coincided with my understanding that both outlets are extremely biased (for the sake of profit).  Looking back, it’s improbable that these outlets became more or less biased at the exact points in time that my views began to change.  Obviously, the reality is that it was my biases that changed.

        17. Jeremy

          @Chance,   I did indeed read Black Swan.  And Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, the Bed Of Procrustes, and am looking forward to Taleb’s upcoming book.  He has a difficult writing style and seems to like the sound of his own voice (hmm, wonder what that’s like 🙂 ) But his views on randomness and on information are also life-changing.  In particular, I like the chapter on Umberto Echo’s library – a library full of books whose only purpose is to demonstrate how little we know by demonstrating how many books out there we haven’t read – rather than bragging about how many we have.  Because while we may have read 100 books on psychology and behavioral economics (to choose a random example), that is only the tip of the iceberg of what there is to know.  Humbling to think about.  Oh, and I agree with your comment here too 🙂

        18. Emily, the original

          Jeremy,

          Started my day with a hefty dose of anger and frustration.  It should be titled, “Tales of an emotional infant who seems to need to make her own mistakes to learn lessons that she should have known with a small modicum of common sense.”  Probably too long of a title to be clickbait, though.  I mean, seriously:

          You’re being overly harsh. The woman in the article is 20 years old. Of course she’s an emotional infant. I am guessing, but I bet most women have had a similar sexual experience. Thinking you want to do it, then getting down to it and being unsure, then taking off the minute it’s over, then hoping the guy won’t contact you again and you can erase the whole thing.

          – Sexuality can not be totally narcissistic.  If the only reason you are with someone is because of how beautiful you believe that person sees you, your relationship is all in your head

          Ah … most people are narcissistic. Having we touched on that topic on this site? The selfishness of daters. And apparently it wasn’t all in her head … the dude wanted a girlfriend.

           

        19. Emily, the original

          I have to call BS on this one.  Sex is a want, not a need.  

          I’m going to agree with YAG on this one. You don’t “need” it, and it’s people who feel they do that end up in a relationship like the OP’s, who are half-invested but couldn’t pass up the regular sex.

          Jeremy: Is that more selfish than having one date, hooking up and bailing?

        20. Tom10

          @ Jeremy
          I’ve been taking notes.

          Like seriously. 🙂

          @ Emily, the Original
          “I’m trying to remember who I was referring to by Mr. Magoo”

          Your buddy who has no standards at all and sleeps with lots of unattractive women; I’m sure he’d enjoy access to lots of mediocre sex?

          “Here is a link to a very well-written story about a young woman and her evening of bad sex”
           
          At that age sexual experiences are such a quagmire of emotions and misunderstandings aren’t they?!

          “You don’t “need” it [sex], and it’s people who feel they do that end up in a relationship like the OP’s”

          Well it seems there are differing views on this one, even amongst the professionals; particularly on whether it should be considered as a “need” of the population in general, or the individual in particular.

          I suppose it’s a matter of perspective and gradation; personally I think it’s such a profound physiological, psychological and evolutionary mechanism in the human psyche, both in general and in particular, that calling it a “need” is fair.

          Just because a particular individual can abstain for long periods of time doesn’t negate the very real latent drive and negative consequences of ignoring it. I mean; do we “need” sun-light? Do we “need” exercise? Humans can live for long periods without those too. But their health will be severely compromised as a result of doing so. In extreme cases, as Chance mentioned, I believe that sexual starvation can lead directly to clinical depression and death (Kurt Cobain wrote about this in his struggles as far as I remember).

          Indeed, I believe a significant proportion of the troubles faced by, and caused by, (young) men in society are wholly or partially attributable to their over-whelming sex-drives and inability to control/focus/manifest them appropriately. I’m sure NASA has done studies on quantifying the health variable directly attributable to fulfilling one’s sex drive.

          So dear Emily; I maintain that it is a “need” in order for one to be “healthy”. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one!

          One thing that seems clear from our comments is that is that our personal experiences are clouding our judgement so it’ll be difficult to find a middle ground on this one.

          @ Chance
          “I began to become increasingly independent in my views, and this coincided with my understanding that both outlets are extremely biased”

          That’s funny; I try to read global events from several sources (left and right wing American media, RT, Al Jazeera, BBC, SCMP etc. etc.) so as to try and establish the non-biased truth. It’s very difficult to establish the truth, however, as each organisation has an inherent bias and hidden agendas as you say.

          You mention that the American news outlets are biased for the sake of profit; whereas I think much global media bias is mainly for the sake of national pride and geo-political influence (in which it’s an extremely effective tool). This is particularly obvious when reading coverage on the Syrian Civil War from different sources. Every country is nearly as bad as each other; although I find that the British media organisations tend to be the most obviously biased.

        21. Emily, the original

          Mr. Thomas,Your buddy who keeps sleeping with lots of unattractive women; I’m sure he’d enjoy access to lots of mediocre sex?
          This is going to floor you, Mr. Thomas, but he told me he was having hot sex with unattractive women. Read that several times. Let it sink in. 🙂At that age sexual experiences are such a quagmire of emotions and misunderstandings aren’t they?!You don’t have to be young to have a bad hook up.
          Just because a particular individual can abstain for long periods of time doesn’t negate the very real latent drive and negative consequences of ignoring it.
          Practice what I call “booty hoarding.” When you meet someone you like, do it all the time, just in case the relationship implodes. Then your tank will  be filled for a bit and you wont have to make choices you don’t want.
          Indeed, I believe a significant proportion of the troubles faced by, and caused by, (young) men in society are wholly or partially attributable to their over-whelming sex-drives and inability to control/focus/manifest them appropriately. I had a professor in college who believed a lot of male-perpetrated violence was actually done by men whose religions forbade them from having sex.

        22. Jeremy

          @Tom, once again I totally agree with your comment here.  I should start taking notes too 🙂

          And regarding the biased news….I think that the more sources I look at, the more I realize that the only “truth” is that I can never know the whole picture, so I should be gentle with my opinions (but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have them – just that I should be willing to alter them).  Nassim Taleb (the author that Chance was mentioning) believes that time spent reading newspapers is time wasted, since it makes us more ignorant in the end.  Not sure I’d take it that far, though.  They do have good crosswords and sudoku, after all.

        23. S.

          Indeed, I believe a significant proportion of the troubles faced by, and caused by, (young) men in society are wholly or partially attributable to their over-whelming sex-drives and inability to control/focus/manifest them appropriately. I’m sure NASA has done studies on quantifying the health variable directly attributable to fulfilling one’s sex drive.

          In all societies or just Western society?  If it’s biological, this would be the case for men and boys everywhere.  I’m not saying it’s not. I don’t know which is why I’m asking.

          If society is a major factor, then we need to change some things in society rather than just accepting this.  When I read that some boys and men are clinically depressed mainly over not getting sex, I was truly shocked and saddened.

          I can accept that it’s both biology and society, but we can’t really change biology much so I think about what would could change.

  5. 5
    Michelle H.

    Thank you Evan for sharing the story about your friends.  Great post.

  6. 6
    Clare

    The whole way through reading this letter I was thinking, this is a guy who probably was only 60-70% into her from the very beginning. He probably got involved with her because 60-70% seemed good enough at the time. Then, once you’re in them, relationships develop a momentum  of their own. Time passes, you reach certain milestones as a couple – one year together, two years together, moving in together, getting to know each other’s friends and families, getting a dog, sharing bills, the list goes on. Your lives become intertwined, and even though the relationship has a momentum of its own, it also has an inertia. I reckon that the boyfriend was happy enough to keep cruising in the relationship the way it was, but not happy enough to take it to the next level. The classic “this is ok for now” scenario. We’ve all been there.

     

    I suspect that the guy knows deep down he can’t see himself marrying her, and that all the talk of marriage has probably caused some arguments between them. To be honest, I think him moving out and going to therapy is probably just him buying time. He’s not ready to break up, and he may be hoping that distance will give him the perspective he needs to know for sure and work up the guts to end it. I agree that it is never a good sign when one partner wants time apart. One poster said that he is probably cheating. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, but I do think that he is probably assessing his other relationship options during the time apart. He may be chatting to friends, women he’s lost touch with etc. I think he’ll probably do everything he can in the time apart to push him to a decision one way or another.

    1. 6.1
      Emily, the original

      Clare,

      The whole way through reading this letter I was thinking, this is a guy who probably was only 60-70% into her from the very beginning. He probably got involved with her because 60-70% seemed good enough at the time. 

      I thought the same thing. And maybe she was doing a lot of the emotional lifting and pushing the relationship along, so he went along with it.

      1. 6.1.1
        Clare

        Emily,

        I think she was almost certainly doing most of the emotional heavy lifting and pushing in the relationship, as evidenced by the fact that she is the type of woman who is willing to lose weight and get fit and go to therapy just because her boyfriend is having doubts.

        I just don’t understand this mindset on the part of women. Sure we could all stand to improve ourselves. I could tone my tummy a bit. I could also go to therapy to work on my daddy issues. But ultimately, I think we all want and need someone who accepts us for ourselves, who wants to be with us as we are now, because we will all be a work in progress until we die. Who would want the pressure of knowing that someone would only commit to you if you lost 15 pounds or solved all your issues?

        1. Nina

          This is true, but it is hard to see the forest for the trees when you are already in it. I call this the “pick me dance” when someone is cheating/treating you badly, etc. If “I just try hard enough…” because the only thing you can control is your own effort. It takes a while to see that he is not worth the effort.

        2. Emily, the original

          Clare,

           But ultimately, I think we all want and need someone who accepts us for ourselves, who wants to be with us as we are now, because we will all be a work in progress until we die. Who would want the pressure of knowing that someone would only commit to you if you lost 15 pounds or solved all your issues?

          I once rented a room from a woman whose boyfriend told her he would help pay off her mortgage (he was wealthy) if she lost 20 pounds. I thought: I’ll lose 20 pounds. Will he pay off my student loans?  🙂 She was excited about the offer. I thought it was icky. Talk about control issues on his part.

          I’ve never understood women who have dated men they’ve physically made over — new haircut, new clothes, etc. To me, you’re attracted to someone or you aren’t. Your interest in them shouldn’t be contingent on a physical “redo.”

        3. Clare

          Emily,

          “She was excited about the offer. I thought it was icky. Talk about control issues on his part.”

          Yeah. In this scenario, since he had a lot of money, helping her with her mortgage was probably nothing for him. I think it’s easy for people to overlook the fact that, for someone who has a lot of something, being generous with it is easy. For her on the other hand, I can only assume losing 20 pounds was pretty difficult, otherwise she would have done it already. So this is not an equal transaction in my eyes, and I would have been very wary of the kind of dynamic it sets up. He’s also essentially saying to her “I can see you need help with your mortgage. But rather than giving you that help because I love you, I’m going to set up a quid pro quo so that I get something I want in return.”

          I don’t like this at all. Either ask her to pay the money back when she is able, or have a separate conversation about her weight (which again, is extremely dodgy ground to be walking on in a relationship). Mixing the two up is terribly controlling, I agree.

        4. Clare

          Nina,

          Yeah. It’s so funny because there’s another Facebook group that I’m on that’s for women, and one of the women posted a question on the group yesterday asking if we thought her friends-with-benefits guy might consider committing to her if she lost 50 pounds, because she is a bit overweight.

          I said I was fairly certain the answer was no.

          She countered with, well, if he had been 50 pounds overweight when she met him, she wouldn’t have even given him a second look, so why wouldn’t her losing weight also change her chances. And I said that while losing weight might, and only might, increase his physical attraction to her, it would not make a non-committal man commit. As I think most of us who have had casual sex at some point know, physical attraction and emotional commitment sit in very different parts of the brain for men.

        5. Emily, the original

          Clare,

          Taking the money issue off the table, I would have said, “This the package. This was the package when you met it. If you don’t like it, then you need to go.”

          How would you feel about undressing and having sex with someone who made it clear that the package needed work? Talk about a “sexytime” killer! (They had only been dating a few months, so, no, she didn’t all of a sudden gain weight.)

    2. 6.2
      Nissa

      More spot-on observations from Clare!  Do some women do this also? I think so, but I also think that those women tend to try to “improve” the man so that he moves from her 60-70% to more – and the guy gets annoyed and ghosts her. But I’d guess that access to regular sex gives men more of a motive to settle for someone while they secretly look for someone better. Especially if they are living together and she is paying half of the bills, cooking and cleaning, etc. For a woman, if she is already doing all of that, if she dumps the guy, she may feel she is losing less (only has to clean for herself, cook & clean less).

       

      1. 6.2.1
        Yet Another Guy

        @Nissa

        But I’d guess that access to regular sex gives men more of a motive to settle for someone while they secretly look for someone better.

        I am currently wrestling with this dilemma.  It is not a good place for a man to be.

      2. 6.2.2
        Clare

        Nissa,

        Thanks 🙂

        I think both genders do this. I also think the desire to try and tweak or change the man so that he is higher than her 60-70% is also more of a female tendency. I’ve caught myself doing this. Most of the time, I think this really doesn’t work. One of two things happen: the man almost certainly picks up that the woman is trying to change him, and, as you rightly said, gets fed up and walks. Or, no matter how hard the man tries to please her, the woman realises that he is simply never going to be what she wants, and she ends it. I don’t think it happens so much in reverse (where the man is trying to change her).

        I do think many, many people get into relationships which are only 60-70% for them and stay in them long past their sell-by date. I think this is widespread and both men and women do it. I think as you pointed out, the motives for doing it vary. Even if a woman is cooking and cleaning for both of them and may lose less in that way if they break up, she may enjoy the social status of being coupled up, having a home and a partner etc. She may enjoy the nesting part of it. For the man, as you said, the sex may be good and that alone gives him enough reason not to break up. For both, the reasons may be financial. I also think pressure from family and friends (like in the OP’s case) play a BIG part. It’s also really difficult to leave someone you love and care for deeply, who has not done anything wrong, but whom you are not in love with.

        I think it’s really unfortunate that people let it get to the two, three, four year mark and beyond, knowing they feel this way. How much better the world would be if everyone behaved like Evan when he was dating – the moment he knew he wasn’t going to marry the girl, he’d break up with her. Hard, but fair. And much less pain in the long run.

        1. Lucy

          Clare,

          Your post is spot-on, except I believe that men try to change women as much as women try to change men. It’s sexist to believe otherwise.  My former boyfriend often suggested that I change my hair style and then he complained that I laughed too loudly in movies. He was definitely trying to remold me into the image of his perfect woman, and was trying to get more than his 70% because there were things about me he really loved.

          I agree with you that it’s unfortunate that people stay way longer in relationships than they should. After the one year mark, I believe both parties should know where the relationship is going and be able to talk about it freely. Personally, I’ve never believed in living together until you’re engaged, but then I’m older. It may work for some.

          I’ve dumped my former boyfriend, but he still calls, and I ignore him. Sad.

        2. Clare

          Lucy,

          You know, you may be right. I have just ended a very short relationship with a man who didn’t really like or understand my tendency towards introversion. I’d calmly explain to him things like, I don’t feel like staying more than about 2 or 3 hours at that New Years Eve party. And instead of saying, “Ok, that’s cool, but I think I’m going to stay a bit longer, we’ll go in separate cars” or thinking to himself, “I really need a woman who loves NYE and  will want to stay and party with me,” he tried to lecture and pressure me into wanting to go to the party just as much as he did. He made it clear that he thought I was weird for not enjoying NYE parties etc. etc.

          There were other related incidents like this. I spent as much time with him as I could (at least 3 times a week), but there were times I needed a bit of time to myself. Instead of trying to see if he could accept and live with that, or deciding that he couldn’t live with it and walking away, he tried to make me feel as if it was not normal.

          So yeah, I think both genders walk the line of sometimes trying to make an imperfect fit fit more closely by trying to “tweak” the other person.

    3. 6.3
      Stacy

      @Clare,

      Your post could not be  more true. Nailed it.

  7. 7
    Mrs Happy

    Dear OP,

    1. you wrote ‘Part of me feels for him and wants to be supportive and patient’ – I think you should throw that supportive desire down on the ground and stomp on it until it’s all gone. You have been supportive, and at 2.5 years in, including a defacto living together situation then a living apart separation (that’s what this is), you’ve been patient. Stop being so supportive, and stop being so patient.  Be unsupportive and impatient. State your desires clearly and make them about you, not him.

    2. Some men can’t seem to break up with women. They pull away (like he has) or treat the woman so badly that she (eventually) breaks up with them.  He might be doing this – for his own basket of psychological reasons, but who cares what these are, he is still doing it, to you. So break up with him.  Otherwise you could spend a week, a month, 6 months, going to therapy and “working on yourself” and personal training, and supporting, and not pressuring, and in 6 months or 9 months or hey maybe 12 months, you two will break up, unless you’re willing to accept the limbo of not moving the relationship forward.

    3. You are 34. If you want children, break up with him this second, stay with the personal trainer to be healthier and increase your relationship market value, and go find a man who wants marriage and children.  Do not give this ambivalent uncertain not-into-you-for-marriage man any more time,  however nice he has been and however great the relationship has been.  The relationship that may have been moving towards children is over.

    I harp on point 3 a lot on this blog and that’s because I almost didn’t have children in time to have my own bio kids because it wasn’t a priority until I was old-ish (late 30’s).  Other women in my industry did the same.  Their biggest regret in life is not having kids and instead dedicating themselves to their career during their fertile years, which have now passed. There is a finite window for you to have children and you’re nearing the end of it.

    When I was dating my now husband (9-10 y ago) an acquaintance couple of his were also dating, and the woman in the couple was, it was widely joked, waiting for a ring. Her boyfriend ummed and ahhed and wasn’t sure and took his time. She was supportive and patient.  Then more supportive and more patient.  Fast forward 8 years, I had a life with my husband + 2 kids, a full family life, a home, etc, and he finally gave her an engagement ring, … but isn’t ready to get married yet, business isn’t good, time not right, etc. We’re not acquaintances any more, but I hear she’s still waiting to marry and thus also waiting to have kids with him – time isn’t right for him yet. This woman must be 38-39-40 by now.  I think she’s idiotic for waiting. She has essentially given her fertile years for a no-show. There is patient and supportive, and there’s stupid.

    I am feminist, professional, happy, well travelled, well educated, socially busy, and wealthy.  I never thought or lived my life as though a husband was the answer to anything.  For most of my life until my 30’s I really didn’t want to get married and certainly didn’t want kids.  So I’m not saying marriage is a woman’s ultimate goal.  But for me, marriage and children has made what was already a wonderful life full of opportunity and good fortune, absolutely priceless. Do not miss out on this to be supportive and patient to someone ambivalent.

     

    1. 7.1
      Clare

      Mrs Happy,

      I love what you have to say!

      In my twenties and up until my early thirties, I would have been “patient and supportive” with a man, and I was. I spent five years with a guy up until I was 33 with a guy who was extremely ambivalent about marriage and children. I suppose, deep down, I must have been as well at that stage, otherwise I wouldn’t have stayed with him. I own that.

      But, when I left that relationship, something inside me snapped (maybe that’s not the right word, but I can’t think of a better one). I just became much clearer on my goals. I realized I do want children (with the right man), and see absolutely no point in wasting time with guys who do not want the same thing as me. It kind of means I’ve become more ruthless in dating, but I think that’s a good thing. Like you, I love my life as it is, and was raised never to wait around for a man, or anyone else, to come and save me or provide for me financially. I’m looking for a man who wants to share the wonderful life I already have. I love the way you put this!

    2. 7.2
      Nissa

      Mrs Happy –

      I second that motion! I would say, unless you are married (and even then) don’t give more to the other person than they give you, unless you are completely emotionally and mentally ready to accept that this is one sided and will always be. If you can do that, great! But most people, as Jeremy and Karl R have said above, are operating out of covert contracts that say “if I do this, you will owe me. I will keep this as a bargaining chip to get my own way later”.

      It’s not that we aren’t capable of doing this. I did it for my Dad when he was ill. There were a few times when I couldn’t come to the hospital, and he would just say “Do what you need to do”. That’s unconditional love, to say “I accept you as you are – I accept what you can offer and what you can’t”. Being willing to say “I will do this for you, but I won’t do it at the cost of my soul or own well being beyond what I can manage”, that’s self love.

      There were times when I gave to my Dad, knowing that he was already offering all he could offer. I was able to give in those times because I saw value in doing it for myself. I wanted to be a good daughter, to be a kind person, to offer help to someone who could not help himself. But those are selfish motives. I didn’t do it for money, or under duress, or to make my Dad happy (although it did as a side benefit). I learned a great deal about the line between honoring myself and doing things to make someone else happy, and that means that it had great value for me as well as my Dad.

      That’s the kind of giving that makes a marriage happy – not giving so that the other person will take care of us, but giving so that we can take care of ourselves.

    3. 7.3
      Justyna

      Mrs. Happy I needed to read THIS bad! 1, 2&3 right on!

    4. 7.4
      ScottH

      @ Mrs Happy- great comment.

    5. 7.5
      loubelle

      I agree about your friend being idiotic for waiting for him. She may well be past naturally conceiving at that age. He has wasted her child bearing years with empty promises. She was and is a fallback girl no matter how long together. some of these men if they break up with a long term partner they cant commit to then go straight into another relationship get married and have kids…its cruel and unfair. I know…because ive been there. i was idiotic waiting and acted like a martyr because i thought he will come round, hes been treated badly before etc etc, however i was lying to myself. i gave my all to him he gave minimal. i wasnt the girl for him after 5 years else he would have committed. he backtracked constantly. i was done with childrearing luckily i had a grown up child..i thank my lucky stars i didnt meet him when i was young and stayed with him for decades else i wouldnt have my daughter and grandchild. i did have a miscarriage in my 40s with him and no matter how cruel i am  glad it was a miscarriage id be a single parent by now, again.(dont judge me) however he couldnt commit, to me. he probably will someone else. i gave away things too easily for nothing (not the sex though i waited 6 month), he got the wife out of me whilst not committing to me. i made bad choices with men, i want to care for them look after them, nurse them, cook and clean for them, its one of my ways of showing love, what do we have to do to get a man to commit. it just boils down to hes not that into you, and hes waiting just incase something better comes along. i asked my boyfriend what would he advise a friend to do in my situation, no commitment after 5 years , backtracking and breaking promises, oc he didnt answer honestly because it would implicate him, he said thats subjective lol. no it isnt, if a man loves you he will step up to the plate before anyone else gets you. i wasnt that special to him neither is your friend, he is giving her breadcrumbs to keep her around.

  8. 8
    Elle

    He said:

    1. He’s lost his attraction to her.

    2. He feels he can’t give her what she wants or make her happy.

    3. He’s grown increasingly convinced that, despite how much he loves her, he doesn’t see the relationship working out.

    She asks: What do I do in all this?

    The answer is very simple.

    1. Believe him.

    2. Thank him for his honesty and the good times you had together.

    3. Let. Him. Go. Period, end of story. Break up with him and don’t look back.

    4. Be open and receptive to a new relationship with someone who IS attracted to you, CAN give you what you want and make you happy, and who SEES a relationship with you working out (for a lifetime).

    5. Write those three things down on a piece of paper as your new relationship goals. Don’t add to them with other specifications, qualities, etc. Keep it simple. Let it be. Just those three. Then have faith and trust that somehow, someway, you’ll be in the right place at the right time to meet your genuine Mr. Right.

    6. I guarantee you, within a year, you’ll be engaged or married to your genuine Mr. Right. Easily. Peacefully. Joyfully.

  9. 9
    Bee

    I have not had time to read the comments yet but in my opinion he has somebody else.

    Another woman, another man possibly but I can bet he is emotionally ( and physically) engaged elsewhere.

    Do not be surprised that after ending things with him, he will get involved with somebody else very very soon ( when in reality he has been with that person for a while).

    It is textbook cheating. Moving out to find yourself, having doubts about relationship and the future together, pulling away for no reason…

    My ex husband did the same….. this is why he is ex.

    And no, his affair did not last

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