Am I Foolish For Waiting For A Non-Committal Man To Commit?

So I’ve been dating this guy for about 6 months now (I’m 26 and he’s 28). We go out about once a week. We have a lot of fun together and definitely seem to click. Sometimes I feel like he’s letting me in – like when he introduced me to his mom when she was in town. Other times he shuts me out – no contact for a day or two cause he’s busy with work, or he’ll tell me about parties he goes to but rarely invites me along. He admits to compartmentalizing his life.

Since I know how much he values his independence and tends to shy away from change, I hadn’t brought up the “state of affairs” talk in the past…hoping things would evolve naturally on their own. I also know he likes to move slowly but I guess I hit my limit this weekend and told him how I’ve been feeling. I said I would like to get closer and know where he sees this going. He told me that he’s not emotionally in a place in his life for a serious relationship (due to ex baggage, etc), but he really cares for me and would like to keep seeing me. He admitted that he didn’t know where he’d be in the future, but right now, this is all he has to give. He said he knows I deserve to have what I want and that I had a right to walk away but he doesn’t want me to.

I really do care about him and he’s the first guy in a long time I can see myself with…if he actually let me in, that is. I don’t want to lose him but I’m not sure that I can be satisfied having a superficial relationship with him. I don’t have to be his girlfriend right now but I at least want to know that we’re progressing and the possibility is there rather than just heading blindly for a dead end that will leave me even more hurt. Is it silly to hold on to this and hope that one day his feeling will be strong enough change his mind or am I just setting myself up for heartbreak?


Dear Jill,

A healthy relationship with an emotionally unavailable man is like a threesome with Brad Pitt and George Clooney. Only in your dreams.

It kills me to hear sweet women like you holding onto a prayer like this. And yet this is the most popular question I get. Click your heels three times if you’ve heard this before.

“I’ve been dating this guy for (X Months) now and I like him more than anyone I’ve met in a long time. I see him (Y times) a week and while he tells me he cares about me and ultimately wants to settle down, he also makes it very clear that he’s not in a good place right now. I believe him and really want to make this work but I’m not sure I can take it anymore because I want a future with him. The uncertainty is killing me. Can I get him to commit or should I get out now?”

You already know what I’m gonna tell you, Jill, but I’ll stretch it out to make you see my point of view yourself. Here we go – based solely on what you wrote in your email.

Dating for 6 months. Seeing each other once a week. Is this guy a boyfriend? Or just a guy you sleep with once a week. A boyfriend is committed to you. He calls you every day. He buys you things because he’s thinking of you. He wants to see you during most of his spare time. Ask yourself if this guy passes those boyfriend tests.

Shuts me out. No contact for a day. Not invited to parties. Not very boyfriend like. You know how I can tell?… I’ve BEEN that guy. I’ve dated people who I liked but didn’t want to lose, but went out to parties seeing if I could trade up. And as long as he can keep you around without committing to you, who can blame him?

Likes to move slowly. Values his independence. Shies from change. Looks like you should be doing PR for him, because you’ve bought all of his bullshit excuses, hook, line and sinker.

Told me he’s not emotionally in a place for a relationship – Um, and what was it you said you wanted? That’s right. A relationship.

Said I deserved to have what I wanted and had a right to walk away – Hey! The first thing he’s gotten right.

So listen to this man of integrity and take his sage advice.

Walk away and don’t look back.

If he follows, you’ll know you’ll have yourself a boyfriend who values you and will follow you to the end of the earth. That is what you deserve.

If he doesn’t, then he’s not all that serious about keeping you in his life, is he?

Join our conversation (149 Comments).
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  1. 31

    To the original poster – there is another post on Evan’s blog that recommends what to do (nothing) in this situation. A responder to that one coined the term nowhere to be found on the planet (NTBFOTB), basically advocating that, if you have any chance of forming a relationship with this man, he needs to feel your TOTAL absence in his life. I am by no means advocating game-playing, but I recommend searching for this other post as it really opened my eyes to a similar situation going on in my own life. I know from experience that if you don’t take action on this situation now, you are dragging out a long, painful road of heartbreak for yourself. Best of luck to you.

  2. 32

    okay, wow it sounds like u have written my story…okay I’m 49 my man is 50. I have had 2 longggggg term relationships,unhealthy both , but also its been good because i have learned something…I want a healthy relationship now…my question is this.
    been together 6 months
    he has had no children,never been married
    longest relationship for him 6 months, doesn’t want to get married, i knew this at the beginning,he has told me he loves me, we are boyfriend and girlfriend,committed,laugh,love spiritual,be our selves,phones every morning,when he gets home from work and our goodnight call
    sounds good right,NO IT DOESN’T,he is tired most of the time,lack of sex, we’ve discussed this and there is always one excuse after another,HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME FEEL/ UNATTRACTIVE PHYSICALLY,EMOTIONALLY,SPIRITUALLY ETC. HE SAYS I AM THE ONE WE CAN TALK OPENLY ABOUT SEX,WE PRACTICE TANTRA,SORRY for the caps,I’m hurt,I’m in love,okay we have never gone on a date, he bought me flowers twice,i pack our lunches,for our hikes and bike rides,okay these are dates some would say,and i would have to agree at times because we both love nature and what it has to offer,we talk about anything.
    why do i feel alone in this relationship then…what am i missing.
    he lives at his mom and dads separate suite.European way i guess,never has wined and dined me,maybe i put out signals I’m low maintenance,he phones on his terms and tells me, we are commited he phones everyday right? he sees me when he sees me,but we talk everyday,,,,,what am i missing?

    1. 32.1

      Dear Sh,

      I dated a guy just like this for several months. He had no children, never been married and the longest relationship for him was 6 months.

      When I met him I could not believe what a lucky girl I was. But then little by little I got to know him. There is a reason why the longest relationship for a guy was 6 months.

      First of all, a man who has never had a long-term committed sex partner has issues. I learned it the hard way. When we were dating we saw each other once every week or so.  He was not in the mood to have sex every time he saw me. He was 48 at that time, I was 42. I did not think much of it, but it turned out later that he masturbated daily to porn.

      He did not think it was a problem. His excuse was “I do not have a regular partner, and I need a release, so it is natural.” So when we started dating he continued, explaining that he does not see me on a regular basis and masturbation is innocent and every guys does it. He was not willing to quit. He told me he was not going to change for me. 

      He liked to call me several times a day. But when I think about it, it did not matter who he called. People who never marry or commit are lonely, while they live in their make believe world waiting for that perfect partner to come along. He was very lonely and he wanted to have someone who picked up the phone and listened. He probably called daily every single one of his ex girl-friends. 

      He did not know how to give in a relationship and he was not interested in changing or learning. When you never marry or commit to anyone you do not know what a relationship is, how it works or how to make your partner feel special. Sure he said the right things but he did not act like a caring partner. I think he never cared to learn. Some people are just indifferent and they are not going to change unless they want to and you are not going to change them. So what you see is what you get. It is not going to be anything different 12 months from now. 

      There is no reason to wait around if you feel unfulfilled in a relationship. 

      1. 32.1.1

        K, all I can say is ugh! I wouldn’t mind if I found out a man was masturbating before and just after we met, before we started having sex. Even once a week in your situation might have been acceptable. But when it is every day while you are in a sexual relationship, and it is affecting whether he wants to have sex with you, then that is a problem. It is a deal breaker. Especially since he wouldn’t even compromise in any way. That’s just weird.

        Everyone has issues. Everyone. The idea is to find somebody whose issues you can deal with. That is not an issue I am willing to deal with. I want somebody who wants me. What good is it to have a hot guy who doesn’t want to have sex with me? It’s like having an exotic sports car in the garage that doesn’t run most of the time. What good is it if it won’t run when I need it to?

        1. Chance

          Most men frequently masturbate, and when they do, they are thinking about someone other than their partner almost all of the time.  The trick is to understand that it has nothing to do with you and how attractive he finds you.  When a man commits to a woman, he is making an effort to override his biological desire for sexual variety.  This is something that I don’t think very many women understand, or at least, fully appreciate.  Porn and masturbation can help men deal with it effectively in order to avoid having mistresses.  Of course, an addiction can always be a problem, but mostly to the extent that it can cause (or be a symptom of) depression and it can obviously affect a man’s productivity at work, life, etc.

        2. Karmic Equation

          Actually, if you’re willing to think outside the box, Jenn, there’s a happy medium.

          Learn to give great handjobs…In the car on long trips. In bed when you’re too tired. Less messy and more empowering than bjs, which always feel a little servile to me, but which I don’t mind because that almost always has a way of alpha’ing up a guy. lol

          He’s going to have to give you some headspace when he’s jerking off alone when he starts thinking about how much better it was to have your hand on him than his own.

        3. Karmic Equation

          Actually, “it’s more messy yet more empowering” 🙂

  3. 33

    I just recently stumbled upon this website when I was looking online for answers on my relationship troubles. Great advice, easier said than done. As much as I know that I should walk out & not hold on to hope, I keep thinking it will change, he will change but people don’t change and the longer you stay in the longer you expose yourself to pain. I hope to take this advice and take the plunge, without settling for what i get when i know its not enough. I have walked out many times but I go back & that’s the problem.

  4. 34

    I did one single search to find help in the internet, and the first thing I found was this discussion. Wow. I feel the full spectrum of all that you have expressed here, in myself deeply.
    The conflict that is set up inside me is absolute, upon facing the decision whether to leave a man that is not meeting me in the continuity of quality of love. I don’t think I care to have sex, or even be intimate, really, outside the sharing of that quality of love.
    My biggest disappointed comes, when i realize I misinterpreted his loving expression. But even more than that, that I am the one that enticed him to enter even though he was clear that he had nothing to offer. I set myself up. Because this strong attraction I had towards him (done this once before) was not to be thwarted. I charged ahead. And now I am facing the consequence.
    I am relating this to my whole life. I see that love, and financial well being, or success in my business, are ALL not available, and that I keep trying to coerce them to come around so that I can pursue my hot passions.
    I must finally study my experiences and face the fact that I am not successful in that way of bringing anything about.
    I deeply want to continue being with this man, our connection so sweet, but in between those moments, I am torn up. And I will not do that to myself any longer.
    I tried telling myself I just had to let go the dream. Enjoy what you have because its so sweet. Otherwise, you’ll be without altogether. As has been the case for 2/3rds of my sexual life. And I’m 60.  So it’s pretty hard to face going back there. Loss of that sweetness just because I want the sensation of love to be more prominent than it already is.
    But I know its not so much the dream that needs to go. Its that I have got to dream of myself, me as the one who brings fulfillment to the dream. To myself.

  5. 35

    been seeing ‘my’ guy for 3 months now,after the first six weeks i told him i wouldnt mind seeing him abit more,his response was that twice weekly was all he had to give right now and if it wasnt enough for me then maybe i should say,i ended the ‘relationship’.Heres the odd part,we still sent txt’s everyday after,mainly due to the fact we were still friends,about 2weeks later i said to him sod it,why dont we just date,go with the flow and he agreed…..not very bright eh? I missed him so i compromised myself and i’m still doing it 3 months in,still no commitment,still me ‘doing all the work’.This is’nt healthy for me at all but what do you do when your in love with a guy who likes you but will not commit to you,do i need to hit rock bottom before getting off this merry-go-round.I read everyones comments and i know that i need to walk away but its so hard.

  6. 36

    Shaz: i am in the exact same situation but 1 year later. He broke up with me afer 6 months because I asked him where we stand. i was feeling too frustrated with seeing him every now and then. i have to mention he broke it off in a text message with the promise of a later talk when he has time of course. never happened. We still text. well i text and he answers. “doing all the work” as you said.i get virtual kisses and texts fights. It is really unhealthy and makes me miserable all the time but i can t let it go. i did hit rock bottom more than once. and you are right I think it s so hard to rip him out of your heart even though the head is lucid enough to know he is not that into me. The thought of living the rest of my life without him is destroying me.and this unhealthy relationship if i can call it like this is destroying me as well.i wish i could as strong as the women that walked out on guys like this.

  7. 37

    #34, 35, and 36

    :(, I’m sorry for the crappy situations you lovely ladies are in…men can be so maddening sometimes (well, a lot of the time :).  I can say that I have been where you have been at some point in my life, so I feel what you’re going through.

    If any of you have been on the receiving end of a man who was so hooked into you, but you didn’t like him, but he kept pursuing and trying to convince you that he was the best thing since sliced bread, think back to that experience.  Or maybe in a store and the sales person was trying to convince you to buy something that you really didn’t like, or a car salesman pushing you to buy a car you didn’t want.

    Runa, you say that that you ‘can’t let go’…it’s that you CHOOSE not to let go.  Big difference…yes, it’s the hardest thing to walk away from someone you are crazy about, but if he’s not crazy about you, you can’t convince him otherwise.  Healthy, strong relationships are about two people participating equally, not one ‘doing all the work’. 

    Shaz, what you do is change what you’re doing because the chasing after him is not working.  It’s making you look desperate and it’s turning him off completely.  If something isn’t working, do something else to get different results!  (And that doesn’t mean chase him in a different way 🙂

    Sharon, in my opinion (and others will disagree) and in all the reading and research and learning I’ve done over the past 5 years, it is MUCH better for a man to pursue.  Men thrive on the thrill  of the chase and a challenge.  If those are not allowed him, in general, he will eventually lose interest.  Maybe not in a week or a month, but over time, that is most likely to happen.  You use the word ‘coerce’, one CANNOT control another person, ever.  Trying to do so will set you up for frustration and disappointment.  This is about boundaries.  Coercing is invading someone else’s boundaries.

    A woman needs to strive to be a DIVA, someone who is highly in demand because she’s confident and has a life of her own.  That he has to prove to the woman that she needs to make time for him; that she will not take his crap so he needs to step up or she will move on. 

    In all these circumstances, leaning back and starting to interact with other men (not necessarily physically dating, but making eye contact, speaking with them, etc) is a great step in freeing you from this obsession you have with one man.

    BELIEVE men when they tell you things; look at men’s actions-that will tell you exactly how important you are in their lives.  This is hard stuff, but this is what needs to be done in order to find a man who cherishes and loves you. 

    There are a lot of great resources out there to learn from, adjust and grow.  Evan does a really great job in regard to relationships.  There are also resources out there to learn about boundaries/how to handle anger and anxiety/learning about your personality are also excellent ways to grow/mature.  The only thing you can absolutely, 100% control is yourself.

    I wish you all luck and sincerely hope you’re able to open enough to learning and changing to rid yourself of this anxiety.  Life is toooo short! 

  8. 38

    @Denise #37
    Very well said – though I would like to caution against some of the phrasing.
    Specifically, Denise stated “A woman needs to strive to be a DIVA, someone who is highly in demand because she’s confident and has a life of her own.  That he has to prove to the woman that she needs to make time for him; that she will not take his crap so he needs to step up or she will move on.”
    Some of my thoughts as a man:
    A woman who is a Diva will only attract men who want Divas. These are men who are willing to put up with that queenly kind of behaviour. What kind of men do you think that is? Players perhaps? I’d avoid this mindset. Yes, you should be a self-sufficient woman, who wants a man in your life, but isn’t needy. By definition, a Diva needs the sycophants to satisfy her need to be looked up to.
    Rather than be a Diva, I’d advise to live your life for you, so that you’re fulfilled. People are naturally attracted to others who lead fulfilling lives…it’s just human nature.
    A man has to prove nothing to a woman. If you believe every man has to “prove” something, you’ll be forever disappointed, as REAL men turn away from women with this expectation, as it’s condescending. Frankly, anyone with this attitude can kiss my ass – I don’t have to prove anything, to anyone, other than myself. Now if you’re saying to patiently wait until a man reveals his character to you, and if his character isn’t to your liking, move on, then that’s about perfect.
    If a woman doesn’t make time for me, I find another woman. Acting as if making time for me is a reward for kissing up to the Diva is just plain offensive. Why would I want to spend time with a person who behaves like that?
    As for the “not take his crap…step up…move on…”…that’s just all so very adversarial (like the Diva/proving/make time issues). How about just saying (as Evan has so many times), either he’s acting like a boyfriend or he isn’t. Expecting him to “step up” is back to that old challenging/ultimatum behavior that never works out. Either he behaves like a boyfriend, or he doesn’t. Make your decision on that, rather than on some form of ultimatum, which is never successful with real men.
    @Sharon, Shaz and Runa
    Denise already said this very well, but I think it’s worth repeating. Don’t waste your time with these men – move on. I don’t say this with any animosity towards these fellas, it’s just that they aren’t right for you.
    Obviously you have some dating deal-breakers, some things that would absolutely keep you from dating some guy. Think of one of your deal breakers…now, would you date a guy with that deal breaker?
    The guys you’re all talking about have deal breakers…they aren’t providing the relationship you want. So don’t pine for things that aren’t satisfying you.
    I’m not condemning these guys, I’m just pointing out they don’t FIT you.
    If you went shopping for a new coat, and found a nice pretty one, but it was 3 sizes too large…it just hung on you, would you buy it with the thought that “but it’s sooo pretty, it’s exactly what I want, it just doesn’t fit”? Or would you acknowledge it would never look right on you, and continue shopping for one that did fit?
    Continuing to date these guys is like buying the too-large coat, then rationalizing it by saying “but it’s sooo pretty”.
    Denise was spot on in saying that you choose to not let go. Choosing to let go often isn’t easy. You need to believe that your desire for a fulfilling relationship is more important than thinking these guys are good for you.
    I believe Karl R once discussed Choice Theory here. It’s great reading – Google it. An interesting early self-help book called “Your Erroneous Zones” is based on the idea of choice theory. It’s a great read.

  9. 39

    Bill #38

    Woops, sorry, I meant to say that ‘he needs to prove that he is willing to make time for HER’   One of the ways women feel loved and feminine, it to be successful in obtaining resources from men.  Before you freak :), resources are NOT only about money, that actually can be last on the list.  Resources are things like time, attention, affection, humor, labor, money.

    Being a DIVA has specific meaning with another relationship coach, I didn’t want to mention that here.  And being a DIVA in that context is NOT about being a prima donna.  It’s about being confident and assertive, of having a life, having strong boundaries, NOT invading other people’s boundaries (for example, like calling and texting someone all the time when you know they don’t want you to) and a good observing ego (seeing reality, accepting that reality, coaching oneself real time).

    I really like your comments about not ‘fitting’.  That speaks well for what these women, and soooo many women do (this is very common, and these ladies are not alone).  We try to mold/CONTROL the situation to what we want and ignore what the man is saying (by words and/or action) in regard to what they want.  That looks like leaning forward, masculine energy.  The man can’t then use his masculine energy by coming forward, DOING, because she’s doing his job for him.  It’s no wonder men become turned off–how many people want to be in this situation?

    Until a woman really understands these concepts, she is doomed to continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.  It’s never too late to do things differently.  Walking away from these men, but not doing the work on themselves is not going to be successful.  What she may actually find, after doing the work on herself (which takes TIME!), is that these men might end up ‘fitting’ after all.  And if not, there are plenty of fish in the sea as they say! 

  10. 40
    Katarina Phang

    I agree with Michelle #11.  That’s what I’m practically doing right now and it’s been great and fun.  That makes me content and more laid back (women tend to be clingy once they’re invested into a guy) and as a result my love interests find me more attractive and lovable.
    This actually makes me think that polygamy suits women better than guys. 🙂
    redheadfromtdot #18:
    “Some people are lucky to mutually fall in love immediately and just know. It would be so much easier.”

    My new guy pretty much fell in love after the first night we spent together.  And because he was so into me, it was easy for me to be into him.  Within 2 weeks, he told me he loved me.

    However, in real life, sometimes things are not that simple, especially for people with so much baggage already.  He’s divorced (recently) so he’s wounded and as much I feel the depth of his feelings for me, I feel this will take a while for a full-blown relationship to blossom (not to mention that I’m not really over my recent past relationship myself.)

    Love is about timing.  The rare incredible chemistry between two people sometimes doesn’t make a relationship when the timing isn’t right.

  11. 41

    one more thing I wanted to add, these women are obviously interested in doing better, in learning more, are CURIOUS. They deserve kudos for that! They may not have heard what they wanted to hear, they heard the truth, but hopefully they will be open minded to continue their journey, it will be a much happier one if they do!

  12. 42
    Karl R

    runa said: (#36)
    “It is really unhealthy and makes me miserable all the time but i can t let it go.”

    As Bill said, (#38) you choose not to let go of your toxic pseudo-relationship. Being single is a lot better than what you’re voluntarily putting yourself through.

    runa said: (#36)
    “The thought of living the rest of my life without him is destroying me.”

    Reality check
    That’s like an amputee saying the thought of living the rest of his life without his arm/leg is destroying him. In either case, you don’t get a choice. You don’t have your ex any longer. Getting him back is not an option. Your attempts to keep him around are like that theoretical amputee carrying around his gangrenous limb with him. (Yeah, it’s that unattractive to everyone else.)

    You have two choices:
    1. Live without your ex.
    2. Die.
    I recommend option 1, but ultimately it’s your choice.

    runa said: (#36)
    “i wish i could as strong as the women that walked out on guys like this.”

    It doesn’t take strength. You just avoid him. You stop calling, texting, emailing and visiting him. All you need to get over him is time and space, but you rob yourself of that each time you impulsively text him. (He’s not even initiating the contact.)

    Make that impulse harder to follow. Delete him from you phone and your address book. Delete his old emails and texts and all the ones you sent to him (without reading any of them first).

    Whenever you get the impulse to contact your ex, distract yourself by engaging in some healthy activity instead (exercise, take a shower, read a book, wash the dishes). That way you can let the impulse pass without acting on it.

    If your ex initiates contact, keep your reply polite and brief. Don’t say anything that would invite him to respond further (i.e. don’t ask him any questions).

    Furthermore, you need to go out and do other things. Have a life that doesn’t involve your ex.

    1. 42.1

      Karl, I love it and I love Evan’s answer too.  Once upon a time, I met a man whom I thought was very handsome.  I was also very young.  We went on a date, and before I even got a taste of my drink, he said textually “you know, I’m not into commitment”.

      So I got up, left the drink, and said well then goodbye (I was young, right?)

      Somehow, I think that I used to be a real cool lady! And he ran after me for ages after that! (And the one who didn’t want to commit with him was me).


  13. 43

    My ex husband is a very “nice” non committal man and we dated for 3+ years. I told him I loved him first. I was always available when he came in from out of town so as to prove I was faithful to our relationship. I was the one who finally said, “So are we going to get married or what?” To which he said, “Well, I guess we could do that.” Six months later we were married. Fast forward several years, he discloses that he didn’t love me when we got married, but had grown to love me. So what did his love look like? I did everything. He was unavailable emotionally. He didn’t want to spend his leisure time with me. He never took my side in any problem. He was not interested in parenting our children. He was always looking for help in his endeavors because he knew I would always be available to make him look good. No phone calls to check in when he went out of town on trips, often for a week at a time. Worked long hours and often 7 days a week, no time for me or the kids. But, he was such a nice guy, pleasant personality, just unavailable emotionally and non committal. So three children and 30 years later I left him. A year of counseling, self and couple, my lesson is love cannot change a person who isn’t motivated to change. What a man is a man is. I’m moving on and will be loving myself first and hope to find a man who will want to share in that love and commit to the relationship. Thanks for all the comments in this thread. It has reinforced all I have experienced and now believe. Thank you for sharing!

  14. 44

    The whole story is really familiar except that my relationship is over a year. We get on brilliantly, have mutual friends and enjoy each others company. I got taken to weddings and met some extended family and thought we were both interested in a serious relationship. Eventually after a row about him refusing to meet my parents which took me completely by surprise it became clear that he was a non-committer! I had read all those signals wrong, I think ultimately it was about him liking to have someone about to take to events so he didnt have to go alone, to have someone to call on whenever it suited him and fitted into his schedule, he was rarely interested in meeting up with my friends. I said I loved him, he said he “cared” about me and didnt want to break up but that I was trying to move things too fast. After a year that is really just an excuse. I gave him 4 more months and nothing changed. I do all the running, he never makes plans. I have finally seen sense and am getting out of this mess. I figure he’ll be upset when I dump him but he’ll not try to get me back in any serious way and that will confirm what I already know – he’s just not that into me.

  15. 45

    Evan,  I am so thankful for this post.  Glad I came across it as I am going through a process of grieving and being hurt.  Ultimately, the guy I was doing LDR is a commitment phobe.  He wants to get married within a year of getting to know the girl but yet in our time together, he never did anything of substance to progress forward.  He has an issue with commitment.  He said he doesn’t want to lose my friendship because it means a lot to him. Well, if he had done the right thing by me and things did not work out, we could have parted amicably. 

    He said our line of communication has turned into a “buddy-buddy/penpal” relationship and not into a proper man-to-woman relationship, I shot back telling him that the biggest mistake he ever did is not committing in meeting up with me.  What was I to do?  I even gave him several options to meet up with me on neutral grounds but he didn’t want that over the course of the year.  All I can say is that he is selfish, insecure man who is unsure of what makes a solid long-term relationship works.  Communication aside, what you shared about friendship is so true.  I didn’t see the buddy-buddy relationship as being a bad thing but just as a solid foundation on which a good LTR can be built upon if that is where we both want to take it when we meet.
    Sorry of the spill.  I just want to thank you for your work; educating women about what it means to be in a healthy relationship.  Also that it is NOT always our fault.  He is a commitment phobe.  I am looking forward to a more beautiful future with a man who will cherish and adore me.  Thank you, Evan.

  16. 46
    Eyes Wide Open

    I know this post is old but it is still so very relevant. I was fortunate enough to find EMK and read Why He Disappeared and his blog daily to be able to put closure to my nice non commital guy. Suffice it to say I ended it with dignity. Although I miss him I am happy to know I recognized that he just wasn’t that into me. I am still on and see that he is as well (yes I have looked). I avoided his once a week empty messages to keep things alive even after it ended Memorial Day and a mutual function we ended at together that he was so charming at and begged me to spend time at his suite ( I declined). It has been a full two weeks and I finally think he got the hint by my non response. I don’t hate him but hated the games that I truly believe he hasn’t done anything wrong. But I remain energized today reading this thread.  Thanks so much

  17. 47

    I am angry, hurt, overwhelmed, empty, sad, lonely, in shock, in disbelief, and in denial. I broke it off w/ my bf 10 days ago and I can’t say that the days are getting any easier. I can’t believe this has happened to us! To toot my own horn, I think I’m a real catch; I have a lot of things going for me & I wonder what the hell is wrong with him.
    Yes, I heard the, “You’re a wonderful woman, you deserve a man who can tell you he loves you, I never meant to hurt you…” blah, blah, blah. This ordeal HAS been a slow emotional death as one poster said. Days started to go w/o conversation when at one time we texted throughout the day & spoke at bedtime (ours was a LDR…I see that’s common, too).
    He was so supportive of my academic endeavors, my children, my life. He has never been married nor had children (hello red flag!?) but said he wanted to settle down. He was my high school sweetheart 28 yrs ago & broke my heart then.
    Abt 10 mos into the relationship we discussed him moving to my city. When it came time for the decision to be made, he turned into a man I didn’t know.

    I’m bewildered & heartbroken. He dedicated so much of himself to me but couldn’t give me what I wanted the most: to hear I Love You and Want You With Me Forever More.
    I appreciate everyone’s posts–I don’t feel like the biggest FOOL in the world now. In my heart of hearts, I wish he would magically realize what he lost & come running to ask me back. HA!!!

    Why do we women do this to ourselves? It’s not the men’s fault, it’s ours.

  18. 48

    I read MOST of the posts and they all say the same thing.  However, while there are no RULES of dating, there certainly are expectations even at ANY age!  If you have personally set a time frame (say, 6 months) then go with it.  I have dated the same man on/off for 6 years.  WHY?  Because he never promised anything and I kept seeing him following an abusive marriage I had, so I do blame myself for misreading the messages.  I thought he wanted exclusive and future, and he didn’t.  He just enjoyed being with me “and” others, like a very strange attachment to an ex wife!  Of course, I put up the “not going there wall” and he came back.  I can honestly say that he doesn’t have sex with any others due to what I know about him personally.  But his obsessive co-dependence with his ex is a deal breaker.  SAD because I do like him personally.
    I gave him what he wanted and nothing in return was my gift.  SO, on that note, my wake up calls (many)taught me a lot and I did move on and dated others.  Believe me, if I met “the one” who has the whole package, I wouldn’t have even bothered with Mr. On/Off.  We were very compatible physically and intellectually as buddies, you’ll say.  Because in the process, I had my physical needs met while growing up, now knowing myself WHAT I WANT (or not) and how this man fit into MY life, not vice versa.  My counselor says “stepping stone” and that is a good way to put it.  Now, I am much more independent.  As I write this, he hasn’t called in four days and I’m not freaking out because I have a REAL date with someone I met at a volunteer function who seems to enjoy my company and actually invited me (not ASSUMED I’d be around this weekend!)  Since Mr. On/Off has never committed, it’s not cheating in the dating sense to keep my options open.  I’m kind of excited about this new person, in fact!

  19. 49

    Drama queen. A guy who was interested and wanted a commitment would bore her. She needs this drama, otherwise she’d be unhappy.

  20. 50

    This is my story too. Only in my case it lasted 4 years and half. Too, too long and sad.
    And the worst part are those bits of “positive reinforcement”, these men are treating us like donkeys, tying a carrot to our head so we will just keep trying to get it, they are so cruel.
    Without realizing it, I headed straight to the worst heartbreak of my entire life, because my now ex was also my trainer at the gym and I stopped going. I stopped seeing every day my so beloved group of friends of the last 7 years of my life, because I don’t want to see him. I feel so sad.

  21. 51

    will tell u what a wise person said to me ones …” don’t ever take advice from people who have no stake in the consequences “…

  22. 52

    Regarding post 37: men thrive on the thrill of the chase.

    I call total BS on that. I DESPISE chasing women, and I guarantee you millions and millions olf men despise it too. But since women – who are perfectly capable adults, not children – by and large refuse to make the first move, my gender has two choices: ask women out, and usually get kicked in the face for it, or quit and be alone all the time.

    Where is the good option?    

  23. 53

    @Michelle and @Zann…Thank you. I’m in the same boat. I have a couple of friends who I care about where we can be intimate. But I know their situation, their personalities enough to know it would never go anywhere…so for that reason, I don’t expect it. But I’m thankful to these men for making me feel alive once again…I thought I couldn’t feel those desires again. For this reason, I’m appreciating it for what it is, and feel okay with it. Because it’s not something you talk much about with people, because it’s seen as bold, and because people don’t always understand, I thought I was on my own. But thanks to Michelle and Zann, I feel that much more okay with what I’ve chosen to do, until I meet the right man for me. I do agree with Michelle that having feelings is a risk. It’s happened to me before, so I know full well how it can happen. Even recently I’ve found myself having feelings for one of them. It came out of left field thinking I could handle it. It was very difficult. But I’ve regrouped, and just remind myself to see the way things are….and to appreciate ‘my knights’ for what they give me now.

  24. 54

    I met my guy 7 years ago, and we have been on and off since. I was never incorporated into his life. It was like he had his life, and then he had me and never the two shall come together. I was kept at bay, and in the dark. I didn’t know his friends, his family, nor his co-workers. He would always come to my house, and in the 7 years I only went to his house 3 times. I kept asking him about the status of the relationship and what he wants and where it was going. I either got the run-around or he just skirted the issue. He came around when he felt like, I would ask and try to set up and arrange weekend and days trips with him, and he is usually busy or just not up to it. I kept going back, hoping that each time would be different and that he would change. Let me into his life, but nothing. I have never known one person to be filled with so many excuses as to why, this or that hasn’t happened. I was so frustrated. After a while I just started not to care anymore. I was with him, but I wasn’t with him. I stopped factoring him in. Once I would think of him whenever I wanted to go somewhere, but because he kept disappointing me, I stopped asking. I just started doing my own thing without even realising it.

  25. 55

    Hi guys
    You proberbly remember reading my earlier postadjust under 2 years ago? Abouthow I was dating a non committal bloke who I broke up with after the 1st 6 duels due to the fact he said he couldn’t find the time to see me more than once ortwo we a week, I went back to him and my earlier post was about how do I cope now it was 3 months in, well, this is me nearly 2 years later, still pining over the said same bloke. It’s been the most miserable time of my life!!! So desperately in love with him that I’ve accepted the crumbs he gave me, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve cried, sobbed on my best friends shoulder yet still continued to see him. Essentially I was his FB, I’m 43, he’s 47, I should know better after escaping a cruel and loveless 20 year marriage. It’s all come to a head now. In feb I ended things, regretted it and contacted him. We started seeing each other again in march, the latest now is that after a ‘crisis’ with his daughter, he kinda phased me out. I was reduced to 1 txt a day instead of 4-4, his fav way of communicating by the way, so I decided to stop the texts. 5 torturous days later he txt, said thanks and least he knew now who he could rely on and ……. Who are in it just for themselves!! I nearly fell off my chair in shock, omg the cheek! I said loads like how dare he, hephased me out etc andSahara the hell is going on? He replied we are on hold if anything and that he ‘cares’ about me. Long story short, I told him we are done and do t bother contacting me. He’s a heartless cold fish, and thinking a out it now, quite narcissistic. Its time to heal now, to get back to the real shaz, the one who smiles, who is fun to be with, whose bright, funny and downright bloody gorgeous and any man would be proud to have her! No more crumbs cos this babe can and will have the whole biscuit. Yea I cry, I feel despair but I know I will have contentment one day, it’s been 2 weeks now, he’s out of my life and I’m looking forward to a better future with someone who deserves ME. All this has taught me one thing, exactly what I don’t want in a relationship! All you gorgeolairs dies out there putting up with part timers, get rid, don’t leave it till all your self esteem seeps away,foodluck and lots of love xxxx 

  26. 56

    Strong lady…. Your guy n my ex could be related cos they sound exactly the same. Good riddance to crappy relationships and I say relationship very loosely. Good luck xx 

  27. 57

    Sometimes things get complicated, and usually in my experience from sonmeone not having been honest when they aught to have been. 

    Over 4 years for me of being crazy about someone I never even met in person and had to leave and said a lot of things in anger I regret becasue partly my terrible past blended in and made what he was doing even worse on my end.

    But I have to say.. after years of bitterness and being a hermit.. and even ending it with him now.. I really learned a lot from the experince, I want to blame 1/2 way and yes he was dangling a carrot in some way’s and allowing me to feel too much with the suggestions and hints, then the major blows of oh now he is dating over there etc ect ..

    But I had to deal with a lot of pain.. so much pain it was unbearable.. so much feeling worthless that a funny thing happens.

    ” You just realize there is no way in hell you could be that bad, as bad as your feeling it’s just not really possible to be that damn bad off.”

    Even when these guys are players – I mean it is up to us to allow it and to allow those negative thoughts and more.

    Luckily with him I always spoke my mind, so this time at least and as always with him klet him know what I think, and that was a HUGE jump from just clamming up as I had always typically done and held it all in and then whinned to a girlfreind about it.

    You can if you want take it as an opportunity to get better with yourself, your life, let him go and not be so bitter for once.

    It’s like I was somehow “trained” to be bitter just becasue something didn’t go the way I hoped it would witha gut, and I realize that is really NOT any answer, nothing to drag along like a wet sock with me.

    So even in leaving a jerk, a commitment phobe, an egomaniac, etc as   at least this one was a freind to the point where I see he is just really messed up right now.

    I do not think they all plan to do as much dmage as they do.. They cannot live our history either and see it our way – they only see they are afriad sometines, or just can’t be there even if they want to… Maybe they do that to all wormn for a while becasue they are not ready and maybe even sense your not ready.

    God knows I want things I am not ready for sometimes so badly.. but honestly I am not even ready fro some of thge things I want just yet, But the passion to get them sure as hell exist. 

    Maybe sometimes they are to us creul in our eyes, but in their own eyes maybe they feel lacking for their own selves, Maybe often times taking it so personal is not really the answer.

    Leaveing them alone yes when you are more able and more feeling is the right thing to do, they may not be on the same level maturity wise and readiness wise perhaps.. Maybe they are afriad of being alone and your better than not being alone, still it’s a problem with HIM and NOT you.. that is where women I think and know from experience bash themselves and wonder too much what is wrong with me?

    Maybe there is nothing wrong with you, Yes maybe he is wasting your time then leave, But maybe it is kinda sad he is that afraid of being alone on the other as well.

    Feelings are over rated, I found myself saying the stupidest things from feelings then later regretting that – But yes they need to know before you move on why they are doing something wrong at least from your point of view.

    We teach them it’s okay I think not saying anything – somethimes they really are clueless that it even is pain inducing to be honest. And you gotta look at how many women nodays are jumping in the sack and things just for a good time, you really have to let it be known what you want and early.

    If it scares them off that you want commitmnet one-day the sooner they run the better.

    I do not think it is wrong when your just getting to know someone to let them know you would like to one-day get married at all.. I think it is a “trick” to them if you do not let them know, mentioning it don’t mean it has to be THEM – but I really think we as women that want these things need to make it clear what we want too.

    Things can get complex, there are always two sides to the strory, yes some people are just players and will string you along carelessly and have no deapth, NOT enough depth for you.

    So my thinking right now is really when things do not work, are not working out – then leave, suffer for a few days some pain and heartache whatever, You can even care and need to leave sometimes yes.

    But I think hanging on to anger is not the answer anymore, I think it just keeps you into getting the wrong things again, keeps you with an it’s US against THEM mentality which is not going to work in a PARTNERSHIP.

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  30. 58

    I feel sad reading most of the comments here. Most women are emotional and sentimental creatures and we really need to develop a strong self to become happy. The biggest mistake most women make is to vehemently believe that a man, a committed relationship, or a marriage will give them happiness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. And she keep heading into the same situation (basically unhappiness) because she is banging her head into a wall, she thinks will make her happy. Wow!! Lets get our fundamentals right here. Nobody in this world, not in the least a man, can make one happy unless she strives to squeeze (yes) it out from within herself.

    Ask yourself these questions: are you polishing your self daily (character), do you challenge youself every moment (strength), have you found it yet – ur true calling, what you love doing, and that gives you joy not stress (mission), are you prepared to face the moment when the worst might happen (not break up, worse stuff) (courage)?? The day one is satisfied with the answers, she will stop hurting herself and before she knows it, she will have her best relationship (with herself first).

    And to cut the long story short, I have been in a non-committal relationship for four years now. But I am with someone who has taught me so much about life through his own life that I can’t ever breakup with him even if I wanted to (say if if go off to pluto with another man :)) coz he will be in my life always. And I do not see my relationship as a waste.

    To end, a woman I admire once said, “be happy first, do not marry to be happy.” Cheers.

  31. 59

    I have been on/off with the same guy for almost 4 yrs. we never really in a relationship but more the a booty call. He would give me just enough to hang on. sound familiar? We never spent holidhas, bdays , vacations together. somehow I always make excusea for him and wonder what is wrong with me. I have a new bf who is amazing to me. somehow I still keep in on and off again contact with mr non committal and we live 3k miles away. I moved when to be closer to my family and still he gives me false hope. yes I have a new bf but still can’t completely move on. It’s scrwed up. He just can’t leave me alone but doesn’t really want me. It’s my fault but I keep thinking maybe one day … I need to cut off all contact before I waste whts left of my thirties.

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