“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love… but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.”
~ Mandy Hale
So you’re ready for a long-term commitment with the guy you’ve been dating? Things have been good. Really good! You’ve gotten to know each other genuinely. Vacations together have been exciting and memorable.
Communication flows well and you’re able to manage conflicts with ease.
You even saw a therapist to work through minor issues and learn new skills. The only obstacle between you and the relationship you want is…him.
When you talk about the “C” word, he drags his feet.
He tells you he’s happy with the way things are. He explains that past commitments didn’t work out well for him. He shares that his parent’s divorce left him with painful memories and concerns about his own future.
You’ve had several talks about commitment and it always ends the same. No matter what you say or how long you talk, he just isn’t willing to take the next step.
Your dreams for the relationship are beginning to disappear.
The idea of more drastic action to alleviate the pain of non-commitment seems promising. You consider ending the relationship as an ultimatum.
Maybe he’ll realize what he’s losing when you walk away and it will prompt him to commit because you’re such a great catch.
But, what if he lets you go?
And if he stays, is this really the relationship you want…one where he was forced to make a decision he clearly wasn’t prepared to make? How secure will you feel in a relationship possibly based on manipulation?
Before you resort to this precarious tactic, consider this.
When our needs aren’t met, we can feel anxious, afraid and out of control. These feelings can cause us to make decisions we may not otherwise make, like ending a satisfying relationship.
Six months to a year after the end of a relationship, those overwhelming feelings will have subsided.
People often look back during this time with a sense of nostalgia and regret.
They wonder, “If I would have…then what?” For example, “If we would have gone to couples counseling again, could we have made it?” Or, “If I would have given him more time and addressed my own expectations about commitment, would we still be together?”
Instead of doing this posthumously after the death of the relationship, try this.
Make a list of your “if I would haves ,” NOW! Write down everything you are willing to do before ending the relationship that might change your decision to leave.
- What about counseling?
- How about a list of amazing things about the relationship to remind you of what you DO have?
- Can you do some personal work around changes you can make?
Next, do the things on your list!
Should the relationship ever end, you will know you did everything you could do to make it work. On the other hand, while working through this process, you just might find a way to accept him for who he is and genuinely love the relationship for what it is.
Amy Dunniway, MA, LMFT – www.sctherapist.com
To me walking away from your boyfriend so he will commit sounds like playing games with him.
I think a better way of having him commit, is to have an open and honest conversation between the two of you. Or you could call or think of it as a “talk.”
A good way to have this conversation is when you are in a private setting and have the time.
A few other tips for a good setting is to have it when you are both clear minded and not after an intimate moment.
When you have the setting, you should talk to him about why you want a commitment from him or be in a committed relationship.
However, if you have only been on a few dates with him and want a commitment right away this might scare him off. So you should also take timing into consideration when you do want an established relationship.
Another caveat to this is if you have been dating for a while you do not want to waste your time or his.
So by sitting down with him and having a conversation you are telling him what your needs are out of a relationship. You also want him to be honest with you, so give him the space that he might need.
When you do sit down and have this discussion you also want to know what he wants out of your relationship as well.
He may say he is ready to commit but also be prepared that he may not be ready. If he is not ready to commit then it is time to re-evaluation your relationship. This may take some thinking on both of your parts.
If you are not willing to be in an un-committed relationship then it might be time to walk away from him.
This can be a tough choice but it could also make you happier in the long run.
Hollis Wall, MA, LMHCA – www.wallehollis.com
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