“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
If you have been in a long-term relationship, and are feeling that your partner is unwilling to commit to you, it may be time to do something differently.
You may not be able to make him commit, but you can take steps to learn more about his character, to find out what his true intentions are, and then to make a plan for yourself.
The first step is to try to talk it through with him.
If he has a healthy degree of emotional honesty and an ability to communicate, you may be able to talk this through without escalating to any sort of dramatic action.
If you find out that he does not intend to commit in the way that you want him to, you can either accept and appreciate what you do have, or move on and find someone who meets more of your needs and is a better fit.
If you give him an ultimatum and walk away and tell him that you will not come back unless he commits, you will find out more information about his true intentions and feelings.
He may see this as manipulative, get turned off, and walk away anyway. However, this could make him realize that he really wants and misses you, and cause him to re-evaluate his priorities and actions. Sometimes absence makes the heart grow fonder.
One of the dangers of this type of situation is if he comes back to you simply because he wants to win rather than truly wanting you.
This is something you will need to assess at a deeper level when you get back together. Otherwise, you may end up in the same sort of cycle again and again.
Either way, if you have felt like you have given this relationship your all, and that your level of commitment is not being reciprocated, you owe it to yourself to change something.
This could mean having a serious talk about the relationship or walking away and turning it over to the universe.
Whatever is meant to be will ultimately be, and you owe it to yourself to not waste time if you know that you want a committed relationship.
It is your responsibility to create your own happiness and to pursue what you truly want in your own life.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
How do I get my man to commit to a long-term relationship with me?
If you desire commitment, and you are dating a man who will not commit to you for the long haul or propose and give you a ring and a date, it might be time to shake things up.
Why should he commit when he gets all the benefits of a relationship without the risk?
You have sex together, you live together, share bank accounts, cook and clean and share household chores, and all this without a promise and vow to be committed to one another. Not a great idea.
If you are important enough to him, he will not want to risk losing you.
He needs to know that a commitment is important to you, and something that is aligned with your values and morals, and that if you do not have it, you will walk away.
That’s how important it is!
This isn’t something that you insist upon during the first year of dating, but once you have been together for one year, you both should have a good idea if you are a good match, and if this is still unclear, it might be time to move on.
If you have been together for 5+ years and a commitment is still not agreed upon, you most likely are not going to get one.
Why spend any more time in a relationship that is going nowhere?
If you are off the market in a dead-end relationship, you will miss opportunities for others to meet you that are emotionally available, ready to commit to you, and value a long term committed relationship, just as you do!
If commitment or marriage is what you want, don’t settle for anything less.
You need to be ready and willing to walk away, and your man needs to know this.
Perhaps, knowing that there is a risk of losing you all together can be just what a man needs to rise up and take on the next stage of development and growth; committing to the woman he loves, values, respects, and treasures.
Dr. Tracy S. Kelly, LMFT – www.DrTracyKelly.com
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
- Is he having trust concerns because his previous partner cheated on him?
- Was he a victim of physical or emotional abuse from a powerful partner?
- Is he insecure that he can’t let anyone in to share his dreams and wishes?
- Or is he afraid to be vulnerable and exposed?
If you are asking yourself these questions, your partner is having difficulty making a commitment and may be feeling trapped, controlled, overwhelmed or scared.
A committed relationship is based on trust, surrender, respect, safety, responsibility and maturity.
People with high self-esteem usually prefer the emotional fulfillment of a committed relationship because it enhances who they already are. It makes the sexual, physical part of the relationship more satisfying and meaningful. It allows each partner to plan for the future and include one another in their dreams and decisions.
Naturally, the sooner you talk to your partner about his lack of commitment, the better it is for you both.
You don’t want to waste your time with someone whose long-term goal is out of sync with yours.
At some point, you need to stop wondering and let your partner know you are walking, because having this relationship just for fun, companionship or plain distraction, is not what you bargained for.
Perhaps, if he realizes he is going to lose you, he will shift his thinking, and make a pledge to be with you for the long term, a sincere commitment to spend his life in a trusting relationship.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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