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How do I ask about the future with a commitment-phobic guy?

Published on October 22, 2013 by hamadryad

My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 3 years. He has had a bad breakup in the past, a couple years before we got together. He kind of hinted that his past experience has made him want to move really slow, but we've been together a really long time and not only does he not know whether he loves me, he also has incredibly low interest in sex (though he gets himself off to porn). So I'm with a guy who doesn't want me and won't commit to me, but his actions say that he really does care. It's so weird. He's very sweet and thoughtful and kind and he says how much he cares about me, and when we first started dating he seemed really into me. Then he stopped. He said he is worried about my expectations in bed, and he has trouble keeping an erection sometimes when we do fool around (which is very infrequent). I'm at the point where I need an answer from him...this is driving me crazy! How do I tell him I need an actual response (he hates talking about it) without giving him an ultimatum?


Sounds like you are dating a guy just like mine. We have been together almost 4 years and I have the same problem. He says he cares and doesn't want me to leave but also wont say the words I Love You that I need. I don't think it is needy or uncommon for people to wont to know they are loved. I don't have an answer for you since I am sadly going through the exact same thing. Hoping you find an answer.

Well, it sounds like he either has some serious issues he needs to work through from past relationships that keeps him in this place of immobility relationally, or he's just not that into you. I would see if he would go to couples counseling. If he won't, then he's not willing to work on things despite the red flags.

If he has troubles in bed but can get off to porn, it may indicate he has some emotional injuries related to sex with a partner. Or, he may not be into you.

The answer isn't going to be an easy one. If after 3 years he says he cares about you but won't tell you he loves you and won't commit, he's just keeping you around for his convenience, knowing you won't go anywhere, but allowing him to not actually have to commit.

Word to the wise: Pull the plug. If you want something more, you have to realize he may never be capable or willing to give it to you. It sucks after spending a few years together, trust me, I dated a guy just like this myself once, and it ended with me being nearly emotionally destroyed. I can hear some of the same signs in you. We women have a hard time facing the reality that he may not be into us to the same degree as we are to them, and we use their nice qualities to rationalize their behavior and convince ourselves they will change.

He is not going to change. I know your friends dated someone like him or some talk show probably had a couple similar to you guys on and that guy changed, so there's hope for your guy, right? Wrong. He is not the exception, he's the rule. And if he ever decided to get married, things would only get worse, not better. You need to decide how much longer you are willing to sit around and wait for him not to change before you decide you've had enough. Or are you willing to make a tough decision and recognize you're worth more than what this guy is willing to give you, and move on to someone who will give you the love you need and want?

My Prescription for you: Watch "The Holiday" with Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Kate Winslet. Kate Winslet's character hits this on the head exactly. And if you relate as I anticipate you will, hopefully you will develop your gumption and get the heck out of there and get someone worthy of you.

Know your worth.