Tag Archive | commitment

He says he wants me but will not commit

Committed RelationshipTo know in your mind, and feel in your heart, that you are in a committed relationship and that whatever happens, your partner will still be there for you, brings a sense of security to those in the relationship that love alone cannot provide.

One thing I often ask a couple when beginning work with them is whether they are committed to each other as well as to the relationship. The answer to this question is even more important than the answer to the question – “Do you love your partner?” as the two may actually not be mutually inclusive.

Let me explain this a little more. You might believe that you love your boyfriend or girlfriend with no interest in making it a long-term relationship. You may equally feel committed to the relationship without really being in love: Love may be more a feeling that comes from the heart while commitment maybe more a thought that comes from the mind.

So, what if your boyfriend or girlfriend says that he or she wants to be with you but will not commit? For many this raises the question – “DOES HE REALLY LOVE ME?” The answer may be “yes!” he does love you but for whatever reason cannot commit to you.

So what does this really mean?

Commitment may encompass love but it’s really a whole lot more. It is the unconditional giving of all of oneself to the welfare of the other and to the relationship above all else. It requires an absolute acceptance of an obligation to and a responsibility for another human being and to the connection between you.

For some contemplating doing this is way scarier even than just saying “I love you!”

Commitment refers to the “honor” part of the marriage vows that state that you will each “love and honor each other all the days of your life”. For some this is just too big a thing to ask.

If you ever face such a situation, you need to consider a few things before deciding whether to continue with him or her. If you are truly serious about him or her, then he or she should also be equally serious about you and if he or she is not, I would suggest you think very carefully about continuing the relationship.

To help you decide think firstly about what may be the possible reasons that he or she is not committing.

Sometimes the hesitation is because of some earlier life experience either as they observed their own parents or other family members where there has been heartache and pain. Maybe the reason they cannot commit is that they love someone else and they are just having fun with you or more specifically you are just a “TIME PASS”.

Alternatively they just might not be sure what they want, or they want everything. The sad thing is that generally such people end up with nothing.

So what do you do about it?

If you hear from your partner that he loves you and is committed to you but you don’t feel it clearly in your heart and mind there are three possible directions you can take:

Firstly take a closer look at yourself to see if you are the one fearful of really giving yourself to this relationship.

Also take a close look at him or her and in conversation express your concerns openly and honestly. Ask questions about their earlier life experiences and about their beliefs about relationship to assess whether the issue may be from somewhere in their past.

If you still don’t feel you are getting a convincing answer then consider carefully whether it’s time to move on, for the truth is that there are some out there to whom you will give and give and from whom, for all you give them, will simply not be able to match it in return.

This might sound harsh but sometimes the kindest thing to do for you and/or for another is to let it go. There’s an old adage that says something to the effect of: if you truly love something let it go, if it flies away it’s not yours to have if it comes back it will be yours forever.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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To Commit or Not To Commit

Men who are truly OK in their masculinity, find a woman, truly OK in her femininity, simply irresistible.

I met with a couple yesterday, let’s call them George and Sarah, (not their real names) who just seemed so typical of many young couples I meet these days.

George is a healthy young man who, now in his mid thirties, has had a lot of freedom in his life to pursue his own interests. These have often been around ‘boy’ things like cars and football, and much of his adult life has been around satisfying his wants for the moment without too much concern for the future. He has a great job and sufficient income to support a good life so, in his own mind, really wants for nothing.

Sarah is a healthy young woman who is in her late twenties; a career woman with a brilliant future, and, as well, with her sites very focused clearly on her future, not only in terms of career, but also in terms of relationship and possibly even a family.

Sarah and George have now been in a relationship for over a year and they came to see me because they are in a rut not seeming to be going anywhere. For him it’s about feeling that she is asking for more than he feels he can give right now. And for her it’s a desperate want to feel safe in this relationship with the knowledge that it really is going somewhere.

Maybe the real struggle here relates to commitment and even though it might seem that this may be more of an issue for him it might be for her as well.

Let me explain this. What I see when a couple presents with this sort of issue is maybe nothing more than good old-fashioned FEAR! So, I hear you say, I can see why he might be fearful, given that he is potentially being asked to give up some of his free and easy lifestyle, but how is that showing in her?

My thought on this is simply this: If someone needs to be constantly reassured by another to feel truly OK within themselves, then it may come from a lack of OK within themselves in the first place. The danger then is this; what it is you want most and fear not getting, because of a belief within yourself that you are not deserving of this thing, in this case being love and commitment, may actually create a ‘self fulfilling prophecy’ and indeed result in the loss of that thing after all.

Wow!!! Is that a head spinner or what? You might need to read that through several times to actually get what I’m saying.

And here’s my final thought on this topic of commitment. Some Fear, as long as it doesn’t hinder us to such an extent of inaction, can be a good thing really and, from my perspective, may be even a necessary part of the process of making a commitment to another in relationship.   If we really value ourselves and each other and make our relationships important enough then they deserve serious consideration before jumping in boots and all.

My advice for George and Sarah? Given that they seem to be well-matched, even though there are also many differences, for him my suggestion was to jump in and do whatever to let her know that, beside himself, she is the most important thing in his life. This means that he makes her even more important than his mates and his job and all the other things that might distract him from being truly present in this relationship.

And for her? Maybe she needs simply to come to believe that she is the best thing that has ever come into his life and trust that if she truly believes that and acts accordingly the validation she seeks will then naturally be there for her.

As the old saying goes: Sometimes you have to feel the fear and do it anyway!

You may agree or disagree with what I have said here. Either way let me know how it strikes you by responding in the “Comments’ link at the bottom of this blog.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Ten Reasons Why Someone Might Be Unfaithful and What to Do About It

Blatent Cheating

Betrayed By A Fiancé/Fiancée?

I receive many emails asking about the meaning of affairs and what to do when you catch someone out. This question is one that comes up regularly both in my rooms as well as via email. In this post I will try and put my thoughts down about what I understand about affairs when they happen and what you can do about them.

Let me first define what an affair is and what an affair is not. For me, and you may agree or not, an affair is when someone creates a relationship with another person, with or without sex, in which that other person becomes the centre of their attention at the expense of their partner.

An affair is not a “one-night stand” where someone gets carried away in the moment and has a sexual encounter with someone outside of the marriage/relationship. Both, however, may be considered equally a betrayal and unforgivable to the other party in the relationship.

When someone has been caught out in any kind of unfaithfulness some of you have simply decided to walk away and others have decided to forgive and move on. There is no right or wrong way to respond to this. It is up to each of you to decide how significant the indiscretion is to you and decide on how you yourself should best react.

Often the actual decision made is more likely based on your personal value system. For some of you, when someone betrays you, it feels like the worst thing that they can do and there is no room for stepping away from the hurt or the loss of trust. For others of you there is such a strong value in your love and commitment that you will find a way to forgive even this most unforgivable of betrayals.

In either situation it seems to come down to which value is the strongest – the value around love and commitment or the value around fidelity.

When someone has been unfaithful it is worth pausing for a moment to take a look at why they may have done it before deciding what the best course of action is.

Reasons for being unfaithful may include:

  1. Fear of committing to one person at the exclusion of all others
  2. The behaviour was modelled by a parent or someone close to the person
  3. Curiosity, especially for the inexperienced, of what sex might be like with someone else
  4. Boredom in the current relationship
  5. An escape from reality into fantasy
  6. A lack of, or insufficient, intimacy in their marriage or relationship
  7. A way to experiment with sex that might not be welcome in their marriage
  8. A spontaneous response to the moment with or without alcohol or other drugs present
  9. A way to exhibit a position of power over another person
  10. An escape from an otherwise tedious or unfulfilling life

Once you have ascertained what might be behind the betrayal then you can make the best decision about what to do about it. You may ultimately decide it is totally the responsibility of the wrongdoer or you may decide that you have to take some responsibility for what has happened as well and change some of your own behaviours.

My belief about this is that when two people truly love each other and are totally committed to their partner then unfaithfulness simply does not have a place. Instead when there are issues they will talk them through until they get a resolution.

And a word of advice: if you ever find yourself in a situation where there has been an infidelity, I would really encourage you to seek professional counselling before making any decisions you may come to regret.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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