Pilgrim

Guy Has Commitment Issues

25 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

What to do if the guy I am seeing has commitment issues? I have been dating a guy for 3 months now and since he came back from a Vipassana retreat he is acting very weirdly. We have been very close before and now he is very distant.. it seems like he is too hurt emotionally and not able to open up. And it seems that opening up to someone is getting harder for him, the better we know each other. I am also wondering if he just feels like we are not a match, since mostly "I am not ready for a relationship" means "I am not ready for a relationship with you" but in this case, I don't think so. I feel like he is very hurt inside.. he has been cheated on quite badly and it seems like he developed a fear of intimacy. He can't properly commit to me right now and wants to take it very slow, this involves also no physical intimacy/contact since he feels like he is loosing himself too much. He wants to develop more of a platonic friendship now (it seems like he feels this gives him more security) and take his time now and get more stable within himself. It seems totally reasonable to me, but the problem is I want a committed relationship, I want to know where I am at.. and he can't give this to me right now. He deeply wishes for true intimacy, but he is also incredibly afraid of it. I don't really know what to do.. because if I am waiting for him until he is ready, it seems like I am deciding against myself. And I don't want to do that.. I am making myself way too dependent on him then. That's why I decided to distance myself now and let him go. It's truly difficult though. But I don't see that there is another option? Maybe he is able to sort it out and maybe I am still there, when he is ready. But maybe I am then also gone already.. I don't know. 

How can you heal commitment issues and a fear of intimacy? Thank you for everyone who can contribute to this!!  

Edited by Pilgrim

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What I would do in this situation is to let go of any need for things to go in a particular direction, and just follow the situation. Trust the process.

So, if he feels like he's not ready for a relationship, then honor that. And if he means a lot to you and you truly care for him as a person, let him know that you'll be there for him even if he isn't interested in a romantic relationship.

So, it's basically like releasing hold of a butterfly, and if it comes to perch itself on you again to allow it to. But if not, to refrain from chasing it.

It's really about receptivity and surrender to reality as it is, and trusting that life will bring you in the direction you need to go in without getting attached to outcomes.

Also, consider that he could have avoidant tendencies and trauma around intimacy. In that case, you'll have to give him space, otherwise he will close up. If love in his childhood came conditioned upon him losing parts of himself, he will naturally recoil from love/intimacy as a result of those wounds. And that's true even if he really cares about you and has romantic feelings toward you. 

So, foremost, believe him when he tells you these things. And assure him that you will continue to hold space for him regardless of how he feels or what he expresses to you.

And don't try to fix him or heal him of this... especially not for selfish reasons like wanting a relationship with him. That's the worst thing you can do.

Just hold space for him.

It is simply your presence, receptivity, and ability to hold space for him without expectations that may give him contrast with what he's experienced in the past that has made him fear intimacy. And through that contrast, it may give him space to feel comfortable as he will have someone providing unconditional love and presence with him in a way that he may never have gotten before.

And again... do this without neediness or expectation of it turning into a relationship. Do it because you genuinely care about him.

 

 


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This sounds like every man on Earth! Fear of commitment and intimacy.

If he's not willing to give you the proper relationship you want, then move on to someone else. Trying to force a fit is going to turn out badly for both of you. You can't force a mule to drink water. He has to want it.

You need to own your agenda more. Be clear with yourself and with him what you want. If this scares him off, then it was never going to work anyway. If he was really into you and was serious about relating with another human being, he shouldn't be scared off.

You can't fix men. You gotta find a man who already shares your values. One of your values is relationship while it sounds like that's not one of his values.

You need to decide for yourself, not against yourself. Don't bend over backwards for him. He needs to be clear about what he wants out of this. Relationship requires a conscious decision. Both parties have to be willing to invest time and energy into it. It can't be a casual after-thought like, "Okay, we'll try it, but if there is any inconvenience to me, I'm out." No! No! No! It cannot work that way.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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Posted (edited)

@Pilgrim So to boil it down to it essence is that you don't care about his healing process (you know he meditates) and you're more concerned with your own neediness.

Notice you called his behaviour "weird". That's a little bit of a derogatory word, it lacks nuance, understanding, compassion, maturity, self acceptance. 

How well do you think you know yourself? 

I'm not sure why Leo is making such grand assumptions off the back of your very limited description of your partner. What does Leo really know about this guy? What do you really know about him? Be careful who you listen to in life. Is anybody really "ready" and that complete package? Leo is projecting his ideals onto people that he doesn't even know. 

Edited by Lister

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5 hours ago, Leo Gura said:

This sounds like every man on Earth! Fear of commitment and intimacy.

If he's not willing to give you the proper relationship you want, then move on to someone else. Trying to force a fit is going to turn out badly for both of you. You can't force a mule to drink water. He has to want it.

You need to own your agenda more. Be clear with yourself and with him what you want. If this scares him off, then it was never going to work anyway. If he was really into you and was serious about relating with another human being, he shouldn't be scared off.

You can't fix men. You gotta find a man who already shares your values. One of your values is relationship while it sounds like that's not one of his values.

You need to decide for yourself, not against yourself. Don't bend over backwards for him. He needs to be clear about what he wants out of this. Relationship requires a conscious decision. Both parties have to be willing to invest time and energy into it. It can't be a casual after-thought like, "Okay, we'll try it, but if there is any inconvenience to me, I'm out." No! No! No! It cannot work that way.

I would read her post again. It doesn't really seem to me that he's showing "typical male behavior".  That looks a bit different in practice. I'm guessing that he genuinely is experiencing avoidant tendencies and has an insecure attachment style. 

So, my advice to her was to detach from the idea of having a relationship. But that, if he means something to her beyond her desire to be in a relationship with him, to continue being there for him and hold space for him. He may never have had someone give that to him before.

He honestly doesn't really seem to be doing the "typical man" thing to me, as her post indicates that any closeness from anyone might be met with this protection mechanism. Those with avoidant attachment styles, often were expected as children to sacrifice themselves to gain approval and love from parents. So, they experience a lot of fear and anxiety when given love into adulthood. 

So, for them it's like, the thing that they need most hurts them. It's like trying to drink water when you have scarlet fever and your throat is on fire. 

Just inviting a bit of nuance into your advice. 


Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/thediamondnet 

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4 hours ago, Lister said:

@Leo Gura Hows your relationship going at the moment Leo? 

Good Question 👍😅

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@Pilgrim Do that platonic love with him and give some space and time for both of you and you shall see if there is something going to happen.

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Posted (edited)

@Pilgrim

I think everyone stumbles over this bullshit sometime in their life. 

"I am not ready" "Let's take it slow" Or my favourite. " I have been hurt before". 

Well guess what: Everyone has been hurt before. Life can be tough. Get over it. If you find someone great to be with, then who fucking cares if you have been hurt before by some dumb fuck right? 

I would not entertain that bullshit. If you do you will get to see this shit: "Let's take it slow". Well how slow do you want to go? Because at some point you go so slow if you go any slower you go backwards. 

Bottom line is if he wanted to he would.

Edited by SFRL

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, SFRL said:

@Pilgrim

I think everyone stumbles over this bullshit sometime in their life. 

"I am not ready" "Let's take it slow" Or my favourite. " I have been hurt before". 

Well guess what: Everyone has been hurt before. Life can be tough. Get over it. If you find someone great to be with, then who fucking cares if you have been hurt before by some dumb fuck right? 

I would not entertain that bullshit. If you do you will get to see this shit: "Let's take it slow". Well how slow do you want to go? Because at some point you go so slow if you go any slower you go backwards. 

Bottom line is if he wanted to he would.

 

There are people with real psychological problem that can't be solved in just a month, may take years or decades.

The real question is if the op is ready to wait that long for one guy that might not even be that great relationship wise even if he take cares of that.

There is other guys that are ready right now, and more relationship wise than that guy, so why wait ?

Doesn't mean she can't help him as a friend, and truly love him like that, but if she wants a deep intimate relationship, she must let go of him in that way, otherwise it's a signal of deep and dysfunctional attachment from her part,

And if it is that, then she is not really ready for a healthy relationship either.

Edited by Shin

If you want the moon, do not hide from the night
If you want a rose, do not run from the thorns
If you want love, do not hide from yourself

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2 minutes ago, Shin said:

 

There are people with real psychological problem that can't be solved in just a month, may take years or decades.

The real question is if the op is ready to wait that long for one guy that might not even be that great relationship wise even if he take cares of that.

There is other guys that are ready right now, and more relationship than that guy, so why wait ?

Doesn't mean she can't help him as a friend, and truly love him like that, but if she wants a deep intimate relationship, she must let go of him in that way, otherwise it's a signal of deep attachment from her part,

And if it is that, then she is not really ready for a healthy relationship either.

Same gist, different wording. 

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On 5/7/2019 at 11:40 AM, Pilgrim said:

He wants to develop more of a platonic friendship now

If that's what he wants, he should have no problem if you find intimacy with someone else and keep him as a friend.

Best solution for everyone?

Do you feel like you have options, sexually, or do you feel like it would be hard to meet someone new?


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Posted (edited)

On 07.05.2019 at 5:40 PM, Pilgrim said:

because if I am waiting for him until he is ready, it seems like I am deciding against myself. And I don't want to do that.. I am making myself way too dependent on him then. That's why I decided to distance myself now and let him go. It's truly difficult though.

I'm sorry about your situation, I've been through something similar with a girl half a year ago. Wishing you to get over this soon.

I would suggest to not have this friendship if sacrificing your need for partnership will take too much pain.

@Emerald Selflessness takes time to develop, being too selfless too early may only be counterproductive and backlash, or end up in some weird situation, when you justify your neediness with selflessness and slowly develop hidden resentment or, in the worst case scenario, even being taken advantage of.

I don't think this is the appropriate advice considering words that I've just quoted. If she has anxious attachment style (which is most likely the case) having this friendship is as painful for her as it is for him to commit. Also, there's two types of avoidant attachment style: fearful and dismissive, and we don't know for sure if he is afraid or just thinks she's not good enough for him and lies about the reason why he doesn't want a partnership, retreats and other activities that cause a lot of stress can make people more narcissistic and cut off from their emotions and desires if they suppress their shadow. I bet that if he was attracted to women that cheated on him in the past he might actually be the dismissive type of attachment style.

Edited by Privet

 

 

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5 hours ago, Privet said:

I'm sorry about your situation, I've been through something similar with a girl half a year ago. Wishing you to get over this soon.

I would suggest to not have this friendship if sacrificing your need for partnership will take too much pain.

@Emerald Selflessness takes time to develop, being too selfless too early may only be counterproductive and backlash, or end up in some weird situation, when you justify your neediness with selflessness and slowly develop hidden resentment or, in the worst case scenario, even being taken advantage of.

I don't think this is the appropriate advice considering words that I've just quoted. If she has anxious attachment style (which is most likely the case) having this friendship is as painful for her as it is for him to commit. Also, there's two types of avoidant attachment style: fearful and dismissive, and we don't know for sure if he is afraid or just thinks she's not good enough for him and lies about the reason why he doesn't want a partnership, retreats and other activities that cause a lot of stress can make people more narcissistic and cut off from their emotions and desires if they suppress their shadow. I bet that if he was attracted to women that cheated on him in the past he might actually be the dismissive type of attachment style.

This is why I had said to let go of the attachment to outcomes, and to not expect a relationship. I was saying that, if he's important to her as a person, to give him space and presence. Someone who is avoidant can't help but be avoidant until there is resolve. The same is true of those who are anxious in their attachment. So, I was advocating for allowing their friendship to be a place of resolve.

But this would have to be done with a level of detachment that the OP may not be capable of. So, that's something to take into consideration.

My advice is more-so for the case that she cares about him even if no romantic relationship can come of it... like if she sincerely wants to help him. And this, of course, wouldn't bar her from seeking a romantic connection with someone else. 

That said, if she's just looking for a relationship and doesn't really have interest in him as a person beyond those ends, then she should just move on. 

I suppose that my assumption is that, if she cares about him enough to be in a relationship with him, she probably cares about him even if no relationship were possible and that she would naturally want to help him. And helping him would entail holding space for him unconditionally without expectation as he works through his fear of intimacy.

 

 


Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/thediamondnet 

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On 07/05/2019 at 11:40 AM, Pilgrim said:

What to do if the guy I am seeing has commitment issues? I have been dating a guy for 3 months now

Are you a therapist ?

Why are you diagnosis the shit out of this guy ?

He doesn't wanna be with me (assumption) so also it means that *long series of assumptions* such as he's been hurt before, etc.  (+1 for @Lister)

First of all you need to keep all of your assumptions/overlays in check and talk this trough with him, because you have no idea what's happening in reality. You cannot just assume things and act as if it were reality.

Also, here is what is wrong with him + how do I fix him ? is not a great start for a relationship.

Why would you wanna be with someone who doesn't wanna be with you ? Now that's a great question !

But before that why are you assuming he doesn't wanna be with you ? And even before that why are you so eager to get into a relationship ?

I love how everyone (including @Emerald) is quoting commitment issues but how the hell are you gonna know if you wanna commit to something in only 3 months ?

There is so much to discover about a person and whether you are truly compatible or not that there can be quite a lengthy time requirement before comitting to someone. Because a relationship requires a lot of work high quality people will not settle easily.

Also, on a higher level of development you should be able to communicate extremely well and get to know each other quite fast. So this can obviously cut a lot of time but I digress.

Obsiously on a more pragmatic stage orange level there isn't enough value for him to commiting to this relationship if he doesn't do it. But that's also an assumption which might as well be completely false. You need to talk this trough with him. Like in a very brutal/honest way of " look if we were in a relationship and I wouldn't give you enough value I wouldn't want to be with you anyway,etc. "

The issue though is that you would want to be with him anyway because of your history with neediness etc.

The way it works is that you need to be completely OKAY with never ever having a boyfriend on a emotional level. You need to solve the deeper underlying issue.

Long digression :

There is a great check for this, but I'm gonna be a bit biased because I'm male. One of the worst things you could do is use sex as a form of manipulation - aka if you make the decision to sleep with a guy based on the possibility of a relationship.

If a girl does this it indicates several things :

1) She doesn't enjoy the experience with me for the sake of it but has an agenda

2) She is desperate enough to manipulate someone to be in a relationship with her => why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't want it ?

3) If she's so desperate to get into a relationship why is that ? You start thinking, why does she have so little options ? Is there something wrong with her ? Why is she not able to find a partner ?

Then obviously you're not even sure if she wants to be with your for the experience of you or because she has no other options and lots of wounds/neediness.

Yep, dating is a bit fucked.

Honestly @Pilgrim amazing girls are so rare. Don't settle for less than you deserve. Become amazing and you're never ever gonna lack options. If you develop charm, charisma and deep feminine energy you're golden.

Best wishes.

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Posted (edited)

@Emerald  If it's true, that she is not as detached and if it's true, that he is dismissive this friendship is the worst case scenario. She will become needy and his dysfunctional avoidant pattern will only be positively reinforced because of her attention, it's like giving money to an alcoholic.

An avoidant can't feel connected the normal way so they are aiming to have backdoors, because for them power = love. Or they get converted to anxious type and attached to an avoidant with a stronger pattern than their (that will dismiss them later, like his ex). Or they expect the partner to be very submissive and forget about their needs. His attempt to befriend her may only turn out to be an unconscious manipulation to slowly bend her to serve his needs.

People who avoid genuine connection with others start to work on their problem when they get desperate and lonely enough, until that moment any genuine care is dismissed by them as bullshit/neediness/weakness. And I can't see at all how this friendship is going to heal anyone, saving people that don't want to save themselves is the epitome of codependency and narcissism which are far from "truly care about him as a person". If he interprets her attraction as neediness being friends with him will only make her "that needy acquaintance that likes me". I've had a school friend that was ready to have sex with me for years and I know that from personal experience, I didn't even notice she stopped contacting me and got a boyfriend.

@Pilgrim With all that said I don't aim to demonize him because I don't know him, maybe he's just afraid, desperate and lonely, watch out for subtleties and decide for yourself. Even if he's afraid and he doesn't want to hurt you his desperation may be too loud to care about your feelings, don't pretend to be a spiritual savior if you feel that it makes you lose your cool, serving others against your own underserved needs is the opposite of mature/secure/spiritual.

Edited by Privet

 

 

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On 7-5-2019 at 11:40 AM, Pilgrim said:

That's why I decided to distance myself now and let him go.

Seems like a good decision! Can you do it? Let us know how this goes.

 

On 7-5-2019 at 11:40 AM, Pilgrim said:

Maybe he is able to sort it out and maybe I am still there, when he is ready. But maybe I am then also gone already

Exactly! That's the risk. But, it's HIS risk, not yours. If you prioritize taking care of yourself first, which is what I recommend, then either one way or the other you will be in a committed relationship. With someone else or him. You don't have to worry about that.

 

On 7-5-2019 at 11:40 AM, Pilgrim said:

How can you heal commitment issues and a fear of intimacy?

YOU can't. He can. But he's not the one posting this thread, is he ;)


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Posted (edited)

Thank you for all your diverse answers, it's quite interesting to see all of these different opinions (and projections B|). Indeed I cannot know what's going on inside of him and indeed I cannot do the work for him. I realised I have some work to do myself, cause I was clinging a bit too much. It seems like we have this dynamic of the "chaser" and the "runner", the runner runs out of fear of intimacy and the chaser chases out of a lack of independence. But it's also beautiful that we found each other and have to learn to deal with these problems now. I have to be strong on my own (I changed my pattern already and distanced myself) and he needs to open up emotionally and be vulnerable (he tries and at least is aware of his pattern). So we are learning a lot and growing together, this requires a quite high level of maturity though and it's not easy. We hope for interdependence.. so far he is radically "independent" and acting as if he doesn't need anybody and could do everything on this own and I am more the dependent one.. but both are false in a way.. we both want security, he does not want to be hurt again and can't be vulnerable and with this he is isolating himself and ultimately hurting himself but he feels like it's more secure and I am too attached and clingy and feel like I need someone for security (polar opposite).. for our healing process we need to balance this dynamic within ourselves. Obviously the goal would be a balanced self and to form a healthy form of independence on both sides, which thus can lead to a healthy interdependence. 

We'll see what the future holds for us, but I know we both have to work on these patterns and heal our wounds now first. Thanks to all of you again! 

Edited by Pilgrim

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On 5/7/2019 at 6:47 PM, Lister said:

@Leo Gura Hows your relationship going at the moment Leo? 

I'm not in a relationship at the moment.


"Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself." -- Rumi

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On 5/10/2019 at 4:07 PM, Pilgrim said:

Thank you for all your diverse answers, it's quite interesting to see all of these different opinions (and projections B|). Indeed I cannot know what's going on inside of him and indeed I cannot do the work for him. I realised I have some work to do myself, cause I was clinging a bit too much. It seems like we have this dynamic of the "chaser" and the "runner", the runner runs out of fear of intimacy and the chaser chases out of a lack of independence. But it's also beautiful that we found each other and have to learn to deal with these problems now. I have to be strong on my own (I changed my pattern already and distanced myself) and he needs to open up emotionally and be vulnerable (he tries and at least is aware of his pattern). So we are learning a lot and growing together, this requires a quite high level of maturity though and it's not easy. We hope for interdependence.. so far he is radically "independent" and acting as if he doesn't need anybody and could do everything on this own and I am more the dependent one.. but both are false in a way.. we both want security, he does not want to be hurt again and can't be vulnerable and with this he is isolating himself and ultimately hurting himself but he feels like it's more secure and I am too attached and clingy and feel like I need someone for security (polar opposite).. for our healing process we need to balance this dynamic within ourselves. Obviously the goal would be a balanced self and to form a healthy form of independence on both sides, which thus can lead to a healthy interdependence. 

We'll see what the future holds for us, but I know we both have to work on these patterns and heal our wounds now first. Thanks to all of you again! 

Excellent! Hopefully this situation will help give you both the contrast and practice with forming healthy attachments. I think this is probably the most fruitful way to go about this situation. 


Check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/thediamondnet 

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