Why Won’t He Commit

Question: Dear Luise: I have been in a non live-in relationship for three years that is not going anywhere. I’m 60 and he’s 48. There is an “ever-present ex” that I have to deal with, as well. What I want to know is: 1. Should I have the “talk” with him about whether I am part of his long-term future or not? This is not something I really want to do, as I don’t want to put him on the spot or have him think I’m giving him an ultimatum. (I would not like someone to give me an ultimatum.) If he doesn’t want anything more than a “dating” relationship with me, I don’t want it either as I don’t believe you can force someone to do something they don’t want to do by using emotional blackmail or ultimatums. It does, however, mean that I would have to reconsider this “relationship”. 2. Should I let him know that I am not happy with the present situation? 3. Should I just let it go on as it is? A couple of people have suggested that I should be happy with just having a dating relationship and enjoy each other’s company, which we do. Am I wrong in wanting someone to grow old with? To tell you the truth, I don’t want to “just date” for the next 10, 20 or 30 years. I am in much better health than what he is, so that’s not an issue. Does he have a commitment problem? He has never been married or had children. He has lived with his “ex” for about 6 years. They split about 11 years ago. She just ended up clearing out while he was at work one day. She literally “took him to the cleaners”. From what he has said, she was a compulsive liar who took him for what she could get and she was also very, very jealous. Does he believe that I will eventually do the same? I have more assets than he has. I am sorry to ramble on so much. This is really more of a book that a question. I guess I already know the answer I am seeking, but I need someone to reinforce it. Do you think the difference in our birth years has anything to do with it? I believe that if he is really in love with me (which I know he is), trusts me and does not have commitment and communication issues, then there wouldn’t be a problem. By the way, I am just as guilty as him of having communication issues – as if I didn’t I would talk with him anyway. Regards, M.

Answer: Dear M.: I vote for 4. Move on. What you see is what you get and if it’s not what you want, what’s the point? Maybe the people who have suggested you should just be content with a dating relationship would be fine with that solution but you aren’t. And I don’t think you ever will be. You are going to grow old very unhappily playing part-time second-fiddle. Blessings, Luise

3 Responses to Why Won’t He Commit

  1. N. October 22, 2008 at 9:14 am #

    Dear Luise; I am a single mother of two girls. Still young and doing OK for myself. I cant seem to date young guys because they don’t feel like they can be the man I need, yet so they lead me on and ask me to wait. I am addicted to the gym and like to have…fun so I am in no way attracted to old out of shape guys. I am approaching thirty and want to have a husband for myself and father figure for my girls. I really still love my ex but he does not have a career and would need emotional and financial support. I need wisdom here. Please help. N.

  2. Luise November 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm #

    Dear N. Sometimes we just don’t find that person that is old enough to be solid and young enough to be interesting who is also financially and emotionally stable. What I read between the lines is that you have tried to move on but have been unable to. I think, if you still love your “ex”, you need to take a close look at that. No, he’s not perfect…but none of us are. Do his good points outweigh he failings? Could you work around his neediness if you tried again. He is the girl’s father and he must have some very redeeming features if you still have such a soft place in your heart for him. Blessings, Luise

  3. N. November 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm #

    Thanks for the advice. You are right. I prefer his ability to understand me and my likes and dislikes and we share the same morals and goals. I am just more aggressive than he is. He was a mommas boy the first time around. Now he is afraid to jump in but he calls and texts me everyday. Its hard to look be patient not knowing if he is ever going to come around or if he wants someone else. I want him to committ but he says he wants to be financially stable first and in the meantime I am afraid we will both settle for other people. I agree he should be more responsible but I have just reached a place in my life where dating around waiting on him to grow up has grown old. N.

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