My boyfriend will not commit

-- Question for John --

I started this wonderful relationship with this guy and he has a lot of the qualities that I look for in a guy. He keeps getting scared, and he will not commit. We decided to be exclusive with each other, we were both so happy with one another. Then this week things looked down he called me and told me that he liked me a lot but he wasn’t sure what he wanted. He says he feels like he wants it then he doesn’t.

This happened because he might get laid off from his job and this has just made a mess of everything. If he gets laid off then he says he has no choice but to move because there are no other good paying jobs around here. He wants to not see me anymore because he doesn’t want to hurt me and for me to get more attached to him.

I can’t help it I am already full blown attached and I know he is being the more responsible one deciding this but I feel like I will be losing the love of my life. Finally I have found what’s taken my whole life of searching and now I have no control over it. He says he also has a problem of committing because of his childhood his parents were divorced and his mom has had a lot of bad relationships.

Well my childhood wasn’t peachy either my parents should’ve been divorced. What can I do I don’t want to lose what I have but it seems he’s made this decision and I have to live with it. He says that he has an unstable future here and I have a stable one and that’s what’s different. He said if this wasn’t happening at work then things would be different. I just don’t want to lose him.

-- Answer from John --

Sadly, there are relationships that occur like this but do not stand up to the test of good timing. While timing may be good in your life for really wanting this and seeing that it fits your desired qualities, and that it sharply contrasts with the less wonderful relationships you have exited — timing is different for him and where he is in his life.

It takes two well-timed and well-motivated partners to actively create and sustain a working relationship. It takes only one to end it. This apparently is not well-timed for him, nor is he well-motivated.

It is out of your hands. He needs to deal with his own situation and he is the only person who can know when it is time for him to venture into the land of commitment. He is directly telling you that this is not that time for him. How much you want him and feel he is perfect for you is not a factor that can influence his need to be ready for himself.

This, of course, leaves you with an aching heart. I wish there was a trick here that I could teach you to make someone commit to you. But I would not believe that such a trick, if even possible, would ultimately render a healthy longterm relationship.

At this point in time, I would best recommend that you come to terms with the actual situation here, and turn your inner attention towards soothing your aching heart. Ultimately, this is the only thing that you do have under your control and the only thing that you yourself can do. It is at least good to know that there are different kinds of men out there, and that is what this current guy has shown you.

One of the qualities that is imperative to add to your list of desirable qualities in a potential partner is whether or not they are truly available for a potential commitment, should the relationship get to that point. I suggest you make sure of this potential before totally opening your heart and convincing yourself emotionally that you have found the guy you want to settle down with. Until you know this, and it can take a month or several months to really know it, I suggest you go a little slower.

I will tell you one thing that can sound like a trick (as we were discussing above). That is this. If you reach that head-over-heels place of wanting commitment too far ahead of a guy, you will only tend to chase him away (even if he might have committed down the road). This is another facet of good timing. You need to watch that in yourself. And keep ahold of your own heart in the matter, as much as possible.

Perhaps, even with all my pessimism above about the future chances with this current guy, you might find he responds, if you do follow my advice to accept his unavailability and to take care of your own aching heart. Doing this, you might just readjust the timing factor which got so out of whack — and, who knows, if he sees that you have backed off and are not sending unconscious messages of being desperate for commitment soon, he might just get re-attracted into the relationship.

I do not guarantee this, nor do I even like the idea of the primary motivation for you to take care of your own heart and back off to be a trick to get him back. You need to do it because it is the thing you need to do for yourself, right now, to get whole — not to get him back. I just point out that there may be another beneficial result in doing so. And I mention it to place in front of you squarely that the timing factor is something that you do have some control over — at least in so far as creating better timing for your part of the dance.