Commitment is scary!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2010
Commitment is scary!
10
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 11:28am

I've been dating a guy for 2 years. For the past 6 months he's constantly said that he doesn't know what to do with his life. He wants to do this, he wants to do that, he wants to go live in a tent... he won't make up his mind.

I've decided that I want to move back home because I haven't been with my family in almost 6 years, haven't seen then in 5. I've talked about this with him, and he says he supports that decision, and that he'd like to go with me.

The big deal is that he refuses to commit to me. I feel that I have compromised a few things, gone without a few things, all so that I could stay with him. I don't regret that at all. So it hurts big time when this guy says something that boils down to 'you're cramping my style' and 'I want to keep my options open.'

He has told me for two years that he would enjoy being old with me. I am not asking for marriage. I'm asking for a commitment, a promise that we will work together, so that in a few years we can both be in a position to enjoy life to the fullest. It seems to be that he doesn't want to even entertain the idea if it involves anything uncomfortable for him.

What the hell am I supposed to do? I've stuck by this man for two years despite life throwing things at us. He's stuck by me despite me going insane because of some medication I took (I'm all better). Why the sudden change of heart?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2003
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 11:19am

"Ahh romantic comedies... They're like a poison to the reality that is relationships." <- So true! I have long called them "female porn."

girlinpinkshorts, I remember reading on ivillage somewhere several other testimonials from military wives that their men had no drive, structure, or decision-making skills after being discharged. It was like they went into a long-term slump, played video games in their pjs all day, that sort of thing...they were lost without the very structured life of the army. I believe there is a military wives/spouses board on here that might be worth a look, or maybe posting to express the frustration you've written about here. I know that may not help the immediacy of your decision or situation, but it might shed some light on what he's going through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 9:17am

Ahh romantic comedies... They're like a poison to the reality that is relationships

I'm sorry about the answer he gave you. But look at it this way - He gave you a clearer answer on what you have to do. You're moving, with or without him, and if he's not coming with you, then he's made a big decision for you so that you don't have to. I agree with the assessment that this situation will work out as it's "meant" to - As in, if it's not the right decision, it won't work out that way.

So now you kind of have your work cut out for you. You're going to move and start a new life, and he won't be with you. It's hard to feel now, but that's for the best. Good changes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 2:16am
Maybe it's meant to be that way? It sounds harsh; however, things change, people change and new opportunities arrive at your feet. Don't wait around for this guy to 'finally' fit your bills, it will only lead to more disappointment and regret on your end. If it's meant to happen, it will on its own. Don't let people stand in your way of what you really want, in your heart---in your gut.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2010
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 1:05am

Well I talked with him tonight, in person (we live an hour apart because of my job). It didn't go so well because I told him about my concerns about his 'options' and while I believe him when he says he's not interested in anyone else or even looking for that he also said 'Why don't you just plan to move as if I'm not going with you.'

If he moved with me, it wouldn't really affect him and the only thing he'd have to do is help with the move and settling in. He is getting out of the military in 10 days, and has had months to figure out his own game plan. When he never came up with one, this is what I came up with. Since it's not exactly what he wants or thinks he wants, he's stalling. He told me 'I need a few months to think about this.' In a few months I was hoping to have already moved and started settling in.

Part of me wishes this were a really sappy romantic comedy where the guy is clueless and tactless, lets the girl go, and realizes his mistake and spends the rest of an hour and a half trying to win her back and finally succeeding. I know that that's just a story, and that doesn't happen, though. If I leave we'll just be 'good friends' and I'll have to go through grief on top of stress and worry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-03-2007
Tue, 07-27-2010 - 1:03am
" I don't understand what 'options' I'd be limiting " Why not ask him? Why actually did you not ask him? He is your best source.You can keep on trying to find meanings but its he who knows what he is saying and means.
Ask him.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-03-2003
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 6:18pm

When he says he wants his "options open," does this mean women, solely? Could it mean job prospects, travel, etc? He mentioned being open to moving to where you will be...what will this entail for him? Will he have to switch jobs? Will he give up proximity to his own family? Will he leave his circle of friends? Does he know anything about the area you are going to? If he is leaving lots of things (including a job) just to be with you, that is a tall order. I did this once for a guy and will never be comfortable doing so again, at least not with a job lined up.

You asked what the hell you should do. You should move to be with your family, as planned. Communicate to him you would love for him to be there and he is welcome, but the decision is his. The fact that "living in a tent" is an option suggests to me that he has things he needs to work out of his system before he's ready for anything stable, like marriage or a career. I know you're not asking marriage per se, but the combination of commitment + relocation can be equally scary for a guy like this.

Yes, it mystifies me how many guys can be so great, supportive, sweet, SAY things about the future, truck out the parents and whole family for you to meet...and completely balk and not follow through when it comes down to a future together. Just know that it happens frequently!

BTW I could've written lots of your post...my guy is the same way! So great and supportive in every way, but the story with him changes weekly! Fortunately we have a little more time to work on our relocation together, and I plan to keep him fully abreast of any job applications I send out, and check in with him often. If I still sense he is "scattered" in a year, I plan to move on.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 5:02pm
I'm not sure if he means other women. It sounds more like he's unsure of what he wants for himself in general. Has he told you that he's not sure of this relationship, specifically?
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2010
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 3:48pm

I'm really sorry, I left out the whole part that's been bothering me. He says he won't commit because he isn't sure this is exactly what he wants.

He tells me sweet things for two years, but as the time comes close for me to make my final decisions about where and when I'm moving to, and wanting to know if he's really serious about being with me, he basically says 'you're asking me to limit my options.' It's hurtful, because I don't understand what 'options' I'd be limiting unless he's eying other women. I've never had a problem with him doing his own thing with or without me.

This second post is a good example of why you shouldn't make first posts when you're really upset. I left out a huge piece of the picture.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-18-2009
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 2:37pm

"The big deal is that he refuses to commit to me."

And you want to change that? That would mean more time wasted on something that is not happening.He has given his decision and you need to accept it or keep on trying to change it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Mon, 07-26-2010 - 1:50pm

I'll give you what I would believe to be a male's perspective even though I'm not male: It sounds like you're asking something very intangible and difficult to describe from him. Marriage I could understand, but you're asking for what, a promise that he'll stick by you? Hasn't he already shown that he's going to do this? So he's entertaining ideas of a change in lifestyle or career, that's normal, but he has also told you that he will move to be with you and that he wants to grow old with you.

I don't get what you want from him that he hasn't already shown you. So I can't blame him for being unable to give you the perfect answer.