Setting Boundaries When He Won't Get In or Get Out

"My boyfriend and I were together for more than two years; we have a one-year-old daughter. We have definitely had our differences, but I truly love him. At one point, we were discussing marriage a lot, but three weeks ago he said he was "going out for a while" and didn't come back until the next day. Then he said that he didn't know what he wanted anymore, that he loved me but was not "in love" with me. Now I feel like he's sending me mixed signals. We see each other all the time because we share a daughter and I rely on him and his parents to help me because I go to school and work. Plus, he still comes over and we have had sex, and next week we are going to the Dominican Republic together on a vacation we booked a year ago. What should I do? I'm so afraid of getting my hopes up while he is just running with the moment and will leave me again when we get back. Please help!" --iVillager julialita


Brenda Shoshanna

Dr. Shoshanna is a psychologist, therapist and certified divorce and family mediator. She has written five books, including Zen and the... Read more

Dear julialita:

Why are you going on a vacation with a man who loves you, but isn't "in love" with you? It's important for you to question what his message means here: He wants to come and go as he likes? That he feels he can use you for sex and company whenever he feels like? This is bad for both you and for him. It demeans you and prevents you from finding someone real in your life. Just because you share a daughter and he visits and cares for her doesn't mean you have to share a bed, vacations or a life together.

I would not be intimate with him in any way at this point. Sit down and find out his intentions towards you. And find out what you want in life as well. If you want a solid marriage with someone you can count on, this relationship may be a waste of your time and even worse, playing with your heart. You have every right to set up boundaries in this relationship, even though you will continue to see him. For starters, you can leave when he comes over. And you can date other men, if he is not committed to you. Don't let him play with your head and don't play games with yourself. You absolutely deserve something stable and real. It's up to you to make that happen.

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