Throughout university, I had two friends who dated each other on and off. She was madly in love with him, but he refused to ever be her long term boyfriend. He would date her for awhile, then leave her for someone else.
She found it very difficult. She loved him and wanted his commitment. As soon as she felt she was getting over him by dating other people or embracing the single life. Boom! He came back in her life and everything became complicated again.
Her story isn’t unique. I hear many women lament about guys they love: he won’t commit, but he won’t let go either. And, they find the behavior maddening.
This article will explain why that guy you love won’t commit, but also won’t leave.
Difference In Goals
If you are currently trying to date a guy who won’t commit, you need to ask “what do we both want?” Obviously, if you want commitment and he doesn’t, you have different goals for the relationship.
If he doesn’t leave, you’re giving him something he wants. And, if you let him stay, then he’s giving you something. Clearly, your ultimate goal is commitment. You’ll have to determine his.
If you can find out what he wants, then you’ll have more insight into his behavior. Some guys don’t want a long term relationship. Or, maybe he doesn’t want one with you. If his goal is only sex, a friend with benefits, casual dating, or being a “player,” then it will drive his behavior.
So, if you’re giving him what he wants (like sex or someone to hang with), it’s no shock that he won’t commit, but won’t let go. He’s getting what he wants! You, on the other hand, aren’t and will have to decide what you’re going to do about that.
Fear of Commitment
If he expresses his love and seems to connect with you on many levels, then it’s likely that he has deep feelings for you. However, he might just fear commitment, or greater commitment.
Serious relationships can be scary, especially if you want him to formally commit through marriage. The lesson is this: getting married is forever. Those words make a lot of guys nervous.
Fear of commitment can come from multiple sources. Maybe he’s had bad relationships in his life and fears that yours will fall apart if he gets too close. Perhaps his parents divorced or he was raised around people whose marriages didn’t last.
Regardless of his reasons, he might genuinely like you, but have trouble committing out of fear. In this case, you’ll have to be patient with him and build greater trust. He’ll have to come to believe that you’re worth commitment.
But, keep in mind that, as the next point shows, not everyone fears commitment. Don’t assume it has to be that.
Wants To Remain Independent
I have a close friend who is good-looking, has a great job, and is funny and charming. He has multiple women chasing him. Many of them want him to commit. He doesn’t fear commitment or have any “issues.” They can’t believe it, but he just doesn’t want to “settle down.”
Some men are very happy with their independence and actually enjoy dating around. Some might be open to a more committed relationship, but haven’t found the right person.
Regardless, if he doesn’t commit to you, but won’t let go, it might be because even though he enjoys your romantic company, he also enjoys being single.
Remember, just because he wants to date around doesn’t make him a player. While that’s true of some guys, for others they’re just looking for the right person. If you want him to commit, then you think he’s the “one,” but he might not agree.
For guys like this, you might just have to accept the fact he’s not ready for the relationship you want. He might be ready down the line or he might never be ready.
But, look at his situation. If he’s recently divorced or has been in a lot of long term relationships, then he might just need some freedom and he’ll be ready to settle down quickly. But, if he’s a confirmed lifelong bachelor and player, be warned that you aren’t likely to get him committed.
You Are “Plan B”
My friends in the first paragraph never did end up getting married. In fact, he never committed to her in the way she wanted. While he clearly liked her and was attracted to her, he didn’t like her enough to take that final step and become boyfriend and girlfriend.
When he found someone he liked better, he’d jump ship and date the new girl. But, when that relationship fizzled, he would inevitably come back to my friend because he hated being lonely and she was a good fall back option.
She wondered why he won’t commit, but won’t let go. But, after a pattern of this, the truth was obvious. He used her as “Plan B” when “Plan A” didn’t work out. She was a warm body and person to have sex with while he looked for someone better: the next “Plan A.”
In her mind, he was the best, someone she wanted to marry. So, when he was single again, she hoped against hope that he would be a different person and finally realize the “error” of his ways. The error, of course, was liking other women. And, the correct solution was finally falling for her.
If this sounds story sounds familiar, then, sadly, you are being used. You’re second place, a back-up. While you might be able to live with that, don’t think that being his reliable back-up will ever lead to being his girlfriend or any bigger commitment.
Granted, it’s possible he might come to his senses and realize how great you are. But, if you’ve been in his life for a long time and he constantly does this, the odds are good he’s not going to change his ways and suddenly be boyfriend material.
So, here are reasons why he won’t commit to you, but also won’t leave. For many women, this situation is more painful than him outright leaving. At least that way, it’s possible to finally move on.
If you’re in this situation, you’ll have to make the hard choices, knowing that if he hasn’t already committed, it’s not likely he’s going to ever change.