Jessica dated Kevin for 7 months. In that time, she never met his family. She was never welcomed into his close circle of friends. He was often vague about his schedule. He even avoided deep conversations, especially about the future.
After more than half a year, in spite of the fact that she still cared for him, Jessica did something about it. She dumped him.
“I didn’t see it going anywhere,” she explains. “He was just closed off to me. There’s no future in that.”
Sadly, she’s right. If a man won’t really let you into his life, that’s usually a sign he doesn’t see the relationship as a lasting thing.
Of course, guys don’t tend to open up as quickly as women.
When a guy is slow to enter into state-of-the-relationship talks, that doesn’t necessarily mean he views what you have as a fling. Many men keep their inner thoughts and feelings heavily guarded and may need some coaxing and patience to open up. There’s no need to bail at the first sign of a wall.
But if he keeps putting up walls? If he shows no indication of ever letting you in?
In that case, you have a tough decision to make.
But before we get to that, here’s what you should not do. You shouldn’t tell yourself that he’ll get there eventually (assuming you’ve already given him feedback and time to change). Holding out hope when he’s clearly shown he’s not looking for something serious will only leave you more disappointed later. Instead, accept that he’s not thinking long-term.
And don’t assume it’s about you! More than likely, it’s about him. If he’s not ready, he’s not ready. That’s not a criticism of you.
That leaves you with two options. First, you can decide to meet him on his ground. Accept the relationship for the short-term fling it is, and enjoy it. This requires you to do a real gut check. If you know your heart is already committed, it may be hard to pull this off. If, on the other hand, you’re totally okay with dating purely for fun, this is a viable option.
The key here is in knowing yourself and guarding your own heart. Avoid the temptation to tell yourself that you’re okay with a lack of commitment if you’re really not.
The second option is the one Jessica took–move on.
When you know you want more, but there’s no sign of a future in your current relationship, the very best thing you can do is be honest about that. Both with yourself and with him. If the two of you are at different places and wanting different things, there’s really no bad guy. It’s just not a good match.
Tell him you’re looking for something more long-term, and you think it would be best for you to part ways.
The great thing about this option is that it truly is for the best. No one enjoys being pressured or manipulated into commitment. That rarely ends well. And wanting a commitment you can’t have? That’s torture. It’s so much better to learn from the experience and move forward.
Get clear about what you want from the relationship you’re in. Set yourself up for success by assuming the best at first. Give things time to grow and develop with the understanding that intimacy doesn’t bloom overnight.
If you’ve done all of that and a committed connection still isn’t there, either accept the relationship for what it is, or take care of yourself by moving on.