When He Doesn’t Let You In

how to know when to move onJessica 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.

how to know when to move onWhen 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.

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55 thoughts on “When He Doesn’t Let You In

  1. Msrib said:

    I’m in a relationship like that. It’s hard to let go. I believe I love him more that he love me .. I believe he love me only for what I do for him meaning he said I keep him grounded. He tells me he love me but I do not feel it. I believe he’s in a love trangle. Meaning I think I’m a friend and he has a girlfriend.. How do I find out ?

    • James Bauer said:

      I wish you were not in that situation. It’s emotionally strenuous when you’re not sure exactly what’s going on. You said he tells you he loves you, but you do not feel it. What would have to be different in his attitude, actions, or words for you to “feel it” with certainty?

      Answering that question may bring clarity. Get specific instead of thinking in vague terms about the ways he treats you that seem wrong. Sometimes it’s just insecurities or miscommunication, but other times it becomes very clear when you realize no one else would put up with a certain kind of behavior.

      • lisa said:

        I also have this dilemma! He works shifts and weekends and I only really get to see him every 2 to 3 weeks! Over the last 5 months I have given him the opportunity to get to know me although he is also closed about his personal life! However he always stresses how much he wants me and Last time I saw him he kept asking me to tell him that I love him! Does this mean the relationship is making progress? Or should I also consider moving on?

    • Jennifer said:

      I was in a relationship that I thought was going no where, hanging on to every moment we spent together, waiting for him, and finally I made the bold first move. After 6 months without even a first kiss, I surprised him after work one day by being at his place, 80 miles away from mine, waiting there with dinner in a crock pot and his favorite beer, and a overnight bag. When he asked me if I was staying the night I said YES, and his reply was It’s about time !
      It still took 4 more months, before I met his family and friends, and it was only when I BOLDLY said to him, I don’t want to be your dirty little secret forever, you will know when the time is right.
      That’s been 9 months ago, and I have now met his whole family, including an ex wife. Our relationship has never been stronger. When I finally got up the server to ask him why it took so long to “make the first move” he said ” I was waiting for your heart to tell me to ” I cried right then and there, so happy I didn’t give up !!

      • James Bauer said:

        Wow, that is a beautiful story. Thank you, Jennifer. And way to go!


  2. Marina said:

    I’ve moved on. He had his chances and I gave him long enough. Over 1 year. I always suspected that there was a complication that he was not disclosing. He said he was separated for many years. Interestingly now he has suddenly put up “married” as his status on his facebook page.
    I’ve had quite a bad run of men pretending to be single when they are not and I now getting very “gun shy”

  3. Diane said:

    Page ..2
    What if you have been focusing more on past ( not letting go )
    And have noticed he’s gone from trying to make me happy to being careful not to upset me.. How do I change it ? Flip it ?

    Thank you James

    Best to you

    • James Bauer said:

      I love that question, Dee, because it indicates you already have the answer. Recognizing the focus on the past is the problem, and becoming willing to let him make you happy…that is the answer. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to communicate that to him so he knows that you are making a conscious effort to open the doors for a desire-based relationship rather than a survival mode relationship (as you have apparently been in for a while with him).

  4. kim said:

    I’ve been in this same situation for 4 years and every time I let him manipulate me into staying how can I help myself get out of this and stop falling for the bs I never met family never met close friends when we go out it’s always far off from where we live I ask if he’s embarrassed too be with me and he replies no but I asked if there other women he replies oh yes I have female friends and that who he sees and who he talks too is none of my business I don’t understand why he just doesn’t let me leave when I say I’m leaving 4 years I mean really and haven’t met anyone am I being too clingy and needy by staying sign hurt and confused

    • Eve said:

      I knew of a case like this. He would never have a date in town or close – say 50 miles or so.
      After ten years. Someone spotted them and drew her. Aside to tell her he was also dating another woman full time. Lucky she never had intimate relationship with him. She is a lovable,beautiful lady with an awesome personality. His loss.

  5. sarah said:

    I’d like to say that I very much appreciate all of your newsletters. They are all so helpful! This one in particular speaks to a situation I struggled with for too long. A guy that I liked way too much and he liked me a bunch too, but he NEVER LET ME IN. He would never even ask me to be his. I was stupid and spent a year tackling the issue. Then one day I just decided I was better than this and I moved on. Now I’m with the most wonderful man and the guy who never let me in now regrets his mistake. He confessed it was an issue with him and not me. But I look back and realize he could never have made me as happy as the man I’m with now. Thanks for all of your guiding posts!

    • James Bauer said:

      I will never get my fill of happy-ending stories like this one. Thanks for sharing it, Sarah.

  6. Teri said:

    At 3 month’s I feel head over heels for this guy and feel in love. Told him and he told me all he wanted was to date. He was coming to see me once a week for the first 5 month’s. And no, there was no meeting his family or friends and still haven’t. we actually settled on staying friends with benefits and I told him that I should have thought the way he does a long time ago even though it’s killing me. He is now at almost 6 month’s seeing me when he can because his work has changed from days to nights and when he does come to see me he spends hours with me. Any where from 4-5 hours at a time. He leaves work to come see me. He does talk to me about his family and his kids that he raises by him self and he is feeling more comfortable with me and our situation. Though he has never taken me out, any where. He has told me that he isn’t hiding me and would say that we are friends butt has never mentioned meeting his family. I just would like to meet his kids or even go to his house, but it hasn’t happened…at least not yet. Maybe I’m crazy but LOVE can make you do stupid things. Honestly I don’t know what to do about this. Maybe someone can let me know where I am going wrong……

    • Michele said:

      Hi Teri! I think he’s sending you clear signals and you’re refusing to see those signals. He mentioned to you that all he wanted to do was date…believe him. He’s being straight forward about what he wants and doesn’t want. He doesn’t sound as if he’s ready for a relationship. You also entered into a friends with benefits type of relationship, but is that really what you wanted, or did you make that decision, hoping he’d change his mind? There are cases where men DO change their minds in a friends with benefits type of relationship, however, that isn’t always the case. Do you want to wait until he “comes to his senses” or would you prefer to be with a man who wants to pursue something more permanent?

      “he is feeling more comfortable with me and our situation.” Of course he is! He’s getting exactly what he wants…time with a good woman, without a commitment to her. Once a week, for 4-5 hours is not a commitment. He hasn’t taken you out, or introduced you to his family, because you and him are not in a committed relationship.

      So, you pretty much have two choices. You can accept the relationship, as is or you can let him go, because both of you want two completely different things.

    • Michele said:

      I’m also wondering if he’s married and not sharing this information with you.

  7. caroline said:

    Thank you for allowing me to comment. I have dearly wanted to purchase your product but my position has been that I met a man online from Australia me being in england. We talked a lot on Skype and with him daughters who love him. We decided to go for it. He came here. I rented out my flat. We toured around and then went to London to await the plane. Sat together alone with no other distractions I realized their was a element missing.there was no intimacy. I decided to talk to him about what I have learned all too late, that I go for men that are my father, unommunicative, distance, unloving. He assured me. And my head was filled with a new life and excitement.
    As soon as we got there the lovely site seeing we did first was lost to him. I felt alone. He said something to hurt me but there was no comfort to resolve. He let me cry. No soft word of comfort.i huge him. He patted me on the back like I was a child. The situation continued. He has no knowledge of how to be intimate. I stayed in Australia on extended visa, I made friends did volunteer work and tried to deal with it. But inside I was angry frustrated confused. I wondered why he was readily given Un conditional love from his girls. I had left mine at 13 because of it and gone to live with my grandmother.
    We came back to England in July to see to my flat sell or rent. We came into a lot of difficulties to rent as it needs electric , windows and other issues to comply. It set into motion frustrations I needed comfort he just wanted logic. Which was to sell quick. I want and wanted deeply to leave here. It is not a nice flat or area. I don’t like it here, I like it there. I cried, I needed his emotional endurance not to be afraid to give up my payed home to return to his home, with no guarantee of being accepted even though we were to be married June 15. He left. But then he contacted me saying over and again I should have just followed what he said. I knew at that point he wanted me still, so I thought I was in a good position to let him know what I needed.
    I asked him if he would look into Imego couples therapy with me. No I am not looking into any therapy or reading any books. So as much as he wants me and the relationship and marriage he won’t bend. When I’ve explained to him he says he’s always had problems with intimacy, and he was also afraid until I got my stamp to stay.he states he does love me and want me. And I want out of here. The friends i made there want me to return.But I am still stuck in my decision, I’m scared to step into uncertainty I am 56 and I fear I won’t get my stay. I fear letting go of my security to a man that can’t look in my eyes even in intimacy. I don’t want to be here. I hate it here. I’m stuck. I would appreciate any advice, very much. Caroline. With thanks.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi! This question is focused on the need for an intense jump of personal development, perfect for the private consultation service available in the new members area. It’s a bit too involved for me to address as a blog comment. I love your involvement with the material I post here, but to get a guaranteed response to your personal questions, please use the private consultation service. It’s better for these kinds of questions.


    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi Caroline,
      It sounds to me as though you are involved with a man who has Aspergers Syndrome, My ex-husband of almost 40 years has this. (He is now 70). He found it very difficult to be intimate – just a quick wham-bam-thank-you-mam. And in other ways he could not be open and intimate and personal, or express his feelngs or communicate. Even eye contact was difficult for him. In his own way he was caring and thoughtful and very, very constant and loyal. He would go to the ends of the earth for his family. Lay down his life. He showed his love by spending all his time rebuilding our home and working very, very hard at a demanding job, too. We had three girls, so my life was filled with them. He is a loner. We never went out socializing, and had no friends. If your man does have this condition and you want an emotional, demonstrative, intimate, caring, passionate, soulfull love – forget it. He cannot give you that. It is not his fault, that is his make-up – he can’t help it, he was born that way. Added to this, Australian men are known for being very “macho” and unemotional (unlike English men) – so there is not much hope there, I’m afraid. Accept him for what he is, or if you can’t, forget him. I’m sure he has many good qualities that you need to look for and appreciate – but communication of any sort will not be one of them. Access information about Aspergers and you may find that is his problem. If so, you will have to build your own life around your relationship, and not expect too much from him emotionally. You can always work on the Imago technique yourself – and maybe slowly introduce some of these ideas to him, without him realizing it. Whatever you do, don’t enrage the bull and unleash his pride or you will get nowhere – he’ll just dig his heels in. But sometimes men will go off and think things through on their own. As I have learnt, try to be “soft on the outside and strong on the inside”. Be his “soft place to land”. And keep smiling! Men don’t like needy cling-ons. It all takes time! If he still wants you, just go for it! Especially at your age. What is there to lose? Who knows what the future holds? Yes, it is scarey. Just live for the day. There is a wonderful book you should read called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.
      I wish you luck!! Lorna (LaLa)

      • caroline said:

        Ooh Lorna thank you so very much for your reply. I appreciate how much time you have taken for me, it’s so good of you.
        Well When we sat alone in that hotel room waiting for the plane I knew something was not right. I talked to him about it and he denied anything was wrong. This is really one of the stones that am holding onto inside. He knew really, he knew there was a problem. As for my part, I got on that plane knowing something was ‘off’. On the plane I placed my hand on his face, and it was like a shock went down my arm.
        I was in rose colored glasses because I was heading off with a prince to paradise coast it was like a dream come true.
        It was awful from day one. The beauty around me were lost to me. He didn’t want to be there, had no intention to enjoying it. I found out later he had told his daughter he just wanted to get home. He has no joy, no passion. If he felt love in his sole he would enjoy all these elements, but it’s like something is dead inside him. He is boring. Hate to say.
        I have considered asperges. I will take a closer look. But I vered off looking at avoident personality disorder.
        He has many of the traits.
        I am interested in our experience. Can I give you my email caroline- ward at hm dot Co dot UK

  8. Rosie said:

    I was in one of these relationships and thank you for the advice. If a man is truly into you and wants a committed relationship with you, he will do all the pursuing and make sure you know how he feels…otherwise chasing after a man doesn’t prove that he even wants to be with you. You are just a fill until something comes along to his liking. It’s time for us women to take care of us…you want us you know how to find us. And just for the sake of arguement FWB does not work!!! I have first hand knowledge of this. You have to put yourself above everything else.

    • caroline said:

      Hi rosie can I ask you what FWB tried to work it out, sorry for my ignorance.

  9. Deb said:


    My advise to you is to keep looking until you find someone with a heart as big as yours. You so much deserve to have a man that not only understands your needs, but fulfills them. Your’e with a man that you adore and yet your already feeling sad and lonely. This is still the honeymoon stage. It’s very hard to move on and find someone the older we get. I am a few years older than you and am having a similar problem with my boyfriend. We’ve been together for a year now. I feel really close to him and want to tell him that I love him, but am afraid that he won’t say it back. He used to call me and text me everyday to say goodmorning or goodnight sweetie. Now, I get nothing. I’ve asked hm about this and he said, “We’ve alredy been through all that”. Well, I guess the honeymoon is over in his eyes. Those little things are important to me. I don’t always get a hug and kiss when we get together. I guess were done with all of that as well. I never get tired of his calls, texts, hugs. I want that to continue evern if we were together for 20 years. I am trying to decide if I want to invest any more time with this man.

  10. Monica said:

    James you wrote, “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.”
    2 things/ questions:
    1) What if understanding and intimacy are there, yet the guy still has “one foot out the door?” (ie guy I was with says he feels comfortable being totally vulnerable with me, yet he chooses to not make a move towards me- committed relationship)… He “lets me in”– but then runs away scared??
    2) And so, despite the love / connection, I hear you say the best choice is for me to “move on”… but HOW does one “let go” (to be able to move on) when I care/ love deeply??

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Is’nt that the question we all ask?
      As we get older, is it worth staying for the few crumbs we get, or should we move on and perhaps never, ever find another cake? Or are we expectng Gateaux when we should be happy with plain old sponge?
      Or should we be baking our own cakes?
      It’s enough to drive us all crazy.
      I wonder if the men are thinking and feeling the same way. It would be really interesting to know.
      We could all do with a crystal ball.
      My love and best wishes to you all. Lorna (LaLa)

      • caroline said:

        Lorna I’ve received mail from him he will agree to pre marriage counseling. It’s a huge step and I’m trying to be thrilled. But I’m bugged by the thought that he doesn’t want to do it really, not really interested in it, not really committed to seeing it as real, and meaningful so I, m really still asking myself, ?and uncertain. I should be positive about it it’s a miracle really

        • caroline said:

          I went looking on line for him to look up something?? On you tube. Titles like how to love a woman. How to be intimate. Nothing. There is one very attractive, undressed woman. It made me smile not with harness but because there is lot on how to ..This and that….everything to do to win a man…keep a man…treat a man, how to catch him keep him,…

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Monica. It sounds like you believe he enjoys your shared intimacy, but you believe he is afraid of something. Do you think it is something specific to your relationship that he fears? Or is it something about making a commitment to build something lasting? Knowing the answer to that question won’t change the fact that he has 1 foot out the door, but it may give you insight about how you can change that (or at least encourage him to make those changes).

      To answer your second question, you owe it to yourself to move on if he is never going to fulfill your needs and emotional desires. The relationship requires that you treat yourself well. Allowing yourself to remain tied up in a relationship with a man who is not willing to budge is not a good way to treat yourself. Check out my blog article on the pain of letting go.

      • Monica said:

        Thanks for your response, James!
        I think he feels “challenged” by me to “LIVE life fully”– and I think he doesn’t feel like he can “keep up”… he has eluded that “I deserve someone better” yet I disagree & told him I know he has qualities that will help me grow, as much as I have “helped him.”
        He has “chosen to walk away”– even though he KNOWS what he is losing!! He said that to me… yet wouldn’t say why. I think he is stupid to throw away the “treasure” of our intimacy/ relationship!!!
        Still, I have a hard time getting over this… 🙁 I think of him & what we’ve had/ could have and I DO mourn! & wish he would have chosen otherwise!!
        I do date and also do things with friends– yet I don’t feel I’ve met anyone with whom I’ve had that kind of connection!!!
        I think I am a strong person & I have ALOT to offer a great man– are there any “real men” who can “step up to the plate” and meet me where I am?? Loosing hope in the “forest full of banana trees!!!” 😉 What else do you suggest?
        THANK YOU!!

  11. anna loon said:

    I have been hanging out with this guy for 6 months now. We were exclusive but neither officially dating or in a committed relationship
    It has been a roller coaster emotional ride with him

    His reasons on the early stage of the relationship were:
    1. He is still moving on with his ex
    2. He has trust issues because all
    His ex left him for their ex’es and he is said he is keeping his guard up because he doesnt want to be hurt again and that he still hasnt trusted me yet

    i understood this. Because at first i thought im happy with what just we were until i am falling for him and that i am liking him more and i want to be in a serious relationship.

    I did told him that and i told him its better if we wont see or text each other again

    he said he like me and he just want to take things slow and he is still happy to hangout with me and be with me.

    Ive felt it. I ve seen that he really likes me, that he wants me. He said it too

    however everytime he gets close to me he would then be distant and guarded. He didnt message me for two weeks because he said he got scared that we are getting serious.then there he was again telling me he miss me and he likes me and all

    And Everytime i am the one who gone cold because of this he will come back to me and say and do things to make me comeback to him

    Im not good in conversation and so he is i
    Think. Sometimes we talk alot and have a connection sometimes we dont. He just quiet in text or in person. but we are connected especially in bed. And we do miss each other if we were distant from each other.
    Although i could summarized. All in all its more of words less actions

    And then after 5month he has to leave and now we leave far from Each other. He is in sydney now i am in northern territory
    And before he left we had a glitches

    I really though it was over. He didnt message me. But again after 2 weeks he said he cant stop thingking about me.

    That he had cleared his mind with hos ex and all was left is me.

    He said he miss me.likes me. Whats me to be there with him. He said he will make up for the lost time. He said he will look after me there.

    I did consider looking for a job there but all of a sudden he said the negative side of being in that place where he lives now.
    He confuses me. He is confused he admitted.

    We agreed to meet in sydney. Because of how much we want and miss each other
    I thought being with him would change the status of our relationship.

    It was a happy trip i felt he really like me though at some point his excitement gone less before we separated.

    I didnt come with him in tamworth because it feels that his not sure of he really wante there though he asked me earlier i i would want to be there and its not his intention to make me feel as if i should not come .he just want to make sure i wont blame him if i didnt like the place

    After thw goodbye.

    I confessed that ilove him and he means alot to me i said that because i want him to know and i am not demanding it to be requitted

    He said i mean alot to him
    And he really really like me but he cant call that love so soon.

    His messages are short and cold now. He would say he wish im there. Thats is and when i message to keep up a conversation he would answer but he didnt even bother to asked how am i doing.

    Should i let him go

    Please help me. This whole relationship is not giving a good effect on me.it makes me sad and unhappy.



    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Anna. For long personal questions like this, please submit a private consultation request. You can get the personalized kind of advice you are looking for here.

    • Lena said:

      Dear Anna,

      I feel I can relate to your story so much, because my own story is like a twin brother to yours. I really do not know, what to suggest to you, since I am looking for the same answer for myself. What I know for sure is that Long Distance makes the relationship much harder and more difficult to communicate with your loved one. I wish there is no long distance situation in my or your life at all. However this is a new experience that was given us for some reason, and we have to pass the lesson that the life is leading us trough.
      I also learned by reading this and other blogs about relationships that men are very different than women, and we have to accept them the way they are or live our life alone. It is very sad that in many cases that I’ve read about women complain about luck of commitment from their men, luck of trust or miscommunications. It seams to be a great challenge for us, women, to deal with all these obstacles in life, when it would be much better, if the men we love become more understanding and able to open up with us and treat us better that they really do.
      In spite of those difficulties, we, women, still looking for answers how to improve our relationships with our men and be happy and live happily ever after. That should be the reason why we were created this way. I even started thinking that in terms of growing relationships women, in general, are more developed creatures and sensible and stay alert better than men. We can’t live without men, and we are here to help them to improve their communication skills, in order to help LIFE continue on this planet.
      These are just my personal thoughts about Why we have to go through what we are experiencing now with our lovely men.

      P.S.James is such a wonderful source of getting our answers here.

  12. Kathy said:

    Yes I have been in a dating relationship with my friend for 4 years now and I am so in loved with him even though he’s still telling me that we’re only friends with no commitment and that is because he has been hurt so bad that he just wants to make sure he’s not making the wrong mistake but if he thinks I’m out with another man he has a fit and does not want me to do that he says he loves me but not in love with me because I’m not his preference but he will buy me anything he thinks I might wants and wines and dines me on occasion but he treats me on a so so level because I have lost my job and now Im not able to help him when he needs me to even though I have helped him in the past and have never asked him to help me but he does not see that at the moment I think our relationship could be better if he gets past that issue he keeps saying that he has his own issues and thats why its so hard for him to get close or commit I seem to think that’s a bunch of crock but I’m so confused and wondering should I let him go and move on or should I stick it out a little longer and see if he will ever see me more than his friend and ask me to marry him we spend a lot of time together so I really don’t know what he wants from me one minute he acts like he’s heavily in love with me then the next minute he acts like I means nothing to him IM SO CONFUSED PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Kathy. You deserve a man who loves you and wants to treat you well all the time (not just once in a while). Please don’t ignore what I’m saying. You really do deserve better. It’s not just positive fluff. There are men out there who would love to be in a relationship with someone who is consistent, loving, and devoted. Please don’t spend your time with a man who tells you that you’re not his type.


    • caroline said:

      Kathy James is telling you.
      And I miss saying this is hurting you because it has turned not a obsessing. The only thing you can do to save u yourself is put it to an end.it hurts I know I’ve had to do it once. It was like a drug. Awful but I pulled myself up again…somehow.. it was a painful time somewhere between heaven and hell

    • Angie said:

      Hmmm..I had a relationship ditto to this one…after 4 years with a split up because he claimed he was so jealous and couldn’t handle a relationship…well it all made sense after I found out he had another girlfriend for 12 years…he played that well…same excuses

  13. Kathie said:

    Hi there,

    I can so relate to what alot of these women are saying!!! I have been “dating” a guy
    who I THOUGHT I could just “date” with no strings attached….we have been seeing each other for 7 months….with some long physical separations included…We went on a trip to Vegas together….I had to sell one of my old cars at an auction. This is the first time I have traveled with a man since my husband of 25 years died 4 years ago.
    We had a great time! He even told me that! We seemed to “connect” and really be in sync the whole time, from Thurs through Mon….I sent him a long email Monday night after I got home (he lives 100 miles away from me) telling him thanks so much for his encouragement (I published a book of my artwork and poems I wrote because of him) and how I respected him for this choices and opinions, one of which was about why we have not had sex….(his answer was that it just complicates everything!) and how happy I was to have him in my life….have not heard from him since……that has been two and a half weeks ago….my phone died and I lost all my contacts and emailed him to let him know I lost his number as well….nothing…..I am so confused and hurt…..I have decided to just move on….he really is a wonderful person, but I guess just not for me…..I just don’t get it….how can someone be so “into” you and affectionate and just blow you away like that?
    Phew!!! I guess he was right….he was not and is not ready for a relationship….I should have listened right? 🙂 But I am not going to chase after him anymore…I think my answer is pretty clear…..right?
    Hard headed woman!!!!

  14. Sara said:

    I take the cake of ALL of you. I wasted 7 years ….
    My husband of 22 years passed, and we met at the airport. I thought God was showing me that I COULD love again … (rather early … but ??? ) Anyhow, I soon learned that he was a liar. He first lied about being ‘legally separated’ and he said he had four kids all above 20, when he had 5 kids youngest being six. He never met any of my friends or family, but we did do things often with all his friends and coworkers. When his apartment lease was up, he just ‘moved in’ … didn’t even ASK! He was transferred out of state at the same time I was laid off. At first he said NO you cannot go with me. but two weeks later he said c’mon up.
    At six years together, I went back home for the only job I could get…. and during that separation we scheduled to meet every two to three weeks. That worked for three months. THEN he ‘became a whore’ (his words)…. We separated…. stupidly three months later I went back upon his asking…..
    That lasted seven months. When he asked me to ‘move out’ because his kids wanted to come and visit. The neighbors told me he had another woman there in less than a week, and his kids never did come. He has since moved three times, and not once has he said his kids come to visit ! [Keep in contact because I STUPIDLY lent him money] And will until it is paid off.
    I am ‘scared’ to try the online dating…. Because of him, I no longer trust men. I feel no one will compare with my husband…. and I will only look for faults right away. [I am 58 years old …. too old to try again, especially after wasting a total of 9 years now…..]
    Do I really try to find someone this late in life ?

  15. Cindy said:

    I have been dating a man for 4 yrs. He had a job where he did allot of traveling but we did spend the weekends together when he was home. I have met all his friends and a son but the rest of the family is out of state. My issue is that when something happens in his personal life that he cannot control, such as a court issue regarding his son, and the latest is getting very angry at his job regarding a dear friend of his that lost his job and he retired early to stand up for his friend. When things like this happens he shuts me out. He doesn’t call and when I have gone to check on him he tells me that he loves me but needs time to take care of business and get his life back in order. I am a very patient person but how patient should I be in this sort of case! I am very confused because he is a very good man and I do feel the love when I am with him. It seems that our relationship cannot move further until his life is back in order!

    • James Bauer said:

      Ah, yes…the man on a mission. Sounds like he is at the extreme end of the continuum, but this is a fairly common reaction for men. Men have a hard time dividing their attention and motivation when they are on a mission. After four years, it’s important to begin a conversation with him about trying to overcome the instinct to shut you out when things go awry. He can learn to make you a part of his thoughts and efforts even when on a mission.

  16. Sarah said:

    Great advice, it’s so hard having a ex who i still i have feelings for, realizing you took him for granted and I stay hopeful because I still believe he loves me the way he used too, but he’s got a new g.f and I should MOVEE ON your right .

  17. Helge said:

    Great article, James. It left me wondering, though, how long do I wait and watch? When is decision-making-time? Thank you and kind regards from Helge.

  18. Wendy said:

    I’ve been dating my guy for just over a year. On our first date he told me he is not interested in one night stands and all of his relationships have been long term. He said his last relationship was with someone he though was ‘the one’ and he spent nearly every night with her for the first year then spent less and less time with her until he finally told her it wasn’t working. It’s just that he is starting to spend less time with me now too. We go away for lots of weekends and we go to events and when we do see each other we really enjoy it but just spending time together at each others home seems to be dropping off. I’m beginning to feel like the relationship is becoming more ‘casual’ although I don’t feel as if he wants to let me go. Do I ask him what he really wants out of our relationship and if he thinks we have a future together or will this make him run?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Wendy. There’s nothing wrong with asking him what he really wants for the future, but consider an alternative. You could simply tell him what you are hoping to find in a relationship. This is a more gentle way of prompting the other person to take a turn as well. The key is to describe your own desires as open aspirations for your own life, rather than as demands or ultimatums. For example, “I hope to one day find myself in a relationship where I’m actively planning my future with a partner instead of as two separate individuals…”

  19. Personally I just can’t be in a relationship that I know will only be short term. If I was feeling that way about a guy, I wouldn’t be bothered to keep seeing him because I just wouldn’t be in to him and couldn’t share myself. On the other hand, if I was really into him and I knew it wasn’t reciprocated (after allowing him time) I would leave. I see some women here saying they haven’t met his friends or after six or seven months – there’s a big clue there. Don’t waste your time and love on a man who is just not into you, or even worse using you. Move on and find someone who wants your time and love. And I would give the same advice to males as well, and I did to a male friend recently. Think about it this way, if your best friend was dating someone and you could see what the reality was, think about the advice you would give your best friend. ‘Be your own best friend’!

    • James Bauer said:

      Yeah, that’s a useful way to look at it. Thanks for your comment.


  20. Tami said:

    I very much enjoyed reading this. I, too, have been in a relationship for almost 2 years and I know he likes me very much and we are very good friends. He has a very hard time being intimate, telling me how he feels or being “committed”. We don’t see other people, but we also haven’t had a conversation that we are exclusive. It seems like the more we have been together and the more he has started to like me, the harder it is for him to be intimate with me. I think it scares him that he will get hurt. I am doing my best to be very patient and we have made baby steps, but it is very hard some times.

    1st, please don’t reply to this if you have something negative to say or you just want me to dump him. I love this man, and he is a very good person. I just want to find the right way to get him to feel comfortable being intimate and committed to me.

    James, if you read this, I have done the personalize advise and would love it if I could get personalize advise from you. My guy is a really hard nut to crack, but I think he is worth it. Please help me be a better me so I can help him be a better him. Also, what other reading material do you offer on this (I’m not much for the videos as I like to write things down, highlight things, etc.)?

  21. Dom said:

    Hello James
    I met a man a year ago, ans felt a strong and shared connection straight away.
    After 2 month, he tolds me he did not want to be involved in a romantic relationship with me but would rather explore the path of friendship.
    Because I was in love and could not imagine to let it go, I continued to see him, and over a year, the warmth, the connection, the trust etc.. grew but still no desire of romantic involvement.
    The point is I would like more, but I am also happy with this great friendship as I have never been so friend with any one in my life , including with girls- I am 50-, as it is still fantastic to share thoughts, stories of life, movies etc.
    He recently told me that it was unhealthy for me because I was expecting thing he will never give me and that we should see each other less because he wanted me to be safe, and I don’t want to because at least I have this friendship.
    Do you think I could have a great friendship with someone I am in love with, that is trying to see him in another way? Thanks for you help

    • James Bauer said:

      It is possible, but only if you seal off the possibility of romantic connection in your mind. The reason he is backing off is that he can likely sense that you hope for more in those moments of silence as you make eye contact. He cares about you as a friend and does not want to hurt you. Hence his suggestion that you start seeing other people so your romantic energy can flow elsewhere.

      However, some women experience deep friendship with a man in a way that is as good or even better than romance. The problem lies in the possibility that everything might change the moment some other woman walks into his life. Then jealousy reveals that the friendship was really a romantic relationship for you, bringing hurt and pain unless you had truly sealed his role in your life as nothing but a friend.

  22. Jenny lomas said:

    Hi I’ve been with someone 18 months now & still not been introduced to his family & friends ..I blow hot & cold about this but it doesn’t seem to bother him.& new years eve he spent it with his son & his mates!!
    Xmas eve & Xmas day was spent with his family too..I think it’s time I should be moving on…?

  23. NGH said:

    Hi James,
    I want your opinion on polite, effective lies to keep the peace.

    I’ve been married for 30 years to a wonderful man who is 10 years younger than
    I am. Now that I’m in my mid 70’s, I find that I’m feeling “old” and much more
    “elderly” than he is feeling. One of the things that reinforces my sense of getting old
    is looking at pictures of myself that look increasingly like my late mother. I look in the mirror and see my mother, which might be OK except that I never had a good
    relationship with her and both photos and mirrors remind me of this. My husband
    and I are close and he is well aware of this.

    Our recent Christmas was ruined by an incident that made him go ice cold and distant for five days. Specifically, he gave me a coffee mug with 3 photos on it: two of us as a couple and one of just me in which I look exactly like my mother. When I opened the gift, my face fell and no matter what I said, he knew that I didn’t like it. (It didn’t matter that I liked the other two.) Even though I was tactful, he could see in my eyes and body language that I didn’t appreciate his creative effort. Since he could see that I was not pleased, I decided not to lie but to be honest. In a gentle, non-aggressive manner I tried to explain how I felt. I was tactful but it made no difference. I tried humor. I tried self criticism. I tried to be loving and showing appreciation but nothing could change his disappointment. He sulked for four days and ruined our holiday.

    In a recent conversation about the incident, he said that I should have lied; that I should have been an actress and acted like I loved this coffee mug that he spent several hours creating. Now our discussion is about authenticity and the pros and cons of telling lies.

    • Lena said:

      Dear NGH,
      I think he is wrong about saying it to you. Lie is never good and ruins the relationship. There is a way to be polite, of course, to say that you did not like the gift in a soft way. Or not saying it at all. Lying to your loved one to make him feel good sounds very wrong to me. Please don’t go this way, it is a dead end. Saying like “I feel awkward to receive this present” and “would you please explain me the meaning of this gift?” sounds not so harsh to me, but at the same time shows that you are not so happy to have it.
      If you start discussing with him what is good about lying, it will open the door for a bigger lie for him, allowing your husband even having an affair, unless this is not a big deal for you. I know a woman who was ok with that situation. However this is not a healthy relationship (accepting a lie or acting like you are not aware of the truth) and sooner or later it will come to its end.

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