Should I End It?

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Nina: I have been dating a guy for 4 1/2 months. He is 43 and I am 48. We hit it off immediately. I made the error of sleeping with him on our first date (I initiated it). He has never been married and has no children. He wants a non exclusive relationship to see how things work out between us. He says he has only been in love once (15 years ago) and does not want to rush into anything. I agreed to wait and see if he decides he wants to be with me exclusively. I am only going to wait another month before deciding to end this relationship. I really like him and we are always together. He calls me every day and plans our weekends. He says he wants to be in a serious relationship and get married. I have never pressured him about us - it is too soon for that conversation. I don’t understand why he won’t make it a committed relationship if he is always wanting to be with me. I could fall in love with this guy and dread being hurt. So am I right in ending things or should I wait a little longer? I have dated other guys since I am not committed to him but feel as though I am being unfaithful which is really silly of me. He is really a wonderful guy with a good heart and was honest at the start about this. I don’t know what to do. – Annette

Dear Annette: I can’t tell you whether or not to break up with him, but I will help you think through this problem. You already know this, but I’ll remind you that sleeping with him without an exclusive relationship or any indicator that he is working toward marriage is a huge mistake. Why? Because now you are in love with him. It’s natural – women are wired for bonding, and sex makes that almost inevitable. When you succumb to the temptation of getting sexual too soon, you find yourself in a relationship in which you want more than he is giving.

Being in love and bonded the way you are without a commitment from him keeps you off-balance emotionally. This makes you feel insecure and needy – a deadly formula for a woman. Why? Because it inhibits you from being authentic and real; it inhibits you from expressing yourself about your wants and needs, and it’s a turn-off to him when the neediness surfaces.

Of course you are considering ending this – it’s the only way you can see yourself getting your power back. But here’s another way you might tackle the situation. First, you must prepare to let him go. It’s highly likely that you are not “the one” for him. If you were, he wouldn’t have any interest in other women and exclusivity would be natural. There is a slim chance that if you do what I’m going to encourage you to do, you may succeed in shifting how he sees you, thus opening his heart to something more. But get ready for the break-up just in case.

Suggested script:

“Bill, these past few months with you have been wonderful. I’m very attracted to you and enjoy being with you very much. But I made a mistake in the beginning with you and I need to correct it now. We slept together far too soon, and I’m uncomfortable continuing as your lover in the context of a non-exclusive relationship. So I’m taking a step back while we are both in evaluation mode. I’m happy to go out with you, but we won’t be going back to one of our places; I want to meet in public venues for a while and focus just on getting to know each other without the distraction of sex.”

“Here’s the second part, Bill. I am very intentional about being on a path of exploring the possibility of marriage with someone I care about and who feels the same way I do. If that isn’t you – if you don’t see me as someone you might marry someday – then I would rather take a pass on this relationship. Please think this over – don’t answer right now. Let me know how you feel about moving this to the next level – exclusivity, with an eye toward marriage someday. I still want to forego sex for a while to make sure we’re on the same page.”

Let him ask questions; emphasize strongly that you haven’t decided anything about whether or not he’s “the one,” but you see him as a possibility for that. Guys tend to think that withdrawing sex is a manipulative thing to do, so explain to him that being his lover without a commitment doesn’t work for you; take responsibility for that instead of dishing out blame. Emphasize that you need more time as a couple to develop a heart connection. Tell him that you can handle the truth – this is important! Most guys would rather cut off their arms than make a woman cry.

Send him away to process this on his own. Then force yourself to wait patiently – it could be hours, days, or weeks before you hear back. Focus on your own life – friends, family, work. IF he comes back around and says he’s ready to go to the next level and be exclusive, don’t breathe a huge sigh of relief yet. That’s just a small step. Focus on dating in public venues, leaving sex out of the quotient. Only when he moves to the level of “I love you; you’re the only woman I want; of course I’m interested in exploring the possibility of spending my life with you,” THEN I would say you have a foundation for something real and special.

Read Temptations of the Single Girl today so that you will have all the tools to put this relationship on track OR move on and never make this mistake again!

Entry Filed under: Advice for Women,Ask the Singlescoach®,Breaking Up,Dating,Relationships,Sex/ Sexuality

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Steven  |  April 16th, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Nina,
    I am single 52 year old male who has is somewhat emotionally available and healthy. Also I am astrologer. However, I am confused about a not to recent situation that I have find myself walking away from. I meet this woman that as we talk I got the impression that she was attracted to me. Not only did I get her contact information, I got her birth information to do her astrology chart. I explain to her that I would not charge her anything, only that she makes herself available when I get the chart done. I did the chart when I got home that night and called her next day. While we were on the phone, one thing that she did notice was that I am an honest person. I attitude is I rather deal with the truth upfront that wait until I get caught and deal with it after telling a lie.
    This is confusing part. Every time I would suggest a time to get together she stated that she was busy. The one thing that I notice was she would not suggest a time to get together. However, she wanted to touch base Sat so I called and left a message. Needless to say, she did not return my call. But, she did locate me on Facebook and performed a friend request stating that she thought the message I left was an old message.
    When I added her as a friend, I also suggested on getting together either Fri day or Sat night. She explained that she was leaving on a trip. And, she did not suggest another time to get together. I responded back stating that I realized that you are not available for anything new entering into her life (by the way, I have notice that most women have gotten to this point).
    What was even more confusing was the response that I received from her. She stated that not only did she have room for all the new stuff that was entering into her life, like a new home, a trip. She also stated that she had some of her old stuff reentering into her life. However, she did say that I as something new. She also stated that I am this freethinker who wanted to have a standard relationship. She said that made me interesting.
    I would like some feedback about this. By the way, I am getting the same reaction from other women as well. They tell me that they want to get together but it will be more than two weeks before they have any free time.

    Thanks,
    Confused about dating,
    Steven
    P.S.
    As a general rule, I take this as a woman not being available and gently walk a away.

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