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Author Topic: Is he a commitment phobe?

December 03, 2019, 12:10:15 AM
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ophelia1987


Okay, quick background. I am a female, aged 32, and I have recently started dating a male who is 35. I have had three prior long-term relationships, one lasted 1.5 years, one 5 years and the last one was about 3.5 years.

My new beau, let's call him Carlos, does not discuss his prior relationship history and I know little to nothing about women he has dated... All I know is that all of his relationships have been short and the longest have been 1.5 years. He doesn't discuss why they ended. He has never lived with anyone, and I have lived with two different men for long periods of time.

Now I have a naturally anxious attachment style when it comes to relationships, so I am usually overly worried in relationships. I am working on this with a therapist, but I am worried that I am with a man who will eventually not be in it for the long haul. For me that would be marriage and a life together. In the past I have been drawn to men who are avoidant and distant, and thus I have trouble believing things will be good. I am doing my best to take things slow, develop the relationship and my trust in him, yet I remain slightly anxious. I don't wish to discuss this with him at this time. I am trying to observe the relationship, his behaviour and decide exactly what it is I want and need before I voice this to him. I don't want it to come from a place of anxiety.

We have been dating for three months now, and there are a lot of reasons why things are good. He is kind, respectful, he listens, he's reliable and consistent, helpful. He's the kind of man I want to marry. Our relationship does not just revolve around the bedroom, but our life in the bedroom is AMAZING. He's the best lover I've ever had and I've told him this. I know he also enjoys our connection, yet he isn't as vocal with the compliments. The connection is deep and caring. We go on proper dates, that we each take turns planning. I see him about 2-3 times per week and we live about an hour away from each other. We both make efforts to see each other during the week and we have spent every weekend together since we started dating three months ago. He's been romantic in his own way, taken me to shows, on small getaways.
He texts me every morning, throughout the day and almost always says goodnight. He helps me with plumbing issues, with my car etc.
We've been exclusive since about two weeks in (decided together), and he knows I am not dating anyone else, and he knows if he decides that is something he wants to do, he is to tell me. I really don't worry about him pursuing other women at this point. We recently decided to spend Christmas together, one day with his family and one day with mine. I will be the first woman he's introduced to his parents formally in 8 years. I have met his parents on numerous occasions and they now call me by my first name when they see me, but we haven't had a sit down yet. He also has a sister and she is married, so I will be meeting her on Christmas. He has not introduced me to friends yet, but he sees his friends quite infrequently (about once every month or so).

So this is what worries me... About a month in, he met my entire family at a birthday party. He agreed to come and everyone liked him and it went well. After that, I was happy thinking that we could be bf/gf so I asked him if it was something he wanted. He knows I'm looking for a relationship and the type of relationship I want. In response he said "I feel like it's heading in that direction, but I feel that it is too early." He could tell I was slightly upset by this response, but I told him I was happy with how things were and I could wait.
It has been two months since then and despite Christmas plans I worry that we're still not committed and he has not brought it up, nor have I. He's opened up in small ways since then, and in his own way I can see that he envisions a future. He will let things slip by saying... "we'll do that together next spring", or lines to that degree. I recently realized that I have been very non-candid about my feelings and so I told him that I'm really grateful to have met him and I really enjoy our time together. I said I see a future with him and I hope he does too. I think it could be really nice. It is out of character for me to be holding back, but in the past I have been very expressive and this often overwhelms men.
To that he responded, wow that's so nice and unexpected, I'm not going to get into feelings, but I am really happy you're in my life. He has told me he really really likes me, but there has not been mention of feelings beyond that. I tell him he's handsome a lot, and he will occasionally tell me I am pretty. A lot of how he feels comes across through his body language, eye contact and actions. My love language is definitely physical affection and words of affirmation.

I feel like he has had little experience in love, or he has been hurt in love and thus he is guarded. He said another woman once told him that he is a tough shell to crack, like a coconut, but once in he oozes, hah. It worries me that he is 35, and has had so little experience. I am starting to wonder if he comes on strong and quickly retracts himself from the relationship because he has not officially committed. Momentum in a relationship is very important to me, and reciprocity is also at the top of my list. I want to feel like someone wants to be with me, that I don't have to talk them into it.

Does anyone think I am just over worrying about the situation, or are there some causes for concern. Namely, does that fact that he still hasn't labelled me his gf after three months an issue? He has never said I don't believe in labels, or no I don't want that. He just hasn't brought it up or made it seem important to him. He does not seem to be able to express his feelings very easily either. I feel like maybe they scare him, or maybe he hasn't decided what they are yet. He will sometimes say, this was the best day ever, but it is usually after we've spent time being intimate. That is definitely a big part of how he shows his affection. In public he will hold my hand or kiss me, but he is more demonstrative in private.



December 03, 2019, 08:36:15 AM
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Captain Black


This is just my view.

I think its too early to start thinking long term and he is responding in how I would expect him to respond. At the moment you both seem to want different things. You want him to settle down with you now and he wants to see how things go . It could well be that he is being reserved if he was hurt in the past . So I would just ease off the net a little and give him space to see how things pan out.

Sorry if its not the response you was hoping for but trapping him too early will lead to resentment and unhappiness . Keep working together and I am sure over time your differences on what both of you want will narrow . Patience and communication are going to be the key .

December 03, 2019, 12:00:51 PM
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ophelia1987


Captain black, I absolutely agree. I don't have a need to trap him right now into something long-term, I have a fear of men who string me along for ages with no real desire to be with me long-term. This has happened in both past relationships, only for them to let the relationship end with no real effort to work things out. Both relationships had addiction/depression issues with the men I was with though, and I have since decided those type of issues are not for me.
I have not brought up the "what are we" topic for a few months and I wasn't planning to until I could get a better handle on why I was doing it. I don't want to be motivated by my past, I want to ensure that I am coming from a place of confidence about what it is I really want.
I am fine with seeing how things go, I know it is too early to settle into anything long-term, and I know there are no guarantees even if he did commit to me now.
I agree that I am going to have to be patient with him, and try to give him time to decide what he wants on his own. I just need to strike a balance between that and also getting what I need for the future. As my mother says I'm not a spring chicken. I would never want to lock a man down, just for the sake of it, but I would enjoy sharing my life with someone and it would be nice if I did have some say in marriage and when that might happen. Most guys are not enthusiastic about marriage. My only hope is that he's a little more interested in it since he'll be the last of his friends to do it.
I don't mind men having their space, I'm quite independent, and there are benefits to being with me long term, hah. I'm quite domestic in that I can make awesome meals, keep a place tidy and help him to manage his life if he needs it. I also enjoy time out and having a life together outside of the home. I'm in shape and pretty decent looking. It's just finding the right guy at the right time. That's the challenge.

December 04, 2019, 04:51:19 AM
Reply #3
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Captain Black


I think you have possibly found the right guy. But you need to possibly get it out of your head that he is stringing you along. That sounds like a bit of insecurity , possibly as a result of being let down before in your past. He could also pick up on this  as well and that may in turn hamper the relationship progressing . Trust which could also be another factor will develop as the relationship progresses .

I just think you need to relax a bit more and concentrate on the positives in your relationship because thee are a lot there from what you have posted . Us guys are not all bad .

December 05, 2019, 09:58:27 PM
Reply #4
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ophelia1987


I think you have possibly found the right guy. But you need to possibly get it out of your head that he is stringing you along. That sounds like a bit of insecurity , possibly as a result of being let down before in your past. He could also pick up on this  as well and that may in turn hamper the relationship progressing . Trust which could also be another factor will develop as the relationship progresses .

I just think you need to relax a bit more and concentrate on the positives in your relationship because thee are a lot there from what you have posted . Us guys are not all bad .

Thanks Captain Black. I really appreciate your insight. Sometimes we're our own worst enemies right?
Another thing... I have strong feelings for him, and I've almost said "I love you" a few times by accident. My stupid brain literally trips over the words, when I see him. I am trying to wait for him to be comfortable and not feel like I'm trying to force anything. Do you think I should wait for him to say those words first, or do you think it would be okay to say them in a few months if things are going well? I just don't want to freak him out. Do men like hearing these words?

December 06, 2019, 04:41:30 AM
Reply #5
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Captain Black


This is just my opinion.

Don't show your cards just yet. You could scare him off with those 3 little words . I think you need to just reign your feelings in a little as well and enjoy what you have. Don't forget we are not that far from Valentines Day . So why not let a card say that for you and gauge his response. .If he takes it the wrong way your "Get out of Jail Free Card" response could be something along the lines of "Its just a card many people send them " .

I think you will get there with this guy but the relationship  needs to develop a little  further and this will require more time .

Good luck XX

December 07, 2019, 11:36:29 AM
Reply #6
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ophelia1987


Thanks. That's kind of what I was thinking, but it's hard as the feelings keep growing. I'm kind of curious to see if he says it first. I don't want him to just say it because he feels obligated to say it back. Yesterday he told me to save the date for next Saturday, but he won't tell me where we're going. He definitely has my interest!

December 08, 2019, 05:35:02 AM
Reply #7
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Captain Black


That looks promising. I hope he treats you like a princess as he should. I hope he has given you some details ,so you know what to wear etc as I am quite sure if it's dinner you wouldn't want to turn up in jeans .

So just relax and be yourself.but don't rush those 3 little words .You can love somebody without having to say those words .

Keep us posted on how things go

Good luck XX

December 26, 2019, 10:43:20 PM
Reply #8
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ophelia1987


It was a nice time. We went to see one of his favourite comedians and that alone had him excited.
Christmas was really nice and there is a level of comfort with each other now that is good now that we have been introduced to families formally. I am excited for the new year and eventually those three little words are definitely going to come out.

 

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