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Thread: What does it mean when a guy says "Keep Your Options Open"? In a Commited Relationship

  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    What does it mean when a guy says "Keep Your Options Open"? In a Commited Relationship

    So lately things haven't been going well in my relationship. Things were going great for a while. Guess it's that whole "honeymoon" theory. We're now a little over 5 months into the relationship and just the other day we almost broke up because I was dumping him. There was a bunch of drama and it wasn't handled well and then after a few hours we ended up deciding to stay together and work things out.

    I kind of feel like I've dug myself in a hole. Thing is, I don't know if I want out or not and I think he feels the same. It's not really a good way to look at things and I want to take a positive outlook on things and look forward to making each other happy but it's hard when there is such negativity.

    I know that he has been very commited the whole time we've been together. He's never given me a reason to believe otherwise. I trust him that he wouldn't cheat. It's just what he said last night weird's me out a bit.

    He told me how I'm still young (since I'm almost 22 and he's almost 30)... he thinks there is a big difference with us because of ages but in reality we're probably on the exact same maturaty level as each other. We have different areas that we are smarter and wise in ofcourse, but he always assumes that I'm so young and haven't had enough experience.. blah blah blah. I'm sorry but age doesn't determine everything. I'm A LOT wiser and more mature then any 21 year old I know.

    Anywho, he was saying how I was young and how I haven't dated many guys and that I should keep my options open incase a guy comes along in the future. That I need to explore and stuff like that. I asked him why he would say that if we're in a relationship and that it sounded to me like he wasn't really planning on our relationship lasting. He says he doesn't think that and that he wants the relationship to work but he wanted to see how I felt and stuff. Incase things don't work out he's got a friend that he can live with too. I know that if things weren't to work out he should know if he has a place to stay since the apartment is in my name and he's friends and family aren't very welcoming and helpful but that's not all his family's fault... partly his own fault. So I guess I can see why it's okay to know that he has a place to go but it seems like he is overthinking negative options of the relationship.

    Either he's insecure about how I feel or about himself or he's looking for an easy way out and just sticking in the relationship til I grow so unhappy that I find someone else and that he figures he's doing me some sort of favor.... or something else. I have no clue.

    I wanted to post here to get perspective from other men but women are welcome to put in there 2 cents too. What does it mean when a man in a commited relationship tells you to keep your option open?... as well as expressing that he has no desire to look outside the relationship and that if things weren't to work out.. after me... he'd stay single.

    I'm really kind of confused right now. If we're in a relationship I want us to work together and not think about the negatives because that just sets things up for failure.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Okay, even though you're "the most mature and experienced 21 year old you know", what he's saying really makes a lot of sense if you take it in the right context. Young people with little experience can become extremely fickle when they realize they have little experience. He's telling you that if you get to that point and you WANT to explore, that you have his blessing to do so, that's all.

    You should be glad you're dating someone who understands where you are in your life and is open to it.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Kaiser_Soze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    It sounds to me like he really cares for you but is becoming aware and accepting that it probably won't work out. I think he wants you to be happy and probably feels like one or both of you have a greater potential for happiness apart.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    If I've read your post right ... you were on the point of dumping him the other night ... then last night he told you to keep your options open. Actually, this sounds wise on his part.

    You may well be a very mature, wise 21 year old. However, there really is no substitute for life experience - this is in no way any reflection on you or your level of maturity - but you will find that your perspective changes as you get older. (At least, ideally it does!). At five months into the relationship you are only just discovering who your partner really is, and vice-versa. And it sounds as though you're already living together? This is moving very, very fast IMHO!

    If he's telling you to keep your options open, and letting you know that he has options as well, and he doesn't want to end the relationship - it just sounds as though he's leaving you plenty of space to make your own decisions with no pressure from him. The fact that he's said he'd stay single if things didn't work out suggests his emotional commitment to you is beyond question. Actually, this sounds a very caring thing to do - especially if you were on the verge of dumping him!

    My advice to you is to relax, enjoy the positive aspects of the relationship as much as possible, get to know him rather than getting upset if he doesn't handle things in the way you'd like - and really, really don't over-analyse!

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