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Thread: He can't commit to marriage because I'm not a 10...

  1. #21
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    OP here...

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses & for taking the time to consider all of this. I would like to clarify a few things!

    While I realize this does make him look very superficial, he is everything BUT superficial & shallow. He is an ultra-communicator & very honest, more than any guy I've ever known. I love being around him because the conversations are endless, he's very thought-provoking, and we do get into the nitty gritty that most people would consider inappropriate, such as discussing our ex's together and who we think is attractive, and this deepens our understanding of each other and intimacy. Our relationship started with great conversations and I appreciate his over-honesty, never feel like he's hiding something. I can see how expressing your every inkling and doubt can be detrimental for some people but when there is a mutual understanding, it can work... For a while, I didn't like how open he was so he tried to stuff things down & filter them for my sake, but that made him miserable, & I'd rather have him feel like he can be himself & open up to me than bottle it all down. I myself have had issues being as open and am more private, but he's helped me to become a better communicator and I've grown immensely. He's also not a lazy person, he's incredibly smart, cleans the house, cooks the meals, has a great job, & is just one-of-a-kind, all packaged up. He thinks highly of me as well and loves me for my character, my personality, my passions in life, my independence, my looks (even if I'm not his ideal "type") etc.

    To be fair, we both rated each other an 8 -- I do not feel insulted because an 8 is still very high. He says 8 is a good number for dating, but has an issue with what it actually means for marriage. What I think this is really boiling down to is determining whether marriage would work without the level 10 full package of attraction, and what's missing for him is passion. We have a great compatibility and a decent level of passion in my opinion, but he's not sure if we have a high enough level of passion for each other to survive the long-term. He needs to be shown this passion on the daily to believe it's there. I am passionate about him & try to show him in many different ways on the daily, but he's not quite convinced & wants to make sure I'm not forcing it. I express my passion for him by trying to hold his hand everytime we walk, putting my hand on his thigh when he drives, squeezing his arms & hold onto them, I always stroke my hand through his hair, I bring him gifts on occasion, tell him how much I love him & appreciate him, tell him how proud I am of him, I encourage him, gaze at him from across the room or up close, nuzzle my face into the nook of his neck, give him mini shoulder rubs, inhale his scent fondly, tell him how much I love him, stop him while walking for small and long kisses, tell him he's handsome & sexy (he is!!!), etc... I could do better at being passionate in bed and don't often initiate things or engage fully if I'm tired, and have less of a sex drive than he does... There are times that I'm stoic or tired... but so is he sometimes & doesn't always show me passion either, but I know he's a VERY passionate and driven person. He says that his friends, coworkers and biological dad show him their love and appreciation for him, & he feels it from them but he doesn't feel it from me. I'm not really sure how I could be showing more passion, love or appreciation, which leads me to think he just doesn't see it or notice it? Or he doesn't want to see it because he's scared, I don't know. I think it's different because we're involved romantically, & I get to witness his TRUE self including the bad stuff that other people don't get to see. If we're fighting, obviously that influences whether I'm able to fully show him my love.

    Sometimes I wonder if this is all stemming from his broken home and insecurities from childhood, and maybe he's having trouble receiving and believing true love & thinks passion/love are what he had with his ex. His parents got divorced when he was young & his mom re-married his stepdad, who was very strict, beat him up all the time, threw him against the wall, was never proud of him, very verbally/physically/mentally abusive, restricted his food, etc. His mom was verbally abusive, blamed my BF who was a kid for her misery, & was checked out... His brother couldn't stand it anymore and committed suicide at 15. When my BF was 8 years old, he dreamt about having a healthy family someday. He's determined to be a great dad, to have a solid marriage, to passionately love his wife who passionately loves him back, and wants to be able to show his kids that mom & dad still have passion and are in love even years down the road. That's why this is so important for him, and that is admirable to me. I've seen him with kids and he's amazing. We've talked about having kids & marriage, though the discussion about level of passion is what keeps coming to make him doubt it would work through the long-term, through the thick & thin. I've stuck with him through some really hard things that he was going through, so he knows that I'm solid in that aspect.

    As for the business, it was his business that he started years before he met me. I jumped on board happily because it was actually a bucket-list item for me. It'd be easy for me to step out without hang-ups. It would break my heart to leave the business because it is a wonderful model & personally adds value to our lives.

    The internet has a tendency to say "just leave him," so I appreciate the constructive feedback & consideration of the backstory here. I will continue to wait and to fight for this for a bit longer. At the same time, I also recognize that I might need to walk away. UGH!

  2. #22
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You are hoping he wants to marry you one day? What is his timeline (considering he keeps saying he's not ready) vs your timeline?
    Originally Posted by alibabac
    I will continue to wait and to fight for this for a bit longer.

  3. #23
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    Yes one day, & I know he wanted to work on things before then so we're 100% sure. Our next timeline was going to be this summer/fall, & he's started to say "what if I'm not ready by then?" He believes in the spectacular, not the mediocre, and wants to be sure of that.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by alibabac
    He believes in the spectacular, not the mediocre, and wants to be sure of that.
    Have you read up on this? :
    [Register to see the link]
    Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:
    Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
    Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    Exaggerate achievements and talents
    Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
    Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
    Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
    Take advantage of others to get what they want
    Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    Be envious of others and believe others envy them
    Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
    Insist on having the best of everything for instance, the best car or office

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  6. #25
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    Originally Posted by alibabac
    Yes one day, & I know he wanted to work on things before then so we're 100% sure. Our next timeline was going to be this summer/fall, & he's started to say "what if I'm not ready by then?" He believes in the spectacular, not the mediocre, and wants to be sure of that.
    Yes, that is what he says. Spectacular is in the eye of the beholder. Most people who want to commit want to feel like their mate is spectacular even though all relationships have ebbs and flows - they want at least the memory of the "za za za zoom" (a la Sex and the City) when things are rough. All he's telling you is he wants to feel sure that even though there technically might be someone even better than you (because technically there could be), that is irrelevant to him because he is happy with you, happy with what he has with you so that even if someone described a perfect 10 to him he might listen to the words but would never act on it or even have any serious doubts like "wow I could have been with her if I wasn't tied down to my wife".

    I would not jump to the conclusion that his desires are not normal or that he is narcissistic. That is because someday you might hear that he's married someone and that they are happy and that she is far, objectively, from a perfect 10 and not "spectacular" -and then it will hurt even more - just accept that you two are not the right match and move on ASAP. His comments to you are unfair and soul destroying. If he really feels that way the right thing to do for him is to move on.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    What you feel you need to do to appease him sounds exhausting!

    It doesn't come from an organic place (not saying you aren't affectionate) but your the motivation is to keep him and keep him happy. I get the sense you don't feel you are successful at it. At least that's what he's telling you, either directly or indirectly.

    It's kinda like feeding a monster. . it's never satisfied.

    He may have all sorts of things happen to him that led him to be the way he is, but you can not love them away.
    His issues are his to deal with, not yours. Yes, you can help, but you can't fix him.

    If you don't want to leave him, I don't know what else to say. You'll have to accept him and the situation as it is.
    But I can't help but feel that he'll continue to move the goal posts on you.

    "you're good, you're just not good enough" That's what I hear. That's a crappy way to live.
    Hold out for someone who's crazy about you. (and believe you deserve it) Life is just easier that way.

  8. #27
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Let me share something with you that maybe will help you a little to understand your own situation and your bf in particular. Some years back I met a guy who literally looked like he stepped out of my dreams AND ticked absolutely every single check mark on my list of what my ideal man would be. It was surreal.....BUT....and here is the but part - I just didn't feel any chemistry, didn't feel that "it" factor for him. It really created kind of a cognitive dissonance - on the one had he had it all, I mean all, perfect match and yet....I was just not truly attracted/into him. I tried to date him for awhile, but then realized that it's just not going to work for me and quickly walked away. He, on the other hand was extremely into me and very very upset at the break up. Spent a lot of time trying to convince me to give things more time, but...you just can't create chemistry. It's either there or it isn't.

    I'm a little bit afraid that what is happening with your relationship is a bit of a similar situation except your bf has let it drag on for years and years and it's not fair to you. You are head over heels in love and doing everything you can and truly giving him your all and your absolute honest, loving best....BUT...for whatever reason he isn't feeling it - call it passion, call it chemistry, call it connection, call it that "it" factor, whatever it is, it's missing even though on paper, it shouldn't be and it's making you both confused.

    I know you are not ready to throw in the towel today, but I do think that you need to start getting yourself ready mentally and emotionally to exit this. It's been three years. Time for you to give yourself a deadline that if he still doesn't want marriage in 6 months, 8 months - you will actually leave him and stick to it. Life is too short to be wasted on someone who isn't all in with you.

  9. #28
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    I have been in similar situations to dancingfool. And I will add that chemistry cannot be forced or created but timing does funny things - if the timing is different or "right" then the person who didn't feel chemistry might feel chemistry or vice versa if the timing is wrong. You can't control chemistry but you can be a person who is more open to feeling it -or closed to feeling it. It's possible your boyfriend is closed to feeling it with you because he's convinced himself that since you are not a 10 objectively he's never going to be satisfied with you. It's like he's making a pros/cons list which really doesn't work if you're deciding whether to commit. Because even if the pros far outweigh the cons if you're a person getting in your own way of being open to clicking it won't matter. That is why often people who break up only realize later how much they miss having the person in their life and sometimes that is because with space, you feel the deeper connection or click when your headspace isn't all clouded up and busy overanalyzing the pros and cons.

  10. #29
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    ticked absolutely every single check mark on my list of what my ideal man would be. It was surreal.....BUT....and here is the but part - I just didn't feel any chemistry, didn't feel that "it" factor for him. .
    I've had these experiences too. I recall them at times like this, when someones interest didn't match mine.

    If I catch myself about to take it personally I think of the really great guys I have dated that in the end were not the 'one'
    Even though we had everything in common and checked all the boxes.
    But for reasons I can't explain the relationship just did not have legs and I ended it.

    I wanted it to work but I just couldn't force it.
    My lack of commitment never took anything away from them. They were still amazing men.

    I'd like to think the same is true when someone didn't reciprocate my interest.
    There are those times you just can't put your finger on it.

  11. #30
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    That makes sense reinventmyself and dancingfool and I know what you mean - I've been on both sides of the coin. I've seen the other person devastated when I had to cut them off from thinking there was any hope between us. It does sometimes feel exhausting trying to meet these expectations that I can't, I like what you said about moving the goal posts, that's a good metaphor.

    The whole chemistry thing becomes confusing though because I don't think it has to do with that... If it were a chemistry thing, I definitely wouldn't want him to be stuck with me!! But I do think he is very attracted to me and desires me. He pursues me quite often, playfully & romantically actually & sometimes it's more than I can handle. The spark was strong in the beginning & it comes roaring back at times. t's like an ember waiting for a gust of wind. BF says he gets this spark back from time to time when he puts effort, and same for me. Love is a verb, it's not going to nurture itself and when we get lazy, so does love. I think working and life commitments throw a wrench into the wheel though and set us back a bit, we get distracted, etc. I imagine this is similar for parents who have kids & forget to spend quality time together. Recently, for example, his biological dad came to town for 2 weeks& they have a fantastic relationship. They literally went for walks & talks every single day. After his dad left, he realized that he hadn't been putting the effort into "dating" me like he dated his dad during those two weeks. So he and I started going for walks & talks, having more fun together, really dating each other again, & the spark was rekindled just like that. We were on cloud 9 again for a couple weeks until another family member came to town who was a bit of a drag, very demanding, stressed us out, etc. Then we're moving / he's starting a new job. We haven't been able to find the space to get the spark back amidst the chaos but things will settle down by next month.

    Aside from chemistry, it could possibly be the "it" factor. The "perfect 10" factor. Or perhaps he is overanalyzing & sabotaging a good thing. These are all the things I assume he needs to sort out in his head in order for him to feel comfortable.

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