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BF scared of Committment, but wants more romance...

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My bf of 3 years has not been ready for marriage. He is 33 and I am 26. He told me I am 'the one' but he has never proposed. Over a year ago I proposed to him (about a year after I moved in with him) but he declined saying he wasn't ready but soon he would be and he expects me to say 'yes' when he proposes. Since then we've had a lot of major downs, resulting in me breaking up with him and then later getting back together. The good news is, the last 6 months have been wonderful-- the bad news is it's been wonderful because I've given up on him ever proposing, I've emotionally detached myself from the relationship, and I'm not sure I want to marry him anymore. I DO love him very much but I've realized we don't see eye-to-eye about religion, children, and life in general. He hates all three, I love all three- this dissonance has only added to my emotional distancing from him. He says this is not a reason to break up.


We're still living together and consider ourselves bf/gf... we both love each other very much but we've had no sex life for 6 months and very little romance beyond hand-holding. I have very little desire to be intimate with him anymore after about a year of intimate rejection by him-he was either too tired, or too stressed from work. Now he wants to be more intimate "because that's what gf/bf do" and I don't want to. It's not about revenge-- I've told it's just seems wrong to have sex when there doesn't seem to be any potential for matrimonial committment from him and he hates children. What if I get pregnant?


If I break-up with him I know he will be VERY hurt because he doesn't consider the reasons valid reasons for a break up. He doesn't understand why I don't want to be intimate with him. He says I'm just trying to find a reason not to have sex with him- that I just don't love him anymore. I love him very much, but I love myself more and I'm not financially or emotionally prepared to be a single mom.


What do I do? I don't want to hurt him- like I said, we've had a very good relationship for the last 6 months. I've been very happy because I haven't had to worry about getting pregnant and I've learned to accept his faults and I still love him. But now he wants more romance and I don't think I can do it emotionally.


If I break up with him, I know he will never talk to me again-- that's just the way he does breakups. But I love him very much and I want him in my life always even just as friends.


When we talk about it, he says he will propose soon-- but he's been saying this ever since he turned down my proposal over a year ago.


How do I make this into a better situation? Any advice is welcome..... thanks....

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So if he asks you to marry him what would you say anyway? You write your post as if you don't care, don't really want to marry him anymore and don't want to be with him sexually anyway, but then end it by saying you think he is going to do it soon in a hopeful manner. Would marriage change your feelings for him in your opinion. Marriage does not change whom we are or make negatives positives FYI. Do you want HIM, or do you just want to be married? Right now from your post I think it is more the latter than the former.


You say you "don't want to hurt him" by breaking up with him and because you want to be friends with him. Don't you think feeling rejected right now by refusing sex is not hurting? Don't you think leading him on when you are not really "into" the relationship or him anymore or a future is hurting him?


You say the relationship has been just "perfect" the last 6 months. Probably not in his eyes as the sex is gone. And it may be a "perfect" FRIENDSHIP but this is not a perfect romantic relationship. He does not want more ROMANCE, he wants to feel desired, he wants intimacy..he wants SEX. Sexual compatibilty IS important to a relationship, how important sex/intimacy is will vary from person to person, but it is clear you two are on different wavelengths. He is quite normal for wanting more intimacy..he is right you two ARE in a relationship that started off with sex, and all of a sudden it is now gone....did you talk to him about your fears of pregnancy and wanting to "abstain"? If not he is probably very confused right now.


I think you need to seriously thing about this relationship and whether carrying on is fair to either of you. Don't stay just because fear he will never talk to you again - that is his choice to make. Don't lead him on if you have no intents on marrying him, and don't allow him to lead you on if he has no intents on marrying you if that is what you really want.


But I do think you two need to communicate. I am sure he is not feeling too great now at the lack of sex - personally if I was him I would not be proposing to you right now if I felt you were withholding it suddenly on me if I was smart.


Ultimately it sounds like you already know you are not compatible and don't want the same things. He won't suddenly want children when you marry him either. I think since you don't share the same values or goals it is best to end it.

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I've told him I would say no because I am not ready anymore. He knows this and that is why he is saying now when he proposes I better say yes. We stay together as bf/gf.


Yes we have discussed the issue of not having sex... before he didn't want sex, and I pressured him alot about my need for sex and committment- but he still refused. Now he wants sex and I no longer wish to because I've realized he doesn't want to get married and I don't believe he will ever propose and I don't want to run the risk of getting pregnant. I've gotten used to now having sex with him for over a year now-- but NOW he wants to start having sex again.


He is unwilling to talk about "What if I get pregnant" but I know from his history, his last girlfriend did get pregnant with another man's child and she wound up marrying that person.


I no longer wish to get married at all with anyone right now. I am completely disenchanted with the concept now that I've been turned down... but I DO want him in my life, but I don't want to have sex with him if he's unwilling to commit to me or even discuss "What if I get pregnant?"


His ultimatum was if I want him in my life, I need to get used to the fact that he isn't ready for marriage right now and he hates children... and I did because I love him and we've been happier for my having come to terms with this for the last several months.


Now he wants to have sex again... before which I'd been the one turned down and I was the one that had to get used to living without sex for over a year because I loved him and wanted him in my life even if that meant we couldn't have sex because of his stress.


I've sacrificed a lot of essential relationship needs to be with him -sex, committment, and emotional intimacy... but I'm not willing to become a single mother and sacrifice the rest of my life.


THAT is the problem at hand right now....

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Here is my question though...


If you got married and got pregnant, do you think he would react any differently to the pregnancy/child?


You want children. He does not. That in itself for many should be a red flag that they should not get married. Some differences can be overcome but if you get married, you may be intending to change his mind, and will resent him when he does not. And he may feel resentful you want him too.


There is nothing wrong in either of your's opinions on wanting children or not....but it does mean that you should probably look for a partner who shares the same goals as you do.


Loving someone does not mean sacrificing all your desires and needs for them....you are selling YOURSELF short. He does not love you either if he provides you with ultimatums - either take it or leave it. Yet you accept that as normal? Are you afraid this is your last chance? As it sounds to me like you are settling for less than you want and desire just to have him in your life.

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I agree with RayKay. Using sex as a weapon or punishment is wrong no matter who does it and leading partners to a false sense of security about the relationship is also wrong.


I firmly believe in compromise and negotiation in a relationship but there are some things that care not able to be settled by compromise. Children is one of them. You either agree to have children or you agree not to have them.


It would be a huge mistake to get married unless you can agree on this issue.

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You´re not having sex. You want to get married and have kids, he doesn´t. What exactly are you getting out of being with him right now? You have nothing but friendship, which is not a bad thing, but if you carry on with this "roomies" arrangement, you will prevent eachother from moving forward and finding what you truly want.


It does seem, to me, like you are playing the sex card to get your way. "No marriage and kids, no sex for you." There are millions of contraceptive options out there to avoid pregnancy. Either that or you just don´t love him more than as a friend.


Maybe you´re both just way too used to eachother to break out of your dead relationship, maybe you still have hopes that it can work out. But life is passing on by. You have to sit down and have a definitive talk with him. You have to clearly express what you want, and see if he is willing to give it to you. And listen to what he wants, and see if you are willing to give it to him. If not, you must move on and allow him to move on.

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Sometimes I think HE is settling for less. I know my value and I know what I'm willing to sacrifice. Besides all these things, I do believe he loves me and we've had a very committed relationship (without the marriage) for 3 years.


He doesn't believe my concerns for the relationship are valid and of course doesn't want to break up. I reconciled with him after our first break-up him because I came to terms with all his faults and the faults with the relationship.


I've told him that he needs to stop being scared of change. He refuses to quit a job with a boss from hell who is both physically and emotionally abusive to him. I've personally seen this boss hit him at the annual Christmas party. His stress from this job is real and I fear that if I break-up with him he will sink further into depression. I consider him an abuse victim and don't wish to abandon him when he is just beginning to realize change can be positive for his life and he is finding the strength to interview for other jobs. I feel breaking up with him at this point may set him back and he will stay in this horrendous job with this abusive boss.


I love him very much and I'm very concerned about him but I don't want to add do his stress in life by breaking up with him and I don't want him to sacrifice our friendship if I do break up with him because knowing him he will consider it as me abandonning him.


But I don't think I can have sex with him if he's unable to commit to me or even open his mind up to having children or be willing to discuss the "what if" situation if I got pregnant.

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Yes, I've often wondered why the heck we're even together because it seems so much like a roommate/friendship situation.


I know he is getting emotional support from me as someone who loves him and cares about him, and I know I help him get stronger and closer to quiting his abusive job.


As for me, I've been considering breaking up with him for a couple months but he keeps saying my reasons for a break-up aren't valid, and I wouldn't want to break-up with him - him not truly understanding my reasons. He honestly does NOT think my reasons are valid and he believes I would be throwing away something very good.


Oddly, the more I tried to seriously talk about what we were really getting out of the relationship and about if our goals in life were truly in line with each others, the more often he started talking about wanting more sexual intimacy.


And like I said, the last 6 months have been wonderful-- no expectations, and no risks, it's been comfortable, mutually respectful and very friendly--but now he wants to start having sex again and it reintroduces that whole aspect of risk and I'm not comfortable having sex with him.

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Him telling you your reasons are not valid...is not valid. Honestly, and I say this as having been someone who had been dumped before too.....it does not matter if he dumpee things the reasons are not valid. The dumpee often disagrees with the reasons behind the breakup! Thats the very nature of being dumped


The fact is they are YOUR reasons and to you they ARE valid. Honestly...what do YOU believe?


They are your reasons...and in MY opinion, disagreeing on children and marriage for one are HUGELY VALID reasons.

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As for me, I've been considering breaking up with him for a couple months but he keeps saying my reasons for a break-up aren't valid, and I wouldn't want to break-up with him - him not truly understanding my reasons. He honestly does NOT think my reasons are valid and he believes I would be throwing away something very good.


What reasons are not valid? That you want to start a family? That is a VERY VALID reason to break up with someone. If you two don´t share the goal of building a family, then you must go your separate ways. And the reason being... because it is very important TO YOU. You want to be a mother, you want a family. The fact that he doesn´t think that is valid seems a bit selfish of him.



And like I said, the last 6 months have been wonderful-- no expectations, and no risks, it's been comfortable, mutually respectful and very friendly-- but now he wants to start having sex again and it reintroduces that whole aspect of risk and I'm not comfortable with it.


Yes, the last six months have been wonderful because, really, you two disengaged emotionally. You no longer felt hurt, marriage/children issues didn´t come up, you didn´t have to deal with anything anymore. It´s as if you two broke up, and now he wants to get back together. And now you must deal with the same things that were never resolved six months ago.

It seems to me as though you really love this man. He is dealing with some personal things, and you are very supportive and loyal. But he is a grown man, don´t forget that.

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Have you ever considered birth control? That is a safe way of having sex without having kids.


I can see your interest in marriage considering your in your mid 20's you have to wonder. Most women that age do.


I am very into my faith (although more liberal considering i am a young more modernized faithful), when I met my boyfriend I knew he wasn't. Sometimes when the subject is brought up (which happens very rarely) it usually ends up in a fight but we vowed to not talk about it again. My faith is my passion, and he just doesn't believe in it so its best for us to keep our own beliefs to ourselves and respect eachothers opinions. We both want children, he adores kids but one of the fights was over me wanting to introduce my kid that i would bare inside of me for 9 months into the one thing thats made me happier than ever. After a fight he agreed as long as the child was taught why mommy and daddy think differently then it was ok but for him/her to know both sides.


I explain this to you because I want you to see that although we hit some bumps are came to an AGREEMENT. I also love myself more, so I'm not backing down in what I BELIEVE in because my boyfriend disagrees. But I have to respect that I chose him the way he is and he chose me the way I am even with our different points of views and the point is to find a agreement we can both commit on.


It does not seem that you and your current boyfriend can find a friendly point on anything. Relationship is give and take, everybody sacrifices a little bit.


You want kids and he doesnt. You are ready/were ready for marriage and he wasnt then and isnt now. He turned you down but he wants you to say yes whenever he is ready. Like someone else said, those are all red flags.


Had my boyfriend of 2+ years told me he didnt accept my beliefs or what I wanted I would have just had to say "so long" a while back. I am the person I am today because of the things that have come into my life and nobody should ever try to take that away from me. I can respect differences but there has to be a compromise. This should be the same for you. If you guys can't compromise and both find a happy medium, then its just not going to work out.

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I don't know what the problem is:

he told you exactly how he feels about marriage, religion, and children and you and he differ. He says this is not a reason to break up, but I see it as 3 very BIG MAJOR reasons to beak up, all of which pertain to your future.


He dismisses you by saying " He doesn't believe my concerns for the relationship are valid"-- wow-- are you kidding????? Like you're nothing?


He refuses to talk about accidental pregnancy, and has stopped having sex with you, but now wants to get some again? Tell him to go get a vasectomy first and take responsibility to prevent something he HATES. (He won't)

"I've emotionally detached myself from the relationship" -- then what's the point? An emotionally detatched "realtionship"??? Is there such thing?


I consider him an abuse victim and don't wish to abandon him when he is just beginning to realize change" Since when are you his therapist? He can go get a therapist if he really needs help. You're not his private doctor. Don't make excuses for his crappy, immature, weinie behavior, he's not changing by magic, he's playing you.


It's nice that you don't want to hurt him, but he seems to have no problem hurting you over and over and over and over. Things have been "wonderful" because you learned to shut up and quit nagging about your future-- nice way to live, huh? But now he wants sex-- no string attached! If you DO get pregnant, will he want you to have an abortion? Nice guy. What a man. (NOT)


You're not getting any younger, kiddo. If you want marriage, children, sex, romance, a happy home (I know I do)-- this ain't the guy to do it with. Unless he's SOOOOO wonderful that you can forget your dreams and hopes and desires of being a wife and mother and family. He's worth that????? You'd never being a mother to make him happy?


So you love him? Great. Nice. Now find someone you can love AND be compatible with. It's your life, you are entitled to live it any way you want. As a wife and mother if you wish.


Personally, I think he sounds like a manipulative little weinie-- I even wouldn't have him as a friend. If I had a party with 100 people, this dude wouldn't even be invited. I mean-- what kind of a man "hates" children? Does he hate puppies and helpless animals too? Seriously-- what kind of a grown, 33 year old man "hates" kids??? That's so cold and creepy.

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One last thing


You say hes "scared of commitment" Uh-huh. Sure he is.

WHy isn't he "scared" to take?

Seems to me he's perfectly fine when he's TAKING from you:

your time, emotions, future, body, mind, soul, dreams-- he has no fear when it comes to taking, does he?


He's only "scared of commitment" when it comes to GIVING-- how convient on his part. If he was truly "scared" he'd be too "scared" to TAKE from you your time, emotion, future, body, mind, soul, dreams-


Look at it this way:

I'm "scared of shopping"-- I can go and take all the clothes and shoes and stuff I want, but I'm too "scared" to PAY for them. I'm scared to give any money.

So since I'm scared, you'll let me have it all for free, right? Cos I'm "scared" of shopping, and I don't believe in money or payments.

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Agree with Falucci above.

The situation is not favorable for you. Giving up on having children is one of the worse sacrifices one can make. I have 2 daughters and that is the most wonderful thing in my life. Material things, cars, trips and mansions could never compete with the pride I have in those girls and the love I feel for them and from them. I love being a mother.

If both of you are in your 20's, you still have a lot of time for him to change his mind.

But what if he doesn't, and the years go by?

As with dealing with a commitment phobic man, you need to find one who isn't. There are tons of decent men out there just wanting to build a family.


BTW, he seems to be a wimp in his work life too. How can he take physical abuse from a boss? Send the boss to hell and go work somewhere else. Even if the salary is $$$ it is not worth the stress and humiliation. I am sure this is making him insecure about the responsability of getting married and have children (more expenses).


If he takes control of his career, maybe he will be ready to take added responsabilities. You can help hm with support but you can't MAKE him make these changes. If he's not ready, maybe you shouldn't wait.


Women, I know it is tough to leave a bad relationship, but there ARE lot's of nice guys out there. Maybe they are not as hot, but they will be a better companion for life and the things that really matter (love, family, values).

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I agree with the two posters. So many women think they can't do better and so they stay in the same crap just finding excuses to justify themistreatment by their loved ones. I know it seems like there is not one good man out there, but there are good ones left.


Don't let anyone take you away from your dreams and desires. That is as long as they are possitive and productive. Children, a stable positive religion, and a good marriage are all positive things you want to make a part of your life and anyone who does not even respect and appreciate all those things for what they mean to you is just not worth it.

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Why, exactly, do you love him? He hates religion, children and life in general. And you love all three. Forget about whether he proposes or not, you have larger issues here. Like compatability. I think feeling rejected because he doesn't want to marry has made you want that proposal more than anything on earth. It has blinded you to some very serious concerns regarding your future as a couple. Forget about getting married and pretend, for a moment, that you already are. What is a typical day like for you? Joyous and connected? Or the opposite? Take a good, long look. Could you be happy childless? There are too many questions and not enough answers in your current situation.

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Thanks for all your advice guys I truly do appreciate it. I feel much stronger now that I've read what you've had to say.


I was so happy when he was talking about interviewing for a new job and getting out of the situation... but today he sent an email from work telling me the place that had been offering the job was no longer looking and I could tell from the tone of his email that he wasn't going to try anymore. I was very disheartened to get the email which is another reason why I posted here.


I'm at the end of my rope. I feel like if I love him then I shouldn't make ultimatums... but like others that replied here I've felt that if he can get a control of his career and get out of that bad situation, THEN maybe I would consider not breaking up with him... but now it seems he's stopped trying again.


I've lost respect for him because he won't leave his abusive boss. The boss doesn't pay him even half of what other employers in the industry would pay him as a manager...and yet he still stays. I just don't understand... in the meantime, he brings home his stress and complains about how little money he has. I've been told by his co-workers over and over again to just be sympathetic to the point where I've refused to hang out with his co-workers because it just reminds me of how much respect I've lost for him for staying and I'm sick of them telling me I should be a more sympathetic gf.


I've been sympathetic for 3 years.


I guess now it's just a matter of how to break things off after 6 months of things being so wonderful... it will be like a slap in the face and a stab in the back to him-- I know this is the last thing he would expect after things being so good for so long and being so committed to him and living with him for 3 years.


Any advice on softening the blow?

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I think honesty is the best

Tell him marriage and children and religion are important.

His future goals aren't compatible with yours.

No blame, no games, not drama-- just tell him.

I'm sure we can all predict how/what he will tell you.


He'll dismiss your ideas on marriage and kids, then

He'll try to tell you how cruel you are for leaving him, and

He'll promise to "try to change"

He'll say you can "talk about" marriage later, (promise!!) when "things settle down"

He'll say after all he's "done for you" you're just going to "walk out on him and is there someone else?"

He'll wonder how you can "throw it all away"

He'll say he'll maybe, possibly, maybe consider talking about kids, but "just not right now" and that he truly "didn't realize how much it meant to you"

(and that he's sorry)

He'll beg you to say just until he "gets his job situation under control"

And that he's TRYING to change, and he can't help it if ..

His mother.father.childhood made him "afraid of commitment"


PS he didn't "stop trying"-- he never tried at all, he just made it SOUND like he was "trying" in order to 1- keep you around the the house., and 2- avoid major discussions about marriage/kids/future with you

Hey-- it works!!!!! He's a tricky one.


he was talking about interviewing for a new job and getting out of the situation... but today he sent an email from work telling me the place that had been offering the job was no longer looking --- DO you even know that this is the TRUTH???? DO you even know for a fact that he's actually looking????

It's your life. Chose wisely

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