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Was it commitment phobia or did he just not love me


Totesgoats
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So I’ve been seeing a guy for almost a year now. I was fully aware of his emotional unavailablility when we started dating. He had back to back terrible relationships. Both crushed him and the one before me would physically assault him.

 We dated for 9 months “unofficially” a month after his abusive relationship but we very quickly acted like we were in a relationship. We are absolutely perfect for each other. Same hobbies, life goals, same taste, incredible sex (he has told me multiple times I’m the only woman he has ever enjoyed sex with this much. After his ex he thought he was asexual) 

He was always upfront about the fact that he wasn’t  ready for a relationship, I wasn’t really ready either so I stuck around for the fun. After 9 months he pulled me aside, and cried. He cried about how he realised he was in the relationship he said he didn’t want but he could himself spending the rest of his life with me but he wasn’t ready. I just accepted it, tried to be really positive and left. Fast forward one month and he invites me over for drinks. We drink and then he cry’s again about how he realised that he was in love with me!! And he can’t stop thinking about me and that I’m the girlfriend he wants. I asked him if he felt he’d get overwhelmed again and he was honest and said probably because he believes relationships always go wrong for him. He also said he felt like after how toxic his last relationship was he wouldn’t be free if he committed to me. I tried to leave then but he wouldn’t let me go. He has been trying so hard for the past 3 months. Initiating everything, being so loving and buying me gifts, taking me out. I didn’t speak to him for two weeks to take some headspace and he sent messages to my friend about how in love he was with me and how he’d never give up on me.

But in my gut I still knew he wasn’t ready. I spoke to him yesterday about how this relationship is suddenly not as fun knowing he still can’t completely commit but how he in love with me he is. It’s confusing. He encouraged me to make the best decision for myself and that no matter what he’d be there. He didn’t want to hold me down. He didn’t think he was worth my emotional pain. So I did. I left. But it was so ***ing hard. I adore him. But I know it’s the right decision. 

I know it’s stupid and I’m not asking for advice on the situation. I’m just seeking comfort. I believe he loved me because he constantly showed it and invested so much time into me and care, as did i. But he had so much anxiety. He told me he was afraid of things getting boring, or maybe I’d want to have sex with someone else or that he would. Or that we were too young or that he that if he pissed me off like his ex girlfriend things would go just as poorly. 

He also said his deepest fear was that he’d *** this up for good somehow and that he’d loose me for good. Like that if he kept the commitment out of it then he’d be able to keep me around for good. 

Again I know I made the right decision but I am in a lot of pain thinking that maybe the true reason he held back from committing was because he wasn’t as in love as he said he was. 

He said it first though, unprompted by me and he really did make me feel so loved. I’m just feeling sore and insecure. That maybe I was lied to? 

I know a lot of people have been through something similar but the only difference I feel in mine was that…he put all the effort in. It felt like I had an advancing relationship that wasn’t actually advancing.

I want to believe after all the love and effort we put in, it truly was just his anxiety that ended us and not that he was holding out for something better.

I also believe he let me go yesterday because he didn’t completely believe I meant it when I said this was it. He kept saying he’d see me soon and that this wasn’t actually goodbye. I kept saying it was. I’m determined to go no contact. 

When I left he showed me the scar on his hand that he got with me because of one of the most insane but completely wholesome dates we went on. He broke a bottle with me that ended up scaring him. He kept pointing at it saying I’ll never forget about you. I physically can’t, he kept saying that he knows he will think of me everyday. And that he’d wait for the day I’d reach out again.

I know no one can really answer this for me. There is no future yet so there isn’t anything to predict. I’m just sad. I wonder if anyone has been on his side of things. Feeling stuck and in love. Is it possible to love some as much as I felt he did but believe you’re not worth it or can’t do it?

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I was not ready to be in a new relationship one month after an abusive one ended.

If he broke up with you and said he just wasn't ready to give you what you wanted, that would be fair.  It could be that you part ways and in six month to a year run into him and he is in a different space because he took time for himself and actively pursued healing.  But this part makes me think not

1 hour ago, Totesgoats said:

But he had so much anxiety. He told me he was afraid of things getting boring, or maybe I’d want to have sex with someone else or that he would. Or that we were too young or that he that if he pissed me off like his ex girlfriend things would go just as poorly. 

He also said his deepest fear was that he’d *** this up for good somehow and that he’d loose me for good. Like that if he kept the commitment out of it then he’d be able to keep me around for good. 

I think that if you did stay with him, even if he didn't realize it, he doesn't believe he is worthy of a healthy relationship and would look for something to be wrong just to affirm in his mind that he can't keep one going.

He is "warning you" now, so that when he jumps to somebody else or decides he is not interested, he can't say he didn't warn you.

You could be a a perfectly intelligent, lovely inside and out and another guy would be fortunate enough to meet you -- but sometimes when someone isn't capable of a relationship, they only meet people that they are not going to commit to going into it. 

Sometimes people who leave abusive relationships - its a one off - and they are relieved and sometimes people are in relationships that are not so much where one party is the abuser - but its a toxic dynamic they are both throwing and they can't deal with not having that kind of drama in their lives.

he is trying to sound like the good guy for "just waiting for the day you bless him reaching out..."

But really, you need to close the door on him. there are great guys out there just hoping to meet someone - guys that have their act together and just have not been able to meet someone wonderful due to covid, not going where they can meet said person, etc. There are way more fish in the sea.

 

 

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It doesn’t matter which one it is. I’d go so far as to say commitment phobia = not loving you. For the end result it produces they may as well be the same. 
 

It’s much much harder to let go of a commitment phobic person though because they keep saying with their words ‘I love you but….’ And we just here the I love you bit. You deserve someone who loves you without reservation and I firmly believe that in the mean time, it’s better to be single than on the hook for someone who isn’t all in. I’m sorry you’re in a position where the only escape will come when you walk away (and I’m cheering for you to find the strength to do so). 

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He may very well loved you but to what level is he capable of? 

You were a rebound plain and simple.  30 days out of an abusive relationship he was hurting and wanted the pain to go away.  He probably felt unlovable with poor self esteem and then you come along.

 So instead of him taking time to heal and rebuild himself he distracts the pain with you.  Until he is single for a good while and gets his stuff figured out he is no good to anyone, especially himself. 

  He is not the guy for you or anyone else I am afraid.  Don't be surprised if you hear that he is "dating" someone new pretty soon.

 Hopefully he will take the time needed this time to heal and grow from all of these relationships he has never dealt with.

 It sucks paying the price for someone else's past but that is what has happened here.  Go NC and start healing yourself so when you do meet a guy that is available to be all in you will be ready as well.

  Lost

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6 hours ago, Totesgoats said:

So I’ve been seeing a guy for almost a year now. I was fully aware of his emotional unavailablility when we started dating. He had back to back terrible relationships. Both crushed him and the one before me would physically assault him.

 We dated for 9 months “unofficially” a month after his abusive relationship but we very quickly acted like we were in a relationship. We are absolutely perfect for each other. Same hobbies, life goals, same taste, incredible sex (he has told me multiple times I’m the only woman he has ever enjoyed sex with this much. After his ex he thought he was asexual) 

He was always upfront about the fact that he wasn’t  ready for a relationship, I wasn’t really ready either so I stuck around for the fun. After 9 months he pulled me aside, and cried. He cried about how he realised he was in the relationship he said he didn’t want but he could himself spending the rest of his life with me but he wasn’t ready. I just accepted it, tried to be really positive and left. Fast forward one month and he invites me over for drinks. We drink and then he cry’s again about how he realised that he was in love with me!! And he can’t stop thinking about me and that I’m the girlfriend he wants. I asked him if he felt he’d get overwhelmed again and he was honest and said probably because he believes relationships always go wrong for him. He also said he felt like after how toxic his last relationship was he wouldn’t be free if he committed to me. I tried to leave then but he wouldn’t let me go. He has been trying so hard for the past 3 months. Initiating everything, being so loving and buying me gifts, taking me out. I didn’t speak to him for two weeks to take some headspace and he sent messages to my friend about how in love he was with me and how he’d never give up on me.

But in my gut I still knew he wasn’t ready. I spoke to him yesterday about how this relationship is suddenly not as fun knowing he still can’t completely commit but how he in love with me he is. It’s confusing. He encouraged me to make the best decision for myself and that no matter what he’d be there. He didn’t want to hold me down. He didn’t think he was worth my emotional pain. So I did. I left. But it was so ***ing hard. I adore him. But I know it’s the right decision. 

I know it’s stupid and I’m not asking for advice on the situation. I’m just seeking comfort. I believe he loved me because he constantly showed it and invested so much time into me and care, as did i. But he had so much anxiety. He told me he was afraid of things getting boring, or maybe I’d want to have sex with someone else or that he would. Or that we were too young or that he that if he pissed me off like his ex girlfriend things would go just as poorly. 

He also said his deepest fear was that he’d *** this up for good somehow and that he’d loose me for good. Like that if he kept the commitment out of it then he’d be able to keep me around for good. 

Again I know I made the right decision but I am in a lot of pain thinking that maybe the true reason he held back from committing was because he wasn’t as in love as he said he was. 

He said it first though, unprompted by me and he really did make me feel so loved. I’m just feeling sore and insecure. That maybe I was lied to? 

I know a lot of people have been through something similar but the only difference I feel in mine was that…he put all the effort in. It felt like I had an advancing relationship that wasn’t actually advancing.

I want to believe after all the love and effort we put in, it truly was just his anxiety that ended us and not that he was holding out for something better.

I also believe he let me go yesterday because he didn’t completely believe I meant it when I said this was it. He kept saying he’d see me soon and that this wasn’t actually goodbye. I kept saying it was. I’m determined to go no contact. 

When I left he showed me the scar on his hand that he got with me because of one of the most insane but completely wholesome dates we went on. He broke a bottle with me that ended up scaring him. He kept pointing at it saying I’ll never forget about you. I physically can’t, he kept saying that he knows he will think of me everyday. And that he’d wait for the day I’d reach out again.

I know no one can really answer this for me. There is no future yet so there isn’t anything to predict. I’m just sad. I wonder if anyone has been on his side of things. Feeling stuck and in love. Is it possible to love some as much as I felt he did but believe you’re not worth it or can’t do it?

I’m sure he cares for you but the main valued characteristics in a partner are stability and trustworthiness.

Unfortunately whatever has happened to him or who he is, he doesn’t have them. He was in abusive relationships recently so how can he be expected to be like someone who hasn’t? 

He needs lots of time and work on himself, feeling good, more confident and able to bring positive vibes and qualities to a relationship. You cannot make up for a partner’s lack of self-worth. I hope he finds healing and peace.

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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I agree with the others, especially Rose.  I think you might be the emotionally unavailable/commitment phobic one -you weren't "really looking" for a relationship either but deliberately got into a really safe arrangement with someone you knew from the get go didn't want a relationship (with you) -he told you this. 

Doesn't matter if it was because of the past.  So it was safe to get attached as you knew it didn't come with the long term responsibility of commitment.  Do you find the drama hard but also exciting -does the push and pull make it more exciting in a way?  I'd consider this.  He was able to act like a couple with you because it was safe for him too.  I'm sorry this is hard for you!!

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When people come with a warning label, read it very carefully and don't convince yourself to stick around because you think you can handle short-term, fluffy, no-strings fun. If you could, you wouldn't be taking the time to get answers by seeking a key to unlock another's brain on this forum.

People who issue these warnings do not want to put in the effort a serious relationship requires. After they get the intimacy they want at the beginning of a relationship, when it gets to the point he's sensing the woman will want to go to the next level, it's time for him to bail. He can then be seeking out his next temporary target.

He cares not one iota for you, because he's trying to keep you dangling, like an oxygen starved fished, from his line that he will NEVER reel in.

Block him on all social media. If he does ever manage to contact you and intrude on your closure, ignore him. People usually get tired of communicating with a non-willing participant, and will stop, unless they are crazy stalkers. And it doesn't matter if he ever improves in life to be a good partner to someone else. If so great, but he is no longer your concern and NOBODY is worth waiting around for, wishing and hoping he will someday be a good partner for you.

You're in the drivers seat, so steer your life in the way you want it to go. Learn from this experience so that you don't repeat a pattern in who you choose to date. Good luck.

Edited by Andrina
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How old are you guys? You just made the comment that maybe you're "too young" so I was just wondering how old you actually are. If his previous ex was abusive and even hit him, I can understand why he might feel messed up and not ready to be in a relationship. The problem is, where does that leave you? Even if he has a good reason why he can't be in a relationship, you want to be in one, and you want one with him.

Don't just sell yourself short and push away what YOU really want in order to please this guy and cater to what he wants. Life is too short to not look for what you truly want. I've especially realised that with COVID. 

Also I hate to say it, but if someone really does love you, they'd stop being a wuss and actually go for it. Some of the things he said also don't really make sense. He's scared to be in a relationship because he's scared it might not work out? That's literally the possibility of being in any relationship. The point is to just give it a chance and see where it goes. It might work, it might not, everyone has that risk who gets into a relationship. You just go into a relationship hoping it will work and you try. You don't need to fixate on whether it's going to work out in the end or not.

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His commitment issues aside(its still a problem but others already went there so I wont dwell too much on that), what you described is way too intense and unstable individual. Calling your friends to tell you how "he loves you", showing you scars to tell you how he will remember you for life, that is insanity level of intensity. There are some people that express themselves like that. However, they make every unreliable partners simply because they lack stability. Here you have a person who would "cut his veins" for you(figurative speech ofcourse) at least on his words alone. And yet he is afraid to be in an actual relationship with you. No wonder somebody like that just leaves you confused. Because he is way too intense. And cant even give you stable relationship where you dont have to wonder if he loves you or not. You made a good decision to stay away from somebody like that. His past traumas or not, that guy will never be a reliable partner. 

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He might really feel like he loves you. He sounds like a codependent. He doesn't love himself, or have an identity outside of being in relationships with others. He hasn't healed his wounds from the abuse he suffered. He can't be in a relationship with you and give you the love you deserve until he makes at least some affirmative steps toward healing himself. That is probably why he couldn't commit. He knows this inside, but he also loves you and knows that he may lose you forever by letting you walk away. But, the reality is, if you got into a relationship, he'd probably lose you forever anyway except there would have been a lot of confusing, anxious experiences in between, a deeper attachment formed, and resentment built up. I would say, maybe there's a chance this works out in the future, but you made the right decision by walking away at this point. I wouldn't take it personally. 

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