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Exclusive dating but no commitment in the future?

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A couple days ago the guy that I've been dating for 2 months and I decided to see each other exclusively. However, he told me for the first time that he isn't totally emotionally available yet since he broke up with his ex-girlfriend 5 months ago and isn't really over that yet and that this is the first time in years that he is single and wants to find himself. He also said that he might hold back a little and try not to get too attached to me because he doesn't want to get hurt.

I don't want to pressure him and want to give him all the time he needs and take things slow. However, I'm worried that I might get too attached and get hurt myself.

Do you think it's a bad sign that he told me he isn't ready to be in another relationship yet? He was the one who said that he doesn't want us to see other people and that he wants me in his life right now and wants to see where this goes but I'm still not sure about the chances that he might be ready for a new commitment let's say in half a year from now. I really like him and I know I would be able to take it slow, give him space and remain a challenge cause that's just my personality but I'm still worried.

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I don't think it's a bad sign. I just think he's being honest. The fact that he wants to be exclusive is a good sign. It means he doesn't see it as a casual relationship. At the same time, he wants to take things slowly. My advice is: give as much as you get. Don't get attached right away. Let things gradually evolve. He has a right to protect himself but so do you. Don't let yourself get drawn in only to be let down. Give him all the time and space he needs, treat him like you want to be treated and try to just enjoy the relationship.

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Let me get this straight: He said he doesn't want the two of you to see other people, yet he isn't ready to be in a relationship? That is one of the biggest contradictions I have ever seen. And a warning sign...


Look, he cannot have his cake and eat it too. What he is asking you to agree to is quite selfish; he wants room to "find himself" yet is asking you to give up your time and energy and space to basically wait until he does that. And even when he does find himself ready to be in a relationship, who says it will be with you? Yes, you've said that you'll take it slow, give him space and remain a challege...but what about what he gives you? Why are you pandering to his needs so much when he hasn't thought about the position he has put you into?


I understand that the situation is complicated and that you really like him. But what he is asking you is just so unfair to you. Relationships are supposed to be about give and take, but he doesn't seem to understand that. What kind of a relationship do you expect to have if one partner says they might "hold back a little and try not to get too attached?" Do you really want to be with someone who is not giving of himself, yet asks much of you?


To me, it sounds like you'll always be walking on egg shells with him, carefully and painstakingly reviewing every gesture and statement you put forth to ensure it doesn't look like you are taking the relationship too seriously (which would cause him to retreat even further).


I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but I think you need to break up with him. Tell him that you do like him, but that he needs time to get himself together. And when he is ready to invest himself in a relationship he can contact you and you two can pick things up again (at which point, you may or may not be involved with someone else, but that is the risk he takes). But please don't wait for him to come around. There are so many things that I am sure you could better focus on (such as perhaps finding someone who is ready and willing for a relationship) than to wait for him to change.

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Hi there,

I hate to do this to you, but one day when you have an hour to kill you might want to look at this topic


It might help you see it from the other side and it might help you make a decision here.


I think the fact that your bf says he is not ready to give his all is a red flag. You are already insecure in the relationship and not sure if you want to continue. Trust your gut instincts. If this guy can't be as committed to you as you are to him then he is not your guy. Give him the time he wants, wish him luck and let him go. Chances are he won't heal as long as he has someone to worry about hurting : You.


Let him find himself first, then he can come looking for you, right? He knows where to find you.


I'd say it's better for you to walk away now, at the beginning, than 6 months down the road when your heart is more involved.


Best wishes

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I agree with the above..


It seems like he likes the security of having you around. He is right about one thing, it is probably good for him to be single to "find" himself. That doesn't mean, though, that you should sit there dawdling while he's busy figuring out what he wants.


Tell him for now that you think he's great, but his comments have concerned you and you think it's best to remain single for now. Date other people. If he's ready one day for a real committment, you may or may not be available. It's all in the timing.


Good luck!

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Thanks for your answers!


I agree with all of you. I don't know, I think it also has to do a lot with American dating. I'm from Germany and this thing is just a big mystery to me. When I asked him about the difference between being exclusive and being bf/gf he said that to him bf/gf means that you are seriously commited and thinking about marriage etc., whereas dating is how you get to know someone that well and eventually get to that point and if everything goes well which he assumes then our serious dating will lead to being bf/gf. I think the intention and interest is there. I'm just wondering whether it's too risky since he isn't totally available yet or if I should just give it a chance to see what happens since he really seems to be a keeper.

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Thanks, I took a look at the thread. I agree that I should be careful with him.


By the way, I think he isn't that attached to his ex anymore. He was the one who broke up with her. The main reason was that she always got very upset over little things. For example if he didn't call her every day and she always made him feel like he HAD to do things and not because he wanted to do them. I got the impression that to him being committed means to have a lot of pressure and obligations.

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If he feels like relationships are about feeling "obligated" to someone then you will do right to give him LOTS of room. Enough that you walk away now and tell him to : look you up when he is ready but you are moving on.


Note: if he wants you he will get over what he has to get over and come looking for you, knowing full well you didn't " pressure " him. A great way to start fresh


But if you stay you might find yourself pressuring him to hurry up and get over it already if it takes too long. You would be doing what he complains his ex did. You don't want that.

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Hallo, Wie gehts?


I don't think you should break up with him. Just don't give too much of yourself to him.


Maintain your hobbies, friends and don't always make time for him so that he cannot get bored with you. Always remain elusive so that he wants more of you than you are giving.


Either that or tell him to sort himself out and call you when he is ready.

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How wonderful that this guy is honest with you and told you 'what is going on' with him. The response to this would be to reciprocate honesty and say 'what is going on' for you.


'Knowing where one is' is not labelling something, giving it a name. Knowing where one is is expressing oneself honestly.

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