Boyfriend's Commitment Phobia?
by Melani 2448
I need help in my on-off relationship with my boyfriend; I need him to commit to our relationship as I want a family and time is running out for me...
"Relationships Q&A with You, Me and Paula Renaye"
QUESTION: Desire To Start A Family But Boyfriend Has Commitment Phobia... MORE FROM Melani...
Hi, I've been with my boyfriend 2 and a half years - the last year was very rocky with us splitting up a number of times. We still love each other and found it difficult to be apart, so decided a couple months ago to give the relationship a proper go, to try living together and save to buy a house/start family etc.
He moved into my flat a month ago but his bags remain unpacked and we've argued a lot. When I try to make plans for the future and talk about booking holidays, looking at properties, mortgages etc. he is uninterested and gives me reasons why buying a house/having kids is difficult and complicated.
I am 36 and he is 35. I really want to start a family and he wants kids but says he is not ready and that we have to buy a house and he needs to change his career first... But he does nothing to make it happen
. I already own my flat and think it's possible for us to buy a house together and have a baby, but feel like he is trying to fight me by coming out with negative excuses. He doesn't like to talk about the future unless I push him... since he is scared of commitment, he even admits to having commitment phobia
It's making me really unhappy! I never know on a day to day basis whether we're making a go of it or not (I've caught him online searching jobs near his home town and checking out work in Australia). He is here in person but I don't sense any enthusiasm for our relationship. Should I stay with him
and give him time to decide if he can commit? After 2.5yrs he should know if he's ready to settle down or not but it just feels like massive pressure to him. Time is precious since I will be 37 this year and don't want to ruin my chances of having a family.STEVE'S ANSWER"When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment."
This inspirational quotation
comes to my mind, when I read your question 'Melani'. It's not gender-neutral, alas, and it seems to 'know' the answer to the particular fraught situation that you and your boyfriend find yourself in (whereas only you and he know the answer to your problems, in truth - outsiders can only 'suggest' at possible meanings and outcomes).
Still, I think it sums up where you both are. Your boyfriend doesn't 'feel right' about the relationship. And neither do you. But you have different ways of handling that discomfort. He seems to want to hold back, edge around things until he feels more comfortable. You seem to want to push on ahead, and take comforting (to you) and committed actions.
Breaking up is a hard thing for both of you to do, as is working out where this 'discomfort' comes from. But the discomfort IS there - the on-and-off nature of your relationship confirms it!
My sense is that it's going to take courage from one of you to change the dynamic of this relationship
- really change it. Either one of you decides to break up, and completely commit to breaking up (i.e. no more contact at all, and move on), or one of you (you, probably, 'Melani') commit to doing your relationship in a different way - to make the relationship space more 'comfortable' for your boyfriend.
Carrying on as you are, to me anyway, is only going to lead to more of the same... i.e. to a non-fulfilling, un-committed relationship of emotional struggle and strife rather than the committed relationship that leads to marriage and family that you know you want!
I'm sorry for where you both find yourselves, and wish the both of you the wisdom, heart and courage to find a way out of where you are right now.
And I hope others (especially women) will also provide you with answers, even if they differ from mine.