The biggest mistake I ever made in a relationship was not listening to my boyfriend. We only dated for six months, but I was ready for a commitment really early on. I told the guy I was dating this, and he was very open and honest.
He had just gotten out of a serious committed relationship and said he needed to just date casually. I nodded, told him I totally understood, and continued to wait for the day he would agree that we were a serious, monogamous couple. That’s because I was listening to his actions and not to his words. This was a mistake.
We are taught early on that what people say isn’t as important as what they do. I think this is mostly true, unless we are talking about what people say about their relationships versus how they behave.
If a man says he doesn’t want to get into a serious monogamous relationship with you, but then doesn’t date other people, wants to have unprotected sex, texts you constantly, spends time with you in a non-sexual way, these actions might lead you to believe that what he’s saying is coming from fear and not reality.
Do not believe his actions. He’s telling you the truth when he says he can’t commit. And until you say that’s a problem for you, he’s going to keep behaving as if he can commit because, hey, he’s told you the truth and you haven’t said a word to disagree with him. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with casual dating, or even casual sex.
If you’re dating a guy and he tells you that he can’t be your boyfriend and you don’t want a boyfriend, more power to you both. But if he’s saying he can’t be your boyfriend and you really want him to be, it’s better that you listen to what he’s saying now and get out early before the hurt grows even bigger. You can’t force him to love you. It doesn’t matter how sexy you are. These are his commitment issues, not yours. He probably doesn’t want to deliberately hurt you. That’s why he’s being honest with you.
I’m not trying to excuse these types of actions. To tell a person you don’t want a commitment and then to treat her like your girlfriend is definitely sending mixed signals. But we absolutely play a part in that eventual hurt by not accepting the words the person before us is saying. If they tell you they can’t commit, they can’t. If they tell you they’re bad news, they are. If they tell you that you deserve so much better than them, they’re right: you do.
If you believe what a person tells you in the early stages of your monogamous relationship with them, it can save you a world of heartache, and set you back on the path to meeting a partner who can commit and who does deserve you.