It can be very hard to let go of someone you have feelings for when you realize your ultimate desires differ. Relationship expert Janet Ong Zimmerman does a brilliant job of breaking this situation down. As usual, she doesn’t mince words and you have to love that!
Written by Janet Ong Zimmerman, YourTango
Sure, he’s nice. Sure, he’s funny. Sure, he’s handsome and the chemistry is great. But if you and your guy don’t want the same type of relationship, is that a deal breaker? Is a breakup in order over this? The short answer is “yes!”
Why? Because any time you’re with a guy who wants a different type of relationship, you are on the road to regret and heartbreak. You end up wasting precious months (or years) in a situation that was never going anywhere from day one. You end up feeling hurt, sad, and disappointed, even though the signs were there the entire time.
So, if a committed relationship is your ultimate goal and you find yourself in one of the following five scenarios … sorry! You’re on the road to relationship nowhere. Here’s what to do about it:
Scenario #1: He’s your hook-up buddy
When you’re just hooking up, the chances of this kind of arrangement turning into anything more are slim to none. Guys in this no-strings-attached scenario don’t take the relationship (or you) seriously. This arrangement keeps you both involved from a distance so neither of you ever shows true vulnerability. As a result, no real or lasting emotional intimacy takes hold. Committed relationships and marriages require real intimacy which can’t be built on a shallow connection.
Sure, hanging out and hooking up is fun and comfortable. But the more you do so, the more difficult real dating becomes. Why? Because dating requires openness and increased feelings of being vulnerable and exposed. Dating is about practicing connection at different levels and being seen for who you are. The more you practice, the easier it becomes. So do more of it!
If lasting love is what you seek, leave Mr. Hook-Up guy behind and start dating other people.
Scenario #2: You’re blinded by the chemistry
When you first meet a guy and really like him, don’t get caught up in the chemistry, his good looks or his smooth-talking ways. If he’s saying the right things and you’re not sure he means what he says, take time to learn whether you share core values, what his outlook on life is, how compatible you are, and the kind of relationship he is looking for. Don’t let him (or steamy chemistry) talk you into having sex too soon.
Set the pace by letting him woo you. In doing so, you learn his true intentions (i.e. if he’s looking for a commitment or marriage, if he wants to date others, etc.). Notice how you feel when you’re with him and when you’re apart. If he is the right guy, you will feel good about yourself and who he is.
Also, never talk yourself into remaining with him because he “seems” like a good catch.
Scenario #3: It’s a hot-and-cold love affair
On-again, off-again relationships are both fun and deeply frustrating, which is why most of them don’t end in commitment or marriage—they just end. Stop thinking you’re the exception. You’ll just waste even more of your precious time.
If your on-again, off-again guy contacts you and wants to get together, politely decline, even if you don’t have other plans. You might wonder, “What’s the harm?” Well, attracting the love you really want requires clarity in your thoughts, behaviors, and actions. So when you send mixed signals to the Universe, higher power, or God, you find yourself in the type of relationships you don’t really want over and over again.
Scenario #4: The relationship is starting to get serious
Congratulations, you’ve finally progressed from dating to being exclusive. Great, but continue watching what he says and does. If he tells you what you want to hear to keep you around, yet his actions don’t back up his promises, have the courage to see things for what they are. Don’t make excuses for him (i.e. he’s got a full schedule because he’s working so much and doesn’t have time to call me). And don’t pursue him either when you don’t hear from him.
If a guy is really into you, you will hear from him no matter what is going on in his life.
If he tells you he isn’t looking for a commitment—believe him! Stop hoping he’ll change his mind once he realizes how wonderful you are. And definitely don’t bend over backwards or compromise who you are trying to make him to like you more.
It’s hard to detach yourself from a guy you really like, but it’s far easier when you haven’t invested a ton of time and effort into a connection that’s going nowhere. Leave this relationship now and free your energy up to meet a guy who genuinely wants what you want.
Scenario #5: He needs to put a ring on it!
So, you’ve been in an exclusive relationship for a long time (maybe even a few years). Some couples are entirely okay with this. If the guy you love has no interest in marriage, but does want to spend his life with you, there are other factors to help decide if you should stay or end it. For example: whether you want to have children and raise them in a traditional (married) household. Or, whether you have a deep desire to experience marriage and all that comes with it.
It’s okay if you decide that being with him is more important than the official “I do” commitment. However, if you really want to get married, don’t let him talk you out of that dream. Marriage might be “just a piece of paper” to him, but, in truth, it does represent a deeper level of commitment—both people are more invested and, when sticky situations come up, there is more incentive to work things out.
How To End The Relationship And Move On:
If your heart and mind tell you that your relationship is going nowhere and it’s time to walk away, let these six things help you let go:
1. He is still a great guy; you just both want different things
Just because he doesn’t want commitment or marriage doesn’t make him a bad guy (and don’t tell him, or others, that he’s a bad guy just because you’re upset). Shift your attention and reflect inward on how you can improve your prospects of finding a man aligned with your relationship goals.
2. There is no ideal time to leave
Saying goodbye will never be easy. If your goals aren’t aligned, the time to leave is now. Walking away sooner than later will help ease your pain and preserve your self-esteem. If he tries to convince you to come back, remind yourself he isn’t capable or willing to give you what you want.
3. Time waits for no one
The more time you spend with a guy who doesn’t want they type of relationship you seek, the less time you’re available for meeting a man who shares your desire for commitment and marriage.
4. Continuing down the same path hurts both of you
When you send mixed signals (i.e. saying you want marriage, yet continuing to date a guy who doesn’t want commitment), you continue to attract more of the same hurt and frustration. Don’t live your life in limbo. Doing so only takes you (and your man) further away from what you each really want.
5. Get crystal clear
Focus on and take action towards what you truly want in a relationship. Don’t waste time with wishful thinking. Instead, determine the qualities you want in your ideal man and relationship (i.e. how that life and relationship will feel once you are in it). Then, use that vision as a guide that moves you forward.
6. Prepare to stretch your comfort zone
It’s time to do the inner work and prepare yourself for something bigger and better. When you feel discomfort in that process, know that the challenge helps you grow in a positive way. Seek support for the journey—the right resources, people, and situations. Remember to be kind and loving to yourself along the way.
Now that you’re ready to take action towards your heart’s desire, know that you’re further down the path toward meeting the guy of your dreams. And when you meet him, he’ll want the same type of relationship that you do.
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Article originally posted at YourTango: He Wants Fun, You Want Commitment