Boy Trouble Advice from My Lesbian Friend: 10 Things to Stop Doing if He Won't Commit
At a recent girl's night I was reunited with an old friend I hadn't seen since high school. Since then she's made a killer living as a boiler maker alongside coming out of the closet. She travels to remote places to do intense labor that earns her a living most of us can only dream of. Her job also requires living in a camp with men, men and nothing but men. After being exposed to them in their natural habitat for so long she has integrated into the herd and they have accepted her as one of their own.
"He's charming, right?" She asked innocently when I started dishing about a guy in my life that just can't seem to commit. "He does sweet things to keep you coming back like buying you chocolate during that special time of month or showing up with the McNuggets you were craving? He says you're one of his best friends."
100% CORRECT. And the sex is so out of this world that we've become best friends with the cat and the fiddle who jumped over the moon ever since we started to *cough* diddle diddle.
With so many girls suffering from being a hopeless romantic in a hook up culture, I thought it was important to share my friend's advice on what I needed to stop doing if he wouldn't commit. After all, she had come back with knowledge from the other side:
1. STOP Messaging Him First (or at All).
"I just want to message him and tell him how much it hurts," I whined pathetically over a half empty bottle of Chardonnay. My friend was quick to snatch up my phone.
"Don't. Does he ever message you first?"
"Sometimes." Admittedly only after I've stopped talking to him for a few days.
"Uh huh. If he's not reaching out to you then he's not worth it. He messages you when he's bored or lonely. You're like a pack of cigarettes to him. Worse, he'd probably chose a pack of smokes over you."
"But how is he ever going to know what he did was wrong?"
"He knows he hurt you. Guys aren't dumb. He would rather just drink a beer than keep dwelling on it like you are. Way he sees it he can't change what he doesn't feel."
2. STOP Mistaking Good Sex for a Genuine Connection.
"But the sex is so amazing! He's taken so much time to figure out what I like and we have such an amazing connection."
"Well yeah, what guy wants to know they can't satisfy the girl they're with? He didn't do a good job because he cares about you. He did it because it'd hurt his pride if he didn't."
"It felt more like . . ." It felt pathetic to say. "It felt like he really felt something when we were in the bedroom."
"And maybe he did but that doesn't mean it overshadows the other things in his life. The guys at the camp have girls they talk about now and again and who they hook up with when they're home. They don't hate them or want to hurt them. They actually respect them quite a bit. But it doesn't mean they're about to change their lifestyle for them."
3. STOP Playing Housewife for Him.
"But it's so much more than that. He wakes me up with tea and breakfast in the morning sometimes. We take turns cooking dinner and sometimes go grocery shopping together. We even clean his apartment together especially when I've been staying there for a few days."
"So what? You stayed there and made a mess with him and now you're helping him clean? That's just common courtesy to him that you're picking up your shit."
"Sometimes he would let me stay there and use his satellite while he was at work and I'd clean up even if I hadn't made the mess."
"And whose fault is that? Did he ask you to do that? Expect you to do that?"
4. STOP Believing That No One Else Has Got His Attention
"We haven't been sleeping with anyone else since we started hooking up."
"Not every guy is about sleeping with different girls every night but it doesn't mean that they're into committing to just one for the rest of their lives either. When the guys come home from the camp they have five months before they're heading back out again. Picking up girls at the bar is hard for some guys, especially if they're homebodies and would rather just hang out at home drinking beer. Committing to sleeping with one girl for a few months is a lot different than being ready to commit for life."
5. STOP Letting Him Blame Timing.
"I can't blame him though. When we met he was just out of a seven year relationship. I can't even imagine how much that screwed with his head. I should be happy he's even opened up to me as much as he has and his job is stressful and requires travel so I understand why it's not good timing."
"STOP. That's not an excuse. How long has it been since they broke up?" She was somewhat incredulous at how many excuses I had made for him.
"Over a year now."
"And how long were you two sleeping together?"
"About six months."
"So he knows what it's like to have you around and he's still blaming his ex? That sounds to me like a nice way of saying 'You're not the one for me but I'm not quite ready to phase you out of the roster yet.' I've seen guys straight out of ten year relationships that are heartbroken as hell and then meet the right girl and end up happily married a couple years later. Guys are pretty simple creatures - if they want it, they get it. So if he's not making an effort . . ."
"Yeah, yeah . . ." Things were looking pretty bleak.
6. STOP Making Excuses When He Doesn't Come Through for You.
"And how many times did he bail on plans?"
"Quite a bit. Blew me off on valentines day for a ski trip with his sister. Wouldn't even come bring soup when I was sick and we had plans. Cancelled instead because he didn't want to catch what I had. Oh man . . . do you know how many times I took care of him when he was hungover? Not even sick. Just hungover. What a jerk."
At that point the wine was gone and my gal's and I were getting riled up about things. While most of them were voicing their support one of them sat quietly nursing her beer. When she finally spoke it wasn't what I was expecting and felt like a mic had been dropped.
"Yeah, but really no one can make you feel like that without you letting them."
Darn. This had so little to do with how he had behaved toward me and everything to do with how I had allowed him to behave.
7. STOP Planning for a Future Together Thinking That He'll Come Around.
"I just really saw a life together. A nice country property where we could shoot our guns and buy sheep. And I could bake pies and put them in the windowsill. You know, classic country housewife stuff."
8. STOP Integrating Yourself Into His Family and Friends.
"And his family loves me and I'll miss them if I cut him off."
9. STOP Saying You Won't Move on and That He Was "The One."
"I've tried to date other people now that I know that's something he wants but I just can't move on. No one makes me feel the same way. Still feels like we're supposed to be together and he's just being . . . dumb, you know?"
10. STOP Convincing Yourself That You're a Bad Person for Needing to Choose Yourself Since He Won't.
"Look, I get that this sucks," she told me as she prepared to leave. She couldn't stay long with several other visits to make while she was in town still. "It's hard, especially when it's probably true that you're one of his best friends. But that's all you are. Maybe he does talk to you more than he talks to anyone else. Everyone needs friends. But if you can't get over the sleeping together thing maybe it's time to cut him off."
"How can I do that? If I say I love him how do I cut him off if that's true? You don't cut off the people that you love. You don't give up."
"No. But you love yourself too, right? Sometimes you have to chose you because they just never will."