He's Happy w/o Commitment
Q: I'm 45 and seeing a man who tells me he doesn't want a serious relationship. We are friends, we laugh, we go out, we are intimate. Am I just kidding myself and setting myself up for hurt in thinking that our sexual relationship can continue without my becoming emotionally attached to him? He is very a loving, gentle and attentive lover and always cuddles and talks with me after. He knows that I will date others should the opportunity present itself, but that idea, in theory, doesn't seem to bother him. How do I get him to admit he is more involved than he lets on? -- Donna
Dr. Susan: Ah, the beauty of projection! Donna, I'm pretty sure it's you who are deeply attached to him, rather than the reverse. The funny thing about a great many men is that they say just what they mean, without all the hidden layers of meaning you might expect (or hope for). Your guy is getting all his needs met right now, so why should he bother with an additional level of commitment? You offer him fun, companionship, and sex, and you aren't currently running around with others. He's as serious about you as he's going to be. And now you have to decide if YOUR needs are being met by this basically casual relationship. If you long for the security of a "serious" relationship, try dating others. Either you'll find someone who thinks like you do, or -- maybe -- your current lover will realize he does want to keep you to himself for good. You're only setting yourself up for hurt if you want more than you have at this very moment. Are you the type who can live in the moment, for years and years? You're the only one who knows the answer to that.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.