He Says He’s Not Ready. What Should I Do?

I’m going to tell you what to do if a guy you love insists he “doesn’t want a relationship” and wants to “play the field” . . .

By Michael Fiore

And we’re going to give some harsh advice to a woman’s who’s boyfriend spent a night in a hotel room with another woman.

Here we go, with a letter from a client . . .

Amanda asks…

“Hello. Last year, I began dating a 30 year old guy who was in the process of divorcing his wife. They did not have kids. He said that they dated for almost 7 years, before their year long marriage, and it was really expected that they would marry. They quickly realized it wasn’t working, and though divorced, are still friendly.

He and I got together for 4 months, and he was truly respectful and sweet. We spent a lot of time together, both alone, and with friends (mine really like him). Then, he “fell off the grid.” He contacted me a couple of days later, to say that our dating wasn’t working for him. It was completely out of the blue. We never argued or fought, and I thought everything was great.

We remained in touch, and 4 months later, got back together. His divorce had been finalized. Again, he was respectful, fun, encouraging, and we meshed really well. However, I always felt like the other shoe was going to drop. He included me (to a point) in his life, and I met his dad and best friends, but he was always skittish talking about our relationship. I got the feeling he might bolt. He would get comfortable with me, and when he realized it, would push me away and keep me at a distance.

Well, 5 months later, he fell off the grid again. After a day or two, he called and said it wasn’t working. This time, I was kind of expecting it, and asked him why. He said that he had always been in committed relationships, and wanted to “play the field.” He even had a girl he wanted to ask out (incidentally, a few days later, we were matched on Match.com at 93%. Awkward!).

I took your quiz of 7 questions to tell if he’s in love with me, and scored 6 points (no, he never said the words). We haven’t kept in touch this time around. I would very much like to be with him, and things were always so good between us. Of course, I would want him to fully commit to me. Do you think I should talk to him, and if so, how should I approach him? Or should I just cut my losses?” Amanda

Here is my answer…

Hey Amanda…

Thanks for your question.

And here’s your bad news . . .

You need to let this guy go. At least for now.

Probably for at least a year. And chances are even after that year is up he’s never, ever going to come back to you and is going to end up with somebody else (who’s not nearly as cool or beautiful or as awesome as you.)

Sucks, huh?

But there’s really nothing you can do about it and here’s why:

(For the sake of not driving myself crazy I’m going to call “the guy” “Dave.”)

Dave actually sounds like a really nice guy. He’s not a “player,” he’s not a “douchebag,” he’s not a dweeb.

Heck, he’s not even a “wounded bear” like so many of the guys I get emails about (guys who were married for 15 or 20 years and had their hearts ground into powder by a woman who just couldn’t accept their love.)

Nope, Dave isn’t a wounded bear. Since he’s so young, he’s more of a wounded puppy.

And like all guys, this puppy needs to “play” a bit before he’s in any way ready to settle down.

What’s going on in Dave’s head and heart right now is kind of a war. He IS attracted to you. He DOES like you. He DOES have feelings for you. He IS a nice guy who’s actually honest and isn’t trying to manipulate you or use you.

But he’s also a guy who spent 8 years doing the “commitment thing” with a woman who ended up not being for him.

And after 8 years of tamping down his raging sex drive (and 8 years of turning from a 23 year old boy into a 30 year old man) he wants to know what it’s like to go out into the world and date and seduce and be seduced by and sleep with women. (Plural.)

And really there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s kind of like ice cream.

Dave spent 8 years with a flavor of ice cream that just wasn’t that great. And then he tasted your ice cream and it was delicious.

But no matter how delicious your ice cream is he’s NEVER going to appreciate it until he’s had a chance to go out and have some other flavors.
(Man, this metaphor is weird.)

So here’s my advice for you in a nutshell:

1. Move on. (For now.) This guy just isn’t cooked enough to be with anybody seriously right now and even if he DID agree to be your boyfriend there would ALWAYS be part of him that resented you for taking away his chance to go out and “play the field” for a bit.

2. DO NOT DATE MARRIED MEN. I say this a LOT but until the ink is dry on the divorce papers a guy is MARRIED and is NOT EMOTIONALLY AVAILABLE. It’s not worth it.

3. This has nothing to do with you. It’s not that you’re not good enough. It’s not that you’re not attractive enough. It’s not you at all. It’s that you dated a guy who’s “in transition” and needs to go out there and be a dumb dude for a while before settling down.

Got it? Good.

Another really good relationship question:

Carolyn asks…

“Michael i just found out that my man spent a night with another woman in a hotel room but claimed nothing happened, and danced with her then shared a kiss, should i believe him or should i end the relationship?”

Hey Carolyn…

Fun question.

But I really can’t give you the answer because I don’t know the guy in question.

Is he generally a trustworthy guy?

Has he cheated on you in the past?

Was the relationship amazing before this happened?

Are you looking for an excuse to dump him in the first place?

No idea on my end so I can’t tell you what to do.

I will say this though:

There are more options than you listed out here.

Cheating happens. (It’s crazy common.) And ONE instance of cheating is not ALWAYS grounds to ruin a perfectly good relationship.

If you’re with a guy who seems totally incapable of being faithful then yeah, you dump him. If a guy (or a girl) you’re with makes one boneheaded mistake and it’s out of character and doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen again? Well . . .

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