5th September 2016 - 4 mins read
Gender : Female
Message: I have been seeing a guy for a little over a year. And he promised to take the next step and propose. However, he kept postponing the matter so many times. And at one point when I asked him, he said that his parents are asking him to take his time and that I shouldn’t wait any longer since I’ve waited long enough already. I’ve been dumped.
I got really sick and weakened and called him saying that we should not give up and I will wait if he is willing to put the effort. He asked me to wait again for another few months and I agreed to wait.
This wait is making me feel weak and vulnerable. And I feel like I’m stuck and don’t know where this is heading.
Dear Female, 28
Everyone, no matter who they are, is entitled to love. First and foremost, the love everyone can gives themselves. If there is one thing I agree on with the never ending self-help books than it is probably this: Love yourself first.
You see, almost everyone I know whether it was in a personal or professional setting, allowed the spiral you are currently in until they stopped and reevaluated their lives. And I need to ask you straight forward, what does he give you that you cannot give yourself? The other day, I had a conversation with one of my clients who has been in an on/off relationship for years. It has always been the same game. He broke up with her whenever she would ask for more to put her in her place. He had no reason for delaying something she wanted badly, and yet he always came up with new excuses and she finally had a break through during that session. She just sat there and said that she was fed up with hoping that he would change. It was a very calm realisation. There was not even anger or hatred, she loved him but she realised he could not give her what she needed. That moment she simply put herself first and decided not to settle for the quarter of a vision she had for herself. She recognised she allowed to be put into that limbo of not moving forward and at the same time not being able to break away.
Now I understand, life is tricky and difficult. Finances are not always the best, degrees not finished or parties not partied (yes, even that!). Fear always accompanies big life decisions but nonetheless, we take them, otherwise we stay stagnant. Sometimes we do not need to make big gestures but we compromise and at least show willingness to set up a solid plan for what both want to pursue to build a life together. Do you feel he has done that for you? You have not written much about his reasons but let me tell you this, there is no person on this planet who will postpone the first baby steps of commitment if they really wanted to commit and by that I mean, he will at least be visible to your family and make you visible to his. Telling you that his parents told him to take his time is only an excuse. If he was sincere he wouldn’t just stop there, he would insist for more.
Leaving you hanging like this is not only cruel but also mindless because he does not really think about what it does to you and it shows you a pattern of how things will be in the future. He does what you are not doing for yourself, he loves himself first. I am not questioning his love for you because I simply cannot judge him without knowing his side, but it does not compare to what he feels towards himself and his own life. He obviously has something else that he finds more important at the moment. Whether it is his career or other aspects of his personal life, commitment is not really in his books right now. So he is double dipping. He is getting the best out of all worlds. He lives a life without relationship worries and yet he has someone waiting for him for when he is ready. I never, even before becoming a psychologist, thought that was fair. I can fully relate to the feeling of being hungry to live life to its fullest and sometimes relationships do not fit but then do not play with other’s hearts.
Having written all that, I need to ask again and maybe remind you, why are you with him? What does he give you what you cannot give yourself? Is he a reliable partner?
And then, more importantly, the most hurtful question of all, are you afraid that by leaving him you will not find someone else? Is half a commitment really something you want to settle for only because you are afraid you cannot do better?
I am aware these are a lot of question but you need to ask yourself all of them. This is your life and you are in charge of it. Beware of emotional traps that fear can put out for us to stumble into. You deserve more than to be put on a shelf for when he is ready to commit.
I will never advice someone to leave their relationship, not even if asked. But I will always ask the questions before mentioned, maybe they change something, may be not. Remember: We cannot control everything in life but we can certainly control what we want to feel and if you feel that you are not loved enough, you can change that by loving yourself first.