He’s Just Not That Into You

We have a friend who has been in a relationship with a woman for a significant number of years. We’ll call them Antony and Cleopatra.  She is madly and unabashedly in love with him, but he refuses to commit to marriage.

Recently, Cleopatra has been writing to me, asking us to urge the guy to pop the question. Beyond the casual and jocular “Hey, Antony, when are you going to make an honest woman of Cleopatra,” we’re just not going to do it, and anything more than that is intrusion. But, since she enlisted my opinion and advice, I have gently asked her some hard but totally legit questions, like –

“Have you set realistic expectations for this guy? Is he willing and eager to investigate or work out his commitment issues with a shrink and get on with a happy married life with you? Are you being fair to yourself? How long are you willing to wait? Are you prepared to move on if he can’t commit?”

– and her answer is how much she loves him, knows he’s her soulmate, and how she wants to have his kids. He’s not on the same page. People, and men especially, don’t let much stand between themselves and what they want. We climb mountains, complete marathons, risk life and limb – and often for love – to achieve our desires. If we don’t want to, we don’t get off the couch. I’m certain that Antony loves her, but if he wanted to marry her, he would. His reasons are his reasons. I’m tempted to send her a copy of that book, He’s Just Not That Into You.

I have been been the guy who couldn’t commit, and the guy who couldn’t be committed to. The hardest thing about breaking it off is realizing that we are wrong, and fooling ourselves. Being wrong sucks, but being miserable sucks worse. Once we accepted this truth, we both found love with other partners, and were surprised to find a deeper, more committed love than we’d ever experienced before.

People shouldn’t have to beg for love. It should be equal and freely reciprocal, and if it isn’t, it needs examination. We’re human beings, and we have enough trouble meeting our own needs, let alone every need of a partner. Some needs will remain unmet, and it’s helpful to make peace with those, without growing resentful or most importantly, losing your dignity. Lose your dignity, and lose the person with whom your mate fell in love.

or email me at lovesickbilly@mac.com

2 Responses to “He’s Just Not That Into You”

  1. Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    You are a smart man.It took me many years…and many marriages…to figure out that one person cannot love enough for two. It took the same amount of time to learn that being needed and being loved are two entirely different things. Consequently, I was always needed. I had a way of doing that. I had a way of being and doing everything a husband could need. But that meant not always being myself. It also meant being needed and not loved. Cleo, this is one of those cases where, “if it don’t fit…don’t force it”!

  2. 2 Pants
    Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 6:06 am

    Listen to Bronson, he is absolutely right. We need to stop making excuses for that person: “oh, his dad cheated, so he is inclined to look and cheat” or “he is a product of divorce” or this is my favorite “I must be too clingy, he likes the chase, I will be aloof now and he will want me”. I was an idiot. The funny thing is we think we know what love is and we truly don’t. Relationships can be like pants, you have to try them on a lot just to find the perfect fit. Don’t make excuses for that person. All you are doing is hurting yourself in the long run.

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