Can I change his mind about commitment?

Dear Lisa,

What would be the best way to approach a situation where you’re wanting to rekindle something with someone who didn’t want commitment before?

Since the guy in question and I stopped seeing each other, I’ve been dating other guys but none of them felt right or compared in chemistry. I really like this man and want this to go somewhere.

A little backstory: he lives in Naniamo and I live in Victoria, we were seeing each other for a short while, he waited for me while I went on a trip for a month to India. When I came back he wanted to make me happy so he agreed to commitment but the title freaked him out so he ran (My mistake though trying to cuff him right before an all guys trip to Las Vegas with all of his single friends) In any case we ended. He’s very stubborn, so even if he realized he messed up with me he wouldn’t have tried to go after me. We hadn’t spoken or seen each other in about 2 months, I reached out to him a couple days ago because I missed having him in my life, and figured at the very minimum we could try to be friends, he responded really quickly!

Since reconnecting a couple of important circumstances have changed on both sides making things easier than before. The biggest was that he had a full time job as well as owned a company, which meant he worked 12-18 hour days. But has sold the company. He told me it was funny timing that I was reaching out to him now because of this, he would now be able to have a life and have more time for other things. We’re starting to talk again regularly and both agreed to start over as friends (this didn’t last long) and see where things went. The narrative has changed back into flirty-relationship like conversations. I guess I’m just wondering why he is even wanting to try again, since it was such a big issue before..?

I’m hoping he’s not stupid enough to think I miraculously don’t want a commitment any more, but with men I can’t be sure. I’m trying to be optimistic and hope that he still feels something for me or else he wouldn’t be talking to me again the way he is and I’m a little far to be any sort of convenient booty call. He’s offered to come down and see me, so we can talk and catch up but I’m also wanting the upper hand this time. He’s obviously done some re-evaluating about life by selling his company and is now has time for a life, so how can I be in it?

Any suggestions, advice would be great.Thanks!

– ( ♀ Nanaimo)


Dear ,

Before I dive into your question, I want to address a few points about his previous behavior. First of all, the waiting for you, and the trying to commit to you against his better judgement (especially before a trip to Vegas with the boys) are signs that he was interested but perhaps not ready – however, any man under any circumstances is ready for the right woman. Secondly, if he had of really been interested, in other words, if you were the right woman for him, he would have been down to commit regardless of the trip to Vegas with all the single friends and been happy about it. Thirdly, no man is too stubborn to go after the woman they’re falling for – in fact they can’t help it – and that lack of control usually amuses the stubborn man and helps him to see just how true his feelings are.

So, he wasn’t into the commitment, and you were, and so you had to part ways? You re-contact him 2 months later, of course he responded quickly! You pose a good question – is it because he’s thinking the same thing you are, or is it because he’s hoping you’ve changed your mind? Only he can answer that. It is possible that he was thinking about getting up the gumption to contact you too… but the fact that you had to make the move is something to keep in mind.

As you go forward, the key is boundaries. You didn’t indicate how far things have gone between the two of you, but I recommend you establish your boundaries immediately. Say to him that you contacted him because you missed having him in your life, and that you would like cultivate a friendship with him, and possibly more. Let him know that nothing has changed for you and that you are not interested in having an intimate relationship with him without commitment. If he is interested in that, then you’d like to date non-exclusively, until you both feel that you are sure the match still feels good. Until then though, no sex, no sleepovers, no temptation. You need to feel clear about any insecurities your past together might bring up for you, and rebuild the trust you had with him. Your boundaries must be rock solid, or you will spend your time feeling insecure, taken advantage of, naive and worse.

If he decides that he isn’t interested in commitment, then by all means, be his friend. And then move on, recognizing that perhaps what you saw in him the beautiful potential he possesses, and nothing more. Don’t lower yourself to begging for his attention by vacillating on your boundaries, or taking the scraps of affection he’s willing to give you until the right woman comes along for him. You are worth the commitment you desire and needn’t accept any less. As long as you stay clear about that, you will start to attract men who are looking for the same.

Let me know how it works out,

– Lisa



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