From Casual to Commitment

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What If You Don't Like His Answer?

If he doesn't say what you want to hear, stay calm. Don't try to convince him that commitment is the right thing, just listen to his point of view. "Don't react if he has a negative reaction; it will make him more defensive. Guys just need time to come around," says a 37-year-old Los Angeles consultant.

Of course, sometimes guys don't come around. Sometimes they do indeed freak out. If the problem is that he's genuinely afraid of commitment, Atwood says that the situation isn't hopeless. She advises that you gently point out the problem -- you want commitment, and he's afraid of it -- and ask him what he thinks you two should do. "He's the one with the problem right here, give him the problem to handle," says Atwood. If he's willing to tackle it, then it could be worth sticking it out.

If, on the other hand, he's simply not interested in a commitment with you, then you need to get out. As painful as this may be, it's critical that you let him know that you want to hear the truth. "Make it safe for him to express his doubts by saying, 'Look I would rather you hurt my feelings right now than not tell me the truth because that will hurt me much more in the long run,'" says Atwood.

How You Can Let Him Down Easy

And what if, in all this soul-searching, you realize that you're the one who doesn't want to bring your relationship to the next level? Let him go. "If you know that you don't want to go forward, and you continue to occupy his life and heart and time, then you're using him. If you want a loving relationship, be a loving person," says Atwood.

The GuyCritical guys heartily agree. "Put him out of his misery as soon as possible," says a 40-year-old Miami executive. "The sooner you move on, the sooner he will, too."

 

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