By: Mari Deene: Not all men keep their fear or reluctance to commit close to the vest. Some men are very upfront about the fact that they don’t want a commitment. In fact, some will come right out and tell you in the early days of your relationship. Some women hear this warning loud and clear and end the relationship before it even gets started. But others feel something special for the guy and hope that as the relationship progresses, he will change his mind.
Even with this strategy though, your true desire has a way of coming out. And this can create conflict and tension. Some people wonder if they should try to hide their true desires from their significant other. Someone might ask: “my boyfriend has always been really honest about his unwillingness to commit. His parents had the most horrific relationship where they literally did physical harm to one another. So he has a very messed up view of marriage. He has no problems in saying that he will never get married. And he absolutely does not want to be pressured about it. I knew this going into our relationship. And we have only been together for a little over six months. But the other day, we went to a wedding together and I cried. It was obvious that I was wistful the whole time. We have mutual friends who are getting married and I worry that it will be obvious that this is what I really want. How do I pretend that a commitment is not important to me when it is?”
Honestly, in a relationship as serious as this one sounds, I am not sure that you ever want to pretend. I think it is fair to decide that you are not going to pursue a commitment right now. After all, the relationship is relatively new and he has probably not had enough time to feel safe within it and to overcome his doubts. But to pretend that you want the exact opposite of what you actually do want is probably not the best practice. Frankly, he has been honest with you. So it wouldn’t be fair to be the complete opposite with him.
However, having said that, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with not making this is a primary issue between you. There’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree and taking it off the table while the relationship is still progressing. You can give this relationship time to help him overcome his fears and to see that not all serious relationships (or even marriages) are a train wreck like this parents’ was.
Some marriages are extremely healthy and nurturing for both parties. A good marriage can elevate both people. But of course, your boyfriend can not see that because he has never had an example of it with which to compare. He can only go by what he has seen. So I would think that the best plan for you is to allow him to see one of these very healthy and nurturing relationships – your own.
Of course, there is always the risk that he might be dead-set on never changing his mind. But it may be too early to evaluate that. If you are happy in the relationship and strongly feel that he is the right person for you, I don’t think that there is anything wrong with giving it a little more time.
But I don’t think that you should “pretend” to feel any differently than you do. Your boyfriend will likely know that you are not being honest and this will erode the trust. In order to have that healthy, nurturing relationship I talked about, you have to have trust. He needs to know that you aren’t trying to fool, manipulate, or undermine him.
So don’t “pretend,” just continue on as you have been, while trying very hard to show him a healthy relationship based on respect. At the same time, be mindful of overcoming his reservations. Here is a very good video that explains overcoming the types of reservations that I am talking about.