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    Thanks so much for writing some more. I must say that it is refreshing to speak to a community that is compassionate and empathic. Thank you for your time and input.

    I am glad things have progressed in a good direction since, and that he wants to be exclusive because he feels the deep bond as well. That’s great news!

    After I reflected on the conversation, I think I was positively surprised most by the amount of introspection, he said he spoke to some peeps but mostly had to have inward conversations with himself and be honest about what is holding him back, and that recognizing that he was hurting my feeling was a huge revelation for him, he was feeling horrible about that which made him realize how much he cared. It was important to me that loneliness is not a reason for someone to reconsider as that would have not been acceptable for me.

    This is also good news that the divorce is coming soon and that they both see it as inevitable. It’s not something he/they are stalling and are uncertain about. I thought there is something unresolved between him and his wife, but it seems it’s really just practical/logistical and not to do with emotions.

    Yes, it is just logistics and some finalizing of financial matters as things change yearly and there has to be updates. They are ok with planning, so there is room for multiple weeks vacation even, and there has been some talk about Europe trip in the fall, initiated by him as he wants to see where I am from (and the food there is so good lol).

    I am really happy for you, Theltfactor. You really value yourself and are clear about your needs and preferences. And your boundaries. That’s fantastic. And I am happy that he is on board too, at least he expressed his willingness to try.

    Thank you, this is so nice to hear! Admittedly, it was not always this way, I used to be a lot more of an accommodator but behaviors of others (in my past cases unreliability, slight manipulation and flakiness) really motivated me to say no. Last time I dated someone who after 3 months started testing me “how much is she willing to do for me” by texting he’s not feeling good and passing on vague messages about us being together (this lasted for 3 weeks and I said, hey, you wanna break things of you better grow a pair cos I am out if you continue like this) I basically got fed up. None of the relationships where I was “too nice’ lasted more than 3-4 months, as that’s what it took for me to say see ya never. It is hard tho, especially when someone likes other things about a person! These were years ago and I feel like for the past 4 years I have been able to put my integrity first 🙂

    Thanks for clarifying the terms as well, quite helpful and makes sense!! Also, the friend who gest sick and does not want his gf around, dude, home made beef broth is the best, your loss! (joking but really, that is sad).

    Thank you again!



    Hi Stellardust,

    wise words indeed. Thank you for replying. I was definitely sure what I wanted and ready to move on if these wants were not mutual. After some time apart and not talking to be able to think on what is important to each of us individually, he reached out and asked to meet. I let him talk freely, he said that he feels like his fears are preventing him from being happy and that he has been doing (and wants to continue) to work on that and arrived at a decision that he wants to be exclusive. Not because he missed me (which he did but it is something one can eventually get over) but because he realized how deep the connection ran and how we come together as a team. We discussed his fears, hang ups and other things in depth, same with mine as I have them too, of course.

    It was a very long conversation that felt both, exhausting and enlightening, we were both vulnerable without asking the other person to be just that. He is sure he wants to be committed and says he knows exactly why. We spoke about strategies to address feelings as they come and how to be honest with each other in the moment. So I will take it from there, we have plans for some trips in spring and summer. I’m glad I stood my ground and I still feel the same, I would have been ok either way.


    Hi Alina,

    Thank you for your input. I don’t know what your situation is so there is no way for me to determine if there is any correlation or similarity.

    The relationship I described is not toxic (in my opinion, anyways), is simply lacked commitment on one side. I was never manipulated and he expressed from the very beginning he did not want to be exclusive (even tho we both stopped seeing other people after some time). I was ok with it until I was not so I had to tell him and express what my boundaries are. At no point was I uncomfortable, once I knew I wanted to be exclusive, I stated that and said if that is not what he wanted I am ok with it but cannot continue.

    I dated a manipulative person years ago and I am  confident I can smell manipulation from around the corner :), that relationship ended, among other things, also because he did not like that I would not be manipulated.

    I am not sure what you mean by him punishing me by going mute, we spoke about things openly many times and we never ceased contact, once I knew I wanted to be committed I asked him to take some time and no to reach out or talk to me so that we both can have space to think (this was weeks of no contact then, upon my request).

    I hope that clarifies some of your concerns. I know exactly what I want and what I would not settle for, ever.

    I wish you strength coming out of what was in your relationship past and I hope healing is going well, it is sometimes hard as it is not linear. All the best.



    I just see the my replies for you, Tee, are a bit jumbled, I did my best to include quotes and answer them, my apologies for the mess! I am still new to this forum.


    Hi Tee,

    thank you for taking the time to read and reply.

    It seems you at first weren’t too bothered by his unwillingness to commit and his talk about wanting to “explore” what’s out there. But as the time went by and the relationship got deeper, you naturally developed strong feelings and wanted to become exclusive and serious.

    Yes, until a certain point it did not bother me, I don’t expect anyone to commit very early on, as I want to make sure the potential partner is a good match and we share values and other important aspects. It also did not bother me for a while as we both were not desiring to go on dates for about 6 months, basically exclusive without the label (exclusive in all actions). When this changed I expressed my discomfort and said what would work for me at this point and what would not.

    He however hasn’t changed his stance (he said he feels no need to “reevaluate”), in spite of deep intimacy and great compatibility between you. Which tells me that he indeed has some fears and blocks, which won’t go away on their own, even if you two have amazing compatibility.

    Yes, he said that the eve I expressed how I felt, he reached out after some time and shared how he processed everything I said and the desire to work through things for himself. Aka, actually reevaluate. I said great and left it at that (convo was face to face).

    Actually I believe that his alleged desire to explore other women and engage in an open relationship might be a cop out.

    I agree with you here, mostly because it is apparent that he – whether it’s conscious or not – is avoiding his feelings as those did get him in a pickle before, this was also confirmed by a therapist.

    I mean, even if he doesn’t really want anyone else, his mind is telling him that he should be wanting it. And I think it’s a defense mechanism on his part, because he for some reason doesn’t want to commit. Perhaps because his marriage failed, or perhaps because he still has unresolved issues with his wife. There is a reason why he separated but hasn’t got divorced – maybe it’s not just logistical, but something else?

    You are excellent with hitting the nail on the head here. I believe, from what has been shared openly, fear of entrapment and getting hurt is a major issue. The divorce is close, it has not been fully resolved because of finances, property sale, taxes etc. They share custody 50/50 and get along quite well, even tho both parties are very clear no reconciliation would ever happen. He speaks of her with respect and recognizes they simply were not a good match.

    When you tried to pressure him and make him reevaluate, he came up with an even less committal solution, a solution that creates even more distance, which is an open relationship.

    Yes, initially he was looking for how to make this work within the “safe” realm (what he perceives as safe, aka not losing my freedom, because atm freedom is opposite of being trapped in a relationship – this, of course, is not the truth but it is how his perception is working at this very time, I believe). He is speaking regularly to his therapist and some other sources etc., whether this will help only future can tell. Freedom to me is the ability to make a choice every day, but that’s a whole other post haha.

    It’s good that you’re not desperate to have him in your life. You said you have a fulfilling life, and you also respect yourself enough not to settle for something that would demean you.

    You’ve also realized that a non-committed but exclusive relationship is not an option for you either, because it would only hurt you more. I wish you to stay strong and not settle for less than a fully committed, loving relationship!

    Thank you for your kind words, I feel like you have a lot of understanding and know well where I am coming from with this post, I really appreciate that. And yes, I will not back down from what I told him (and this would be same with anyone else). What does non-committed but exclusive mean? I grew up in Europe and moved to North America as an adult years ago, some of these labels still escape me 🙂 European romantic relationships are bit less complicated when it comes to labels, dating is bit more straight forward, so sometimes I still learn.

    I spoke to him briefly yesterday after 3 weeks of no contact that I asked for, he said he’d like to meet and talk. I shall see what he has to say, only thing I know at this point is that he wants to address the connection we have and what he’d like to focus on. I know exactly what I want and would only consider continuing if there was a plan to properly address the fears he is struggling with and a strategy on how this can be worked on the best to both of our benefits.



    Hi Roberta,

    thank you for your reply. I do feel that it was what I had to do. Perhaps I should clarify that we have not officially ended things and currently the break is taking place. I imagine there will be a conversation at some point, initiated by him.
    As for open relationships, I fully understand that that is something that looks appealing to him, imo he is traditional to the T and would not be excited about such arrangement but that is for him to find out, not me.
    Currently, I am curious what he will say when the time comes but I am also just living my life as always.


    I feel like I should add that this post describes the difficulties but in the whole of this experience it has mostly been filled with fun, sharing, opening up, excitement, intimacy and emotional connection. I thought that was important to add, as the post describes the tough bits that were also a part of it, maybe small time wise but significant nonetheless.


    Dear Lost1Flow,

    what a great question! For me personally, joy comes mostly from interacting with people and fostering relationships, sharing things with my loved ones and creating experiences. There are things I enjoy on my own, cooking and gym, for example but sharing those meals brings so much more meaning. It really is simple in the end (I think), today I am making dinner for one of my best friends, might be able to squeeze a workout in and that’s it. Hopefully will make for a good sleep. They say chasing happiness prevents experiencing it, there is perhaps something to it. I think what Peter and Roberta said hits the nail on the head, small things matter, we all go through the motions.

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