Boyfriend Doesn't Want a Future With Me

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    Hi guys. I’ve been in a relationship for a year and a half now, and it honestly feels like the bane of my existence. On one hand, I absolutely adore and love him. On the other hand, he has greatly hurt me over the course of our relationship, and we fight almost constantly.

    We were never really a “normal” couple. We fought our way through all of the silly “milestones” couples should normally enjoy. He didn’t want to “go public” on Facebook. He introduced me to his friends, but didn’t ask me to be his “plus one” at their weddings. He doesn’t want to introduce me to his family (they live twenty hours away and are supposedly “reclusive” and “weird,” so I’ve cut him some slack on that one). After a whole year of dating, he finally said “I love you” for the first time, but later admitted he wasn’t “in love” and didn’t “feel a spark.” Basically, he still functions as a single guy… he thinks in terms of “me” instead of “we.”

    Here’s the real kicker: we spend every weekend (and most weeknights) together at his place, but have never talked about living together. After a year and a half of cooking together, cleaning his house together, and sleeping in the same bed, I asked him why we had never discussed living together. (I don’t even have a key to his place!) He admitted that he isn’t ready for that. After some prodding, he finally said: “you want to plan a future with somebody, and I don’t know if I can give you that.”

    So basically at this point, I’m a glorified “shack up” buddy. I’m cleaning his bathroom and cooking him breakfast, and I have the “girlfriend” title, but this guy isn’t trying to make me a permanent part of his life, nor is he really enjoying our relationship. You may be reading this and thinking there’s only one clear and obvious solution: I need to break up with him, for my own well-being.

    Well of course it’s not that easy. If it was, I wouldn’t be on the internet looking for help, right? Even though it’s not reciprocated, I have a deep connection to this guy and I can’t seem to shake it. I never thought I’d be the kind of woman to say something like that, because I always prided myself in being strong and independent. But look at me now… I’m pathetic, in this lopsided relationship, and I petrified to leave because I’m convinced that if we just “tried a little harder” or kept working at it, things can get better. I see so much potential in him, and I can’t imagine ever wanting to be with someone else. But knowing that, as we fall asleep in each other’s arms, he isn’t dreaming of me or our future… that breaks my heart.

    I should add that he obviously has redeeming qualities, and has told me multiple times that I mean a lot to him and that he considers me his “best friend.” He’s not a terrible person… he can be sweet and attentive and fun, which is what makes this so hard.

    • This topic was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by ugren.
    • This topic was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by ugren.

    Run, girl, run. Good things usually get better, bad things usually get worse. That’s been my experience anyway.

    Consider this: let’s say you had a friend, or better yet a daughter, who was in this situation. Would you want her to continue to be “unworthy” in his eyes? Or would you want her to thank him for teaching her valuable life lessons, and that she should move on to better things? Even being alone is better than being “not good enough” to live with or marry.

    Again, just my experience and opinion.


    My dear Ugren,

    It is often amazing how the brain tells you one thing to do, which is to leave, while your heart tells you to stay because of hope and love. The first thing you should know is that you are not a weak person for having hope or for following your heart. It is natural and encoded in the human DNA. Many people have been there in your shoes, even myself. Choices like these are never easy because you can’t predict the outcome either way.

    My advice is too leave him behind. You know your value better than anybody, and if he can’t see that, then this guy does not deserve you. Chances are things will not get better with him if you hang in there, but it will get worse. He knows you love him, he thinks he has control, and because of that he does not give you the respect you deserve.

    It wont be easy to leave him, but if you do, you can focus on yourself, your goals and dreams. You will meet other people more aligned with your unique personality; you will be happier, stronger, and glowing.

    Good luck in whatever choice you make.


    Your post reminded me of this column:

    I have no doubt this guy is a good person, you wouldn’t love him if he wasn’t! But in addition to loving him, you have to love yourself. And that means honouring your own needs and desires. No matter how much potential you see in him (the gift/curse of being a woman), you have to accept that outside life-shattering experiences, people rarely change. The way he is now is the way he will be forever. You need to ask yourself: “am I okay with things continuing like this for 5 years? 10 years? Forever?” Some people are, but you don’t seem to be one of those people, and that’s perfectly fine. Leave, and find someone who wakes up every morning feeling blessed to be with you!


    When ever anyone contemplates leaving a relationship, I get a little worried. I have a bad time of playing devils advocate for the people on the other side of these discussions. Simply because I was that guy once. I wish my ex would have communicated with me the way people communicate their problems to complete strangers on here. Alas that was never going to be a reality.

    I will simply suggest, that I feel you should be open, honest, and communicate with this guy. Put him on official notice of the things you arent satisfied with in the relationship. I’ll wager his behavior outward and the things he says to you is not the whole truth. I would bet that there is more going on inside his head and heart than he probably leads on, and maybe isnt comfortable or aware enough of himself to share them with you. However you cant make him get over what ever it might be holding him back or his baggage assuming that is the case. Its going to have to be on him. You can only try to help him unpack, but know when to call it quits if he doesnt want to.

    Seems peoples advice on here is always to preserve self and book, when things start to run into choppy water. It doesnt sound like this guy has been emotionally or physically abusive. Seems like he just doesn’t know what he wants, or hasn’t been as emotionally available as you would like. The options are to accept him how he is, be as understanding, supportive, communicate see how he reacts or if things get better without sacrificing your boundaries. Or to accept how he is, and that this person is simply not right for you at the current moment, let him know this and move on.

    We forget that when we are in a relationship, especially one that has some time already invested, and the L word said. We owe a little bit of time and effort into it, as long as we are steering clear of being just codependent. It takes two to make a relationship work, Im simply saying before you make a decision, think. A relationship is like a tennis match, you can only control your side of the net, you can serve the ball, but he has to hit it back. Have you given him one final volley? or are just wanting to put the ball in your pocket and go home? For me I like to leave a relationship with the ball on their side, knowing I did what I could do and they chose to no longer play.

    Ultimately you know what is best for you, I suppose a year isnt that long, and problems so soon are there to tell you something. These days a year does seem like a long time….. but in the hour of life its little more than a minute on the clock. Whatever you decide, do it with compassion, understanding, dignity and respect for yourself, for him and your relationship be it one together or one apart. Good luck.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by Chad.

    That was beautiful Chad.


    To me it sounds like there was a lack of communication from the beginning. Lack communication always leads to a of ton of misunderstandings. Secondly, a relationship in secret isn’t really a relationship. It’s more of “yeah I’ve heard of him…” Hey U!” Yeah that dude.” Any relationship worth having is worth fighting for. I don’t mean hand to hand combat, more like convey your feelings in a way your partner can understand you. Riddles, copy left half truths, smoke signals and the old boy scouts way of communicating (two soup cans and a string) isn’t going to fly. If you love each other work it out. If not, like the poster “Chad” said show some dignity and move on. Best of luck to you both.



    Oh wow. This sounds like a relationship a just got out of except I let it drag on for 3 1/2 years. Same thing; didn’t tell people we were together. Basically lived together in my place but I was never at his place, no key, nothing. I’d cook and lean up after him. My life REVOLVED around him. For 2 years he didn’t tell me he loved me. It was only after an incident with another girl that he finally “realized” that he loved me and I meant the world to him. 2 years after that we were done. The worst thing was, this girl he thought he had a connection to had HSV1 and didn’t tell him. So now, I have it. All because I thought if I just hung in there, if I just showed him how much I loved him, if I just kept giving myself to him one day he’d realize how much he loved me and needed me.

    It doesn’t happen like that.

    You have to do what’s right for you. I know that sounds completely selfish but you are the only one who feels the deep connection and the longer you hang on the harder it gets for you. On the outside, my guy looked great, too. He was sweet and fun and everyone loved him. But on the inside he was a mess and that’s something you can’t fix. He has to do that on his own. In the meantime though, you do not deserve to be put through this.

    I started crying reading your story because it’s the same thing my ex said to me. It’s the exact same thing I lived through just for a much, much longer time. Move on. Take care of you and if he does get his life together and wants to be with you in a committed relationship THEN try. But right now all you’re in for is hurt.


    Dear Ugren,
    You deserve better… While us women don’t expect puppies and roses all the time, you deserve an equal partner who is proud to have you on his arm. And at the very least, to man-up and tell you it’s not going to happen so you can move along with your life and find a better guy. Life is too short and you’re too good of a person to settle. I settled for almost 8 years with someone and one thing I now know in my old age, is that if people want to be with you– they will. I think it’s time to focus on your needs, not his. Keep your chin up… it will get easier. Hugs


    Hi everyone.

    Thank you all for your responses and kind words.

    Lucinda Wolford, I’ve often asked myself that exact question. Moreso, I’ve wondered “would I want this man to be the father to my children?” I don’t. And that should be the biggest red flag, but of course it’s never that simple.

    BruceWayne, you hit on a lot of my major concerns: fundamentally, we don’t compliment each other, and our relationship doesn’t make me want to be a “better person.” In fact, I find it so stressful that my performance in other areas (work, social life, etc.) has actually taken a backseat to my relationship. That’s not healthy at all, and it doesn’t better me in my overall quest for happiness and fulfillment. But then, like you say, I hold onto that hope… the loyalty that is, like you say, inherent like DNA.

    Jade: Thanks for sharing the article! It’s funny that, in striving to make this relationship work, I truly have compromised my relationship with myself.

    Chad: I agree with Cherrymom, I found your response really insightful and dimensional. I’d like to build on it, by saying that I’ve tried communicating multiple times. It couldn’t have gone worse… it truly is like speaking two different languages. I don’t think our problem is a lack of communication; I think our problem is a lack of action taken after the problems have been communicated. Like I touched on briefly in my post, we’e had candid conversations where he’s told me, point blank, he doesn’t see a future, isn’t in love, doesn’t see us working out or having the elusive “spark” to make it last, etc. These conversations always end in the decision to “keep trying” and “see what happens.” Well try, we do, but it turns out it’s really hard to “try” to progress when you feel like your partner has sucker-punched you in your innermost emotional soft spot. Sometimes I find myself falling into the old trap of “if I lose weight, if I put more effort into looking the way he likes, if I cook or clean more, if I dote on him more, if I treat him to dinner more, if I had a better job, if I…” the list goes on. It’s a destructive cycle, and one I’m ASHAMED to admit. (Yes, ASHAMED all caps). I never thought I’d be that kind of woman, yet here I am, trying to be perfect for a guy that is so obviously WRONG for me… and yet I feel powerless and terrified at the thought of ending our relationship.

    Linecrosser: I feel like “any relationship worth having is worth fighting for” has been my mantra for the last few months. When I look at things objectively, I see how I can be so baggy and whiney and clingy… I feel like my worst traits are a response to his worst traits. And I have to believe that, if somehow we could both just STOP pushing at each other’s soft spots, that we could actually WORK this thing out. But how do you do that? How do you be the bigger person, and take the pain long enough for things to get better?

    Kaykei: I am so sorry to hear about your experience… but I can also really relate. My boyfriend and I are “public” now; I’m friends with his friends, on Facebook, and what have you. But what hurts is that I had to fight for it. You’d think a guy would want to bring me home to meet his family or hometown friends, right? Or that he’d be proud to be in a relationship on Facebook? (Ok, that was a pretty juvenile sentence to type.) What I’m getting at is that I know, from relationships he was in before me, that this guy brings girls home and shows them off. I just can’t figure out why he doesn’t do that with ME.


    Hi Ugren. Believe me or not, you are not alone. I completely understand how you are feeling.
    Now, your boy friend and my ex are similar in a way that they are both fking weird. 🙂 Mind my language, i can’t find a way to express what a weirdo he is.
    I recently just to out of relationship with him. I was like you, i was a woman that has pride in her self, happy with her life and know what she wants.
    But when i met my ex, i thought it was something miracle… i thought maybe this is the one, he seems like he was perfect. But despite from all those positive thoughts, del down inside… on our first date, i didn’t feel a spark. I thought i loved him, i did… but it was more like a mother love her son or a best friend.
    My ex admired me for the person i am. The past relationships i would never think for how my exes would feel, i cared but i was selfish but with this guy.. i gave him my all.
    i didn’t think my relationship with him was normal either.
    He said, he only love me like a best friend despite how much he loves my personality, he just couldn’t open up. He couldn’t love me, he never feel the spark either.
    One thing is, his dad… is an introvert, when i called someone weird… I’m being serious, they’re one of a kind. You would never meet, such…. awkward person. I guess, he is kinda weird like his dad. So maybe, you boy friend is kinda the same..? Anyways, what I’m trying to explain is… i think i can feel your pain, its not easy… it’s one of those SO SO SO COMPLICATED relationship. You keep trying because you love everything about them but you can thane what you need.
    All i wanted was my ex to love me and care for me like a normal boy friend would… I keep telling him the same and the same thing again, after a year of constant arguing break up and he hurt me so so so much. I think I’m a good looking girl, but the way he treated me.. he made me feel so ugly, unappreciated and don’t feel special at all.
    I lost myself because of him and I’m slowly healing and trying to find myself back.
    Please understand this, this is one in a life time you meet someone like that. A good relationship shouldn’t be too hard, shouldn’t be too easy either.. but if its SO SO SO HARD like that. Do you want to put your life at risk being with someone who making you feel that way..?
    Do you want to settle for someone like that?
    I know how hard it is… it took me forever, i was a dead girl being with him, he drained my energy and my life, i believe i was already gone even when i was with him because he hurt me that much. But we keep trying, say one more time.. one more time maybe it would work.
    Now, if it would work… it would work along time ago, since i feel like you putting so much effort into it.. we are alike, iwas like you. Went on internet asking for advice and no one will ever understand this special connection.
    Feel like he’s your soul mate but we know deep down in your heart, how he is… is not what you want in a man!
    You want to be love… by a man. 🙁
    Someone who makes you feel secure and not doubting on the relationship like that.
    It took me so much courage, to completely cut him out of my life. Don’t see him, don’t talk to him..
    Believe me, its so hard… but please do, what will make you happy in a long term, not because what you feel now is blind from what you think.
    I even be open to him, ask him for support and what should he do if he’s angry or whatever. Pretty much, I am basically tell him how to act like a mature person would, dealing with situation in a way that will support me instead of letting me down. I’ve done everything i could.
    You miss, deserve so much better….
    I believe each day you be thinking why and why, how can i make him love me? what can i do and all these questions..
    If being with him makes you feel that way, i think you should fall in love with yourself.
    So sad to hear, i hope… you understand what i mean, i came out from a strange relationship… that i shared my world with, the only one person who understand me so much to only be let down. I don’t want you, to feel the same and don’t waste your time and youth…
    Just take in what i say that is all, sorry to put in so much opinion..
    But, it is really hard to be with someone like that.
    If a man really want a future with you, he will introduce you to his family and i can be sure of that..
    If you haven’t ask him to support you when you are so down. Be a man that will hold his woman, not hurting his woman.
    And if he can’t do that for you, i mean… what a point having a man. 🙁
    Would you want to be treated this way for the rest of your life…? Will you give up your happiness to be with this man..? that was the question i asked myself and i answered. no i love myself more. I gave it all, and enough is enough.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by Luna.

    and btw, i noticed you said your boy friend never proud of you or make you feel proud. I understand.. little things like that, shows so much… Facebook we knows its just a media, but it shows if your man is so proud of you by wanting to show you to the whole world..? My ex never posted photos of me, only once. When i always.
    It was a boring relationship and at the start i thought it was magical because i wished for someone exactly like him, but something you wished for.. had everything you wanted but not everything you need from a man.
    Do you feel like you respect yourself being with him? Because when i was with this man.. i put all my ego aside. I let him being so mean to me then came back every time saying he is wrong.
    I believed my ex was a good person too…
    just some people, have less experience… they probably don’t even know what is love.
    Are you willing to wait..?
    Poor you… 🙁
    Its so important for a woman to feel special, to know if their partner is proud and happy with them. Im so sad to know, i hope…. you can find a way to work that out. Believe and trust in what you feel inside… only you what to do, and trust me whatever happens.. theres a time and you will be ready for it, or you’ll feel it. I never thought i could leave him either, the thought of u breaking up was killing me and him. All we wished for was to fall in love, he just can’t love me.. and i can’t love someone who don’t love me.
    I wish you all the best and just learn to love yourself first, don’t think about him too much.
    Be selfish for once, and care about yourself… only you, are your only best friend.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 8 months ago by Luna.

    That was beautiful Chad, i actually cared about my last relationship that i did all that. Everyday i was constantly thinking of what to do, why is he like this.? How can i help him? i should accept him the way he is, support him even when he was being an asshole me and he would realise how much of a mature person i am. I know he feels sad because he’s not stupid, he’s one of those guy that knows who is bad and who is good, even til the end he said.. he will always love me as a friend til the very end, will never forget who i am as a person, he really did love everything about me. We just couldn’t fall in love thats why we broke up, it was sad.
    We thought we was perfect together. I was so open with him, communicate by being nice instead of insulting him. I know, how to be nice to get what i want. And i do, but one thing that i made me cannot give in anymore.. he can’t seem to love me, there is no spark. So i begins to love myself instead. After all, what I’ve learnt is how to communicate with stubborn people, made me a better person.
    Btw, your ex and you…
    No relationship is a failure. Now you know, pick a girl that would communicate her heart to you. 🙂
    Its not an easy thing to do, it was really hard for me too. 🙂
    Thankyou for the beautiful thoughts. A lot people really need to know that, don’t be nasty.. be nice and maybe you’ll get what you want.
    This is what i tell myself.
    Do good and be so good that when you leave, all they know of you was how great the person you are.
    Be so good to that person that, when you leave. All they rmb was that beautiful person they was honour to have met. 🙂


    Hi Urgen

    I truly truly feel for you coz my ex did exactly the same to me. I also thought he has this potential and he’s a good person…etc. I even had this moment of confusing of did you and me have the same boyfriend?!
    I constantly felt that I’m not good enough when I was with him. I also thought if I worked harder, things would be better.
    I just realised that I can’t fix anything or anyone. He has to fix himself and becomes whole. As much as I wanted and tried my best to be there and support him, he still decided that he can’t see the future with me. I guess he can’t see the future with himself either.
    I agree with Luna. Be selfish for once and care for yourself. Place yourself in the centre coz you’re the most important possession in your life.
    I wish you to be happy.
    With love.


    Been there done that dance, sister. And you know what…were still together. Youre story sounds very very similar to mine. Year and 1/2 invested as well. Not the end of the world like you think. As much as you try and convince a man to stay, its in both your best interests to wait it out. My bf and I never rwally broke up but he did have to do a lot of thinking for himself. Im not saying were engaged to be engaged, were just simply not thinking about the future. If you can help that, itll be a savior. At first I thought it was cuz of me as a person, but as manly as your man can get, they still have feelings even if they dont show them as often as we women do. Being in this relationship allowed me to see the changes I wanted to make cuz I knew I wasnt perfect for him either when we first started dating. All men are different when it comes to deciding whether or not to pursue a future. Some may come to it sooner than others but hes just being him. If you love him, try it out waiting for awhile. Pushing for answers doesnt get anywhere, in fact it could get quite obnoxious. Take the time to enjoy life together in the moment. My bf IS my best friend and I couldnt say that about my ex I was dating for 6 years. I know swollowing pride is hard, but only swollow what you allow to. Good luck!

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