Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How can I get him to commit?

Resident sexologist Dr Gabrielle Morrissey gives a reader some love advice.

How can I get him to commit?
(Q) My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly two years. We spend the night at each other’s houses, we spend time with each other’s friends, and we see each other or talk almost every day. But in all that time, I’ve only met his parents once, we’ve never talked about moving in together, and he won’t even promise to be in an exclusive relationship with me. He says he loves me and that I shouldn’t push him because when he’s ready to commit, he will, and “trapping” him before he’s ready will just make him run from the relationship. He knows he has commitment issues because his parents had a nasty divorce and he doesn’t want to go through that himself. I can respect that, but I need to move to the next level. So how do I convince him to be in an exclusive relationship?

(A) Firstly, you don’t want to “convince” your boyfriend to commit to you. You want him to want an exclusive relationship with you. There are two ways you can do this. The first approach would be the one endorsed by most, if not all, relationship counsellors: talk it out. If you see yourself with this person long term, then it is time to negotiate monogamy and exclusivity. Don’t make it an ultimatum – you want to be clear you’re not threatening him. Rather, you are saying you can’t invest any more time in a relationship that doesn’t meet your core needs.

If he is still unwilling to commit, after a set period of time – say, six months – ask yourself: is he the right person for me? It’s better to be single than invest even more time in a relationship that is going nowhere.

Then there’s the second approach. One might call this the Kate Middleton approach. Force the issue. Break up. Show him what he would be missing if he doesn’t commit to you. It’s a big risk, but if it pays off, you get your happy ending, just like Kate, or rather, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge!

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