We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call on the letter below by leaving your advice in the comments section.
I have been in a relationship on and off with a guy for 3.5 years. The longest break we have had was our last break up which has lasted 5 months. There was no contact during that period of time. We bumped into each other a couple of months ago on a night out and ended up hooking up that evening and seeing each other a couple of times in the last two months.
Our break ups were always down to him. One minute everything was amazing, we never argued, had lots of quality time together, and the next minute he was gone saying “my feelings have changed,” “I dont know what I want.” Within a month or two he would be back again wanting to “try again.”
After this happening a number of times, my patience wore thin, and each time it happened the break up “aftermath” got worse and worse. My reaction to it got angrier and angrier, and this resulted in huge fights during each break up period. The ironic thing is that we only argued when we WERNT together.
The position I am in now is this. He tells me he loves me, enjoys spending time with me but is frightened and reluctant to commit for fear of “getting cold feet again” and having the fallout from me that that would cause. He says he doesn’t know what he wants but knows he doesn’t want to lose me from his life entirely either.
He has suggested that we start a “casual relationship” with no expectations or goals as he doesn’t know what he wants because of his track record for jumping ship, so he can’t give me any commitment or reassurances of where it could lead.
I really don’t know what to do. Having a history with him and having feelings for him makes a “casual” agreement difficult. I don’t understand his reluctance to commit to a relationship on the grounds of him fearing he will jump ship again, because at the end of the day he can do that anyway in a casual relationship.
I question if his desire to have a “casual relationship” is his way of absolving himself from any guilt of hurting me if he did jump ship again. After all, if I agree to a casual setup he is then able to say, ” Well, it was just casual, free of commitment with the freedom of changing my mind any any point.”
— Woman Overboard
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