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Is My Boyfriend Even Ready for a Relationship?

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I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost half a year. Before we started dating, we used to be really good friends, so that made it that much easier. As a friend, he was perfect. As a boyfriend, I find myself constantly annoyed and angry with him because I feel like he doesn’t understand me, and he says he feels the same.

About three months into our relationship, problems began. We realized we did not understand each other properly and almost broke up. We ended up talking and trying to make things work because we really love each other. Since then, we had a few breakdowns where we almost broke up, but then at the last minute decided to give it one more shot and try to explain what exactly is wrong.

Since then, every time we have a similar breakdown, we cry, talk, work it out, and are really happy, and our relationship and communication has improved tremendously. However, I feel like he has serious commitment issues.

For example, we had plans one day, and when I asked to confirm, he said he was out of town for the day and doesn’t know when he’ll be back. I got upset because he didn’t tell me, but he just brushed it off. I tried to make him understand, but he just couldn’t comprehend why I was so upset about it. He said it wasn’t a big deal, and that he feels like I’m controlling him, and acting as if we were married. That upset me even more, and I noticed that whenever he feels like he doesn’t have all the freedom in the world, he gets terrified.

Somewhat I understand why he’s acting like that because his parents never really demanded to know where he was or who he was with, so he just got used to it. He also doesn’t have a very deep relationship with his friends, and he has never been in a serious relationship before, so this is all new to him. I understand, but sometimes I feel like he doesn’t understand me.

Is he even ready for a relationship? Should I keep trying to make it work and make him less scared of losing his freedom? I can see that he’s trying to become a better person, and so am I. Should we keep trying? (From Montenegro)

Is My Boyfriend Even Ready for a Relationship?

Answered by on -

A.

It doesn’t sound like it is worth the trouble. Perhaps friendship was the right dynamic in the relationship. No strings, few expectations, and a good connection when it happened.

I’d encourage you and he to negotiate a trial separation — not too long, perhaps 30 days — and commit to staying apart, not having contact, and see how that feels.

It seems like the cycle you’ve been in with the breakups never got beyond this initial stages of a separation. Perhaps with a bit more time apart, it will be easier to determine if there is enough in the relationship to work with. If there is you can negotiate how you want to take the relationship forward and if a couples counselor would be helpful. If not, then it is time to move on.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Is My Boyfriend Even Ready for a Relationship?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Is My Boyfriend Even Ready for a Relationship?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/08/24/is-my-boyfriend-even-ready-for-a-relationship/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 23 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 23 Aug 2018
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