One of the hardest challenges I've ever faced in a relationship was falling in love with someone who was terrified to commit. I can admit that I am a bit of a hopeless romantic when it comes to relationships, and I'm very passionate when it comes to love, so when I fall, I fall hard.
Eventually, I found myself having to make the tough decision to move on from someone I loved, or to wait around and hope one day he's ready.
When evaluating what to do, here are some things you need to consider:
1. Put yourself in his position
When a relationship is going well, it can be hard for you to understand that maybe your boyfriend isn't ready to fully commit. That doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't love you or wants to break up; it just means that he needs more time to adjust to the idea of “settling down.”
Don't blame yourself. Just try to respect your partner's desire for more time. Remember, good things take time, and if it comes easy, then it's probably not worth having.
2. Give him some space
This doesn't necessarily mean you need to completely remove yourself from his life or break up. Just because he can't commit now doesn't mean he won't commit later. Allow yourself to give him a little distance; start hanging out with your girlfriends more or pick up a new pilates class at the gym.
Fill your schedule with activities that prevent you two from seeing each other at all times of the day. Keeping yourself busy will take your mind off the situation at hand and hopefully open up your boyfriend's eyes to how much he should value the time you do spend together.
3. Refrain from over-thinking
By giving him space to figure out his feelings, you may find yourself trying to develop the probable cause of his sudden fear of commitment. Try to restrain from over-analyzing the situation.
You control what goes on up there, so try to remain positive. Think about the good times you two had together and remind yourself why you are in love in the first place.
Don't assume the worst of the situation. Just because he is scared to commit doesn't mean he is out cheating on you or suddenly talking to other girls. Your mind can be your worst enemy at times, especially when you are alone, so fight th
e urge and don't make yourself crazy.
4. Ultimatums are not always the best option
This is always a tricky situation because you never want to wait around for somebody, but making your boyfriend decide between committing or breaking up could end up with you getting your feelings hurt.
An ultimatum would only work if you truly felt that he would come back after realizing he missed you. You have to be prepared to keep your distance and control your jealousy for days, weeks or maybe even months while the two of you are apart.
When you spend time together, he becomes accustomed to you always being around and doesn't expect you to ever leave. After giving an ultimatum, you have to be prepared to distance yourself and fight the urge to accept his invitation to hang out.
Just because it sounds right in your head to walk away doesn't mean your heart agrees. Dealing with a broken heart can be one of the most painful experiences, so if walking away when you aren't ready is your best plan of action, be prepared to deal with the consequences.
5. Don't force feelings
The last thing you want is to force your boyfriend into a relationship he doesn't want. By forcing him to be in a relationship, you are setting the groundwork for failure.
If he doesn't want to be in one, then he won't work as hard to be your boyfriend. You can't force someone to be with you. Deep down, you want him to want to be in your life and fight to remain apart of it.
6. Avoid becoming insecure
As I mentioned before, there is nothing actually wrong with your part in the relationship. If he isn't ready to commit, then he might be dealing with underlying reasons, such as fear of heartbreak, memories of a divorce or a really bad experience with a previous relationship. Some people are the relationship type, and others take time to develop strong friendships and feelings before diving in.
It's tough to restrain yourself from feeling insecure about a relationship when your partner isn't ready to settle down, but you have to remember that there is nothing you can do to make him change his mind.
If you allow yourself to become insecure, you will find that you begin to look for things your partner does (such as stopping to talk to a girl in his class) as a sign of him cheating.
You'll pick fights over things you never fought about before and potentially find yourself stalking his social media or breaking into his cell phone just to see who he talks to, thus creating trust issues and showing him a stalker side of you he's never seen. Insecurity will push you to suffocate him, which in turn, will cause him to push you away.
7. If it's meant to be, it will be
The golden rule of relationships is that anything that is supposed to happen, will happen. You have to trust that if you two are meant to be together, you eventually will be.
If that means going on a break to find out you two need to fall back together, then do so. The hardest thing to do is give someone you love space, freedom and the option to move on, so you just need to trust that everything will work out in the end.