You think that the man (or woman) you like will never commit to you, because he can’t or won’t, or both. A woman I know from Miami, Barbara, told me about a brief affair she had with a gentleman. It’s a decision, not a personality trait—as convenient an excuse as that may be to explain why someone left, or by the way, why you didn’t hang around (ah—knife cuts both ways, see? As if it were because I wasn’t evolved or mature enough. (And it’s not about fate either, as I argued here.) Fact is, you can get anyone to commit. I’m going to use the clichéd/stereotypical “he” here for simplicity’s sake, not because it’s always true, but I hear this most from women about men. And that you’ll never, ever be able to find a man who will commit to you, because men suck and then you die. They had delicious chemistry and kissed with their mouths open and all kinds of lovely, sexy stuff happened. She made up a story based on her own insecurity that no one would want just her, and blamed him for it. How would you know someone is or could be committed to you after knowing them a week? This persistent idea here, that some people can’t commit, is bullshit. To get a man to commit, you need to do two things: I told you this wasn’t rocket science. Q: I have been seeing this great guy for 8 months and he is still reluctant to say we are exclusive or boyfriend/girlfriend. I can’t even commit to hanging shelves” ba-dump-bump joke. If you can’t blow his mind, he’s not looking to commit to you. Over dinner one night, I said, “So it sounds like I’m kinda your girlfriend now,” I teased. As soon as a guy backs off or seems uninterested, she starts to deluge him with texts, show up at his apartment, go into overkill mode trying to “win” back his attention and affection. You’re saying, “I’ll do anything for this, and you don’t have to do a thing.” Wrong. I didn’t crowd him, barrage him with emails, or ask incessantly about how he felt about us. I did my thing, kept my life going, and made it clear if he wanted to see me, he had to let me know. Too many women get clingy and fearful and needy, and end up rewarding the very behavior they hate. I didn’t say, “Oh yeah, buster, well you better decide now or I’m out! I didn’t force him into having The Talk (read why to avoid this). So I made sure that I blew his mind and made him earn it.
Over the holiday weekend, he took me on a romantic road trip, during which he whispered in my ear those very words you’re dying for a man to say to you. Sure we’ve had a few crossed signals along the way, and I had my share of insecurities. My point is, this isn’t a trick you pull to “get” someone to commit, and then stop. It’s the way you live your life together—and can you think of a better way than to continue to impress and engage and deserve each other? The key is to practice that NOW, not so you can stop doing it when you find someone, but so you can really start. When you’re knee-deep in pain and confusion, my Break-Up 911 online workshop can gently get you back on your feet. He has to want to be with you and enjoy your company and feel pretty fucking awesome around you. When we were together, I made him feel like a million bucks. Six months later, he spends most evenings with me, cooks me dinner, and invited me to his best friend’s wedding (which is three months away). But the decision to be committed to a relationship is a choice you keep making in the present, which is where you always are.“But it won’t work out because he’s noncommittal.” They had just met. It was a handy story I used to “explain” why I wasn’t in a committed thing.
You don’t say, “Ok, I rocked you, now pay me back with your lifelong commitment.” That won’t work. (If you’re not sure what I mean, find out why “you go girl” thinking is the worst advice.) I mean you must teach him how to treat you, so that he has to initiate, make an effort, and earn the thing he wants. I’m far more committed to something I’ve invested in than something that was lobbed at me. MAKE HIM EARN IT Once you’ve rocked his world, you don’t then give away the keys to the store. I’m not talking about berating, withholding, or any other mind-fuck thing we all despise. They want to know what they’re going after is worth their time.