8 Things To Do When He Won’t Commit But Won’t Let Go

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So, maybe you’re not what you’d call a proper couple… but you are definitely more than friends. And your ‘boyfriend’ wants to keep it that way instead of planning any sort of future with you.

You’d like nothing more than to take your relationship to the next level, but he is not ready for that. Yet he doesn’t want to let you go either.

You feel stuck in a relationship that has no future, and you have only two ways out of this…

Either he will commit to you and finally start moving toward something more, or he will let you go and give you the chance to find that future with someone else.

It sounds so simple, yet it can be so difficult.

Maybe it feels reassuring to think that he just needs a bit more time to make up his mind about you, but don’t give yourself false hope. There are many reasons why he might not want to commit to you right now. Those reasons might even go away with time. But are you really ready to invest more of your precious time into something so uncertain?

Whatever his reason may be, he will need to make a decision soon, or you’ll need to make it for him. Otherwise, you risk wasting your life for someone who might never be ready to commit to anyone.

The specific reason why your boyfriend doesn’t want to commit is still important in order to determine how to proceed. You’re about to learn the most common explanations, and some ways you can get yourself out of this situation.

8 Reasons Why He Won’t Commit But Won’t Let Go Either

Let’s try to figure out exactly what might be going on inside his head for him to leave you in relationship limbo. Here are some possible reasons for his reluctance to commit.

1. He is using you.

Think about the way he treats you. Are you his girlfriend or his booty call? Even if you are his girlfriend, does he really treat you like one, or does he show up when it suits him and leave you waiting for his call?

Maybe he doesn’t treat you poorly, but he won’t let go because he wants to keep sleeping with you. He could be using you for more than just sex too. He may enjoy your company and the other things you have to offer without wishing to commit to you.

Simply put, your current relationship is convenient for him right now, but he doesn’t want to have a future with you.

2. He’s not the commitment type.

Have you talked about marriage and children? Maybe your man doesn’t want to get married or doesn’t want to think about starting a family at this stage of his life.

Maybe he’s just not the commitment type. Some people just want to enjoy the single lifestyle for as long as possible. He might even have feelings for you and still not want to settle down, at least not for now.

While it might be tempting to think that he will eventually be ready, you should know when to give up.

Remind yourself that there are people out there who don’t believe in marriage and don’t want a monogamous relationship. He could be one of those people.

Or maybe your boyfriend will get married one day – just not to you. If you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and he can’t give you a straightforward answer to whether he could envision himself marrying you one day, he probably doesn’t want to.

If he avoids the subject of marriage in general, he probably isn’t going to marry anyone any time soon. So, ask yourself whether true commitment is even a possibility with the man you’re dating.

3. He’s not okay with something you do.

Maybe there is something about you that makes your boyfriend not want to settle down with you. It might be less likely than the other reasons, but it’s still possible, so talk to him about it.

Maybe you blow up his phone whenever he goes out with his friends, or call him whenever he doesn’t respond to your texts right away. He could be feeling like he won’t have any room to breathe if he commits to you, even if you don’t think you’ve done anything to make him feel suffocated in the relationship.

For example, maybe you complain when he wants to spend time with his friends, or you’ve asked him about a girl whose pictures he liked on Facebook. If the way you’ve been acting could be interpreted as possessive and needy, it could be the reason why he doesn’t want to commit to you. Think of it from his perspective – if you’ve been limiting his freedom even before he has committed to you, what would things be like if he did commit?

4. He is waiting for something.

Many people have various big milestones in their mind, and sometimes they want to reach those milestones in a particular order.

Maybe your boyfriend wants to finish college and get a job before settling down with anyone. If he wants to work on some personal goals before he feels ready for a serious relationship or marriage, you might want to support him.

However, ask yourself whether your goals match. For instance, maybe he would like to move to another country in a year from now, and you’d like to buy a house where you’ll raise your kids in two years from now.

You can care for each other and still be at different stages in your lives where you want different things. That’s okay. Don’t sacrifice your separate goals just to set some goals together. You’ll probably end up resenting the relationship and each other.

You can wait for your boyfriend to finish college and get a job before you get married, but if all you are looking for is a committed relationship and he can’t give you that, you might not want to waste your time.

5. He is not ready to settle down.

Maybe he’s just not done with the single lifestyle, and that’s all there is to it. It’s possible that he’s not ready to settle down even if he’s not waiting for anything to happen to enable him to be ready. People don’t always plan things ahead, and he could just be enjoying the benefits of not being in a committed relationship with anyone.

Whatever his reasons are, he’s not ready to settle down – with you or with anyone else at this point. He probably won’t be able to tell you whether he will ever be ready even if you ask him. Some people simply don’t think that far ahead.

6. The timing is just not right.

Sadly, if you’d have met at a different time, he might have been ready to commit to you. Even if he cares about you, maybe he has just gotten out of a committed relationship and isn’t ready to get into a new one yet.

Maybe he’s hoping to move and work on his career, or he just wants to party and have casual sex with strangers.

Whatever it is, he is in a different phase in life than you are, and you won’t be able to change that simply by talking to him about it. Even if you’d be perfect for each other, if the timing is wrong, you’ll have to either make big compromises and sacrifices, or give up on your future together… at least for now.

7. He is not serious about you.

What if your boyfriend is ready to settle down, just not with you? It might be your worst nightmare, but you have to consider the possibility that he simply doesn’t care enough about you to commit to you.

Maybe he likes you, but he’s not serious about you and just wants to have some fun. For whichever reason, you’re not the one for him, but he still enjoys your time together, so he doesn’t want to let you go.

8. He wants to keep seeing other people.

In the end, monogamy might be the only part of commitment that your boyfriend is not okay with. Maybe he wants to keep sleeping with other people, or maybe he wants to have a few more relationships before settling down with someone forever.

Whatever the case may be, your boyfriend is not done with dating or can’t settle for dating only you.

You can either consider an open relationship or end things with him and find someone who is ready to devote their entire love life to one person.

8 Ways To Get Him To Either Commit To You Or Let You Go

Regardless of the reasons why your boyfriend doesn’t want to commit to you, there are things you can do to make him realize that he has no other choice if he wants to stay with you.

The first thing, however, is that you realize that that’s his only choice. Don’t settle for being someone’s booty call when you want to be someone’s wife or a serious long-term girlfriend.

There’s nothing wrong with staying at the stage you are in now, but only as long as you are both okay with it, and you clearly aren’t okay with it anymore.

So, if you want to have a future with someone, change your present situation by making your boyfriend choose which way you are going to find that future – by staying with him or by ending your current relationship.

1. Have an honest, open conversation.

Before doing anything else, you should talk to your boyfriend, especially if you’re still not sure of his reasons for not wanting to commit.

If you’re already in a relationship, talk about its possible future and let him know that you want to move things forward with him.

If you’re not in a serious relationship, see if there’s any chance that you will be in one any time soon. If he avoids the subject at all costs, that alone tells you what you need to know.

On the other hand, maybe there is something the two of you could do to find a resolution that works for you both. That will probably involve doing something to address his specific concerns, whatever they may be.

2. See if there’s something that you could improve about yourself.

If you have been acting needy and possessive, or your behavior could be perceived that way from his perspective, try changing this.

Don’t call and text so often and leave him be when he’s away from you. Encourage him to spend time with his friends and support his hobbies, especially if you’ve been complaining about how much time he spends away from you.

You should work on improving yourself regardless of the situation. However you think you could improve as a person and a partner, work on it and focus on yourself for a while. Enrich your life with other things besides your relationship and keep yourself busy.

3. Let him know that he won’t lose his independence.

When you talk to him about committing, let him know that he won’t lose his freedom and independence.

Your boyfriend might be afraid that he won’t get to have a life outside of the relationship once he commits to you. So reassure him that you’re not trying to trap him and that he can still do all the things he’s doing now, with the exception of dating other people. If that part doesn’t scare him, you can work through the rest.

4. Set boundaries.

Every healthy relationship requires boundaries, and so does yours. Make what you will and won’t do and tolerate perfectly clear.

For instance, if you’re not okay with your boyfriend coming over in the middle of the night and leaving early in the morning, you need to say that and stop allowing it. Or you might insist that you go on an actual date once in a while instead of always agreeing to see him at his or your place.

Most importantly, you shouldn’t do anything that you’re not comfortable doing. If you’re not okay with being in a relationship the way it is now, make that clear to him.

5. Give him an ultimatum.

No one likes ultimatums, and they don’t always work out for the best. But sometimes you really have no other choice.

Either he will commit to you, or you will walk away. If you want commitment, it’s all you can really do in the end. It could have several possible outcomes.

He might agree to fully commit to you. Or you might actually have to walk away. Or he could meet you halfway and take the relationship more seriously by doing things that indicate a slightly deeper level of commitment (e.g. introducing you to his friends if he hasn’t already, or planning a vacation with you).  Or he might let you walk away and then try to charm his way back.

Stay open to compromises if he offers to make a step forward, but don’t let any progress he makes slip back so that you end up where you are now.

6. Walk away.

If he doesn’t want to commit to you, he will probably let you walk away after the ultimatum, and you need to be ready for this.

He can still reach out to you afterward, but he will probably let you go to see if you are for real. You can’t just threaten to leave to get someone to realize that you’re serious about leaving; you have to actually do it to prove that you’re serious. Most importantly, you have to actually be serious about it and be prepared for the breakup.

If he reaches out to you afterward, maybe you’ll work things out, but don’t walk away just to get him to chase after you. Walk away from something you don’t want to get something you do want, whether it will be with him or with someone else.

7. Stick to your decision.

If what you want is a committed relationship, don’t settle for someone who can’t give you that. This is why it’s so important to actually be ready to walk away. If you can’t sort things out through communication and he’s not willing to take a step forward and prove he will be ready one day, you can’t wait for him forever.

Stick to your decision to end the relationship if you’re not happy with it the way it is. He will still have your number and know that you want a committed relationship with him. If he doesn’t use that number to tell you that he’s willing to work toward a future together, it’s likely because he doesn’t want to have a future with you, and you have to accept that.

8. Don’t let him charm his way back if he won’t commit.

A guy can still hold on to you even though he doesn’t want to have a committed relationship. After all, who says that he doesn’t want a casual relationship with you?

So, he might want to get you back even though he has no intention of having a serious relationship.

Don’t let him get you back to where you were. If he wants to be with you, he will have to commit to you, or at least make progress in that direction. Until that happens, focus on yourself and your life.

If time passes and you don’t hear from him again, get ready to search for someone you can have a future with. Someone who will want to commit to you and build a relationship that will last.

Still not sure what to do about this guy and his refusal to commit? If you don’t know what the best option is in your situation, why not talk things through with an experienced relationship expert who can help you find clarity and make the right decision. Chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.