How To Tell Her You’re Not Ready To Commit (Without Being A Jerk)
One of the trickiest — probably the trickiest — part of dating is mismatched expectations. It’s far too common for one person to have commitment issues and for the other person to not realise this.
Say you’ve just gotten out of a serious relationship and you’re carrying a lot of baggage. You don’t want to get into anything new for a while! How do you convey that to a woman without coming off like an absolute douchebag and pissing her off?
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Luckily, these tips will help you handle that conversation with grace and tact.
1. Don’t Tell Her Immediately
“Hey, so excited for our first date tonight! By the way, you should know that I’m not looking for anything serious right now. See ya!”
This is awful. Don’t provide a disclaimer in your online dating bio, or tell her too early that you’re not looking to commit. It comes off arrogant — it presumes that the other person is trying to commit to you. Until you know what she wants, you can hold off on breaking this news to her.
Maybe the cute girl you’re texting with right now is looking for a friend with benefits situation! Maybe she wouldn’t want to commit to you! Anything’s possible — which is why you shouldn’t assume. It’s fine to go on a date with someone before you reveal this kind of information. (But don’t leave it too late, either — this is a dealbreaker for a lot of people, and therefore should be disclosed early.)
2. First Off, Apologise
“I’m sorry, but I’m not in a place where I want to be in a serious relationship. I understand this might not be great news, and I get it if you want to move on.”
Don’t be breezy about having commitment issues! Don’t act like it’s not a big deal, or not potentially hurtful for the other person. It’s definitely not great news to hear that the person you’re dating casually has commitment issues — but saying ‘sorry’ can negate some of the hurt.
3. Do Explain Why You’re Not Looking To Commit
Have you just had your heart broken? Are you thinking of moving to another country? Are you a serial killer? Whatever your reason for not wanting to pull the trigger on a relationship, be sure to share that reason with the other person! Don’t just leave it at “I’m sorry, I’m not looking for anything serious yet.” In this instance — the less mystery, the better.
Plus, it takes some of the sting out of the proclamation — she probably doesn’t want to date a guy who’s about to across the country either!
4. Be Honest About The Future
Lots of guys will approach the conversation like this:
“I’m not ready to commit right now — I just need a little time.”
It may be tempting to go for the easy out, but are you sure it’s true? How much time do you need exactly? Commitment issues aren’t easily dispelled — and nobody can put a timeline on when they’ll go away.
Don’t lead her on with vague or seductive promises about the future! If you’re not sure when you’re going to commit, tell her that. Don’t avoid the subject — that’s only postponing the inevitable awkward conversation. Instead:
“I don’t know what I might want in the future, or when I’ll be ready to date seriously again. I thought you should know this. It’s only fair to you.”
This way, she’ll know not to expect anything — and not to hang around waiting for you to change your mind!
5. Clichés Are Helpful, Sometimes
“It’s not you — you’re lovely. I wish I had better timing — this is a hundred percent about me, and I just wanted you to know that.”
Not wanting to commit to a person means that they’re going to feel inadequate in some way, and there’s very little you can do about that. There’s a good chance she’ll be thinking “What is it about me? What am I missing? What could I have done to change his mind, or be girlfriend material?”
Do take the time to reassure her that it’s not about her. This is about you, and whatever you have going on that keeps you from having a girlfriend. It may sound hack-y or like a euphemism, but the fact is that these euphemisms were invented to save people’s feelings.
6. Promise To Be Considerate Of Her Feelings Anyway
Casual non-exclusive dating, friends with benefits, purely f*ck buddies — whatever your situation is, you owe the other person gentleness and respect. Someone not being your girlfriend isn’t license to treat her feelings as if they don’t matter!
“I want you to know that I still care about you, and that I’m going to try my best to treat you how you deserve to be treated. Your feelings are important to me regardless of if we’re seriously dating or not. If you ever get jealous, if you have some insecurities or anything that you want to discuss — tell me. I promise I’ll be there to talk about anything you want.”
It’s important to say this — and to act on it. Why? Because it’s your only shot at making it work. If you guys aren’t able to talk through any issues or treat each other politely, any relationship you have, however casual, will crumble. If you ignore her or treat her like she’s just a sex object, of course she’ll get angry.
Explain to her that not being In A Relationship doesn’t mean you aren’t accountable to each other! That way, she’ll be much more likely to take this news well, and you’re more likely to have a chill, sweet arrangement that satisfies you both. Good luck!