Question: How can I get my boyfriend to commit to our relationship?
Background: I am a nineteen year old female. I have a boyfriend, well, really he says he is my “friend with benefits”. He says he doesn’t want to be in a committed relationship because he got hurt by his last girlfriend and he is just not ready. He comes over to my house mainly to spend the night and leaves in the morning to go to work. Sometimes we go out to eat but we don’t do a lot of “relationship” stuff like talk or hang out. How can I get him to commit to me and build a relationship?
Answer: My first question to you is why are you not completely offended by this man’s brash behavior? If I understand your perception of “friend with benefits” correctly, you think that he is attracted to you but you feel sorry for him because he has been hurt before.
Let me ask you something? Who hasn’t been hurt before? Haven’t you been with somebody that broke your heart? That’s life.
What this man is blatantly telling you is that you are good enough to have sex with but he doesn’t think highly enough of you to invest himself in a relationship with you and he is sugar coating it by calling it something harmless and cute like “friends with benefits”.
Let’s take this apart a little bit at a time. By definition, a benefit is an act of kindness or a good deed. Who is doing the good deeds? He is clearly the recipient here, in fact, he is the only one benefiting from this arrangement. He is getting exactly what he wants – a girl he can call on for sex anytime he wants. You, on the other hand, are only hoping to get what you want – a committed relationship. What is he doing for you?
By calling it “friends with benefits”, he is giving himself a way to jump in and out of your life while not having to be obligated to you, emotionally or otherwise.
If we dissect this a little bit further, we can see that he is not your friend at all. Friends hang out together, support each other, talk on the phone, meet for lunch and go to the movies among other things. Do you two do that? I didn’t think so.
So we have established that the benefit is mainly for him since he is currently getting what he wants and you are not. We have also established that he is not your friend at all since the two of you do not engage in the social activities that define friendship.
This arrangement is you providing free sex to a man who is not meeting any of your needs and is telling you outright that he is not “ready” to give you what you want – a commitment.
When he finds somebody that he really likes he will suddenly be “ready” for a relationship and you will never see him again.
Relationships are only good when the people in them respect each other and care enough to meet the needs of the other person. “Friends with benefits” only works when both parties are equally non committed.
Do you have a question? Send it to Houston area life coach, Melissa Murphy at email@example.com.