Home  /  Relationship Advice Column  /  I’m in Love…But He’s Still Dating Others

I’m in Love…But He’s Still Dating Others

I have been dating a man for a few years now. I really like him but he still dates other women. His family really likes me. When we spend time together he’s very sweet and loving. Yet, when we are not together, it’s like he can care less.

I’m very confused on what I should do. I would do anything and everything for him and he knows it. Even friends and family have tried to convince him that I’m “the one”. How do I get him to see that I am the woman for him?

Thank you reader for sharing your question. Today, I’ve enlisted the help of Rachelle Miller aka The Relationship Manager. She shares with us why men still date other women when they have a “girlfriend”, what men do when the woman in their life is priority, and what actions you should take when you find that your boyfriend prefers not to be exclusive.

I can certainly understand why you may feel frustrated or confused in this situation. I can only imagine how difficult this has been for you, which is why you must recognize that you are at a crossroad with him.

If you have been seeing each other for a couple of years, he has had ample time to know whether he wants to be exclusive with you. The fact that he has not decided to be exclusive with you, and prefers to see other people after all of this time, is evidence that he is not sure you are the right fit for him. A person who is not sure if they have found “the right one” tends to keep their options open in hopes of finding someone more ideal for them. In short, he may be searching for greener pastures.

On the other hand, your guy could simply be someone whose focus is not on a serious, monogamous relationship. At this time in his life, he may have other priorities such as a career, and may prefer to date for fun without the responsibility of a serious relationship. Whether he is exploring his options or is not in the mind-frame of a serious relationship, neither scenario is a good position to be in, and you would be well-advised to move on.

Additionally, if he is seeing other people, then you should see other people, too. In dating, it is not beneficial to be exclusive to someone who obviously is not exclusive to you. I would not recommend putting all of your hopes into this one guy who is dating other women and seems to have no immediate plans to be with only you. Remain open to dating other people and to other relational opportunities that may present themselves. Exclusivity in a relationship should be mutual, not one-sided.

I would also advise you not to always be readily available to him when he calls or wants to hang out. In a non-exclusive relationship, you do not want to convey that your life revolves around him or that you are waiting by the phone at his beck and call. You should have a full, productive life without him. A girl busy with her own life communicates that I am not “second choice- last-minute- take her for granted -old-standby” material. If he wants you, he must act.

Paying attention to his actions is key. Do his actions show that you are important to him and are a priority to him? Do his words and actions align? Is he saying “I love you”, “you’re so special to me”, or “you’re the only girl for me” yet his actions show differently? Words without corresponding action are empty. Based on what you have relayed in your question, I do not see the actions of a committed man.

The guy who is really into you will show it through action. He will consistently call you, will diligently try to get to know you, and will want to spend time with you. If you find yourself doing all the work, taking most of the initiative in maintaining your relationship, or doing nearly all of the calling and communicating, you have a guy that is probably not into you. It is mostly you taking action, not him.

So, in your relationship, does he have to expend any effort or energy to keep you in his life? Or do you give him everything regardless of the way he treats you? Though being willing to do anything for is a loving thing to do, he must show himself deserving of this level of affection. A guy who won’t even be exclusive with you is not deserving of this kind of self-sacrifice.

When it comes to his family, fitting in well is definitely a plus. However, his family liking you is not as important as him liking you. As nice as the family is towards you, you cannot officially join his family until he invites you into it through a committed relationship, usually marriage. Additionally, you do not want a guy who has to be convinced by friends or family to be with you. You want him to desire to be with you on his own. You need a guy who consistently offers you love by his own free will.

If a person does not miss you when you are apart for some time, this is a bad, bad sign. Chances are, when you two are apart, he is enjoying phone or face time with his other options. In a good relationship, when you are out of sight, you are not out of mind. A man who loves you will not want to go extended periods of time with no contact. He will miss you. He will not be nonchalant about being away from the lady he cares about. If you feel he could care less, pay very close attention to this feeling. It does not sound like you feel valued or important to him. And if you regularly feel this way, you may have to face the possibility that there is truth in your feelings. There is a strong likelihood that he does not care for you the way you want him to.

The bottom line is, you do not want to be in love with a guy who is confused about if he wants to be with you. You need clarity. When a guy is really into a girl, he will make his intentions clear. Until your boyfriend can give you clarity as to what he wants with you, he does not deserve much more of your time. The fact is, you cannot “make” him see you are the one for him. However, you can give him the space he needs to figure this out for himself.

In summary, make yourself less available to him and date other people. If he really wants you in his life he will exert the necessary effort and energy to make that happen. If he remains unclear with his intentions and wants to continue seeing other people, it is probably in your best interest to emotionally release this relationship and move forward with your life. In the future, endeavor to only get emotionally invested in a guy who feels you are worth his undivided attention.

Rachelle Miller, aka The Relationship Manager, is an experienced family attorney, minister, and passionate relationship educator. She has studied marital, pastoral, and women’s counseling and also holds degrees in law and journalism. Rachelle is a zealous advocate for families and enjoys empowering others in relationships.

Learn more about Rachelle Miller and excelling in your relationships here, Relationship Manager Blog.

What are your thoughts? Have you been in a similar situation? Comment Below.

 

 

Comments

  1. S
    S
    12 December 11, 12:42pm

    My current relationship is with a man with whom I have had a “thing” with off and on for at least 10 years.
     
    He is one of my very best friends. We have both had short-term, unsuccessful marriages and are older now, so this time around is different. Public displays of affection are not something either one of us has ever been comfortable with in any relationship, and we both love to be around each other but also enjoy our own personal time.
     
    What is important is the honesty, loyalty, trust, and communication….and chemistry, of course. For several months, we have been exploring this new dimension to our relationship. Neither one of us is seeing anyone else and we have a good balance.
     
    My only hang-up is that we have not defined what this is. He indicated to me from the beginning that this was not frivolous, but we have not had “the conversation”. We are both enjoying the process, but I would feel better if I had a better understanding through conversation, but I feel very awkward bringing it up. It is the only thing I have trouble with.

    • Robyn Lee
      12 December 11, 5:36pm

      Dear S,
       
      It is good that you have found a man that you can enjoy. But at some point if you want to “define” your relationship you are going to have to have that conversation with him.
       
      Are you both acting as just friends or are you acting as if you are in a relationship? Are you giving him boyfriend “perks”? Cooking for him regularly, helping him with laundry, having sex?
       
      From your comment it seems that it isn’t enough for you that he told you the relationship isn’t frivolous. If you are “acting” like his girlfriend but he has not defined your relationship, why should he risk making a commitment when he is receiving everything he wants without one?
       
      Here’s why?
       
      Because you will need to let him know that you really care about him but you are uncomfortable doing those things with him if you are not his girlfriend.
       
      Let him know that you desire to be in a committed relationship but you fear that it won’t happen. Again let him know that you really care about him, but you just want him to know the reason you are pulling back a bit.
       
      And then you have to do just that, pull back, don’t give him all those “girlfriend” perks if he hasn’t defined you as his girlfriend.
       
      Make sure you have the conversation in a way that makes you feel comfortable but it will be difficult to get to that commitment stage without letting him know what you want.

    • Tiffany
      12 December 11, 8:12pm

      S,
       
      I totally know how you feel about how difficult it is to have that conversation. And in my limited experience, I’ve not known men to be a much bolder. Before I got married, my husband and I were in a similar situation– I couldn’t get up the nerve to ask, so I didn’t, and regretted it. Turns out he was seeing other people (and actually continued to even after he finally said he wanted a commitment with me– but that’s another story). Anyway, my self-worth suffered, the whole relationship was an endless chore, and ultimately is ending in divorce.
       
      Here’s the good news: I’ve been reading the stuff on this site (which matches up so well with this post-divorce empowered new phase of my life), and got up the courage to try dating online. I met someone a few weeks ago, and he is wonderful. I told myself it was only going to be casual, but when the connection became obvious, realized that casual dating is not something I really enjoy all that much. I worked up every last nerve I had, and told him, “Look. I like you, you like me, there’s a connection here. Its enough for me to feel like its worthwhile to devote what time and energy we have outside of our busy and stressful lives to seeing where it could go, and not see other people. What do you think?” His response? “I don’t have any issues with commitment or monogamy. You are a brilliant, strong, sexy and amazing woman. Getting to introduce you as my girlfriend feels like the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time, aside from meeting you in the first place.” I’m so glad I let myself be vulnerable, it was scary as all get out but man what a payoff.

      • Robyn Lee
        12 December 11, 9:07pm

        Awesome Tiffany! I’m so happy for you:) Thanks for sharing.

  2. leenu
    12 December 11, 2:13pm

    yes i m in same situation now

  3. renita bailey
    12 December 11, 6:41pm

    If a man moves you into his home, does that mean the relationship is serious and he intends on marrying you.

    • Robyn Lee
      12 December 11, 7:16pm

      Short Answer: No
       
      It’s actually tougher to get a commitment if you choose to live with him before marriage.
       
      What ELSE does he get if he marries you? The old adage “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk, [cooking, cleaning, laundry, sex, woman, and whatever else you decide to give] for free, is definitely fitting.
       
      It actually gives him more reasons not to marry you.
       
      Him wanting you to move in with him means just that, he wants you to move in with him.
       
      If you aren’t sure, ask him about his plans for marriage. And then listen very carefully.

  4. AFSHA ABBAS
    13 December 11, 2:33am

    My boyfriend broke up with me and I still love him so much…
     
    Sometimes I send him a text saying I miss you and he goes like “miss you too”
     
    And when I say I love you he goes like “relationship is over” – I really get hurt
     
    Do you think that person loves me?

    • Robyn Lee
      13 December 11, 9:42am

      Afsha,
       
      Sorry to hear about your break-up. When someone breaks up with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love you, assuming that they did love you before.
       
      Sometimes they realize that you aren’t right for each other and decide to end the relationship.
       
      At the very least, breaking up DOES MEAN that he needs his space. So contacting him doesn’t help the situation if you want to grow a relationship in the future.
       
      I wrote an article about this, you can find it here, what to do when you break up.

  5. Rebecca
    14 December 11, 6:14am

    The article is familiar to me… I have been dating a guy called Mark for the last 6 months, when i brought up the topic of a committed relationship, he was honest about his feelings and said that he just wants to have fun but not looking for anything serious. The fact of the matter in this case is that Mark is divorced and not ready for a relationship and not willing to commit. He says it is out of self preservation. But he readily admits that there is amazing chemistry and that he did all the chasing and convincing.
     
    I want to know if you think he’ll ever change his mind and what the best course of action is for me to do?
     
    We spend fantastic romantic times together and get along great, however it is like Rachelle says, his words and actions do not line up and they are empty words.
     
    I recently decided to distance myself from him after we spent this fantastic weekend together but he again said that he did not want to settle down and could not give me what I want.
     
    As hard as it is, I think I probably just have to walk away and move on and let it go.
     
    What do you think?
     
    Rebecca

    • Robyn Lee
      27 December 11, 6:58pm

      Hi Rebecca,
       
      I always say the best course of action when dating is to listen to what a man says early on. Most of the time he will let you know what he is available for. Men know before they date a woman whether they are available for commitment or not. And from what he has told you previously, I would say he is not available.
       
      As hard as this may be, you might want to focus your efforts on men who are available for commitment. You’ll only get entangled deeper and deeper into this situation as long as you ignore what he is saying.
       
      Robyn

  6. Gloria
    19 December 11, 12:45am

    I been dating this guy now for almost a year now. He tells me he love me but his action do not make me feel like it.
     
    I haven’t met his family nor any of his friends. When we are together seems like we are the best of friends.We talk about everything he makes me happy. Everything is good until we are apart. I call him all the time, sometimes he answer sometimes he don’t. he will text me and say like something is wrong with his phone.
     
    If I question him he gets upset, and tell me he want someone to trust him. That he do not need any more problems. So I just don’t say anything at all. I really don’t know what to do.
     
    We always break up but we some how manger to get back together. He do not work right now,he say he looking for work but its hard on him and he need to be a man on his own. I give him his space but its really hard on me.Because negative thoughts always on my mind. We have never spent any holidays together. He said he is with his kids.
     
    I feel so left out of his world. Don’t know what to do leave and don’t look back or stay and wait until he gets his self togeher?

    • Robyn Lee
      27 December 11, 7:04pm

      This guy is not giving off good signs. A man that is worthy of your time will be excited to share you with his family and friends.
       
      If your relationship is like this now, how will things change in the future? You especially have to be careful with dating men at their low points, because if and when they do get back on their feet, oftentimes they leave the woman who was by their side because you’re the one that saw him in that vulnerable state.
       
      From reading your comment, it does not sound like this is the best relationship to be in. The man who is right for you will want to parade you around everyone he knows.
       
      Robyn

  7. bee
    27 December 11, 3:03pm

    I’ve known this man for about 7 years. (We shall call him “A” ) We met while we were in college. After I left that particular school, we parted ways.
     
    Eventually 2 years later we got in contact with each other but by then i was in a relationship (a horrible one at that). Long story short he wanted us to be in a relationship but obviously that couldn’t happen.
     
    Anyhow Im single now and him and I have been talking, but the problem is now he’s talking about he’s not ready yet because things in his life aren’t where he wants them to be, and he wants me to be patient with him…he tells me how I’m the love of his life..and how he wants to marry me so I don’t understand why I’m being patient…if he loves me like he says whats the issue???
     
    He also has a son which I have absolutely no problem about, but his phone is always dead when he goes and visits his son (the son lives with the baby mother) I asked him what their relationship is like and he tells me that he thinks the baby moms still wants him. So my question is…am I wasting my time

    • Robyn Lee
      27 December 11, 7:16pm

      Hi Bee,
       
      When you say he’s not ready yet, what do you mean? He’s not ready for a relationship? He’s not ready for marriage? What does he think it takes to be in these types of relationships?
       
      Robyn

      • bee
        11 January 12, 10:52pm

        When he said he wasn’t ready he meant relationship wise. Hes asking Me to be patient with him until hes where he wants to be in his life.

        • robleehow
          11 January 12, 10:59pm

          Hi Bee,

          If a relationship is what you want, waiting around for him to “be ready” for one probably won’t bring you closer to one. You can be open to a relationship with him, but I don’t believe it’s a good idea to wait on it.

          I would suggest asking him what he thinks it takes to be in a relationship.

          You will only resent him if you wait around for a relationship, only for him to start one with someone else. He can’t expect you to be “exclusive” to him if he hasn’t made that sort of commitment.

  8. TaviaKeristian
    11 January 12, 10:50pm

    so the “expert advice” is to play games to evoke jealous reactions and attempt to trick him into a committed relationship?!?!

    Maybe I’m just a different type of woman but I would have unapologetically cut ties and moved on with my life long before I had invested YEARS in a man who doesn’t see what’s right in front of him.
    Have we, as women, lost sight of the fact that WE are the prize worth pursuing? There is nothing wrong with a little window shopping but if a man isn’t happy with what he has then why is she trying to force it??

    I require more because I give more and I deserve more. I know who I am and what I want and settling for less is never an option.

    We MUST Do Better, Ladies!!

    • robleehow
      11 January 12, 11:12pm

      Thanks for your comment Tavia.

      No I don’t believe that is the advice given. No one can be “tricked” into being in a committed relationship.

      Rachelle presents an excellent strategy in getting on with your life and taking a relationship for what it is. If the man does not want an exclusive relationship, that is fine – BUT a woman should not act as if she IS in an exclusive relationship.

      Rachelle is presenting the idea of seeing things as they are. In a relationship, you might not want to cut ties completely, this is up to a woman. Not every woman wants an exclusive relationship and this is a decision each woman must make for herself.

      And not every woman is at the point where they can emotionally cut ties with the man they are with, sometimes it takes time and Rachelle has presented an excellent way that the woman in question can start that process, ie, enjoying her life, dating other people.

      It’s not always as easy for some women as others. If you see your value and are able to move on quickly, that is awesome. But we should also be careful not to be too hard on the ladies who are not at that point yet.

      Change doesn’t happen in a second for everyone. Sometimes it’s a gradual process.

      Thanks for your candid reply:)

      Robyn

  9. Jayden C
    11 January 12, 10:51pm

    Hey Robyn. I’ve been in a simular situation. Only the guy I’m in this complicated situation with is like the age old story “the boy who cried wolf”. After 8years, we have lived together (now living apart) and shared so much together. Now because I refuse to wait around tilhe has time, we dont hang at all unless its a twice a month late night visit. And what pisses me off is he seems to be fine with just that.

    When I try to talk/communicate on what our future is, he gives me the cold shoulder and says I shouldn’t rush things. Problem is now, I feel like I want to move on and dont know how to tell him.

    • robleehow
      11 January 12, 11:17pm

      Hi Jayden,

      Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have to decide what you want. If it has been 8 years and he doesn’t know what the future is for you both, that is not a good sign.

      Once you decide on what you want for the relationship, you have to move towards that in a loving way. If you want a commitment and he isn’t available to give that to you, letting him know how important it is to you (in a loving way) is important.

      If he can’t provide that for you, yes, you can appreciate the time you shared together, but if that is what you truly want, you may have to consider moving on and reducing contact.

      Robyn

  10. Anna
    13 May 12, 5:35pm

    well I have been seeing this guy like on and off ,I really do not know if he is into me .I heard he has been seeing other women and he even told me himself.I want to move on with my life and it is like a I cannot .I have fell for this guy but I do not know if he has really love me ,we stayed like 45 mins flight to where he is.
    Well we text each other and he called me once in a while but he texted like everyday.
    I do not know how to confront him to ask him if he really loves me .

Leave a reply