Nomi Leasure On… Commitment After A Failed Relationship

by Nomi Leasure
Failed Relationship Taylor Magazine Minimalist guide to life

After a failed relationship, being afraid to commit isn’t uncommon. How long do you wait? When do you know if it’s the right time? When do you know if it’s the right person? Most importantly, if you feel like you need time to work on yourself, when do you get back in the game and get ready to grow with someone else? Nomi Leasure tells all.

Hey Nomi! So, recently my best friend and I were both dating these pretty great guys. Out of the blue we both got dumped and were given the worst excuse in the book: “I just need to take time and work on myself.” Is there any legitimacy to that reason? – Kaci M.

Dear Dumped,

My friend, let’s call her A, was dating a guy for a few weeks. They were spending loads of time together doing intimate things; cooking, cuddling, hanging out with his friends and hers. A was loving it. She knew he had recently been through a breakup, a situation so bad in fact that he felt he wasn’t ready to get serious with another girl, but after a while of things going well between them she felt she could bring up the topic of commitment and see about taking things to the next level.

My other friend, let’s call her G, was dating a guy for a few weeks. They were spending loads of time together doing intimate things; cooking, cuddling, hanging out with his friends and hers. G was loving it. She knew he had a seriously tumultuous relationship with his ex-girlfriend/baby mama – a situation so bad in fact that he felt he wasn’t ready to get serious with another girl, but after a while of things going well between them she felt she could bring up the topic of commitment and see about taking things to the next level.

Each guy responded with the same excuse: I’m scorned by my ex, I haven’t gotten over it, I need to take time to work on myself.

I listened to this and instantly called, “fuckboy!” The blatant aversion to commitment? Fuckboy. The ability to take from a woman, take the nurturing, the intimacy, the emotional support, but then be unwilling to compromise any bit of exclusivity in return? Fuckboy. The unloading of personal responsibility onto a mysterious ex? Fuckboy.

I couldn’t help but feel I had these guys totally pegged. They were good guys, sure – smart, successful, decent human beings – but at the core they were emotionally immature fuckboys who were just afraid of commitment. They were using their ex-relationships as an excuse to avoid commitment in the present.

This other girl… let’s call her N… had been dating a guy for a few weeks (okay months). They were spending loads of time together doing intimate things; cooking, cuddling, spending time with his friends and hers. N was loving it. She had recently been through a breakup, a situation so heartbreaking in fact she felt she wasn’t ready to get serious with another guy, but after a while of things going well between them he felt he could bring up the topic of commitment and taking things to the next level.

She responded with the honest truth: I’m scorned by my ex, I haven’t gotten over it, I need to take time to work on myself.

We want so badly to hate the ones who hurt us – to find fault with the decisions they make that don’t align with how we’d like things to be going – but when you find yourself on the other side you start to see things more clearly, or perhaps just start to see yourself more clearly.

I find it incredibly valid for someone to want to leave a relationship, or perhaps not enter one at all, because they feel they need to take time to work on themselves. Maybe your guy saying he wants to work on himself is just an excuse, but the only thing that really matters is he’s saying what he doesn’t want is the relationship with you and you have to honour that.

How old are you and how long have you been in this relationship? I’m going to assume young-ish and not very long-ish. My stance is generally that a relationship should be a causal growing experience, a playground where two people can learn about themselves and have some of their first (inevitably disastrous and heartbreaking) experiences with love. At this phase of life it’s perfectly acceptable for someone to want to “work on themselves,” in whatever capacity that means to them.

On the other hand, there is certainly growth to be gained from within a relationship that one cannot achieve solo (read On Growth In a Longterm Relationship). At some point working on yourself alone becomes a worthless task – you lack any sense of true challenge, you’re not reacting or responding to anything. “Working on yourself” by yourself amounts to getting better at tennis by swinging against a wall. Eventually you’ll need a partner if you ever hope to compete. Serena grows more with Venus than she does with a ball machine, just sayin’.

But true, meaningful growth in a relationship can only be achieved if both parties involved are in a healthy place where they are ready to commit. You need a solid foundation with a willing and able partner. If the soil is healthy, the crops will be too. It sounds like your guy isn’t ready or willing for commitment; his soil is soiled.

Time to move on.

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2 comments

Nick Rife March 4, 2017 - 1:02 am

I usually don’t comment under articles, but this was an amazing read! Very relatable, you have a unique mind.

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ThatsThatShitIDontLike March 28, 2018 - 4:30 pm

Dear Nomi,
I’m definitely one to stay off social media by all means especially because my boyfriends favorite thing is the like button for every girl from models to the local girls. Upon investigation I found a girl that has liked all of his posts & vice versa. Am I crazy? Is this second hand cheating?

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