Should You Wait for a Man who Probably Won’t “Commit” to You?

In this strange dating age (era?) there seems to be many opportunities for younger women pairing off with older men.  I’ve read more than a few accounts of this type of romantic arrangement from the man’s side and the women’s side, and unless he really does commit, it never tends to work out for the woman.

I recently came across a good example of this very dilemma over at Enotalone… what should she do?

More importantly, what would you advice my female readers (who may be in or will be in a similar situation at some point)?

Here’s her question:


So my boyfriend is 21 years older than me. I just turned 27 and he is 48.

I’ve heard all my life how mature I am and I got bored with my generation before I even turned 21. I am also a single mom, which plays its part. I love on my own and take care of myself. We’ve been together about 2 years with two breaks in between. He was married for 17 years, has two children he helped raise from that union and his biological son is 25, yes a two year difference. He has raised a family, purchased homes, traveled the world, he’s done it all.

His initial interest in me was probably physical and sexual but now it’s grown to much more. My interest was to have fun and do things I can’t do with people my own age. Here’s the problem: I believe he is insecure. Insecure about his age compared to mine, whether or not he can trust me, what’s to come in the next couple of years.

I’m in love with him but I don’t want to spend my good years trying to wait on him to decide if he wants me permanently. I’ve tried over and over to reassure him that I only want him and I’m not interested in anyone else. But like any other man, he is going to move at his own pace. I’m looking forward to marriage and having more kids. I don’t want to sell myself short missing out on things I want out of a relationship. Two weeks ago he told me our relationship status was “undetermined”. After 2 years. This pissed me off. I need to know. Am I just buying time? How long should I wait before moving on?”


I’m sorry you’ve spent two years on someone who isn’t committing to you.  I know you say you are in love with him, and I do believe you, but you have to ask if he’s really in love with you?  He may care about you in some way, but I think he’s using you for sex and fun times (to your future detriment), or just to keep loneliness at bay.

There is nothing in it for you to keep allowing him to just use you for sex and companionship… eventually he will get tired of you and move on – which could mean horrible emotional pain for you, and leave you worse off than you were a few years earlier.  That kind of “baggage” will carry over into other (better) relationships possibly, and it’s not worth the emotional trauma to yourself.  I’ve seen that happen to friends, it’s much better to get out now and forget him altogether.

Move on, he has already done everything you want to do with your life (the kids, the house, the building a marriage/long-term relationship, putting his kids through college and watching them become adults, etc.) and is just plain not that interested in even attempting to meet you halfway in those endeavors.

You say you want kids and a family… but he most likely doesn’t at this stage in his life.  You two have no business together and the longer it draws out, the more painful it will likely be.  If he can’t understand how that affects a woman, he may be somewhat of a narcissistic sociopath.

He doesn’t really need you and he really doesn’t want you in his life 😦  Very sad to accept I’m sure, especially since you fell in love with him.  I’m so sorry.

I see you say you “only want him,” and I believe you, but you need to understand that he doesn’t care about that.  He’s lived his “life” even though he’s not even that old – it’s how he feels that matters.

Picking someone closer in age to you that also wants to build a life with you would be MUCH better than this.  Building a life together with my husband has been the best thing I’ve ever done, even in the hard times we’ve gone through together.  It sounds like he is “over” that part of life, and isn’t looking to start anew with you 😦

Value yourself, and walk away from this.

Take care,


Email questions


  1. This is one of the many reasons why I am no longer a supporter of modern ‘dating’. In older days either a girls father would select her husband or, in what seems to give a girl a little more say in the matter, would allow men to court her. These men were actually in pursuit of a marriage and not simply for a good time, as they likely weren’t going to find it when the gateway to a woman’s body was her father permitting or disallowing marriage. Modern dating allows just such a thing. People date, they get comfortable in a simple relationship and one or both just don’t feel the need to really ‘commit’ to anything. Why would they? Modern women are told they don’t need to be tied down by marriage and modern men are told marriage is a silver bullet to the head.

    There’s something to be said for older times and methods.

  2. I’m with Stephanie: Why buy the cow when the milk is free?

    (Translation: There’s no reason for a man to marry when he can get sex and companionship without it. He’s not insecure. He’s smart. 4 of 5 divorces are initiated by wives and 9 of 10 judges give wives most of their current/future shared marital assets. The risk to this 47 y/o guy with accumulated wealth and kids is just too high. Sounds like he also learned this lesson with his first ex-wife.)

  3. For your correspondent:

    Your 48 year old boyfriend is not insecure. He’s very secure.

    He isn’t marrying you because he doesn’t have to. And he doesn’t want to.

    He isn’t marrying you because he gets sex from you without giving you any more commitment than, maybe, he’s not dating or having sex with anyone else.

    He doesn’t want to marry you because he’s already done all that. And because you’re a single mom and he’ll have to take on raising your kid, and paying for your kid.

    And because marrying you would require his commitment, which, candidly, you’re not worth. If you were worth his commitment, he would have given it to you. He has not. Ergo, he has sent you a clear message that, in his judgment, you’re not worth his investment of time, money and labor, or his commitment in the way of forsaking all others and staying with you.

    And deep down, you know all of this.

  4. I’m with honordads. Why buy the cow? I knew a guy who strung his girlfriend along for decades–eventually he died young of a heart attack without ever as much as proposing. Unworthy woman? Not in the eyes of those who knew her. She was just addicted to an unworthy man.

  5. “unless he really does commit, it never tends to work out for the woman”

    This is true for a relationship with any man of any age. I would assume that younger men are even less likely to commit.

    “Insecure about his age compared to mine, whether or not he can trust me, what’s to come in the next couple of years.”

    Have you had an honest talk about his concerns about trusting you — he may have been burnt by his first wife and is wary of going through that again. That you love him today you have made clear. What you two need to decide is,

    1. Are you a woman who will keep her wedding vows until death do you part?
    2. Would he marry you if he was confident of this?

    Other comments assume the answer for #2 is “no”. Perhaps it is “enthusiastically and gratefully yes!”

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