Commitment vs. Freedom

A man seeks advice about how to handle being rejected by his friend.

What Would Debbie Do?

Freedom vs. Commitment

Dear Debbie,

A lady I am interested in trusts me with intimate information, her belongs, everything. She also doesn’t mind undressing in front of me. We have been happily hanging out for two years, and I recently decided to tell her how I really feel. I told her that I love her, and then asked if she feels the same. I know that she is scared of commitment due to past relationships, and that she likes her freedom to date, but I was not expecting her to say “I want us to just be friends.” Why would she say such a thing? Hello, friends don’t get naked in front of one another!

I am so confused. She quickly stopped contacting me as often, and now she won’t even return my calls. What is going on? What have I done to make her flip? And what can I do to reverse this? I want her to commit to me, and I am almost positive she loves me, but she won’t say it.

I’m wondering if she simply wants to be able to have her cake and eat it too — by not totally committing to me she’s able to keep her freedom. I am very much in love with her and I don’t know what to do.

–Signed, Struggling and Hurting

Dear struggling and hurting,

Interesting. I love it when we project what we “think” about a situation onto another person – “I am almost positive she loves me.” But somehow, when the actions of that person are contrary to our thoughts, we continue to believe what we want to believe. I think you’re doing that with this girl.

I’m not saying that deep down, somewhere, this girl really does love you, but I am saying that right now, she clearly wants her freedom. So here’s what I suggest: Give it to her.

If you really have fallen in love with her, then pretending your feelings are just friendly will be hurtful to you. Tell her you need to distance yourself from her, to get over her. During the course of your absence, she might realize that she actually does love you more than a friend, and she’ll seek you out. Until then, she sounds like she’s just using you when she sees fit. Don’t be a puppy dog … that’s what I would do.

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