He Won’t Commit But He Won’t Let Go: What Should You Do Now?

Men want the benefits of having a girlfriend without having to be a boyfriend. Here’s how to handle it when he won’t commit but he won’t let go.

He Won't Commit But He Won't Let Go

Ah, yes, he won’t commit but won’t let go. He’s holding you hostage in relationship limbo. But he has his moments so you stick around, but he won’t commit.

Either he wants to hook up with other people without “technically” cheating or just can’t be in a relationship. He could be a man-child. Or perhaps he is just selfish and doesn’t care about your feelings. All of these are possible.

This is also when he depends on you for everything, but refuses to call you his girlfriend. Yet, whenever you get fed up and try to move on, he pulls you back in. Either by being sweet for 2.5 seconds or worse, by telling you you don’t deserve better than him. [Read: 7 signs he is for sure lying to you]

I’m here to tell you that you deserve better, way better. And here is how to get it…

Avoid these manipulative guys

Any guy who does this, whether aware of it or not is manipulating you. He is selfish and wants a relationship only when it is convenient for him. But as soon as you want him to meet your mother or help you move he is nowhere to be found.

He makes plans with you then cancels last minute because you were only his placeholder in case something better came along, but now you can’t make plans because it is too late. You get dressed up and wait around for him because he promised to take you out. And he never shows.

Is there a worse feeling? Not really. This is such a slap in the face. This isn’t just a rejection but a blatant disregard for your time and energy. It is a huge sign of disrespect. And the least you deserve is a guy who respects you. [Read: Open your eyes to these 16 signs he is manipulating you]

You hold out hope that one day he will wise up and let you make an honest man out of him. At this rate, you’ll be grey and in a walker before that happens.

But whenever you build up the nerve to say something to him about his behavior, he turns it around on you. Somehow him flirting with someone else, lying to you, and even cheating is your fault. And you just gobble it up.

Now, I’m not saying this is your fault. It isn’t. His actions are solely on him. But, you are letting him get away with it.

I know it can be hard to see once you’ve fallen for him. You don’t want to be alone so you put up with these things. You try to let his few and far between good qualities outweigh his regular ridiculousness.

He won’t commit but he won’t let go. This is his way of making sure he gets what he wants without having to compromise in the slightest. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Then, why put up with it? [Read: How to spot and understand manipulative men]

Be better than that because you are

No one deserves to be treated with that kind of disrespect where he won’t commit but he won’t let go either. No matter how hot he is, no matter how much you just know he cares deep down, this is a form of emotional abuse. You deserve better.

He can’t offer you what you need, or worse, he won’t. But he won’t let you be happy with anyone else. He can’t see you with another guy, but you’re supposed to be fine with him going out with other girls.

It is as if you have all the bad parts of a relationship and none of the good. But he gets the good and none of the bad.

You are worthy of a guy who treats you as you deserve. You may not want to give up the little good that comes with this situation for being single, but having self-respect and standards is key. If you want to be happy you need to know you deserve it.

If you keep letting him treat you badly, you’ll start to believe that’s all you deserve. And that is just not true.

What to do when he won’t commit but he won’t let go

In this situation, the most important factor is self-control. It is not easy. I can tell you that much. I have been in this exact situation for more than four years. But it does not have to take you that long to find your way out. Let my mistakes be your lessons.

Hopefully my years of emotional turmoil can help you escape this relationship tug of war sooner rather than later.

1. Give him an ultimatum

Don’t just give him an ultimatum, stick to it. That is the most important part. If you really want to make it work and think he is your soulmate *I hope not since he sounds like an idiot*, you have to tell him how it is. Right now, he is in complete control. But it is your turn to take the wheel.

Tell him that if he can’t at least give you the respect of commitment and offer you all that you offer him, then you’re out the door. The only reason this method doesn’t work out is that he knows you’re bluffing. He knows you won’t stay away from his charm for long.

This is why you really need to stick to your guns. If he isn’t willing to even meet you halfway, delete his number. Stay busy so he isn’t on your mind. [Read: How to successfully stay away from a bad seed]

And be wary of the other reason this doesn’t usually work. This dud is a master manipulator. By not committing but not letting you go, he has gotten used to how things work.

He will change his behavior for a while, but only long enough for you to think he changed. Then, right when you’re happy he falls back into his same old pattern. And this continues to happen over and over. [Read: How to make him realize all your worth]

If you notice that this is what you’re going through, get out. I really can’t sugar coat it, because that is the only option. It may seem easier to stick it out because sort of being with someone is better than being alone, but it really isn’t.

2. Have hope

One of the reasons that so many women stay in this sort of faux relationship for so long is because they are numb to it. That was one of the many reasons I stayed for so long.

You’ve been lied to, cheated on, and treated badly so much by this one person that you’ve gotten used to it. It almost doesn’t even hurt anymore because you expect it. And dealing with that seems easier than finding someone new, opening up, and letting them possibly hurt you. But what you have to realize is that not every guy sucks.

It seems like taking what you’re used to is better than taking another risk. Sure, this guy isn’t your Prince Charming, but he could be worse, right? Sure, but it could also be better, way better.

There are good guys out there, and they will be better than this loser. Sure, it could take time and patience and a few lonely nights at home, but it is worth the wait.

And if you think being single is so bad, wait until you go to sleep like a baby at night knowing there is no one cheating on you, ignoring your texts, or lying to your face. [Read: You can enjoy being single and have the life you want]

3. Talk to a friend

If you can’t seem to work up the courage to end it on your own, go to a loyal friend. And not your friend that tells you what you want to hear, the friend that tells you what you need to hear no matter how harsh or blunt it might be.

If you don’t know who that is, she is probably the one who grinds her teeth every time you bring up this guy that won’t commit but won’t let go. And every time you make an excuse for him, she rolls her eyes.

She is the one that will get you pumped up and inspired to be a strong and independent woman. Don’t overlook the power of a good friend. This girl is looking out for you. [Read: What makes a good friend great?]

She knows you’re unhappy and trying so hard to make it work. This girl has your best interest at heart, so hear her out.

4. Do not take no for an answer

If I learned anything from being in this garbage situation, it is that leaving is not easy. Even though he won’t commit to you he refuses to let you be with anyone else or even be alone.

He wants to control you. Even if you think he has good intentions or know he has a sad history, it is no excuse.

This guy has been playing you long enough. Don’t let him try to charm his way out of this. He knows how to push your buttons. Go in knowing that and be prepared.

Once you have realized you can and will do better without him, hold your own. Go into this refusing to take no for answer. Let him mansplain the situation, freak out, threaten, beg, but as long as you walk away knowing he no longer has power over you, you’ve won. [Read: How to stick up for yourself in a toxic relationship]

5. Cut him out

If after the final conversation he still haunts you, it is time to cut him out. Whether he calls you, texts you, or likes all your thirst traps, he is trying to get in your head.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a friend ask why he messages her on her birthday or likes her photos if he won’t commit. It is because he wants an ego boost. He wants to know that you’re thinking about him. Or, he’s just bored. [Read: Practical tips to help you avoid dating an annoying douchebag]

The best way to handle this is not to interact, but the opposite. Block him. It may seem juvenile, but if he continues to check in, block him on all social media. Even block his number. This is for your mental health. It isn’t about being petty.

You will be so much better off. You’ll feel happier, healthier, and lighter knowing you’ve dropped 180 pounds or so of the dead weight you’ve been lugging around for way too long.

And although I am morally opposed to ghosting, that may be exactly what he needs. This guy isn’t a decent human being so the regular dating rules don’t apply.

Give him a taste of his own medicine with a side of bite. Cut him out. Stop answering! Hopefully, he will eventually get the hint that you are thriving without him dragging you down. He won’t commit but he won’t let go, so let him go.[Read: 12 perfect ways to ghost someone and make a clean get away]

If you feel guilty even though he doesn’t deserve it, set him up with this, “Listen I need time to live my life without you so I won’t be answering you for a while. I hope you understand.” If he still doesn’t leave you alone after that, it is his problem, not yours.

Stay busy

I wanted to add this in at the end, as its very own section. This is so important. If you don’t find things to occupy your time and attention all this hard work will be for not.

He won’t commit but he won’t let go. That means he will keep trying. He will show up somewhere somehow. He will get under your skin.

Maybe he’ll post a picture with another girl. Or maybe he won’t reach out and then you’ll miss him and wonder why he stopped trying.

All of this makes you overanalyze his behavior and your past. You just put so much effort into being confident and knowing what you deserve, so go for it. [Read: How to forget about him for good]

Drop his ass. Don’t let him get to you. Take up a new hobby. Go out on casual dates. Make plans with your friends. Do what you need to in order to stay active and happy.

Work on your confidence with self-love and me-time. The more practice you have with learning your self-worth the easier it will be to forget all about him.

[Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend you need to leave immediately]

When he won’t commit, but he won’t let go, give him one final chance if you really think he deserves it. If he doesn’t meet your expectations, go and live your fabulous life without his childish games.

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...