To be honest I don't think he is scared to take the next step. I do think he likes you and has feelings for you but it seems to me that you are not setting boundaries and voicing your opinion and standards in this relationship so he will eventually take you for granted. I know this isn't the answer you want to hear but I am here to give you the truth through years of experience. Right now, he has you when he wants you and he does not have anything pushing him to be with you. Some questions I would ask is why does it not bother you that he is touchy feely with other women? Becuase you don't want to push him away? Or Don't want to come off bossy, controlling, or needy? If so, then this will push a man away because he will take you for granted. Now, if you are open to open relationships then that's ok too. Just trying to touch all bases here. But moving forward you need to know your good enough and not an option to this man. Go radio silent for 30 days! Also, challenge yourself to do some new activities to keep your mind busy. I know this will be hard but do this. :) I invite you to reach out to me for a coaching session too if you would like so we can get some actions into play.
Instead you’ll focus on filling your life with things you love doing, things that make you happy, things that make you feel good. Fill your life up and LIVE HAPPY. While you’re giving him space to miss you and worry that he’s lost you forever (which will make him want you back more and more), you’ll be getting STRONGER by lifting your mood and happiness up, up, up…
Big or small, you have a few options. You could try and sort this out on your own (you’ve probably already tried that); do nothing and see if it somehow gets better (probably not), or you could take the plunge and go see a professional – a couple therapist (a decidedly better if somewhat scary idea). The therapist has a leg up over the other options in a few ways. One is perspective – she is looking at your relationship from the outside, rather than in the emotionally stuck middle that you are undoubtedly in. Not only does this make it easier for her to be a voice of reason and reality, but she can also see the greater gestalt that, up close, you cannot. But the other big advantage is that she probably thinks about relationship problems and solutions a bit differently than you might.
Engage in an activity together: Rather than allowing the distance to continue, work to find something to do that gives you a chance to be together. It may be a board game, shooting baskets, taking a walk or even playing a video game. Sometimes, it’s best to just be together in silence, rather than forcing your child to talk. If your child is resistant, keep the door open and continue to look for opportunities to spend time together.
Thank you, Ray. I needed a male’s perspective, I’m hurt & all my girl friends are angry, so I can relate to almost all of these posts. I have been with a man that “needs his space” & needs a woman to be understanding about it. It’s hard for me because although we have been in a relationship for just a week over a year, I’ve been in love with him for 20. We had a 2 year off & on thing back then & I was very young & I did not understand him back then. Although I understand him now, it still hurts, & the fear is always there, nagging at me, bringing up thoughts like, is he wanting to see someone else? Am I the one pushing him away with my feelings? Why does he not love me the way I love him? Always wondering if there is someone else, but never really believing it. He told me from day one (a year ago) how he was, & I guess I decided back then I loved him enough I could handle his occasional distance & that I had enough love to push through it.
This man is clearly into you, romantically, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. He’s making that clear with his words and actions. He is making an effort to connect, to spend time with you, and is public with his interest and affection. I think you are getting in your own way. It sounds like you need to re-evaluate your expectations of what love/attraction/romance should look like . You say:
The rule here is that process always trumps content. When emotions heat up, the problem in the room is the emotions, not whatever you are arguing about. Unfortunately, when emotions kick in, we’re tempted to ramp up the content as a way of dealing with emotions – you want to get the other person to understand, damn it, and you’re likely tempted to fight to the death to make your point. Anything you say is like throwing gasoline on a fire – it's likely to be misheard, misinterpreted.