The Makeover Project

Dear Dr. Darcy:

I'm at my whit's end. I've been "dating" (seeing, talking to, hanging out with, going out with) this 34 year old guy, for a year and a half.  [He] was in an 8 year relationship that he seems to have not gotten over and his break up is going on almost 2 years.  He says he doesn't know what he wants, he is not ready for a serious relationship, he wants to see me and other people. I love him. I just don't know if I can continue to play this non-exclusive dating game. He went to therapy sessions twice but doesn't seem to keep going due to the therapist always reverting to [discussions] of attachment theory and having [him] talk about [his] mom and dad issues... He stops listening to the therapist once she talks about that. What do you think I should do? When we first started going out he never said he wasn't looking for anything serious, it wasn't until he thought it was serious at 6 months that he freaked out and gave me the whole "it's me, not you speech" and made it clear he wanted to date me and others.

ANSWER

Although your guy never expressed to you that he didn’t want to be in a committed relationship, having just come out of an 8-year relationship, I suspect that the signs were there.  In your defense, it’s not your responsibility to read people’s minds.  That said, the male gender isn’t exactly known for its love of expressing deep felt emotions, thoughts and feelings, so it creates a bit of a quandary/train wreck when the signs are there, they aren’t read, and the feelings aren’t expressed.  Then again, you knew that.

You’re hoping that by sending the guy to therapy, he’ll work out his issues and come back to you equipped to be in a committed relationship.   And although he probably didn’t want to go to therapy in the first place, off he went, only to be turned off by the shrink who wanted to psychoanalyze his childhood issues instead of focusing on his here-and-now problems.   That’s the thing about baggage ~ there’s always some reason why we’re not able to give it our full attention. Particularly when we don’t want to change.

Girlfriend, you’re focusing on the wrong makeover.  If you want to do a makeover that you have a chance of succeeding with, do your own.  Stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself why you’ve wasted 1 ½ years shtupping a 34-year old who has commitment issues.  You’re bright enough to write an intelligible question. You're insightful enough to know that you need some help with this situation.  With these assets, why settle for a douche bag who wants to fuck other women?  I’ll tell you why:  You need therapy yourself.  Your self-esteem is compromised which is why you’re with the DB.  Get yourself into counseling to supercharge your sense of self and before you know it, you’ll be able to clean house and make room for a real man in your life.