ASK COLETTE: Intimacy and Commitment Issues
Here, Zoomer guru Colette Baron-Reid on dating a man with intimacy and commitment issues – and practising radical acceptance.
I’m dating a man who was sexually abused when he was young. He puts up walls, and we can’t get intimate. He also told me he that he can’t make a commitment and that he can only have sex with women he’s not in love with. How can I make him understand that, as the woman who loves him, I’m the right one for him? I can’t sleep at night. I love him so much. I want to help him. I believe that he has never known love until he has met me. —Just Trying to Help
Dear Just Trying to Help,
If your partner is telling you he cannot connect his sexuality with love and can only connect with a partner that he has no emotional relationship with, this is a sure sign this relationship is not going to be healthy for you.
The second piece I’d like to mention is that love alone is not enough to heal someone else. He has to want to get help and improve his opportunities for intimacy. That said, it’s obvious you care for him, but it sounds to me that you’re in a rescuing type of mood. Do you believe that by being needed by this man and being the one to help him, somehow that is enough to make him monogamous and capable of being in a loving relationship?
Please look deep within yourself and ask, “What is motivating me to help this man? Is it love or the need to be needed?” Do you want the power to rescue someone?
My advice is Radical Acceptance – right now. See it for exactly what it is.
If a man tells you that he can’t be intimate with a woman he loves and, on top of that, he doesn’t think he can make a commitment, run for the hills and find a reciprocal loving relationship for YOU! If you still want to help him, just be a supportive friend and nothing more.
Love and blessings,
If you have a question you would like to ask Colette, write to her at [email protected]. All published questions and answers will be anonymous – we honour and protect your privacy.