Catherine asks: “I am six years into it with an emotionally unavailable man. It is not that he was dishonest about his unavailability, or that there were any of the red flags missing. He was separated, had lost a a baby, was in the process of divorcing his wife. But we got along so well, had very similar worldview, politics, lifestyle, music, really a great time was had. At least I have that.

Now he has told me that he is thinking about moving out of his apartment. This is where we spend most of our time together, because it has been my custom to ride my bike or bus over, stopping by the grocery store to pick up something to cook. I am an outstanding cook, and it is one of my main ways of expressing love, for my friends and family as well as him. He doesn’t like my house because it is old, worn down, and I’m kind of slobby. I have asked for a more grown-up domestic middle-aged type lifestyle and romance, but he is firm about the No Cohabitation Rule, and besides I’m messy.

He will move out of his apartment and go on the “sofa-surfing circuit” in order to not pay rent and save money in order to buy himself a condo, have housing security, and an investment to sell for his old age.

Did you notice that I am not written into this life plan? I can be deluded at times, but, yes, I noticed that too. I can’t really believe that that was an oversight on his part. I also notice that I was not included in the planning phase.”

I’m going to say something that you may or may not be ready to hear, and that’s that you are at a point where you need to recognise that you are trying to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. It doesn’t matter if he is honest or dishonest about the fact that he is emotionally unavailable; what matters is that there are men out there that recognise their issues and deal with them head on because they want to be different both for themselves and also so they can engage in healthy relationships. Your guy just does not have that desire. He wants to stay as he is.

You may think that you get on very well but in reality, you don’t. None of the things that you get on well about matter if you don’t get on well about the right things. The fact that you like the same music or politics is of absolutely no use to you – you could have that with a friend or work colleague. Many women make the mistake of believing that they have things in common with their guy but your common ground is actually not his common ground and you’re focused on the wrong things. This post ‘But we have so much in common’ illustrates this very common problem.

If you didn’t ride over to his apartment, I don’t think you’d see this guy. It’s convenient for him and he is making no effort. You’re expressing your love through cooking but he’s not appreciating it and he’s not expressing his love at all.

The untidiness is an obstacle that is convenient for him and certainly not one of critical factor – it stops him from making an effort to come to you and it gives him a reason to evade further commitment.

But fundamentally, what I see here is that you’re trying to create a situation that doesn’t exist. You want more than he can offer and is capable of giving, and in reality, you know this after six years, which is a hell of a long time.

He’s emotionally unavailable, incapable of commitment, doesn’t want to cohabit and wants to move out and sofa surf. How old is this guy? For someone who would slate you for untidiness, he has a cheek even suggesting that he go around kipping on other peoples sofas. This is cheapskate, using behaviour but it’s also an indicator of his mentality – he does not want to commit and you can be damn sure if my man came to me after six years, not with talk of cementing the relationship but of removing the one thing that enables you to have regular access to him (his home which is central to your relationship), I’d be telling him to beat it sharpish.

You’re right, you’re not part of his life plan and a big piece of advice I would give you is to stop listening to your mother. Your relationship with this man has no foundations and she should want better for you than for you to be throwing your life away on a man who barely sees you for who you are. Is this the best that your mother can want for you? Is this what she did with your father? You say they are happy so why would she want this for you? More importantly, why do you want this because remember that the man reflects how you feel about yourself and this man is telling me that you don’t like, love, or respect yourself enough. Deal with the whys of this and you will find that a heading nowhere relationship with this man is very unattractive.

Your thoughts?

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