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I’m sort of seeing this guy but he is still unsure of his feelings because he likes another girl, too. I found out that he kissed this other girl, yet he wants to keep the door open in our relationship. What do I do?

Shut the door. Here is why: This guy’s actions are ruled by his emotions, not by principles. Therefore, even if he does commit to you, you can rest assured that the relationship will only be as stable as his feelings. Once they change, so will he.

Furthermore, if he kissed another girl while expressing an interest in you, what message would it send him if you stuck around? It would tell him that such behavior is tolerable. To a guy, it looks as if you’re desperate for him to pick you. This will make him lose respect for you and will make you lose respect for yourself. So instead of waiting around, hoping that he will want you, shut the door and let him wish he deserved a girl like you.

When a woman does not demand the respect and commitment she deserves, she becomes her own worst enemy. Men treat her badly because she lets them. Therefore, don’t be afraid to say to a guy, “I will not sit here while you flounder around in indecision. If you can’t decide, I’ll take that as a good-bye.” When it comes to relationships, it is either 100 percent commitment or nothing. If he wanted to see other people, he should have had the guts to come to you and say so rather than sneak around.

On the other hand, if he had not committed to seeing you exclusively, then he was not being dishonest or breaking a commitment by seeing someone else. You may not like what he did, but that is one of the things that happens when you “sort of” see someone.

As you discovered, dragging on a vague relationship sets people up for problems. I’m sure you often hear of couples who say, “We’re not boyfriend and girlfriend, but we are seeing each other,” or, “We aren’t dating, but he told my friend that we are a thing.” Do not settle for a relationship that is just a “thing.” You deserve clarity when it comes to commitment. Girls who never learn to expect it often end up with a cohabiting boyfriend who, instead of proposing to her, gives her a “promise ring” because he is too scared to commit. She is flattered and pacified because any sign of commitment from him is exciting for her.

Now is the time to realize that great relationships do not “happen.” They are the result of a conscious decision to respect yourself. You need to learn this respect for yourself so that you do not constantly end up with guys who refuse to respect you. In the situation you are in now, this guy only deserves to see you on a “more than friends basis” if he has clearly ended the relationship with this other girl and intends to be with you exclusively.

Even if he does, I would not jump back into a relationship with him. He needs to see that you are not waiting on him hand and foot, instantly available should he become tired of dating someone else. Take your time and do not exhaust yourself by clinging to him. Also, do not expect an overnight character change in him, no matter how eloquently he speaks about a change in his heart.

Trust takes a long time to build, and if he expects you to trust him with your heart, there is a great deal of rebuilding that needs to happen. Since he has already broken some degree of a commitment to you once, there is no guarantee that this will not happen again.

Sometimes a girl will like a guy so much and will be so insecure that she accepts his deception and unfaithfulness as minor glitches in the relationship. He will say that he is sorry and he loves her, and she lets him right back to hurt her again. Do not make this mistake. Honesty is one of the most important elements in a good relationship. In the words of one marriage counselor, “To the extent that you are being deceived, there is no relationship.”[1]

Also, if he has just ended a relationship, you do not want to get him on the rebound. Take a good look at why he is breaking up with this other girl. This says volumes about a person. As I said elsewhere, some people jump from one relationship to the other according to how strong the feelings are. When the feelings are weak, they jump ship; when the feelings are strong, they jump aboard. They think that once the feelings are gone, love is gone. It turns out that they love the feelings of being “in love” more than they love the actual person.

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[1]. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, Boundaries in Dating (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2000), 46.

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