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Santa Monica, Women, Dating

The Dating Report: Commitment Confusion - How To Avoid Getting Hurt

Anthea Kerou, Columnist
Santa Monica Mirror Archives
Anthea Kerou, Columnist

Posted Jul. 11, 2013, 8:13 am

Anthea Kerou / Dating Columnist

Hi Anthea,

I have a huge problem with the guy I’ve been seeing for four months. At first he was amazing and fun, he wanted to spend a lot of time with me. But now he always wants to be with his friends at parties with other girls instead of me. What gives? I thought we were boyfriend and girlfriend but now I’m not so sure. This situation keeps happening to me where a guy seems so committed at first then pulls away. What can I do to avoid continuing to get hurt like this and find a guy who wants a commitment? – Fernanda, 29

Dear Fernanda,

Thanks for your question! A lot of women have trouble in the early stages of dating.

Four months is not long and men tend to need more time to decide if they want to commit. The fact that you are ‘not sure’ you have a commitment means you definitely do not!

Sorry to tell you but this man is not your boyfriend if he is prioritizing spending time with other women over you. It’s best to shift your focus to new opportunities.

We tend to mess up the transition from casual dating to commitment which can make a guy lose interest or feel smothered.

Here are some tips to help you navigate the choppy waters of an early relationship and make sure next time you get the commitment you deserve.

Have you forgiven your ex?

And your parents and best friends for that matter?

Forgiveness is the first step in being ready for a true intimate partnership.

Do you have some deeply ingrained negative beliefs about men due to your past relationships? Make it a daily practice to purposefully forgive all who have hurt you.

Are you dating multiple people causally?

Don’t commit to exclusivity when you haven’t been asked for it outright.

A lot of women give exclusivity by default which is giving up your power of choice.

Keep it casual and friendly for as long as possible.

Are you stating your relationship goals when asked?

When a man asks you what you are looking for are you honest? Can you say with confidence that you are looking for an exclusive boyfriend, or a lifelong partnership leading to marriage and family? Or do you dodge the question by saying you’re not looking for ‘anything serious’?

A quality man will also want to know he’s not wasting his time either.

Are you reserving intimacy for your exclusive monogamous partnership?

If you are giving intimacy freely it actually blocks you from being vulnerable and available to a man. Also when sex is introduced into a relationship your emotions can get heightened and frenzied, making it difficult to evaluate situations and stay true to yourself.

Don’t hold a man to boyfriend standards when he hasn’t agreed to a boyfriend status.

The most important thing you need to feel secure and loved in your relationship is for him to pursue a commitment with you. And the most important thing for him is for it to be his decision to become exclusive.

This part sucks because it’s going to require patience on your part.

You cannot manipulate a man into becoming your boyfriend by giving him free girlfriend benefits and sending him a commitment bill later.

You can only say yes or no to what he is offering.

So you must listen carefully to his intentions. Some women have a habit of giving away exclusivity, intimacy, time, and attention to a relationship that has not reached a monogamous level yet.

Work on raising your standards and you will be in a much better place the next time a wonderful man comes along.

Anthea Kerou is a Certified Holistic Health Coach based in Santa Monica specializing in dating coaching. She is available for private coaching sessions, email Alternatively,  visit or for more information.

Post a comment


Jul. 11, 2013, 12:49:41 pm

Elham said...

Great advice. I think as women we a lot of times give away our power by committing too fast.

Aug. 7, 2013, 10:27:09 am

Eleanor said...

Alice Miller, in her book The Body Never Lies, says specifically that the rush to forgive others who have hurt us can actually hinder our healing from the hurt/trauma, whether from parents or lovers, or friends. I am happy I read her book, which has helped me to heal deeply and find self-understanding and the need to be "on the ground" about self and others, not caught in wishes and what might have been.

Sep. 17, 2014, 2:10:51 pm

Jodaniel said...

Hi I been seeing this boy for almost a year , but a day a go I was at the mall with out him knowing , and saw him with my school friend what should I do

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