The truth is some men are afraid of love
So here’s the deal.There’s this guy. The love of my life. We met one day (by accident) and we knew. The magic was almost touchable. It was an enormous thing between us two. We lived far apart but we kept on talking on the phone everyday, every night, and we hadn’t even kissed. It went on for months. We were really young, but we knew what was happening was a big deal. We talked about the day we would get married. He said he never felt this way for anybody else and how weird it was. We couldn’t describe it, and the word love wasn’t enough.
One special day, we kissed for the first time, months after we first met. It was like it was my first kiss. I felt so strongly about him and I knew he did too. When I went home he immediately texted me ‘you’re really the one I wanna marry someday.’
We dated for a short period of time. He was a 16 year old kid and probably got scared of the dimension of it and disappeared. So it was my one true broken heart ever since. I’ve been with other guys, and been in love, but nothing compared to it. Somehow I knew he would come back.
In all my moral conscience, I wouldn’t take him back. Years went by and sometimes he tried reaching me (for as unbelievable as it may sound, 3 times, right in the days I’d broken up with other boyfriends, and he had no way to know, for he was really far away and we have no friends in common.) I never gave in.
One day, he tried again. He told me everything I’d been waiting to hear all those years. Then he wrote me the most significant letter I’ve read. He never forgot me, he was a stupid dumbass as a kid but had grown up and was really sorry for everything. And believe me I can tell truth from lie. Especially when it comes to him.
I’ve never been naive. He loved me, the way no other ever did, and I was really special to him. His friends all told me I had no idea how much he adored me and kept saying that. I gave in and we got back together. It was perfect – movie perfect, you have no idea at all. No one does. And I thought it was finally coming together. But it didn’t last a month until he said, on the phone:
‘Hey..what’s this thing we have going on here?’
‘I don’t know. It’s weird.’
‘It is. But I don’t know. At this time of my life I’m not in for something less serious.’
‘You mean you’d want something serious?’
‘Kind of, yeah.’
‘Me, on the other hand, things could be better in my studies/family situation, and I don’t think I’d be able to give you what you need, what you deserve right now.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean charlotte, that I love you, you’re everything to me, you’re the most special thing that’s ever happened to me, and I know I’m never gonna find someone as good as you, and don’t think I don’t appreciate everything that’s been happening, but… I don’t know. I really don’t.’
‘You don’t know what exactly?’
‘I don’t know… I dont know. Maybe… we should try being friends, because we’re better at being friends than in a relationship.’
My world fell apart when he said this. I kept my cool, took a deep breath, and said: ‘I’m never gonna be able to be your friend. That’s never gonna happen. It never did, it never will. It doesn’t make sense.’
‘I don’t know what to say… I’m perfectly aware that the immature one in this is me…’
‘Then let me know when you do know what to say.’ Then I hung up. And it ended like this. WHAT SHOULD I DO?? I really love him and I don’t wanna lose him. But I think I just did. Weird thing is I know he still loves me. How can I cope? I know there’s only second best after him.
Wow, what a heartbreaking story! I cannot believe how brave you were in sticking to your guns and holding out for more than friendship. I understand that you love him and don’t want to lose him.
At this point, you have only one option that I can see. Before you choose this option, you need to understand what’s going on with him. Clearly he’s terrified by the love he feels for you. We can call his problem intimacy or commitment phobia but the label doesn’t matter. The bottom line is he’s scared poopless.
Why is love so frightening? In truth most people resist leaping off the ledge of love. Actually loving fully involves a death of the self. For a man to love a woman properly, he must put her first. Putting another person above oneself means the death of selfishness. This leap toward selflessness is more difficult for men. Women, on the other hand, are biologically programmed to put others first. After all, motherhood is a role that requires a great deal of selflessness. So selflessness comes more naturally to women than it does to men. This may partially explain why men resist giving over to love.
Men also struggle with the fear of loss of independence and freedom. This fear is magnified if the man was raised by a mother who was controlling or invasive. As an adult, this man will resist giving himself over to a woman, for fear that she, too, will devour his self and eat him alive.
If that’s not enough, there is also the fear of loving and losing through death or abandonment. This fear is shared by both sexes.
When you add up all these fears, it’s amazing that we all don’t join religious orders and take lifetime vows of chastity.
Now that you understand what is likely going on in his head, you might consider tackling the problem head on. Call him and tell him you’ve been thinking about his predicament. Tell him that his problem isn’t immaturity and that time isn’t going to heal his fear. There are plenty of people who live their lives too crippled to form a lifelong attachment. They go to their graves never having resolved their fears. Tell him that the only way for him to resolve the issue is to identify the source of his terror and talk about it. Talking through the fears is the only way to resolve them.
He can certainly talk to you about his fears, but I’m not expecting an instant and miraculous cure. I also don’t encourage you to fall into the trap of becoming his therapist.
As for the question of whether or not to be his friend. Certainly this would make him very comfortable. Your being his friend, without pushing for more, could be healing for him especially if he had a controlling, pushy mother. If you give him friendship without pressure, this could overcome his fear in that he will come to realize that you, unlike his mother, aren’t out to deprive him of his soul, identity or vital bodily parts! If you discover that his fear of taking the plunge is predominantly the result of having had a controlling, pushy mother, you might opt to give him friendship without demands for more on a temporary basis, to enable him to heal.
If, on the other hand, his fear is due to the other factors I described (fear of loss and abandonment) your being his friend without asking for more will not help him resolve the problem; rather it will help him stay stuck. All this being said, you need to be comfortable. I sense that friendship would torture you because you would always be waiting for the day that he comes around.
I think the best move for you would be to tell him that you love him, encourage him to do therapy. Tell him to contact you again when the problem is resolved. If you’re still single at that time, then you both come together at that point in the future.
Please let me know what happens.