Love and commitment are two different things. If a man won’t talk about sharing a future with you, the only thing you can conclude is that you are in a relationship without a long-term commitment. Whether he loves you or not is a different kind of question. Love does not always lead to commitment, so an important thing for you to consider is how you feel about being in a just-for-right-now relationship and how long you wish to stay there.
What Love Does - - and Doesn’t Mean
Dr. Will Meek, Assistant Director of Counseling and Training at the University of Portland, emphasizes the difference between romantic love and committed love. Romantic love is based on intense feelings that eventually dwindle. Committed love is a choice that people make to build a life together. Romantic love doesn’t always lead to committed love. It is possible that your man had, or has, feelings of love for you. But that is not enough for a future together.
Don't Use Sex to Predict Love
Sometimes people confuse sex with love and commitment. They assume a man loves them because during sex they feel strong feelings of attachment. But the man may not share those feelings. According to the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, women's bodies produce more hormones that cause feelings of attachment and love after sex, while men's experience may be more towards pleasure than attachment. When people confuse sex with love, they mistakenly assume the strong connection they feel is mutual and they assume that this will naturally lead to a future together. But in reality, it is possible to have sex that is satisfying without both parties being in love, and it is possible to be in love and have no intention to commit. So how you feel during sex is not a good predictor of whether he loves you, and having sex to gain someone's love or commitment is not very effective.
Ask the Right Questions
Ask your guy if he loves you and why he loves you. Ask yourself whether he treats you in a loving way, not during sex but in everyday life. This should give you a picture of how he feels. If you are at the stage of life where you are planning your future, it would be perfectly legitimate to want to know what kind of future your boyfriend would like for himself, if he wants to marry, if he sees you as a potential marriage partner, if he wants to have children. You can say, “I see that you don’t like to talk about these things, but it’s important to me to know the man I’m with and how he sees his life.”
Put the Ball in Your Court
If he is still unwilling to talk about the future, this actually does provide you with information. If he can’t talk about it, it is reasonable to assume that he is not interested in planning or committing. You might wonder what the big secret is. If he's not ready to make decisions about his future, why would he not just say so? It's possible that the relationship is meeting his needs right now and he is afraid that if he tells you that he is not interested in planning the future right now you will leave. So a more important question might be, do you want to be with a guy who doesn’t feel he can share his thoughts and feelings honestly with you? And, if he does love you but doesn't want to commit, you need to consider if that's enough for you.
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