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You Asked: Is It Really Too Late?

Dear Sugar,

My boyfriend and I broke up but we still have to live together for another month while I get my finances in order and find a new apartment. We actually have been getting along better than we did before the break up, which is making it a lot harder for me to accept that it's really over. We are still intimate as well, which I know isn't a good idea, but we have a major connection and still really love each other.

Our story is this: We're both in our late 20s, dated for two years, and are both still struggling with money and our careers. He is an independent filmmaker who doesn't make much money, but really cares about his art. I lost my public relations job over the Summer and I took a much lower paying job this Winter, which I love but it barely pays the bills. Needless to say we have a lot of financial problems, and I was feeling like he was always putting his career before me. I also really wanted a commitment from him — not a proposal, but a commitment toward a future together and he couldn't give it to me. Why are guys always so afraid of commitment? And how do we get through this break up while we are still living together? We are obviously both still in love, so it's really hard on both sides.
— Stuck in a Bind Betsy

To see Dear Sugar's answer


Dear Stuck in a Bind Betsy,

It sounds like you aren't ready to break up, so have you both talked about the possibility of giving your relationship another shot? If that's not an option, I advise you to move out of the apartment ASAP. I understand that you're in a sticky financial situation right now, but going through the motions like nothing's changed is just going to make this process harder on the both of you. Do you have any friends or family members that you can stay with until you find another place? Does he?

Sure, men are very different when it comes to commitment, but if he saw a future with you, he'd be able to tell you so. I don't doubt that you still care very deeply for one another, but if you can't get what you want from him, you've got to put yourself first. There really is no way to get through this break when you're still very much together so if I were you, I'd sever your ties with him so you can find that level of devotion with someone else. I wish you luck.


Join The Conversation
sarasonne sarasonne 9 years
To most men, living with a girlfriend IS a major commitment.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
It's TUESDAY! do you know where your 15 year old is??? SCREWIN'! ok. first, WHY are you living with a man who has (in your terms) made a committment. ONCE again, THIS is why i don't believe in living with a man. and don't give me that cr*p about it being more affordable. get a studio apartment or a 1 bedroom that YOU can afford. NEVER move in with someone (romantically or platonic) where you can't afford the rent if somebody jumps ship, or you get the boot. i know you lost your job, but THIS is why you have to keep some emergency money. you're in your late 20s, not early. you know better. so you should've had something stashed. yes, i spend hundreds of dollars on shoes, but if i got fired right now, i got monies to cover my needs for 3 months. so, enough scolding on that stuff. you're still living with him, and he's still screwin' you. and you STILL have to get the steppin'. sounds like you're getting f*cked . . .both literally and figuratively. this guy is using you, and you're letting him. and this stuff about him puttin ghis career before you . . .DUH. that's what film people do. they're soooo d*mn deep like that. but even then, he should show you the love that you're saying you need. BUT, that ain't happening. you've just been downgraded from live-in girlfriend to f*ck-buddy who needs to move soon (bugga-boo). the solution? in my opinion; -don't eat lunch for a few weeks. save every paycheck you can possibly save. -get a second job or do some freelance PR or marketing (hell, even if you have to be a club promoter). -get out of that apartment if you can; ask to sleep on you BFF's sofa, whatever. get a hotel voucher from the government. but don't stay there anymore. because you will have a harder time doing the following . . . -STOP F*CKIN' YOUR EX!!!!!! if you do manage to move out, stop contacting him. it's OVER. move on. get YOURSELF together, and other aspects of your life will fall into place.
hope2be hope2be 9 years
Like Hotstuff, I don't understand thee, Dear Betsy. If he and you are living together, having a financial tie to each other, he's not out there cheating on you or dating other women/men (hey, who knows?) is that not a 'commitment?' Or is this because you want it 'said' to you? Which confused the heck out of me because yes, I think most guys are afraid to 'say it' although their action are all pointing to it (move in together, share bills, share a life, being exclusive). Just admit that you want a 'proposal.' I think you do. I've been living w/ my bf for the last 2 years and I understand that guys are v. into their job at times, and sometimes you'd think they put you no. 2, but it's not always the case. And you need to know too just b/c someone keeps saying that they want to marry you, it doesn't mean sh!t, unless they do something about it (I've had someone who do that in the past to keep me as a gf). But I'm not telling u to stay, if you want to go and be released by your current relationship, go for it. And your action should stick w/ whatever you decide.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Hm, yeah doesnt sound like a break up to me. If you want to try again then you should talk to him about it, and just accept the fact that career comes first. If you dont, you should move back home with your parents and let it be. If its meant to be, it will happen for you.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Um, this happened with me and we ended up getting back together during the time we were living together and broken up. If you consider getting back together, you can still move out while you work on your finances and your relationship. Even though we got back together, I still moved out and now I have a new job and we are working on our relationship until we are ready to commit to marriage. Honestly, living together before you are married is great, but when problems come along, I think it is much more difficult than if you were simply dating or if you were married. I had financial problems, and it was awkward because I wasn't sure how much my boyfriend should support me through the rough times, and I kept thinking that if we were married, we would work through it together. Maybe that is what is causing you to want more of a commitment, you want more security. Try to separate your financial problems from your relationship problems!
hotstuff hotstuff 9 years
So what is this vague term commitment? You already live with him and share the bills so what is the "commitment" that you want? You want this man to promise to marry you in the future? You say you don't want a proposal but a "commitment" towards your future. What is that exactly? Maybe he's confused and wondering what you want from him. Is he to promise to be with you forever? Your talking out both sides of your mouth here. You don't want proposal but must have commitment. He's already committed to living with you and he isn't cheating , right? You want to separate, yet still live with him. You want to get through this breakup yet your still sleeping with him. I think your the one who really needs to sit down and figure out what you want in life. I think this breakup could be a good thing for you to figure out what you truly want in life...if only YOU will truly commit to this breakup.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I agree with Jude C. I do believe that relationships should be able to withstand the tough times, but if the guy just doesn't feel ready to commit because of his financial situation, then there isn't much you can do. Try to find a friend who you can live with for a while. Perhaps even move back in with your parents for a bit (if they live in the same area). You need to distance yourself from your living arrangement and focus on yourself. And stop the intimacy! Who does he think he is, getting it for free?
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
I think you both need time apart to get your lives sorted out, independently of each other, before considering whether you will fit together in the long term.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
If i have said it once, i have said it a million times. DONT MOVE IN WITH A BOYFRIEND. And this is just one reason why.
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
This is an awful situation to be in. I recently moved in with my boyfriend and if it didn't work out I could never imagine being able to continue living with him, much less be intimate with him. I think, like the collumnist said, you need to figure things out with him and then either try again or MOVE OUT. This situation will never have a possitve outcome if you just let it linger.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
well...wait, dont get a new one just yet. Take time to pull yourself back together financially & emotionally. THEN get a new one :)
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
I think you should continue with your plans to move out and leave your man. Time for a new one.
Mandy210 Mandy210 9 years
I was in the exact same situation only 7 months ago. I had trouble finding somewhere else to live so I stayed for another month, however, I made sure to keep the intimacy OFF. You have GOT to turn that off at once if you cannot give the relationship another go. Otherwise you are just letting him have exactly what he wants, no commitment. Like advised, you need to put yourself first and try to find somewhere to stay. I just so happened to move in with a friend who had broke things off with her boyfriend at the same time, but ended up letting him stick around too, until he found himself a place. (Which never happened) She stayed intimate with him, asked for a commitment after so long and he just couldn't give it to her, but is now with someone else. Ohhh boys. Mine, however, is still by himself, I just think he's the type of guy who doesn't want a commitment, period. He even tried dating someone else (clinger) and had to cut her off. He and I are still friends. We even talk about our relationships believe it or not... I still get mail there every once and a while and have to go get it, or he'll find things of mine I just left around the house. Its going to be hard, but if you care, try and keep him as a friend. There's a saying, if you love someone let them go... if they come back they're yours. If not, it wasn't meant to be. Give yourself a chance... one month after we broke up I met a fabulous guy who I'm still with. We've been together for 6 months now and let me just say he is 10 times the man my ex was! Put yourself first... it was hard but I got lucky!
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 9 years
I think the reason he doesn't want to commit is because you're giving him everything he wants without it. You guys broke up for a reason, but you just keep going on like you're in a relationship. So the reason he won't commit is because he gets everything he needs without even being in a relationship. Maybe if you actually had him go on without you for a while he would see the difference.
graceunderfire graceunderfire 9 years
My male cousin went through something like this. It wasn't that he didn't want to commit, he was just afraid of having to shoulder the burden of the finances. The male ego seems very sensitive when it comes to money-making. When he eventually found a stable job (that he loved AND had decent pay), he popped the question to his longtime live-in girlfriend. Keep in mind though, it was several years later. Your boyfriend's job seems like it has a bit of instability built in for the long haul. So unless he changes his profession (which seems unlikely), it may take years for stability to come. Are you willing to wait that long? The late 20s is when most women start feeling antsy about not being married yet...consider, are you willing to wait until you are 35 years old to be married?
sofi sofi 9 years
What even makes this a break up? You still live together, intimate with one another, and getting along better BUT broken up? You both have things to work out and living together won't help the situation- like Dear said. Go stay with someone else for a while. I can see why he can't make a commitment- he has money and career issues. I've had lots of friends worry about their boyfriend's lack of commitment, but it really means a lot to a guy to be settled, happy, and successful before they commit. It's a male thing, but he has to know he can provide for you- especially since you have financial issues of your own. You both have things to work out SEPARATELY right now and need space. You do seem to have a connection and love, so see what happens after each has time to work other things out- that may take a few months or a year, but other thing need to fall into place for the both of you. good luck!
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