My boyfriend and I broke up this evening. He was acting strangely all night, and a comment he made finally spurred me to confront him with the conversation that I knew we must have.

A little background – We are both recovering addicts. We have been together for 2 months (pretty much every day). We both work in the addiction field; me as an executive and he part-time while he completes his second masters degree in education. We met in a work capacity; our separate organizations work conjointly on a specific project which he heads on his end, and me on mine. This project is permanent and requires our interaction at least once a day.

When we met, sparks flew from the first moment. Neither of us have ever experienced anything like it. As we grew to learn more about each other, our similarities actually became scary. For example, we live in California, but grew up in the same town in New York. Our time together is the most fun, relaxed, hysterical experience either of us has had sober.

In our first few weeks, he told me things like “neither of us will ever have to date anyone else, ever again.”  I too was immediately smitten. Let me stop and say that I don’t fall easily. In fact, I am INCREDIBLY dismissive when it comes to men; I’ve always known what I want, and if a man doesn’t generally fit the bill, I’m not willing to waste my time AT ALL.

Finally, this evening he made a comment that was generally about his unwillingness to commit to a plan we had made two days ago for my rare day off tomorrow. I felt that I needed to confront him immediately. Basically he told me that I was correct, that he thought he was ready for a relationship, but that he is too stressed to add another commitment/priority to his life, and that he is unwilling to be a bit uncomfortable and put me somewhere on his list of priorities.

My question comes in here. Toward the end of our hour-long conversation he said the following:

1. You are the best thing that has ever happened to me in my sober existence
2. I have never had a better time than the time we spend together
3. You have so much going for you- you’re brilliant, beautiful, and you have a great career
4. We are two halves of the same whole

Ok, so when a man feels all of these things supposedly, how could he just let me go like that?  He asked what we would do about work. My reply was that work is work and I am a professional.

Is there hope that he’ll come to his senses? I’m in love with him.

Many, many thanks and happy holidays.


Dear T,

I’m sorry to hear about your unfortunate breakup. I’ll try to cut straight to the chase and get to main points in your letter. The most important thing that you and all the other shell shocked women out there who have experienced similar situations to yours must take to heart is the following insight that I believe to be the whole truth, and nothing but the truth: When a man is ready to commit (and marry), he does. It doesn’t matter how old he is, what he does for a living, where or if he went to school…when he makes the decision to commit to one woman, for better or for worse, he will. Yup, it’s that simple. But until he makes that decision, it just won’t happen.

Based on this golden nugget of wisdom I’ve just laid before you, all the points you make about how great, beautiful, and wonderful he thinks you are and how you are two halves of a whole are IRRELEVANT. It’s not that they aren’t true and that he really doesn’t mean it. I’m confident that he meant every word that he said about what he thinks about you. But vis-a-vis commitment his words are irrelevant, because he clearly is not ready to commit.

How do I know he’s not ready to commit? Because he very clearly and politely told you so when he said, “that he thought he was ready for a relationship but that he is too stressed to add another commitment/priority to his life, and that he is unwilling to be a bit uncomfortable and put me somewhere on his list of priorities.” He was obviously infatuated with your beauty and charm and anxious to engage in a passionate romance. Once the initial excitement began to wear off and your serious intentions began to sink in, it was time to move on. It’s really got nothing to do with you. You didn’t do anything wrong. He’s just not ready, period.

“Is there hope that he’ll come to his senses? I’m in love with him.” It’s possible that he will decide that it’s time to settle down and commit, and then he’ll come knocking at your door. More likely, he’ll continue having short lived romantic flings and leave a trail of broken hearts until at some point in his life (maybe never) he decides to get serious. Should you wait around hoping that it happens? I think you know the answer to that one.

You’ve made the right decision by cutting off contact with him except for your professional relationship at work. My only suggestion to you is that perhaps you shouldn’t be so, “INCREDIBLY dismissive when it comes to men”. Maybe you should reevaluate your list of requirements and give some men just a little bit of a chance to prove their worthiness before dismissing them right away?

Be strong, stay focused, and good luck on finding your true soul mate!


Rabbi Arnie Singer dated for 15 years before meeting his Bashert. He is currently a dating and relationship coach in Manhattan and the founder of
One Comment
  1. There is another alternative. It just maybe that he is saying that he does not want to have to prioritize his love life. Meaning, you should both be flexible on doing nothing, even if you had a special day planned. A love life can be seen as a place of rest and re-charge, and sometimes we all need a ‘let’s just hang out, stay at home, and watch a movie day’ even if something major had been planned. Avoid having to schedule time together – just let it happen.

    Give him a couple of days, and call him and ask him if he wants to hang out, but this time around let him know that you are willing to be more easy going with your days off so that you can both re-charge.

    Long term relationship success is not about giving up so easily. It’s about getting through these kinds of challenges. Not to say that this relationship MUST work. But try a little harder by being more relaxed.

    When we confront someone at a time when they need to rest & re-charge, they generally do not respond in a way that they would respond in a well-rested state. So he too may be waiting for the call.


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