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Dear Chantal

I met a guy I want to commit to because he’s perfect! He’s handsome, successful, hardworking, kind, and funny. He’s a single dad and takes good care of his 11-year-old daughter, co-parenting well with her mom. He’s really everything I’ve wanted, right down to great in bed!

We only see each other maybe one night a week because of his busy schedule. If he’s not at one of his daughters sporting events he’s in another city working, but we skype a few nights a week when he’s away at so I know he’s not pretending to be out of town and fooling around with other girls.

He says he’s not looking for a relationship because he doesn’t have time and that his main focus right now is his work and his daughter, but I think deep down he’s just scared because his last serious relationship ended in a disaster.

I really want a relationship with him, and I’d love some advice on getting him to commit.

Thanks for your help!




Dear Toni,

I have some good news and some bad news. The good? You’ve discovered one of the gems out there, a Real Man.

The bad? He’s telling you exactly what he wants in life, and unfortunately, though this might sound harsh, it’s not you.

It sounds like you’ve met a great man who’s in the transition stage, rather than someone who’s actually looking for a relationship. It’s a big difference for men, and as women, we need to understand this phase because men don’t see things the same way we do.

See, as women, it’s much easier for us to inadvertently fall into a new relationship even when we consider ourselves unavailable, and simply not looking.

The kissing, sex, and cuddling we do with someone who started off as just a play-time friend become very bonding to our nurturing natures, and we begin to imagine a deeper relationship and connection.

This works out for us if the person we’re playing with happens to be looking for something more serious. But we can do ourselves a disservice when we take on a playmate who’s really just in it for the play.

Because men are much better at separating sex from intimate connections.

Their sexual biology is not as clearly attached to their emotional tides because for them sex is about planting a seed, while for us sex is about growing the seed.

We’re much more attached to the outcome because the baby grows inside us, and our subconscious, cave-woman brain knows we need to ensure its survival before conception. Back then, we’d do this by choosing a mate who was going to stick around and help us make sure this little life survived beyond infancy.

That can make us more attached to who we choose as sexual partners because subconsciously our brains are telling us we chose a mate, not just a playdate.

Not to say men don’t attach to mates, but the fact is they attach to the mate they’re ready to choose, rather than the person they’re, um, mating with.

Since their fertility literally has no cycle, unlike women, their sex drive and emotional attachment to sex is different. They literally choose which mode they’re in even before sex takes place – play or committing – and ultimately that can be very hard to shake up after the fact.

What I’m saying is, you have to believe the words coming out of his mouth.

If he’s saying he’s not looking for a relationship then hoping for one can be your downfall. Your desire for the amount of commitment and attention that a relationship requires will turn him off, and he’ll say “sorry, but I told you from the beginning this was just casual, and you’re getting too attached and demanding more than I’m willing to put in. So I’m going to have to end this now.”

What sucks is that his honesty will often have a twofold consequence for women who want more. One, hurt feelings of rejection. And two, a lingering bad taste in their mouths that all men are jerks. Which isn’t fair to the good men out there being honest about their intent.

Oprah once said one of her biggest life lessons came from the late, great Maya Angelou. “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

So Ladies, become a word nerd when it comes to men.

Listen carefully to what they say, and believe it despite what you want to believe. This will keep you from getting caught up with someone who isn’t looking for the same thing you are, and keep you from feeling hurt.

Absorb the truth, and make decisions based on knowledge rather than emotion.

That being said, can you win this man over and ultimately have a relationship? Maybe. But that depends on whether or not he’d consider you girlfriend material once his brain is ready for a relationship.

What is he looking for in a long term partner once he’s there? Study him, and you’ll learn his values. And if you’re two peas in a pod then it’s possible, but you’ll be playing the long game, and you can’t ask for monogamy in the meantime.

What do I mean by all that? Basically that he’s a free agent until he decides to choose a life partner, and you’d have to outlast any other girl he meets until he’s ready for commitment. Which might take years.


Men who are in this phase are sometimes also making their financial success and the raising of their children their number one commitments, and that likely won’t change until 1) their kids become so independent they no longer want dads focus and 2) their career is firmly settled.

Can you accept just being someone who takes care of his manly needs for the next several years, while he builds his career and raises his child? Can you patiently take what he offers and not demand more? Then maybe he’ll turn to you when life slows down and he wants a partner.

But there’s a catch.

You need to listen to his words before you go that route.

If he’s saying this is nothing more than temporary and that you should expect nothing even if you try to play the long game, then in his mind he already knows you’re not going to be the woman he’ll choose when that time comes. You’re already bumped from the list for whatever reason.

Listen carefully, and move on if that’s the case. Staying and waiting only means you’ll be waiting to be bumped off.

If he says, “maybe one day”, then there’s a possibility.

But again, you have to be patient and demand nothing. Is that what you’re looking for? Or do you want a man who’s ready right now to find a woman to commit to?

One thing is for certain though, now is not the time to commit your heart and soul to this man. He’s just not ready for it.


So in the meantime, I do suggest you read my book No More Assholes. This is the vetting process, designed to help you weed out guys who aren’t ready to commit so you’ll be available for the man who is.

Then I help you recognize him, so the next one you kiss will be the one that’ll curl your toes for as long as you like.

Having fun is fun until you want more from the one who just wanted fun. So when you’re ready for Mr. Commitment, use this guide to keep you from wasting any time. Life is way too short!

Chantal Heide - Canada's Dating Coach
Chantal Heide - Canada's Dating Coach
Chantal Heide is an Author and Motivational Speaker, focusing on dating and relationship building. Her books Dating 101, Comeback Queen, Fake Love Need Not Apply, No More Assholes, After The First Kiss, Fix That Shit, Say Yes To Goodness, and Custom Made (available on this website, Amazon, and your favourite online book retailer) . View her BOOKS page for more information. Be sure to sign up for her mailing list (scroll all the way to the bottom to join, and get a free book!) and check out more free advice on Facebook, YouTube, and Itunes, as well as fun tidbits about her life on Instagram and Twitter.

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