I love her, but I'm not ready to commit

A couple holding hands.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • If he takes good care of you in all other areas and this is the only issue you are having trouble with, I would encourage you not to panic.
  • Notably, for some men staying at home is something of a chore.

Q: My girlfriend and I have been going out for six months.

At about the three-month mark, she started raising the issue of dating exclusively. I really care for her, but I wasn’t ready for exclusivity. Still, I agreed. Recently, I almost hooked up with a girl I met at yoga, and would have if she hadn’t backed out. 

Please tell me how to handle this. I think I could be exclusive with my girlfriend in the future, but I am not there yet.


Of course, it would have been better to be honest with your girlfriend. Exclusivity in dating should not feel like jail. But I empathise. I get how you might have agreed because you wanted to please her (or wished you were ready to commit). But “you have gone wrong.” Talk to your girlfriend right away.

Say: “I really care about you. But I agreed to exclusivity before I should have. I feel confined by it, and that’s not right. Is it possible for us to step back and keep dating, without that promise?” (Confessing your aborted hookup strikes me as needlessly provocative. It would be the only thing she hears, and it’s beside the point. Your premature agreement is the main issue.)She may say no, and you may lose the girl. And your problem may be with commitment generally, not with her. But until you work that out, it isn’t fair to continue as you are, whether you dally on the side or white-knuckle-it-out, seeing only her in an arrangement that’s uncomfortable for you. There are no fixed timetables in relationships, and temptations often arise. But next time, don’t agree to anything until you are eager to give it your best shot.

He doesn’t care about me and our kids


Dear Kitoto,

After five years of marriage, my husband has taken little care of me and our two children.

To him, it about his friends, job and family. I have been very lonely so I offered to get a separation from him until he decides what he wants, but he begged me to stay.

I am not part of the furniture. How can he say he loves me when does all these things that annoy me?



Sorry for what you are facing in your relationship. It is commendable how you have managed for five years.

As much as some men find it a struggle to show romance to their wives, love is not complete until it is accompanied by loving actions.

Depending on a man’s background, exposure or associations, he can pick up habits that can negatively affect his marriage.

I suggest that you evaluate your home environment: Does is provide the kind of atmosphere that is welcoming for him to come back to.

What do the two of you spend time doing when he gets home? Notably, for some men staying at home is something of a chore.

Somehow they come alive when they are with other people. Maybe you could ask whether you and the children can accompany him when he visits his folks.

If he takes good care of you in all other areas and this is the only issue you are having trouble with, I would encourage you not to panic.

With help, such men can learn, if well exposed. I would suggest that you seek out a good marriage course that both of you can attend.

This will greatly improve the way you relate with, and treat, each other.

He says he loves me but still he's close to his baby mama


Dear Kitoto,

My husband and I lived in a come-we-stay marriage for almost six years before legalising our marriage. We had earlier on been in a relationship since in high school but later parted ways when we lost contact.

Later on we met again and thus when we decided to get married. By that time my husband had sired two kids with his neighbour, with whom he settled the issue of the children’s maintenance in court. Since they had not been living together, we decided to marry under customary law. After six years of customary marriage, we later decide to legalise our marriage at the Attorney-General’s. Now, two years later, my husband has sired another child this year with the mother of his kids. When I ask him what’s going on, he says I should not complain since he loves me, and that he has never abandoned me although I am childless.

I have a chronic illness and he keeps reminding me that I should not worry since he is with me instead of being with his children. My worry is that I don’t know what to do although he is trying hard to meet my demands and those of his other “family”. I would appreciate your advice.



Relationships are about couples reaching agreements in many areas that affect their marriage. Among these areas is the commitment to the marriage. What I see is an assumption on your part that this man was going to remain committed and faithful to you after getting those two children. No wonder her went ahead and had another child with this lady.

From what you have written, I am not really sure what agreement you had with him. Maybe his perspective of the relationship is totally different from yours.

It appears that your husband’s relationship with this other woman never really ended. Unfortunately, since you cannot have children, he has taken this and used it to further his relationship with this woman. The fact that you legalised your wedding at the AG’s is not a guarantee that he will remain faithful.

I suggest that you candidly make you observations known. If you feel you are being taken for a ride, then be open and forthright about it. In addition, the fact that you are unwell should be reason enough to deal with this issue conclusively.

 It is only you who can tell what you want out of this relationship. The time you have been together should have given you some insights into the type of man your husband is and where you fit in his life. Knowing this is key and will help you make a wise decision.

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