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Relationships: What to do when your boy breaks a promise

Jessica-Anne Lyons

Fri May 03 2013


JESSICA-ANNE Lyons deciphers the mixed signals boys send when they promise to do something and don’t end up doing it. 

When a guy makes you a promise and then goes back on it, it can suck. A lot.

It doesn’t matter whether he’s just a party pash on a night out, the guy you’ve already been dating for a few weeks or your boyfriend of x-number of months. When someone tells you they’ll do something and they don’t, you can end up feeling a bit, well, crap.

So here are a few tips to help you decipher the mixed signals (and not text messages) guys often send.

So you gave him your number and he said he’d call, but…

It’s easy to let a situation like this take a chunk out of your self-esteem, but if a guy has your details and doesn’t bother to call you then you’re better off without him.

Obviously you need to give him some time. Don’t expect a call the day after, but if it’s been more than a few days since you swapped digits and still no contact then he’s either shy or, unfortunately, just not interested. Naturally, it’s much easier to lie and say you’ll call than to say, “Oh, well, I don’t really intend to see you again.” But really, it’s too bad for him because he let a catch like you get away.

You’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks and then he’s suddenly “unavailable”…

This one’s a bummer because if you’ve been dating for a while, you probably really like the guy. But before you pull the plug, give him a chance to explain. He could think you’re not interested and is pulling back or he could legitimately be really busy. Then again, he could just be over the relationship. Figuring out which one’s the right answer is the hard part. Try to get to the truth by sending him a short and sweet SMS. If you hear nothing back, forget him. If someone really wants to get in touch with you, they will.

You’ve been dating for a while, but now you can’t get a hold of him…

After a couple of months of dating, guys can sometimes start going back on plans and promises they’ve made. At this point in the relationship, he already ‘has’ you, so he’s probably questioning if he really wants to go the long haul. There’s no point getting mad at him for breaking promises like deciding last minute to not go on your weekend away (which is pretty rude). You’re better off showing him you can be just as happy without him by keeping busy doing the things you love. When he sees that, he might come around because he doesn’t want to miss the boat, so to speak.

Your boyfriend insists that he’ll do something (multiple times) but he just “never gets around to it”…

Once you’re in an established relationship with a guy, this can be totally, mind-bogglingly annoying. They say one thing (probably with the purest of intentions of doing it) but then they never do.

One guy I dated spilled soup on one of my tops and in an apologetic frenzy said he’d wash it for me. I insisted it was fine and I could wash it myself, but he was determined. At the time anyway. Fast forward a few weeks when I asked if he’d washed my top and he hadn’t. My top now has a pumpkin orange stain that can’t be rid of. Infuriating, right?

Next time your guy promises to do something, let him know how important it is to you and how happy it will make you when he does <insert whatever he’s promising to do here>. None of us are perfect, but if he really cares, he’ll do his best to keep his word.

And remember, if a guy is making you promises that he just can’t keep or doesn’t want to keep or just plain hurts you when he breaks his promises, then he really isn’t worth it.