Relationships: What to do when your boy breaks a promise

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


Photo: Nithya Ramanujam

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.

There are 24 comments

  1. fiflo

    He promised to buy me a laptop for my birthday,he knows much I need it,and I tlod him I can buy it, but he insisted to buy it…and now nothing. Its so heartbreaking

  2. marquisha roberts

    my bf promised to take me to the movies, he promised to see me today, he promised to give me $70 and etc. he always breaks his promises and im starting to be distant towards him.

  3. thaonguyen

    He promised text me in the morning, but he didn’t, well, we’re not dating yet,he just chasing me,so could I continue with him or stop right way ,I have little feeling with him but I don’t know how to do it jow.

  4. kgaugelo

    we were suppost to spend the weekend together but suddenly his son fall on the tree so he had to rush to dat now mad but want to support him at the same time how do I do that

  5. avu

    He promise tht we are going to chart every night but suddenly he didn’t…and it not the first time he always says busy, he forgets and apologised i’m getting tired

  6. Crimson

    My boyfriend of many many years has made a few promises lately that he’s been going back on….. We promised we wouldn’t drink even a drop of alcohol unless we were together to keep eachother in line he broke that. He promised he wouldn’t talk to a girl who was trying to split us up insisting it was to help his friend with a drug problem he broke that of course. He promised to visit me for just a couple mins on his way to a friends house because my work was between his house and his friends house and I was working a double at work and he broke that promise when explaining that it hurt me a lot and made me feel unwanted he said in response “well sorry I forgot I’m going to the store really quick talk to you later” He promised to be home at one o clock in the morning and to let me know he was safe at home, not only did he break the promise he lied and said he was home………. Then he turns around and treats it like it is my fault that I’m the one being over dramatic and that i shouldn’t be upset……. Idk anymore

    1. Andrea

      I would have dumped him long ago. This post was awhile ago so he either realize your worth in treated you like you should be or you realize your worth and dumped his ass .

  7. Ummuchi

    I havent seen my boyfriend in a year.. He promise he’ll be back on Jan 2017. When I ask the other day, he said something came up with work and he probably have to go somewhere far for work.. And he was waiting for the right time to tell me bout it… At this rate, I might never see him till I die… Huhu

  8. Daphne javier selorio

    My boyfriend has two daughters and they dont know about us.he used to call me before and after office hours butbwe date every other. Month does he really loves me? Coz im tired of this kind of relationship

  9. rose

    These guys are players who dont commit. Give them one chance to explain on their own but if they distrspect you and ignore you, youre too valuable to keep waitinhl for such a loser. Time waits for no one and here are loads out there who will give you the time, love snd respect you deserve and want.

  10. Ally

    My boyfriend been dating for almost a year now.. we are long distance and he ditched prom when i already had the dress plus… he promised he would dome down for the summer but i have a feeling he is gonna ditch that too what should i do?

  11. Fedup

    Afyer a steing of let downs my boyf promised he would cut the grass for me as I work 2 jobs and have a child to look after and he is currently not working…3 weeks later I’ve done it…he promised he would take me to my hospital appointment tomorrow as I don’t want to go alone and he has gone away to his mums…I got upset said I can’t rely on him and that he has hurt me…I’m bein unreasonable and can’t expect him to be perfect?!?! Really tho?!

  12. Anne

    My boyfriend and I,are in a very long distance relationship and we promised to never break up on the phone even if we had fights..he is a totally nerd and ambitious..but one day,he broke his promise and broke up with me..he still cares about me though..But now he says that lets be more than good friends ..I am so confused

  13. Hosna

    I’m so sad.
    My boyfriend breaks his promise, his birthday was 2month ago, and we got a party for he and his sister together but his cousin were really bad girls that distrubed our night, they weren’t polite with me and they broke my heat hardly.
    After that my boyfriend promised me that whenever seeing them say something about that’s night to them, last night after 2 month they saw each other at my boyfriend’s house but he didn’t say anything to them and bahave like every time. I’m so angryyy please tell me what can I do?

  14. Tanekia

    MY boyfr Promised to drop me off at work and pinky swore he’d be on time I begged home to be I talked to him 30 minutes before he had to pick me up and then nothing when I was supposed to be at work in 15 minutes and I was counting on him to take me and I cancelled my other ride and he promised he’d be on time and I HATE BEING LATE ITS DRIVES ME CRAZY and now three hours later I still haven’t heard from him

  15. Rita

    I have a boyfriend I’ve been with for 1 year and a half he’s broken so many promises and had cheated on me as well he like to cover it up and always make me look like the bad one he told me one day when u get ur permit I will teach u how to drive last week I pass my permit test now he has broken his promise on picking me up to spend the week with him so he can teach me

  16. tamara

    My boyfriend promised to help me buy something I really needed to do business when I asked him about it for the last time. He asked me if I thought he was an idiot I ask what he was talking about he replied say “am not going to tell u what u lied about” so I told him one day that he’s going to regret not telling me and he said no matter what I do or say nothing is going to changed. Am now wondering what I should really do because it heartbreaking he even read my messages and didn’t reply.

  17. Heather

    Been in relationship with him for over a year and expecting a baby is a few months. he keeps making promises and breaking them even little ones like watching a movie together. I already have mental health problems and he just doesn’t seem to get it. tried to talk to him but unless he its his way or he has to be happy . nothing gets taken in. and when ever i try to talk to him about almost anything he gets angry/shouts at me.

  18. Naomi grace

    My boyfriend has promised me things several times with fulfilling them.. Now he has done the worst.. Now am the state of my life that I don’t have enough money for my ticket to fly back to where I work in turkey he promise me not to bother that when my visa is out he’s going to give the money now my visa is out but he did nothing.. I don’t know what else to do I went to my closest friend who borrowed me some money that I used to book the ticket …he has always be like this he promise me things all the times with big confident that always makes me believe he will do it for me but he always fail despite the fact that I have always been there for him at his difficult time.. worstess problem is how to let him go because I do love him so much but I guess he really don’t love me he’s just pretending

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