Chained by commitment,
I can't reach out to you,
Bound by obligation
I can only look at you,
Haunted by your beauty
I am not free to follow you,
Awakened by your siren voice  
These passionate flames
of another world
Must fade away.

    There's a song that points out one problem of being locked into a BTN relationship.  It's called Sad Too Belong and was written by England Dan and John Ford Coley.  An excerpt of the lyrics is:


Met you on a springtime day
You were minding your life
And I was minding mine too

Lady when you looked my way
I had a strange sensation
And darling that's when I knew

That it's sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along
Yes it's sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along

Oh I wake up in the night
And I reach beside me
Hoping you will be there

But instead I find someone
Who believes in me when I say
I'd always care

Oh it's sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along
Yes it's sad to belong to someone else
When the right one comes along

    Another song, a favorite of mine, Go Away Little Girl, is also a song by a man who loves a girl but who belongs to someone else.  Some of the lyrics are:

Yes I know that your lips are sweet
But our lips must never meet
I belong to someone else and I must be true
Please go away little girl
Go away little girl
It's hurting me more each minute that you delay
When you are near me like this,
You're much too hard to resist
So go away little girl
Before I beg you to stay.

  So do we put off commitment until she comes along?   The discussion about "Waitin for One's Dearie" points out what's wrong with that approach.  That doesn't mean we should get involved in Better than Nothing Relationships.  Some people get involved in relationships that they know won't go anywhere because they are better than nothing.   A friend of mine complains to me about a man who she has sex with who keeps telling her that he is not her boyfriend.  He wants the benefit of a relationship without the obligations that go with it.  He is still waiting for his dearie but is having sex in the mean time.  The Singles Coaching web site lists 10 reasons why one should not have such a relationship.

   People who get involved in BTN relationships may tell their partner that they are involved under condition that they are free to date others.  A person who enters such a relationship, however, is not really free.  If he wants to date someone else, guilt feelings and fear of hurting his partner may get in the way.   His partner will take-up time that he could spend meeting other women.  Other women will see that he is with a partner and assume that he is taken.  If he tries to date them they will think he is immoral.  He  would feel cruel if he told his girlfriend she couldn't be with him a certain time because he wanted to spend it with another woman.   If he dated other women and didn't tell his girlfriend he would feel guilty for dating secretly behind her back.  If friends and family found out that he was dating other women, they would regard him as a mean person who was betraying his girlfriend.  If relatives liked his BTN girlfriend they would be likely to pressure him to marry her.   If he gives into the pressure he may marry someone who is not right for him and down the road that could lead to divorce.

    The man might try and change his girlfriend so that she is more of what he wants.   That will lead her to feel unaccepted for who she is and cause a lot of fights.   Friends and family might see the man as cruel for not accepting his girlfriend the way she is. 

    If a man feels trapped in a BTN relationship he may get angry at his girlfriend for trapping him.  It's very unfair for the man to be angry at his girlfriend because she is attached to him.

    Another problem with BTN relationships is if one person is in love with the other that love might last a long time after the relationship is over and prevent that person from finding someone else.  I know two people in this situation.  The first person is not interested in anyone except a man who just used her for sex.  The second person is involved with someone but still loves his former girlfriend.  My current girlfriend has told me that after me there will be no one else.  If I was to break up with her than my relationship with her might prevent her from marrying someone in the future.  That is a responsibility nobody wants to have.

   The longer one is in a BTN relationship the more attached one's partner is likely to get and the more one will hurt one's partner if one breaks it off.  A BTN relationship is like a trap.  The longer one is in it the harder it is to get out of it. 

    BTN relationships however, are not always bad.  The upside of a BTN relationship is that in some instances the man may become more attracted to the woman he is involved with and begin to appreciate her and it may become more than a BTN relationship. He may find the gold that does not glitter.

    I dated a woman who I knew was nice but who had low self esteem and who was overweight.  As our relationship progressed she developed high self esteem and she lost her weight.  She started to look beautiful.   The gold that did not glitter soon had men turning heads to see her.

images/anger.jpg (14532 bytes)

     I have heard the advice not to marry someone because you expect them to change and only marry that person if you are willing to be married to them as they are.   Many times people don't change but sometimes they do and sometimes the love from a dating relationship is just what they need to help them shine. 

   I know a man who became engaged to a woman who he wanted to lose weight even though she had limited success in her efforts to do so.   After he committed to her the pounds peeled off.  She was very anxious to be a slim bride.

   One can't assume that the change will happen though.  A married man once told me that once women marry you they don't listen to you when you ask them to change.  He was asking his wife to lose weight.  If you divorce someone you face a lot of obstacles in the way of trying to remarry.



Self Help Home Page
images/peopleTalk.GIF (6042 bytes)
Social Skills Home Page

c o p y r i g h t   ( c )   1 9 9 9 -2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises.  All rights reserved

Table of Contents