When a man becomes serious, I end the relationship

Thursday March 18 2021

I am a 40-year-old woman who wants to settle down and start a family. However, I have met men that I really like or even love at first but when they propose marriage, I am repulsed. Recently, the man I thought was the love of my life proposed and I immediately felt like vomiting. I was actually physically sick for one week and cut off ties. What could be the problem?


Dear Grace,

This battle seems to be coming from within. Settling down is what every woman would look forward to, especially when their age is advancing as well. Maintaining a love relationship is work and this means you need to make a decision to give it time.

What exactly do you want from the relationship? This question has to be clear. Love at first is rosy and seems to suggest that the euphoria you feel at the first time will linger on for long. This first phase is only to help fuel the relationship and later in the second phase, deep communication sets in, and this will help you to get to learn each other much deeper such that in case you decide to move on, you will be fully aware of each other.

This might need some time, which is at times referred to as dating, then later courtship takes shape which leads to marriage. This means that love needs patience, it cannot be hurried, if it is not given adequate time, you risk resenting your partner as soon as you get to know them, especially if you have different expectations.


Like I mentioned from the start, this could be an inner issue that you need to deliberately give time and find out exactly what goes on in your mind when you meet with an intending partner. You know yourself better than anyone else. Find out if you are not a perfectionist, meaning that you want everything about the gentleman you meet to be perfect, could be in dress, speech and general behaviour.

This can get into your way, especially if you get to spend a longer time with them, you get picky at everything they do. If this is part of what happens, then take time to learn how to accept people who are different from you. Remember marriage mostly survives on compromise, especially the negotiable issues.

It could also be a childhood nurtured perception about men, depending on the adults who were around you while you were growing up and the examples you saw from them or even having a post-traumatic stress disorder, which can happen as a result of being sexually abused as a child so much so that whenever you come in to close contact with a male person, your mind replays what you went through as child or even as an adult and you repulse the individual.

All the above are only possibilities. Therefore, to get the best help, you need to find a professional therapist to help you navigate safely through your childhood to date and together explore what is standing in your way and then, find an answer to what is causing you to reject the would-be suitors.

Evelyn C Kharono Lufafa, counselling psychologist Sermo Therapy Consult 0750074412

Reader advice

Overcome your fear

Jane Rose. Whatever the reasons behind your fear of commitment, you need to be aware of the fact that, at one point or another, it would be better to overcome it. If not, your fear can lead you to unintentionally stonewall the people you care about, or cause them suffering because of emotional neglect. Emotional intimacy issues are never easy to deal with, but solutions are available and you can learn to trust your ability to commit.

Know the cause

June Sanders. Each person has different reason for commitment phobia. It could be upbringing in poor financial conditions, unfulfilled desires and so forth. You must know the real cause of your fear to live a stable life. If you delve into it often, you will find that there is no valid cause. You have foreboding and nothing else. Before you can help yourself, it is paramount that you come to grips with the root cause.

See relationship coach

Rogers Matovu. The first step is to discover why you are experiencing relationship anxiety. A qualified relationship coach can help you reach deep inside and see what is holding you back.

Same values

David Mukisa. Building intimacy in a relationship is challenging. When you commit to another person, you will be sharing your deepest beliefs and emotions with them. This can be frightening, but less so when the person you are emotionally connecting with shares the same values as you.

Too independent?

Mugenyi Liliane. That is the independence making those decisions for you. Some of us are not ready to surrender our independence for anything. Sit down and have an honest talk with yourself. We see marriages and the horrid experiences women face and we end up having reservations. You are not alone. Look for a good therapist to help you navigate the situation.

Overcome your ego

Neptune ShAbib Snr. This is the problem with staying single for a long time, you become too independent to the extent of thinking that having a partner will be an inconvenience. First get rid of that ego that comes along with independence.

Maybe you need prayer

Tina Woods. Those must be the spiritual ties. Go to a trusted religious leader or Christian fellowship of your choice and enter a prayer war to set yourself free. This world is not as basic as we think. It is true that some challenges are purely spiritual and need spiritual solutions.

I am in same boat

Phibiola Eve. My sister we are in the same boat. I feel exactly what you feel. At the beginning I am very fine but as the other partner gets more serious, I lose interest in them. Will be looking out for advice as well.

Handle conflict within

Spoche King. That is because deep down you may have negative beliefs about marriage and commitment to settle down.