Your relationship might be on-again/off-again. Or you want something serious with him, but he keeps avoiding the topic or has openly told you he is not looking for a relationship. The moment you become fed up with his behavior and you try to be over him, he is all over you. You are most irresistible to him when you are leaving. It is an unbreakable cycle of hurt. You walk out, he crawls back. You offer a second chance, he ruins it before you even started again. What is their deal? Why won’t they let you go?  When they do let you go, why do they feel the need to come back and ask for forgiveness the second you get yourself together and decide it is better to end it all?

There are 3 reasons why he won’t let you, even if he doesn’t want you:

He is afraid of commitment.

If he hasn’t tried to leave already, he probably tried to chase you away with his behavior. Commitment to only one person causes him immeasurable amounts of anxiety. The only way to relieve it is to make sure he is far from it—and you. When the relationship is over, he can finally breathe again. But there is a problem now. Since he feels no pressure anymore and is comfortable in his surroundings, his feelings towards you re-emerge. He remembers why he pursued you in the first place, and since he misses you, he will call you again.

This is where the show starts. The worst part is, he doesn’t doubt his words at all. He will try his best to convince you he has changed. He wants you to know he is ready now, and he is certain he truly loves you. The moment you give him a second chance, the first-time scenario replays. Constantly falling for this will bring you nothing but pain. Men like this are toxic, so do not let your toxic man sway you into giving him another chance.

He is a coward.

He just might be afraid to tell you how he really feels, afraid of how it might unfold later. He will keep weighing between staying in a relationship and having the guts to bring it all in the open. He will end up doing nothing. One other thing he might be afraid of is ending up alone, for various reasons. From practical ones, to emotional. If you are living together, he is aware that splitting up would be bad because living on your own can be very expensive. When it comes to emotional, he might be holding on to good parts. By this, I mean he might not love you anymore (if he ever really did), but he cannot seem to shake off all the good memories. That, and he does not know how to be alone.

Or, he is simply afraid of pain—mostly yours. Men do not deal very well with facing the pain they caused. So the bottom line is: he is too much of a coward to deal with all the possible consequences he might have to face.

He is a narcissist.

You know that a man with traits like these just loves to make everything about him. That is why the reason he is keeping you around might be a simple one. You are of use to him. He does not care about you enough to commit to you, but he can still get things out of you. Also, he might be ready to move away from you, but he has not found another woman to take your place, yet. In the meantime, you will do just fine.

What do you do then?

What to do to stop yourself from falling for the same tricks? For a start, slow down. If you decide to give him another chance after all, do not just jump in back where you stopped. Remember that his talk of being a changed man is not enough. Give him time to prove it with his actions.

Whatever his reasons for doing that to you might be, always keep in mind, you are not to be blamed. Also, do not try to explain or defend him. Just take a look around him. If he has quite a few unfortunate relationships behind him, it should be obvious who is the one with problems.

Remind yourself constantly: you two desire different things. While you are ready for commitment and companionship, he feels smothered by those things. You cannot compromise around that and he can never give you what you need. So do yourself a favor—once you walk out of that relationship, stay out.