After almost 20 years in the dating and relationships field, I can say without a doubt that romantic relationships between men and women are never easy. However, most people seek out romantic involvement with others, in the hopes of meeting someone they can build a life with.
One of the most common issues that women write my advice column about concerns commitment – how to get one, why won’t he give one, and how long one should wait to get one. Women feel that men drag their feet and label their hesitancy to jump in as “a fear of commitment.” Worried that she may be wasting her time in a dead-end relationship, most women in stalled relationships will press forward and ask their partner “where is this going?”
Based upon the answer she receives during “The Talk,” a woman will decide if the relationship should be abandoned, or if she should give her man a bit more time.
Some women throw caution to the wind and decide to move forward anyway, even if the guy tells her that commitment is not in the cards. These women would rather be involved in a half-assed relationship with a man that isn’t really there than to be 100% alone.
Top 10 Signs He Won’t Commit to You or Any Other Woman Either
The ability to sustain a committed relationship requires that one not only have a suitable partner, but the ability to be content with our choice and to stop looking. The commitment phobic man sets things up so that you jump through hoops and still won’t have a commitment. In a relationship with a commitment avoider, no matter what you do, it’s never enough, it’s never right, and it’s not what he wants. When the relationship ends, the female partner is left emotionally devastated and confused, with battered self esteem.
There are certain traits that the man intent on avoiding a commitment displays early in the dating process. Watch out for these:
- Comes on Like Gangbusters– From the moment you meet him, he’s in full court press mode. In a rush to get the relationship going, he drowns you with attention, calls and texts, romantic dinners, trips, flowers, gifts and flattery. He puts and keeps you on a romantic high, never giving you the opportunity to ground yourself by allowing your feet to touch the ground. He hints around or talks openly about a future, dangling marriage like bait on a fish hook. He blows smoke up your butt and throws you further off your center by putting you on a false pedestal, proclaiming you to have attributes and talents he can’t be familiar with because he doesn’t know you well enough.Though you know such yammering is inappropriate for the level of relationship the two of you have, your girlish romantic side that hopes for Happily Ever After gets the better of you. His goal is to get you involved and attached before you find out the truth about him… things that he knows will cause you to turn tail and run. The commitment phobic guy professes love for you quickly, but falls out of love just as fast. The moment you start to believe his fanciful tales, he starts calling less, spending less time, seems unenthusiastic about seeing or spending time with you, and the sex falls off. He then disappears out of your life on a breeze just as he came in. Don’t get jealous or upset – he has no intention of committing to her either.
- Focuses Primarily on Sexual Interaction– If you find yourself in what I call a sexship (a relationship based solely on sex), you should already know what time it is. Most commonly these set-ups are referred to as “booty calls” or “friends with benefits” relationships. A guy who wants sexual intimacy without emotional ties will make having sex with you his top priority.Almost from the moment you meet, he’ll bring up sex in some form. Some will ask what you like or make some comment about his sexual prowess or proclivities.He presses to come over to your house instead of asking to take you out. Dates for him are spent in your bed having sex. Or on the couch. Or on the floor. Or in the shower. He won’t want to spend his money on wining and dining, or his time having long, meaningful get-to-know-you conversations. You’ll hear from him often until you give it up, then he’ll quickly lose interest once his curiosity about sex with you is satisfied a time or two or five.
- Madly in Love with the Unattainable– You’ll recognize him because he is still in love with and pining for his ex or some other woman that remains just out of reach. Most of the men who have been previously hurt by relationships are most drawn to women that are either incapable of or unable to form a solid relationship due to their circumstances. Men tend to rebound to a new woman and use her as a salve to mend their wounded ego after a breakup instead of healing on their own.By choosing a woman he has no real long-term interest in, the commitment avoider is free to fantasize about a perfect love that they know deep down inside they will never be pressured to have with this individual.Examples are a married woman, a woman in prison, long-distance relationships maintained over the ‘net, or single mothers… when he knows he can’t stand kids. He’s most interested in you as long as you show no interest in whatever he’s talking about and he can fantasize about what a life with you would entail. However, the instant you acquiesce to his request he’ll begin to cool off and lose interest. He has no true interest in a relationship with you; he just likes the chase and the dance.
- Establishes Firm Boundaries for Time and Access– Most commitment phobic guys set up their life in strictly-defined segments – his job is so demanding, his family so needy, his friends want him, his children need him, he has to devote his free time to building his business, etc. Then there is you – all alone in your little box off to the side.You are placed in a designated box and never allowed to cross over to other segments of his life even after dating for many, many months. Should you ask about joining him at a family event, while he hangs out with his friends, or to meet his children some day you will be given 1,001 excuses why it can’t happen. At least he’s fair – he doesn’t want to meet your friends or family either. This guy has no intention of bringing you into his life because there are no plans for you to be around on that level.
- You’re Just a Placeholder– An advice seeker recently shared that she’d been seeing and sexing a man for close to six months and found herself in love. When she told him how she felt, she was informed that “there is no me and him.” Though he claimed he wasn’t seeing anyone else, he didn’t want her as a girlfriend and made that very clear. He was using her body and emotional sustenance for his own selfish enjoyment.Even if the commitment avoider is living with you, he isn’t willing to advance the relationship to marriage. Instead, you are just someone to meet his sexual and companionship needs, and keep him from being bored while he continues his search for Ms. Right. Wandering eyes and overt flirtation with other women is also a problem when you’re a placeholder.Many women complain about the frequency with which their man checks out other women. He may be so bold that he does his ogling right in your face. This is the type of guy that, if he cheats or leaves you, will make it the responsibility of “the Other Woman” for enticing him, or you for your “lacking” rather than his own weak character and dearth of commitment.
- One Excuse After Another– You can’t spend the night at his house because his walls are thin and the neighbors will hear. He can’t spend the night at your house because your mattress is too hard/soft/weird and it’s too far from his job. He can’t come over or take you out because his stepfather’s cousin’s ex-wife’s youngest son is coming by to get his hair cut and play video games. After sex he has to leave after getting a mysterious text that he claims is a family emergency… the grandmother you could have sworn he said died 10 years ago.He can’t see himself ever getting married, because “more than 50% of marriages end in divorce” or “marriage just ruins everything anyway.”He can’t say he loves you because he isn’t sure what love is. When you want to have “the talk” about the possibility of a future, he gives you a song and dance about it being too soon. Another favorite excuse is that he is a poor choice for a mate because of his horrible childhood, he’s not where he wants to be in life, or you really deserve better. He can’t see that he’s not ready for a serious relationship and is just making up a series of weak excuses.
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Category: Women's Issues