What Makes a Man Afraid of Commitment?

| 07/06/2009 | Comments (4)

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It has been said by millions of women that men are afraid of commitment; but really, what incentive is there for a man to commit to a woman?  And why is FEAR the most often used word to describe men that are not on the commitment fast track? Why can’t it be that a man may be making a conscious decision after having weighed the pros and cons, and ultimately deciding a commitment is not in his best interest?  Why does this all translate to fear for women?

In reality, both men and women are afraid of commitment, and these fears are typically manifested in two different ways:

ACTIVE AVOIDERS (typically men) are those that are always running away and being chased. They find themselves in relationships where their partner wants MORE and they want LESS. Their partners complain that they are withholding emotionally. Active avoiders create obstacles and hurdles and inflexible boundaries to avoid closeness and intimacy. Sometimes these men erect barriers to limit how much they give to avoid the expectation of a commitment (as in time and energy). They resent the very realistic expectations of a partner with regards to intimacy, shared time, or fidelity. 

These folks are quite adept at avoiding commitment and have a built-in repertoire of behavior patterns that create distance (such as repeated infidelity, rationing out sexual involvement to dates and times when HE wants it then he jumps up and leaves right away, not letting a woman come to his home, not inviting her to family gatherings, refusing to participate in special occasions such as birthdays, holidays and the like with her). They make it clear that all expectations she may have for intimacy or exclusivity are unwelcome demands.  These types have a long history of disappointing and hurting their romantic partners.  

The PASSIVE AVOIDER (typically female) is the partner that wants MORE. They do everything they can to bond themselves to their partner, but consider the people they choose to focus on! Passive avoiders develop anxiety because the partner is not giving the emotional security or providing the emotional connection needed. You are aware of the fact that you are always trying to get your partner to do or say something that will be concrete— that you can hold onto to define the relationship. Your partners frequently fail to fulfill your expectations. You spend an unbelievable amount of time and energy trying to ease, push, whine or nag your partner into more of a commitment. You have a history of connecting with partners that hurt and disappoint you.

Passive avoiders are drawn to inappropriate or unavailable partners, make inappropriate commitments, and are too quick to give your all. Sometimes your desire to bond is so strong that you lose all sense of yourself and your boundaries. You have inappropriate responses to negative information about your partner (such as "he’s married… okay, he is going to leave her if I have anything to do with it!")

If a woman assesses a man being fearful just because he doesn’t want what she wants, I can certainly see why he would not want to commit to a woman that has her own idea of what his concerns are.  On the other hand, a man may be open and tell a woman what he needs or wants in order to commit, but the woman is stubborn, or doesn’t get it.

That’s when a man may assess what his limits will be with the woman that he is involved with, and decide to deal with her only on that limited level. These men may not be running anywhere! They just aren’t going any further than they choose to go.  But he is still fearful because he doesn’t leave the woman totally.  Some men change their minds and settle ("oh it’s not that bad"), but most relationships enter a circling/hold pattern, where the man is afraid to land but he’s not really going away either. 

I cannot say why men prefer women not use the word "FEAR" because that is what it is. When you are worried that something is not going to be in your best interest and you are worried about getting hurt, getting used, being unhappy, being tied down, not being able to have wild sex with hoochies, etc. – you are FEARFUL and avoiding perceived pain.relationships of convenience are relationships without commitment ties or obligations

In your fear, you make a DECISION that the best thing to do is avoid the possibility of PAIN, and so you run away, go in a different direction. There is nothing wrong with saying you are afraid of something! Fear is a normal human emotion just like being angry, being sad, being happy.  But the bottom line is women are AFRAID of being abandoned and behave accordingly, and men are AFRAID of being committed and losing options, and they behave accordingly as well.  Each gender finds reasons to justify their behaviors.

These justifications do not change the fact that most adults, having been hurt in love before, become afraid of being hurt again and do all they can to prevent that from happening. Usually that means setting things up so that they get their needs met with as little emotional or financial investment as possible which indicates a true FEAR OF COMMITMENT.

Keep this in mind: I am not talking about isolated incidences with whacky men or women that nobody would want to commit to if he or she had good sense! I am talking about those singles with an established pattern of meeting suitable mates then running from them… a pattern of finding fault with everyone…  a pattern of choosing unsuitable mates… a pattern of avoiding true intimacy… a pattern of erecting barriers to closeness.

We can always come up with what are valid psychological excuses (for us) to do what we want to do. That does not change the fact that a man with commitment issues has an established PATTERN of repeatedly doing the same thing: hooking up with woman after woman, then finding some crazy reason to run away from her.

 

 
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Deborrah

Veteran social researcher, relationship advice columnist, author and radio host. Author of hundreds of articles on American and black culture, gender issues, singles, dating and relationships. Author of "Sucka Free Love!" , "The 24 Types of Suckas to Avoid," and "The Black Church - Where Women Pray and Men Pray" all available on Amazon.Com. Her unique voice and insightful commentary have delighted fans and riled haters for 20 years. Read her stuff on Examiner.Com, SurvivingDating.Com and AskHeartBeat.Com.

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Category: Date Smarter, Not Harder, Women's Issues

3 comments
dr mariq
dr mariq

Hello my first language is not English and I apologize if there are errors in the text. I'm at the end of the connection that torturing me and I want your opinion. A year ago I started a relationship with someone who continuously tell yourself that it is not rigth. I started seeing him secretly at home or if you detect somewhere like that was my idea). He continued repeating to me that there are no feelings to that just playing and did not want commitment. So six months passed. In that place I talked to several who explained me how this does not even link to see 6 out of 7 days. Followed by separation. It is interesting that I had given him the keys to my apartment early as 15 days since he came to us. It's been two weeks and we chased where will detect and suddenly. He started behaving as if we were together and show it to everyone. So passed three months and follow a conversation. Conversation in which I said I pressed that I give much more than what he wants and he wants to be free. After only two weeks back without explanation. I was trying to hold back, but constantly told him that I wanted more to show me and that is not enough, his attention. I was dissatisfied. He struggled with himself and I have to fret. reiterating that he wanted more time together and we were together 24 hours. However, before repeating that kissed me more, there was something that required more and I was giving море. he was the same. Two days ago he said I continued to feel unhappy that I can see why you give more than I need. You take things more seriously. Honestly you are a great person and an amazing woman with great qualities, but I'm not in love and not love. I think so because I wake up in the morning with the thought that his great, but when I want to be alone so I'm not in love. There may be a woman pretty much make me want family and children, but not you. why only think that I want to have freedom. I am a free electron. Throughout the tears rolling down his face. At very hurt when he told me that he was never in love And I still hurt and alone. Therefore, all the time I said that it is intermittent connection, because I think we both fear of commitment.

antoinette hall
antoinette hall

WOW! I HAVE READ A LOT ON THIS SUBJECT AND YOU SEEM TO BE THE BEST AT EXPLAINING WHAT MAKES A MAN AFRAID OF COMMITMENT. I HAD BEEN IN SEVERAL FAILED RELATIONSHIPS, AND MY LAST HUSBAND PASSED AWAY FROM CANCER. I AM NOT THE TYPE OF PERSON TO GET INVOLVED IN CASUAL SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP. I FEEL THAT I AM WASTING MY TIME NOT GIVING MY ALL IN A RELATIONSHIP, AND I NEED TO HAVE LOVE FOR THE MAN I GET INVOLVED WITH. I CAN NOT DO FLINGS, AND ONE NIGHT AFFAIRS AND THREESOMES.
I GOT INVOLVED WITH A YOUNGER MAN THAT I FELL IN LOVE WITH ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. AT FIRST HE SEEM LIKE THE IDEA PARTNER HE WAS EVERYTHING THAT ANY WOMAN WOULD WANT IN A MAN EXCEPT HE WAS HARD ON HIS LUCK, AND HE WAS VERY SECRETIVE AND HAD CONSTANTLY LIED ME.
HE BEGAN ASKING FOR THINGS AND MAKING PROMISES THAT HE WOULD NEVER KEEP. BECAUSE I HAD A DEEP CARING AND LOVE FOR HIM I TRIED TO UNDERSTAND AND HELP HIM IN ANYWAY I COULD.
THE PAIN AND STRESS BECAME TOO MUCH AND THE RELATIONSHIP ALMOST ENDED. LATER I LEARNED THAT HE WAS LIVING IN A SOBER LIVING HOUSE AND HAD BEEN IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW. MY FRIEND WAS ASHAME OF HIS LIFE.
I WOULD SEE HIS SISTER OFTEN BUT NEVER KNEW IT WAS HIS SISTER BECAUSE SHE WAS ONE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD CRACK ADDICTS.
I AM A GO GETTER AND I OWN PROPERTIES, BUT I DO NOT DRIVE. WHEN EVER I WOULD SEE HIM HE WOULD ALWAYS ACT AS IF HE WAS SO HAPPY TO SEE ME.
THERE WAS NOTHING THAT I WOULD NOT DO FOR THIS MAN, AND I STILL LOVE HIM. I BELIEVE THAT HE HAS HAD A LOT OF PAIN AND SUFFERING IN HIS LIFE AND IS AFRAID TO TRUST ANYONE. HE HAD BEEN IN RELATIONSHIPS WHERE THE WOMEN HAD HURTED HIM SEVERELY AND HAD TOOK ADVANTAGE OF HIM. THEY HAD TOLD HIM HE WAS NOTHING , HE FEELS WORTHLESS AND FEARS THAT I AM LYING AND PLAYING GAMES. I NEVER ASK HIM FOR ANYTHING BECAUSE HE IS TRYING TO GET HIS LIFE IN ORDER, ACTUALLY I WOULD HELP HIM WHENEVER I CAN AND WOULD CONTINUE TO HELP HIM IF HE NEEDS IT. THIS MAN IS ACTUALLY A BEAUTIFUL MAN, HE IS VERY SENSITIVE, CARING AND KIND. HE HAS BEEN IN TEARS TALKING ABOUT HIS LIFE SITUATIONS MANY TIMES. HE HAS A PIECE OF MY HEART, AND I FEEL SORRY AND SAD FOR HIM. I COULD BE WITH MANY OTHER MEN BUT I CHOSE HIM BECAUSE HE NEEDS ME, AND I BELIEVE THAT HE IS WAITING FOR ME TO THROW IN THE TOWEL AND ABANDON HIM LIKE EVERYONE ELSE HAS. BUT I WILL WAIT UNTIL HE MAKE THE DECISIONS TO EITHER BREAK OFF THE RELATIONSHIP OR MAKE SOMETYPE OF COMMITTMENT. I DO NOT SEE MYSELF BEING WITH ANYONE ELSE, SO I HAVE TIME TO JUST WAIT. I WAS NOT ALWAYS THIS WAY, IF THE RELATIONSHIP DID NOT LIVE UP TO MY EXPECTATIONS I WOULD JUST MOVE ON. BUT I HAVE PRAYED AND LOOK AT AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MY PARENT STAYED MARRIED FOR 60 YEARS, IT WAS NOT EASY. MY MOTHER LOVE MY FATHER INSPITE OF HIS DOWN FALLS, SHE WOULD OFTEN TELL ME THAT I DID NOT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS. SHE WOULD SAY ANYTHING WORTH HAVING IS WORTH SUFFERING FOR. SHE WAS VERY MORAL AND ONLY HAD ONE MAN IN HER ENTIRE LIFE, SHE MARRIED MY FATHER PUT UP WITH HIS INFIDELITIES, DRINKING, AND LYING, AND EVENTUALLY MY FATHER BECAME A MINISTER, A GREAT PROVIDER AND WAS WELL LOVED BY ALL HIS FAMILY AND HAD MANY FRIENDS. A LOT OF MEN ARE INFLUENCED BY THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY THEY CAN SWAY THEM , IF THEY ARE DOING BAD THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE SUCCESSFUL EITHER . I LOOK BEYOND ALL OF MY FRIEND'S INPERFECTIONS AND LOOK INTO HIS HEART TO SEE WHO HE TRULY IS AND WHAT HE CAN BECOME. HE IS IN A LOT OF PAIN, AND HE HAS USED DRUGS AND ALCOHOL TO COVER IT UP. WHEN YOU LOVE SOMEONE YOU WILL BE THERE RIGHT BY THEIR SIDE THROUGH THICK AND THIN.

Deborrah
Deborrah

In this case young lady, you are the passive avoider. The feelings you claim to have for a man that cannot return them now or probably ever is shocking. You cannot worry about the past this man or any other had because you are not a magician and don't have the power to ease his pain or change his mindset. Everything he did - from using drugs to doing criminal activities - are things he CHOSE TO DO. No one made him, he chose that path.

You are confusing a marriage between a husband and wife with that of a man and woman with no real commitment or ties. You and this guy have no bonds. You have no legal or other ties to him. Yet you want to be by his side through thick and thin?

Sadly, this is a common behavior pattern with Black women raised in Christian environments. Always willing to sacrifice themselves, you ladies give and give and give to men that have no intention or ability to give back. You are focusing on the fantasy of what you think his capabilities are, but you have no evidence of that, nothing he has done proves in the slightest that this guy has even one drop of the abilities you dream he has.

Please take a listen to my broadcasts which address this subject and the need some Black women have to "save" grown ass men.

Black Women And Marriage - Part 2. The part about wasting your time waiting for him to be the man you want him to be is discussed in detail around the 10 minute mark and goes for about 10-11 minutes.

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