My girlfriend made me write this blog. She made me say that I have commitment issues. There, I said it.
Okay, she’s right. I do. I’m one of those guys who believes in true love, but I’m sceptical when I find it.
A lot of guys out there have the same problem. And you poor ladies have to date us!
Understanding a guy with commitment issues is a good way to solve many of the problems that come along.
Writing from the perspective of someone who has commitment issues, I want to help you understand what you can expect from—and how you can deal with—your cold-footed boyfriend.
How Does Fear of Commitment Manifest?
How do you know if your guy has commitment issues?
There are some early signs that you might notice. There are also signs that will show up more vividly later on.
Men who have commitment issues show some or all of the following characteristics:
- Focusing on the bad aspects of their partner rather than the good
- Being scared to invest emotional effort into the relationship because they aren’t sure there’s a future
- Seeing other women as dating opportunities (aka, keeping your options open)
- Causing arguments over small issues that are completely unrelated to their real concerns
- A disinterest in meeting and forming relationships with their partner’s family & friends
As you can imagine, these symptoms are ugly in a relationship. It won’t be long before they cause complications—and maybe even a breakup.
When Will You Start Noticing the Symptoms?
Let’s go right to the beginning of a relationship.
If a guy seems more interested in having sex than forming a real bond, your guy may have commitment issues.
A few weeks down the line you may notice an apprehension in your guy’s demeanor. He isn’t as attentive as before. He suddenly has other priorities. He suddenly wants to take things slower. You’re doing all the calling & texting. It just doesn’t seem like he’s making an effort anymore.
Ladies, it’s very likely that a guy like this isn’t ready to commit. Not to you. Not to anyone.
Why Do These Men Fear Commitment?
It’s looking pretty bleak so far, isn’t it?
Don’t worry, we’ll get to the silver lining shortly. But before we can do that we need to understand where this fear of commitment comes from.
Perhaps if you can understand your man, you will find it easier to love him through his fear of commitment.
A Past Relationship
Most commitment issues can be attributed to a negative past relationship. Your guy may not have been cheated on, but it’s possible that he had an unhealthy or frustrating relationship that left a bad taste in his mouth.
It’s likely that many of his past relationship gripes will be projected onto you. This is where fear sets in. This is when the guy with commitment issues begins to run.
Breaking free from a toxic or boring relationship can be very liberating for a guy. It’s a sweet taste of freedom he may not want to give up too quickly.
Perhaps he isn’t quite ready to commit to you. He may think he is, but he isn’t. And you’re the one who ends up suffering for it.
Allow me to be controversial for a minute.
A lot of people don’t have a problem with porn. I personally do. It demeans women, gives off an unrealistic expectation of sex and quickly becomes addictive for many men & women.
But one of the most harmful symptoms of porn addiction is that it creates an expectation of variety. Men who watch porn have the option to view multiple women in one sitting.
When this switching from one porn star to the next becomes a habit, it quickly becomes an expectation.
A man who doesn’t think he will be satisfied with one woman for the rest of his life will have commitment issues. Guaranteed.
Have you ever invested loads of time and emotion into a relationship only to have that person leave or break contact?
I have. It hurts when you give so much of yourself only to see a friendship or relationship end.
But it happens. And because it happens, people tend to withdraw from reaching out to others and forming authentic, solid relationships.
“If it’s going to end anyway why try too hard?” This is what’s often going on in the head of a guy with attachment phobia.
Who Takes the Blame When There are Commitment Issues?
If you’re dating a guy with clear commitment issues, you probably already know that you’re the one taking most of the brunt.
So is it your fault your boyfriend has commitment issues?
It’s important that you understand this: his commitment issues have nothing to do with you. But it is important to see his fear of commitment as a phobia rather than some sort of malice.
Believe me when I tell you that he wants to be happy in a relationship. He’s just become very sceptical about whether it really exists.
Once you have recognized the fear—and helped him recognize it too—here’s what you can do.
What are Your Options?
If you really like this guy and want it to work, you’ll have to learn patience. Understand that this fear is not completely irrational—it stems from real situations & events that happened before he knew you.
Discuss Your Future Together
Open up the communication and ask your guy what he wants for his future. Where does he see himself in two, five or ten years? Is marriage part of that plan, or are you simply a time filler?
Don’t Rush Him!
If you’ve been together for a while, it’s okay to talk about the future. What’s not okay is scaring him with the following:
- Setting a deadline for a marriage proposal
- Constantly hinting about being proposed to (It’s one thing to discuss your marriage, but leave the proposal up to him. He knows what he’s doing.)
- Pressurizing him into deeper commitment than what he’s ready for, like:
- moving in together
- sharing financial details & responsibilities
- getting “too” involved with parenting
Remember this guy has good reason to fear long term relationships, so go easy on him okay?
Identify the Fear When You See It
Your boyfriend also needs to man up to his problem with commitment. It’s important that you help him recognize it and that you both deal with it as and when it arises.
When you see the symptoms, remind him that he doesn’t have to look at any situation with fear. Forget the fear, identify the real issue and discuss it openly and honestly.
There are going to be guys who won’t be very receptive to your efforts. It’s important to realize when you’re fighting a losing battle and when there’s a chance of real effort being made on his part. If you’re not getting anywhere, there’s no point in staying around.