Relationships can be difficult or they can be wonderful. Dating a guy who’s afraid of commitment definitely falls on the difficult side. It’s frustrating because you know that the relationship could be great if he’d just get over his fear of commitment.
In this article, I’m going to look into why commitment is essential in a relationship and some of the different signs and levels of commitment. Then I’m going to give you the most powerful tips to help him overcome his fear of commitment.
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Before we talk about how to get him to commit, let’s start by being really clear about why commitment is so important for the success of your relationship.
Knowing that your man has overcome his fear of commitment is an important step in allowing you to relax and feel safe in your relationship. A man who has committed to you is going to be there when you need him and will keep you emotionally safe and secure.
When you’re able to get him to commit to you, you can make important decisions about the future. Without his commitment, you’re never quite sure whether you’re making decisions as an individual or as a couple.
For example, if you’re in a committed relationship and you’re offered an exciting new job overseas, you know that this is something you need to decide on together. If he still hasn’t overcome his fear of commitment, it’s much more difficult to know what you should do.
Commitment is an essential ingredient required for building trust within your relationship. The only way that you can open up and be vulnerable is if you feel able to trust him.
Committing to each other lets you share everything that’s important to you both. It’s this sharing and being vulnerable that helps you to become emotionally closer.
Having children with someone is probably the biggest commitment you could possibly make. It’s really important that you have a high level of commitment and trust before making such an important decision.
If you know that you want to become a parent in the future, either you need to find a way to get him to commit or walk away and find someone else who is willing to make a commitment.
When you commit to each other in a relationship, you’re promising that you’re going to be there for each other and support each other. Being in a committed relationship means that you’re willing to work on that relationship when things get difficult.
All relationships go through difficult times. If you know that your man feels committed to you, you feel confident that he’s going to work on it with you. Your commitment to each other makes it more likely that your relationship will last.
A committed relationship is one where you’re both able to rely on the other person to be there. This gives you a stable, secure foundation to grow and develop as a couple.
We grow and develop when we take risks and try new things. We need to move out of our comfort zone but, to do that, we need to feel safe.
Commitment is the part of your relationship that gives you that safety and makes it easy for you to both become the people you want to be, with the relationship you want to have.
Another thing you might want to consider before you start working out how to make him want to commit to you is what commitment looks like to you. It’s important to know what you’re looking for. If nothing else, it lets you know when you’ve achieved it.
All of these can be signs that he’s committed to your relationship, but that doesn’t mean that he’s not committed if he doesn’t do them. Everyone shows their commitment in their own way. Try to look for signs that he is committed, rather than signs that he isn’t.
One sign that he wants to commit to you is that he wants to be exclusive. Deciding that you’re not going to sleep with anyone other than each other is one of the first big commitments that most couples make to each other.
Exclusive relationships are by far the most common types, but it’s not the only option. Polyamorous guys can also want to commit to you without being exclusive. A similar level of commitment in polyamory might be discussing the rules of your relationship or just calling it a relationship at all.
Another big sign of commitment that you might want from your man is that he wants to get married. Marriage is one of the biggest signs of commitment within a relationship and lots of people see it as a major milestone in their lives.
Again, not everyone wants to get married at all. Wanting to marry someone is a clear sign of commitment but not wanting to get married doesn’t mean you’re not committed.
Commitment in a relationship doesn’t have to be a significant change in your relationship status or a public declaration. There are also much more subtle signs like him making sure that he always makes time for the pair of you to spend together.
Consistency means a lot here. Commitment is about always being there for each other and being able to rely on your partner. If he sets aside time to connect with you, he’s showing that you’re his priority.
Commitment means making the other person a priority in your life. If he does that for you, he’s showing you that he wants to commit.
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For example, this might mean that he chooses to go with you to a dance lesson rather than watching a film with his friends because he knows it’s important to you. Even when he can’t be with you, he’ll take a few moments to message you so you know he’s thinking about you.
I’ve already mentioned that commitment allows you to plan your future. Having a casual relationship can leave you uncertain about how much you need to take your partner into consideration when making plans. Being committed lets you make those plans with confidence.
If your man makes medium or long-term plans with you, it’s a clear sign that he plans on sticking around for that long.
When a man is committed to your relationship, he shows you that he can be trusted. He makes you promises about things that are important to you (and about little things as well). Most importantly, he always keeps those promises.
Living together is another big milestone in a relationship and it’s a huge sign of commitment. Just like getting married, when you move in together, you’re combining your lives in a way that’s very difficult to disentangle if the relationship doesn’t work out.
Living together also requires a lot of compromise and it lets you see more of each other’s personalities than you would while living apart. It’s another sign of vulnerability and shows you that he doesn’t have one foot out of the door in your relationship.
We often talk about men having a fear of commitment, but what does that really look like?
Men who are afraid of commitment don’t announce themselves or tell you that they won’t commit because they’re afraid. Instead, they tend to sabotage relationships that are going well or agree to things and then change their minds. They make it impossible for you to rely on them.
These men will also typically struggle to express, or even experience, a wide range of emotions. Vulnerability is especially difficult for men who are afraid of commitment.
So, where does this fear of commitment come from? Often, it’s a result of childhood experiences. This can lead to an avoidant attachment style, where someone keeps others at arm’s length to avoid being hurt. He might also develop a fear of commitment as a result of personal insecurity or a lack of self-worth.
Paradoxically, some men have a fear of commitment that stems from taking commitment extremely seriously indeed. He might desperately want a committed relationship but be afraid of ‘getting it wrong’. Taking commitment too seriously can make it a bigger deal than it needs to be and can form part of his self-sabotage.
When a guy is afraid of commitment, it’s often because he thinks that he’s going to lose his independence (and possibly even his identity) if he commits to you. Help him overcome that fear by proving to him that it’s not true.
There are lots of ways that you can show your man that he can keep his independence. Encourage him to do things alone or suggest that he spends time with his friends. Try not to push him to spend more time with you than he volunteers.
It’s also really helpful to show that you appreciate the time he does give you. Often, a guy who is afraid of commitment feels as though his partner expects him to spend all of his time with her. He thinks he has to make an excuse to be alone.
When you thank him for choosing to spend time with you, you’re clearly showing him that you respect his autonomy over his own time. You know that he can choose to spend his free time however he wants. This lets him feel safe and shows him that he’s not giving up control over his own life.
As I’ve already mentioned, commitment in your relationship comes from a solid foundation of trust between you. If you want him to commit to you, put some effort into building trust first.
Really focusing on showing him that you can be trusted before asking for commitment also shows him that you understand why he might not be ready to commit and demonstrates that you take his feelings and emotional comfort seriously.
One reason some men are afraid to commit is that they assume that relationships take a lot of work. He might have seen his dad doing chores all weekend and never having any time for himself and thought “I never want to live like that.”
Show him that relationships don’t have to be that way by being an equal partner in your relationship. Expect him to share the domestic chores (if you’re living together) but take on your share of the yard work in exchange. Take it in turns to plan trips away or to sort out problems.
When your man realizes that being in a committed relationship means sharing the burdens, rather than just taking on additional work, he’ll become more willing to commit to you.
If your man finds it difficult to commit, make it easier for him by letting him understand what you’re thinking and why commitment matters to you. It’s easy to treat commitment as if it’s a simple thing that your partner can give you. It’s a step up from a bunch of flowers.
In reality, commitment isn’t like that at all. There are different levels and what counts as commitment to one person might be different from how someone else sees it.
Unless you’re explicit about your needs, when you ask for commitment, your partner might assume you want him to propose while you were thinking of making sure that you have at least one date night per week.
A man who’s afraid of commitment will often focus on (what he sees as) the negative sides of being in a committed relationship. He probably won’t see all of the benefits for both of you. This can even lead him to think of commitment as him making a sacrifice to keep you happy.
That’s not a healthy way to approach commitment in your relationship.
Instead of focusing on the downsides of not having commitment, talk to him about what commitment can add to your relationship. Talk about the fact that it’s easier to make plans when you know where you stand in your relationship. Explain the fantastic holidays you’ll be able to take when you’re thinking in the longer term.
You can also highlight that not all forms of commitment are irreversible. This might seem counterintuitive because you want him to make a lasting commitment. Unfortunately, feeling as though a decision is irreversible can make it too difficult for him to take the next step.
You could suggest that you have a trial period for certain forms of commitment. For example, you might agree to be exclusive for 6 months and then talk about whether you both want to carry on. Knowing that there’s an easy point to change his mind can let him relax enough to commit to you and find out for himself how wonderful it is.
Nothing makes a man’s fear of commitment kick in faster than feeling as though he’s being rushed into making more of a commitment than he wants. Not having time to think about his decision and feeling social or emotional pressure will all make his fear of commitment much, much worse.
Instead, avoid giving him deadlines or ultimatums. It’s ok to say that you will need more commitment from him in the future if the relationship is going to work, but that should be measured in months rather than days or weeks.
Another thing that can make a man who’s scared of commitment feel overwhelmed and pull away from you is if he feels that he’s responsible for all of your needs. It’s often helpful for him to know that you still have lots of other people you can turn to for support. Again, this just reduces how much pressure he feels.
This is often more about emotional support than practical help, as lots of men who are afraid of commitment are still happy to help with something practical when you need it. Try to explain that you’re not relying on them to make you happy or to deal with all of your problems.
Finally, it’s important not to allow “perfect” to be the enemy of good. You might want a really high level of commitment, such as getting married, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t appreciate when he makes other types of commitment, such as agreeing to move in.
Again, this shows him that you’re not taking his commitment for granted and that you respect how difficult commitment is for him. This lets him feel secure in offering the amount of commitment that he can manage without worrying that you’re going to keep pushing for more and more.
There’s no set amount of time that it takes a man to commit to a relationship. It depends on factors including his personality, what you count as commitment, and the nature of your relationship. Rather than thinking about his future commitment, focus on how your relationship is working right now.
Lots of men are afraid of commitment, but it’s perfectly possible for them to overcome that fear if they want to and if they have the support they need. Unfortunately, not all men (or women) will accept that they’re afraid of commitment, or want to overcome it if they do.
If your man doesn’t want to commit to your relationship, it likely won’t have anything to do with you. It’s usually associated with his attachment style (which is mostly formed in childhood) and his past experiences. The main exception is if you’ve broken his trust or hurt him badly.
Being in a relationship with a man who’s afraid of commitment is difficult. You’re constantly wondering where you stand and whether he’s a good long-term prospect. It’s difficult to plan or think of your life together as a couple.
Focus on allowing him to feel safe and showing him that he doesn’t need to give up his independence or autonomy to have a loving, committed relationship with you.
What do you think? Or have you ever been the one unsure about how to commit to the person you love? Let us know and remember to share this article with someone else who might find it helpful.
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