Why men avoid commitment

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Relationships are made up of a series of commitments starting from very small ones like agreeing when and where to meet, and moving on to much bigger, life changing ones, like the decision to get married or have children. In between these two extremes there are many levels of commitment and each stage it requires both partners to want to move forward together. Sometimes this doesn’t happen, the couple aren’t in sync, and it is often the woman who is ready for the next level of commitment while the man is holding back. Here are some of the most common reasons this happens and how best to deal with each situation.

Past experiences

If a man has been hurt in the past he is unlikely to want to be hurt in the same way again – it is human nature to pull away from something that has hurt us. If a man has committed to a relationship before and has been badly hurt he is more likely than a woman to be reluctant to commit again. Women usually talk things through with their friends and, although the level of hurt can be the same, they work through their hurt feelings and often finding things they could have done differently which may have changed the outcome. Talking it through gives them some perspective and allows the hurt to pass.

Men are much more likely to bury the hurt inside and never tell anyone what really happened. Because they work in a much more solution focussed way they may see that the problem was that they committed in the first place and the solution is to never do that again. This often isn’t a conscious decision and the best thing you can do in this situation is to be patient. Don’t push him to talk to you about what happened but trust that he will in his own time. You can usually spot someone who is struggling for this reason because they will often say they want marriage, children etc but when it actually comes to it they hold back in a way that seems fearful rather than stubborn.

Over time, as he comes to trust you and see that you are going to stick around and not hurt him, his trust will be restored and he will be ready to move on.

Enjoying the single life

Sometimes men don’t want to make a commitment because they are enjoying being single too much. If they are recently separated from a long term relationship, or if they have been single for a long time, it may be that they are simply enjoying the freedom to relax and do their own thing – how a man lives on his own is often very different to how they live when they are part of a couple. He may be reluctant to give up his freedom for the duties and responsibilities which he thinks will be expected of him if you live together.

Men like this are quite easy to spot because they often have a domineering mother and a maybe a downtrodden father. They struggle to see a commitment as anything more than giving up their freedom.  The most important thing you can do with a man like this is listen to what they want and reassure them that they will still be able to enjoy their hobbies, see their friends and have freedom even when they are in a committed relationship. Words will have little effect though – the proof will be in your actions. Give him freedom, don’t nag or try to change him and respect the time he wants to spend apart from you – then he will see that you are different and be more willing to commit when the time is right.

Other interests

Quite often men don’t want to commit to one relationship because they are dating a number of different women at the same time. If this is the case it is important that he is upfront with you about it. Don’t think that because you are ready to be exclusive he will be too. If it gets to the point where you think he is never going to settle down to just one person it is probably time to let him go and move onto someone who can give you what you want.


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