I hear this a lot from the Sexy Confidence community: so many women feel like they’re surrounded by commitment-phobic men and that they keep attracting them. This tends to be their #1 frustration with the 21st-century dating scene.
So why do so many men seem to fear commitment?
Is it you? Are you doing something wrong that draws these commitment-phobic men?
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Let me just start out by saying absolutely not. You are not doing anything wrong. Yes, there seems to be an epidemic when it comes to men who are afraid of commitment, but with a little insight, you can learn how to spot them early and deal with them quickly.
3 Reasons You Might Be Attracting Commitment-Phobic Men
So while you’re not doing anything wrong, you do need to look at what could be an underlying cause for you attracting commitment-phobic men who don’t want a relationship.
1. You’re Not Actually Ready for a Relationship
I know a lot of women say they want a relationship, but the reality is that they aren’t ready for one. Maybe they want companionship but aren’t willing to change anything about their lifestyle to make room for one. Does that describe you? Can you see sharing your life with someone, or are you more attached to the idea of going on dates or just having sex?
If you’re not really ready to commit deep down, you will attract men who aren’t ready for commitment. On the other hand, if you’re fully ready to share your world with someone, you will attract a man who can do the same for you.
2. You’re Looking in the Wrong Places
I feel like this should be a little obvious but: Tinder is not the place to meet a boyfriend. A bar is not the place to meet a man who will commit. Where you look for love will greatly impact your ability to find it.
(And yes, I know some couples do meet on Tinder or in a bar, but the likelihood is pretty small. There are better avenues.)
If you’re frustrated because you keep meeting men who just want to hook up, consider where you’re meeting them. Then change the scene. Find a singles meetup group. Smile at the guy in the coffee shop. Change up where you look, and you’ll get different results.
3. You’re Stuck in a Rut
Maybe you dated a commitment-phobe biker a few years ago, and now it seems like commitment-phobe bikers are all you date. Probably you became a part of that community, so your access to men outside of that circle is fairly limited. You’re in a rut.
It’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Meet men in other groups. Maybe don’t ask Biker Bob to set you up with a friend. It’s within your power to mix things up to make changes in your love life.
Signs You’re Dating a Commitment-Phobic Man
So now that you know a few of the reasons you might keep attracting men with commitment issues, let’s assess whether the guy you’re with is afraid to commit to you. My guess is: if you have to ask, he probably is.
1. He’s Never Been Married or Had a Long Relationship
I encourage women to ask a man they’re dating pretty early on whether he’s ever been married or had a long relationship. The answer to this is quite telling, actually. If his longest relationship was three months, you’ve got to wonder why. Sure, maybe he just hasn’t met The One, but if he’s in his 40s or 50s, he’s had ample opportunity to give a relationship (or three) a chance for more than a few months.
Certainly, he doesn’t have to have been married to be able to commit. But he should have at least a reasonable relationship history that shows you that he’s able to commit to a woman.
2. He Says He’s Just Looking for Something Casual
Again, another obvious sign of commitment-phobic men: they tell you they don’t want to commit! I don’t care how much you dig this guy: if he tells you he wants something casual, you will never turn him into boyfriend material.
I know you might have difficulty separating emotions from a physical relationship, but men are able to sort of shut off emotions if they’re not looking for a relationship. Maybe he’s about to move out of state and doesn’t want to get tied down with a relationship. Maybe he got burned in the recent past by love. But he still wants sex or at least companionship, so he says he wants to “keep things light.”
Listen to him! He means it. If you’re okay with things never escalating beyond casual, then fine. But if you’re lying to yourself, hoping that he’ll fall madly in love with you, you are in for heartbreak.
3. He Never Talks About the Future
Ask yourself: has this guy ever made plans more than a week or two out? Does he talk about the far-off future, like when you’re married or when you have kids together? If you’ve been dating more than a month or two and he’s not doing any of that, there’s a good chance it’s because he doesn’t see a future with you. Sure, maybe he’s slow to fall in love, but you have to realize that you may be the only one making plans in your head about the two of you down the road.
What does he do or say when you bring up the future? If you were to try to make plans in a month or two, would he agree or come up with an excuse about why he can’t do it? When you talk about being together years from now, what’s his reaction? Pay attention, because his reaction is probably telling you more than you’re willing to admit about his interest in committing to you.
4. He is Dating Other Women
He may not flat out tell you that he’s seeing other women, but assume that if he’s not committed to you, he’s dating other women. How do you know?
Does he often have other plans but is vague when you ask for details?
Does he cancel plans with you often?
Do you have trouble reaching him in the evenings?
Does he only seem to want to have sex?
If you feel like he’s using you as part of his rotation of women, you’re probably right. You can confront him and flat out ask him if he’s dating other women, but be prepared that he might lie because he still wants you on his roster.
5. He Runs Hot Then Cold
One minute he’s calling you baby and only has eyes for you…the next you don’t see him for a week or three. If he seems to be all hot for you then suddenly goes cold, it could be because he’s one of these commitment-phobic men. He likes you…but he’s afraid of spending too much time with you lest you fall for him and then he has to deal with his fear of being in a relationship. And he knows you’ll probably walk away if it comes to that because you are strong and confident, and he knows that type of woman won’t put up with his sh#& for long. So he goes in and out of your life, hoping you won’t notice.
What to Do When Dating Commitment-Phobic Men
Okay, so now you realize the guy you’re dating is totally afraid of commitment. Now what? Do you hold out with the hope that he’ll change? Dump him without discussing? It will, of course, depend on your personality and his, but here are a few tips I’ve seen work in my many years working as a dating and relationship coach.
Let Him Know Up Front What You Want
The best way to avoid ending up in a frustrating situation with a man who will never commit is to be upfront about what you want. This even means on your dating profile: you’ll often see profiles for both men and women that say “looking for LTR” or “just looking for a hookup.” I actually applaud this because it sets expectations right from the start. If a man wants something casual, he should be responsible enough to not swipe right on a woman’s profile that makes it clear that she wants a relationship. What’s the point? He won’t change your mind about what you want any more than you will change his.
Likewise, when you’re sifting through men’s profiles, disqualify them right away if they make it clear they don’t want a relationship. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later.
But if you are dating someone, it never hurts to ask what he’s looking for early on. Some men get uncomfortable with the question, thinking you’re looking for your next husband (these are usually the commitment-phobic men), but simply saying “something of substance” versus “something casual” is all you need to know. Make it clear that you’re looking for the former.
Be Patient…If You Think There’s Potential
Not every man who hasn’t professed his love for you by Month Two is a commitment-phobe. Some men just prefer to go really slowly getting to know a woman and start a relationship with her. If you’ve talked to him and he says he wants a relationship, give it time. He knows what you want and has agreed that he wants the same. So you need to be patient and let the relationship unfold.
But here’s my caveat: set a time limit for how long you’ll wait around. If he says he isn’t ready for you to call each other boyfriend and girlfriend, ask how long before he thinks he will be (and why he isn’t ready). If he gives a reasonable timeframe, okay. If he stutters and doesn’t know, he’s probably putting you off. If he doesn’t seem to be moving in the general direction of commitment within a few months, realize that he never will.
Keep Dating Other Men
I really urge you to keep your options open while you’re dating this guy. I would hate for you to miss out on an opportunity with another man who is ready and willing to commit to you because you’re wasting time on this one.
While you might assume that men are more likely to date more than one person at a time, the converse is actually true. In Match.com’s Singles in America Study, researchers discovered that 69% of women versus 51% of men had dated multiple people at once. So even if this is something new for you, give it a try. You’ll invest less energy into the man who will never commit to you and open yourself up to other possibilities romantically.
Don’t Try to Make Him into Something He’s Not Ever Going to Be
I know you like this guy. I know you want to see potential in him.
“If I just give it time [more than you should]…”
“If I give him sex more…”
“If I dress sexier…”
“Once he’s finished with [insert project here]..”
You can think of a zillion little excuses as to why he’s not ready to commit right now, but why he will be later. But the cold, hard truth is: if he’s not ready now, he won’t be. At least with you. Sometimes I hear from women who say they dated a commitment-phobic man and once they broke up, he married the very next woman. That does not mean that if you’d stayed with him, you would have married him! It means that he realized before you that the two of you weren’t supposed to be together. At least respect him for not trying to force the relationship when it wasn’t right.
You shouldn’t be offended by the idea that he could commit to someone other than you. There’s at least one reason (probably many more) why you and this guy aren’t destined for one another, but you want it to be right, so you’re trying to force it. Trust me: you will find a man that is 1,000% more right for you…once you let this one go.
So you’re ready to admit that you’re dating a commitment-phobe and maybe have dated others in the past. And you’re ready to change the script.
First, you have to clearly define what you’re looking for. If you’re ready to dive into a loving relationship that will last the rest of your life, don’t be afraid to declare that (okay, maybe not from a mountaintop or anything. Maybe just write it in your journal.). Stop settling for guys who are ambiguous about what they want and start looking for men who are just as excited to start a life with someone they can fall in love with. They’re out there. Trust me.
Are you now or have you ever dated a guy who was scared of commitment? Share your story in the comments below.
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