“You should never have to look for evidence that someone loves you. True love is crystal clear.”
~ Mandy Hale
It can be difficult to talk about commitment in the early stages of connection because it requires us to lean into vulnerability.
It also requires us to be willing to ask for what we really need and to be open to taking the necessary steps to make adjustments.
If you are noticing signs that make you question whether he is afraid of commitment or if he is just not that into you, give yourself a chance to reflect on the patterns in your dynamic.
Then, take the steps you need to discuss what deepening your commitment looks like.
The following tips can help guide you through this process:
Step 1: Ask Yourself if You Recognize the Following Signs
Do you notice red flags or signs that leave you bewildered or uneasy? It can be natural for us to brush these sort of thoughts off as nothing, but it is crucial to lean in and notice whether you see a pattern:
- When you discuss exclusivity, does he act confused, evasive, or consistently say he needs more time?
- Does he get defensive when you ask him about commitment or, perhaps, even when discussing what he is looking for romantically?
- Does he brush off his inconsistency and make excuses for his behavior?
- Does he bring up the disadvantages of having a long-term serious relationship consistently?
- Does he refuse to be vulnerable with you?
- Is he reluctant to include you in his life?
Step 2: Consider Your Relationship with Commitment
We all have a relationship with commitment. This can include ways we have learned to ask for commitment, seek commitment or patterns for chasing and/or rejecting commitment that we may be playing out through our behaviors.
Reflecting on your past experiences and think about what you’ve learned about your strengths and areas of growth.
Also, think about what long-term commitment would look like for you ideally.
Writing down and taking inventory about your basic needs, wants and boundaries can be a great way to lay the groundwork for revisiting your dynamics with intentionality.
Step 3: Communicate & Connect
It may not be easy to talk about commitment, but it is worth it.
You deserve to protect your hearts’ truest desires in partnership and the only way to do this is to reflect on, clarify and then to ask for what you need. Discuss if you are both looking for the same kind of commitment.
If the answer is no, or if things still seem unclear, take personal space and time to decide if healthy compromise is possible.
Seeking professional guidance for exploring this topic can help you explore and discover how to align your deepest wants and needs with your actions.
Delia Berinde, MS, LPCC – www.lookingforwardcounseling.com
If you’ve found yourself in a situation where you can’t tell if the guy you’re dating is afraid of commitment or just not into you, read on for some clues that may help you decipher his mysterious behaviors:
First, let’s look at some clues that he may simply be afraid of commitment:
- He seems interested when you’re together (and you have fun!), but sometimes he pulls away or withdraws, particularly after you experience closeness;
- He has actually shared with you that he’s afraid of commitment (he’s been hurt by a past relationship, etc.);
- He wants to take your relationship slowly but seems interested when you are together;
- He arranges time to spend together, but it may not be as frequent or consistent as you’d prefer;
If he shows signs that he’s afraid of commitment, try talking to him about it.
Does he seem genuinely interested in you, but it’s clear that he’s dealing with some fears around commitment? Is he working on it? Is it improving?
You will have to decide what your limit is, and how patient you’re willing to be. If you don’t see improvement or he is unwilling to discuss it, you could be in for a long road.
Now, let’s look at some clues that he may just not be into you:
- He seems distracted or bored when he’s with you (e.g., he’s attached to his phone when he’s with you);
- He makes it clear that he sees other women;
- He doesn’t communicate frequently or consistently (read: simple texts take hours or days to respond);
- He has told you he doesn’t want a relationship (time to listen here, ladies!);
- He acts charming and interested until right after things have gotten sexual, and then he acts disinterested.
The list could go on and on, but you get the point, right? Right?!
If you see signs that he’s just not that into you, pull the plug.
Walk away. It doesn’t mean that you’re mean or insensitive; it means that you have self-respect. Spending time with an obviously disinterested person is bad for your self-esteem!
Try not to take his disinterest personally.
Sometimes, there just isn’t good chemistry. Or he doesn’t know what he wants. Or he isn’t over his ex. And sometimes, men and women alike are unsure about how to say that there isn’t any chemistry, or that you’re somehow incompatible.
But don’t waste your time if you’re seeing signs that he’s not into you.
What we tolerate persists. You could be spending time with someone who treats you like the wonderful woman you are!
Jennifer Meyer, M.A., LPC, NCC – www.jenmeyercounseling.com
How do you know whether the man you are dating is afraid of commitment or is just not into you?
If a man is into you, you will know. You will not have to guess.
It will be very clear by his behavior and your gut feeling about what is going on. He will pursue you and try to contact you and see you.
This doesn’t mean that he will necessarily overwhelm you with too much contact too soon, but you will have a clear sense that he is definitely interested. If you have to guess whether or not someone is into you, he is not.
Many people have fears about commitment, and trust has to be gradually built in a relationship before taking the next step.
This takes time, and often involves working through conflicts together and reasoning things out. If you are not able to negotiate your conflicts or work out issues that come up, this is not someone that you want to commit to.
Instead of focusing on whether he wants you, ask yourself whether you want him.
Women often get so caught up in trying to please and needing to be wanted, that they forget to ask themselves what they themselves want.
You don’t necessarily want someone just because they want you.
It is important that you have your own feelings and standards that are satisfied in the relationship.
Men who are commitment-phobic will often have a history of not having had long or serious relationships, or not having had many relationships at all.
If you find yourself wondering why such a great guy has remained single his whole life, it might be because he doesn’t want to commit to a relationship.
This does not necessarily make him a bad person, but if you want a committed relationship, he may not be the one for you. You have different priorities.
There are many men out there who do want a committed relationship, and there will be one who is just the right fit for you.
Pay attention, keep your mind open, and stay true to yourself. The universe will work it out for you.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
When you’re trying to determine if he’s committed to you or not, it is most important that both of you understand what commitment means to the other person.
There are many couples out there who do not choose to legally marry because neither of them wants to.
There are many couples who make a conscious decision to wait years before making the decision to become engaged.
In both of these examples, these couples are committed to each other because they are on the same page about where their relationship stands and where it’s going.
Commitment means different things to different people and there can be varying expectations about the timing of relationship milestones (and what those milestones are in the first place).
In the early stages of a relationship, one person may be looking for a long-term relationship while the other isn’t.
This is not about commitment – this is a situation of wanting different things.
Hopefully, the two of you have talked at some point about what commitment means to both of you and determined if you agree or disagree.
- Are you both ready and wanting an exclusive relationship?
- After you start dating exclusively, do both of you want to get married someday?
- When do you envision this happening?
Though these are serious conversations that don’t have to happen right away, you can’t determine if someone is committed to you or not until you know the answers about what commitment looks like for them.
There is cause for concern if the two of you have said you’re on the same page with what you both want and then…things don’t happen.
If you both said you’d like to get married and could imagine an engagement within 3 years of dating and it’s been 5 years, that could be cause for concern. If you both said that you’d like to live together at some point but he’s been dodging conversations about taking this step, it could mean something else is going on.
If a relationship is going along smoothly with both people fully invested in their future together, taking further steps towards commitment will not feel like a chore.
You will both know what the other person is wanting and you’ll both have a general sense that the relationship is working towards that. If it feels stalled (or especially if it feels like it’s going backwards), he’s probably not ready to commit to you.
Michelle Henderson, MA, LMHC – www.nextchapter-counseling.com
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