Why does it seem like so many guys are afraid to commit? I’ve been casually dating this guy for a while now and he seems like he’s really into me. But whenever I bring up being in a relationship or getting serious, he freaks out. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me and I see it happen all the time. I feel like it’s ONLY with guys. Why are so many guys terrified of commitment? And how can we get them to stop?
Though my perspective may be lacking objectivity, hopefully the fact that I’m one of those dudes who’s frightened by commitment makes me more qualified to answer your question. In my case, however, it’s not exclusive relationships I fear, but that ultimate lifelong vow known as “m-a-r-r-i-a-g-e.” (Somehow I believe that by not saying the word out loud I can avoid the act, too.)
See, I’ve always been a serial monogamist – I prefer to romantically focus on one lady at a time. Most of my friends are the same way, but have also nearly pooped their pants when it’s time to take the “big leap.” I talk frequently about this, but monogomy – though more fulfulling than bachelorhood for many reasons – flies in the face of male biological programming to “spread genetic seed.” Though it’s certainly not an excuse for immoral behavior, what drives men to cheat is often what also makes them afraid of commitment.
Of course, there are also plenty of guys with more severe cases of commitment-phobia – those who avoid the terms “girlfriend,” “relationship,” and “exclusive” as if they were the plague. These evasions could be due to a lack of maturity, a bubbling romance with someone else, or, unfortunately, just a simple lack of interest.
Even if a guy does really like you, the bad news is that you can’t “force,” “make,” or “get” him to commit – it’ll only push him away even quicker. The good news, however, is that there are ways to make him feel more comfortable so that he’ll likely want to do it on his own. Though seemingly counter-intuitive, the more space and freedom you give a guy, the more he’ll look forward to spending time with you (and ideally, only you).
The “show, don’t tell,” technique used by story writers can also be applied to an “unofficial” relationship. Demonstrating trust rather than constantly verbally reaffirming it will inevitably enable him to trust you. Live your life, make your own plans, and occasionally flirt with (but don’t touch!) other guys. Expect the same from your man, and if he’s right for you, he’ll make you proud.
Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of ActualConversation.com. For more on Ethan, visit EthanFixell.com…or call his mom, Robin.