In the world of dating, relationships and love there is a consistent question around men’s refusal or lack of desire to commit.
‘We’ve been dating for years and he just won’t pop the question!’
‘I don’t know why, after several fun dates and good sex, he won’t take his Match profile down’
‘I just can’t get him to want to be exclusive‘
We’ve all heard (or said) statements like these three above and I am truly sympathetic to the plight. I’m also experienced in dealing with it since this is the second biggest complaint I get from my single female clients. In case you’re curious, the first is a lack of communication in their relationships but that’s an article in and of itself. What is the reason some men simply will not commit to a relationship? I have good reasons but first let me note that I will not be addressing specific relationships but, instead, the broader perspective. In other words, there may be individual reasons for specific men not committing to specific women and those situations are too isolated for me to address. In the bigger picture, there are five reasons why men have a hard time committing and that’s what I want to explore.
So without further ado, in no specific order:
1. It’s commitment. And to a lot of men, the word alone is scary. There are connotations that come with it that, if isolated, are not bothersome but when said under the commitment umbrella, become a lot scarier, more permanent, etc. To fully understand this bizarre but to true to life phenomena, one would have to understand the power of environmental influences and build-up. Think of all of the caricatures of commitment phobes, divorcees and stage five clingers and the like in music, film and television and think about the guys that have never actually been in a relationship or experienced these things but for whom commitment is still a scary thought. As well, we’ve lived in a divorce laden society for a long time and there are men that want no part of it be it lawyers, bank accounts, custody disputes, split-up of friends and family, etc.
2. Sex with one person their entire life doesn’t always sound appealing. I find it genuinely bizarre that society will acknowledge or associate men with being players and sex fiends that are hard to keep loyal and on the other side we will acknowledge or associate men as less committal. Are they all noncommittal sex fiends? Uh, no. But, there are some that simply don’t believe in or have an interest in monogamy. In some cases they change their view after living the bachelors life for so long until some emptiness creeps in and in some cases, they’ll always be playing the field.
3. They want the option left open for a new GIG because they believe the Grass Is Greener on the other side. Why would Jerry want to commit to Gillian when a Gwen or Stephanie could be prettier, less maintenance or more tolerant of his OCD tendencies? It’s easier, to these types of men, to imagine and hope for a perfect relationship than to accept that Gillian may be perfect for them.
4. Summer of George Syndrome. Translation: As long as I’m dating Elaine, I will not be able to watch the Yankees games with Jerry or get drinks with Kramer. It will always be about Elaine and I don’t want to do that dance all the time, pun intended. I want me time, too! So says the less committal George.
5. I don’t have to. In other words, if I can have my cake (sex, companionship, etc.) on my terms and when I’m available, why would I commit? This one warrants no further explanation.
Disclaimer: These words do not reflect the views of the writer, just the facts about commitment and the lack thereof from some men. Please do not badger the writer nor send him hate mail. Unless of course the mail is about how much you hate Duck Dynasty and the views of Gavin McInnes. Then by all means, send hate mail.
On a more serious note, commitment issues are alive and well and while I’ve laid out some possible reasons for a mans lack of commitment, it is incumbent on you to soak it in, take out of it what you will and discard the rest. More importantly, however, is the reality that you must teach people how to treat you! If someone does not want to be in a committed relationship but you do, there are two (and only two) things you must do!
- Teach people how to treat you! As in, the longer you stay in a relationship with someone whose goals and needs are not your own, the longer you are settling while also telling them that it’s okay. Communicate your desire and need and act accordingly.
- Teach people how to treat you! As in, don’t allow your desire for a committed relationship cloud your view of what is in front of you. You may be committed and they may have a long term plan that includes you but if it’s on their terms, then it’s not commitment. A commitment takes two! I had a client that swore to me she was in a committed relationship for three years but she also acknowledged that they interacted with each other on his terms. Mmmmm Hmmmmm!
That will be all – for now.