Commitment-phobia, does it exist?
But I’m not going to analyze why some men (or women) are terrified of relationships in the first place. It could be for many reasons, but it’s not your job to be his therapist and figure it out.
What matters is that you don’t waste time on the wrong kinds of men in dating.
So here are ten signs to tell if he has commitment phobia so that you can back away before you get hurt later on:
1. He TOTALLY avoids talking about the future
Men who are afraid of commitment hate having plans…with any woman…for any time longer than about two weeks from now.
That’s because, however hard he tries, he just can’t see himself in a relationship long-term.
Maybe it’s his age. Maybe he’s obsessed with his career. Or he wants more sexual experiences before settling down. Maybe he has bad associations with relationships from having his heart broken before.
The point is: He doesn’t talk about the future, because he’s not really sure he wants to fit anyone else in it.
So he avoids getting your hopes up. And that’s not to say he doesn’t love being around you – he’s just afraid that planning ahead will make you feel too much like his real girlfriend (which is a label that terrifies him).
2. He always says he’s “just having fun”
This one is clear as day. When a guy says lines like:
- “I’m just having fun right now.”
- “I’m enjoying dating at the moment”.
- “I don’t like to put too much pressure on labeling things.”
Make no mistake: these are all euphemisms for his commitment phobia.
It’s his way of saying that he wants a free pass to avoid getting sucked into a relationship, and you can guarantee he’ll remind you he said these words a couple of months down the line when you finally ask him where he sees this going.
To save yourself disappointment later, take heed early on and listen to the clues in his words.
3. Meeting your friends and family scares the hell out of him
The commitment-phobe always wants to avoid meshing his life too closely with yours. To him, friends and family = more messiness.
He likes to keep it clean, which is why he hates the thought of having lunch with you and your best friend, or heaven forbid you tell him your mum’s in town and suggest the idea of introducing them while she’s there.
Of course, it’s totally normal for any guy to be a little wary about meeting your closest friends and family too soon (if it’s happening within the first month, that may be too fast for anyone), but if even after months of dating he breaks out in a sweat at the thought of being a part of meeting your closest inner circle, you know he’s got issues about getting in too deep.
4. You don’t hear from him for days at a time (he blows hot and cold)
Even commitment-phobes LOVE intimacy now and then..but then they disappear for a while to aggressively assert their independence.
Although we’re all different, and many couples have completely varied expectations when it comes to contact time per week, men are also human. And when men care about keeping your in their life, they keep in contact.
If he ghosts you for days, or a whole week without making any attempt at picking up the phone or making plans, it’s because he’s trying to keep a distance between you.
No, it doesn’t mean he should be calling every day, but he should at least be checking in to see how you are, even if he’s swamped with work or has other things going on.
5. He sneers at his friends who are in serious relationships
He hears a friend is getting married, and shudders. He talks about how boring his coupled up buddies are. He’s completely clueless about relationships in general.
These don’t always mean the guy is a massive commitment-phobe, but they can be warning signs to look out for.
If a guy in general tends to repeatedly turn his nose up about marriage and commitment, it’s a good bet that it’s because he isn’t planning on either for a long time.
6. He’s in love with the bachelor lifestyle
Some guys don’t really show their commitment phobia through a particular dislike of relationships. Instead, they show it trough the fact that they REALLY romanticize the carefree single lifestyle.
Maybe he loves his studio apartment and eating burritos in his underwear while playing video games on a Sunday afternoon. Or he hates the idea of being “domesticated” and wants to live without any rules or structure. Or perhaps he always talks about travelling around the world, living in other countries, and dreams about blowing off his career to hang out in Thailand and party every night.
A guy usually thinks about those things when a steady relationship is the furthest thing from his mind. (Yes, you can go travelling together, but if he’s talking about doing it solo, then you know it’s probably because he envisions all kinds of bachelor experiences that aren’t compatible with having a steady relationship).
7. He’s always careful of what he says around you
If he can’t say how much he cares about you even after months of dating, or feels icky at the thought of showing too much affection, there’s a chance it’s because he doesn’t want to be accused later of leading you on.
A guy with commitment-phobia may well have feelings for you, but he hopes if he can avoid talking about them too much then he won’t have to feel guilty later when he finally decides to bail.
8. He always gears things towards sex
He only ever wants to see you after 7pm, and only if sex is on the cards.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having passionate sex with this guy, nor is there anything wrong with him physically desiring you (it’s better than him NOT wanting you, after all!).
But if he always steers things in a sexual direction, it’s probably because he doesn’t see time invested in connecting with you as time well spent. Not when he knows he’ll still be single in 6 months time anyway. If he seems to only fixate in to the physical stuff and nothing else, then you know he’s hoping it comes with no-strings-attached.
9. He doesn’t try to impress you
Lack of effort on dates is another guy’s code for saying, “don’t get the wrong idea about this.”
Now, of course it’s possible that a guy doesn’t make an effort simply because he’s not that into you, rather than because he’s a commitment-phobe. But it’s also possible that he is into you, but he just doesn’t want to put too much thought into your dates so that he himself doesn’t get too emotionally attached.
If after several weeks of dating he’s still offering you Netflix and Chill at his place and never makes an effort to take you out or do thoughtful things, then you know this guy isn’t wanting to stick around forever.
10. His past relationships seem non-existent
This one depends on his age, but if he’s pushing 30 and above, and seems to have zero previous relationships to even mention, it either means (a) he’s totally inexperienced with women, or (b) he’s not great at the whole “commitment thing”.
It may sound judgmental to say it, but a man over a certain age should at least have an ex to speak about, or a woman he dated seriously who meant something to him by this point in his life by now.
If not, be warned: it could be because he’s decided to play Mr. Casual for as long as he possibly can, and has no intention of changing that any time soon.