We have all heard the stereotype: men are afraid to commit. As women, we blame men for not wanting the same things we do — marriage, security, and family — and we are quick to label them as players, dogs or commitmentphobes. But is it really that easy for them to settle down and give up their sexual freedom for just one woman? I mean, wouldn’t she have to be someone extremely special for him to want to do that?
The longer I coach, the more I see that many women have very unrealistic expectations when it comes to getting a man to commit. They think that just because there is some sort of attraction and a man wants to hang out, date, or have sex, he must be considering the possibility of a having a long-term relationship or marrying her. When these women find out that a man isn't thinking in those terms, at least not right away, they can quickly become insecure, emotional, and, even, controlling. Unfortunately, when most men start to see signs of desperation in a woman they are dating, they often just disappear. Can you blame them?
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There's no question that there are some men who fear commitment, but before we start saying that the majority of men are commitmentphobic, maybe we should be asking ourselves how we can become the kind of women men would want to commit to.
Do you even know what a man needs from you besides sex? I didn't. At 39, when I first started dating again after my divorce, I had a sobering realization: The only way I knew how to relate to men was sexually. Why? Because sex was the only thing I really knew they wanted from me. As a product of the sexual revolution, I told myself that I could do anything a man could do. If I wanted sex, I had it. Unfortunately, this approach never got me what I most wanted — a man who adored me and wanted to spend his life with me. I realized that if I wanted to capture and keep a man's heart, I was going to have to have something more than just sex up my sleeve. I was going to have to learn how to be a confidant, playmate, and best friend to a man.
Over the next two years, I wound up going out on nearly 100 Internet dates, all with different men. I intentionally didn't sleep with any of them. Even if I never wanted to go out with someone again, I tried to learn something from him about what men look for in the women they commit to. I encourage you to start using your dating experience to become aware of what these qualities are and practice them on every date.
It may be easier than you might think to create and maintain a happy, lifelong romantic relationship, if you are aware of what men want and need beyond sex. Have you ever noticed that there are some women — seemingly plain, normal women — who always appear to be in a relationship? These lucky few understand what others don’t. They know that there are essential qualities that men are drawn to in the women they marry, and that beauty and sex are only a part of the equation.
According to Warren Farrell, author of Why Men Are the Way They Are (the best book ever written about men), the primary male fantasy is to have sex with as many beautiful women as possible. This doesn't mean that all men act on this fantasy, but most dream about it. The primary female fantasy is for security. In the past, for most men to have access to regular sex, a hot meal, and a clean house they had to marry. Times have changed. Today there is not nearly as much societal pressure to settle down, a man can hire a maid to clean his house, and having sex and babies out of wedlock is commonplace.
So, what incentive is there for a man to give up his sexual freedom and spend his life with just one woman? According to Warren Farrell, the main reason most men choose to leave the single life today is to get their “primary unfilled need” met. This unfulfilled need is for intimacy, respect, and appreciation. In other words, a man will let go of his dream of having sex with endless beautiful women in order to feel loved by one woman.
So, the million-dollar question is this: what do you need to do as a woman to spark his desire to commit? In Why Men are the Way They Are, Warren Farrell points out six distinguishing behaviors of women men commit to. He says that these women are:
- Less focused on getting a man to commit than they are on making him feel appreciated and understood
- Able to listen to critical feedback and hear the truth in it without getting defensive
- Mature enough to consider their partner's perspective and talk to him directly about issues in the relationship instead of complaining about him to their mothers or female friends
- Able to look past a man's anger and make every effort to understand what caused him to get angry in the first place
- Able to enjoy sex for its own sake and not just to fulfill an obligation in the relationship
- Willing to keep working at their jobs even after they are in a committed relationship
Farrell writes, "In the process, the men in her life sense the potential for the fulfillment of their primary unfulfilled need — intimacy — as well as a good sex life. And they bang down the door. And the one who gets admitted rarely feels tricked or trapped, but rather grateful."
So, if you want a man to want to commit to you, you cannot put too much emphasis on your goal. whether it is a title or a ring. If a man senses that you have an agenda, he'll feel that you are smothering or demanding, and he'll disappear. Rather than focusing on getting a man to marry you, it helps to see each date as a stepping-stone to finding The One. Try to go out with as many men as possible during the dating process so that you can learn what men want and practice giving to them. As a woman, you need to focus on understanding a man, not on conquering him. The most beautiful part of dating is actually getting to know another human being in a deep and personal way. Don't rush it!
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Once you're in a relationship, there will undoubtedly be times when you need to receive critical feedback. Men will be turned off if you become defensive or insecure. When you receive criticism from your boyfriend or husband, don't make it a big deal! Stay open and use your energy to understand your partner's perspective. Put a positive spin on these conversations by choosing to see them as a way to bring the two of you closer together. Keep reading..
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