Due to negative experiences and beliefs (or sometimes a personality disorder), both sexes can suffer from commitment phobia. But more and more men seem to be suffering from this problem.
Commitment-phobic men are tortured souls full of fear. They are in a constant state of emotional conflict because of their negative irrational beliefs about love, commitment and relationships. In relationships they create great confusion, havoc, pain, and anguish as their behaviors are often insensitive, unpredictable and bizarre.
These types of men can make women who are saints turn into mad women, as they play games with their minds and their hearts. Commitment-phobic men may display some or many of the following behaviors:
1. They have a history of short relationships or have never been married.
There's often an excuse that they haven’t met the right woman, or they justify their history by saying they still have plenty of time to settle down as they can have children at any age. A favorite line is "someday."
2. If they have been married it's likely to have been for a short time.
Or, if they have been in a long term relationship or marriage, they will usually have a history of infidelity.
3. They want a relationship but they also want freedom and space.
They are often attracted to long-distance relationships and busy, independent women.
4. They are fast to move in on a woman they are attracted to.
And they pursue ardently until they win the woman over.
5. They are very charming.
They say and do all the right things and they can be very romantic. They are very good salesmen to get their own needs met, but in reality they have very little concern for the woman’s feelings, as they are always operating from hidden agendas.
6. They are usually very affectionate and loving.
This is because, in their mind, the relationship isn't going to be long term, so they feel free to give affection and love, knowing it won’t be forever. It isn’t long before they suddenly start rejecting the woman by not calling or not including her in weekend arrangements. This is because they subtly want to give the woman the message that they don’t want a long term, committed relationship.
7. They play the seduction/rejection game.
They can’t make the decision to give totally to the relationship, but they can’t commit to walk away either. They feel trapped by both choices. They feel love for the woman when they don’t see her, but they want to run away when they become involved again.
8. They love the chase but they don’t want the kill.
This may happen after one night, one week, one month, three months or one year. They may start sabotaging just as they are about to get married, or just before or after there's a decision made to move in together.
9. They spin stories to justify their contradictory behavior.
And when the woman threatens to leave the relationship, they may make promises to change, but they never do.
10. They tend to treat the woman like a mistress rather than a real girlfriend.
11. They tend to limit the amount of time they spend with the women and treat her as a low priority.
13. They announce subtly, "You will be special for a short time, but it won’t be forever."
14. They often choose women who aren't the type of partner they are looking for.
For example, they may be much older, much younger, married, or they may have different interests. They use these differences as excuses to end relationships.
15. They have a history of frequent career change and often work in environments where they have a certain amount of space and freedom.
16. They treat requests for respect as demands and become angry, obnoxious and rebellious.
17. They avoid events or outings that may include the woman's family or friends.
18. They know an ongoing sexual relationship often leads to commitment, so they choose to run when things start to head in that direction.
19. They like to feel in control and create time frames that suit them, often treating the woman like a puppet on a string.
20. They don’t like structure, particularly in their personal life.
21. They tend to compartmentalize their life and keep their work environment, friends or family off limits.
They can create wonderful excuses why the woman shouldn’t meet these people.
22. When they get the feeling they need to run, their words and actions are full of mixed messages.
They, essentially, play mind games.
23. They won’t allow the relationship to grow and they have no intentions of ever doing so.
24. They can be moody or aloof and blame the woman for why they're acting so bizarrely.
25. They may withdraw sexually and blame it on the woman for being demanding.
They can also blame it on work fatigue, or illness, or anything else that they can think of.
26. They have a history of unavailability and inaccessibility.
They can be hard to contact and are often unpredictable when it comes to returning phone calls. They can even avoid answering calls completely.
27. They lie, or are evasive and secretive about where they are and what they are doing to create space.
28. Their living arrangements may be rather off-beat.
They may have an apartment but they may rarely stay there, preferring to stay at friend's places, with parents or ex-girlfriends.
29. They hate planning ahead because that means commitment.
30. They have very little furniture or don't own property or a car, as these represent commitment.
To some, buying a car can be as big a decision as deciding to get married. It can be all too much for them as they don’t want to feel stuck with anything.
31. They often don’t invite women to their home because of their peculiar living arrangements.
But they have no desire to change their situation. Even if their home is comfortable, it exudes the feeling that they want to be alone. It isn't welcoming to the outside world.
32. They are often unreliable, late and sometimes they don’t turn up at all.
They are like this with family and friends as well, although this isn't the case in their working environment.
33. They are often unfaithful in relationships.
34. They can be overly committed to their work or to their children to avoid spending a lot of time with a woman.
35. They rarely lower their defenses because they don’t want to get too close to a woman, or vice versa.
If they do, they usually only give little pieces of their soul in well-planned installments, except if they are having an affair. Affairs are perfect for commitment-phobics as they feel completely safe to disclose and to chase, as commitment isn't an option while they are in another relationship.
36. If he's been married, he may void putting his divorce papers through.
He can use this as an excuse to keep a woman at bay. This helps him to feel safe from the possibility of ever getting married again.
37. Behavioral inconsistencies are very noticeable when they find themselves getting too close.
They become argumentative and abusive, or they create distance. A lot of uncaring sabotage behaviors surface (e.g., working long hours, taking on extra projects, creating space, not ringing, being late, finding fault with the woman).
38. They often choose to travel a lot for work, to play a lot of sports, or be involved in many projects to create distance.
39. They know on some level that they are deceptive and cruel to women.
40. The word “forever” terrifies them.
Love doesn’t scare them; rather, it's what love represents to them that scares them. This is due to their negative belief system about love and relationships.
41. They end up behaving worse and worse, and they sabotage more and more.
This is because they want the woman to end the relationship, as they feel too anxious and guilty to do so.
42. They can also suffer from claustrophobia and/or a personality disorder.
How to handle a commitment-phobe:
1. Don’t rush into bed with these types of men (or any men for that matter).
Especially the ones who are very charming and pursue ardently, as they are the ones to be most wary of.
2. Take your time.
Listen carefully to a man’s history, and leave him as soon as you recognize the behaviors before you get involved and hurt.
3. Beware if he tends to exclude you from other areas of his life.
4. If you get involved before seeing the behaviors, set the pace.
Don’t allow him to set the pace.
5. Act like you don’t need him.
6. Realize that your love and attention won’t change him.
But not needing him and giving him space might.
7. Believe what he does, not what he says.
Actions speak louder than words.
8. Don’t expect a committed relationship; be prepared to take the relationship for what it is.
These types of men are best treated as occasional lovers rather than potential partners. Don’t rely on having a relationship with them. If you do, you will never feel emotionally safe or satisfied. You will be left confused, bewildered, angry and hurt.
9. Don’t cut yourself off from dating other men.
Keep your options open as it's highly likely he isn't saving himself for you, nor can he ever give you what you want, need and deserve.
10. Don’t find excuses for his behavior.
11. Evaluate whether he wants to change and whether he's capable of changing.
Some men will fall into this category but most won’t. Also evaluate how patient you are.
12. Learn from the experience.
Don’t think it was your fault when a commitment phobic relationship ends, but learn from it. Make sure you don’t get involved with one of these types of men again. Watch carefully for the behaviors.
13. Take care of yourself first.
There's a high chance this man won’t be there for you when you really need him, despite his sweet words when he's in the mood.
14. If you're continually attracting commitment phobics, you may need coaching to get different results.
What does a commitment phobic have to do to change?
- He has to admit he has a problem.
- He has to take responsibility for his behaviors toward women.
- He has to want to change.
- He has to be prepared to seek help.
- He has to look deep within to work out when and how his claustrophobic/commitment phobic symptoms started.
- He will require coaching or cognitive behavioral therapy to change his negative, irrational thought patterns about love, commitment and relationships.
- He needs some time out from relationships to reflect on his thinking patterns and behaviors.
- He must develop his emotional and spiritual intelligence and become more aware.
- If he doesn’t want to change his behaviors, he has to be honest and upfront to women when he first meets them. He must tell them he doesn't want a committed relationship, that he's only interested in a casual liaison with space and freedom, and not to expect any more. Then, it's up to the woman to decide whether she wishes to spend time with him on those terms.