The #1 Error Women Make When Trying To Get Men To Commit

It won't work.

man and woman embracing Emotions studio / Shutterstock

Most girls I know have an end game in mind when they’re dating around: they want a husband. I understand it; at one point in my life, I wanted one, too.

I had gone on a rant in front of one of my guy friends recently about guys and their commitment issues, and much like many of the other guys who have had enough of my verbal assaults against men, he had decided it was time to pipe up. He decided to tell me how most men are approached by girls looking for commitment, why it doesn’t work, and how to get him to commit for real.


Imagine if you were dating a guy who wasn’t quite right for you, but was good enough that you could see yourself dating him and maybe committing to him down the line.

There are a lot of yellow flags there, and you want to take your time with him to see if this could actually go anywhere. (Since most men are cautious about commitment or marriage, this is a pretty good analogy.)

RELATED: 9 Excuses Men Give To Avoid Commitment When They Don't Really Love You

Let’s call this guy Buddy. During the first couple of dates, Buddy makes it clear that he wants you to commit to him, but you’ve also made it clear that you’re not 100 percent ready. Buddy tells you it’s “okay” and that you two can date for a while until you make up your mind. For a couple of months, things are good.


Then, things slowly start to change. Buddy starts asking why you won’t commit to him, what’s wrong with him and even gets salty enough to tell him that all his other friends have loving girlfriends.

At times, you catch him trying to get you to say you’re his girlfriend, do girlfriend things, or go Facebook official. It turns into a constant dialogue and argument, which sucks because it’s starting to get in the way of actually enjoying your relationship.

Eventually, you end up caving just to shut him up. He’s good to you otherwise, so it’s not that hard to agree to commit to him. And just like magic, things go well for a while. Then, he drops the wedding bomb.

Now, here’s the problem with you getting married to Buddy: it’s not something you want to commit to. Buddy still hasn’t gotten his career together enough, and there are issues in the dynamics that you don’t feel good about. Maybe it’s because you really just don’t see him as husband material (since you barely see him as boyfriend material) and him being a whiny doormat to get his way hasn’t helped this a bit.


You explain to him you’re not fully into this relationship to the point that you feel like committing that deep. Deep down inside, you know you don’t want to commit to this man, but you don’t want to give him up to be totally single, either.

Buddy, upon hearing that you don’t want to marry quite yet, is devastated but he says he’ll stay. But it's clear he’s really unhappy about it. When you walk past the bridal store, he starts getting choked up. When you walk past couples with a new baby, he shoots you a look of longing and hurt. He makes a jabbing comment about how all his friends in his fraternity got married, and finally, you just snap.

“It’s over, Buddy. I’m sick of you pushing commitment so damned much!” you scream. He bursts into tears and reminds you of all the good he’s done you.

Let’s be real here: would you commit to a guy like Buddy? Probably not, especially when it comes to the way he’s approaching meeting his needs while guilting you every step of the way.


But this is exactly the way that most women approach dating and commitment — and it’s something that I’ve been guilty of myself.  So, you’re probably wondering how to get him to commit if being nice and just pushing it and hoping for the best won’t work.

Well, let’s go through a different scenario with his friend. Let’s call this guy Richard.

Richard is the kind of guy you probably would commit to, but you have reservations about it as well. He’s attractive, but like Buddy, he has flaws. When you two begin to date, Richard says that he’s looking for a committed relationship. You begin to falter, then he raises his hand.

“I realize that it’s early in the relationship to bring this up, but I want commitment. If you can’t commit to me in full, then understand that I will continue to date other women while seeing you,” he says. “I want a wife, and I’m not going to stop dating until there’s a girl wearing my ring. If you can’t handle this, I’m sorry, but we will cut our date short now. I don’t want to waste your time.”


You’re taken totally off-guard. And because you might be interested in him, you continue seeing him. He never pushes for commitment, and eventually, you start approaching him about being official with him. Since you don’t feel pressured and you know it’s what he wants, you feel comfortable doing so. Besides, the relationship is great.

He tells you, “I will be official with you, but I want you to understand the timeline I have in mind. I want to be married in six months after we get official. If you don’t want this, then I don’t want to be official with you. And if we aren’t walking down the aisle by month six, then I can’t guarantee I’ll stay with you.”

RELATED: 5 Simple Ways To Make Him Want To Commit To You (Not Just Fool Around)

You agree, but don’t take him seriously when he says six months. You come home one month later after work, only to read a text from him saying, “It’s over. I don’t want to waste my time committing to a girl who won’t commit.”


Panicked, you run to his house and beg for him to marry you. You don’t want to lose him, and it’s your fault you’re getting that message.

Chances are you would seriously regret dragging your feet to the altar with Richard, right? Now, Richard has all the power in the relationship and calls the shots on whether or not you walk down the aisle.

See the differences? If not, I’ll break it down for you right now.

1. Richard made his desires clear from the get-go and explained that he wasn’t going to put all his eggs in one basket until it was a sure thing, while Buddy was wishy-washy and committed even when it was clear you weren’t as committed as he was.

At no point can you sit there and tell Richard he’s a jerk for letting his interest be shown, nor can you fault him for his dating method. He’s a man on a mission, just as you should be when looking for commitment.

2. Richard was willing to walk away if he didn’t get what he wanted, Buddy wasn’t.

Marriage should be something that your partner inherently values with you. If the person you’re with doesn’t value what you’re offering, don’t try to force it on them. It will not lead to anything other than resentment, as you saw with Buddy.


With Richard, on the other hand, his absence quickly made it clear what you were missing out on. It may have been a risky move to lose you, but in reality, if you wouldn’t have begged for marriage after that, you weren’t interested in him that much anyway.

3. Richard made it seem like it was your idea to commit when he left; Buddy made it clear it was his idea.

By the end of the scene with Richard, you would probably have done anything to marry him. Meanwhile, with Buddy, you probably wouldn’t have married him for $1 million.

4. Richard didn’t use guilt trips, but Buddy did.

Have you ever been guilted into something? It’s a horrible, slimy feeling, isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly how guys feel when girls guilt them into weddings or babies.

The bottom line is that marriage needs to be approached like a business contract rather than something that you manipulate men into. Guilting, crying, and whining a guy into it won’t work. If he really wants you, he’ll pursue you on your terms. And if he's not, you need to walk. 


RELATED: 3 Steps To Get The Commitment From Him That You Want (And Deserve)

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey who writes primarily about lifestyle, food, finance, and relationships. You can follow her on Twitter.