Why A Man With This Specific Issue Will Never, Ever Commit

A man will only commit when he wants to.

No making a man with commitment issues, commit cottonbro studio | Canva

The fear of commitment is one of the most prevalent (and ruinous) things a person can bring into a relationship. Any commitment issues, from refusing to dedicate yourself to one person to refusing to marry the person you’ve been dating since the Reagan administration, can flatten a union. And it’s something that is worthy of avoiding (unless you want a broken heart). 

Of course, men are the ones who are stereotypically painted as the gender dragging its feet — they’re often said to have commitment phobia either because they date multiple women at once, refuse to embrace anything serious or run from bridal shops and jewelry stores like they’re training for a marathon. Sometimes this reputation is unfair — many men do commit and sometimes it’s women who are dragging their feet. Other times, this reputation is well-deserved. There's no such thing as 'making' a man commit, and why it always ends in a broken heart.


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What does this mean for the women in the world? It means that a man with commitment issues is a man waving a giant red flag. And it’s up to women to take notice. Why? Because it’s your heart that’s on the line Unfortunately, many women do take notice. They notice when a man says he’s not ready for something serious and then they put a plan into action. "Sure, he’s not ready for something serious with other people," they think. "But he will be ready for something serious with me."

@benjamindaly If he doesn’t want “anything serious”… #datingtip #datingadvice ♬ original sound- Benjamin Daly

They take notice of the red flags, but then they ignore the red flags, even as the flag looms larger and larger. This is one of the oldest stories in the book: girl meets boy, boy refuses to commit, girl tries to change him. And rarely does it come with a happy ending. It only comes with an ending. One of the reasons this happens is that women mistake a lovership for a partnership when they’re not the same (despite some commonalities). The difference is that a lovership is more about being intimate. It’s more about passion and lust and a romantic connection. It’s less about everything else in between — the "in-between" stuff that makes up a true relationship.


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A lovership may offer a lot of excitement "in between" the sheets, but that is often the limit. A partnership allows the two of you to be part of each other’s lives on an ongoing basis. You support each other, emotionally, physically, and perhaps financially. And, most importantly, you’re both a willing participant in the partnership: it’s where you want to be. You envision a common future.

@giaaldisert 10 ways to make ur relationship last #relationshipadvice ♬ original sound - gia

A lovership can be fun and fleeting; a partnership is long-term and, honestly, not always fun. It’s a willingness to stick by each other even after the honeymoon phase wears off. It’s wanting to see each other even when you’re not naked. It’s finding contentment in doing the dishes together or going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond on a Saturday night. It’s seeing a future, one that makes both people excited. And that is where women go wrong — they try to turn a lovership into a partnership and, in the process, the ships sink. A boat needs two oars to row efficiently.


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A lovership can be a beautiful thing, but only when you take it for what it is and not what — you assume — it could be. Confusing a lovership for a partnership is like confusing a vacation for real life. You can get on a plane and go to a beach. You can bask in the sunlight and spend your days sipping mimosas but, no matter what, it’s not your home. If you’re part of a lovership and it makes you happy, more power to you: there’s nothing wrong with how you’re sailing. But, if you’re looking for something upon which to grow and build, a partnership is where you need to be. Not just you, but the person you’re dating too. If they’re not envisioning the same future, it’s time to move on to someone who is. 

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Clayton Olson is an International Relationship Coach, Master NLP Practitioner, and Facilitator specializing in dating, empowering men and women, self-esteem, and life transitions. He has 20 years of experience working to optimize human behavior and relational dynamics.