Many of us will have encountered meeting that special person who can’t seem to commit. I recollect an associate of mine, in his late forties who expressed a desire to get married but couldn't commit within his relationships. Does this sound familiar? While society portrays it’s mainly men that are commitment phobes, women struggle with this issue to. Ironically the person who fears a committed relationship is the one who craves it the most. Below are a few signs that indicate the person you’re dating is scared of taking the relationship to the next level.
1. This person wants a relationship but also wants freedom and space. They're usually attracted to long distance relationships and busy independent types. The book 'He's Just Not That showed an example of a young woman that dated a guy that wouldn't make time for her. He led a busy lifestyle and would often squeeze her in-between work and meetings. Be wary of a person that wants 100% commitment from you but can’t give the same in return. This will only lead to frustration and resentment.
2. They don't tell anyone about you. I know you don't have to profess your relationship status to the world immediately, but there comes a point when you’re nearest and dearest should know. Some people are simply private while others want to portray that there single and ready to mingle. When you’re truly happy and secure within a new relationship you can't help but tell your best friend, a family member, somebody…anybody. If after a few months he/she hasn't told at least one person about you, be concerned. This could indicate that they don't want anyone to know you exist as they’re not sure of their feelings, they’re scared or simply keeping their options open.
3. They avoid going out with you and your friends. Your friends and family will offer up thoughts about your new beau with or without your consent. They’ll also be able to see red flags that you can’t due to the love goggles. If a person doesn’t want to commit, they won’t get too involved in your world i.e. hang out with friends, getting to know your hobbies and interests, etc. Doing so will indicate some form of attachment. Attachment doesn’t bode too well with commitment phobes. Meeting family often forces a person into addressing how they really feel. There’ll always be that aunt/ father asking so what are your intentions? Cue awkward silence…..
4. Vague about their feelings. Some folks find it difficult problem conveying their feelings and come across vague and disconnected. If they can't acknowledge how they feel through words I’d like to think their actions will speak volumes. If you’re not seeing any concrete signs of progression then maybe they just don’t care enough about you. You know within yourself when something feels a bit off. Even if you’re not ready for children, marriage or living together you should know whether you want this person in your life and whether you can be there for them wholeheartedly not when it suits you.
5. They wont allow the relationship to go and don't have any intentions of doing so. I consider this as having your cake and eating it. In other words it’s selfish, because you’re constantly putting your needs before your partners. You can’t commit to the relationship but won’t let the other person go. If you know you can’t give your other half what they want why string them along and let them fall deeper in love with you? Be wary of this as it’s all a form of control. I’ve had friends say they were optimistic and felt they could give more of themselves to the person when in reality they couldn’t. Yet they had no intention of getting out of the relationship. No one wants to be alone but its better for both parties if you just be honest.
6. They hate planning ahead because that means commitment. There was a time when I dated a guy that would not commit to any plans. The simplest proposals of going to the cinema or dinner were always greeted with I’ll let you know. Huh?!?! A simple yes or no would have suited me fine at least that way I would have known where I stood. These were all excuses he’d use because he didn’t want to go out with me. Do not be fooled by inconsistent behaviour and don’t make excuses for it. If the person you’re with constantly blows hot and cold and has you questioning whether you’re dating two different people I suggest you reflect on what’s keeping you there in the first place.
These aren't definitive guidelines but points to be aware of. Some men/ women will display bad behaviour so that you have no choice but to leave. The end result…no commitment! Then you’re left with the guilt of ending the relationship. Take the time to get to know a person, LISTEN to the words they use on a daily basis. If you choose to continue a relationship with someone who displays non committal behaviour it’s at your own risk. You’ll eventually get to a point where the good memories are replaced with bitterness.