Men With Commitment Issues: Reasons Why, Signs, & What To Do

Steffo Shambo

Updated on Aug 11, 2023
men with commitment issues

Women often ask themselves, “Why are there so many men with commitment issues?” 

The answer may surprise you. It turns out that many things are playing into this issue. From biological factors to social pressures, there are multiple reasons why commitment can be difficult for some people. In this article, you shall see:

  • The many different aspects that make commitment a challenge for some individuals 
  • How to help them overcome those hurdles with your partner
  • Ways of overcoming commitment issues

What are commitment issues?

Commitment issues are when a person struggles to maintain a relationship — the reasons why this may be are broad. Typically, those who find it difficult to commit to a romantic relationship will find similar struggles in other areas of their life.

What does it mean to have commitment issues?

When people say, “I have commitment issues,” they refer to a person’s difficulty in settling down. However, this situation can also be emotional unavailability or fear of intimacy. 

If you are struggling with commitment, it is essential to understand the reasons behind your difficulties. Unfortunately, most men with commitment issues hardly even know the depth of the problem. They are known as the commitment-phobic man.

What causes a man to have commitment issues?

man nagging woman while her back is on him

Commitment Issues can arise from any number of causes, and it is a good idea to understand the different types. There are two main categories: fear-based commitment issues and challenge-based commitment issues.

1. Fear-Based Commitment Issues 

Fear may be from experience with an individual or previous relationships. This type of fear is rooted in fear of rejection or abandonment, which can be overcome. In addition, these fears may be concerns about commitment, including doubts that the person can maintain a relationship and even an unwillingness to make a long-term commitment.

2. Challenge-Based Commitment Issues 

 Challenge issues arise from the individual’s need for novelty, stimulation, or boredom with life. This type of commitment issue is rooted in the individual’s need for a new challenge or to do something different. 

You may manifest these challenges by refusing marriage, homeownership, and other long-term commitments because they are not attractive enough.

What are the types of commitment issues?

Let’s dissect why commitment phobia exists in men who shudder at the thought of a serious relationship.

1. Fear of rejection

Many men don’t fear “being tied down” as much as the idea of a woman he’s madly in love with losing interest and abandoning him. For that reason, this guy will turn away from his desire for a committed relationship. 

2. Relationship anxiety

man on the bed looking problematic

Relationship anxiety is real; the top three signs are self-silencing, excessive reassurance-seeking, and bending over backward for their partner. This hyper-vigilance is exhausting and erodes a person’s self-worth over time. 

3. Doesn’t want to be smothered or controlled

The core primal value of the masculine is freedom. Some men refer to their partner as a “ball and chain.” The reality is that having a woman in his own life creates more freedom than imaginable. 

Unfortunately, society makes the narrative of women as threats to a man’s independence. Men who fear being controlled will become quiet, nervous, upset, or angry at any mention of future plans.

4. Believes he’ll mess it all up

man looking anxious while woman is consoling him

According to Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. in Psychology Today, men are biologically wired to perform and produce. Plus, they have been taught by this materialistic culture that the measure of a man’s worth is his success in terms of power and money. This particular fear can make moving forward into a committed relationship complicated, no matter how wonderful she is.

Deep down, this guy is terrified that he can’t give a woman what she deserves or needs

5. Trust issues around women

Some men have had rough — even traumatic — experiences with the women in their lives. Whether it was their emotionally unavailable mother or manipulative ex, it can leave a scar on their desire to find and keep the woman of their dreams. To heal this scar, you can learn how to build relationship trust with women.

6. Fear of not making the right decision for him

A typical pattern for serial daters is to find a great woman and begin building a great relationship but then mistrust his judgment. Suddenly, he starts regretting the emotional attachment that the relationship brings. This man fears committing to a long-term relationship in the chance that the perfect woman is around the corner. 

The truth is that he will run into this issue with every woman in the world until he works on trusting his decisions as a man.

What to do if your man has commitment issues?

1. Notice your own beliefs around commitment

In the same way, men are advised as young men to run from commitment like the plague. Meanwhile, women are encouraged to run towards it. Look for signs that your man is interested in you, listening to you, and caring for you daily. 

Of course, if there are little to no signs of this, that’s a problem. However, if he is showing all the signs of being a loving, caring partner but isn’t ready to talk about marriage or babies — you cannot rush another person to commit in those ways. 

Not without harming the relationship or creating feelings of worry in your spouse.

2. Realize when help is needed

Many experts exist in this field, whether that’s an expert dating coach or couple’s therapy. Or if children are involved seeing a family therapist might be the right avenue for you both. 

Relationships need both people working side by side, supporting each other in a world that can be overwhelming, especially when embarking through it alone. Connection tools and techniques can be incredibly helpful in creating closeness and longevity in relationships.

3. Approach fear of commitment with LESS talking

couple wearing black posing in the rockies

This will come across as highly controversial, but verbal communication is most likely not what will keep your relationship moving forward and forging commitment, tenderness, and intimacy.

If a guy told you he doesn’t want to talk about his fear of commitment or doesn’t even acknowledge these fears. There’s no point in talking around in circles. 

So, what can you do instead?

In a nutshell:

Connection > Communication

Find non-verbal ways to connect and begin to feel comfortable and loved around each other. If you’re resentful for not being where you’d like to be in the relationship, don’t lose sight of why you want that.

This person must be special to you if you’re craving a committed relationship with them.

Admire their qualities by letting your natural empathy surface. Open up to their depth, vulnerabilities, and uniqueness. And also open to your sense of understanding, grace, and patience.

Not only do these qualities ignite passion, but they will make it difficult for a man to picture a future without you in it.

If you’re looking for more ways to connect without talking, here are 14 no-talk creative steps to repair a relationship.

WATCH FREE TRAINING NOW

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So you can reignite the passion in your relationship or attract your perfect woman.

Warning signs and red flags of a man who has trouble committing

Here are the most common signs of men with commitment issues:

1. Mixed messages

Hot and cold behavior in a relationship can be a red flag in men with commitment issues. However, nothing is less sexy to a woman than an inconsistent guy who’s only available when it’s convenient for him. 

These men are often all-in for a period, then drastically change their behavior. 

This is known as breadcrumbing and creates a false sense of hope and leaves a person wondering and waiting for a relationship that likely won’t come. This man will reach out just enough to give the other person a hint of authentic connection. Inevitably, he’ll leave her hungry for more.

Keep an eye out for inconsistent communication, flakiness, and not learning anything about him as time passes. 

2. Not introduced to family and friends

This isn’t a reason all by itself. Families, in particular, can be tricky — or maybe he hasn’t realized how much you might like to meet the other people in his life.

What you need to be aware of, though, is his reaction when you suggest meeting his family for friends. If he shoots down the idea, see if he’s interested in having an open conversation about why he’s not comfortable with having you interact with the rest of his social circle. 

If the answers are wishy-washy, it could signify that he’s a commitment phobe and not looking for a serious relationship.

modeled wooden people with different paint

3. Emotional withdrawal

A big sign of emotional withdrawal is prioritizing physical intimacy over emotional intimacy. So if you notice you’re the one always making plans to be together, it often means that this man is making himself emotionally unavailable to you. 

If you’re feeling the ice wall that is emotional withdrawal — the first step is to understand things from your partner’s perspective. 

Ask yourself: “Why do they feel the need to retreat?”.

Next, you need to express your feelings to your partner. Tell him how much he means to you and how hurtful it feels to be shut out. Finally, find out how you can work together to return to love.

4. Sabotages the relationship

This is dangerous territory for you, the partner. A man truly terrified of commitment will burn the relationship down if he senses it’s getting too intense for him. 

You have to be honest with yourself if this is the case — is it safe for you in this relationship? Or is this something you can move past together? Only you can answer this question. 

5. History of flings and short-term relationships

These men often feel trapped and would have a heart attack at the idea of marriage and sharing the rest of their lives with one person. It’s helpful to get an insight into their previous relationships and the reasons they didn’t work out.

6. Focuses on small issues

He could have a beautiful, loving woman, an incredible love life, but will find flaws in the relationship wherever he can. The way his partner breathes, or organizes the pillows become a problem. Guys who focus on the small issues often don’t even realize that they are afraid of a future where they are relied upon.

7. Emotional detachment

Shame can often be the catalyst for emotional detachment. Shame is a paralyzing feeling of not being worthy in relationships, and it has negative consequences for a man’s self-esteem as men view themselves as protectors.

Shame often deepens in men when they feel less and less capable of making their partners happy. Their own well being takes a hit unless they can learn to be vulnerable with their real feelings, which is the ultimate antidote to emotional detachment for the commitment phobic man.

How do commitment issues affect your partner?

woman looking anxious covering her face

Being on the brunt end of a man with commitment issues can be hurtful and confusing. The commitment phobic man is prone to sending mixed messages, pulling his woman towards him, and then pushing her away for reasons explained above. 

The woman must remind herself how little his process has to do with her. So many women place the blame on themselves, and while it’s important to talk, you can’t rush this. 

Men grow at their own pace — the decision you have to make is whether you are willing to support him while he’s dealing with commitment issues or whether you want to look for love elsewhere. The one thing you can’t do is rush the relationship. 

Pressure only leads to arguments, stress, and imbalances in the relationship.

Signs that you have commitment issues

woman holding 2 rings above her eyes

1. Reassurance seeking

You’re constantly looking for reassurance from your partner that you are loved. This is a common pattern of commitment issues, and it can be in both men and women. If this is something you notice about yourself or someone else, it may mean they aren’t sure if their partner will stay with them.

2. Constantly wanting the relationship to slow down

Craving a slower pace in a relationship is a prevalent pattern for those with commitment issues. However, be aware if this is something you’ve noticed when dating or if your current partner wants to move at breakneck speed. So, guys, it’s important to note that feeling as though your relationship is going too fast doesn’t automatically mean commitment problems. Still, if it happens regularly, then it may be worth exploring.

3. You avoid the ‘deep stuff’

You don’t feel comfortable talking to your partner about personal things. This one is a sign of commitment issues in men. If you find it difficult to open up even when faced with something as simple as what TV show you want to watch, then there may be some underlying fear or insecurity getting in the way.

How do commitment issues affect your partner?

It’s understandable that the relationship can suffer if a man has a fear of commitment. Commitment issues can cause a guy to be less invested in the relationship, making him more likely to cheat and put his time into other things instead of his partner.

Men who have commitment issues may get bored quickly with relationships. They are afraid that when they get close, their partner will leave as soon as they want something serious, or they’ll break up. 

Commitment issues can also cause a man to become unavailable or distant because he doesn’t want the responsibility of being close and intimate with his partner, so he pushes her away.

couple getting flirty on the bed in the morning

How to get over commitment issues

The first step is to identify the root cause of your commitment issues. There are many different reasons why men may have trouble committing, so it’s essential to determine the cause of your own and work on that.

Next step: take responsibility for your feelings. It’s easy to blame others for our shortcomings, but the truth is that everyone is 100% responsible for their thoughts and actions. You can’t change how someone else behaves – you’re only in control of yourself. It would be best if you also sought guidance. For example, you can attend free training from the best counselors.

Lastly, give yourself time and space away from relationships to create a fulfilling and successful life. Dating can be fun, but having your dreams is more important, so you’re not constantly chasing someone else’s happiness.

Conclusion

It’s a lesson discussed for centuries, and this essay has just scratched the surface. Men need to be aware of their commitment bias to make better decisions about where their relationship is going. The best way forward might not look like what you expect it to – but at least now you know why!

If you want to learn how to overcome commitment issues so you can save your marriage or manifest your dream relationship, watch my free training here

FAQs

What is the meaning of commitment issues?

Fear of commitment is often related or linked to relationship anxiety or commitment phobia. Essentially, those with commitment issues have difficulties committing to a relationship. 

Why do men avoid commitment?

Men with commitment issues often have fears about having a life partner. It could be the fear of marriage and the concept of being ‘stuck’ in a relationship. It could also be dealing with the fear of not being enough for their partner — whether in terms of success, looks, or sex.

Do guys with commitment issues come back?

A man with commitment issues, also known as a commitment phobe, can return to a relationship. Women often fear that they scare men away with the desire for a long-term relationship, but if a man can overcome his past feelings of fear, he will be much more likely to commit to his dating pursuits.

Is he afraid of commitment or just not into me?

There’s no secret code to learn this — and although there are signs you can look out for, the honest truth is that you’re better off asking him outright. Instead, try to approach the topic without judgment, and know that commitment fears are common and normal but have far more to do with the person’s past than their current partner.

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Steffo Shambo

Steffo Shambo

Men's Tantric Relationship Coach

Steffo Shambo is the founder of The Tantric Man Experience. The #1 masculine mentorship program in the world, where he’s helping men master confidence, sexuality, & purpose to reignite the passion in their relationship or attract a meaningful relationship. He’s on a mission to spread a conscious sexual revolution for men worldwide so that they can show up as integrated partners, fathers, and leaders.

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