For a man to place two feet fully into a relationship, he needs to feel that certain key boxes are checked in his life.
When they aren’t, he won’t be able to feel a clear “Yes,” which may cause him to feel ambiguous and resistant around committing to a woman.
Based on the title of this article, you might think I’m about to talk about women’s side of things – or what it is about you that makes men wary. But it’s the exact opposite. This is not personal at all.
Because the biggest reasons that truly keep a man from being able to commit are largely within himself.
Yes, there has to be the compatibility and attraction. But there are endless instances where those two components were there between two people, yet the man’s next step toward commitment just couldn’t seem to happen.
That’s because he needs to have specific things aligned and organized within his own life in order to feel fully open to a woman, and able to choose her – no matter how good of a fit she may be for him.
The following points are things that not all men are necessarily able to see at work within themselves. But with these in your awareness, you might be able to see through confusing situations and more easily recognize the truth of the matter, to tell whether a man is truly ready to commit, or not.
Also, a man’s readiness to commit is not a value judgment on how good of a man he is. Everyone is at different stages, and ready for different types of relationships.
This is just speaking specifically to women who are seeking commitment, and have been wondering why many men they date seem reluctant to reciprocate.
This is meant to help you better discern which men are the best fit for you, and, more importantly, not take it personally if they can’t choose to be with you.
So, here are the 4 little-known common reasons why men might not be committing to you, and they go deeper than you might expect.
1. Their lives aren’t ready for commitment yet
When I was younger, and struggling near the end of one of my relationships, I sat down to consult with an older male mentor to help me sort through my mental process.
I told him that I just wasn’t sure about this woman. I knew we were compatible in so many ways, and she loved me to death, but it didn’t feel right. And I began hypothesizing about all the qualities I thought I might need in a woman, and why it didn’t feel right to be in this relationship right now.
Then he said something that completely changed my perspective on relationships forever.
“Sometimes, the real question is not ‘Am I ready for this relationship?’ It’s ‘Am I ready for relationship itself?’”
A wave of relief ran through my mind, as the echoes of his words rang with truth somewhere deep inside of me.
I quickly came to see that he was right. It wasn’t about the woman herself. In fact, no matter who I was with at the time – no matter how aligned we were – I ultimately wouldn’t have been able to commit to her for more than a short period of time.
This is often the case for men who are still too young, or haven’t had enough life experience.
Much of the time, our stubborn yet mysterious uncertainty around feelings toward potential mates has very little to do with their physical features or personal qualities (as much as our minds might make it seem that way).
The real reason is sometimes because we haven’t dated enough, travelled enough, or simply lived enough.
Our lives aren’t ready for commitment, period.
We need to develop a better sense of what we want in general, so we can avoid letting another person’s opinions and preferences cloud our own.
Through this experience, we better understand who we are; we start to separate what we think we want from what we actually need, and we feel like we’ve had enough adventure to settle down and focus on one person.
In short, we start to feel more confident in ourselves and our choices.
So, even though a less experienced man might feel a ton of sincere love and affection toward a woman, and deeply appreciate and respect her, he may not be able to help that his heart is still somewhat not yet available.
But when he has had enough experience and learned about himself, he becomes much more open and ready to choose a woman fully.
2. They haven’t found their life’s mission yet
There is an unwritten and unspoken rule that runs a man’s life.
That is: His mission comes first, above all else.
If a man has not yet identified and gained traction in his mission, he will intuitively feel like something is missing, and sense that a relationship might get in the way of him living his best life.
That’s not to say that men don’t still get into relationship without knowing their mission. But if that’s the case, they often either don’t feel truly fulfilled, or it doesn’t last long.
When a man seems wary and doesn’t feel that inner “readiness for relationship” that I spoke about above, this is one of the harder reasons.
It’s more difficult because unearthing and engaging with his life’s purpose requires a lot of inner and outer work, and a lot of time.
This work is a Hero’s journey with no set schedule, that he often has to discover on his own.
Sometimes, he may be close enough that he feels like he can do this work with his partner at the same time. But it’s more often the case that he needs the sovereign space to fly solo in order to fully immerse himself in this quest, before emerging with more openness to joining forces with a woman and merging their journeys together.
3. They aren’t sure if you’ll fit in with their life’s vision yet
Allison Armstrong, the legendary author on male/female psychology in love and relationship, made a great distinction in the way men date.
When men date women, they are “trying them on,” like a jacket.
While women’s imaginations might more automatically include the man in their future, and how to work it out, the man will more often be asking whether or not it’s even a fit, and experimenting with the edges of all their puzzle pieces.
Neither of these strategies are better or worse, it’s just the way most of our minds work.
Men are trying to see if the woman fits into the picture he has for his life. He is assessing and reassessing whether or not her personality and preferences will fit into his lifestyle and goals.
If a man is more codependent, he may completely compromise his life vision and throw it aside, so he can mould himself into whatever shape he needs to be in order to be with a woman. But this spells big trouble not far ahead, and creates disastrous results for both people.
When a man is allegiant to his vision for his ideal lifestyle, highest goals, and value system, he will be on the vigilant lookout for ways a woman complements that vision or conflicts with it.
If he doesn’t see the alignment, then no amount of effort will be able to change his heart.
However, it often happens that when the connection is “good enough,” and not so far off that he feels the need to avoid it, some men may allow the relationship to drift along in a kind of limbo state – where he doesn’t feel inspired to fully commit, but he also doesn’t want to give it up because it’s fairly enjoyable and meets certain needs.
But if push comes to shove, he would let it go because deep down he knows it’s not a fit.
This is where it’s important for a woman to be strongly connected to what she needs and not shy to ask for it. If you’re enjoying a connection with a man but you’re sensing that he’s not two feet in, and that’s what you want, then it’s okay to put that forward.
Sometimes a little healthy pressure helps us suddenly see the difference between being comfortable and being committed, and saves a lot of time.
However, because men need more time to decide how committed they are, giving him more space in the early stages of dating can give him the sense of freedom he needs to feel confident in making up his mind.
Talking about what you each want and being honest about commitment early on is great. But using an ultimatum too early, before he’s been able to gather enough information and listen to his gut, can interfere with your connection.
4. They are being run by fear
Fear factors into some aspects of the previous points – such as whether or not the two of you are a match – but it also has many more specific forms that stand on their own.
We often don’t choose paths in life, or people, because we’re afraid of the negative possible consequences and undesirable future scenarios of making that choice.
For example, a man might avoid relationship because he’s afraid of the pain of breaking up, or the financial ruin and family complications of divorce.
He may be afraid of losing sex, and sexual novelty.
He may be afraid that he will lose his freedom and sense of self.
While some of these things are actually possible outcomes, these fears all point to a bigger problem:
He is letting his mind be dominated by fear, and he doesn’t fully trust himself.
Everything in life has risk. Relationship is certainly no exception. But we also have agency in how we conduct ourselves and mitigate those risks.
In the same way that we can be smart with our money to avoid bankruptcy, we can also take actions to ensure the success of our love.
And the threat of pain and loss are inherent to life. Any man who hasn’t embraced this fact and built up a secure tolerance against risk is essentially afraid of life itself. If he is not connected enough to his purpose, and his confidence to handle the inevitable downs of any path, he will let fear hold him back.
This type of limiting fear is a very boyish quality, which is also behind the immature fear of losing oneself in a woman. If a man doesn’t have healthy boundaries and self-esteem, and trust himself to have the strength to reinforce and express them, then he will live in fear of being engulfed by his relationships.
Another way fear expresses itself ties back to not having enough experience and wisdom.
Many of us, especially when we’re young, tend to look for the perfect or ideal partner.
We tend to be afraid that a relationship won’t work out, or it’s not “true love,” unless we’re 100% sure about it being the perfect fit right out the gate.
But after some time and wisdom gleaned from living and looking, we hopefully start to see that this idea is a total misleading illusion.
The truth is that, out of the billions of people on the planet, there are many people that we could have a deeply nourishing, long term commitment with.
What it all comes down to is:
Am I as a man actively moving forward on my own clear path to become the person I really want to be? And am I truly ready to do the work to co-exist with another human and build a life together?
If the answer to either of those questions is “No,” then the answer is the same to commitment in relationship.
Holding Space For Commitment
If you love and admire a man, but sense any of the above issues getting in the way of his ability to commit, it can be tough to let go.
You may hope that next month he will suddenly change his mind, or that you might be able to change it for him. But most of these things require work that requires willingness and time, and can’t be done overnight.
But this is part of mature love. We have to accept that some people just won’t be a fit with our relationship needs at that time, and that’s okay.
Respect where he is at on his path, and create space in your life for another man to enter who has become ready for commitment.
Dedicated to your success,
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