How Do You Handle A Boyfriend With Commitment Problems?

It is a common problem in many relationships. You find someone to date and early in the relationship, they are attentive and want to spend time with you. You know…the perfect guy. Then you decide that you want to get more serious. That is when they start to backpedal and won’t commit to a serious, exclusive relationship. Why do guys do that? It can throw a healthy relationship into disarray and leave you in a confused and frustrated state of mind. How do you handle a boyfriend with commitment problems?

A guy’s failure to commit to a relationship can be due to many factors. Rarely is it ever your fault so don’t blame yourself. A common trap that is easy to fall into but will only make matters worse is to fight about it. Arguing over the issue will help to drive him further away from commitment (but can be hard to avoid sometimes). So what do you do to get him to commit? It is a tough position to be in but here are a few things that might help.

Why He Won’t Commit

The first thing you need to know is why a man will not commit to a relationship. There are many factors and knowing the right one will help to figure out a solution. One reason men will not commit to a serious relationship is that you do not need to be married to live as a couple. People who are dating move in together all the time. They set up their household and intertwine their lives just as if they were married. This gives them all of the benefits (cooking, cleaning, and sex) without the commitment. It is sort of like the best of both worlds. If you are happy with this arrangement, then great. If not, then you probably shouldn’t be living together because once they are comfortable, they will not want to change the arrangement.

Another reason men have trouble with commitment is that they are not emotionally ready. Maybe they are still emotionally immature. They want to party, run around with their friends, and have fun. They like their lifestyle and they are not yet in the right stage in their lives to change this behavior.


Keeping their options open is another common reason that guys will not commit. Even if they really like being with you and you have a great time together, they might still have an eye out for someone new. Maybe they have a short attention span or maybe they still like playing the field. But if they are not in a committed relationship, then to a guy it is okay to see other people.

Loss of freedom is a big part of failure to commit. As ridiculous as it may be, a lot of guys feel that by getting involved in a serious relationship, they are being tied down with responsibilities. They don’t want to lose any of their freedom to do what they want when they want and they are afraid that a serious relationship will put a stop to that.

Express Your Feelings About Your Boyfriend’s Commitment Issues

Once you feel you know what the problem is, it is time to communicate. Communication is the key to any healthy relationship. Without communication, problems will only get worse. If you want to get serious but he doesn’t,  you have got to let him know how important it is to you. A relationship is not about making one person happy. It is not about making it convenient for one and inconvenient for the other. Both people need to be happy and get what they want out of the relationship. You don’t want to start off by giving ultimatums. Sometimes a guy just needs time to work through the problem in his head. And let’s face it; guys are just not as adept at working through their emotions as women are. It can take guys awhile. But to make sure that they get the message, you need to clearly state what you want out of the relationship, where you want it to go, and why.

Change Your Tactics When Your Boyfriend Has Commitment Problems

If you have been pushing and putting pressure on your guy to get serious, then you need to change your tactics. Those methods rarely work as guys can be incredibly stubborn about doing something they don’t want to do (or not doing something you want them to do). Don’t blame them. It is the fault of society preaching messages like “don’t let others tell you what to do” and “be your own boss”. So you are fighting against years of conditioning.

Patience is one of the best tactics that you can have. If you want your guy to change and commit to your relationship, you can’t expect him to change his way of thinking overnight. It is going to take some time. If you want to spend time with him and make the relationship work, then you should take it at his pace. At least for awhile.

Another tactic that you can try is to stop talking about your future together. Instead of referring to yourself as a couple and saying things like “we” and “us”, start talking about yourself using words like “I” and “me”. When you talk about your career, what you would like to do, or where you would like to be in the future, refer to yourself using one of these terms. Try talking about a vacation you would like to take or a city that you would like to live in some day. It will give you a sense of independence and after awhile your guy may wonder why he is not being included in these references. He might start thinking about what his life would be like without you and may realize what he would be missing out on.

If marriage is on your mind, you shouldn’t talk about it with a guy that has commitment issues. If he won’t commit to a serious relationship, then marriage will really freak him out.

Don’t Be A Doormat

So many women who are in love with a guy who won’t commit make themselves available to him at any time, day or night. You might not hear from him for a few days and then suddenly he calls you out of the blue and wants to come crash at your place. Or he needs a favor. Or he needs other things. Then he shows up, spends some time with you, and then leaves with no word about when you will see him again. What you are being is a doormat for him when it is convenient for him. He gets everything out of the relationship and you get nothing. Send him a message and stop being a crutch. As long as you enable his bad habits, he will not change. You should also learn how to say “no”, even when you really want to see him. If he calls you out of the blue and expects you to see him whenever he feels like it, he will be very surprised when you tell him that you have other plans. He might start appreciating your time more than he used to. He will realize that you also have a life and, yes, you can live that life without him. In case he doesn’t call you again just because you were busy once, well, in that case, he definitely is not the right guy for you. Sometimes we want other people to want us like we want them. However, no sense in waiting for the impossible to happen. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that someone is just not the right person for us. Trying to change a guy may be a waste of time.

If He Won’t Commit

Patience and no pressure are what many experts advise when you have a guy with commitment issues. As a woman, it seems that it is your role to be the one who should wait for the guy to make up his mind. If you are serious about the guy and want to make a lasting relationship, then yes, this is what you should do. But for how long? How long should you wait for a guy to make that final leap? The answer is that it is up to you. There are no charts or set of instructions detailing what you should do, whether you should continue to wait or if you should move on. Sooner or later, though, you need to decide if the waiting is worth it. He may not ever commit and while you sit there, you may be missing out on someone else who would be more than willing to develop a serious relationship (possibly even marriage). While you are waiting, don’t deprive yourself of fun.

See Also: Falling in Love with a Friend and Fun Questions to Ask Friends.