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Reasons Guys Shy Away From Commitment

by Christen Robinson

He's smart, funny, good looking, and he even does volunteer work on the weekends. He may be your perfect guy, except for one small detail -- he refuses to commit. He may be in the new majority, since according to a 2012 Pew research study, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-old men who prioritize a successful marriage has dropped six percentage points since 1997.

It's Not at the Top of His List

He may like spending time with you. He may like the way you look, the way you think -- he may even like your cat. If he is not ready for commitment, however, none of that matters. Some men have self-imposed timelines. He might want to focus on his career before focusing on a relationship. Maybe he is dealing with family issues that require too much time or attention. Or, maybe he likes to play the field and is not ready to stop. The pressure or incentive for men to marry just isn't a societal fact of life anymore, according to Matt K. Lewis from "The Daily Caller. With this burden lifted, men are free to focus on other priorities, which may not include commitment.

He's Got Emotional Baggage

His self-imposed timeline may include the unpacking of some baggage. He may have family issues or past relationships that interfere with his ability to commit to you. Maybe his family is in crisis and he feels a responsibility to fix it. Or maybe he just has it too good at home. Men with extremely close maternal relationships or who are momma's boys, "treat their relationship with their mothers as far more important than their relationship with their long-term girl friends," states psychiatrist David M. Allen, in the article, "Commitment Phobics," in "Psychology Today." Whatever the reason, he is not able to focus on a relationship.

You're Not the Only One -- Or, the One

Your guy may shy away from commitment because is backing more than one horse in the race. He thinks you're amazing, but he also thinks other young women he knows are amazing, too. If he is open to commitment, he may be waiting to see who has the most relationship potential. If he is not ready to commit, he is simply enjoying himself. Or, maybe he's just not that into you. He's ready to commit and wants a relationship. He knows, however, that you are not the one he wants a relationship with, and he might just be using you as a placeholder until "the one" comes along.

He Doesn't Have To

Maybe you're making it a little too easy for him to avoid commitment. If he has all of the perks of a relationship without any requisite commitment, he may be content to keep things as they are. Do you threaten to leave if he doesn't commit, but then stay anyway? He may not take your threats seriously -- and why would he? It may also be wise to take some time and examine your own actions. Why are you waiting around? "Psychology Today's" Allen claims that women with ancillary roles in dysfunctional family relationships are more likely to end up in relationships with commitment phobics. If a woman constantly played mediator in her parents' troubled marriage, she may find herself dating commitment-phobics in an effort -- conscious or not -- to remain available to her parents.

About the Author

Christen Robinson has been writing educational content and materials since 2004. She also writes for eHow, Answerbag and Education.com. Robinson teaches special education, and specializes in working with children with autism. She holds a master's degree in teaching from Central Washington University.

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