10 Signs You’re Dating A Commitment-Phobe

10 Signs You’re Dating A Commitment-Phobe ©iStock/kali9

There’s a lot of gray area between first date and committed relationship. There can be a lot of casual dating in between, and there’s nothing wrong with taking things slow. However, if everything’s going great but he’s all too happy to stay in that gray area, you might be dating a commitment-phobe. Here’s how to tell if that’s the case:

  1. His response time is unreliable. Sometimes he texts you nonstop like you’re the only one who matters to him in the world, other times it’s radio silence on his end. Just when it feels like you’re getting really close, he pulls back and gets cold and distant on you.
  2. He double checks to make sure you haven’t accidentally left anything at his place. You aren’t intentionally trying to leave your crap at his place, but what would be the big deal if you did? He sometimes seems a little paranoid about making sure you leave with all your belongings, as if your toothbrush might somehow trigger a massive, unwanted commitment. You aren’t trying to trick or trap him, so the double checking comes off as being slightly irrational.
  3. He short term ghosts. For no apparent reason, he completely disappears on you for periods of time. He doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with short term ghosting because you aren’t an official serious couple, and he completely disagrees with you about these actions being rude or disrespectful.
  4. He downplays the importance of titles. He talks a lot about how titles are meaningless and how defining a relationship is unnecessary. It seems like he has had the conversation many times before, and he’s probably trying to convince you rather than just share his philosophies on modern dating.
  5. He’s full of excuses. There’s a hundred reasons why he wants to keep seeing you, but keep it casual. Maybe he’s really overwhelmed at work, or having drama with his ex, or whatever other excuse he has to keep you around, but at arm’s length. These reasons all feel like BS to you, because the real problem is his fear of this being the real deal.
  6. He’s secretive with his phone. He seems a little bit guarded of his phone, like he’s hiding something. Maybe he’s texting other women, maybe he’s texting his buddies claiming to be completely unattached. Whatever the reason, being secretive is always a red flag. You’d never ask to go through his phone or anything like that, but you’re justified in being suspicious when someone seems irregularly guarded of their cell phone. That’s just not normal.
  7. He won’t come to family gatherings. He avoids all family commitments like the plague. No matter how long you’ve been “dating”, holidays are spent separately and you can’t nail him down as your date to your cousin’s wedding. He might show up to friend’s events, but family time is off the table.
  8. He spends an unreasonable amount of time at work. There’s a difference between having a demanding career and spending an unnecessary amount of time at work to avoid having a life. Some people move into the office to ensure they don’t have time for love. If your hunch is that that’s what’s going on, you could be right. You can recognize when someone is using their job as an escape.
  9. He bails on serious talk. He can’t even cope with talking about commitment. He panics, gets angry, changes the subject, or walks away. A simple relationship question is treated like you’re playing psychiatrist or interrogating him, and his reactions are so poor that you feel like you can’t talk to him about feelings at all, ever.
  10. He won’t delete his Tinder or change his relationship status. Yes, these things are stupid and childish. But if they don’t really matter, shouldn’t you be worried if he adamantly refuses to do them? Deleting Tinder isn’t even a permanent decision, he can reactivate it if things don’t work out. This kind of behavior just shows that he’s not ready to be involved in something 100%, and you might want to look elsewhere if a commitment is something that’s important to you.
Holly Harris is a freelance writer, full time student, and mommy to a toddler sass monster. In her (nearly nonexistent) free time, you can find her lifting something heavy in her home gym or chugging vodka sodas with friends. She contributes to several other sites, including Elite Daily.