I’ve had two friends recently that got handed the “it’s not you, it’s me,” line. Both dudes told my friends they just couldn’t see themselves committing long-term. They’re not interested in anything serious, they insisted. But a couple of weeks later, bam! Both were in serious relationships. Determined to figure out this phenomenon, I sat down with one of my guy friends to figure out what the hell’s going on.
- He does want commitment, he just doesn’t want it with you. I asked my friend straight out if this was what was going on and he said it’s the most likely explanation. Guys are just too scared to hurt our feelings to be honest. For some reason, they think that if they tell you they don’t ever want to be in a relationship or to get married, that will take the sting away. I asked him if this was purposeful; did these guys really know they want a relationship just not with my friends but lied anyway? Affirmative. “They probably knew they were lying but it’s just an easier conversation to have than the truth,” he explained. Seems kind of low to me.
- He doesn’t know what he wants. A bit like the first one, just with a little less intent behind his words. He may not actually know that he does or doesn’t want commitment, he just knows that whatever you guys have together isn’t right for some reason. It isn’t what he wants long-term and he doesn’t see it continuing. He may think he doesn’t want to settle down but he isn’t totally sure either. A guy in this conundrum is super confused, and it’s probably best to let him figure out his life on his own.
- He was already seeing someone else. If he got into a relationship really fast after you broke up, it’s possible he was dating both of you at the same time and lied about it. It’s also possible that he just clicked with the other woman better than he did with you for whatever reason. He chose her to commit to and he didn’t feel like he could be honest with you about it. Maybe he didn’t want to hurt your feelings or maybe he just didn’t want to get caught.
- He really didn’t want commitment but the right one came along. Maybe he truly cared about you but couldn’t get past his commitment-phobe ways. Sometimes if the right person comes along, a guy can get past his issues pretty quickly, according to my friend. He said he’s seen a lot of his friends swear they were never going to settle down but once they met the right girl, all of the sudden they wanted this totally different life because they wanted it with her.
- It was just the wrong time. Sometimes it’s just about timing. Maybe he finally graduated or got the promotion he was working for. Maybe something happened that hit too close to home, like a death in the family. Sometimes guys just decide they’re ready to move forward in their lives for reasons that have nothing to do with the person they’re dating. If they meet someone in that time period, things end up happening pretty fast. “I had a friend who met a girl right after he landed his dream job and it just seemed like he was in the zone. He got this job, met her, they got engaged, and were married a year later. It all just happened, boom, boom, boom! A lot of people said he was lucky but I think he was just ready.”
- He’s facing external pressure. I asked my friend if there could be any other reason a guy wouldn’t commit to someone but then would get in a serious relationship soon after. “You mean, like, she’s pregnant or something?” he asked. I laughed but I was serious. “Girls come up with all kinds of reasons to justify why a guy made a jerky move,” he said. “They’ll say crazy things like he was scared of his feelings for her or something, but the truth is, if a guy feels that strongly about you, he’ll figure out how to make it work. I suppose there could be some crazy reason, like his parents didn’t like her or something, but like I said, most guys I know will do what they want to do if they feel strongly enough about it. If he wasn’t man enough to stand up to his parents, you should probably let him go anyway.”