There’s nothing more frustrating and at times heartbreaking than dating a guy who pulls away the minute things get too serious. While you should never be dating a “project” or working hard to change a grown man to be the kind of partner you need and deserve, there are some things you can do to make a commitment-phobe want to commit. Here’s how to go about it in a way that doesn’t destroy you or push him away.
Avoid nagging or pressuring him. Nothing will make a commitment-phobe run for the hills faster than being pushed to commit. Giving him ultimatums or trying to push him into a situation he’s uncomfortable in will pretty much always have the opposite effect and leave your relationship in tatters and you potentially single. There is such a thing as coming on too strong, and constantly hammering home the point that you want him to lock things down should be avoided.
Give him space. If he’s afraid of feeling suffocated in a relationship and tends to pull away when things get real, back off a bit. This serves two purposes: it lets you get on with your own awesome life outside of him and also makes him realize that being in a relationship doesn’t have to mean losing his freedom. The commitment-phobe might worry that if he were to commit, your expectations of him would change or increase. Buck this idea by hanging out with your friends, pursuing your hobbies, working on your career, and generally enjoying life away from him just as much as you do with him.
De-prioritize him a bit. A little bit of reverse psychology never hurt anyone, and this tactic is likely to light a fire under his butt. Making your commitment-phobe guy less of a priority in your life sends a message that you have better things to do than wait around for him to be ready to get real about your relationship. If he likes you, this may make him confront some home truths and whip into shape because he doesn’t want to lose you.
Figure out why he’s afraid of commitment and reassure him. Not all commitment-phobes refuse to commit because they want to be eternal bachelors. Sometimes there are more serious reasons, like a fear of abandonment or a fear of getting hurt do to negative past experiences. One of the best ways to work through this is by having an honest talk with him and finding out what he’s been through and where he’s coming from. Then, you can confront this together.
Make your relationship fun and interesting. Maybe he’s resisting locking things down because he’s afraid he’ll get bored when the honeymoon period wears off. While it’s not your job to constantly entertain him and maintain his interest, you can at least keep things fresh in your relationship by being fun and spontaneous (and he should do the same in return). Being up for anything and regularly making sure you don’t get stuck in a rut will make him more likely to be open to commitment.
Date other men (or at least keep your options open). At the end of the day, you have better things to do than waiting around for a commitment-phobe to get his act together and commit to you. If you’ve expressed your desires for a real relationship and he’s continued to resist, that leaves you no other choice than to date other men. If he ever grows up, he can get back to you, but there’s no guarantee you’ll still be around. His loss!
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