How Men Signal They’re Not Ready For Commitment

How Men Signal They’re Not Ready For Commitment

In a perfect world, men would just tell us they aren’t ready to commit, and we would accept that and move on. But unfortunately, dating is rarely that simple. From players who want to keep you on the hook for as long as possible ~just in case~, to guys who don’t know what they want and are constantly sending mixed messages, it can be difficult to get an accurate read on men and their intentions. Luckily, these tell-tale signs are pretty universal red flags that the guy you’re seeing is not ready to commit. What you do with this information is up to you.

1. He won’t make plans too far in the future.

Where to go for dinner tomorrow? Sure. What movie to see on the weekend? Definitely. But try to get him to talk about a trip a few months from now or when he’s free to have brunch with your friends, and he’d rather “wait and see.” That’s probably because he doesn’t want to make any promises he isn’t sure he intends to keep and he’d rather keep his social calendar open for now.

2. He’s vocal about maintaining his independence.

Even if you’re already in a relationship, taking steps like merging social lives, moving in together, or combining finances is the next level of commitment. If he’s more interested in keeping your lives as separate as possible, he might be thinking it will be easier that way when you eventually break up. To him, maintaining independence is more important than building your life together.

3. He shuts down conversations about defining the relationship.


Has he ever said that he “Doesn’t believe in labels”? Girl, run. Not only is he basically saying he still sees himself as single, but he’s letting you know that he has no immediate plans to change that. If he actually wanted to commit, he’d welcome the opportunity to make sure you’re both on the same page—he might even bring it up himself. If he’s avoiding these conversations, it’s a big red flag.

4. He avoids getting vulnerable.


Letting his guard down means he’s comfortable with you and might even see a real future with you. If you notice he keeps conversations casual and superficial, he’s keeping you at arm’s length and not letting you get to know the real him. Commitment requires vulnerability, and if he’s not ready for that, it’ll show.

5. He still talks to his exes.

The occasional check-in with an ex doesn’t have to be a big deal, but if your guy is constantly reaching out to multiple exes, spending time with them, and maybe even lying about it or hiding it from you, he’s definitely not in a stage where a new relationship is a priority for him. He’s not putting you or your feelings first and that isn’t someone who is ready for commitment.

6. He avoids any family and friends meetups.


Meeting friends and family is a big step for some people. It shows that you think this is someone worthy of bringing into your inner circle. If he refuses to cross that line into your personal life, then it probably means he’s trying to maintain boundaries and keep things casual.

7. He’s had a string of short-term relationships or flings.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, right? If his recent dating history has been all flings and hookups, then there’s no reason to think you’ll be any different. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you could be the one to change him—and if commitment is what you’re looking for, don’t waste your time on a guy who has proven he isn’t interested in that.

8. Physical intimacy is his priority.

Is he calling you at 10 pm on a Friday to see if you’re free to hang out? Or maybe he’ll plan ahead, but it’s always a drinks date followed by heading back to his place. Not exactly subtle. A guy who wants a relationship will prioritize getting to know you before getting you into bed.

9. He isn’t interested in talking through conflict.


Even the best relationships come with the occasional conflict, but if you’re both willing to talk it through, it’s not a problem. If your guy tries to minimize conflict and brush it aside instead of dealing with it, he’s not ready for the reality of a committed relationship. Besides, in his mind, if you fight, that’s no skin off his back—it’s on to the next.

10. He doesn’t express a real interest in your life.

Showing no interest in your passions, hobbies, and daily life can indicate that he isn’t invested in your relationship’s long-term success. If he was committed, he would show genuine curiosity and actively engage in your life. That means listening to you vent about work, asking about your friends, and talking about your hopes and dreams for the future.

11. He won’t compromise.

It’s his way or the highway. Either this guy has no idea what it takes to be in a relationship with another person, or he doesn’t care enough to try. Commitment is a choice and that comes with a willingness to compromise sometimes. If he refuses to participate in finding a middle ground where you’re both happy, you’ll be much better off without him.

12. He has a wandering eye.

It’s natural to notice an attractive person, even if you’re in a relationship. But if he goes out of his way to engage with other women and constantly seems like he’s on the prowl, commitment is not on his mind whatsoever. He’ll stick with you until he finds something better. Don’t be surprised if he defends himself by saying you two were “never exclusive.”

13. He won’t stay overnight.

If he has an important early meeting the next morning, it makes sense that he may want to sleep in his own bed. But if your guy is consistently coming over only to leave after you’ve had sex, it’s pretty clear—he isn’t serious about you. Not only is he trying to maintain his independence but he’s putting in as little effort as possible while still getting what he wants.

14. He never brings up serious topics.

Granted, most guys aren’t usually eager to have serious relationship talks. But if he’ll just nod along and say all the right things while you talk, but rarely has anything to add, he’s just going through the motions to keep you on the hook. He isn’t an active partner in your relationship, he’s just leading you on until you finally cut him off—that way he doesn’t have to be the one to make a decision or look like the bad guy.

15. He says he doesn’t want anything serious.

Some guys are open and honest about their intentions. And let’s face it: Sometimes we just don’t listen. It’s time to wake up and believe him when he says he doesn’t want anything serious. The truth is, he’s actually doing you a favor and giving you the power to decide what it is you want. If a commitment is what you’re looking for and he’s not willing to give you that, it’s time to move on.

By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to, contributes regularly to, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.