I know there are thousands of reasons why men are scared of commitment, and all the noughties romcoms have told us about them in full. That said, while we all know how to attract a guy, getting him to commit is quite another feat altogether. That’s particularly true if we want him to be monogamous when he hasn’t previously had a long-term relationship. Well, we’ve all got to start somewhere, give him the gentle push he needs!
- Introduce him to your friends. Relationships have to be reciprocal. If you want a level of intimacy, you had best be prepared to give it in return. Better still, you should offer it first so that he feels like he’s in a safe space. Meeting friends is a great middle-ground from the more loaded occasion of meeting the parents. Friends are allowed to judge and gently tease your partner in a playful way that meeting the parents doesn’t always allow for. Don’t rush into meeting the parents if the guy is already skittish. Showing your friends how great he is and vice versa helps to build relationships between all the important people in your life. You want everyone to get along!
- Try new hobbies together. Quality time together isn’t just under the sheets at 2 am on a Saturday night when you’re drunk. You need to be able to hang out and enjoy each other’s company in the daytime. It can be booking a restaurant, crazy golf, going to a football match or concert, or even an evening hike. Showing him that you will make the effort for him is so important, particularly given the pressure on guys to arrange everything and make the first move in the relationship. We’re better than that!
- Give him a secret ‘escape word’. You want to make him feel comfortable and not too pressured to live every second of your life together. It’s natural to spend time apart. In fact, space is essential in relationships. Introducing the ‘get out of jail’ free card in your socializing can greatly take the pressure off and give him the space necessary to actually relax and enjoy hanging with the people in your life. This means you can trust each other and accept each other’s boundaries. We all deserve to feel safe, he will appreciate that. Socializing should never be a chore.
- Cook for each other. It’s such an intimate, fun, enjoyable experience. You can either show off a skill or learn a new one! No one is perfect, let alone with cooking, but there’s a reason when couples bake in a rom-com that the producers make that scene the idyllic montage moment. The smells, the taste, the feeling of freedom and nostalgia – it’s a perfect storm for romance. Don’t get me started for when the flour gets everywhere and you can take a shower to get clean. See, lots of advantages! Wink wink. Plus, even if it all goes wrong, there’s always take-out. Not that I’ve ever had to resort to that, of course (nervous laughter)…
- Introduce relationship timelines that feel natural. Don’t force development in a relationship that doesn’t feel natural. Ignore what everyone around you is saying or doing, or what happened in your previous relationship. We’re all different and we all have our own internal boundaries and comfort zones. Respect his. There’s no point moving in together a month in. You’ll scare him off and it’s likely too soon. Instead, introduce different levels of intimacy, like having a drawer at his place or inviting him around yours instead of always going there. Invite him into your space, don’t just expect to take up his. Find out what works for you and communicate it. You both need to be comfortable in order to want to commit.
- Give gifts and show your love. You don’t have to break the bank, but gifts are a great way of showing how important people are to you. It’s a good way of showing that you know them too. It can be booking an experience or a future plan that shows your commitment to each other. Maybe a homemade gift or craft session could be the vibe. Think about making it fun and not stressing too much about being overly sophisticated. But remember, aim for something meaningful, even if it’s just bringing home chocolate-covered peanuts because they ran out last week.
If you’re already doing most of these, great! You will have your dream relationship in no time because you’re putting the effort in. If not, get to it! Soulmates don’t arrive on their own and no one owes you an exclusive relationship if you aren’t putting the time in too. There’s no one way to make a man commit, but doing these things will put you on the right path.