Men Who Avoid Intimacy And Commitment Usually Have These 9 Underlying Fears

Diving into serious relationships isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, especially for some men who seem to hit the brakes at the mere mention of commitment or intimacy. It’s not just a simple case of not being ready or wanting to play the field. Often, there are deeper fears at play, ones that aren’t always easy to spot or admit. Here’s a look at nine fears that commonly lurk beneath the surface for men wary of getting too close.

1. They’re afraid of losing their freedom.

Some guys equate commitment with being handcuffed to the Titanic—going down fast and with no way out. They cherish their ‘do what I want, when I want’ lifestyle and think that saying ‘yes’ to a relationship means saying ‘no’ to freedom. They fear losing control over their choices, from the small ones, like how to spend a Saturday night, to the biggies, like career moves or living arrangements.

2. They’re afraid of being vulnerable.

Getting close means getting real, and that can be scary as hell for some men. It means opening up, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, and that’s a level of nakedness that doesn’t involve taking clothes off. They’re scared of being judged or rejected for who they really are if they let someone in on their struggles and insecurities.

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4. They’re afraid of failure.

No one likes to fail, especially not publicly. And for some men, a relationship is a scoreboard where everyone can see their points racked up or lost. They worry about not being good enough, not being able to ‘perform’ as a partner, and eventually, about being a disappointment.

5. They’re afraid of past heartbreak repeating itself.

If they’ve been through the wringer before, they might view a new relationship like a potential rerun of a bad TV show. They fear history repeating itself, with all its pain and messiness. It’s easier to just avoid all that drama than risk going through it again.

6. They’re afraid of the emotional drain of a relationship.

Some guys view emotional investment as a finite resource, like there’s only so much to go around before they’re running on empty. They fear that a relationship will suck them dry emotionally, leaving nothing for their passions, dreams, or even just their own mental health.

7. They’re afraid they won’t measure up.

Blame it on societal pressure or macho stereotypes, but some men are petrified of not living up to the image of ‘The Man.’ They fear being seen as weak if they commit and can’t fulfill every expectation of being the provider, protector, or the rock in a relationship.

8. They’re afraid of the unknown.

The future is this big, scary, unwritten territory. For guys who fear commitment, it’s filled with “what ifs” that can paralyze them. The unknown aspects of a long-term relationship, like how it will change them or their life, can be a terrifying concept.

9. They’re afraid of responsibility.

Let’s face it: Relationships require work. Some men fear that weight on their shoulders, the responsibility not just for their own happiness, but someone else’s. The fear of being responsible for a shared life can be a daunting prospect that keeps them from committing.

10. They’re afraid of heartbreak.

It’s the big one. The fear of putting it all on the line, only to end up with a shattered heart and a collection of Sade albums. They’ve either been burned before, or they’ve seen too many others go through it. The fear of heartbreak can be a powerful deterrent from ever giving a relationship a real shot.

These fears can be like a brick wall between a man and a fulfilling relationship. Falling in love is scary! Breaking through often takes a bit of soul-searching and, sometimes, a leap of faith. But recognizing these fears is the first step to dismantling them. It’s about understanding that vulnerability and risk might just be the price of entry to something pretty damn amazing.

Piper Ryan is a NYC-based writer and matchmaker who works to bring millennials who are sick of dating apps and the bar scene together in an organic and efficient way. To date, she's paired up more than 120 couples, many of whom have gone on to get married. Her work has been highlighted in The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Cut, and many more.

In addition to runnnig her own business, Piper is passionate about charity work, advocating for vulnerable women and children in her local area and across the country. She is currently working on her first book, a non-fiction collection of stories focusing on female empowerment.