Why Do So Many Guys Run As Soon As You Say You Want Something Serious?

It doesn’t make sense — one minute a guy is all over you and the next he’s off to the races the second you bring up “the relationship.” Guys are famous for being commitment-phobes, but there are always reasons behind their less than desirable behavior. Here are some that might explain your dude’s behavior:

  1. His freedom is more important than love. The one thing that will always be at the top any guy’s list is freedom, and if he doesn’t have it, he doesn’t feel like a man. When you tell him that you want a serious relationship, he sees you as a giant roadblock on his path to an awesome life, not a way in which to get there. If he has the slightest inkling that you’re trying to stifle his so-called free spirit, he’s gonna bounce. It’s stupid, yes, but all too common.
  2. He can’t multitask. Could it be that the reason why he gets so scared when you bring up commitment is because he can’t focus on two things at the same time? It’s actually been proven by science that women are able to focus on several tasks at once while men function much better when they can zone in on one thing. When you ask a guy if he wants to commit to a long-term relationship, he panics because he sees it as taking away from all the other things he wants to do in life. Lame.
  3. He doesn’t want to lose his sense of self. He doesn’t want to be someone’s “boyfriend” or “husband,” he wants to be his own person and by you “pressuring him” into a relationship (insert eye roll here), he feels like he’s losing his cool, independent persona. He doesn’t want to give up his routines, habits and lifestyle choices just because he likes a girl. He wants to be able to do whatever the hell he wants, AND sleep with you — why wouldn’t he?!
  4. Career for him is number one. When a guy is in his mid-to-late twenties, one of the only things he’s thinking is, “Holy crap, I need to establish my career or I’m going to be a failure.” It feels slightly more acceptable in society for a woman to take her time with her career, but not for guys. He’s getting pressure from all sides to get hustling and making big money. He couldn’t care less about boring old relationship stuff — he probably has his mind set on his business and figuring out how he’s going to support his future wife and children.
  5. He’s not ready in any sense of the word. Whether it’s mental, emotional, physical or even financial, there could be a million and one reasons he’s struggling to commit. He might have just gotten over a breakup, or maybe he’s poor and won’t be able to pay for dates. He might even be struggling with mental health issues like depression and doesn’t think it would be right to make you deal with it. Whatever it is, it’s a real, fair reason why he can’t be with you — at least in his mind — and it always boils down to him just not being ready.
  6. He has deep-seated self-esteem issues. He might think that he doesn’t deserve to have a great girl like you, so he’ll do everything he can to mess it up. This is just a result of him not feeling worthy of your love and attention and it runs pretty deep. It’s probably a good thing you didn’t end up together because it would have been messy anyway.
  7. It’s not the right time for him. They say that timing is everything and it could be that the stars just weren’t aligned for the two of you. There might have been something really difficult going on in his life and even though he wanted to pursue something with you, he couldn’t and that’s just the way life goes sometimes. It might have killed him inside to turn you down, but unfortunately, he had no other choice.
  8. He wants to be able to sleep with any girl he wants. If this guy is young, he’s going to do everything he can to keep sleeping with you without making it official. Why on earth would a guy in his twenties or even early thirties choose to be with just one girl when he could have his pick (or so he thinks)? It’s the thought that he might have to say no to a girl he wants to sleep with all because he said yes to being your boyfriend that makes him anxious about committing. He wants to have his cake and eat it too and he’s going to hold onto that freedom for as long as possible. That’s a jerk move.
  9. He only wanted sex from you. If he runs for the hills the second you try to establish a relationship, you know for a fact that he was only in it for the sex. It’s actually a good thing that he ran away because now you know for sure what his intentions are. Guys don’t want to seriously date every girl they bang, just like girls don’t want to bang every guy they date. It can be disheartening to realize he didn’t think you were worthy of being his girlfriend, but it’s not that you weren’t good enough — it’s just that he’s an immature player. Cut, print, moving on.
  10. He doesn’t like you enough to pursue something more serious. This is the simplest and most overlooked reason why a guy doesn’t want to be with you. He’s just not that into you and it’s no one’s fault. You can’t be a perfect match with every guy you date, and maybe the reason he doesn’t want to commit is because he KNOWS that the two of you aren’t meant to be. It can be easy to get blinded by the prospect of finally finding a stable relationship, but if a guy doesn’t like you enough, there’s no way he’ll stick around. Don’t sweat it, though — it’s really a blessing in disguise.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.