T Nation

Men afraid of commitment?


Really? Under what circumstances? Is this a myth, meant to confuse women further? As if your regular incomprehensible behavior isn't enough!

Because once again I find myself doing a deer-in-the-headlights thing as someone begins pushing in that direction, i.e. exclusivity. And we've been seeing each other only briefly, no sex.

So my question for the board is, how is this best handled?

I don't understand men. Except orion.


You think MEN are complicated!?!?!

For me monogamous relationships don't work but I have been in open relationships where I was committed to my girl but have always had the privilege of getting it elsewhere. An open relationship isn't for everyone, you need to be very secure. Maybe someday I'll find a women who can tame me, we'll settle down and have a couple miniature titans. Time will tell I guess.

I can see where guys want the luxury of playing the field while having their girl to themselves. Total double standard.

Don't let anyone push you into a commitment you aren't ready for. In the end you will resent him for it.


I think men are bizarre! Only women make sense. It's this, but reversed:

I don't think the current guy is looking to have open while I have closed, and nor was the previous (ultimately I had faith in his fidelity, but it took some rocky stuff to get there).


It depends on the guy, I think. After my early years of short term uncommitted banging around I looked forward to commitment with the right woman. A pretty distinct theme of similar characteristics which I liked in a woman had developed, and I finally found one I wanted to settle down and start a family with (she felt the same way too), so that is what we did. Earlier this month we celebrated our 6 year anniversary of marriage and yesterday was our sons first birthday.

On the other hand I have known a few guys who have always been very insecure and act like they have lost a limb if they don't have a girlfriend. When they are single their one and only goal is to lock a woman down into a commitment (but not marriage), and until they do they are the whiniest most discontent entanglement of neurosis you can imagine. I speculate that they don't feel like a man unless they have a woman on lock down, but at the same time since they know their own self (in a bad way)- don't feel like they are good enough and have to keep proving their manhood (the ability to get women). One of the bad parts of these types of guys is that they will act like they are willing to jump through every imaginable hoop just for the right girl, but it's all a lie.

Henry Rollins sums them up pretty well with this-

,,,and then it's on to the next one.


I used to not be afraid of commitment, but I sure as hell am now lol. I've never really wanted an open relationship though. It just stresses me out. Well unless we're talking harem here. I would totally be down for a harem.


Hmm. I don't know. My limited experience is pretty much all long term relationships, and I believe that they've all exited reluctantly, or became reluctant after I said "enough," and finally meant it, which takes a while for me.

I don't think my question is about cheating - I shouldn't have muddied things [Edit: took that out of the OP] - more about how I can handle probing about what I'm doing with regard to dating others without being dishonest and without discouraging the questioner. Early dating things.

I just feel like my experience is the exact opposite of the stereotypical evasive guy, hopeful woman. Except it IS true, I am looking for a relationship (love) but just, I don't know, not so quickly and before I've had time to catch my breath and kiss a couple of men, or maybe three, and see.


Auuuggghhh! That's it, I'm telling everyone to fuck off!

The Beth! TheBeth! Where are you??


Phase one complete. Well done Skyzyks.


Newsflash....some guys act the exact same way with all women because we don't know what the fuck any of you are thinking or will do...so we usually go with what works the best.

My guess is, this activity is what is confusing you.

He liked you and said what has worked for him to keep you close. He just didn't admit everyone else he was doing it with.

Maybe start going out with guys who are a little more creative?




edit: Shit, I should have read the OP. Maybe you're just such an amazing catch, EmilyQ, that men can't help but want to spend their life with you. I dunno.


Maybe. Odds would seem against that, though I either don't go out with or quickly cut men who don't seem like good prospects for me, so maybe I'm doing an exceptionally good job in that regard and increasing odds. Still. As everyone knows, I'm a pain in the ass. I don't hide it in real life!

You guys don't ever start probing about what whether women are seeing others?


Yeah, I probably wasn't so clear either. It takes a while to distill nebulous thoughts into succinct statement. The time frame I was speaking of is more than just a few months- More like a couple of years before it goes kaput.

I didn't mean cheating either. More along the lines of a mans tendency to be dishonest about basic drives like sex, sense of security, vulnerability, Stuff like that. When a man says he is willing to forgo some of the basics he is not being honest with himself. Not honest with the other person either.

Given that I'm a probably more than a little aspy, I hit this stuff directly and appreciate the same in return. Sometimes that delicate dance around certain subjects like "what do you want out of this" just turns into a clumsy mess of ulterior motives and tickling each others ears.

So yeah, Honesty. Thats the best way to approach that getting to know each other phase. In any long term relationship I've been in I have said very quickly "Don't tell me what you want me to think you are. Lets just do some stuff together and let me get to know you.". Everybody loves world peace and thinks puppies are cute, but if a woman goes hiking with me after saying she loves hiking- but doesn't have the shoes and hates it the whole time- She lied. Vice Versa- I'm not willing to act like I enjoy dinner theater nor would I make any attempt to do so just to develop a relationship.


Men are not afraid of commitment, in fact I dare say more men understand commitment than women for the most part.

They just dont see a point in marrying a woman and signing over their power/life to the court system should she change and fuck every dick within 10 miles.

I could happily enjoy my life with my equal but that will never happen. Just too many damaged women around.


Yeah, I agree. At this point I'm as likely to lead with my negatives, with which I'm pretty comfortable, as I'm also well aware of my strengths. A funny early conversation my ex-bf and I had was about what we've been called. I copped to "insufferable know-it-all," while he admitted to having been recently called "a pompous prick." Which was true on both sides.

But back to the point, because I think I do a good job of selecting men I like and who like me, with everyone cheerfully acknowledging flaws, what do I say when they start saying things like "just so you know, I'm not seeing anyone else" or asking about others? Should I decide these are the sorts of men I should seek or should avoid, or what?

AC, where are you? I'm ready for Phase II.


I don't know how to handle it so no help there but I share your experience and believe the notion that men are afraid of commitment is a myth. Personally that eagerness to be exclusive often scared me in the other direction I think because I sensed desperation, because it wasn't like I wanted to keep sowing oats or anything. It was always the fear of having someone in my apartment all the time as opposed to just on Saturday and Sunday.


So are you saying that I should simply respond "no, I'm not interested in seeing anyone else, either!" and go on my merry way, or what?

I select for relationship guys, and the men I'm interested in do the same. I'm not interested in players, and they're not either. The problem is that I've been free for all of five minutes my entire adult life, while some of the men I encounter have dated around and are ready for something more, or - or who knows (men!). Which isn't to say that they're looking for forever, but to say "yes, this is good, let's just be together for now."

As for creative, omg you're insulting, X. They are creative! And so am I, which is why we have so much fun talking about books and music and work and play.


Yes! It definitely pushes me in the other direction. Or at least makes me think I'd better kiss others quickly if I agree the relationship may be real and wind up being long term.

Although I'm not at all adverse to having someone around all the time, and seek it ultimately. Or at least, I think I do. I don't know!


LOL. I didn't insult you. That more creative comment was thrown at guys who use the same lines...because they work the most.

It doesn't really mean that the guy absolutely does not want a relationship....because there are too many women out there who will run if the guy so much as hints early on that he is looking for "the one".

It's a game.


If it's within a month- I'd avoid but thats just me being theoretical. I've never dated a woman even short term that wasn't relaying from last to next and consider that a foregone conclusion.

On the other hand, most guys I know, myself included are single for a period of time before starting another. Even then there is a good month or two of consistent companionship (feeling out period) before deciding on exclusivity.

Thats why I consider trying to lock it down too quick a red flag. It's needy and possibly deceptive. Lots of single guys cheat on their wives and S.O.s


How do you explain that they seem to be willing stay with me, then, seemingly into perpetuity? I'd had like three marriage proposals before accepting my ex-husband's at 23. And so then I stayed married for one million years and read terrible dread things about my declining sexual market value here on TN, but then I divorced well into my market decline -- but there they still were! And they're still acting the same bewildering way!

And let me repeat this for the millionth time - I am NOT beautiful. I'm appealing and fit, that's all. And I wear glasses, so that bit about not getting passes is bullshit, too. Is anything even real?

And the thing about creative IS insulting to me, because it suggests that I lack discernment in choosing my companions.