This is probably one of the most asked questions by women, about men. So many women have asked me why some guys seem overly ready to commit and it feels like any woman will do, and other guys seem terrified at the mere thought of commitment.
During my interviews I asked men this question:
“What makes a guy want to commit and what makes him NOT want to commit?”
Commitment can be a terrifying thing for some and perhaps the very definition of it is what makes some of us so uneasy.
Commitment is defined as: An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action.
It’s synonymous with words like obligation, duty and responsibility. And while these words themselves aren’t necessarily bad, they can stir up feelings of being trapped and confined if one is not willingly entering that commitment with their own excitement and joy.
Men often grow up
Hearing stories of their male friends who marry the wrong person and have a terrible marriage and feel as though their life is over. They hear these stories over and over again and soon begin to fear that it’s their only alternative to staying single. A friend of mine told me a long time ago that men are either, “Single and lonely or married and miserable.” I’m not sure I totally agree with that but I can see how some men come to believe that to be the truth.
A divorced writer from Philadelphia, PA told me: “For men, we worry that the nightmare that we hear about could very easily come true and so we fear commitment and try to avoid it at all costs. Eventually you give in and hope it works for you but it’s always in the back of your mind.”
He also went on to explain to me that men feel pressured by society and they see their friends getting married and they decide to be an adult and just get married. Many of them don’t actually want this life but they succumb to the pressure.
Women tend to assume that men will commit only when they’re good and ready. There are some men who respond positively to not being pressured and they come to realize that they want to commit. Other men, you can give them 10 years of pressure free fun and they still won’t commit. I’ve heard men say that there are plenty of guys who, even without the pressure of commitment, will never ever do it no matter how long the woman waits.
Perhaps some people just aren’t cut out for commitment?
Another married man of 17 years told me that most men never want to commit, ever. They will only do so when the situation demands it and they don’t want to lose the woman.
Many of the guys shared with me that they must feel as though they’re in a good place and are financially stable. If they don’t feel like they can provide for the woman and possible future family, then they have a harder time committing. Men have a strong need to feel stable and confident in their abilities to provide in order to take on the responsibilities of a wife or girlfriend. For most men, a serious girlfriend or wife equals responsibility, especially a financial one.
Some men told me that they have to see a future with the woman. If they can’t see her in their future, they won’t commit no matter how great she is.
A 60 year-old lawyer from South America explained to me that some men want their freedom more than anything, “In the case of a particular woman, the guy probably feels like he’s maintaining just a little bit of his power if he doesn’t commit to her fully.”
Neediness and pushiness by a woman were the two most common reasons mentioned for not wanting to commit. I was also told that the timing of things has to be right. Men have a need to feel they’re ready for commitment and that it’s their idea, not something they’re being pressured into doing. If they’re in the beginning stages of their career and don’t feel like they have the time for a committed relationship, some men simply won’t do it not matter how wonderful the woman is.
However, many guys said that if the women was easy going and didn’t pressure him, had great chemistry and shared common values, then they would be more likely to commit.
A 70-year-old divorced researcher from Jamaica said, “Men will commit when they see the woman making an effort to meet them halfway. If he feels that she appreciates his natural way of being and doesn’t try to change him then he is more likely to commit. Men appreciate when a woman tries to understand him for who he is, not who she thinks and wants him to ultimately be.”
A 57-year-old single sales and marketing manager form South Florida told me that men simply need to be ready and looking for commitment. He explained that if the guy isn’t ready then it makes no difference who the woman is and sometimes men feel like they have too much going in their own lives to make room for a woman.
A 50-year-old married teacher from NYC shared, “A man won’t commit until he knows who he is. Most people need to know who they are and like who they are before they commit to another person.”
As I mentioned earlier, timing and the stage of life are big factors, but a few men said that sometimes you just can’t help when you fall in love with someone.
A 39-year-old married counselor from Savannah, GA said, “Every so often the right one comes along at the wrong time and trumps all our rules and we find ourselves doing things we swore we’d never do.”
I guess that’s why they call it falling in love.