Men are Afraid of Relationships. True or False? (Usually, False)

by | Apr 17, 2012

This guide is designed as a list if most common reasons a man may not want to commit to a woman – but if you need help sorting this kind of thing for yourself, Orange County counseling may be beneficial to you.

Your man keeps telling you he needs more time, and you can’t figure out why. He spends time with you, loves your kids, enjoys walking your dogs on Sundays after breakfast. So, what gives? You want to have a relationship and make it an official before some other woman steps into the picture that might snatch him up, but he doesn’t seem to want to call you his significant other no matter how much you talk, hint, or push him in the ‘right direction’.

You and your girlfriends may honestly come to the conclusion that he’s afraid to commit, and you just need to give him a good shove towards yourself to get him to break through his fear and anxiety. This shove may be asking him to move in with you or asking him to stop seeing other people, and much of the time, you only see him distance himself a little more – reinforcing your thought that he’s just terrified to commit to a relationship.

Sometimes, yes, this is the case and he was burned before and he has some emotional baggage he still needs to deal with, but more often than not it doesn’t have anything to do with how much he wants to commit and he’s usually not “afraid” to be in a relationship with you. Considering the other options before pushing a guy you like into something he doesn’t want is important, even if those options aren’t always as appealing as just a little bit of fear.

Loss of power. This isn’t a fear, per se, and usually stems from a man’s desire to be in charge. Many women because of extenuating circumstances or their backgrounds are powerful, independent, and strong-headed. Often, they have had to support themselves without a man for a number of years, and aren’t necessarily the type to allow a man into their lives without him taking a position next to her, which means everything a man does will have to be bounced off his wife.

That can be an incredibly intimidating thing, and often men have a lot of trouble committing to this kind of boundary. There is, however, a right way to do it, so it’s up to you and your potential relationship partner to figure out those details.

Sometimes, they are still feeling you out. This could include getting to know you and your habits and everything else that makes up your life, and they are simply being cautious. It doesn’t mean they’re afraid of commitment, but they want to make sure when they make one, they’re making the right one. A lot of the time, a little patience goes a long way in this case, especially if it’s early on in your relationship.

Applying too much pressure. Sometimes it’s not so much the commitment part that a man will have a problem with, and it’s what you’re saying and doing that they don’t like. Often, when women feel like they really want to keep a guy around, they’ll apply a certain type of pressure to commit. This kind of thing can include talking about it too much, hinting at it too much, asking them to do things they wouldn’t be responsible for if they weren’t in a relationship, and a plethora of other little things that can make a man feel pressured to make a decision. Take a step back and give him some space; the pressure alone can cause him to make a decision you may not want him to make.

And finally, maybe you’re Mrs. Right Now instead of Mrs. Right. This is probably the hardest thing to admit to yourself, and for him to admit to himself, especially if you have been in limbo for more than a few months. Maybe he views you as someone amazing he wants in his life, so he doesn’t want to ruin what you have, but at the same time he’s realized this is just not the romantic relationship for him.

Remember that if this is the case, it doesn’t necessarily reflect upon you or who you are; sometimes the extra special want or need for someone isn’t a two-way street. Don’t let this kind of thing discourage you from looking for the next romance that will work for you even better than this one.

A lot of the time, a guy will make a commitment slowly – they’ll come over and help you out with your yard, or they’ll take your kids out to a movie. It won’t just suddenly be a committed relationship, and often, a slow, well-paced relationship will last longer than one that was just thrown into the ring without any preparation other than the initial spark. Above all, communication is key, and if you need help with this, you can always participate in marriage counseling. Ask your partner what they expect from this relationship; you may be completely surprised by the answer you receive.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here:


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