Commitment Issues in Dating

Blossoming relationships are often brought to an unexpected, screeching halt resulting in confusion and heartache.
While failed relationships can be attributed to various factors, depending on the situation, many times they are due to a person's fear of commitment. Hindsight might be 20/20, but it's better to spot the signs early on to understand where the issues come from and to possibly avoid unnecessary heartbreak.

Men vs. Women

People can wax poetic about certain behaviors being typically seen in men and others in women.
However, most of these signs can show up with either gender. Don't assume that commonly discussed stereotypes will hold true for your relationship.

Signs of a Commitment-phobe

When your significant other, with whom you have at least a somewhat established relationship, doesn't seem to be able to find time for you, you might want to ask yourself why.
If you feel left out of his life, you're probably not a priority to him. Inconsistencies in his actions and conversations can also be a sign of someone who won't be sticking around for long. When someone sends mixed signals, such as talking about your future but then bringing up how much he doesn't want to settle down, this can be a signal that the person really doesn't know what he wants. If he's unsure, there's a possibility that he won't stick around to find out. Others simply won't even discuss the future possibilities of a relationship and refuse to talk about it when the conversation arises. This is a fairly obvious sign that the person probably doesn't care about a future with you.

The Serial Commiter

On the opposite side of the coin, someone who jumps into the relationship full steam ahead might be heading in a similar direction.
If she talks endlessly about your perfect attributes and endearing qualities but really hardly knows you at all, this could be a sign of the love-'em-and-leave-'em type who is more interested in a quick fling. Someone interested in building a meaningful relationship takes the time to let things progress gradually and naturally.

Roots of Commitment Issues

Many individuals' lack of commitment with dating and relationships can be linked to a fear of something.
For some, this is simply an apprehension about giving up control. They might be concerned that being in a relationship equals losing their own established life. Often the issues can be deep-rooted in emotional concerns like anxiety about being betrayed by a partner or not wanting to feel dependent on another person. Fear of relationship failure, ultimately separation or divorce, can also be a factor in a person's desire to keep others at arm's length.

What Next?

If you pick up on one or more signs that your significant other has an issue with commitment, don't automatically run in the opposite direction.
Sometimes taking the time to understand the root of the concern can help the two of you move forward.

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About the Author

Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.