Fear of Commitment

“Fear of Commitment” is a valid term which is way too often misapplied, leading to yet another way that women confuse themselves when it comes to understanding what men are thinking.

Due to the fault of this chick who will remain nameless, I ended up watching some reality television show about housewives in NYC. :/ Now, before you start laughing and snapping, πŸ˜€ This is why I know more about women than you do… Because I study them.


So I’m watching this show, and this chick asks this guy, her “boyfriend”, to say whether or not he wants her to move in with him ON NATIONAL TELEVISION! He was eating at the time, so he couldn’t immediately respond, but he starts looking at her like “ARE YOU CRAZY? DIDN’T I TELL YOU NOT TO BRING THIS UP WITH THE CAMERAS AROUND? :O”. Priceless! So eventually, when he can speak, he says he wants to talk about it later. CLEARLY, this means “NOT WHEN THE CAMERAS ARE AROUND!”… So… of course… the chick asks him TWO MORE TIMES, gets shut down both times and next thing you know, due to the wonders of editing and time-lapse, she’s explaining to anyone who will listen about how she broke up with her “boyfriend”… the same guy that she claimed she wanted to have kids with within two years… tossed the entire relationship.

The ensuing commiseration and speculation between girlfriends is what got me thinking about “Fear of Commitment”. As I said, it’s a valid term, but it’s way too often applied to guys that are on a totally different wavelength. As an example, let’s look at Arachnophobia [fear of spiders… from Greek arachne (ΓŽΒ±ΓΒΓŽΒ¬Γβ€‘ΓŽΒ½ΓŽΒ·), “spider” and phobia (Γβ€ ΓŽΒΏΓŽΒ²ΓŽΒ―ΓŽΒ±), “fear”]. If someone sees a spider and steps on it, they could very well be accused of being arachnophobic. The fact of the matter may very well be that they’re not AFRAID of spiders at all…. They just don’t LIKE them and don’t want to be around them. “Phobia”, therefore, doesn’t apply to these people. It would be more accurate and useful to call them “Anti-Spider”. You know that they’re ‘against’ spiders, but you’re not making any judgements about the REASONS why.

Similarly, a lot of guys are accused of “Fear of Commitment”. I personally can’t count how many times those three words have been tossed at me in that exact order. πŸ™‚ I propose that we consider some additional concepts, such as “No Reason To Commit” and “You’ve Overvalued Yourself Relative To Other Women”.

“Fear of Commitment” assumes that Commitment is natural in the first place. I’ll get into the Alpha Male thing some other time, but basically, there are some guys that are in demand and have no reason AT ALL to select one female to Pair Bond with. These guys will exhibit the same symptoms as a guy who’s actually AFRAID of commitment. They won’t do it. They’re not afraid of anything… It’s just that you have an inflated concept of your worth in his eyes relative to other women.

This is why women have problems going from “best girlfriend” to girlfriend or fiancee or wife. They’re trying to elevate the status of their relationship past where their “boyfriend” actually sees it. In the case of the reality show (which, obviously was taped a long time ago, because I saw a rerun of an edited show, so for all I know, the chick and guy in question are married right now), the chick wanted to go from “girlfriend that sleeps at the dude’s house every single night but still has her own apartment” to “we’re living together”. This reminds me of what women pass down from generation to generation, which is “Why Buy the Cow When You Can Get the Milk for Free?”. Ladies…. There is NO POSSIBLE BENEFIT to a guy for letting you move in with him if he already has 100% access to you as-is. None.

This is what y’all need to focus on if you’re trying to upgrade your relationship… What is the benefit TO HIM of changing the status from “chick he’s seeing” to “girlfriend”? From “girlfriend” to “fiancee”? From “fiancee to wife”? What’s the benefit TO HIM of having kids with you or moving in with you? Why do you need to think about that? Because that’s what HE’S thinking about and that’s what HE’S going to base his decisions on about whether your relationship progresses in a positive or negative direction. Just because YOU think HE’S the one doesn’t mean HE thinks YOU’RE the one. You need to think about that, sooner rather than later.

An additional problem for the chick in the show is that her “biological clock was ticking”, meaning she was getting to the age where she’s desperate to have kids if she’s going to have any at all. This, obviously, is HER problem. This is like when you’re in high school and you don’t start your homework until 11pm when you’re already getting tired. It’s like knowing you have a test coming up on Friday and then cramming on Thursday night. Just like neither of those situations is the teacher’s problem, her “biological clock” isn’t her boyfriend’s problem. According to what she told her girlfriends, when he wouldn’t say that he’d be ready in a year or two (if ever) to have kids with her, she broke off the relationship. Typical. Only problem is, she should have thought about that sooner rather than later, because now, if she doesn’t reinstate her relationship to him, she has to start all over from square one and meet a new guy, get to know him, get him to like her AND get him to agree to have kids with her all within the exact same two year time span. :/

I’ll refer to this as an impulse buy, because this is the stage where it’s easy to get desperate females at discount rates. You’d be surprised how low women’s standards become when they’re scrambling to achieve something. It’s kind of like how guys are, all the time. πŸ˜€

Speaking of opposites, attractive women could be accused of the same thing. Isn’t it “Fear of Commitment” when a chick has a guy that will take her out and buy her steak for lunch… then turns around and goes out with a different guy who’s willing to buy her lobster for dinner? Hmmmmmmm πŸ˜€

Why should she choose one guy over the other if they’re both spending money on her? What’s her incentive to stop seeing all of her other guys? Why should she not get the multiple compliments, gifts, trips and bootie calls?

So, similar to how women to go out on dates with guys without having any intention of upgrading their relationship, guys do the same thing. Messing around or hooking up isn’t a ticket to “girlfriend” isn’t a ticket to “fiancee” isn’t a ticket to “wife” isn’t a ticket to “having kids with you”. So, instead of claiming that a guy’s afraid to commit to you, your energies would be better spent figuring out if you’re the kind of woman that might inspire him to commit in the first place.


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  1. LOL. I love this show!! It’s still in season, and I think that episode aired first, last week or the week before.

    I agree I think it was silly of her to try and bully her man into caving on camera. Well, silly to push the situation either way. If he wanted u to move in, you wouldn’t have to confront him about it. It would just happen under mutual circumstances. No need for The Talk in front of The Camera.

    Good fat to chew on re: upgrading your status with a dude. I need to marinate on that.

  2. Just found your Web site, and yes, much of what you say is absolutely true — at least for those under 40. In my situation, however, I am 45, and the object of my affection is soon-to-be 48. The commitment problem in this instance has NOTHING to do with the sorts of things you mention: other options, biological clocks, etc. This man actually LIVED with me. And that was at HIS request, not my invitation. He had no pressure to marry, though we did have one conversation when a friend queried him about when we’d make it official and he said “Never.” I hadn’t really thought much about it, and we didn’t really talk about it before, but the finality of his response set me off. “Never” is a long time. And to be honest, had he “never” brought it up, we could have lived happily in perpetuity not being married. I understand fully what led to his response: He’d been married three times, and each of his wives left him. So it’s fear of betrayal, emotional pain and divorce that leads to his commmitment issues. In short, it’s the experiences of his past and his fears of the future, not really what goes on between him and me because we didn’t, to my knowledge, have much in the way of disagreements.

    1. Hey Rebecca. Thanks for the comment.

      First of all, yes, this sounds like a completely LEGITIMATE claim of “Fear of Commitment”! hehehe

      The problem you’re currently having isn’t him committing to you. By his clumsy BUNGLING of his answer to your friend, he made something obvious that he shouldn’t have. This was a COMPLETE and ABSOLUTE tactical error.

      The proper response to your friend asking him what he was going to do with his life is “MIND. YOUR. OWN. BUSINESS!”. By taking a concrete position about it, he’s placed a hurdle for you to jump over… or not.

      Like you said, if he hadn’t brought it up, you could have retained whatever fantasies you had about someday being married to him. I’m not saying you WERE fantasizing about that πŸ™‚ I’m saying that if you wanted to, nothing was stopping you. If you wanted to talk about getting married with your girlfriends, you could have, in complete honestly and congruence with what you felt was possible in life.

      Since he broke out the “HELLZ NO!”, now, he’s put you in the position to decide whether you want to remain in that relationship or not. That was completely unnecessary and poor technique on his part.

      The other reason that was dumb is that nobody has a crystal ball. He doesn’t get to say what’s “never” going to happen, because it’s not “never” yet. Does that make sense? πŸ˜€ All he did was throw something in your face that now you’re thinking about, and it’s modified your enjoyment of the relationship somewhat.

      Also, what happened to him in the past is understandable, but still not an excuse to claim that you’re Nostradamus. Basically, that’s like a boss telling an employee that she’s never going to be more than a secretary, regardless of whether she works for the company 20 years.

      Having said all that… He may very well already BE committed to you. He just might not feel like signing any papers. He might be dreaming of being 55 and then 65 with you, except never buying you a weddding ring.

      A lot of women jack their lives up by jumping ship because their man wouldn’t comply with society’s standards. It would be interesting to receive an honest poll result of how many of those women ended up in WORSE relationships instead of better.

      Good Luck! πŸ˜€

      1. Bill,
        I just want to say i LOVE reading your blogs…they’re all so true, i love it lol.
        But i wanted to ask you something in regards to your blog “Fear of Commitment”… There is this cool dude i’ve been hanging out with (going to concerts, movies, coffee shop…) he’s even come over to my house and had dinner and we watched some movies together. I went in for a kiss, (a peck) and i think it may have startled him. Since then, he hasn’t made a move, and never brought it up… I know he’s not gay, and he’s made it clear that he isn’t ready for commitment because ” he just got out of a bad relationship blah blah”, but then why does he insist on STILL hanging out with me?? I could understand why he still wants to hang out if he wanted to do it, but whenever i try to make a move, he gets all scared. What’s the deal?!? I’d REALLY appreciate any advice you could give πŸ™‚

        – confused Jackie

        1. Hey Jackie. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the compliments. I try to keep things somewhat interesting/informative. πŸ˜€

          What you’re asking about is the same topic from a different perspective. There’s definitely a Fear involved, but it may or may not be commitment that he’s worried about.

          Here are some options to consider:

          1. He’s scared of you, physically. He likes you and is probably sexually attracted to you, but he can’t see himself puttin’ in work on you that would make you appreciate him more and take your relationship in a positive direction rather than a negative direction.

          2. He wants you but never suspected he would/could ever HAVE you. Your kissing him informed him that the impossible was possible, if not PROBABLE and now he’s shook, ’cause ain’t no such things as halfway crooks, scared to death and scared to look. It might take him some time to regroup with a new game plan and he’s stalling until he figures that out.

          3. He’s one of those guys that believes guys should make all the moves, so he feels (pardon my French for a second) like a bitch because you pressed up on him instead of him “Doing what a man’s supposed to do”.

          4. Along the same lines of societal expectations, he might think you’re “easy”, being that you kissed him before he kissed you. Retarded, I know, but possible.

          5. He’s not over his ex. This is definitely something that happens to guys, but mostly, they don’t want to say so in order to not look like a chump or a p****. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine informed me he and his long-time girlfriend had just broken up and that the advice he was getting from people was “go get laid”. In some cases, that’s a useless thing to do, specifically in the case where a guy wasn’t just with his ex for the guaranteed sex. Screwing some chick you don’t know right after exiting a meaningful relationship sometimes just doesn’t cut the mustard. Regarding your situation, depending on how long ago he “got out of a bad relationship” (which could mean ANYTHING), he might be VERY interested in attractive female companionship and NOT interested in making out with you or anything else, because he’s emotionally not ready for that yet.

          6. One of my personal favorites is that he selected you BECAUSE he *KNEW* you weren’t going to kiss him. πŸ™‚ You were one of those safe chicks whose company you can enjoy and you can share great times with without worrying about her getting horny and pressing up on you. He may have found out he was wrong when you went in for that peck, and now he’s in “What do I do now?” mode.

          7. He doesn’t know whether he’s clean or not. Life in the fast lane comes with certain physical hazards. There’s no immediate test to show whether someone’s clean or not. You have to go to the clinic, get tested, not have sex at all while you’re waiting for the results and eventually get them. I think the waiting period is two weeks? So, depending on how long he’s been acting shook, he might be waiting to receive the green light from the doctor. He may know very well that if he starts kissing you, he’s not going to want to stop there and he might be looking out for *your* health.

          As usual, unfortunately, this situation calls for a direct confrontation. If you have that type of authentic relationship with him, you’ll be able to ask him straight “What’s up?” and let him know what you’re thinking about and/or feeling about him and receive a useful answer that allows you to cut that zero or get with that hero. Asking him is all you can do. If he fronts and doesn’t want to say what the issue is, you’re going to have to accept that AS your answer and make your decision based on the fact that he’s not even willing to meet you halfway and discuss the situation with you.

          As an uneducated guess, my money’s on Performance Anxiety. Sometimes, a gal is a fantasy. Sometimes you think all the time and DREAM about hittin’ it, but everything goes perfectly in the dream. When it looks like it might go down for real, you have to replace your dream self who rocked the spot and won the day with your real self who might be out of shape, lack stamina and/or rhythm or in the worst-case scenario, be a Two-Minute Brotha! :O

          haha Sometimes, it’s better to NOT hit it and stay in the game than to make a move you’re not sure about and potentially lose what you already have with her. Good Luck! πŸ˜€

          1. Wow, thank you so much for the advice, there’s so much to consider now! This really did open up my eyes to stuff I wasn’t seeing. Thanks again!

            – Jackie

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