Seven signs he has commitment issues

By our self-help expert and dating coach Dr Pam Spurr

You’re really into him, things are going well but they haven’t really progressed. You sense he’s holding back but it’s hard to say why.

In interviews for my new dating guide THE LAWS OF SISTERHOODI heard lots of reasons why guys won’t take it to the next level. From he went through a messy breakup and swore off relationships – to his father had commitment issues. That meant his father was emotionally distant and has left your man finding it hard to get close to you. 

The problem is many men with commitment issues don’t let on they don’t want to take it to the next level. The lovely you is left wondering what’s going on. 

Here are seven signs to watch for that I flag up in Laws of the Sisterhood – Girlfriends’ guide to successful dating and finding the one

Classic Sign No: 1 – 

He avoids having you meet his friends – and certainly his family. You know they exist because he talks about them, but they seem off-limits. When you do get invited to things with them it’s unlikely there are PDAs – public displays of affection. 

Classic Sign No: 2 – 

He doesn’t like to ‘go deep’ with his emotions. He might even appear quite shallow to you because of this barrier he puts around emotional things. So when you ask how he’s feeling about something he probably brushes off the question.

Classic Sign No: 3 – 

You get wind that there was a painful breakup or a divorce when he was younger. But this topic is raised on his terms and if you question him about it he’s likely to shut down.

Classic Sign No: 4 – 

He definitely doesn’t want you to go deep with your emotions. Typically you’ll find he changes the conversation if you raise something emotional. At most he pays lip service to the issue you raise. He probably cuts you off if you start to mention something like your friend’s getting engaged, married or having a child.

Classic Sign No: 5 – 

The really confusing thing is he seems to love women. He gets on with your friends and charms your mother – and everyone adores him. The fact that he’s so good with women can lull you into a false sense of security. He might love the company of women but it doesn’t mean he wants to share his life with one.

Classic Sign No: 6 

You’ll probably find his ‘mate dates’ are set in stone. These evenings with his male friends are sacrosanct. His poker or sports night is untouchable so don’t even suggest he changes one to do something with you.

Classic Sign No: 7 – 

He’ll avoid meaningful conversations about where things are going. He wants them to stay where they are – enjoying some time and sex together. The rest of the time he gets on with his life. And you’ll find the future is off limits – he won’t plan, e.g., a holiday with you very far ahead. So forget booking a tropical holiday with him for next summer.

Is there any hope?

If he’s a true commitment-phobe there’s little hope of changing that. But if you want a committed relationship – and maybe children down the line – you need to pin him down for a conversation. And it’ll feel like you need a wrestling-move to pin him down physically!

Try these six strategies:

*Definitely one step at a time try to get him to shed his fear of deepening things. Suggest a casual meet up with his friends. Arrange your diary so you spend a bit more time together and see if gradually he relaxes – and realises you won’t have a wedding ceremony conducted while he’s asleep. 

*Also raise the “big” conversation when you’ve had fun together – never when you’ve had stress with him. 

*Begin with a confident and chilled-out vibe and try and find a natural way into it. Definitely not with, “we must discuss our future!”

*Start with a positive – mentioning what a lovely weekend it’s been. Casually ask if he’s had a good time too.

*The next step’s asking how he feels about spending more time together. Definitely make it about spending more time together – don’t raise issues like the meeting his family and friends, etc.

*If he’s evasive and continues in the same way you should think about calling time on your relationship. That might finally make him see the light – that you’re the woman he should commit to – but don’t bank on it.

THE LAWS OF SISTERHOOD – The girlfriends’ guide to successful dating and finding the one is out now:

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