Relationships

What to do when a guy is afraid of commitment

By Stephanie Nuzzo May 11, 2017

Iona of 30 Ever After shares her tips when dealing with one of love’s most frustrating situations

Here’s the scenario:

A woman meets a great guy. They have what she describes as an “insane” connection. Yet every time she inches closer, he resists her. When she asks him why, he says it’s “fear”. He tells her she’s amazing and gives her compliments but he can’t give her the commitment she’s ultimately looking for.

In this situation, there’s a fine line between giving the guy space and knowing when to fight for him – leaving most women frustrated and completely confused. 

According to Wellness Coach (and dating guru) Iona, when it comes to getting what we want, we’re often in our own way. Just as women have fears about commitment (will he cheat? all the good men are gone, etc.) men have their own set of fears. These tend to be different i.e. fear of the loss of freedom, fear of losing himself, fear of the unknown. Here are three things you can do to help you and your man get through it:

1. Identify what the fear is

Here’s the thing - not all fears are treated equally, here is a solution for each. 

Giving a guy space so he can figure out what he wants may not be the solution to this situation. If a guy fears he’s not good enough for a woman, giving him space will only validate his fear. If a guy fears a loss of freedom, the last thing you want to do is fight for him by giving him lots of attention. If he’s telling you that his hesitations for moving forward are ridden with fear, it makes for the perfect time to ask him where that fear comes from. Here’s what you want to find out:

What the fear is

Where the fear comes from

What he’s done to deal with it

Once you’ve identified the fears your man has, you can start to work through them i.e. if your man fears the loss of freedom (which many do), you’ll want to give him lots of space to spend time with his friends/on his own. He needs to understand that a relationship can exist without taking away the things he loves.

2. Understand his commitment to work through the fear

There’s no sense in fighting for a relationship if you’re going to be the only one in it. In every relationship, you should put in 200 per cent – 100 per cent comes from each party. Your man may not be ready for a relationship but it helps if you know he’s 100 per cent committed to working through his fears to get there. 

Fears about commitment aren’t formed in a day, they take years to develop and maybe months to get rid of. It’s important to show empathy and patience but you also don’t want to be in a situation where you’re waiting at a standstill for a guy to make up his mind about you and your relationship. You want to show a guy you care for him and understand his fears but that you’re also at a point where you’ve grown to really like him and want to take the relationship up a level. Avoid ultimatums in this situation. Stay open and listen. But also be ready to walk away if a guy tells you he unsure about working through his commitment fears. Remember, a relationship is 200 per cent.

3. Do a self check in the relationship

Sometimes the saying “it’s not you, it’s me” just doesn’t apply. In every relationship, fears can come as a result of another’s action. Perhaps you may have said or done something to trigger a painful experience. It’s important to evaluate what you may be doing in the relationship that may affect your partner’s behaviour.

Understanding men and the way they view commitment isn’t easy. All commitment fears are unique and there is a different way to work through each of them. 

It’s important to know, however, that you can work through them; commitment troubles aren’t necessarily a death sentence for relationships. 

To learn more, take a peek at Iona’s website, 30 Ever After, here

Image: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images