Why Men Run From Commitment

July 26, 2008 by Fay Maguire  
Published in Dating

Just when you think everything is going swimmingly, you partner decides to disappear into the ether. Was it something you said?

The word ”commitment” means different things to different people, and uttered on the lips of a woman can mean pure fear for a man.

While a woman may get a fabulous image in her head of a bright summer’s day and a designer wedding dress, surrounded by lots of cute bridesmaids, a man may well shiver deeply at the thought of losing his freedom and independence, or feel horror at the memories of a past ”commitment” that ended in disaster.

Maybe you’re pretty neutral on the subject and are prepared to be open minded, preferring to decide how you will react at some future date. You’re a pretty rare specimen, however, as most of us have a view one way or the other. We either seek it or we don’t.

Fear of the Unknown

The trouble with men is often you don’t know exactly how much they fear commitment until you bring up the subject, and the next thing you know, they’re outta there. One minute you think you are heading for a serious relationship and the next, the whole thing is upside down and you’re spending your evenings in tears, instead of walking dreamily hand in hand by a pretty lake.

Truth is, men want a wonderful relationship as much as women do, but the concept and the reality are two different things. Once some men realise what’s actually involved in being full on with their partner, they get scared and run away. It’s nothing personal, they just can’t jump in with both feet like women often seem so keen to do. They need to think it out.

Not So Gentle Persuasion

Women often fail to see they can’t change their partner’s mind about what he wants; he has to come round to the idea all by himself. All a woman can do is be themselves and hope their man is clever enough to work out they are the best thing he’s ever had. But force or manipulation will always backfire.

For example, Gillian was thrilled when her date insisted on meeting all her family just six weeks into their relationship. He would be waiting for her when she got from work, make her a delicious dinner and cuddle up at night. They even talked about what it would be like to live together. The following weekend, he didn’t call at all, and when she tried to catch him all the following week, his phone was off. What on earth is going on with him?


This is classic man panic – no one’s fault – and it could go one of two ways. Either he will get his act together and realise he’s been dumb, grovel a lot and move on to the next stage of a promising relationship. Or he will remember past hurts (nothing Gillian has done) and continue his sprint back into the land of singles.

Whichever one it is, she can do nothing but reassure and wait. Forcing the issue will make him worse and confirm his suspicion that her open arms are a trap. With any luck, she will open her eyes and see there’s a whole world of mature, grounded guys out there who would love to have a relationship with someone as fantastic as her.

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3 Responses to “Why Men Run From Commitment”
  1. capricorn woman Says:

    wow! it’s true. I had the same thing happen to me as with gillians situati on in this example.and now im left wondering what happend!

  2. Josephine Says:

    I met a guy (41) who hadn’t had any kids and craved having a family. He bought us a house within 3 months and spent 6 months doing it up. Now i’m ready to move my children to the new school and he has cold feet! Saying he doesn’t know what he wants. Says he loves me but doesn’t want live together. Men hay!

  3. S. McCrae Says:

    I was in an 8 month relationship with a man that I knew for 1 1/2 yrs before we dated. It was amazing and romantic. we had a secure mature committed relationship. He was the one that said he was the luckiest man in the world and took me to his parents very quickly who lived 3 hours away and visited often. I became one of his family and was invited to everything with his friends. He told me he never felt so strongly before. His family told me he never was like this before and was definately in love. When we talked a few years ahead, I was in his life. When I stayed the night, he held me close all night long and never let go Then one day, he said he didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore out of the blue. He never had a real reason and it was silly and the reasons contridicted themselves. He said I was his eveyrthing, his best friend. We were so close and then it was over. I was so devastated beyond belief and in total shock. I called him 6 weeks later and he had more excuses. My best friend and lover disappeared and we were so happy at a drop of a hat. How can two people be so close and he is not even my friend anymore. Just so weird. I’m 44. Never happened before ever.

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