Hi Date Guy,

My question is basically about commitment. I’ve been dating this guy for 5 months. We met, had great chemistry, it was fantastic. We’re temporarily in different cities, so we’ve been keeping in touch via Internet. But, he is planning on moving back to this area soon. So, I thought everything was going okay and was surprised when he recently said he was sorry, but he wanted to let things cool down. He felt too invested with me and felt that it wasn’t fair to me to keep up like we have been because recently he’s been feeling interested in other women. He’s in a transitional stage in his life, he’s under a lot of stress lately, yada yada. Then, he actually finally did articulate that he’s afraid of commitment.

I have been thinking about it a lot, though… I hear ‘fear of commitment’ all the time, but I wonder if it actually exists. I’ve know of people who’ve broken up with their partner and insisted that they just aren’t ready to really commit to them. Then, these people will end up with committed with someone else in a matter of weeks! So, I feel like perhaps people just fear commitment when they don’t feel strongly enough for someone. But, when people meet the right person, their ‘fear’ of commitment disappears. So, I’ve just been thinking that I liked him more than he liked me and I just need to move on. (This is so hard for me, though… because this was the most incredible chemistry I’ve ever experienced. From what he had told me, he felt the same way. We had a great time). Now I can’t help but wonder: do you think people really pass up on promising relationships with people they truly like simply because of personal fear of commitment?

-Holle

Dear Holle,

You pose a very good question and you are right, “fear of commitment” is very often used as an explanation and justification for ending a relationship. And you are wise to understand that it is just that, an excuse and not a legitimate reason. Like you said, a guy will tell you that he isn’t ready to be in a committed relationship and then a few weeks later jump right into one with someone else. So let me tell you what’s going on the head of these kinds of guys.

First, for a guy the fear of commitment line is such a gem because it’s a hard one to argue against. As a society we have been conditioned (and somewhat backed by biology) that women yearn for committed relationships more so than men. And guys sure play off of that stereotype because after all, society has made it somewhat acceptable.

Second, when I told a girl that I had a fear of commitment, what I really meant was that I wanted to continue to see other girls (or at least have the option to do so in case the opportunity came about), not give up my free time and spend it with her, not have to spend a lot of money on her (unless I absolutely had to in order to keep you around for my needs), and to not have to be accountable for my actions. Basically I wouldn’t want to put in the effort that was expected of a true boyfriend girlfriend relationship. FYI, I would typically throw that line out there before I slept with the girl if I knew going into it that I wouldn’t want to see her long term. This helped easy my conscious because when the time came I would always fall back on, “she knew ahead of time that I didn’t want to be in a relationship.” But some guys aren’t as thoughtful as me and won’t reveal their “commitment” phobia until after they get some sex.

Third, addressing your remark about a guy telling you that he’s afraid of commitment, dumps you, and then gets in a committed relationship with another girl. It sounds very hypocritical, and it is. This action more than anything else proves that the commitment excuse is a load of crap. If a supermodel came up to him today and to be his girlfriend, do you think he’d says, “Sorry, I’m just have this fear of commitment and I’m under a lot of stress lately.” What it tells you is that simply YOU were the one he was afraid of committing to. And that could have been for a couple of reasons. Either you weren’t the right one for him completely, or you weren’t the right one for him at that time. Whichever the case, you as the girl cannot “fix” that or change his mind.

Girls, when you hear a guy tell you that he is afraid of commitment, run. Don’t try to rationalize it and feel like if you just wait around long enough that he will change his mind. When a guy finds a girl that he is really into, a girl that makes his heart skip a beat, he’ll never tell her that he has a fear of committing to her. It just doesn’t happen. What you can do is get out of the relationship immediately and move on. There is potential that down the road he may be ready to commit to you, but the odds are stacked against you and will only after he’s gotten everything out of his system.

So Holle, move on. Yes he told you that he shared the same chemistry you felt in the beginning, but now he’s trying to tell you in a “nice” way that he isn’t interested in dating you anymore. Maybe he’ll commit to the next girl he meets or maybe he’ll remain single for a while. Either way you can’t afford to stick around, and most of all, don’t read too much into it.

What have we learned ladies? The “fear of commitment,” like Big Foot, is an absolute myth. And you only believe it if you “want” to believe it. Instead open your eyes see it for what it is.This will save you a lot of precious time and energy and move you one step closer to meeting the right guy.

-The Date Guy

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