Dating a Guy Who Can't Commit

If his attitude gets in the way of your relationship, he may have a commitment issue.
... Images

"He loves me? He loves me not?" Whether he loves you, or not, the inability to commit can put stress and strain on any budding relationship. If you're dating a guy who has trouble committing, understand why he won't make this promise and what your chances of changing his mind are can help you to make an informed decision to stay or go.

1 It's Not You

You give and give and give, and then give some more, but your guy doesn't return the favor. No matter how much you commit yourself to him and your relationship, his decision to remain casual about you isn't necessarily your fault. This type of one-sided relationship can strike a blow to your ego, notes relationship columnist and Psychology Today contributor Rita Watson. Don't let his inaction shake your confidence or make you feel bad about yourself. If you find yourself investing much more in the relationship than he does, it's time to take a step back and consider looking elsewhere.

2 Missing Piece

What are you missing while you spend your time waiting around for your guy to commit? You're possibly missing out on finding another guy who truly wants to be with you. While you shouldn't expect an immediate commitment, if months have gone by and there's still nothing -- he's just taking up your time. Spending nights waiting for him to call or sitting back and watching as he casually dates other people is time that you could use to get to know another, more reliable, guy. You can continue to "just date" Mr. Non-Commitment, but also keep your options open and go out with other guys.

3 Age Matters

While commitment is a key ingredient in a serious relationship, younger people are often more likely to explore their options than settle down. Both you and your guy are still making self-discoveries and trying on new identities. Doing so may make it more difficult for a teen or early 20-something guy to commit than it is for an established adult who knows what he wants. Even though it's frustrating to see your guy fly back and forth between you and other people, keep in mind that he may not really know what he wants out of a relationship yet.

4 Excess Baggage

His inability to commit might have nothing to do with your present situation and everything to do with his past, according to relationship counselors Linda and Charlie Bloom. From an unfaithful ex to a father who abandoned him as a child, losses and disappointments can color your guy's present state of mind. These types of past experiences may make him unable to trust or get close enough to another person to commit. If this is the case, show him that he can trust you through your actions. Give him the time that he needs to build up trust in you. If that doesn't happen, remind yourself that this is his problem and doesn't reflect your own worthiness in the relationship.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.