Reasons Guys Shy Away From Commitment

You can't make him commit.
... Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There are many reasons why guys shy away from commitment -- from childhood experiences to biology to past relationships. Looking for commitment from a guy who is unwilling or unable to give it can result in frustration and hurt for both of you.

1 Their Parents

Children have different types of relationships with their parents. If parents abuse or ignore children, they don't develop the close bonds that exist in other families, write psychologists Jeanne Seagal and Jaelline Jaffe in their article “Attachment and Adult Relationships” on One reason guys may shy away from commitment is because their inability to trust others can make depending on someone else terrifying.

2 Their Biology

Researchers found a possible genetic explanation for why some guys are better able to commit to women than others, writes psychologist Nigel Barber in the Psychology Today article, "Monogamy is social - not sexual." Researchers have isolated a gene that affects a man’s ability to emotionally bond with a woman. Guys with double the amount of this gene have more troubled relationships than guys without the extra gene.

3 Past relationships

Research has shown that current relationships are also affected by past experiences, writes journalist Judith Kelliher for the article, "Mount Holyoke professor Katherine Haydon finds romantic relationships influenced by early connections with parents, peers and friends." Bad past relationships tend to have negative impacts on current relationships. In teens, the hook-up culture involves casual sex with no commitment. This pattern has the potential to set young people up for difficulties later when they want to have a committed relationship. Your guy could be shying away from commitment because he doesn’t know how to do it successfully.

4 Being Tied Down

Consider that single women commit to buying homes more frequently than single men. Young, single men report not wanting to buy because they view home buying as a threat to their independence, according to writer Stephanie Rosenbloom in The New York Times article, "For Men, a Fear of Commitment." Women view home buying as increasing independence and security. Similarly, women may view relationships as opportunities for security and growth, while men may view them as stifling. Some guys fear that commitment will take something from them that they will never be able to get back.

Amy Guertin has a master's degree in counseling psychology and will earn her Ph.D. in 2014. Guertin is a licensed counselor and has 15 years of experience practicing psychotherapy, primarily working with children, adolescents and their families. She is also a college psychology professor and is the happiest when she is in the classroom.