How to Tell When Your Man Is Unable to Commit

If he won't tell his friends and family about you, he isn't ready commit.
... Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

You think he's officially your boyfriend, or maybe the two of you are just dating. Even though you're ready to make a commitment to him and your relationship, he isn't able to do the same. Understanding whether your man is unable to commit can help you to tell if the relationship is worth pursing or it's time to move on.

1 Commitment Basics

Before you can tell whether your guy is -- or isn't -- able to commit, you need to understand what commitment really means. Commitment isn't just monogamy or exclusivity, even though those are typically parts of the concept. When you and your partner pledge to stay together through the thick and thin of your relationship, you have a commitment, according to the TeensHealth website in the article "Love and Romance." Making a commitment requires both a verbal promise to one another and the follow-through to keep it up.

2 No Pledge

If your man can't say the words, then he isn't ready to commit. Ducking a commitment conversation or using a qualifier such as, "We will see" when you bring up the issue shows that he's not ready to make this promise to you, according to former FBI behavioral analyst John R. Schafer in his article "Get Things Done -- Get a Verbal Commitment" on the "Psychology Today" website. Don't assume that just because he doesn't outright say, "No, I don't want to commit myself to you" that he is willing to have a serious relationship. The inability to have a mature discussion about commitment and both of your expectations is a clear sign that he isn't ready.

3 Fling to Fling

Even though it's common for teen and young adult relationships to revolve more around casual fun than deep commitment, jumping from fling to fling is a a signal that he's not likely to commit. If he has a history of casual encounters or breaking up with women before things can get serious, it's likely that he isn't able to make the promise of a commitment. While it's tempting to think that you can change him, take a long look at his history before you believe that you can break this cycle.

4 Follow-Through

Some men may actually say that they want commitments or make promises and pledges. This doesn't necessarily mean that they can follow through with the commitment. If your man says that he wants to take things to a more serious level, but then never does, he may have a commitment issue or problem. For example, he pledges his love to you -- and only you -- for the long term. He gives you a promise ring and says that when you both graduate from high school, he'll turn that into an engagement ring. Now you're two years into college and there's still no engagement ring in sight. Look for follow-through.

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.