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Commitment Issues Question

Reader Submitted Dating Question: Commitment Issues?

Renee, 30, asked the following dating question: After dating a couple of months, when I suggested a committed relationship to the guy I'm dating he freaked out. What does this mean? What should I do?

Answers From Male Readers About This Commitment Issue

From Chris, 28, married: "The "let's define our relationship" conversation is universally dreaded by every guy I know.

They can be awkward and uncomfortable, particularly if one half of the couple has more serious expectations than the other. Without further details about Renee's specific situation, it's hard to say exactly what the guy was thinking and provide advice, but it sounds like he may have been caught off-guard by the question and didn't know how to react to it. If you enjoy each other's company and want to continue spending time with each other, try raising the subject again in a few weeks, but keep it as casual and non-confrontational as possible. Hopefully he'll have put some thought into it between now and then and will be prepared with a better reaction than "freaking out" next time. Good luck!

From Mike, 32, casually dating: "Its obvious he is not ready for commitment. Whether he has commitment issues, or he is enjoying the casual lifestyle too much, hard to say. Try to get him to talk to you seriously about your relationship, if he does, then it is worth knowing what is going on inside his head.

If he doesn't want to talk about it, you are not on his list of priorities, and you should move on."

From Armando, 39, "looking for a soulful connection leading to an amazing adventurous marriage": "He's obviously not in the same space and is having a major reaction to his emotions around a committed relationship. A point to remember; those are HIS reactions and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over them. Another self evident point I’d like to make is that there is a lack of open communication happening. Additionally it would seem that there are no set ground rules for the relationship at this point. I would suggest that an open, honest and authentic discussion about what his reaction is about and possibly the basics of the relationship could help greatly."

From Brian, 39, single and "hopeful": "Were those your exact words? "Committed Relationship"? That's a phrase that's so full of meaning that it's virtually meaningless. Did you mean that you'd date exclusively? (and after two months aren't you?) Did you mean live together at least part-time? If I'm not sure what you mean then he probably wasn't either which may have led to the freak out.

Well, what it means is that you need to tell him what you really mean (and you should figure out that for yourself first), what you really want and find out what he wants. Finding out what he wants shouldn't end up as an interrogation. If you press him, he'll shut down. So make it a pleasant chat, maybe while you're out walking or something.

Once you find out what you want and he wants, then you'll have something to go on. Unfortunately, if you can't find or negotiate for common ground in the wants category, you'll probably both end up unhappy. But then at least you'll know and won't be wasting each others time. I hope this helps!"

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