1. He’s not feeling it.
Most people fall in love a couple of times during their lives. That means that most of the people we date are not “the one.” They don’t trigger those very special feelings in us. A guy can enjoy your company, find you physically attractive, have great sex with you, and not fall in love. In fact, that’s mostly what happens.
Commitment without being in love doesn’t make sense. Why go all in with someone who isn’t forever? A man would rather remain free to date other people without guilt.
2. The match doesn’t work on paper.
Sometimes the strong feelings are there, but there’s too much potential for conflict in the relationship. Whether it’s your backgrounds, religion, political beliefs, or something else, you’re star-crossed lovers. Romeo and Juliet notwithstanding, in my experience women are more likely to throw caution to the winds for true love. Men are the gatekeepers of commitment, and they tend to be more practical.
3. He’s not settled geographically.
A guy who is planning to return to school or knows that his job may involve a move will often delay commitment. Men generally don’t get serious about dating for a marriage partner until their late 20s, so choosing to stay single before settling down in one place makes sense from a male point of view.
Guys hate drama, including tragic goodbyes and long talks about making long-distance relationships work. In fact, most guys would rather avoid a long-term relationship because the sex is infrequent – hardly a plus for a guy at the height of his sexual powers.
4. His career is his top priority.
A guy who works long hours or travels a lot knows that his work life would be a constant source of stress and disappointment in a romantic relationship. Relationships involve caring for the feelings of another person. Knowing up front that your lifestyle is likely to cause another person unhappiness is a strong disincentive to getting involved.
5. He’s taking a break from relationships.
Maybe he recently went through a breakup and isn’t over it. Maybe he hasn’t been single in years and wants some time to himself. There’s nothing pathological about not wanting to be accountable to someone else for a while.
6. He has feelings for someone else.
It could be the ex. It could be the woman at work who’s engaged to someone else. It could be that he hasn’t even met her yet, but wants to be available in case she shows up. He’s distracted and preoccupied by the idea of a woman who isn’t you.
7. He wants to focus on self-development.
Working on or improving one’s self is admirable. It may signal that a person is not in the right head space for a relationship right now. Or maybe they want to avoid commitment as they work on becoming their best selves.
Relationships are huge long-term projects. Sometimes we already have a few projects in the works, and hesitate to add another one.
8. He doesn’t trust you.
Have you been following The Rules while you’ve been dating this poor guy? Have you played hard to get? Flaked on dates? Made him jealous?
If you jerk people around and pretend to be unavailable, guess what? They feel manipulated and conclude you’re unavailable. Suddenly you’re all about commitment – WTF?
Relationships require honesty to build intimacy and trust right from the start. The writers of The Rules are long since divorced. Relationships without honest, open communication never last. Never.
9. It’s not happening organically/You’re pressuring him.
Are you pressuring him because it hasn’t happened? Or is not happening because he feels pressured?
No one wants to commit under pressure. Relationships – or heaven forbid, engagements – that happen as the result of an ultimatum are doomed. They may limp along for a while, but resentment is sure to build.
You can’t force someone to love you, and you can’t force them to commit to you. Even if they go through the motions, you’ll know their heart isn’t in it.
10. He’s not the marrying/relationship kind.
Some people aren’t fit for commitment. They don’t attach well to others, and are uncomfortable with emotional intimacy. If he “hates labels,” is “happy with the way things are,” or has “commitment issues” he’s doing the right thing by refusing to date you. It’s the right thing for him and the right thing for you. Some men are all about the chase.
These traits are entrenched and often hard-wired. You cannot change or convert a man like this to good boyfriend material.