In the wise words of Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock, "It takes two to make a thing go right." No truer words have ever been said about romances. They only work out if both are willing to give it everything they've got. That's why so many relationships fail today. While we'd rather not support the notion that stereotypes are true, we can't help but admit that it is true for at least one of them: there are some guys who just can't commit.
It drives women bonkers when they're in a relationship, everything seems to be going well, and then the guy doesn't make any promises about their future together. Not only does it mess with a girl's head, but it also discourages her from giving love a chance. For many, it's a mystery why guys refuse to take their relationships to the next step.
Although we're just as troubled by men as most women out there, we think we have a pretty good handle on why they are the way they are. In order to even wrap our heads around them and the way they operate though, we had to turn to psychology. Only through studying the way the human mind works could we tackle this issue plaguing many today. Here are 15 psychological reasons he doesn't take the next step.
15 It’s Actually Down To A Science
Men brag about the women they've been with as well as how many. It's not pretty when men stoop to this level, but it's the kind of behavior that affects a lot of them. As per the website How To Get The Guy, it's because of this more primeval thinking some men have trouble sticking to one gal. They go on to suggest that in evolutionary terms, men are more compelled to be with more than women in order to have as many children as possible.
While this thinking might raise some eyebrows, it makes sense considering evolution deals with natural selection—aka "survival of the fittest."
By having children, men invest in their future (so to speak) in order to keep their lineage alive. While men aren't just mindless cave men today (not totally, anyway), they all inherently have these traits in them deep within. At least that's what their biology suggests, so it must be true. Men have it hard-wired in them since the beginning of time. The tendency is just going to vary from guy to guy. Maybe some men find it hard to commit because of evolutionary leanings holding them back.
14 Trust Issues Are Very Common And A Lot Of Guys Have Them
Guys can have trust issues—even though women often seem more trustworthy than men—but then we look back on the common saying that trust is a two-way street. They are imperative for relationships in order to stand the test of time. If he has any doubts in her, he may not ever be willing to take the next step. If he sticks with her though, there's a likelihood she could gain his trust over time.
What's going against this, however, is that he may be less inclined to tell her his trust issues in a civilized and open manner.
Should she ever sense this in him, she doesn't have much to lose in coaxing it out of him. That leaves the door open for the couple to turn things around for the better. Cosmopolitan sheds some light on men's trust issues, especially when it prevents them from committing to anything long-term.
As per Cosmopolitan, guys may not give trust willingly because they're protecting themselves. By not opening his heart to her, he prevents himself from heartbreak. She might be pleasantly surprised to find out this is what's holding him back. It only leaves the door open for her to show him he's safe to invest.
13 He’s Incapable Of Showing Emotions
Women sometimes get a bad rap for being more emotional than men. According to Live Science, adult men are capable of having even "stronger emotional reactions" than women. However, the Live Science goes on to say that it's only possible once a man gets in touch with his feelings. In reality, emotions are necessary to human communication. If someone is more in touch with their feelings, they're more human and capable of relating with others.
Emotions are essential for humans to communicate. Culture, however, may look down on men developing their emotions. While society is making some improvements in this regard, it's possible that the traditional way of thinking—that emotions aren't masculine—still persists. A man's undeveloped emotions or refusal to embrace his feelings may be the reason for his inability to commit. This puts her in a tricky predicament. If a man shows these traits, many times it's hard-wired in him. There's not really a way to reverse it. It's up to her whether she can put up with his lack of emotions, or whether to break it off. Some men are capable of committing without showing much emotion, while others are not.
12 You're Not On The Same Page When It Comes To Your Beliefs
As people become older, they develop their own beliefs and set of values. Its part of what being an individual is all about. Some guys are free-thinkers who have unique philosophies of their own. They may have a certain opinion about dating and relationships that steer from the norm. It's not rare for a woman to encounter a guy who just has different beliefs when it comes to love and marriage. Not that marriage has to be the end goal, but it often represents an important stage for many couples.
As Psych Central points out, he may just not believe in the idea of long-term relationships at all.
That's why it's important to have open lines of communication in a relationship, or else it may not last very long.
These kinds of guys can be a pitfall for lots of women. They go into a relationship knowing he has these world-views but press on anyway. She thinks she can change him once they're together.
The problem with this thinking is that we don't change a whole lot the older we get. She's going to be hard-pressed and frustrated investing in him when he remains the same. These guys think they have it all figured out and fail to commit as a result.
11 His Self-Esteem Isn't Up To Par
Think about it, the world affirms men when they do well with the ladies. Surely if women love him, then he's a great guy (says the world). No one would doubt a good-looking guy who can get any woman he wants, after all. That's the kind of unrealistic thinking that may be holding back a guy from wanting to settle down in a relationship.
What he fears is what will happen to others' view of him when he takes a relationship seriously.
He risks his bachelor status and the potential interest of other women, noted by the website How To Get The Guy. As a result of this, his self-esteem drops.
While we think there's something wrong with a guy if this is how he measures his worth, women can't deny that this deters some guys from settling down. If men face heartbreak, they just pick themselves back up and move on to the next girl they see. They're always thinking about the saying, "There are plenty of fish in the sea." That's what drives them on, along with the ability to get with lots of women. But committing to one of those fish in the vast sea is what upends their whole way of thinking.
10 He's Actually Trying To Skip A Few Steps To Get What He Wants
One reason he may not want to give the relationship he hasn't gotten close with you yet. The website How To Get The Guy has some sage advice for women regarding this: don't be with him on the first date. As tempting as it might be, it could get her into a tricky situation. Some guys are totally willing to be with a girl even if they're not his type.
Even more frustrating is the fact that he may prefer to stay in a place of limbo rather than confessing his uncertainty. Meanwhile, she's looking for a long-term commitment.
Even though he might not be willing to commit to her officially because they haven't gotten close yet doesn't mean she should. For plenty of guys, they're not thinking about an emotional relationship. The old-fashioned way of thinking where couples wait to be together until marriage runs counter to men's thinking. They would rather jump right into it than put it off. However, this is only a way for them to get what they want and skip out. Even if he's truly willing to commit to something long-term in exchange for intimacy, he's got it all wrong.
9 His Maturity Level Doesn't Exactly Reach Yours
It's biologically true that girls mature faster than most boys. As Psych Central points out, it could just be because he lacks maturity. The site goes further to mention that as we grow older, our relationships change. We often gain a deeper sense of meaning from our interactions. As a result, we become enriched more by our experiences and connections.
Those that don't mature, however, tend to keep their relationships superficial.
It's a big step for a guy to begin dating another girl, but if it stays on the same level and never goes deeper, it won't last very long. That's why maturity is so important for long-lasting relationships. If he isn't in the most mature place, there may be little hope of him ever committing to something long-term. Like most behaviors on this list, maturity isn't something she can teach him. As much as she wishes she could pass some on to him, he has to go it alone. Maturity comes with time and can't be rushed. Whatever her situation may be, she can't wait around for the guy she's into to come around. There's no guarantee after all that he'll commit to her at some point down the line.
8 He's Afraid To Fail, So He Won't Even Try
A wide perception going around is that men have big egos. While it doesn't apply to all men, it might just be the deciding factor in relationships for some. Part of having an ego is thinking there's little wrong he can do in life. That can even apply to relationships. According to Psychology Today, he might be reluctant to go forward in a relationship because he's afraid of failure.
When someone's already been through a failed relationship—or just doesn't think they're capable of committing—that could prevent a couple from becoming long-term.
The truth is—no one wants to fail. Crippled by fear, he could be inclined to play it safe instead without taking a gamble on a long-term relationship. Love is a risk all couples must take, after all. She's taking a risk too by showing interest in him. Many times, he fails to notice this. Men think they're the only ones giving something up, when she is too. Everyone has some level of ego, even women. It just gets in the way more for men, or else becomes an excuse entirely. If he's not willing to risk failure, the chances are slim he'll commit.
7 He Hangs With Single Friends...A Lot
People hang out with people that are most similar them. The reality is that if he's hanging out with friends that are all single, chances are he relates more to the bachelor lifestyle. In truth, a group of single friends do seem to be less likely to get hitched. It's a big step—after all—to break away from the group. Some people even suggest that it can be hard for men in a friend group of other single guys to be a leader and break away.
If a single guy hangs out with another married friend, he might be more inclined to settle down. On the other hand, if he hangs out with only single guys like himself, he might never break out of the vicious cycle. A friend group can have a major influence on whether he commits or not. Since she usually doesn't have as much influence on him compared to his friends, she ends up suffering as a result. Friends are usually the stronger motivator, even in relationships. But friends change over time, just like his choices. While there's hope for him to commit at some point, she shouldn't wait around. He might wish to stick to the single life forever.
6 He Loves The Thrill Of A New Relationship, But That's It
Some guys are just a hopeless cause when it comes to long-term commitments. For the ones who live for the thrill, the chances are slim they'll suddenly change overnight. They love to the early stages of a relationship, they, in fact, know nothing about what comes next. They've never been in a relationship long enough to find out. Only the excitement of first love interests them. In a sense, who can blame them?
The beginning stages of a relationship can be fun but it's also a very superficial time for a couple.
Everything is kept at surface level and there isn't much depth. That's why relationships need to last so they can grow deeper.
Unfortunately for a guy who only lives for these moments, he'll be less likely to tell her the words she wants to hear. She may not even know he's that kind of guy until later when the relationship is ready for the next step. On the other hand, he could break it off before this next step even comes around (if he's a pro at going from one girl to the next). There's little hope for guys like these to commit to anything more than a fling.
5 He Wants Something More Than What You Can Give Him
This might seem brutal, but a guy might want more than just a beautiful woman. While some men only seem to care about getting close to a girl, there are men who look for more. That doesn't mean that those guys won't hook up with a girl. They just might have trouble taking it to the next level, like a long-term relationship.
The problem with them is they don't see anything deep that would make them want to stick around, according to the website How To Get The Guy. While they can certainly be judged for even entering a relationship in the first place, they have to be credited for at least thinking long-term. The fact of the matter is that she might be beautiful in plenty of ways, just not the way that attracts him.
It all comes down to compatibility. If he's not moving forward with her, maybe it's because she's not really his type. We can't fault a guy for having some reservations, especially when love is on the line. But we do have some criticisms for the guy who doesn't do anything about it. These situations are hard because it's really no one's fault when two people just don't sync.
4 He's Afraid Of Losing Alpha Male Status
Frankly, most men don't think very highly of long-term relationships. Though people perceive women as placing too much credence on their looks and appearance around others, men are just as guilty of it. It's even possible some are more like that than women. Though when it comes to men, it's less about their physical appearance than it is their social presence. It's important for men to feel like they're the alpha male, which is the leader of the pack wherever they go.
Even if they're not the one calling the shots, guys want to feel like they are (or that they know best) in public settings.
According to the website How To Get The Guy, men feel less like the alpha male in a long-term relationship. This turns off guys to long-term relationships. Even if she does everything in the world to puff him up, it may not be enough. He'll always consider how others look at him. A stand-up guy will learn to look past this and move on with the relationship. Others will find it unbearable. They want to be the alpha male and won't move any further, even if they love a girl.
3 His Childhood Issues Prevent Him From Committing
This may not be as common for most guys, but it certainly happens. As many know, the psychological effects of someone can be extremely deep. Even something from his childhood is capable of affecting his ability to have a long-term relationship. It's unfortunate since these guys have factors working against them that are out of their hands. One of these includes attachment disruption, which Psych Central describes as someone not having a long-term parent.
Perhaps he had someone caring for him through his childhood, but because it wasn't the same parent or guardian, he wasn't able to make an attachment.
This, in turn, trickles over into adulthood and hinders long-term romances.While she may not encounter too many guys with attachment disruption, it's definitely something that comes up. If she's into a guy with this condition, there's really nothing she can do. His experiences have shaped his behavior and won't easily be reversed. All she can do is give the relationship her best shot. But should she come up against a wall that prevents it from going further, she has no other choice but to move on without him. His own psychology is preventing him, after all, from forming long-term bonds.
2 He's Scared Of Losing His Freedom
Probably the most common reason (or excuse) she's bound to come across is his fear of settling down. As obvious as it sounds, it's a reason most men will probably admit. According to the website How To Get The Guy, what he's really afraid of is losing his independence.
He likes having his own schedule and being in charge.
However, being in a relationship will mean saying goodbye to all that freedom. He has his own goals and ambitions but doesn't think he'll be able to keep those if he shares his life with someone else for the long run.
What this type of guy doesn't realize is he can achieve even more with the woman of his dreams by his side. Out of protection for the life he leads though, he might cling to this fear instead of commitment. Part of him needs to grow up. But giving him the benefit of the doubt, it's only natural for a guy to protect his freedom. He just needs to realize that part of living is giving parts of you. As we get older, our time splits between the people we care about. That's what being in a relationship is all about.
1 He Fears He'll Get Too Bored In The Relationship
This day in age, it's never been easier finding entertainment. With the internet, we can find instant access to the things that will make us amused. That can make our expectations for relationships eschewed as a result. Instead of investing long-term into someone else, we may expect faster results because of how the internet has conditioned us. The website How To Get The Guy supports this idea, alluding to his fear of sticking with a girl out of the possible horror he'll end up leading a boring life.
While we're sympathetic to someone wanting more adventure in life, it's less adventurous to stay put and do nothing. In reality, most guys won't see this on their own and become discouraged from making a long-term commitment as a result. The irony is that sitting put can be the most boring thing he can do. What she can't be tricked into is thinking she has to entertain him or make herself fun enough. He can only commit by his own choice. Otherwise, she'll invest too much in him without any guarantees he'll come around. If he expresses boredom out of any reason that deals with her and the relationship, chances are slim he'll commit to anything long-term.