I always imagined that I would marry a man who was tall, dark and handsome, who was obsessed with me and adored me. It was a very immature kind of fantasy because relationships are complex and to expect your partner to always be available and tend to you hand and foot is actually kind of selfish. But that was what I believed for the longest. Little did I know that women everywhere were asking why men won’t commit and trying to solve their relationship mistakes.
What I did get was a husband who pulled his weight, loved our kids and one who shared his hobbies and interests with me. What more can I ask for, really? So far it seems, I already crossed the threshold of what a positive relationship is supposed to look like.
But every time I met up with my friends, I began to realize that my experience with my husband was not the norm. You see, a LOT of my friends were falling into the trap of not getting the commitment they wanted out of a relationship. And some of them weren’t getting the respect that they wanted either. And to be honest, I’ve been hearing this story over and over. It has me wondering WHY, why are all these men not committing? Has our generation really fallen off in terms of a traditional family? What relationship mistakes are we making? Does it have to do with age? What IS it?
I heard it over and over again, the same trope of my friends dating this guy for years and years, falling in love and then falling on their asses once the guy turns stale or when my friend breaks up with them because their partner can’t take the next step.
I was just at a bridal shower last weekend and I was the ONLY one already married. I’m 30. In fact, most the women there were single and most of them left wondering why men won’t commit.
Across from me at my table was Rachel, she was tall, slender with a great figure and pretty blue eyes with flawless skin. She couldn’t have been older than 26, so when she told me she was 31, my jaw dropped. She was also a self sufficient independent woman who started her career as a dentist.
Somehow we got into the conversation of her last relationship mistakes. She had been dating her ex boyfriend since she was 25. She told me that she was hesitant to continue the relationship without a proposal; he was moving to Michigan to continue his dentistry residency.
Despite her reservations, she paid all the licensing fees so she can move to Michigan and start her career there. And then she booked a one way ticket to be with her boyfriend.
Literally the week that she had to move, he TEXTED her and told her “I don’t see myself as being happy with you.”
Like, DAMN. He really just did that to her. My other friend Mariana shook her head and said “If that was me, I’d make him pay for all my expenses.”
This girl was seeing a therapist, that’s how devastated she was.
My older sister had a similar story to this, only her story involved her partner getting mixed up with cocaine and hookers.
What were these women doing wrong, what relationship mistakes were they making? Honestly…all they wanted was for someone to be by their side at the end of it all.
As I listened to their stories I just nodded in agreement. I’ve been there and done that with my Husband. He wasn’t easy to wrangle in either. But I did notice a sort of trend with the behavior of these women and I began to realize, even though what had happened to them was TERRIBLE, to some degree, they also played a role in how things transpired.
Here are my thoughts on why men don’t commit and some huge relationship mistakes women make:
1)He doesn’t owe you shit
I repeat HE DOESN’T OWE YOU SHIT. A lot of women kind of have it in their heads, if they bend over backwards for their man, if they show them that they are *special* and willing to do anything for their man, that the guy will see that. Then he’ll reward them for their hard work with his commitment, love and respect.
In an ideal world, yes, but this is the real world and in the real world when people get things for free or at a discount, they usually think nothing of it.
In fact, it’s his right to be able to leave a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship without any repercussions. After all, this isn’t a MARRIAGE, you know, a binding social contract that could have huge ramifications if you break it.
So why Rachel thought that after 6 years she had any way of getting back her losses from her boyfriend was beyond me. Or why any of my friends at the bridal shower thought that.
A boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is pretty much worth nothing. It’s all good and dandy in high school when in life isn’t serious but once you reach a certain age, ie. 23 and older, you need to set your mind on something that is more long term and stable. The main purpose is to vet someone to see if they are marriage worthy. This boyfriend/girlfriend vetting period now goes on for years, sometimes without any thought or discussion about what the next step might be.
So without marriage, the guy doesn’t owe you shit and you don’t owe him shit. So don’t expect marriage privileges in what is really a paper thin social arrangement.
2)Why would he change what he’s doing when he’s getting what he wants
Once Rachel said, “I didn’t want to move without an engagement..” and then proceeded to tell us how she made plans to move to Michigan without an engagement, that was enough to tell the whole story of what went wrong what relationship mistakes she made.
She was bending over backwards for him.
Now, a lot of women do this. They think “if I give, then I’ll get. I mean, it’s only fair..”
Wrong. If you give, you’ll keep on giving. Men are a bit different from women in this way. They have been raised from infancy to test their boundaries and to win. They’ve learned this mainly from sports and being around other boys.
There is absolutely no incentive for Rachel’s boyfriend to propose after getting her to move over there. And the fact that he broke up with her after she made plans for him like that, shows he didn’t think she would actually do it and he didn’t want her to make the move for him.
If Rachel was willing to make such a drastic change in her life without getting what she wanted, just imagine all the other ways she was compromising in her relationship without getting anything back.
In this situation, Rachel was settling and her boyfriend knew she was settling and no longer a challenge for him. In fact, he had no reason to change his behavior when he was getting exactly what he wanted. So of course men won’t commit!
3)You’re telling him what you’re worth
Your behavior tells him what you’re worth.
When a guy is ignoring you or yelling at you or cheating on you, and you do absolutely NOTHING about it other than maybe yell and scream at him, it tells him that you accept the behavior.
Look back to the beginning of your relationship when things were rosy and nice, and he was oh so respectful. You just yearn for that part of the relationship, don’t you?
Of course he was treating you nice and great during the honeymoon phase of the relationship; he didn’t know you that well yet. In his mind, you would leave him in disgust if you found out about his dark gambling addiction or if you found out he still had nudes of his ex on his phone. So he made sure to be on his best behavior and acted as the perfect boyfriend. This kept him on his toes.
But, as time went on, some of his bad behavior began to come out into the open and now he knows you know about them. But despite your reservations, he knows that you’re not going to do a goddamn thing. He’ll get the same nagging and annoying conversation he’s used to getting from his Mom about cleaning his room but now it’s his girlfriend with some other silly problem he can’t be bothered with. He’ll agree with you and with wave his hand to shoo you away while he promises to change.
And guess what?
He doesn’t change. Because you’ve already established that you will accept this but with additional negative nagging. And as a result, in his eyes, your worth has been lowered. You’re no longer someone he needs to impress or protect since you’ve already settled for his shit with little to no resistance.
4)You didn’t establish yourself as a valuable woman
A lot of women make the mistake of confusing their value with having good looks.
“If only I was prettier…he wouldn’t treat me this way.”
Honey, pretty girls, models etc. have their own set of boy troubles. They have very similar problems to you. And if a prettier girl was letting a guy treat her they way that you let your boyfriend treat you, trust me, she would have the same problems as you.
In reality, it’s your lack of boundaries that is permitting your issues in your relationship and causing men not to commit.
In addition to the nagging, yelling and crying, you’ve also let a whole bunch of things you normally enjoyed doing fly out the window because they inconvenienced your partner. These are huge relationship mistakes.
Women have a tendency to merge with their partner and start getting rid of things they enjoy or taking on their partner’s slack.
You might see your boyfriends apartment, messy and unorganized and feel the need to take care of his living space for him because he will value your “domestic skills” and his space drives you crazy. What you’re really doing is teaching him that you will be his personal maid rather than someone he needs to impress and clean up after himself for. And honestly, if your partner isn’t your husband, a person who’s made a huge commitment towards you, you shouldn’t be cleaning up after him. EVER. As my father always said, “Why buy the cow when the milk’s for free?” Why give wifey treatment when you’re not his wife?
He might critique a dress you’ve always loved wearing, saying it’s “too short.” So you stop wearing the dress because it gets too much male attention while your out with your partner and he gets insecure.
B*tch! What are you doing! You are definitely not establishing value by dressing down and changing your tastes because your boyfriend says so. In fact, you’re allowing your boyfriend to establish your value FOR YOU. This is probably one of the bigger relationship mistakes to make.
Overall, comparing yourself to other women, doing things for your partner he should be able to do for himself and letting him determine what you’re doing and wearing lowers your value in his eyes and that’s why men won’t commit. When you’re “under his thumb” there’s little incentive to put the extra effort with romantic gestures.
5)You didn’t walk away sooner
Breaking up is hard. No one ever wants to break up. The truth is that walking away can result in either him getting his stuff together and doing what it takes to keep you or letting you go because the relationship has met its true end.
Even when a relationship is totally expired, I’ve met some women who find it hard to let go of the partner they’ve come to lose respect for or even hate.
There’s the “sunk cost fallacy” type thinking. The belief you need to carry on because you’ve already invested too much in a relationship. The fear is that all the time and money put into it will fly out the window by leaving and that there is still hope you can still turn things around despite historic failures. Women need to let go of their “hopium” and check into reality and that is, if you aren’t getting what you want out of your relationship and you’ve communicated that more than once and there’s STILL no change, it’s time to cut loose.
Once it’s clear that the relationship will not be getting better, it’s time to take a proactive approach and stop wasting time.
If Rachel had only broken up with her boyfriend when she realized he had commitment problems, she wouldn’t have had to waste a full 7 years chasing a man she had no future with. And she would have been able to seek other opportunities in the time she had lost instead of wondering why men won’t commit.
But hindsight is usually 20/20.
In today’s day and age, most men won’t commit. And finding one of those unicorn men who are respectful and commitment minded gets harder with each passing year. The most important thing is to take your time getting to know potential suitors, to set boundaries as issues come up and cut them loose as soon as it’s clear it’s not working out.
If I had to answer why men aren’t commiting to their partners, my answer would be that guys just aren’t incentivized to do so. We live in a culture where sex is free and easy. Where it’s available at the click of a button (porn and hookup apps) and where women are forced to compete with each other in this highly sexualized society. So women end up settling for less, taking bad behavior and turning a blind eye and not setting standards at all.
Change the culture, you’ll change society. Change society and you’ll change the minds and hearts of men. But for now, we need to set our standards higher that before, only then can we find our perfect partner.
If you like Why Men Won’t Commit & Relationship Mistakes, check out my other posts!