Why are men afraid of commitment? Commitment phobia in men can be a result of many reasons that are deeper than what meets the eye. From lack of trust to lack of maturity and from fearing an end to freedom to not wanting to fall in love - here's an in-depth look into why modern men can be commitment phobic even when it comes to being committed to their long time girlfriends or partners in a live-in relationship.
1) Men may see commitment as the end of their freedom
One of the most common reasons why men are afraid of commitment is that they may look at it as an end to their freedom. Guys may be afraid that being committed to their girlfriends will bog them down with responsibilities and they will never be able to live their carefree lives again.
The thought of having to inform their partners before going to the pub with friends or having to send typical mushy "I love you" or "I miss you" messages every now and then, guys may link the thought of commitment with an end to their carefree lifestyles.
2) A guy may just be in a relationship to have fun
Some guys may just be in a relationship to have fun. Their idea of a relationship may only revolve around dates, movies, sex, late night phone calls, text messages and the other fun things that couples do. Commitment may not be anywhere in the horizon.
3) Fear of become exclusive to one girl
Men are afraid of commitment because it means being exclusive to one girl emotionally, physically and sexually. This fear has little substance however the thought of not even being able to playfully flirt with girls may be stopping a guy from becoming committed.
This may be true especially for guys who have never committed to a girl before.
4) The bitter memories of past relationships and breakups
A classic case of being once bitten twice shy is applicable when a guy has gone through a bitter breakup from his previous relationship. The haunting memories of the nasty behavior of his ex and the hurting fallout of a breakup could be a reason why a guy is afraid of being committed.
It is difficult to forget someone, especially an ex. A guy may be running away from the thought of commitment if his ex-girlfriend cheated on him or broke his heart.
5) Lack of trust
The lack of trust in a relationship may be the reason why a guy is afraid to commit. Guys may not express it explicitly but being able to trust their girlfriends holds a lot of weight when it comes to thinking about a long term relationship.
6) Lack of maturity: men mature later than women
Because they mature biologically faster, women are likely to think about things like settling down and long term security in relationships much before men.
This may lead to a discord between a couple and their demands of long term commitment from each other. A guy may not actually be afraid of commitment, rather he may just not be mature enough to accept commitment.
7) Fear of boredom: Equating commitment with a mundane and boring life
This typically applies to commitment from the perspective of getting married. A guy may think that his life will be reduced to nothing but a boring and mundane routine of waking up, going to work, long commutes, helping with household chores and some such.
From putting socks back into the drawer to clearing the sink after a meal, from watching the same shows on TV at night to having a typical couples' weekend, men may fear falling into the rut of life after being committed. The thought of diving into a constantly boring routine could be holding a guy back from proposing to his girlfriend.
8) Fear of falling in love
Falling in love by itself can be a fear for some guys who don't want to commit simply because they don't want to fall in love.
In an attempt to put up a macho facade, some guys may claim to be immune to the mushy feeling of love. And this image of being a tough guy could be stopping a man from diving into a committed relationship.
9) Refusal to commit may be an attempt to buy time to be sure of the relationship
Men may not say it aloud but commitment phobia may be a mask worn to buy time. They may want to test if they are sure about their feelings for their partners. In such a case, the refusal to commit is merely an act to buy time.
10) Fear of ending a healthy sex life
Guys may think that announcing commitment to their girlfriends may bring an end to an otherwise healthy sex life. He could think that the girl would take him for granted and no longer go the extra mile in bed or that she will swap her nice lingerie to boring granny panties.
Men may also think that the spark in their relationships will fizzle out once they commit and that their girlfriends will no longer feel sexy.
11) Commitment phobia may be result of broken marriages in the family
A person's view of life can be significantly influenced by his or her upbringing and family. If a man has seen marriages in his family end in bitter divorces, he may be scarred for life. Even if his own relationship is perfect, he may have a fear that it could end bitterly.
The sight of a bitter divorce battle between parents, aunts, cousins and other family members may be putting off a guy from being committed to a relationship.
12) Men may relate commitment to financial sustenance
Men who like to be the perfect gentlemen to their girlfriends may be concerned about bearing the added financial responsibility when it comes to committed relationships.
From paying checks at romantic dinner dates to expensive gifts on birthdays and Valentine's Day, guys may fear commitment simply by thinking about the added costs of maintaining a relationship.
13) Fear of change
A guy may have notions that their fun loving girlfriends, the spark of physical intimacy and many more elements to their relationships will change once they commit.
Being afraid of change and the psychological barriers to change may be all there is to a guy's commitment phobia.
14) Insecurity over the girlfriend having more sexual partners in the past
A guy may not be willing to commit because he is insecure about his girlfriend having more sexual partners than himself in the past. He may always be under the pressure of having to think about her ex-partners and previous sexual experiences.
This may be putting off a guy from committing to a girl who has been in bed with more guys than the number of girl he has been with.
15) Influence of popular culture: Men can be led into behaving like commitment phobes
Men are portrayed to be afraid of being committed in movies, books, plays, TV shows and other media platforms. Across many forms of popular culture, women are shown as commitment loving and men are shown to be commitment phobic.
This typical portrayal re-enforces commitment phobia in the minds of guys who may be vary of commitment in the first place.
16) Guys may link commitment with emotional baggage
While women may associate commitment with happiness, security, safety and romance, some guys could be wired to instantly associate it with the burden of additional emotional baggage. The thought of being committed could be seen as offering increased emotional dependency to a partner.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Jazmine Sias on August 30, 2020:
Well the generation of men and women today biggest problem is TRUST!!!!! Men and women have trust issues and mainly because after being cheated on, lied to, assumptions, and lack of communication. Men are not as emotional as men and some do not like to express or conversate about anything too heart felt, which makes it hard for women to notice if their partner is really into the relationship or marriage. I am 22 yrs old and yes I have someone that isn't ready for commitment but I am, but I do not pressure or force the situation onto him. I respect that he id not ready and we enjoy each other and still have fun as if we never spoke about it. I don't mind waiting for him to become ready for commitment because sometimes I don't really know if I am actually ready, but I know that I would love to spend the rest of my life with him.
ZK on March 01, 2019:
This is such a stereotype. I've always loved commitment. I've only been with two girls, and I married the second one - and we've been married for going on 15 years now. I know plenty of other guys who are the same.
I think media has a huge role to play, and as divorce rates skyrocket, this can only lead to more children - girls and boys - not trusting commitment as a long term thing.
buddhaanalysis on February 17, 2013:
In the age of freedom there are more reasons for men not to marrying than girls.
dashingscorpio from Chicago on February 12, 2013:
There are two things that are often overlooked when the discussion turns to men and commitment.
1. Each year in the U.S. there are (two million weddings) that take place and most of them occur after a (man) has proposed!
2. The vast majority of men (do) get married at least once!
So the real issue is "timing" as well as the man not being (sure) she is "the one".
Last but not least it has been reported that (women) initiate 66% or 2/3rds of all divorces! Our divorce rate hovers around 50%. Men see divorce as being a major disadvantage for them. Therefore it just might be that men aren't "afraid of commitment" but rather they're afraid of divorce!" :-)
Kyson Parks from San Diego, CA on February 03, 2013:
I know many women have trouble understanding why men have commitment issues - and they are no stereotype, we often do have them. Thanks for putting together some great information about it.
torrilynn on February 02, 2013:
Nice hub and very interesting to take a look at how men feel about commitment. Voted up.
I.W. McFarlane from Philadelphia on January 31, 2013:
The fear of commitment may not apply to men of all culture. This fear also depends on the way some men were brought up. Just like some women, a large percentage of men also hold their own philosophical views of marriage. So, although I agree with most of the points you have made here, we cannot simply apply all the above to all men.
iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on January 31, 2013:
Well, of course not all men. But in general, they are afraid of having commitment due to the reasons above which are still persisting today. But many men must know that they can't be young forever of course to sow wild oats, so to speak... as they grow older they will realize they should only need real love companionship and nothing else.
Really interesting hub. :)
Ruchira from United States on January 31, 2013:
Great pointers, and could not agree with you any more on it...voted up as useful and yet funny :)
Ellona from Chicago on January 31, 2013:
Yes absolutely right DDE. Men are afraid of any change come in their way. I think they find it hard to cope with newer persons also.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 31, 2013:
You are correct in mentioning these reasons, most men are afraid of commitment, their lives change and they are not sure of how to cope with the many changes.