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Are Men Really Afraid of Commitment?

Updated on April 25, 2013

Lets do it tomorrow!

There have been many articles and books written alluding to the belief that men are afraid of commitment. Very often when a man does not propose marriage to a long-time girlfriend he is labeled as being "afraid" to commit. This is also often stated when a man breaks up with a woman without a “good reason”.

Wedding statistics

According to a report from every year 2.3 million weddings take place in the United States. That breaks down to nearly 6,200 weddings per day. It is probably safe to assume that the lion share of these weddings take place after a (man) has proposed. That’s a lot of brave souls!

In 2011 Wild River Review published an article “Divorced men remarry quicker than divorced women”.

At ages 45 plus about one third of men remarry compared to twenty-five percent of women. There is speculation that once a man has been married he sees benefits while the divorced woman is more likely to feel disillusioned about marriage and welcomes her newfound freedom.

Last but not least the U.S.Census Bureau of statistics indicated in 2008 (there were only 16% of men who were between the ages of 40 and 44 who had never been married). Certainly there are some gay men in that sixteen percent. The overriding evidence is clear that the vast majority of men do get married at some point in time. This puts a hole in the fear of commitment theory.

Toys & Timing

If the vast majority of men do get married then timing would appear to be one reason why a man does not propose.

In our society parents begin early “gender indoctrination” in how they raise their children including the toys they give them to play with. It’s not uncommon for a little girl to be given baby dolls to dress up, comb their hair, change diapers and push them in strollers. Some girls are given toy vacuum cleaners, Easy-Bake Ovens, tea sets, Ken & Barbie “Playhouse”, and a “princess dress” which is subconsciously symbolic of a wedding dress. As they get older and attend a wedding or two they witness everyone stands up when “the bride” enters the room. The groom is little more than a prop!

Boys on the other hand are given the following toys: remote control cars/planes/boats, water pistols, boxing robots, race car sets, anything that makes noises and flashes colored lights, and video games to compete with their friends. Boys don’t pretend to be husbands and fathers during their childhood. They don’t dream about being Prince Charming and living “happily ever after” with their princess.

By the time most girls are age 12 they have been practicing to be mothers and wives for years! Is it any wonder that women tend to want to get married at an earlier age than most men?

After college the typical guy is looking to enjoy his freedom. Pursue a career path, date, travel, and party with friends. Young men are in no rush to become their parents. A woman in her early twenties who wants to get married may be better off dating a man who is in his early 30s and has never been married. This is about the time most guys start giving marriage a thought. Timing is very important.

You Are Not the One

This one may sting a little bit but sometimes a man does not propose because he does not feel the woman he is with is “the one”. In other words she is Ms. Right Now and not Ms. Right. He may be completely unaware of this fact himself.

Most men don’t date or enter into relationships looking for a wife. They meet a woman they click with, have great times with, and settle into a world of contentment. There is no diabolical plan to use up a woman’s time or her youth. It has nothing to do with buying cows or getting milk for free. Time flies when you’re having fun. It’s more of a situation where if everyone is happy why risk messing things up. Oftentimes it is when a woman gives a man an ultimatum that he begins to do some introspective thinking. This is when he may reach the conclusion that (she) is not the one.

It is not unheard of for a man to date a woman for several years only to break up and get married to the next woman he dates after knowing her for a year or less. Most likely this new woman did not give him any ultimatums or use any magic potions. His heart chose her. He felt she was "the one".

Final thoughts

If someone says, “I love you but I’m not in love with you.” It means, “I really enjoy being with you but you are not the one!”

If you ever find yourself wanting to marry someone who has no interest in getting married ask yourself, “Why do I want to marry someone who does not want to marry me?” Soul mates have a mutual love and desire for one another. In order for him or her to be “the one” they would have to see you as being “the one”.

Every marriage will have its share of challenges but at the very least it should start off with both people wanting to get married! There is no amount of “communication” or “work” that can overcome being with someone who does not want what you want.

If someone does not give you what you want it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with them. It just means they are wrong for you.



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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 6 months ago

      Clair W,

      Thanks for stopping by to read my article and posting a comment. Oftentimes we look back we realize our ex was not an ideal mate!

      A lot of people get caught up in how much (time) they have invested in relationships rather than evaluating the basics.

      In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" they would have to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soul mate" is someone who actually wants to be with you! (And vice versa)

      If both people don't (want) the same thing it's time to move on.

    • Clair Waldorf profile image

      Clair W 6 months ago

      Great post! This was written 4 years ago and still relevant today. It reminds me of my relationship with my ex where I waited for more than a year for him to commit but he went back to his ex gf. Yeah it hurts but sometimes, timing is off and maybe we're not just compatible.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      ARainey, Thanks for stopping by!

      I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment as well.

    • profile image

      ARainey 2 years ago

      Dashingscorpio, I am enjoying your page and reading your articles. Well articulated.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      brakel2, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment.

      You are right on! I've been explaining this to young women in their late teens and early 20s.

      The thought of marriage, children, and signing a 30 year mortgage is among the last things on their mind. For them it's like watching their lives flash before their eyes! Guys who are in their late teens and 20s are not looking to become their parents!

      More importantly the strategy of getting a guy when his young and hoping to be there when he hits 30 or is ready to consider marriage is a long shot. As you noted the best course of action for many of these young ladies is to date men who are older.

      A lot of young women in their late teens and 20s could avoid a lot of heartache by not overly emotionally investing in guys in that age range. Dating guys in their late teens and 20s should be for the purpose of fun.

      Statistics bear out 85% of all men will get married. Therefore it's not a matter of (if) but (when) along with (their belief) they've met "the one".

      Unfortunately no one has any control over whether or not someone perceives (us) as being "the one" for them.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Dashing - Your reasoning is spot on. It does seem, however, that women may get the short end of the stick. Therefore, women should date older guys when they are in their twenties, because a lot of guys get married in their thirties, as you say. Women do not know that, for the most part, or don't think about it. I lost out on some good guys in my 20s who wanted sex, and I was trying to wait for the right person. I know a lovely young lady in her 40s who can't find a guy, and she won't give up her principles either. So life goes on. Thanks for the well-written hub. Sharing. Blessings, Audrey

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      You're right! It's a two-way street. Both parties are dedicating time to the relationship, despite one of them thinking there's no commitment. I'm going to check out that other hub of yours about Commitment Without Marriage.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      Glenn thanks for taking the time to read and post a comment on my hub. I agree sometimes when people are "comfortable" it's simply easier to continue going with the flow. I think that happens for a lot of guys.

      If you're (happy or content) with the way things are then why change?

      That's not some devious mindset or plan to take up women's time.

      And yet I often hear of women complaining about "giving a man 5+ years of their life" as if he did not also give 5 years to the relationship!

      These are the folks who believe without marriage there is no commitment. What they really want is legal benefits in the event things fall apart! As one woman noted in another one of my hubs; "After 10 years he can't just up and walk away." She wants (something/financial gain) out of it.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I found this article very enlightening and right on target. I can relate to a number of things you had said. I remember when I lived with a girl for five years who I knew deep down was not the right one. But in some way I was committed anyway. I think if she had not given me an ultimatum at one point, we may have continued on. But that ultimatum gave me the opportunity to reconsider - and terminate the relationship.

      Status quo has a way of maintaining some form of commitment. Change the status quo and the commitment fails.

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 2 years ago

      I would agree with your statement.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      It's usually only 2 reasons why men don't propose to a woman.

      1. Timing (He's happy with the way things are or has other priorities)

      2. She's not "the one"

      mikeydcarroll67, It sounds to me like you fall in category #2. Unfortunately a lot of women have a difficult time believing (they) are NOT "the one"!

      This is why you hear many women claim men are "afraid of commitment" or "He doesn't know what he wants."

      It never occurs to them if they were "the one" the guy would have proposed to them!:)

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 2 years ago

      My issue is not so much an issue of commitment but rather the lack of finding someone who compliments who I am as a person. I feel that a lot of other men are like this as well.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      peachpurple, The vast majority of men (do) get married!

      If someone is afraid something they usually will NOT do it no matter what! The reality is in the U.S. at least, (women) initiate divorce filings 66% or 2/3rds of time! Oftentimes this means a man is forced to move out of the family house and into an apartment/condo, pay child support, possibly alimony, and become a "weekend dad".

      Men are more afraid going though divorce than they are getting married!

      Very rarely do you hear of a man filing divorce papers even if he is unhappy. Most "unhappily married men" would rather cheat than go through a divorce. One man's opinion! :)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      men are afraid to be tied down with commitment. When i was married, my hubby actually suggested that we eloped together and have kids but don't get married, no registry.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      Gabryela, Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment.

      A lot of problems arise when men and women refuse to acknowledge gender differences and expect both genders to think the same and want the same things at the same time. Just about every man (will) get married!

      Timing and (his belief) he has met "the one" are the deciding factors. :)

    • Gabryela profile image

      Michelle Cabatingan 3 years ago from Philippines

      Wonderful insights! Men and women are so different in every way. And you are probably right in most of your claims. I appreciate how you did not try to defend men's childish ways. You remind me of what my father said, "never deny your mistakes but find a way to escape it."

      Well boys will be boys.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 3 years ago

      Benedictowelmar, I agree there's a big difference between "fear" and simply (not being ready). The only reason to change anything in your life is because you're unhappy with what you have or you believe the change would improve your life immensely. Thanks for your comment!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      AmandaJon , Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I still believe that because (most) men do end up getting married that it's not so much they are "afraid" but rather their (timing) is different from women or they don't feel they are with "the one". Thanks again for comment!

    • AmandaJon profile image

      Amanda Jones 4 years ago

      Interesting hub! Cute picture )) I think that most men(not all) are afraid of commitments and responsibilities of mature life. They think " Why do i need to marry? then i will have to do house work, etc.", they really don't want to grow up. But after a first marriage they see that it's not so bad, and they want to improve their mistakes made in the first marriage by remarry for the second time.

      I enjoyed reading it.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      DDE, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. I really think for most men it's either a "timing issue" or they don't feel the person they are with is "the one". A lot of women start to thinking about marriage earlier than men. Most young men are in no rush to emulate their parent's lifestyle.

      When it's all said and done (most) men do end up getting married. (Sometimes two, three, or four times) LOL!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The photo is so funny but also true at times most men are afraid of commitment, sometimes due to past experiences it is difficult to go back into commitment. Sometimes marriage is too much to cope with interesting insight here on Are Men Really Afraid of Commitment?

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      SandCatles, I agree with you on your point that no woman should simply (wait) around to see (if) a man will propose to her. However I don't think it's a healthy way to start a marriage by "pushing" a man to the altar. A woman deserves to marry a man who actually (wants) to marry her!

      Another alternative is for the (woman) to propose! This way she will have her answer right away! Anything other than a quick "yes" lets her know where she stands. As my mother use to say: "If it ain't worth asking for then it's not worth having!" Below is a hub I wrote on that topic. :-)

    • profile image

      SandCastles 4 years ago

      Good Points. Also, a woman shouldn't just wait around for years hoping for a man to ask her to marry him where she is too afraid to broach the topic lest she scare him away. The man could have also married the next woman as a rebound decision. If a woman wants to have a family, she only has so much time. She can't wait around until the man is ready because he can have kids in his 60's if he wanted to; she can't. Her biological clock is ticking and her time if valuable. If she is marriage and family minded she has to date a man who is also marriage minded not someone who just wants to hang around and have a good time.

      It seems strange that a man would leave his common law wife because she wanted to make the marriage official (the other post). It might have been his excuse to leave. The woman shouldn't feel bad for pushing him.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 4 years ago

      recognizing102, Thanks for stopping by and posting your comment. One thing I have come to realize when it's all said and done everything happens for the best. At the very least there is a lesson to learn. This in part led me to write my book: My Cat Won't Bark! (A Relationship Epiphany). Just as it is unrealistic to expect a cat to bark it also unrealistic to expect one's mate to change. I learned the following the hard way.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: we either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. The choice is ours!

    • recognizing102 profile image

      Alex J 4 years ago from Maryland

      Great article. It actually opened my eyes a bit, especially about the toys and how we raise our girls and boys differently. My 10 year relationship ended a couple years ago witha guy who was my best friend and dad of our 3 kids. About our 6th year, I started putting pressure on about marriage and things just unraveled from that point. I like the perspective you gave. Thanks.