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Why do guys have commitment issues? Answer revealed.

Updated on January 14, 2010

Let’s say you’re a girl and you get along really well with this guy you recently started talking to.  You both get along perfect; your personalities are like puzzle pieces that fill each other gaps, you understand his jokes and find them hilarious, you make out and do all that touchy feely stuff.  Then, just as you are about ready for a relationship, the damn guy stops returning your calls and hesitates when you tell him that you like him a lot.  Sound familiar?  It does to me, because I’ve been that guy. 

Now first, let us be clear: while there may be a few men who do not belong in this category, the majority of men who have “commitment issues” are men who have been in previous relationships.  More likely than not, these men went through a difficult break up; it was probably extremely ugly and not on good, mature terms.  Yes, there are men who don’t suffer at all and transition on to the next one with ease (kind of like how easily Brandon Roy transitioned from the college level basketball to the NBA), but this isn’t the classification of men I am speaking of.  Many men who go through ugly break ups were truly in love with their ex’s; it was probably likely that their ex was their first love, and you know what they say about first loves.  They’re the hardest ones to let go.  So how does this affect you, the current lady in his life?  Well, let me explain.  There are 2 main reasons for why guys are scared of commitment.

Reason #1

After being hurt (either because it was their ex’s fault or their own), guys may not express it or show it due to the need to preserve his pride.  He may not admit that he is hurt at all, but best believe that your man is scarred in some way by the past.  He is definitely not the same nice guy that he was in his first relationship.  He may be a gentleman, he may be sweet, charming, and all that, but you know that he has changed.  He may have changed in a way that even he himself hasn’t fully realized.  So let’s bring it home.  From the example above, where you guys have perfect chemistry, everything is going right, and then he suddenly backs out.  Why would he do that, when everything is so good?  Because he is scared.  That’s why.  He has probably fallen for you deeper than he thought he could fall for any girl other than his ex, and this fact scares him to death, because he is vulnerable.  If you don’t work out, he is once again rejected and inadequate for yet ANOTHER girl.  Because of this fear, he backs out in order to distance himself physically and emotionally, so that he won’t get hurt again.  This is something that I went through earlier this summer, because I began dating a girl, and she was the first one since my ex and I split. 

Reason #2

In our society, men are raised to be providers.  It is a rite of passage; as men, we haven’t made it until we are securely able to provide for our family and ourselves, and we have a stable means to provide.  No matter what you may think of it, men feel as if they must be able to provide for their families; it is a pressure that weighs on our shoulders heavily.  If we allow our woman to provide for us, it is emasculating.  As Steve Harvey writes in his book titled Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, “men are driven by who they are, what they do, and how much they make…everything he does is filtered through his title (who he is), how he gets that title (what he does), and the reward he gets for the effort (how much he makes).  These three things make up the basic DNA of manhood – the three accomplishments every man must achieve before he feels like he’s truly fulfilled his destiny as a man.  And until he’s achieved his goal in those three areas, the man you’re dating, committed to, or married to will be too busy to focus on you.”  This is the very core.  Unless a man is with you to fool around for a one night stand, he will not feel adequate to be your man until he is able to provide for you financially.  He will not feel like a man.  Forget all the equality and feminist issues; those things are irrelevant to what I’m talking about.  We KNOW that you can provide for yourselves, and maybe even for us, but that doesn’t mean that we are OKAY with it.  So if we haven’t fulfilled one of the three things that Steve Harvey listed, then we probably will not be committed, because we are still looking for the right to call ourselves a man, your man.    

What should YOU do?

If your man is in this situation, the best route to take is back off and let him have his space.  He will probably be very confused, because he has found somebody that he may not want to let go.  If this is the case, then he may come to his senses after some time.  If not, then that’s his loss. 


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      5 years ago

      This helped me a lot! I was dating a guy and started to develop feeling and things were going great until I started to open up and he backed off completely. I was really hurt and didn't understand until he confessed he had commitment issues and reading this helped me understand him more

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I just ended a realtionship with a guy like this. In the past two years, He was having a hard time commiting to the girls he dated after he broke up with his ex for a 12 years relationship. Luckily, He committed to me and we started a relationship, but the second reason you mentioned came up. He said he was not financially strong enough to give me what he wants to give. He was not happy about it. I thought he was just making an excuse, but your hub gave me a better understanding about his problem. It's really harmful to me, still working on getting over him.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks , that sounds like everything the guy i have been with for the past six months says, yes my feelings get trampled on too. He doent want a relationship, but he is just so burnt from the last ons

    • robertaharden profile image

      Roberta S 

      8 years ago from California on the rocks

      Hey there, nice hub!I think I have met one such man myself lately. It is very hurtful to be on the lady's side because, as you said, everything was going GREAT, until he decided he should not let it work. He's having issues with his work, he is actually struggling through work challenges, so I relay a lot of our relationship failure to this problem. As you rightly suggested, I backed out. It is hurtful, painful, heartwrenching, mind boggling. I dream about him every night, but I will be damned if I'll let him know. He decided he couldn't be committed to the relationship, so I let go. Thanks for this info, I guess I needed it right now.


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