Commitment issues-Are men really afraid of losing their freedom?

Have know this guy for almost 6 months, we're really great friends (his words). About a month ago started dating, and from what he's told me and by observation I get the feeling he's scared to commit or DTR out of fear of getting hurt/losing his freedom. I told him that I've stopped dating other Men, but if he thought it would be best to just stay friends I would start dating again... he responded "why, is there someone else you want to Date?" I told him no, and he stated he wants to take things one day at a time. We have not slept together and he said he hasn't because "I don't want to mess things up". Told me if we had slept together months ago we probably wouldn't be talking or even be friends. I've met his Parents, he's met my Daughter (who he adores and dotes on) and he's met my Mom. He's appropriately affectionate with PDA in public, and in front of co-workers so I'm wondering how I assure him I'm in this for the long haul, that I'm the real deal. Thanks for your feedback!

Commitment issues-Are men really afraid of losing their freedom?
Updates:
THANK YOU!!! All of the feedback, comments, opinions and points of view have been very helpful!

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  • It is not a question of freedom. It is, rather, a question of being hurt. This is deeply rooted in human psychology.

    Females tend to be expressive. They communicate their feelings openly and while this can lead to conflict, on the whole that studies show that women are apt to develop more intense friendships. By contrast, men are less verbal. They express themselves more by deeds than words and this tends to be somewhat self-isolating.

    In this connection, by the way, a weird paradox. There is an expression. For a woman, there is no sex until there is love. For a man, it is not love until there is sex. Put simply, sex means more to a man than to a woman. For a woman, it is simply one part of a relationship, For a man, it is something deeper - which probably explains your bfd's reluctance.

    In a nutshell, for a man, a failed relationship is isolating and the feelings of loneliness get no natural outlet. Men therefore, contrary to popular belief, tend to - not always but generally - tread more cautiously. They look for more reassurance and try - as far as is possible - not to do things that they fear might negatively impact the relationship.

    Add in that men, not being expressive, are not as good as women at reading emotions. You can say all the right things and there still tends to be a nagging doubt. It is not rational or logical, but it is rooted in fear of loneliness and is therefore all the more real for that.

    Finally, to that you must add changing cultural trends. There is an undertone of hostility toward men in the popular culture. Even things that deserve real condemnation - such as sexual harassment - tend to tar men with one brush, and when it comes to marriage, the penalties for failure are often - legally and financially - steep. So to fear of loneliness men add a sense of legal and moral risk as they enter any relationship.

    Again, this is all not necessarily logical or rational, but you are dealing in feelings. It is not less real for being illogical.

    What to do? There is an expression - Pay a man a compliment and you will get a million miles out of him. Be reassuring. Pay him a compliment - ESPECIALLY when he does something for you. (Thank him for being good to your child. Similarly, if he helps around the house, also express your appreciation.) Where sex is concerned, if you are ready, tell him that when he feels ready nothing would make you happier than to feel his arms around you.

    Then, after all this, be patient. This will take time.

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    • Thank you for your very thoughtful response. He actually helped me with my Daughters Birthday party, which was a huge hit. My Daughter gave him a personal thank you gift as did I with a card expressing my gratitude for his help and kindness.

      I am making sure to have patience and respect his need for time. I'm looking forward to the future possibilities.

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    • I agree, I just don’t feel, as a man, I need to reassurance, or being uplifted by her efforts to communicate her appreciation. I agree there needs to be more of that and yes, girls, please realize it’s a two-way street, but I feel as a man, once you get into the mindset, or requiring reassurance and affirmation, to avoid hurt feelings, then the train has jumped the tracks

    • @Bjorn526 It is not really a question of avoiding hurt feelings. It is rather one of making the other person know that he or she is loved and cared for. Imagine a relationship where your girlfriend never told you she loved you or did anything for you. How long would that last?

      It brings to mind the phrase - I cannot remember who said it - "He does not love who does not show it." When you are dealing with someone who may have been hurt in a previous relationship, then that reassurance takes on some greater importance. It is a basic of human psychology at bare minimum and it is what we do for someone we care about.

      In terms of male psychology it takes on added importance in that a man tends to measure love in terms of being appreciated. Men are not verbal, but tend to express love through actions. They do, but they seek approval for what they do.

      You say it is a two way street. It is, but it is one where actions are exchanged for words of appreciation.

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What Guys Said 73

  • "Are men really afraid of losing their freedom?"

    The fact that it is possible to associate commitment with loss of freedom is a good example of why men are increasingly walking away from relationships. This question is like when someone has cancer, and rather than the doctor saying "you have a 10% chance of survival", instead they say "you have a 90% chance of dying".

    If you polled a random group of 100 guys, and ask them "do you want a relationship", a good majority of them would probably say yes, but if you then follow up the question "do you think losing your freedom by committing to someone is good"?, the number of men who would positively will, most likely, inevitably plummet dramatically. As soon as you start thinking "wait, if I'm with a girl, I loss my independence", you will come to the conclusion that relationships are just shackles with a smiley face. It's the same reason men aren't getting married: sure, a relationship has no implied permanence, but in most cases it will lead to said result and that is when people say "f*ck this, I'm out".

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    • Thanks for the feedback, all valid points. I want him to feel like a relationship with me means there is mutual respect and understanding. We enjoy our time together, and respect time apart too.

  • It's not so much that, it's more that everything within marriage is geared toward protecting women. To the courts and society, it's still 1955 as far as marriage is concerned. So if and when it all goes wrong, she will get the kids, the house, the better car, and a significant portion of your future income for her troubles. On top of that, men get blamed by family and friends for most relationship failures. Not good.

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    • Thanks for the feedback. That's all valid, I'm more interested in gauging how to make him feel safe/comfortable enough to want to feel like he's ready to commit. We are building a solid foundation for our friendship, and any potential future relationship. Going to take it day by day and hope for the best.

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    • Try keeping the conversation light hearted. Even if a man is totally on the same page as you, it's a bit unnerving if the conversation is always serious and emotional.

      Avoid talking yourself out of a relationship. "I will understand it if you want to date someone else" might be your attempt to get him to commit, but many men will read it "I think I want out of this relationship but I don't know if I can break it off without hurting him But if I make this guy break it off... ". And that sends most guys into a totsl tailspin.

    • @ManwithaConran valid points... I meant it more as if he wants to continue to date others I would continue to do so as well, but we could still date each other.

  • I am. I really don't wanna be tied down to a woman who will try to control my everyday moves. all women are controlling. some are a lot and some are not. and its the thought of pleasing my partner's opinion just so she'd leave me alone is what scares me

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    • I understand your point of view. I make sure to respect him by giving him time and space when he needs it and supporting him when he needs it.

  • I don’t know as I haven’t been married but I’d assume is not that but that’s a long term commitment and in today’s society the woman can walk away with everything from his money, pride and respect. Which is why it’s much harder to maintain a long term commitment especially with the things you’d have to give up.

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    • I can appreciate that, I'm not looking for anything other than Love and mutual respect. We've talked at length about what we both want/are looking for I think he just needs a little more time and I'm okay with that.

  • He is looking for assurance that it is 'him' that you want and not just a relationship.
    Men are not stupid. We understand women better than women think we do.
    Women have one powerful first love. When it ends, and their heart is broken, their priorities change. They now look for more, usually bumping love back to the middle of the priority pack. Now they search for security first... don't deny it!
    Second, they look for a father prospects.
    Third is someone who they feel will treat them the way they feel they should be treated.
    Fourth is the spark (love).
    When dealing with a single mother, the emphasis on the first and second criteria completely overshadow the rest (and sometimes swap places).
    Men, dealing with single mothers have a lot to lose! Not only are they committing to you, they are committing to your children.
    What happens to the guy if he lets down his guard, dives deeply into a relationship with you, becomes a father figure to your children, and things don't work out?
    He has no legal rights to your children. He now has a legal obligation to you and your future sustenance and lifestyle. On top of that, if the two of you have children together, his children will live somewhere else... maybe with the next guy filling the FF role.
    Why would he wonder about that? How old are your kids? How long were you able to keep your last relationship together? How hard did you really try?
    These are questions that go through every guy's mind when dealing with a single mom.
    Does she want 'Me' or a home, a paycheck, and a man to help with little Ben or Emily? How do I know she LOVES me and not what she can get from me?

    My advice:
    Give him as much time as he needs.
    Figure out for yourself which criteria he fills. If love isn't first, let him go and find someone who you'll LOVE first! If you don't you are being completely selfish and it will not end well.
    Men want to marry as much as women do. They just look at it differently. Women think it's a game of trial and error. Men want to marry ONCE!
    It's a fact

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    • Thanks for all of your feedback. He and I have been very open in communication, and I'm definitely looking for Love first. I'm not looking for security, I told him from the start I'm capable of taking care of myself and my Daughter and I don't need to be rescued.

      I didn't let him meet my Daughter for nearly 4 months to make sure he was even serious about wanting to date me, and he's stuck by me just as I have with him.

      I've never been Married, and if that never happens I'm okay with that too. I want a real loving relationship/partnership. He's the first and only Man who has not only wanted to take things slow, but has shown real love and adoration for my Daughter. Just as I care about his feelings, he has told me that he's mindful of mine and my Daughters feelings too.

      I really do appreciate the info you provided, and I'm taking things one day at a time because I really do care about him.

    • I appreciate your response.
      I would say that you've got a good shot at making it work.
      Just remember... men see women cry a little and then bounce back after a split.
      Men are completely devastated! There is no ONE broken heart. It just happens over and over for us, then we get to $ pay $ for it as well.

      It sounds to me like you are pretty genuine and may be a little different. I hope, for both of you, that he recognizes this.
      Good luck to you, your boyfriend, and your daughter!

    • Thanks, I definitely don't want to hurt anyone or be hurt. I will continue to respect his need for taking it slow and hopefully it will work out. Thank you again!

  • Honestly, you haven't been together that long. There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking it slow. You're far more likely to screw something up or get into something you don't really want by rushing. If in a few months he's still not even considering calling it a committed relationship, I would say there's probably some deeper issues to address that may require counseling.

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    • Thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely going to respect that he needs time and that we should just take it day by day. I can definitely give it a few more months and hopefully it will work out.

  • Some women can be controlling when it comes to dating, I've had friends have to delete facebook, snapchat, and instagram because their girlfriend didn't like them seeing pictures of other women. Losing freedom is a legitimate fear in my opinion. As for getting hurt, I know from experience how ruthless and uncaring women can be when it comes to dating, I've been cheated on in most of my relationships and it now makes it hard for me to trust women, my first assumption when something seems wrong with my girlfriend always seems to be that I am about to get hurt, that she is about to tell me she's been cheating, even though I don't think she's like that. I don't want to assume she's cheating, I just want to be prepared for the pain it will bring me if she is.

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    • Thank you for your feedback and I'm sorry you've been hurt, I will never understand how people can harm another person either mentally, physically or emotionally. I wish you the best of luck in finding someone who truly respects and appreciates you.

    • Thank you. I still have high hopes, I'm just suspicious now, and always ready to be hurt.

    • I can understand!

  • Its not always about losing freedom. Men assume 100% of the risk in a relationship and especially marriage. Also more and more women today are emotionally unhinged BITCHES. Its scary and for men relationships aren't returning much on investment.

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    • Thanks for your feedback. I really try to respect his space/freedom when he's not working. I'm a very independent person, so I get it's hard to let people in. I'm just hoping he can accept that I'm different and want to be good to him.

    • If you're 36-45 years old and that understanding/mature then give him time. As long as he's with you and still in the relationship then he as feelings for you. Dont stress him, stress will make an already frightened man fly away in a heartbeat.

    • Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely letting him have his space/time to still enjoy his independence when we're apart.

  • Men like to act tought and alpha. Be in reality men are the ones who desire commitment the most. We are primitive and tribal to the core and seeking our mate is imprinted inside us. Men like to go around as if they are these macho lone wolf types but deep down they are just sappy sappy boys looking for a life long lover.

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    • Thanks for the feedback

    • So to answer the question men are not afraid of commitment. There is an obvious fear if being with someone but us men know what we want in women. We are just raised sorry we are in a society which pushes a toxic masculine attitude towards relationships. There is nothing wrong with being a dominant man but yet show affection with your mate.

    • I appreciate the additional insight. Just going to continue to take it day by day.

  • yeah, commitment issues can come out all kinds of ways, i like to liken it to how girls are when getting into relationships in the first place: there's the burden of choice--will you make the wrong one? and in so many cases girls blow themselves out on guys by overthinking it, guys blow themselves out in relationships by overthinking it and wondering constantly if she's really the right choice for a variety or reasons. the irony for both being that itrs really there's to blow up

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    • Thanks for your feedback

  • This guy seems to genuinely care about his future with you and is probably being honest about not wanting to screw things up. I suggest that you try to reassure him with confidence about your relationship. Try making some moves on him as you talk about how sure you are that you guys will be fine.

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    • Thanks for the feedback. We have agreed to take things day by day. i believe actions speak louder than words and I randomly show him that I care in the hope that he will see I truly value what we have and he'll feel secure in moving forward.

    • Your very welcome, and yes actions speak very loudly.
      Good luck

  • Couldn't this have to do with common law marriage and the girl being entitled to the guy's money FOR LIFE in case of a break up?

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    • Holy Molly! 2 thumbs up from guys and 2 thumbs down from girls...
      I may have stumbled onto something big!
      The cat shouldn't bet let out of the hat?

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    • Problem is... pre-nups have no or little legal value. A judge can just do away with a pre-nup like it never existed.

    • I can see your point, but I guess for me personally I don't care how bad things got it's never right to take something you don't own, never worked for. Yes, it happens, but to me that's just selfish and makes the person look bad. I hope my relationship works out, but if it ended I want to leave it amicably and in peace.

  • The problem is that we have an epidemic of women destroying their own families by cheating and divorce, so we can't trust women anymore. Sadly the data shows this...

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • Listen, it's called "the great mystical fuck" all men search for it, none find it. It doesn't exist. But we are told it does, so we search. We are afraid to stop the search we always think we want something more. We fear ending the search because that means we may be missing our chance.

    It's totally fucked up

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    • What do you mean?

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    • @Imjust, it's the idea that there is always so sexual partner out there that will fuck better than who you are with.

  • Give him patience. Absolute and trusting patience. Rushing him in any way is only going to cast doubt. He will learn to trust you as time goes on. Encourage him when he shows that. But pressuring him could make him panicky and feel trapped. It's a very thin line to walk. Be careful.

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    • Thanks for the feedback, definitely not rushing him. Taking it day by day.

  • Of course. I’m also afraid of all the double standards against me such as divorce laws and laws regarding custody

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  • I don't know about guys in general, but I certainly am. I prefer to do my own thing and go my own way.

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • No we aren't... it's not about being scared to commit anything really. You ever think we have a past sometimes and don't want to have to go through it again. And ideally we as men want sex badly but if he is really truly that way with you time is all you need. It will happen when he's not freaked out inside.

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    • Thanks for the feedback! I'm definitely okay with taking things slow, he's amazing and worth waiting for to see where things go. The fact that he's been honest about his feelings definitely tells me we are both working towards a foundation of mutual respect for each other.

    • Just know in life the only thing we really have is time. In everything

    • Good point

  • You leave a dog outside long enough and a house starts looking dangerous.

    Maybe humans have some in common with dogs in that way...

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  • Yes because the instant a man enters a relationship, he is expected to give up his hobbies and friends

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    • Totally fair!

      I'm in my 40's and he's in his 50's. He's been Divorced for 10 years, so he's used to his Bachelor lifestyle. I'm definitely not questioning if he cares for or about me. Is it possible to set boundaries in a relationship to make him feel like he still gets to be himself? For example agreeing to be exclusive and faithful, and spend a set amount of time together but telling him that we should be still live our lives so that we can both still have some independence? I'm fiercely independent, but I've also never been Married or had to rely on anyone to help take care of me or my Daughter.

    • The biggest thing you can do is make sure you support the things he wants to do. Wants to spend a night out with friends? Encourage him. If he's divorced, been single for 10 years, I'm willing to bet his ex put him on a leash. It will take time for him to get over that stress, just make sure you support the things he likes doing

    • I do, and will continue to do so. Thanks!

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What Girls Said 26

  • Nooo I hate this stereotype. Seriously, in my entire life I’ve seen for every 10 guys, there are 20 girls who have cheated or have been afraid of commitment.

    This means that it varies depending on the person’s attributes NOT on their sex or gender! I’ve seen more loyal and committed men than women tbh.

    That’s why I never understood the saying of how men are commitment phones.

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  • It's not about losing freedom. It's about making sure a heart is not broken. And it goes both ways. You can tell him until you are blue in the face you are no threat. But words are cheap, people have cheapened them. Actions speak louder than words.

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    • I agree, I randomly do things to show him I care not because I have to or because it's expected but to show him that I really do love and care about him. Showing appreciation for the person you love can mean the world to them!

    • Absolutely! Be patient. You are ahead of many others. You've met his parents. Can be a good sign.

    • Thanks!

  • Honestly, I feel like you overreacting out of nowhere nothing he said sounds weird. I mean he might be very old fashion or is nervous about sex or something else. Wait a year and if he hasn't has sex with you before or after 1 year then ask him. If you feel it's a bullshit excuse dump him and move on.

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    • Thanks for the feedback, it was honestly just a question to get various points of view. I have no problem being patient. He's a great guy and I'm happy to take it day by day.

  • Not sure. I hear a lot of stories of men not wanting to be "tied down" and such, and they end up saying their marriage is "holding them back". Which is why at the bachelor parties they hire strippers and such, so they have more freedom before they're tied back. (I'm just explaining from what I heard from several men)

    So, that's one of the reasons I don't really want to get married

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • Men are totally scared of any commitment.. or a relationship.. they love their freedom and wants a friend/partner only when they want.. or they feel like it.. some men even try to behave rude just to show that they don’t want to do anything with the woman.. but as a matter of fact deep down they want it but does not want to loose their freedom.. trust me.. I have been they this with couple men in my life already..

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  • It’s not just men. Commitment is not easy. As you get older you realize you don’t have time to get hurt. It’s not a bad thing to take things slow.

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    • Thanks for the feedback and I agree, not just a general statement about Men. As a Woman I was curious to get a variety of opinions.

    • Also if he isn’t giving you what you want, move on. There are plenty of people who are waiting girl. Don’t be too available to him!

  • I think some are, others just want the security of a relationship (where you commit) and not having to do it themselves. Dont let yourself be hurt. Be vocal and voice your concerns and opinions, you don't want to become emotionally dependent on someone who is selfish and doesn't care about your feelings.

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    • Men don't care about that crap

    • If he doesn't care then he isn't the one for her. I have met plenty of men who want relationships, and plenty who don't. Its a personal choice and if she wants one and he doesn't then there's obviously a conflict of interests and she doesn't have to wait around for someone who isn't emotionally available.

  • I think you guys need to have a discussion about what you want your relationship to look like. Try to get on the same page with your levels of commitment and what you want in the long haul

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    • Thanks, we've agreed to take it day by day. I was more curious to see how other people viewed the situation. It's always helpful to have a variety of opinions.

  • I think 6 months is quite early. Just enjoy the moment. Do not over analyze or plan. Just live in the moment. It will happen naturally.

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  • Taylor Swift said it best, "boys only want love if it's torture".

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • This hasn’t been my experience but each to their own I guess.

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • Probably, wouldn't be surprised. Neat question by the way.

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  • he just wanted to take it slow but surely.. Goodluck.

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  • yess I believe some are terrified about it. i learnt that the hard way with my ex

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    • Thanks for your feedback.

  • Yes they are! And its important to know they think this part of them is gonna be lost because women today make commitments seem a prison.

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  • Lol, I would say yes.

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  • I think so

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  • Depends on the guy

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  • yes yes and yes

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    • Thanks for the feedback

  • What's dtr?

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    • Define The Relationship

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