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?

THANK YOU!!! All of the feedback, comments, opinions and points of view have been very helpful!


Most Helpful Guy

  • 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.

    • 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".

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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!

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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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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

    • 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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