Does it seem like all guys are afraid of commitment?
You want a partner you can count on, but the guys you’ve dated have been distant, unreliable, or disappear suddenly – just when it seems like things are good. You felt hurt and confused, and it’s been hard to tell you were loved. You might even wonder if your partner ever really loved you. After all, if he did, how could he have done that?
With the way things have been going, you’re thinking heartbreak might be inevitable. Maybe it seems like you can’t trust men, or relationships. It seems you’re doomed to live a life without a love to share it.
There’s a reason it’s been so tough, and the reason isn’t you. It’s not men, in general, either. Some women have found a way to create committed partnerships that last. There isn’t something special about these women. Just like them, you can choose a partner who’s ready for commitment.
Not All Guys Are Ready for Marriage
If this sounds familiar, chances are you’ve been dating people who weren’t ready. When a guy’s not ready for marriage, and you are, dating almost always ends in disaster. For a guy who’s not in a place to settle down, commitment feels scary, even overwhelming.
He might love you and enjoy connecting for a while, but at some point it starts to feel like he has to choose between being with you and doing what he knows he needs to do for himself. It’s like a choice between love and self acceptance. To him, they’re mutually exclusive. That’s a terrible choice to need to make. And it may seem harsh, but it’s unlikely that he’ll choose you.
You Can’t Make Him Ready
Guys have so much to navigate between the time when they leave high school and the time they realize they might enjoy settling down.
Growing up, guys travel some pretty rough territory. With the cost of living growing, it’s getting harder to “make it” and have enough extra to support a family. It can easily take more than a decade to build a solid career.
We’re more mobile than ever before. We can live and travel anywhere. With more and more people in cities and new online dating profiles created every day, opportunities for hookups and romance can seem endless.
Many guys don’t see examples of what good, satisfying love looks like. Though they’re out there, few male role models talk about the potential for committed partnership to create deep fulfillment and growth.
Meanwhile, technology and culture offer infinite, entertaining distractions that could keep a guy busy for years.
In the end, all the pretty, entertaining things along the road of life are not enough for most guys. Infinite choice and distractions aren’t really what make us happy. Love, meaning, and purpose do. Commitment is a path to all of them.
After exploring all the curves along the road of infinite choice, there comes a time when most guys realize, “I did all the things I want to do before I settle down. I know who I am and I’m tired of dating. I’m ready to share my life with someone.”
That’s a pretty monumental realization. It takes a lot of life experience to get there. Along the road, he’ll have gone through lots of rocky relationships, terrible dates, and cringe-worthy mistakes.
You want to be the one he meets after he’s traveled this road.
The Trap of Trying to “Make Him Ready”
Most women imagine this whole settling down thing works really differently than it does.
Lots of women start out dating people who are looking for things like casual dating, hookups, or “let’s see what happens” romance. These women think, “Once they get to know me, if they love me, they will want to stay with me.”
The problem is, being ready to settle down is developmental. It’s like a taxi cab light that’s on or off. It’s internally-driven, and has nothing to do with you.
If you want to settle down, you’re looking for a taxi with the light on. It goes on when a guy wanders far enough down the road that he tires of driving aimlessly. It’s on when he realizes he’s ready to turn out onto the path of commitment. When he does, he’s likely to settle with the very next woman who gets in the car.
Yes, you really want a ride. But no amount of desire or suave signaling to a taxi without the light on will get you one.
The bonus of looking for a ride from a guy with the light on is, by then, he has probably developed some awesome relationship skills. Maybe he used to blame his partners when he was upset, and now he knows he’s responsible for his feelings. Or maybe he used to try to change his partners’ minds all the time, and now he gets that women aren’t just waiting for their intellects to be adjusted.
Picking a man who’s ready is a one-way ticket to a stronger relationship than you imagined was possible. (It’s also pretty likely to land you the best sex ever, but that’s another story…)
Why It Can Seem Like All Guys Are Afraid of Commitment
Even though there are tons of people, men and women, who want to settle down in their next relationship, they can be hard to find. Not impossible, but challenging.
The dating pool is filled with people who aren’t looking to settle down. Think about it: If you’re a guy who wants to settle down, how likely are you to keep coming back to an online dating site after you find an awesome woman? Pretty unlikely, right? But what if you’re looking for something casual? The odds are, you’ll be looking for another date sooner than later.
Most of the people you meet won’t be ready to match you. The rare ones who are ready for commitment can co-create love that feels good to both of you.
Since the odds of encountering people who prefer less intimacy than you do are really, really high, what you need is a way to turn the odds around.
The Solution: Choose Someone Who’s Ready
If you want to have a good shot at lasting love, you need to find a solid cab with the light on.
There are a couple things you need to do to make this happen. First, you’ll want to find out if he’s ready. Then, you need to figure out if he’s compatible with you.
Top 5 Ways to Know He’s Ready for a Life Partner
Alone, one or two of these signs doesn’t mean much. If you’re seeing all or most of them, there’s a great chance you could have long-term potential together.
1) Ask how he feels about marriage and dating (and ask early!).
Now, you’re probably thinking, “OMG, I can’t do that!” Before I lose you, here’s why this is so important: Guys who want to settle down will find this conversation a welcome relief. It will also set you apart from other women they’ve dated.
As long as you’re asking in a “getting to know you,” relaxed way, and he’s actually interested in you, this is an exciting conversation for a guy who wants the same thing. If he doesn’t, you’ll find out. That’s a good thing, because you won’t end up wasting time with guys who aren’t in the same place as you are.
The idea isn’t to jump ahead to assume you two might get married. You’re just asking to find out how he feels about the topic. So you could say, “What are your thoughts on marriage?,” or, “What’s dating like for you?”
It’s scary to ask real questions like this, but the answers are worth their weight in gold. If a guy doesn’t believe in marriage, you won’t be able to change that about him. He has inner work to do. You can’t help him with it. No one can be both his counselor and his girlfriend. If you try, you’ll find yourself disappointed down the road when it becomes clear you’ve been ineffective at both jobs.
If he believes in commitment and is tired of dating, those are very good signs. Otherwise, you can move along before anyone needs to get hurt.
2) Find out if he’s supporting himself, with money to spare.
If a guy doesn’t have financial stability, he’s unlikely to be ready to commit. For couples who both went to college, the odds are a woman will be the one to invest more of her time at home. That means leaning on the other partner’s income.
If he’s is still living at home, working at a cafe, or living paycheck to paycheck, that’s a strong signal he is pretty unlikely to settle down in his next relationship.
3) Learn what his downtime looks like.
Does he like to drink at the bar with his guy friends? Go out dancing? Or does he like cooking dinner and watching a movie at home?
Men who are ready to settle down tend to prefer to stay in over going out. If he’s into going out often, this can be a signal that he’s still “cruising” for women, experiences, and excitement. That’s generally a sign he hasn’t turned out onto the path of commitment yet.
4) Check on demographics.
Most guys who get married hit a point where they want to settle down after their late twenties. Guys in their mid-twenties often enjoy being single more than women their age. From 27 to 32, men tend to enjoy being single less than women do. That’s a great time to catch a guy. He’s more likely then to realize he enjoys being in a relationship.
Another bonus of dating men after their late twenties is they generally have learned from experience. That means he’s likely to have improved a lot of relationship skills, including, for example, being pretty fun in bed.
5) Explore the deep stuff.
Early on, it helps to have conversations about what matters most. How does he learn and grow? What does he value? What are his long-term goals? If the other signs are there, and your answers to these deeper questions line up, there’s a good chance you two could be a fit in the long run.
As you explore, you’ll want to look out for deal breakers. When you know what you really need to feel happy in a relationship before you start dating, you can effectively rule out guys who won’t be a fit in the long term.
For example, you might cut it off early with guys who don’t believe happy marriage is possible. Lasting relationships require that both partners invest to help the relationship work. If he doesn’t believe good love is possible, why would he work through tough stuff?
When you hold out for your true standards to be met, you open the possibility of good, lasting love.
Good love is inevitable, as long as you’ve done your work, stay open to meeting new people, and hold out for someone who’s really ready to match you. It’s only a matter of time before you come across it.