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The commitment phobic man, how to spot signs/ save yourself from heartache


cblossom20

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Hey everyone,

 

I'm sure this subject has been touched on several times but I wanted to write a detailed post to share my experiences in an attempt to prevent others going through what I have. I wouldnt wish this on my worst enemy!

 

Firstly a bit about me, I had a traumatic breakup two years ago with what I now realise was a commitment phobe. It was the worst time of my life and wrecked havoc with my self esteem, I blamed myself entirely for my breakup.

 

As a result of this, I then became emotionally unavailable myself (perhaps I always was but this just made it s whole lot worse). I started dating properly at the start of last year and got involved with two men in quick succession. One in August last year and one recently. The guy I dated in August moved quickly, was attractive, successful and made a bee line for me. He literally in the space of a week swept me off my feet, I was falling for him quickly. In my gut I felt uneasy but still went with it. He told all his friends about me, I met them and his brother the following week and felt on cloud 9. He mentioned marriage all kinds of rubbish. Then as soon as I showed an interest he pulled away suddenly and did the vanishing act. I thought I was going mad, thought I did something wrong and was completely traumatised by the situation to the point I had to go on holiday to sort my head. The proceeded a game of me pulling away and him trying to win me back which lasted for 3 months - he still occasionally calls me now.

 

Then in December I met a great guy who was older and seemed fairly together, boy was I wrong! The same thing happened again, luckily I eventually realised what was happening and ended it before too much damage was done.

 

The big signs are pretty much always the same for this guys:

 

1) They come on very, very strong at the start and usually they are more interested in you then them

2) The jobs they choose normally involve travel, long hours to enable them to keep their distance

3) They are procrastinators of the highest kind

4) They are unable to forward plan or commit to ANYTHING in their lives, families, holidays away - they are incapable of making decisons at all. The only thing they can commit to is their job.

5) Their apartments are hardly lived in, they just sleep there - they eat out all the time time, dont cook, stay at mates houses anything to avoid being in 'their' space

6) words dont match with actions

7) hide behind work which is normally their biggest excuse for not committing to dates etc

8) they seem to have a dual personality, one minute happy the next depressed

9) tend to be good looking/successful

 

 

These are just a few of the red flags, I'm sure there are more but I think these are the main ones to look out for.

 

What I've realised is its nothing to do with me and all to do with them. Negative views of love, commitment, relationships, themselves. They men (and women) are sad, tortured souls who I realise will probably never be happy. They will continue the same sad pattern with another women. In my view

these men should not be able to date until they have received therapy. They are lonely, sad men.

 

I asked a friend of mine who is a commitment phobe what it feels like, and he said whenever a girl gets too close he gets deeply anxious, palpatations and this feeling of having to escape/run. The only cure

for him is distance and then he misses the girl again.

 

As for me, I have at last addressed my own unavailability and on a personal journey of becoming available again

 

I hope this post helps some of you, my biggest advice trust your gut instinct! Its always right if its too good to be true it normally always is!!

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I have found a few as well although I don't know that they reflect "commitmentphobe" so much as just general warning signs:

1) text as main form of communication

2) do not see themselves as responsible for their own actions (ie they perpetually play the field and then whine about not being able to meet a 'great girl'...then when they do they're out all night with their guy friends picking up girls/behaving the same old way)

3) cannot be alone. Go to bars/restaurants almost nightly in favor of going home and just chilling by themselves

4) can't decide if they want in or out.....I read in a good book "they can't commit to you but they can't commit to losing you either....they'll always be on the fence so YOU have to know what YOU want and walk away"

I also noticed the "frat boy" apartment- nothing on the walls, no food in the fridge...just a gigantic TV and PS2....lol

4) when it comes to special occasions, it first occurs to them to spend the night out with their buddies rather than with you or including you

5) they're "out of sight, out of mind" kind of people. Their explanations of certain behaviors include "I hadn't thought of how that would make you feel" (not a relationship-minded person)

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Yep! Agreed!

 

Also a big one I left off the list is they are normally in jobs where they are always in control, both guys I dated were sports men and their job on the field was to control things in the game. Their normal desk job involves managing people and they like you to know that. They are proud of the fact they manage people. Generally these guys are massive control freaks, when you control things - they feel out of control.

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1) running hot and cold

2) emotionally selfish/emotionally 'removed'

3) becomes condescending and irritated when you show vunerability

4) expect you to be available when they need you, but they are not necessarily there when you need them and when you point it out they have no clue what you mean. In worse case scenarios they construe it as you being weak or lacking strength

5) they insist on an 'independent' woman, but not because they necessarily want an equal, but because they don't want to put in the work and figures they don't have to put as much work into the relationship

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I hate to say this but men are not afraid of commitment. They may just not want it with you.

 

I have seen many cases where a male friend is distant and unavailable for Girl A, meets Girl B, who knocks his socks off, then said male friend goes into 100 percent commitment mode for Girl B.

 

In the end, you just have to find a man who is into you consistently.

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I hate to say this but men are not afraid of commitment. They may just not want it with you.

 

I have seen many cases where a male friend is distant and unavailable for Girl A, meets Girl B, who knocks his socks off, then said male friend goes into 100 percent commitment mode for Girl B.

 

In the end, you just have to find a man who is into you consistently.

 

I do believe that there are men and women out there that are truly commitment phobic. I know a guy and a girl who both self-identify as commitment phobes. They at least have the wherewithal to not mislead anyone, and only do FWB at the most, the guy has been totally alone for over a decade (choses not to have any sort of relationship at all) and the girl just has casual flings.

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you just have to find a man who is into you consistently.

 

I agree with this part in terms of deciding "should I stay or should I go?". This thread could also be titled "signs he's not into you".

 

In my personal experience with the 2 guys I'm thinking of, they won't change for girl B...they just want to jump around as a lifestyle and one girl is no more expendable than the previous/future one. It was my mistake in both cases to think they'd regard me differently.

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Goodheart lady, I thought that initially was the case but I disagree. Read 'men who cant love' its all there, there are different types of commitment phobia your mates probably had a less severe form. But the severe cases need years of therapy and they still may never be able to commit. Its the fear of being hurt all kinds of irrational things. Sorry but I disagree massively.

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And the reason I know whaf it feels like to be somewhat commitment phobic, is because I had the exact same reaction as they did when I first started dating! I met incredible guys, I was massively attracted to and desperately wanted to get to know but the thought of losing them terrified me so I kept them at a distance and would sabatage relationships to avoid having to go through with them and make myself vulnerable. This is a mild form, I cant imagine what a severe form of this must feel like. Its petrifying.

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I think there are both kinds.

 

1. The type of person that secretly wants commitment, but is terrified of it, and lives a life of avoidance (using their career, bars/clubs, hobbies, etc.).

 

2. The type of person that doesn't want commitment, and is either terrified of it or just doesn't see the appeal of it.

 

Type #2 is capable of comfortably being alone, while Type #1 isn't. I place myself in the second category.

 

For the record, though, I think that "fear of commitment" is sometimes actually "fear of intimacy". I've known people who "committed" to someone, because they felt pressured (by family or society) to be in a relationship...but they always kept their partner at a distance, because they were incapable of letting anyone in. The relationship was more of an appearances thing. I've also known people that desperately wanted to let someone in, but were too afraid to do it, so they couldn't even let themselves get in a relationship. The irony here is that the true commitmentphobes can actually function in a plausible-looking relationship, at least for a while, while the "intimacyphobes" are too scared to even go that far, even though they're the ones that actually want a relationship.

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That kind of pathological commitphobia is extremely rare.

In the great majority of dating situations, when the man pulls back : he has lost interest in the woman.

We tend to vilify those who reject us; and sometimes it makes us feel better to assume men who are no longer interested in us have some pathological fear of love and commitment.

FYI how many posts on Enotalone have you seen where a woman assumes her ex's are commitment-phobes and only to discover the ex is engaged 1 year later??

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That kind of pathological commitphobia is extremely rare.

In the great majority of dating situations, when the man pulls back : he has lost interest in the woman.

We tend to vilify those who reject us; and sometimes it makes us feel better to assume men who are no longer interested in us have some pathological fear of love and commitment.

FYI how many posts on Enotalone have you seen where a woman assumes her ex's are commitment-phobes and only to discover the ex is engaged 1 year later??

 

I don't think it is that black and white. I think that everyone on here is 'correct' in their own way. It is true that there are guys that 'are just not into you.' I have not doubt about it. And I would also agree that the commitment phobe men are in the minority. But they do exist. I had a platonic male friend who behaves toward women in the very ways I listed. And I know his background. He was in two major relationships. One was a marriage in which he deemed her the love of his life in which she betrayed him and then a 2nd long term relationship where the woman basically used him for 3 years. He took a few years off from relationships and embarked back out but is so scared that he is emotionally unavailable. Very similar to Blue Spirals category #1 cited above.

 

They do exist. And they should be acknowledged as existing. It takes the individual woman to determine if they are that way or if they are simply not into them.

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I am 1, i can be a 3 at times, sometimes 4, i sometimes do 6 and people call me on it - by i am honestly just not aware and there is no lies or deception in this - i have done 7 because i do need ME time, i think i am a 9 - goodlooking and i work in a union with a high pay scale after a certain amount of years.

 

And i love to commit, all i want is a commitment... but, you can be a miss right now for me because you might not measure up to someone i would like to see as my gf. That doesnt mean i dont want a relationship, it just means you dont fit the full criteria - and usually people like to point the finger and say I have the problem instead of accepting that they just wasnt what i was looking for - they knew it, but stuck around anyway.

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Goodheart lady, I'm talking about the severe type and its more common then you think. I know the difference between a guy who has lost interest and the type who just is incapable of committing. Like I said read men who cant love. Im not trying to hide behind commitment phobia as a way of dealing with rejection. The last guy I dated was most definitely the worst commitment phobe ive ever encountered. He is petrified and it was obvious from the start, his main concern was me leaving. He admitted several times in different forms but I could read between the lines. And yeah he probably will marry because society says you should/peer pressure etc but he will never fully be commited.

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We tend to vilify those who reject us; and sometimes it makes us feel better to assume men who are no longer interested in us have some pathological fear of love and commitment.

 

I think the intent of the thread, as stated, is to recognize certain behaviors as red flags. I actually posted a similar thread after my last dating situation....kind of a relationship autopsy so I could learn from certain things in hindsight and be more conscious moving forward of particular things that signaled me not to waste my time. Whether they're simply not interested or have bigger issues or will settle down with the next person is irrelevant (to me)...I just want to learn what I need to learn and move forward.

My ex husband cheated on me multiple times with multiple people and I in no way vilify him...in fact, I get along infinitely better with him now than previously...I hold nothing over his head. I'm singularly focused on the well-being of our daughter.

Same with my rebound/dating situation afterwards. I don't think he's evil or anything...but there were definitely red flags I chose to ignore that he has no intention of being a one woman kind of guy and those are the things I learn from.

To the contrary, I appreciate what both men taught me about both myself and relationships in general.

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" He is petrified and it was obvious from the start, his main concern was me leaving. He admitted several times in different forms but I could read between the lines."

 

Maybe the lesson here is you should walk away Ealier.

 

I work in a male dominated field - long hours, almost weekly travel. And many of my colleagues are the most devoted partners and husbands you can find. They work hard to provide a good life for their wives and children. I only bring this up to note "frequent travel" and "career orientated" has absolutely no correlation with commitment-phobia.

 

I have been at this job for 5 years, and I can't even count the number of engagement parties and weddings I have been to for male co workers.

 

Men are actually incredibly emotional, romantic, and devoted - IF they have met to right woman.

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.... usually people like to point the finger and say I have the problem instead of accepting that they just wasnt what i was looking for - they knew it, but stuck around anyway.

 

This is where I think people need to take more responsibility for their choices and why I like to kind of mentally go back through everything and own my part of the breakdown. Otherwise a person can become very bitter and think very poorly of the opposite sex. Also one begins to feel like a victim of everyone else around them which is a poor mentality to have and shows up in all aspects of your life.

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" He is petrified and it was obvious from the start, his main concern was me leaving. He admitted several times in different forms but I could read between the lines."

 

Maybe the lesson here is you should walk away Ealier.

 

I work in a male dominated field - long hours, almost weekly travel. And many of my colleagues are the most devoted partners and husbands you can find. They work hard to provide a good life for their wives and children. I only bring this up to note "frequent travel" and "career orientated" has absolutely no correlation with commitment-phobia.

 

I have been at this job for 5 years, and I can't even count the number of engagement parties and weddings I have been to for male co workers.

 

Men are actually incredibly emotional, romantic, and devoted - IF they have met to right woman.

 

I don't object to your position at all, but I do pick up a lack of empathy here. I too work in a male dominated field and the majority of the men are very commitment oriented, even if their marriages are not very gratifying. I get it. I do get the sense that you lack empathy for women who are trying to find their way and process their experiences. Maybe I miscontrued this, but that is the sense that I get. And I do believe that is why you are getting the responses that you are getting from the women on this thread.

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Thanks Savignon, this is a relationship autopsy. And like others pointed out some signs could be a sign of no interest, but the vast majority suggest there is a bigger problem going on.

 

I dont believe a guy who says any of the below is 'normal':

 

1) first day of meeting him, he says he is naturally suspicious and has trust issues where he thinks a girl will cheat

2) day three asks if I have told my friends about him because he has told all his friends about me

3) is constantly asking if I'm bored of him

4) invited me to go away with him after knowing him a week

 

This is the last guy I dated - are you telling me this is normal?

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I don't object to your position at all, but I do pick up a lack of empathy here. I too work in a male dominated field and the majority of the men are very commitment oriented, even if their marriages are not very gratifying. I get it. I do get the sense that you lack empathy for women who are trying to find their way and process their experiences. Maybe I miscontrued this, but that is the sense that I get. And I do believe that is why you are getting the responses that you are getting from the women on this thread.

 

I have made this observation as well, for what it's worth. One particular post on a previous thread was so unnecessarily mean-spirited (not on this thread) as if you wanted to go out of your way to let the poster know the guy didn't like her when she was clearly already in pain/coming to that conclusion/finding her way.

Again...just for what its worth and coming from a kind place (hard to read tone in these things).

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I have made this observation as well, for what it's worth. One particular post on a previous thread was so unnecessarily mean-spirited (not on this thread) as if you wanted to go out of your way to let the poster know the guy didn't like her when she was clearly already in pain/coming to that conclusion/finding her way.

Again...just for what its worth and coming from a kind place (hard to read tone in these things).

 

Yes, it can be hard to read 'tone' on threads. I also recall the timbre of this poster's response on the other thread. But now I'm seeing a pattern and I was compelled to respond here. The intent of the poster maybe different from what we sense, but they need to be aware of how it comes off and that it can be a bit off-putting for some.

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Thanks guys. This post does come from a good place and I think good heart lady, you are quite frankly being rude for the sake of being rude. I can take criticism and advice when constructive. You are being condescending and talking to me like I'm stupid, I'm a 38 yr old woman not a child.

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Thanks Savignon, this is a relationship autopsy. And like others pointed out some signs could be a sign of no interest, but the vast majority suggest there is a bigger problem going on.

 

I dont believe a guy who says any of the below is 'normal':

 

1) first day of meeting him, he says he is naturally suspicious and has trust issues where he thinks a girl will cheat

2) day three asks if I have told my friends about him because he has told all his friends about me

3) is constantly asking if I'm bored of him

4) invited me to go away with him after knowing him a week

 

This is the last guy I dated - are you telling me this is normal?

 

Coming on fast and furious is usually a red flag in an of itself. You should read my old thread which was my own look back at what I will notice sooner/give more weight to next time.

I'll try to post a link here but I'm not good at that kind of thing.... haha.

The good thing is that you're willing to see now what you may not have seen or chose to ignore at the time and that'll help you find a healthier relationship next time around. (You and me both, fingers crossed!!)

 

 

 

Hey, I did it!

I'm the same age as you, cblossom ...it ain't easy!

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