10 Red Flags He Won’t Commit To You

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When we are committing our time, energy, and attention to someone – it is only natural that we hope for the same in return. Particularly if we are hoping to build an actual relationship with this person.

Many inquiries I get from women involve their confusion about whether or not the man they are seeing is serious about them. My belief is that if you are really that confused about someone’s intentions, then odds are your instincts are correct and they are probably not that serious.

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But most of us have likely been in a situation where our emotions have muddled our perspective and it is a little more difficult to see the reality of the circumstances rather than what we want them to be. For that reason I have compiled a list of red flags that I have recognized in these inquiries which, had they been seen earlier, could’ve saved many a heart from being broken.

1. He doesn’t plan ahead [with you].

As a man, I can easily say that when I meet a woman who I see a real future with, I immediately want her to be part of it. If a man is serious about you, he will want to know what you are doing next weekend. And the weekend after that. And for the holidays. And…well, you get the idea.

If a man is not serious about committing to you, he will definitely not be serious about committing to any future plans with you. The harsh truth is, he is likely just keeping his options open by not tying himself to any specific plans with one person. Don’t see this as being ‘spontaneous,’ he is just avoiding getting serious.

2. He doesn’t rely on you for support.

In a healthy relationship, both teammates involve each other in all areas of their lives. This includes the ups and the downs. They support each other and encourage each other. If a man only tells you about the great things going on and never confides in you about more serious topics, it is likely a sign that he does not see you as a source of the love and support required to build a solid relationship.

3. He doesn’t stay by your side.

For once I actually don’t mean this metaphorically. I mean literally, physically, does not stay by your side. While this goes for any time of year, we are currently in the holiday season which often involves parties and events. If he brings you along as a plus one but you find him escaping to the bar or go to ‘talk to a friend’ more than he is actually with you, see it as a red flag. This is particularly true if you are at an event for him where you don’t know many people – no good man would leave you stranded.

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4. He does big things…but never small things.

Grand romantic gestures are fantastic. Anyone who has read my articles could take a wild guess that I am a fan of movie-like romance, but the truth is that on a day to day basis these are not the things that hold relationships together. The small gestures that show thoughtfulness, affection, and appreciation are what really count – because they don’t require a special occasion or holiday.

If a man doesn’t pay attention to the small things or show you that he cares on a regular basis, how are you supposed to trust him when the big things arise? When there is a legitimate life challenge? When things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows? My guess is, you can’t.

5. He is selfish in bed.

This is a telling sign of a man who is likely selfish in other areas of life as well. It is not just a literal problem, it is a symbolic problem that stretches far beyond you not being satisfied intimately. If he doesn’t care about your needs inside the bedroom, he likely doesn’t have much concern for them outside of it, either.

6. There are areas of his life that he keeps you from.

Sure, there is a process when someone begins to get intertwined into our lives. It’s not like throwing them into the deep end of a swimming pool – so if you haven’t met everyone just yet, don’t be concerned.

The concern though, can come in if you notice that there are specific things he consistently keeps you from. For example, if he has women in his life he won’t allow you to meet or certain ‘best friends’ you haven’t met yet, and you have been dating for awhile. These should be people he is excited to introduce you to, not that he wants to keep you from.

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7. He doesn’t value your input.

A man will not be able to have a strong, healthy, long lasting relationship with a woman whose opinions he doesn’t value and respect. If he does value and respect them, then it is likely he will come to you for advice when facing a challenge or when he just wants to vent to you about a problem.

8. You can feel him slowly drifting away.

I have spoken to many women who feel this happening and do their damnedest to make up for it. He starts to text you a little less frequently, so you start to text him more frequently to make up for it. He is less enthusiastic about making plans with you. He is suddenly ‘too busy’ to see you…

A man who is truly interested in you will always make time for you, no matter how busy he is. No excuses, lies, or broken promises. This does not dwindle over time – it should intensify as you become a larger part of his life.

9. You sense that he is trying to change you.

If a man begins to criticize you in any way or you get the feeling that he is making ‘suggestions’ that fundamentally go against the woman you are – he is likely trying to change you into the person that he wants you to be, rather than appreciating you for the person that you are. This drastically increases the likelihood of him walking away sooner rather than later when he realizes he can’t change you.

10. He doesn’t share in the boring things with you.

That’s right, the boring things. You may ask yourself, how can sharing in boring things possibly be a good thing? The reason is simple – when you share in the boring things with someone like furniture shopping or mundane errands, they are officially part of your ‘real life.’ The things that aren’t exciting. The things that aren’t romantic. The things that aren’t grand gestures and nice dinners.

If his attention is always on what the two of you are doing more than it is actually on you, it is a red flag that he’s keeping you at arm’s length rather than really allowing you to be a full part of his life.

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I have said this before and I will say it again because it is fitting to this topic of discussion: The best way to determine if a man is serious about you is simply by being honest with yourself and listening to your intuition. If you always have to be asking yourself if he is serious, then you probably already have your answer.

All you have to do is have enough respect for yourself to accept it.

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8 Comments

  1. Ginger on November 24, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    As usual, love it! I’m in a fairly new relationship and (without telling him what blog I read so he can’t “study up”) I told him how high he scores on all your lists. Well, on this one I guess a low score is good.

    I love how he plans ahead several weeks in advance… like when I said I had a performance coming up in December, before I even had the chance to invite him, he asked if he could attend and take me out to celebrate after. He’s asked my opinions about choices he has to make (even something small like what style haircut I think he should get) — values my input. He’s constantly doing those little thoughtful things you talk about, like having my favorite yogurt flavor in the fridge when I was over Saturday. And he didn’t have to ask what flavor it was, I must have mentioned it in some mundane conversation but he remembered. And the boring things? He actually asked if I would ride with him to the library to renew some DVDs he had on loan. Such a nice little gesture that made a huge impression on me… he just wanted to have me with him while he ran some mindless errand. Won’t go into the details of “selfish in bed” but I’ll just leave it at “he’s not!”

    There are some good men left and I TOTALLY appreciate your posts that give me confidence in recognizing them!

    • SW on November 25, 2014 at 2:52 am

      Good for you Ginger. You sound happy 🙂

  2. Amy on November 24, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    James, you’re right on target, as usual. Having been in a marriage with someone who has fit this profile (and cheated both emotionally and physically over the years), let me just say: Ladies, if this article rings a bell or sets off any alarms, Run! It’s better to be alone than living with this behavior.
    I just wish your column was mandatory reading. 🙂

  3. andrea on November 25, 2014 at 1:29 am

    I am feeling confused now …my guy shows signs of non committed to me yet his cousin is saying that he is saving money to buy me a ring

  4. Kate's Bookshelf on November 25, 2014 at 4:39 am

    This is a marvelous and accurate list of things that aren’t just guys not committing, but people in general. Both sides. That being said, I wish I would have had this list with my first very serious relationship. It wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did, had I had it.

  5. Mike on May 18, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Besides maybe 2 of these, the rest would only lead to the guy looking weak and he’d get dumped. Sharing feelings, being boring, small things?! Not a chance the relationship lasts past the honeymoon phase.

  6. Jessika on November 30, 2015 at 12:58 am

    You saved me from a lot of self-blame and grief. I was dating a guy for about 4.5 months and things looked bleak at the 2 month mark but it was early so I didn’t want to rock the boat too much. The first red flag was not planning any real dates. We would hang out at bars or with his friends but never anything nice. I constantly told him about the things I liked to do and not once did he suggest taking me. However he did fun things with his friends all the time. The second red flag was him never being able to plan in advance. He told me he just absolutely couldn’t because he was too busy. But I still don’t understand how being busy makes someone unable to choose a day and time to meet. Instead he’d make plans at the last minute. Calling me at 6pm asking if I could meet at 8pm. I always felt rushed. But I could never make last minute plans with him nor could I make plans in advance with him, ever. The funny thing is that he seemed to have no problem scheduling things with other people. Go figure! The third red flag was me not ever being able to go over to his apartment. We lived really close to eachother, like 3 miles away yet he always wanted to come over to my place. The fourth red flag is that he would never stay over after sex, which explains why I was never invited to his place. I was hoping that he’d stay for at least one morning and we could grab coffee together or something but he was gone before sunrise. He blamed it on his schedule again and told me I should understand that he just can’t stay. And another red flag that I didn’t pay full attention to until now was that he was kind of selfish in the bedroom. The crazy thing is that I somehow convinced myself that it was my fault. Mostly because he kind of convinced me that it was my fault. Told me I was rushing things and that I wasn’t being understanding. I felt terrible like I was putting too much pressure on him because he said he wanted to take things slow. It was my fault because I wasn’t understanding how busy his work schedule is. It was my fault because he was actually going to eventually do all these things but I was rushing him. So when things ended between us, I felt like it was my fault. But the truth is that the reason why I panicked early was because I knew the signs of a dead end relationship. I have been here before with a different guy. Men who I decided to “go with the flow” and take it “slow” only for them to string me along for years and then make another woman their girlfriend within a couple months or a few weeks. I always find it funny how men drag their feet with one woman but go full speed ahead with the next. I knew this was off from the very beginning. He told me I wasn’t allowing things to grow naturally between us but I’m no fool. Things can’t grow naturally when you aren’t making time for someone. At the end of the day his words and his actions were like night and day. He had me thinking he was seriously interested in me with his words but his actions were nothing but a fuck buddy. Til this day I still find it hard to not blame myself but I guess I need to truly trust my intuition. My intuition was ringing loudly the entire time we were dating. There was an sense of uneasiness and lack of security. I was right for wanted to walk away at the 2 month mark. He was a man who had no real intentions with me at all but was too much of a coward to say that. He still tries to leave the door open with us but it’s over for me. I’m done!

  7. Tiffany on August 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    this was a real eye opener. My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year and he’s starting to pull back and show signs of a lot of these things, where he once was very committed. I’m very scared. He doesn’t talk to me, doesn’t want me to meet his family, doesn’t want to be with me on weekends anymore-it’s always after he finds out his other plans first. I think he might be cheating again. (He met me while with his wife). I was hoping we would be the fairytale but I think after a year, he’s bored with me and wants something new.

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