Men are notorious for being commitment-shy, but is this reputation truly fair and deserved?
For some men, it certainly is, but not for all of them — not by a long shot. The trouble is, many men aren’t the type to come right out and put their deepest feelings, hopes and desires into words, especially regarding relationships and commitment. This makes it tough, especially for women, to interpret their relationship signals — to read between the lines of what they say and do in order to gain insight into their intentions.
It’s not that men’s and women’s relationship needs are so vastly different; it’s more that the two sexes communicate in such different ways that it can be next to impossible to understand one another. Whether you blame it on gender differences, Mars vs. Venus, or any other paradigm, the end result is the same: Often, men and women simply aren’t speaking the same language.
Unfortunately, there are those men who say one thing, but whose behavior and body language broadcast something else entirely. We’ve all heard of these playboy types, if not encountered them directly; though they have a variety of names — players, womanizers, Don Juans, Casanovas, skirt-chasers, and a variety of terms unmentionable in polite company — they’re all the same. Or are they?
If your man promises a long-term commitment but his behavior suggests otherwise, is he lying to you — purposely, knowingly misleading you? It’s certainly possible. It’s more likely, however, that he doesn’t mean to be deceptive. He might simply be telling you what he thinks you want to hear, in a misguided attempt to avoid hurting your feelings. He might even be telling you something he truly believes — in his head, while his heart of hearts holds an entirely different truth.
The following are some typical signals men send out in love affairs that speak to their level of commitment to the relationship.
Signals that he’s just in it for the moment, and commitment is unlikely:
1. You’re always the one asking him to get together; he rarely initiates making plans with you.
2. He always invites you out to group events, such as clubs, dinner parties or music shows, instead of one-on-one dates that might give you a better chance to talk and connect.
3. When you do spend time alone together, he avoids meaningful conversation and soulful eye contact or acts as if he wishes he were somewhere else.
4. When you’re together, he often cuts the date short because “something just came up.”
5. He rarely agrees to get together with you and your friends, though you spend plenty of time with his buddies.
6. When you’re out with his friends, he treats you like “one of the guys,” or he isn’t nearly as sweet or attentive as he is when you’re alone together.
7. Just when things start to become emotionally intimate between you, he pulls away or even disappears for a while, not answering your phone calls or texts until you’ve almost given up.
8. He refers frequently to one or more bad breakups in his past.
9. When talking about past relationships, he blames all the problems on the other person and takes no responsibility upon himself.
10. He rarely remembers things you’ve told him about yourself, from the small stuff, such as how you take your coffee, to the bigger things, such as your career goals.
11. You have an incredible sexual connection — and most of your alone time together is spent exploring that, rather than talking, laughing, and exploring each other’s personalities.
12. He seems uncomfortable with putting a label on your relationship or shies away from “couple-y” behaviors like holding hands.
13. He never puts you or your relationship first, always prioritizing himself and his own interests instead.
14. He frequently starts arguments, threatens to or actually does break it off, or tells you he’s not sure whether this relationship is going to work.
15. No matter how adoring and committed he might seem, he straight-out tells you he’s not the commitment type, that he isn’t looking for a long-term relationship, or that he isn’t in love with you.