According to experts, one to two years of dating is a good time for getting engaged. But if you and your partner have been going out for five years – and they’re still NOT committing – it’s more or less a red flag.
The good news is there are a lot of things you could do about this. In fact, here are 15 tips that can help you deal with a commitment-phobic partner of 5 years:
1) Know what kind of commitment you want
Commitment is such a big word. So by saying that you want your partner to commit, what do you really mean?
Do you want to move in with them (or vice-versa)? Or do you want to get engaged?
Knowing what you want on the get-go will come in handy for when you decide to have the ‘talk.’
2) Evaluate your partner’s current state in the relationship
You’ve been dating for 5 years, but does it seem like it?
Have they introduced you to your family or friends – or do they keep on ‘pocketing’ you?
Have they included you in your future plans – or do they always use “I” instead of “us” or “we” when they talk about such plans?
See, even if you think that it’s high time for you guys to commit, your partner may think otherwise.
More often than not, it’s because of these 7 reasons:
They don’t think you’re ‘the one’
This is perhaps the most painful reason on this list.
Even though they may like dating you, they may not see their future with you.
Some may realize this a little too late, which is why some go on dating for 5 years with no commitment.
And, when you’re dealing with this kind of person, it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
That said, I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
As Rudá explains in this mind-blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way because we’re not taught how to love ourselves first.
So, if you want to make your partner commit for good, I’d recommend starting with yourself first and taking Rudá’s incredible advice.
They’re not where they want to be…yet
Your partner may want to move in or marry you. But if they aren’t where they want to be in life, then they may stop themselves from committing.
This is especially the case if they’re still struggling with their finances.
They want to give you a bright future, but they feel that they won’t be able to do it given their money woes right now.
Believe me: you wouldn’t want to get dragged into this kind of mess, either.
If your partner thinks they’re unloveable – or unworthy of a deeper connection – then they may be hesitant to commit even after 5 years of dating.
If this is the case, then your partner has to work on themself first. Only then will they be able to fully commit to the relationship.
See, even if you try to make them commit, they won’t be able to do so if they remain broken.
They still want to ‘explore’
Maybe you got together early on in life, and your partner wasn’t able to date around like other people. It’s possible that they’ve got FOMO, which is why they still want to explore the world out there.
I know this reason sucks, but the fact of the matter is they won’t settle down – no matter how hard you try – until they appease this great need within them.
They’re not a commitment person
Some people just don’t want to commit – and it’s often due to a variety of reasons.
It’s possible that they’re afraid to recreate their past relationship patterns. On the other hand, they may be afraid for the relationship to end – which is why they refuse to commit.
There are also the issues of insecurity and wanting to explore.
Should this be the case for your partner, know that it’ll be quite hard to change their mind.
Their lifestyle gets in the way
Your partner’s work may be very demanding. It could require them to work long hours or travel extensively. Because of such circumstances, they may find it harder to, say, get married or start a family with you.
The parent trap
If your partner is a firm believer in parental approval, then they may NOT commit even after 5 years of dating.
For starters, they may be worried that their family would not approve of you because of differences in:
- Culture or traditions
- Social classes
Then again, your partner’s parents may just be really hard to please. The only question here is who would prevail: you or your partner’s family?
3) Consult with a relationship coach
Now that you know what commitment you want – and what stage your partner is in right now – it’s best if you consult with a relationship coach before you proceed.
With their help, you can get advice specific to your life and your experiences.
Relationship Hero is a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated love situations, such as having a commitment-phobe of a partner. They’re a very popular resource for people facing this sort of challenge.
How do I know?
Well, I reached out to them a few months ago when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
4) Ask yourself: are you ready for a commitment?
It’s not enough that you just look at your partner’s readiness. You have to ask yourself as well. Are you really ready for a commitment?
Just because you’ve been dating for 5 years, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re ready to get married.
That’s why you must take a good, hard look at your life first.
Are you still in your travel phase that you don’t want to die down soon?
Are you working a busy career that lets you barely stay at home? See, you may have the reason your partner has – and not know it.
Whatever your circumstance might be, it sure wouldn’t work with your desire to, say, get married.
Always remember this: sometimes we are so focused on getting a greater commitment from our partner that we don’t stop to think that maybe we aren’t ready.
5) Set your standards
You’re clear with what kind of commitment you want. Furthermore, you’re 100% sure that you’re ready for it.
Well, the next thing you need to do is set your standards.
In other words, you need to have a concrete game plan.
What will you do in case your partner still refuses to commit? Will you outright leave them, or will you give them another chance?
See, it’s important to set your standards before you have the talk. This will help you be more firm, for your partner may end up making empty commitment promises – just like what they did before.
Come to think of it – the lack of standards may be one of the reasons why they still haven’t committed even after 5 years of dating. They know that you’re gracious enough to give them a chance – over and over again.
Don’t be fooled! Set your standards!
6) Don’t be afraid to have the ‘talk’
Some people are not good at talking (especially men.)
On the other hand, you may not be particularly eloquent yourself. You probably think that you’ll just ruin the relationship by bringing this issue up (or again.)
But if you want your partner to commit after 5 years of dating, then you need to sit down (or stand, whatever) and have a talk with them.
You can’t expect them to just read your mind!
And, if you want this session to be fruitful, I suggest you do the following:
Choose the right moment
When it comes to sensitive talks – especially those that deal with commitment – you’d want to pick the right moment.
That means refraining from the before or after-sex talk. Your partner may be relaxed, but it’s hardly the best time to bring up ‘commitment.’
They’ll just end up agreeing with you – even though they don’t – just to shut you up and get things going.
And if you thought that hosting an ultra-romantic session would be better, you’re wrong. It’ll make them feel trapped. For them, it feels like there’s a huge ploy going on.
Last but not the least, avoid bringing up the talk when family or friends are around. It’ll just make them clam up, instead of speak up.
Worse of all, this may end up taking a toll on your relationship.
So when’s the best time to talk? In his Cosmopolitan interview, author James Douglas Barron explained that it’s “when they’re doing mundane activities.”
He goes on to add: “Make sure it’s an activity that lets (them) focus on what (they’re) saying.”
For that reason, good options include when you’re cleaning up after a good meal or when they’re sitting in front of the TV (except when the game is on, of course!)
Be wise with your words
Maybe you’ve been nursing some resentment – who wouldn’t be after 5 years of dating? But if you want your conversation to go somewhere, then you need to be wise with your words.
According to relationship experts, you should:
- Ditch the cliche opening lines, such as “We need to talk.” Lord knows how much people hate to hear this line!
- Start the talk with positive statements that stroke your partner’s ego. Flattery always works!
- Use something that eases them in – yet values their opinion, e.g. “I enjoy the times we had together in the last 5 years. Do you think it’s time we took our relationship up a notch?”
- Be direct. Don’t use ambiguous words such as “I feel…” or “I need…”
7) Try to trigger your partner’s hero instinct
If your man continues to be iffy with committing, know that it’s only a matter of triggering his inner hero.
I learned this from the hero instinct, which was coined by relationship expert James Bauer.
This fascinating concept is about what really drives men in relationships, which is ingrained in their DNA.
And it’s something most women don’t know anything about.
Once triggered, these drivers make men into the heroes of their own lives. They feel better, love harder, and commit stronger when they find someone who knows how to trigger it.
Now, you may be wondering why it’s called “the hero instinct”? Do guys need to feel like superheroes to commit to a woman?
Not at all. Forget about Marvel. You won’t need to play the damsel in distress or buy your man a cape.
The easiest thing to do is to check out James Bauer’s excellent free video here. He shares some easy tips to get you started, such as sending him a 12-word text that will trigger his hero instinct right away.
Because that’s the beauty of the hero instinct.
It’s only a matter of knowing the right things to say to make him realize that he wants you and only you.
8) Give your partner some time to adjust…
Say you’ve been successful in making your partner commit. Thanks to the talk, they’ve realized it’s time to scale to the next level. That may mean moving in – or – better yet – getting married.
Whatever thing you’ve agreed upon, it’s best if you give your partner some time to adjust. This will make them feel that they made the right decision (newsflash: they did.)
Although it’s tempting, don’t pressure them to do things right away. This is especially the case for guys, for it’ll only make them back off.
They can’t drop their lease at a drop of the hat!
If you’re not careful, this may just prod them to just break things off.
9) …But do remember to put your foot down
Say you’ve agreed that they’ll move out of their apartment in a month. If a month has gone and they’re still there, I say that they’re most likely stalling.
In this case, it’s time to put your foot down. They may just be delaying the inevitable, so you need to…
10) Put them on relationship probation
Maybe your partner still needs some time to think things through. Yes, I know – shouldn’t 5 years be enough?
If that is the case, it’s good to put them on some sort of relationship probation.
That means leaving them alone to their own devices. Do remember to give them an ‘ultimatum’ though – you’d want them to know that you mean business.
Are they committing after X months/weeks – or are they just going to walk away?
11) Show them the cost of losing you…
Maybe you’ve been there for your partner all the time. You’ve catered to their every whim, and maybe even babied them along the way.
It’s safe to say that they don’t know how it feels to lose you, which is why they’re not that ‘committed to committing’.
So during your relationship probation, it’ll be helpful to show them the cost of losing you. Stop doing the things you’ve routinely done for them.
Cut off all contact, if you can.
More often than not, this makes wayward partners commit!
12) …But don’t drag another person into the mix
I know I just said to show them the cost of losing you. But that doesn’t mean you should drag another person into the mix just to drive your point home.
Instead of committing to you, your partner may just do the opposite.
See, this circles back to the unique concept I mentioned earlier: the hero instinct.
When a man feels respected, useful, and needed, he’s more likely to commit. In other words, making him jealous may not appeal to him at all.
And the best part is triggering his hero instinct can be as simple as knowing the right thing to say over a text.
You can learn exactly what to do by watching this simple and genuine video by James Bauer.
13) Don’t try to manipulate them with sex
I know you want them to commit to you after all these years. But you don’t want to be sneaky or manipulative as you try to do so.
Don’t dare use sex – or withhold it. This is why I don’t recommend having the ‘talk’ before or after your steamy sessions.
You may hear the answer you want to hear, but it may not be sincere. You don’t want someone who commits just because you swore not to have sex with them.
And when they do come down from that ‘high,’ there’s a good chance they’ll just renege from what they said.
You don’t want to find yourself back in square one.
14) In some cases, it may be best to just say goodbye
It sure is a shame to throw a relationship of 5 years away. But in certain cases, it may be the best thing to do.
It’s possible that they just agreed to your terms because they felt pressured. On the other hand, they may have just gotten a change of heart.
It’s tempting to give them a chance, but if they keep on doing this to you, ending the relationship may be the most logical thing to do.
Would you want to be in a commitment-less relationship in the next 5, 10 years to come? If that’s okay with you, then, by all means, continue being with them.
But if you’re yearning for something more, know that this person may not be the one who could give it to you.
There are so many fish in the sea.
15) Take time to enjoy your freedom
If you broke things off with your 5-year partner, then it means they haven’t stepped up. It’s heartbreaking, really, but as I’ve said, it may be the best thing you could ever do.
You now have the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do. You don’t have to be tied down with, let’s face it, a partner who doesn’t want to be tied down.
So go ahead. Travel. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do.
A word to the wise, though: don’t be in a hurry to enter another relationship. I know the clock’s a-ticking, but that doesn’t mean you should jump on the first person who comes your way.
If you haven’t fully healed from your previous relationship, your next one will just crash and burn.
Worse of all, you may find yourself in the arms of a non-committal partner once again!
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. This is especially the case if you’ve been dating for 5 years, but your partner is still hesitant to commit.
Like you, I’ve always been skeptical about getting outside help.
It’s a good thing I actually tried it out!
Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talk. They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations (such as this one.)
Personally, I tried them last year while going through the mother of all crises in my own love life. They managed to break through the noise and give me real solutions.
My coach was kind and took the time to understand my unique situation. More importantly, they gave genuinely helpful advice.
The good news is the same can happen to you, too!
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.