12 frustrating things men do when they have a deep fear of commitment

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So, you’re dating a guy and have a sneaking suspicion they have a deep fear of commitment? 

If so, you’re not alone. Fear of commitment is one of the most common dating issues that come up in relationships. 

Nobody wants to be in a one-sided relationship where needs aren’t being met. You certainly deserve better. 

A fear of commitment can rear its ugly head in a variety of ways, both subtle and not-so-subtle. I’ve put together a list of 12 frustrating things that some men do when they have a fear of commitment. Let’s get into it!

1) Evading discussions about the future plans  

Maybe you want to talk about your summer plans together or… God forbid… perhaps even moving in together. 

Guess what? The commitment-phobe hates these discussions because it suggests he’s in it for the long haul–the thought of which terrifies him. 

He’s scared of anything remotely permanent.

He avoids making long-term plans so he can easily slip out the back door when the time comes. 

But you stay because he occasionally shows flashes of tenderness and love. But remember, these little glimpses don’t equate to reality. In reality, he’s just erratic–a major red flag.

This leads me to my next point. 

2) They are flighty  

I’ll be honest, men that are scared of commitment aren’t quite sure what they want out of the relationship. 

One day they might act like the sweetest boyfriend on the planet; the next they might be as cold as the ice cream in your freezer. 

This is because they’re not quite sure yet what they want out of this relationship. You may be certain that you want a deep and stable connection but he’s not there yet. 

He may say otherwise but in this case, actions very much speak louder than words. 

3) They don’t care for anniversaries or Valentine’s Day 

When your boyfriend is dismissive of your anniversary, beware, he may just have a deep-seated fear of commitment

He may brush it off as “cheesy” and that you don’t want to be like “every other couple” out there. 

But this may well be a front–they’re still in denial and don’t want to acknowledge the gravity of your relationship. They still have a foot out the door.  

You may have been seeing each other for months now but it feels as if you still don’t “know” them.

 And well, chances are you haven’t met their family or friends yet either…

4) You haven’t met their family or friends 

When a man is proud of you, he should jump at every opportunity to introduce you to their family and friends. 

Men that fear commitment, however, avoid this at all costs (or at least prolong it as much as possible.) 

They don’t want you to feel too comfortable yet as their ”girlfriend” so they avoid introducing you to family and friends as a ploy to keep you at a distance. 

If you’ve been dating for more than a handful of months already and haven’t met or spoken to any of their loved ones, then tread lightly. 

This might be a telltale sign of commitment phobia

5) They’re not physically intimate

I’ll level with you, men can be real pricks. They might subconsciously withhold affection because it just feels too real for them. 

And I don’t just mean sex. Maybe they consider you a glorified fling so the very act of holding hands might be off-limits. 

Okay, I’ll be honest. Back in my more youthful days, I had gone on a few dates with a girl I met through friends. I’ll admit, I actually liked her. 

But still, I was young and afraid and not ready to settle. 

We were on a date in the mall when she grabbed my hand and held it. I quickly became uncomfortable. Though I liked her, I felt this was a step too far for what I was willing to give. 

I had to end things not long after. 

Later, I regretted it. I blew a chance with a gorgeous girl who I actually enjoyed being around because I was not ready to commit, or for physical gestures that indicated such. 

Yes, I know. Men can be stupid.

6) They blow you off or make excuses  

Sorry to break it to you but for the commitment-phobic man you aren’t the priority. 

He’s not ready to sacrifice certain things in his life to fully be with you. He’s just not relationship ready. 

Maybe he had a movie date with you planned but is too hungover from a night out with the boys to make it. He might come up with a creative excuse and flake on you last minute.

This is a form of neglecting your basic needs in a relationship… 

7) Refusing to acknowledge their partner’s feelings or needs 

I won’t beat around the bush, commitment-phobic men tend to be pretty selfish (and immature too.) 

In other words, their needs and wants are the priority, not yours. 

If you’re feeling a certain way about the relationship (like how he doesn’t seem to be fully invested) or how your needs aren’t being met, he might blow this off as “neediness” and therefore a turnoff. 

He’s not ready to settle and not ready not admit it either so he projects rather than acknowledges. 

8) Constantly seeking out new romantic partners 

I hate to break it to you, but this one is exceedingly common. 

One of the main reasons men won’t commit is because they want to meet and date many other people that aren’t you. 

I know men in so-called “exclusive” relationships but still have very active profiles on dating apps. 

Men like to play the field. And then get pretty indecisive when it comes to settling down… so they don’t. 

Naturally, their relationships tend to be shortlived because their current romantic partners will eventually want to take things to the next level—something the commitment-phobic male isn’t quite capable of, sadly. 

As the old saying goes “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Well, this rule very much applies to modern-day dating.

And it goes without saying that he isn’t a fan of labels. This leads me to my next point…

9) They aren’t fans of labels/exclusivity 

“It’s 2023, using labels is so old-fashioned,” a commitment-phobe might utter. 

When in reality, what he means is that he wants to continue with his man-child ways without having to take you too seriously. 

If you get this feeling from your man, then you best confront him about it or move on. Or both.

Once again, speaking as a man who once had his share of commitment issues, you definitely deserve better. 

10) Being inconsistent with communication

Here’s the thing: men with commitment issues play hot and cold like it’s climate change. 

Some days they’re the sweetest, most affectionate beings in the world. 

Their emoji-filled texts are so romantic, leaving you swooning and feeling like you may have found “the one.” 

Hours later, the sweetness trickles off, and sometimes days can go by without any communication. 

This is a form of ghosting (sometimes called breadcrumbing or submarining.) 

This leaves you feeling bewildered and confused; when in reality, it’s really not all that complicated: those sweet messages from last week were just a byproduct of a manchild in a good mood… possibly induced by alcohol or boredom. 

And when you do ask about his feelings, you’re quickly shut down…

11) Being evasive when asked about their feelings

Another key trait of the commitment-phobic male is avoiding intimate language at all costs. 

Naturally, you’ll want clarity about your status, but this is a conversation that he will go to great lengths to avoid.

And if you happen to drop an “I love you,” or an equivalent, don’t be surprised to hear crickets as a response. 

That’s because he isn’t emotionally ready there. So things tend to stay superficial. Speaking of which…

12) Things are always at surface level 

Whenever you try to go deep, the commitment-phobic man shuts it down rather swiftly. 

You might try to discuss your hopes and dreams, maybe even open up about childhood trauma but your not so significant-other responds with a generic comment about the weather or his thoughts on the Netflix finale you watched last night. 

These are the type of bros that are afraid of vulnerability

They are uncomfortable with being emotionally available and avoid talking about their feelings at all costs. 


In conclusion, if you’re dating someone that exhibits some of these signs, then first be willing to talk it out. After all, effective communication in any successful relationship is key.

Establish what you both want out of the relationship. I know it can be uncomfortable to have “the talk” but doing so is crucial. If you two have different needs, then so be it, walk away while you can.

But if you do verbally align, you should still keep an eye out for commitment-phobic behaviors. After all, talking is one thing but ultimately, when it comes to dating, the proof is in the pudding.

Clifton Kopp

Welcome to my writings on Hack Spirit! I'm a bit of a "polymath" in that I like writing about many different things. Often I'm learning from the process of writing. I hope you enjoy, and please leave a comment on one of my articles.

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