10 Signs of Commitment Phobia and What to Do About It

Do you feel as if your relationship is falling apart out of nowhere? Check these 10 signs of commitment phobia and what to do about it.

There are many reasons why people are afraid of commitment. Usually, though, the most common reason for fear of commitment is fear of having your heart broken. As someone who has had her heart broken more times than she can count, I almost understand being a commitment phobe. Almost. It still boggles my mind a little, though.

The thing I find most difficult to figure out is why you would want to close off your heart and wreck someone else’s in the process. But, some people do.

I’ve dated a few commitment phobes in my time. Three as a matter of fact, and I can say that these 10 characteristics played a part in each and every one of those relationships. Unfortunately, I was too blinded by my emotions to read the signs.

I don’t want that to happen to you. Before you give your heart out to someone who might not deserve it as much as you think, check for these 10 signs. If you’re dating a commitment phobe, chances are you won’t be able to change him and it is most likely in your best interest to get out of the relationship before you get hurt. Not advice I usually give (as I am a firm believer in love), but commitment phobes don’t love you…so I stick by this advice.

Here are the top 10 signs of commitment phobia to watch out for:

#1 You’ve Never Met His Family

Okay, if you’re fresh in the relationship, this isn’t one to be alarmed about. Men are generally a little more shy about introducing their flame to the fam. You see, although not all men are commitment phobes, most are definitely going to hesitate to introduce you to their mom. But let me tell you why.

In general, when a man introduces you to his family, it’s a very big deal. Not only is he claiming you as his and his alone, but he’s saying that he’s no longer on the market either. That’s right. It’s a little bit inhibiting to meet the family. Also, there’s his mom. As soon as your guy’s mom meets you, the only thing he’ll hear for the rest of forever is “when am I going to get grandbabies?” Trust me on this.

Then again, maybe he’s afraid that his crazy family might frighten you away. I know plenty of crazy families. I dated a guy for three years, ladies, THREE YEARS and I saw his mom twice from the comfort of my car. He wasn’t a commitment phobe; his mom was just weird with the idea of her grown up son dating (yeah, I didn’t get it either).

On the other hand, if you’ve been dating a guy for a reasonable amount of time and haven’t met his family, then there’s a chance he’s a commitment phobe. It really goes back to that “giving up his freedom” thing. You have to know the difference (and if he’s afraid of commitment, there will be other signs to look for…keep reading).

#2 You’ve Never Met His Friends

Joyful team of friends having fun at the beach in cafe

Any man who is proud of his woman will show her off to his friends. You will have his best buddies hanging out at your place regularly, you’ll have dinner parties, you’ll meet them for a movie…you will meet his friends.

If you have not met any of his friends and you’ve been dating for a few months, then be wary. The reason commitment phobes don’t introduce you to their friends is because they hate to hear the “You’re an assh*le” comments from their buddies after you’ve been dumped.

#3 He Leaves Right After Sex

Don’t let “waiting for sex” confuse you into ignoring this tell-tale sign. Of all the things to watch out for with a commitment phobe, this is the biggest one. I will tell you now, openly and honestly, that I’ve had enough lovers to know that the ones who give a damn about you will stay and hold you.

If he leaves right after sex (Thank you, babe, sorry I have to go… I’ve got a busy day tomorrow… blah blah blah) then he’s definitely a commitment phobe. Men who care about you want to make sure that you’re physically and, more importantly, emotionally satisfied. They WANT TO KEEP YOU (I can’t stress that enough).

Another thing to watch out for is how he acts if he stays. This one can be tricky. My last booty call (because, let’s be honest, it wasn’t a relationship) would stay the night, wrap his arms around me and cuddle me comfortably…when he was drunk or too tired to drive, that is.

When he was sober, he would put his pants on, say something like “see you around,” and walk out the door. Which is fine for a booty call…but it’s never fine for a boyfriend to act that way. On the other hand, the last guy I “dated” had a different approach. I waited a couple of months to have sex with him. I really thought he was interested in starting a relationship with me (since that’s what he told me) and so I took my time getting to know him.

When we finally did have sex, he rolled right over, turned his back to me, and then told me the next morning that he would rather have an “open relationship.” Mind you, I’d already met his family and some of his friends, too.

Yeah, he completely flipped his wig on me.

I, of course, was furious, but a few weeks later, when he tried to make amends, I gave him another chance. Guess what happened? The SAME THING. But it ended even worse. He blamed me (for what, I really don’t know) and was rude to the point of calling me old and fat (as if!). Know that commitment phobes will turn it on you and FIND a reason to leave.

#4 He Has Plenty of Exes

Watch out for any man who has more exes than he can count. There’s something wrong. If he gives you the “I just haven’t found the right one” line, he’s lying. He has probably found a lot of right ones; he just got too scared to follow through.

It’s normal for a guy to have a few exes. However, if he’s had quite a few exes and he insists that none of the break-ups were his fault, then he’s definitely a commitment phobe. There’s no way that every relationship problem was HER fault.

#5 You Get Blamed for Plans He Doesn’t Want to Do

Unhappy couple upset with marital problems angry and mad having conflict after argument

Do you want to see a chick flick? Have you made plans to go to the movies for weeks? Did he suddenly cancel your date at the last minute and blame YOU for it? If he cancels the plans you made for any reason other than work or an ill family member, and he says it’s your fault for making plans on this day (you know, a day he’s always really busy) anyway, then he’s a commitment phobe. Men who are afraid of commitment will find it too “commitment-like” to do the things that you enjoy.

It’s kind of like they’re afraid of making you happy because they don’t want you to become attached to them, so acting like a complete jerk is their way of keeping you at a distance. Yes, you read that correctly.

The point is, if you’re guy is this kind of guy, then he’s not really into you (or he’s into himself a little too much). Get rid of him.

#6 Things Have to Go His Way

Much like his inability to do anything you like, the commitment phone has to have everything his way. When you go out, you eat where he wants (usually he suggests it in a casual and appealing way), you watch what he wants, and you do what he wants. You probably don’t even realize you’re doing it, either. They’re very good at making their plans seem like it was your idea anyway.

#7 You Get Emotionally Blackmailed

Let me give you a scenario. I had been lovers with a guy for over a year. It was casual, we sometimes hung out as friends, but most often not. I was under a lot of stress and had just reached a point where I needed to cry.

I sent him a text and asked him quite simply if I was crazy. He said no, of course not, and offered to come and let me cry on his shoulder. So, I let him come over, he lay in bed and held me all night while I sobbed and snot on his shirt.

The next morning I thanked him and told him I really needed that. He replied, “Don’t get used to it,” and walked out the door.

The ultimate commitment phobe.

Your man might not be as open about his lack of commitment. You might not wake up the morning after sex to hear him say, “I don’t think this is going to work.” Your guy might be more subtle about it.

My ex-boyfriend of about six years ago was that kind. I didn’t even realize he was a commitment phobe until well later in the relationship. There were subtle signs. For example, I couldn’t argue with him because he would say I was being overbearing and that would give him cause to break up with me.

The real truth came out when we were talking about marriage. He said he was seriously thinking of marrying me. However, in the end he couldn’t commit to it, said he wasn’t ready for that step, and he left. I never saw it coming.

The most undetectable sign I want you to be aware of is when you are not able to be yourself around him. If you’re afraid to “rock the boat” a little, or scared to argue with him because he says he’ll leave you if you’re too much to deal with, then you need to know it’s NOT YOU. It really is him, he just wants you to do something he doesn’t agree with so that he has an excuse to break up with you and make it your fault.

#8 You Never Know How He Feels

Thinking Man

A commitment phobe will never tell you how he feels about you. He’ll skirt the issue. You won’t hear words of love and adoration; in fact, you’ll rarely hear words of praise.

More than that, he won’t tell you when something is bothering him because he doesn’t feel like you have the right to know. Knowing how he feels (in his opinion) gives you an emotional advantage over him. It means that he showed a side of vulnerability that is normally associated with relationship intimacy.

If he does talk about his feelings, it’s in order to tell you how sad he is that all of his ex’s were such terrible women, or to tell you how he feels about eating at a restaurant he has chosen to take you to. Watch out for this sign; it might slip past you.

#9 He’s Never There for You

If you have car problems, get lost, get sick, or anything else that could possibly require a partner to help you out…expect the commitment phobe to be unavailable. He won’t answer your calls and he won’t “be able” to make it there to help you tonight (unless he expects sex, in which case he’ll show, but he’ll tell you how awesome he is for coming out to help you).

A real relationship means the two people are there for each other. If you can’t rely on him to be there for you when things get a little tough then don’t expect him to be there at all. He won’t be.

#10 He Suddenly Lost Interest

Finally, one of the biggest signs he has commitment phobia is that he suddenly loses interest in you. It’s not something that happens over time; it’s almost overnight. He’ll be too busy to see you, he’ll make excuses to cancel your plans, and he’ll take hours to respond to your texts (if he responds at all).  A guy who suddenly, and for no apparent reason, loses interest in you is afraid of commitment; he doesn’t want to be with one woman too long. Let him go; you’ll find another.

Don’t settle for a man who has commitment phobia. No matter how much you want him to, he will never change. Instead, dump him and find yourself a man who truly loves and cares about you and who will be there for you at any time.

About the author


Just another hard working mom who loves her kid, loves to write, can’t cook, and has a thing for tentacles! When I’m not hanging out with my Spawn, I’m happily sharing my dating experiences and offering advice and trying to control the chaos that comes with being human.


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  • this article fits my ex-girlfriend to the key, and even the #10 friday cant wait to be with you i love you so much etc etc, saturday, i dont think this is what i want anymore, and i feel uncomfortable (about literrally everything she was happy about), and i was left completely confused. felt used, felt horrible, eventually got over it but, dang, hit me like a brick wall out of no where…

  • Well, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 3 years now and all of sudden, out of nowhere, he’s started to freak out at how long we’ve been together. I’m 18 years old, soon to be 19 but we’ve dated since I was 15. He is also the same age. Everything was going strong, we never argued, we were always so mellow, we go to the same university (not by choice, it happened to be both of our insurance choices) and we only see each other one or twice a week at most. He’s been struggling at work lately and his new uni friends haven’t been great recently, creating a lot of drama for him. Then a week ago he made a comment which flew up a red flag for me, saying “It’s 3 years soon… that’s scary don’t you think?”. Then we had a huge emotional talk last night about how he wants to “take a break” without calling it that? For example, he doesn’t want to call it a break, doesn’t want us to see other people or anything like that. All he wants is some space and time away from me and the relationship which is kinda devastating to hear… What’s going through his mind?? He has never shown any of the above characteristics, I’ve met his family plenty of times, I’m good friends with his friends, he’s always been open to me emotionally/physically ect. I want him to take this time away from me so maybe he can sort through whatever is going on in his head, but I just need to know whether or not to shut off so I don’t get hurt. I feel so on edge, this took me completely by surprise.. Can anyone help or offer any translation??

  • Respect the writers thoughts, but very sadly complete failure to accept any blame for failure in any part of a relationship. Very one sided. That is in a very large part the main problem with dating advice from a hard working mom. Unless the hard working person is a phsycological professional it is the same as taking advice on not drinking from an alcoholic