Is he ready to commit? Men may have a reputation for being commitment-phobic, but I'm not sure they all deserve the reputation. I think men just show their commitment differently than women do. It's the whole Venus/Mars dilemma: how are you supposed to know if he's committed to your relationship when you seem to be speaking a different language?
While you might not be speaking the same language, there is a universal communication that everyone understands. It is the language of actions. What you consistently do shows the world what you believe, and what's important to you. There are ways you can use this universal language to decipher how committed your partner is to you and to your relationship.
1. They say they'll change, but they don't. Actions speak louder than words. This is the first thing to look for when you're reading the language of actions. Unfortunately, when you don't like what you see you might want to ignore it. Don't just look for big actions; inconsistency in small things will tell you just as much as whether he does the big things.
2. Your partner enjoys spending their time with others more and the time spent with you seems forced or less enjoyable to them. In a healthy relationship, you each will spend time apart, but if he starts spending more time apart, or you're fighting more when you're together, he's probably feeling less committed.
3. They threaten to break up with you often or break up with you often. People who have problems with commitment need to have an "out" or an exit strategy. When things get too intense, they want to run. They're afraid of their feelings, so they're afraid of commitments.
4. They prioritize their own desires and needs before the relationship or partners' needs. While it's healthy and important to make sure that your needs are getting met, it shouldn't be at the expense of the relationship. If you find that your partner's needs are consistently at odds with the relationship, pay attention.
5. The commitment seems to be based heavily in one or a few aspects of relationships, such as sex, money, stability, or some other personal gain. Relationships have a lot of moving parts. It's normal, especially in newer relationships, for some of those parts to work better than others. But if there's really only one or two aspects that are working, it's time to consider the commitment level of both your partner and you.
Breakfast in bed? Don't mind if I do! 6. They don't do the little things. This goes back to the first point. All actions, not just the big ones, will show you how committed your partner is. Does he remember your favorite restaurant, or your food allergy? Does he do little things to make you feel special? (And conversely, do you do little things that make him feel good?)
7. They are uncomfortable with relationship titles, feelings, and behaviors with you and in front of others. If your guy is really committed to you, he'll want to bring you around his friends, and he won't pull back from being affectionate because you're in front of other people. Unless he has the emotional maturity of a thirteen year old, he should be the same person in public as he is behind closed doors.
8. You notice changes in their behavior that gives you evidence they are pulling away. Some people jump into relationships with both feet, then realize they've made a mistake. Or they get afraid as the relationship deepens and don't know how to communicate what's happening. When something like this happens, your previously committed partner will start to pull back. He might make excuses about why you can't get together, or he'll cut your time short. He might start arguments or just withdraw.
9. They have a pattern of having commitment issues in their past relationships. History often repeats itself. While you might harbor the illusion that "this time it's different," don't fool yourself. Unless he's done work on himself with a coach or therapist to change long standing patterns, they will surface. Don't fall into the illusion that you're the One who can change him and make him finally commit.
10. Your partner has a negative view or expresses negative comments on relationships, marriage, or commitment. Men are generally congruent. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Their actions back up their words (unless they're conflicted inside themselves). Don't make the mistake of thinking you can change him, or he doesn't really mean it. If he's saying negative things about relationships, marriage, or commitment, consider it a big red flag. Don't keep going with the relationship, hoping it'll be different with you. It won't.
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