Why Men Are Afraid of Commitment and What to Do About It

For many men, committing to a serious relationship is one of the most challenging decisions in life.

This isn’t without reason. So much of what we consider valuable hangs on this decision–your future, her future, and your state of happiness.

A poorly chosen partner can wreak years of havoc on your life and leave you feeling more broken than ever before, while a well-chosen partner will be the best thing that ever happened to you. 

With so much hanging on this single decision, fear of commitment can only be considered natural. So, if you fear commitment, know that you aren’t alone. The vast majority of men across the world have some degree of fear of commitment for one reason or another.

The reasons for this fear are rarely straightforward. Over my ten-plus years of relationship coaching for men, I’ve learned that very few things are clear regarding serious relationships. However, I have also learned that all commitment issues can be sorted through with patience, understanding, and most of all, intentionality.

Here are six most common commitment issues men tend to experience in long-term relationships. 

1. They Have Trust Issues

The term “trust issues” has been thrown around with frequency and carelessness in recent years and has, as a result, drifted into a realm of ambiguity.

I hope to shed some light on its actual meaning now. Trust issues and commitment issues, while not the same, usually come as a package deal.

Trust issues usually come from two places. The first is the man’s fault and is a result of an over-wariness or some other fear that makes him afraid of commitment without good reason. 

The second comes from a reasonable distrust of a partner based on past experiences. 

We will address the first now and the second later on. What’s most important is that you understand that distrust of a current or potential partner may be logical, and discounting it because you don’t want to be one of those guys with “trust issues” is dangerous.

If you have this over-wariness or over-fear of trust, it’s likely because you need to sort something out about your feelings and what you expect from your partner before entering a new relationship. 

Many men have trust issues from past relationships. While this may be justifiable, carrying emotional baggage from a previous relationship into a new one will often cause more issues than it helps resolve.

Trust issues can be difficult to discuss because the line between healthy concern and relationship-eroding paranoia is thin. 

If you suffer from excessive trust issues, the most important thing for you to do is consider things logically.

Many men fear commitment without asking themselves why. Like anything you fear, understanding why you fear it is the first step to conquering it. 

Why is it you are unable to trust? Why do you keep second-guessing? 

The answer is often no more than an illogical stream of “what-ifs.” What if we aren’t made for each other? What if this relationship has a negative impact on my love life? What if my sex life goes downhill?

Find out why you cannot trust, and figure out if it’s a good or bad reason.

Then, you will be able to overcome it imore logically

2. They’ve Been Hurt Before

Men who have been hurt from a previous relationship have difficulty committing to a new one because they don’t want to get hurt again. 

Relational pain is the worst pain there is and men will do anything they can to avoid it.

You know just how devastating it can be if you have been hurt before. You go from feeling like the most powerful being in the world to crashing down into the lowest valley of despair.

Once the descent comes to an excruciatingly slow end, you begin the long and arduous climb upwards. When you finally reach a stable state of being, falling in love again can feel like a trap. 

Do I really want to go through this all over again? You ask yourself. Why would you? Suffering once is enough.

If this sounds at all familiar to you, the likelihood is that you are afraid of commitment because you don’t want to go through the misery all over again.

Many men fail to realize that if you have been hurt before, you are hyper-aware of where you are weak and will likely, with intentional focus, be able to avoid the same pain in the future.

The best way to avoid getting hurt again is to enter into the next relationship with measured steps. 

Go slowly, but not too slowly.

Think carefully, but not too carefully.

The pain of a failed relationship is excruciating, but the regret of never having tried is even worse. Don’t be kicking yourself in five years for letting her go. Don’t be the guy who’s always living in his past.

3. They Fear Rejection

Fear of rejection is one of the biggest and most overwhelming reasons men stray from new relationships.

Many men have commitment phobia because of previous rejection, while some fear what they have never experienced. Either way, they both try their darnedest to avoid that terrible feeling of worthlessness. 

You see her across the bar, approach, get a few words out, and are turned away with a mocking smile and hollow condolences. This leads to a lifelong fear of rejection. That pain results in a broken heart, and it’s straightforward to feel you lack all the emotional capacity to recover.

You can’t get rejected if you don’t commit in the first place. This is a dangerous way to think, but most men are guilty of feeling this way.

So, you fear commitment because you’re afraid of rejection, and you’re wondering what you can do.

To overcome your fear of rejection, you must understand one of life’s most fundamental principles: nothing of any value comes without some risk or cost.

You must be willing to lose some sleep and work your ass off to get in shape. To get a good job, you must sacrifice a lot of your time and risk failure. To enter into a committed relationship, you risk getting turned down. It’s as simple as that.

Reminding yourself of this simple fact of life can make taking that final step just that little bit easier.

4. They’re Afraid of Change

If a man is utterly content with his romantic life, entering into a serious relationship may seem nothing more than an unnecessary risk. 

A casual dating relationship is very different from a committed, long-term relationship.

He may be enjoying the lack of structure in the relationship–the flirting, the teasing, the novel excitement of it all–and see no reason to change anything.

When a relationship is in its early stages and not serious, there is no pressure to make it last because there is very little disappointment and heartbreak in separation.

But once you commit, you are opening yourself up and allowing another being to hold so much sway over your future and your happiness. This vulnerability is what makes men so afraid of commitment.

The thought of living life with a partner can seem tedious. Too many men fear that the mundanity of life will destroy the romance of their relationship.

While understandable, being afraid of committing to a relationship for fear of change is immature and usually reflects deeper insecurities.

To resolve this issue, you must understand that, just like overcoming the fear of rejection, you must be willing to take that step out of your comfort zone to get something even better.

Might you mess up, and things go from fantastic to not-so-wonderful? Of course. But this is just the way of life. 

Most men miss out on the relationship of their dreams because they are afraid to step past the initial stages. Other men who can identify and deal with this fear enjoy tremendous relational fulfillment.

5. They Love the Single Life Too Much

For some men, a committed relationship means nothing more than the end of their exciting romantic life.

This is actually one of the most common sources of commitment phobia. 

If a man isn’t ready to settle down and lay the stag life to rest, committing to a long-term relationship will be a dull prospect. 

Men like this view committed relationships as roadblocks to happiness. They fail to see the value in long-form relationships and prefer to stick to their rough ways.

Often, it is purely a sexual drive that keeps them away from commitment. They don’t see the possibility of a healthy sex life with just one person and dread the thought of sacrificing their sexual conquests to spend time with a single partner.

There is a time in life when being single and enjoying the benefits that come with it is not a bad thing. 

However, if year after year passes and you find yourself backing furtively out of relationship after relationship, there is likely an issue that needs addressing.

Single life is enjoyable, but if you have any experience in a healthy long-term relationship, you know that there is a fulfillment of heart and soul that can only be found in commitment.

You know your woman’s real feelings, and she knows yours. You lose interest in other women. You commit simply because you want to commit. 

The single life can’t last forever–it’s your job to know when to put it to bed.

6. They Have Other Priorities

If you aren’t ready for your relationship to take up a considerable amount of your time and mental space, then you may not be prepared for a relationship. A man with priorities besides his relationship is rarely a man who women want to be with.

Ensuring you have the time and space for a committed relationship is vital. If you proceed into a relationship without first assessing your priorities, you’ll waste your time as well as hers. 

That said, recognizing when your priorities aren’t where you want them to be can help you adjust your life and make room for more important things.

Many men are afraid to commit because they don’t want another commitment. A romantic relationship doesn’t make their list of priorities.

However, something key to understanding is that sometimes having other priorities in life isn’t bad. Take a professional athlete or an up-and-coming entrepreneur: sometimes, being able to judge that you aren’t ready to take on a full-time relationship is nothing but intelligent.

If you are happy with your professional life or are unwilling to give up your weekends with the boys, then you probably aren’t ready for a committed relationship.

However, if you are just afraid of committing because of your computer games, you should likely rethink what is important to you in life.

If you are ever going to make a change in life, it’s going to have to be done with intentionality.


More often than not, fear of committed relationships is the result of a number of the factors above combined.

You may be struggling with trust issues from a past relationship, or afraid of rejection. Or you may just enjoy the single life too much and fear a change in this life you have come to love. 

No matter what the reason is for your fear of commitment, know that billions of men have dealt with the exact same emotions and found a way to conquer themselves.

If you need help on this journey, here at Knowledge for Men, we have a dozen expertly-trained coaches ready to help.

Rather than bathing in pain and watching you life slip away, we help you conquer yourself, avoid the pain of loneliness and build a great life.

Nothing of value in life comes without some risk. You can question and “what-if” all you want, but eventually, you have to take that bold step forward. Commit!

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