What to Do When He Won’t Commit

he wont commit

Here’s what to do when he won’t commit.

Has your relationship been dragging along in an uncommitted state for some time now? Did he totally freak out, stonewall or run away the minute you brought up taking the relationship to the next level? Or perhaps he seemed so into you, you were both sailing into a blissful commitment, then suddenly he just wants to be friends, he won’t commit, or says he’s not ready. You’re left wondering what makes a man want to commit?

Now here you are likely feeling stressed, worried, even rejected because he won’t commit to you. Am I right? You’ve fallen for this man and thought he was falling too. His ambivalence and confusion hurts so badly! It’s hard not to take it personally. You may even feel compelled to run after him, to let things drag on in this uncommitted state, and accept whatever crumbs he may be willing to give.

Here’s what I know for sure. You deserve a man who makes you a priority, who loves you, who commits to you. A man who is marriage material. Yes, men can sometimes take a bit longer to get to commitment, but there is a point when enough is enough. The longer things drag on, the worse you’ll feel about yourself and the more time you waste. And at the end of this post watch the video on why men commit to some women and pull away from others.

RELATED POST: How to Know If He’s Marriage Material

So is there hope? Yes. In fact, through my dating and relationship coaching program, we’ve helped tons of women just like you get through this difficult stage and come out of it with a commitment from their guy. Even after the guy initially said he won’t commit or isn’t ready. Here are some of the key steps that work.

If He Won’t Commit Put Him on Probation

Generally, if you’ve been dating for over three months and your partner isn’t responding positively to your talks about becoming exclusive, it may be time to step back. And if you have been dating for more than a year and he’s not responding to your talks about marriage, it may be time to put the relationship on probation.

When I say step back or probation, I mean you need to let him know that you may be leaving him so that he has a chance to work on things. The key is to deliver the message in a kind and mature way that shows you mean business. This will optimize the chance that he will rise to the occasion so that your relationship can grow deeper.

RELATED POST: How to Handle a Non-Committal Guy

The Probationary Talk:

  • Start in a mature, kind, and loving way.
  • Be specific about what is not working.
  • Be clear about your thoughts about the possible end of the relationship.
  • Touch on the losses you both will have if things end.
  • Suggest some actions or ask him for his thoughts on what actions he might suggest to turn things around.

For example you might say:
It would be very sad and painful to lose all that we have built up, for one of us to have to move out, to lose our connection. I thought you might be the one but now I’m not so sure. I’m creating an amazing and fun lasting partnership in my life. I want to get married and believe you are that person. If that’s not for you, it’s not for you. What do you think?

Don’t throw this speech in his face as an idle threat during fights or something you endlessly harass him about to gain power in the relationship. If you turn it into an emotional ultimatum, you will lose personal power in the relationship.

Show him what life is like without you.

If he continues to drag his feet and if he won’t commit, you must take a stand. The single most powerful thing you can do is show him the cost of losing you.  I know your heart is breaking. But you cannot settle. You must remember that you deserve commitment! This is a matter of self-love, integrity, and self-protection. Don’t allow yourself to endure further disappointment or to waste more of your invaluable time. So work on overcoming your abandonment fears and get moving.

RELATED POST: Overcoming Abandonment Fears

The Cost of Loss Talk If He Won’t Commit

I recommend you first have a “Cost of Loss” Talk with your partner. Again in a strong, powerful way with no drama, tell him something like:
My commitment to myself is that I will be married and have children. And it’s time for me to take action. I would love to have that with you because we would make unbelievable teammates and parents together. You are a generous and kind person and would make the best father. But you said you don’t want marriage. So if it can’t be with you, I am going to do it with another man who can be a great teammate and father to my children. Even though I love you, if you simply cannot or will not do it, I am breaking up with you completely. I am taking all my things out of your apartment and you will not be seeing me again.

And then, follow through. This is key. Move out. Stop calling. Cut off contact.  And plan some fun activities for YOU. Set new goals, take up a new challenge. If he won’t commit, let him experience missing you.

What Makes a Man Want to Commit?

So you’re wondering, what makes a man want to commit? In these cases, if your guy realizes what he has lost he may take a bold step towards you.  For example, when I say bold, I mean he will show obvious signs of transformation. He will buy the ring and /or go into couples therapy or Relationship Coaching with you, or make plans to move in with you. Then you will feel a real shift in commitment! Men who don’t respond to losing you are not going to commit. Ultimately, the relationship isn’t that important to them. So please move on!


If you’re struggling with a guy who has been unable to commit, you can get in touch with me today to get a personal gift from me to you.

As a PBS love expert, I’ve helped tens of thousands of women handle commitment issues and get the love they want. My gift to you is I will personally select one of our gifted dating coaches to help you handle your unique challenges and get THE relationship that is just right for you.  This is time-limited, so Click Here now to be matched for free and get your Complimentary Breakthrough Session by phone or Skype.  It can change your life.

Now check out this video on men and commitment.

Sign up for your Gift Breakthrough-to-Love Session Here!


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Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.

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  1. Mike Jones on August 3, 2017 at 6:38 am

    Absolutely right Diana!! I also experienced the same way you write it here. when anybody giving his/her partner space then he/she automatically wants to come close emotionally or want to hear them or see them as soon as possible. At that point, they realize the importance of each other.

  2. Regina on January 12, 2020 at 10:42 am

    iv been seen a man for almost 10 yrs here i thought we were in a relationship now im thinking iv been his dirty little secret , but never the less i love him and now i need to pull away …. if he hasnt committed in 9 years I dont think he ever will 🙁

  3. Kathleen Moran on June 29, 2021 at 8:06 am

    I was involved with a man immediately after my divorce for 4 years as he lived with me.
    We broke up over money issues if his and refusal to get at least engaged.
    Now 20 years later he has established himself and returned but won’t date me publicly. I’m 69 and he is 65 with ED but I believe takes medication if we’ll planned.
    I look great for my age as I don’t wrinkle because of no sun tolerance.
    I’m tired out from the on and off and tried blocking and it’s a push and pull with no holidays together.
    One I say good by I fall apart in a month and sleep over but am truly unsure after such a long history.
    Please advise me. I am alone and my children tragically passed away.

  4. Dr. Diana Kirschner on July 2, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Kathleen,
    You deserve so much more! Please pick up a copy of Love in 90 Days and start dating! You can find a great guy!!!!

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