What to Do When He Won’t Commit

when he won't 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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

If it’s meant to be…

He will realize what he lost and take a bold step towards you.  For example, an occasional check-in text is just crumbs and not a sign of change. 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. You know what I mean—you will feel a real shift in commitment!

Please check out these articles to help you understand men and their commitment fears or how to tell if he’s marriage material from the outset. And always remember that my team of expert relationship coaches is here to help you find the one who will commit. You deserve nothing less!




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Dr. Diana Kirschner

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.

“Diana Kirschner’s work is life-changing, love-affirming and wonderfully effective.”
~Dr. Christiane Northrup, Internationally bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.

1 Comment

  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.

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