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.  In fact, let me buy you a session so you can see how valuable this work can be for you. This is time-limited, so Click Here now.

Now check out this video on men and commitment.

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Are you a successful woman who is tired of having NO good men to date?  THIS  is for you!

Hi, I'm Dr. Diana Kirschner. My team and I have helped thousands of successful single women, including judges, famous shrinks, CEOs, philanthropists, Directors, professors, and celebrities like Hoda Kotb from The Today Show to find a high-quality man who understands, appreciates and cherishes them, and I'm confident we can help YOU too!

I'm a PBS Love expert and psychologist who has appeared on Oprah, the Today Show and in an Amazon Prime show, Love in 90 Days based on my bestseller Love in 90 Days.  My work has been featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, ABC, People, and NPR.

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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!!!!

  5. Tarra May on December 8, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    I have been dating my boyfriend for almost 4 years. My boyfriend has lived with me for 2 years. Our relationship has had ups and downs. We were in counseling for a little over a year. It was helping. Then we stopped seeing our therapist because the therapist stepped over our boundaries. Counseling taught us a lot of skills that we did not have before. It gave us insight and knowledge about our relationship. I truly love my boyfriend with my whole heart, and I believe that he loves me with his whole heart too. Come April we will have been together for 4 years. Since the first time that we met (after 3-4 months of talking over the phone) I knew that I wanted him to be the one. Time passed and now I have been waiting close to 4 years for him to ask me for my hand in marriage and he has not done so. For the last 1.5 years I have talked about marriage. I have made attempts to discuss and plan a future together. There has been little talk of a future together and absolutely no excitement or actual commitment (engagement, wedding) put into me and his future together. The only thing he tells me is that he wants to grow old with me, and that he does want to get married but that he does not have money. For the last 4 months I have had this weighing on me. I feel confused at times. I was not just born yesterday. I know that I am being led on. I know that he probably does want to be together forever, but just not the same way that I want to be together. I wake up often and feel depressed not knowing which direction my life with him is going to go in. I honestly am feeling like I do not want to marry him anymore. I am thinking about selling my house in 1-2 years, letting him go and to be with someone else who works better with him, and living my life and starting over. I know that God is looking over me. And I do believe that I will get married to a loving man, who has the same goals and dreams as me, and to have a family together with me and my daughter (from my last marriage). I do believe that God if looking over me and hears my requests. But, I am not so sure that my current boyfriend is my forever guy anymore. I feel sad. I am no longer willing to wait for him. I would much rather meet someone who knows what they want and who makes it happen with me.

  6. Sam Kirschner on December 11, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Dear Tarra,
    I know exactly how you are feeling. We have had so many women go through the same kind of soul-wrenching non-committal process.
    It is so great that you are reaching out and sharing. The thing is, you are right at the point where you may be able to help him rise above his commitment fears using what I call the Cost-of-Loss process. This starts with creating a Love Intention for yourself, like, “I am blessed with a fantastic marriage and family life!” Then letting your boyfriend know your firm love intention in a calm way. Then adding that you would like it to be with him, but if not, you will be leaving the relationship. So you could say, “I am going to have a fantastic marriage and family life filled with joy and adventures large and small. And you would make an extraordinary husband. But you do not seem able to make the marriage leap due to your fears about money. So if you cannot overcome your fears, i will be moving on.”
    If you would like more help with this process, have a gift session with one of my expert coaches–they have successfully worked with these issues many times.
    Wishing you great committed love!

  7. Kelsie Parrish on January 9, 2022 at 7:14 am

    He won’t commit to me, but expects me to make him my top priority. He gets upset when I mention being exclusive, but also gets jealous if he thinks I’m seeing other guys. I love him and wanna be with him, but don’t want to continue being used for his own satisfaction. What do I need to do?

  8. Dr. Diana Kirschner on January 9, 2022 at 1:18 pm

    Dear Kelsie,
    This is such a difficult situation. But I have the perfect book for you on how to handle getting a commitment. Pick up a copy of Sealing the Deal here: It has helped thousands of women like you get the committed lasting love they deserve! Also have a gift session to discuss how to use the book. Click here for that!
    Wishing you great love! D

  9. Isabella Dattoli on January 10, 2022 at 7:50 pm

    i’ve been with my boyfriend for almost a year and things were going smoothly we were talking for the first half on the phone then we finally met and person and began to hang out every weekend then all of a sudden he stopped wanting to call his texts became few and far between the love i used to feel the amazing good morning goodnight texts simply…faded from existence i kept offering for him to come over but he kept making excuses to do anything but spend time with me he’s become so distant and cold it feels like i’m dating Olaf from frozen instead of a person he recently dumped me just 3 days ago saying he “cant do long distance” but when he found out i wasn’t moving far quickly changed his reason to “he needs time to himself and to sort things out” honestly i do not know whats going on…i there another woman involved? i just want him back..please help

  10. Dr. Diana Kirschner on January 11, 2022 at 12:33 pm

    Dear Isabella,
    I hear you! At this point I would definitely have a gift session with one of my coaches. And see if there is a way forward with him. Just click here to set it up.
    Wishing you great love,

  11. Kathleena Janice on February 12, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    i have been talking to my *person* (idk what else to call him) for a solid 6 months and he likes me a lot. i like him a lot. why wont he just call it a bf/gf situation? ive brought it up but he cant seem to commit. help!!

  12. Dr. Diana Kirschner on February 13, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    Dear Kathleen,
    I would suggest you get a copy of Sealing the Deal, the Love Mentors Guide to Lasting Love. It will guide you step-by-step in terms of dealing with him. Also take advantage of the free session so you can discuss your situation in more detail.
    Wishing you love! Dr. D

  13. Carol on July 5, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Ugh! Mine wants to live together but right now he’s making an attempt to pick an argument over silly stupid stuff. Like whether I prayed or not ? He’s sending me mixed signals so it’s confusing me. For some reason I’m apologizing when I don’t need to in an attempt to make things better.

  14. Dr. Diana Kirschner on July 7, 2022 at 7:56 am

    Dear Carol.
    I suggest you have a gift session with one of my amazing love mentor coaches and get some pointers from her about how to turn things around! here is the link: https://lovein90days.com/dating-coach/
    Wishing you love!

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