Single in the City: 5 Signs He’s a Commitment Phobe

Since being freed from my past, I’ve been single in the city.  While the old adage goes that “all is fair in love and war,” new trends have occurred in the dating pool that makes me wonder how fair men truly are these days.  Any woman that has dated has encountered the dreaded commitment phobe.  While he provides a grandiose show of perfection and admiration for you, he is, indeed, an actor. He makes himself out to be the Ken to your perfect Barbie equation.  Only, this Ken is slick and prefers to keep his options open.  That’s right, he’s not only “casually” dating you, he has Midge and Skipper on his radar too.  My advice?  Watch out for these five red flags and ditch Ken—he has plastic parts and a pseudo bump for a package anyway.

1.      Facebook UNofficial

Do you long for the day you can change your relationship status from “It’s complicated” to “In a relationship with Emotionally-Challenged Commitment Phobe?”  Face it ladies, if your status currently reads “it’s complicated,” it’s not—you’re single and dating a loser.  Mr. Commitment Challenged will awkwardly skirt the issue when your discussion topic veers into relationship-talk territory.  Other emotionally-unavailable men may flat out tell you they have no intentions to take that next step or take the marital plunge—and thank them for this!  Once you know the truth, set yourself free.  If he’s not open to the future with you, it’s time to close shop for good.

You can’t change people son. I don’t know what makes folks think they can change somebody. You can’t change nobody, that is a waste of time…sittin around tryin to change somebody. Maya Angelou said it best. She said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them.”—“Madea Goes to Jail”

2.      The Baggage Claim

Imagine this.  You’re waiting patiently for your coveted Louis Vuitton luggage to circulate the conveyor belt of the baggage claim.  When it finally arrives, you realize your one prized-piece of luggage has transformed into twenty pieces… How will you carry this out?  You love Louis and all, but this is a little ridic!

Welcome to life with a commitment-phobe.  Not only do you have the pleasure of carrying around your Ghosts of Relationships past, but you get to carry his too.  Bed time is always fun, trying to squeeze yourself between Mr. Not Right and the ex he just cannot get over.  If your new man has the inability to use his past as a learning experience and leave it where it belongs, in the past, it’s time to ditch the dud.  You will never compete to the romanticized fantasy of Super-Ex that he has engraved in his memory—and you shouldn’t have to.  When the baggage comes around the conveyor next time, just leave it there.  It’s not yours to claim anymore.

“Maybe the past is an anchor holding us back.  Maybe, you have to let go of who you are to become who you will be.” –SATC

3.      Mr. Never Ready (AND never going to be)

Still unsure if your man is the dreaded commitment phobe?  Does he break plans, change the times of dates and calls, or just ignore your ideas of dates all together?  Ding, ding, ding—you’re the lucky winner of the emotionally-challenged commitment phobe. 

It’s OK, we’ve all been there.  When I first started dating my ex, things seemed amazing.  Almost too good to be true—a huge red flag.  I remember talking to my girl friends at the time and explaining that while I couldn’t put my finger on it, something was off.  There was a feeling in the pit of my stomach screaming out “Don’t trust him,” and I never really did.  Little things started to happen and looking back they were clear indications of his inability to connect with anyone but himself.  I vividly remember hearing muffled noises from inside my bedroom and I hazily awoke to my ex scrambling to throw his things into his overnight bag.  What was he doing?  Oh, he had to leave—a family emergency at 3 a.m.—you know, the usual.  It may have been more convincing had it not happened repeatedly over the next six years.  Moral of the story?  Men who are emotionally unstable and unprepared for a real commitment become claustrophobic, figuratively and literally.  My crazy ex felt the walls caving in like he was a trapped animal.  After six years, I finally took some long-overdue action.  I unlocked his cage and never looked back.

4.      Layin’ it on thick…

The beginning stages of any romance are always fun and exciting—dinners, trips, gifts and butterflies of infatuation.  Who doesn’t love the pretty package of a new romance?  While it’s normal to enjoy this newfound flirtatious stage, it’s also important to remember your sensibility and fierce intelligence.  Tread lightly—if it seems like he’s trying a little too hard, he probably is.  Mr. Never-going-to-commit will shower you with affection and douse you with the façade of love—but be careful, because it is exactly that, a façade.  He will distract you with compliments and loving words only to ensure you will not see beyond the magic mirror.  Behind it all, he is cracked and imperfect, holding on to emotional baggage and poor self-esteem.  He holds you under false pretenses and deceptive lies.  Crack that mirror and you will see it all.

“Addiction is the hallmark of every infatuation-based love story. It all begins when the object of your adoration bestows upon you a heady, hallucinogenic dose of something you never dared to admit you wanted-an emotional speedball, perhaps, of thunderous love and roiling excitement. Soon you start craving that intense attention, with a hungry obsession of any junkie. When the drug is witheld, you promptly turn sick, crazy, and depleted (not to mention resentful of the dealer who encouraged this addiction in the first place but now refuses to pony up the good stuff anymore– despite the fact that you know he has it hidden somewhere, goddamn it, because he used to give it to you for free). Next stage finds you skinny and shaking in a corner, certain only that you would sell your soul or rob your neighbors just to have ‘that thing’ even one more time. Meanwhile, the object of your adoration has now become repulsed by you. He looks at you like you’re someone he’s never met before, much less someone he once loved with high passion. The irony is, you can hardly blame him. I mean, check yourself out. You’re a pathetic mess, unrecognizable even to your own eyes. So that’s it. You have now reached infatuation’s final destination– the complete and merciless devaluation of self.”—“Eat, Pray, Love” 

5.      Mr. Not-so-Independent

The thing to remember when encountering these fools of love is that they are great performers and con men.  We’re talking award-winning, Oscar-worthy routines, with all the makings of a tragic love story or dark comedy.  Co-dependent personalities, commitment phobic men are secretly needy and want you to take care of them and fill their own empty souls.  While he comes across so confident and secure in himself, he actually hides a dependent personality and victimizes himself.  He is just the poor victim of deceitful women and terrible luck.  Poor baby!  Life has just been too hard for him, until now, now that he’s found you.  You’ve changed his world, you’re the perfect fit.  Perfect until he gets bored, that is.  Once boredom strikes, he’s gone and your pseudo-love affair has ended. 

3 Responses to “Single in the City: 5 Signs He’s a Commitment Phobe”
  1. The T says:

    what about having a man who simply loves you for the sake of loving you? Do you feel the need to belong to someone? Is it not enough that the love he has in his chest is not enough of a committment instead of making the details concrete by saying that he’s in a committed relationship?


    • jordanleah says:

      I appreciate your thoughts! I was actually just having this discussion with a boyfriend… I believe there are many types of individuals out there. Some believe in a commitment, in marriage, and some don’t feel they need that. I believe if you’re a woman (or a man) looking for something committed and more concrete than simply a feeling, then it’s important to watch out for those men looking for something else. If your needs don’t meet with those of the other person, the relationship will self-destruct. I don’t believe in “belonging to someone else” other than God. To me a commitment isn’t the idea of belonging or possession, it’s a devotion of love and a mindset to overcome difficult times. That’s not to say that a wedding ring will make a relationship last–it won’t. Both need that mindset and must share that devotion.

  2. Kristy says:

    Wow, I felt like I’m reading something I typed up myself. you took the words right outta my mouth

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