Why won’t they commit to me?

You’re at that stage in your life where you feel ready to settle down with your partner and you truly believe you’ve found your soul mate, but for some reason your partner isn’t showing any sign of wanting to do the same. You might not be looking for marriage or children just yet, but it’s reassuring knowing that some day it could happen, but when you’re with a partner who appears unable to show any sign of commitment, it will certainly give you reason for reservation.

There are a number of possible reasons for their inability to commit to you, some of which may have very little to do with you personally. Knowing about their past relationships will give you an idea of why they’re avoiding anything more serious than casual dating. If they’ve been badly hurt in the past by an ex, or they went through a breakup just before getting together with you, it’s likely they’re still thinking about their ex and the relationship they had with them. Until the ex is out of their thoughts, the chances of your relationship moving forward isn’t likely as there will always be a comparison to your relationship and their past relationship which ended badly.

Your partner could just be enjoying the way your relationship is now and doesn’t feel the need to change something that is working well for them. They may find the balance between work, friends, hobbies, alone time and you just right, but to you it feels like you’re not an important part in their life. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to be with you, it just means they see things differently and other parts of their life are important too. You may feel they’re being selfish, but as long as they’re giving you their full attention when you see them, it shows they’re still interested in you.

If your relationship has drastically changed from when you were first dating and they’re spending less and less time with you, then your partner could be someone who enjoys the chasing and flirting part of dating. After a while they get bored and distance themselves from you and look for excitement in finding someone new to date. If you notice their behaviour is strange at times and they tell unbelievable stories about where they’ve been or why they haven’t been in touch, then it’s possible they’re dating other people. They might admit it to your face implying they didn’t know you were being exclusive and they were simply keeping their options open, or they might deny seeing other people, but the doubt will already be in your mind. It’s unlikely you’ll manage to change someone like this, so don’t waste unnecessary time on him or her.

By mentioning marriage and having children in the future, you could have scared them off, even if you meant much further in the future. It’s possible they feel pressurised into a serious relationship and they react by not committing to you, which is the opposite effect to what you want. You might feel comfortable discussing these serious topics, but your partner obviously isn’t quite ready. Not everyone is prepared to take on responsibility for others, especially when it comes to being ill or emotions, so the thought of comforting you when you are sad, or looking after you when you’re ill could send your partner into panic mode, resulting in them distancing themselves from you.

If you have children from a previous relationship, it can unfortunately put some people off having a serious relationship with you. They may enjoy spending time with you and genuinely really like you, but the thought of taking on responsibility for your kids too, even if you don’t expect anything from them, can terrify them causing them to back off from you. Alternatively if your partner has children, it could be the case that they don’t want to settle down with you because they have other responsibilities that they put before their own relationship, but they enjoy spending time with you in a more casual level.

It could just be that as much as your partner likes being with you, you’re just not ‘the one’. They enjoy spending time with you and do genuinely like you, but they can’t see you having a future together, so for now they’re enjoying the company until they find what they’re looking for in a long-term partner. People do unfortunately get used in this way, especially if you are offering a physical relationship, which is often all some people are after, so make sure you’re not just being used in this way and end up wasting valuable time.