4 Signs That Your Partner Has Serious Commitment Issues

Couple having problems in relationship

Will your partner commit? | iStock.com/nd3000

Being part of a committed relationship can give you a good feeling. It can provide a sense of comfort, care, and acceptance. However, as the relationship grows more serious, your partner may start to feel cold and distant. It seems that as soon as the feelings start to get stronger, your significant other begins to pull back emotionally, or worse — he or she disappears for days at a time and doesn’t return your phone calls. Once contact is finally made, your partner acts as if nothing unusual happened. There’s constant push and pull, and you can’t seem to get to a place where you feel completely secure in the relationship.

There could be a few reasons why you’re getting a bit of the cold shoulder, but one reason could be that your significant other is fearful of committing. Here are a few signs your partner has commitment issues.

1. Whenever your partner talks about the future, you’re not mentioned

Couple having a discussion

Does your partner talk about a future without you in it? | iStock.com

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. Sometimes listening to what your partner says, or how your partner says it, can give you a glimpse into the recesses of his or her mind. One’s true feelings often seep out if you pay close attention. If most of your partner’s sentences start with “I” instead of “we,” when talking about future plans, you may have a problem. This is especially true if you’ve been dating for a while. The lack of “we” talk is a signal your partner may not be thinking long term. You could merely be a stop along the way or just a fun distraction.

What you can do

couple having a conversation

Has your partner been dodging talks about the future?| iStock.com/JackF

It’s possible it could be too early to have the “where is this going?” talk. If it’s still quite early in the relationship, give yourself time to continue to get to know each other. However, if you’ve been together for a while and your partner is still dodging talks about the future, you might want to have a discussion so you both can be on the same page. If you want marriage, for example, but your partner doesn’t see that happening anytime soon, it might be time to say goodbye.

Relationship expert Evan Marc Katz says in his column that if you’re not getting what you desire in a partner, that’s a sign you’re not with the right person.”You should get some ‘I love you,’ and some talk about the future or moving in together or marriage if that’s what you want. If you’re not getting this, and will never get it, and will never feel good unless you get it, then guess what? You’re dating the wrong guy,” he writes.

2. Your partner still acts single

Girl annoyed by her boyfriend

You shouldn’t feel like you’re competing with other potential love interests. | iStock.com

Does your partner constantly go out for a night on the town without you or fail to introduce you when bumping into someone he or she knows? Either your partner is cheating on you or you’re just not as important as you originally thought (or both). If your partner ignores you most of the time or fails to acknowledge your existence when around friends or acquaintances, your shelf life may soon be coming to an end. If your significant other doesn’t seem eager to show you off and acts like it’s a chore to even acknowledge you, it’s clearly time to talk.

What you can do

Young woman using cellphone in the park cafe

Before entering a new relationship, take time to work on yourself. | iStock.com/Bokeshi

If your partner is disrespecting you and acting like he or she doesn’t want to be in a relationship, it’s possible your partner doesn’t want to be with you. Spend time with someone who is proud to be seen with you and who is excited to introduce you to his or her friends, family, and acquaintances. But before you jump into a new relationship, spend time working on your self-esteem and doing things that make you happy. Make sure you’re emotionally solid before searching for a new love interest.  

3. Your partner avoids talking about the relationship

couple fighting

It’s important to be on the same page as your partner. | iStock.com

There comes a point in most relationships when couples usually have a talk about where the relationship is headed. If you keep getting shut down whenever the topic comes up, your significant other may be getting cold feet in the commitment department. A partner who is happy to be with you and excited about moving to the next level won’t look for excuses to change the topic.

What you can do

Couple shopping online at laptop computer

Let your partner know you’re available to talk when he or she is ready. | iStock.com/oneinchpunch

If your partner doesn’t want to talk about the relationship, this is a red flag. What is it about the topic  that makes him or her fearful? It’s possible your partner could be thinking about breaking up, but needs more time to figure out how to go about it. In this situation, your best bet is to be direct. Tell your partner you sense his or her discomfort and ask what you could do to make the conversation easier. Don’t force the conversation, but do let your partner know you’re available to talk when he or she is ready.  

4. Your partner withdraws affection

Couple not talking

As soon as things get good, do they seem to shut down? | iStock.com

If your partner is usually sweet, loving, and caring, but withdraws affection as soon as the relationship begins to deepen, you most likely have a commitment-phobe on your hands. Running hot and cold could indicate your partner is uncomfortable with getting too close.

What you can do

couple in therapy session

You may want to consider getting couples therapy. | iStock.com

If you really want to make things work and you see a future with your partner, you may want to consider getting couples therapy, so you can get down to the root of the problem. But if you don’t have the time, energy, desire, or the money, it’s best to cut your losses and find a person who can love you the way you deserve to be loved.

Getting to commitment

couple holding hands

Remember that you can’t force commitment. | iStock.com

Remember, it’s impossible to force someone to commit. He or she must want to pursue a long-term committed relationship. Also remember not to take someone’s fear of commitment personally. Psychology Today contributor Berit Brogaard had this to say in her column:

True commitment phobia is fear of any kind of commitment that involves other people, not just relationship commitment. It can involve difficulties making important decisions in all areas of life but folks with commitment phobia need not be afraid of committing to things that do not involve other people. They may have no problem buying a house or a car or getting a dog. Their fear is usually  connected with making a promise to another person.

 Follow Sheiresa on Twitter @SheiresaNgo