THE BLOG
10/07/2014 11:05 am ET Updated Dec 07, 2014

4 Signs He Will Not Commit

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Many years ago, I had an acquaintance who was engaged to a young woman for five years, but the time was never right for marriage. Then one day, he was walking down the street and bumped into a friend, who introduced him to someone new. Within five months, he married that person.

When love and passion enter a relationship, there is a certain sense of immediacy and heightened emotion that may or may not lead to a commitment. In the case of my friend, he had committed to an engagement, but not to tying the knot. However, when he was emotionally ready and overpowered by love, he was able to commit.

Timing is almost everything if your relationship is serious. When a man is ready to commit, he has made the inner-decision that he is mentally invested in you. He wants to be with you night and day and share the deepest parts of himself -- especially his intimate thoughts and goals for the future. If your man is serious, he'll be available and he will find a myriad of ways to connect and communicate with you; you become his touchstone -- the person that he most wants to be with, with whom he can let down his hair and be himself.

If he is really yours, your man will tell you so. He'll tell you he loves you and show you, in simple acts of tenderness, how important you are in his life. If he has to be away from you, for business or family obligations, not only will he tell you, but he will give you a schedule of how he can be reached for emergencies and those cozy connections that love inspires.

He will want you to know his family. And, if he has children from a prior relationship, he will introduce you to them. He will be proud of you and want to bring you into his sphere, including sharing the things he enjoys doing, such as his vocation and avocation. In fact, he will want you to know him, who he is -- his strengths and weaknesses.

Signs Your Man Is Not Ready to Commit

On the other hand, if your man is not ready to commit, he also will tell you so -- but you need to listen carefully and catch the following signs:

  1. If your man doesn't share himself with you, tell you who is, what he likes and dislikes as well as his hurts and successes, this may not be the right man for you. By being cautious and keeping you out of his life, he is giving you the message that you do not count -- you are not that significant to him.
  2. If he does not bring you home to meet his family or children from prior relationships, then he is not committed to you. Many sons will not bring a date home to meet their family until they believe they have met the person who will be a part of their lives forever.
  3. If your man is withholding and secretive about where he is going and with whom, then you have a problem. If a partner needs to keep a private "free" schedule, he is telling you, in no uncertain terms, that he does not want to be tied down to you. If he tells you he is going on vacation to think about your relationship, you can be pretty sure he is probably going with someone else. He is telling you that your relationship is not significant, and therefore, neither are you.
  4. If your fellow drops your hand in public, doesn't take you out on dates, but rather suggests wining and dining only at home... he is sending you a signal that he does not want to be seen with you. You can always rationalize why your dates are connected to down time at home, but nevertheless, if you listen to your inner voice, you will hear that he "likes" you, but does not "love" you. And, if your relationship feels like you are holding hands, but that if you let go, he'll be gone... then you are definitely in denial.

Sometimes, There Is Hope

And then, there are the fellows who cannot use the "love" word or the "we" word. Now, this man may actually care for you, but be fearful of intimacy, and therefore, he finds ways to create space and distance between the two of you so that he can re-establish a sense of control. In fact, he may even start a fight after sexual activity to override his vulnerability and restore his own individuality. This is the man not to give up on. Intimacy can be developed through authentic communication and counseling.

When a Man Shows You Who He Is, Believe Him

Finally, there is that man who tells you right up front that he does not want to be involved. Of course, many women think they can change men, and so you might easily talk yourself into overriding his declaration. My mother used to have a great line, "If a man tells you he is not interested in you -- believe him." And if you don't, it is to your peril, because people have different agendas and you could easily be strung along, hoping to get closer. Don't second-guess this man; he may be thinking about getting closer to someone in the future, but it's not you.

In conclusion, if someone loves you, they want to be with you, they are invested in you and they feel proud of you. They feel obligated, responsible and committed to your relationship. Don't sell yourself short -- be authentic and listen to your inner voice. If you do, you will grow into your destiny and find the right man for you.