Reluctance to Commit- What Does it Mean for You?
As I mentioned previously I authored a quiz for the Marriage Material app (the Non-Committal Partner quiz). When Bobby Leach, one of the developers of the Marriage Material app, approached me about doing a quiz, what came to mind immediately was non-commitment. Is this because it is the single source of complaints from women about men? Well, maybe partly. Is it because many men come to me with questions about their reluctance to commit? Kind of. Above and beyond either of these reasons, my main goal was to hit at the heart of common of misconceptions about what a lack of commitment actually means. The stereotype is clear, and I'm sure there are cases where it holds true. But the stereotype is not the whole story. I shared my own personal struggle with non-commitment when I first met my now wife to demonstrate how a reluctance to commit can point to many different emotional struggles that get in the way of seeing a relationship with a clear mind. I hope that this quiz can reach people struggling with questions around getting into a relationship and help kickstart a process of self-exploration.
With the eBook done and the quiz up, my bigger projects for the year are complete and my goal now is to try and cruise through the summer, relax, and hope some good swell comes up this way. I hope you all are enjoying your summer as well!
The Story Behind Non-Committal Partner Quiz
Being non-committal or being with someone who is resisting commitment is a hot topic of gossip when it comes to relationships. There are many stereotypes that feed into the intense level of emotion that comes up when talking about non-commitment.
Most people who’ve followed my blog know that I’ve been through a divorce, got back on the horse through online dating, and remarried (very happily married by the way— 89% on the Marriage Material quiz!). But, the secret that most people don’t know is that within the first six months of meeting my wife I was non-committal.
Being non-committal does not necessarily mean that the relationship is not right for you. My reluctance to commit had less to do with my wife than it had to do with me. I didn’t know that at the time. I confused my own internal battle with the person who I was dating. Having listened to and coached many men and women through their reluctance to commit since then, I know I am not alone in my experience.
There are many reasons behind being unsure about committing. You could be having doubts that can be better chalked up as cold feet. It’s common to have normal doubts that get amplified into fears the relationship is a bad one. Maybe you’ve been hurt in the past and fear being hurt again. Maybe you’ve never been in a fully committed relationship and aren’t sure whether everything that ‘should’ be in place is. If you’re a perfectionist, before you go through some long ass checklist to make sure every possible box that you think needs to be checked off is checked off, let me be the bearer of a little perspective here. Your partner is not going to fit everything you ever imagined to be part of that perfect relationship you’ve pictured in your mind. That’s why that relationship is in your mind and not happening in the real world.
This is one reason people get caught up in believing that a relationship is only right if they experience huge upheavals of emotion with the person they are dating. Most people call this love, when it is actually more equivalent to lust. Lust is important, but a flash in the water. Love is actually something more long-term, enduring, and develops from getting to know somebody and building intimacy with that person over time.
Alternatively, there are people who feel non-committal yet stay in a relationship because they’ve been taught that this is the right thing to do, and not because it is a genuinely a good relationship for them. One cliché we often hear that leads to this tendency is that “relationships are hard work.” This one drives me more crazy than any of the others because people use it to justify staying in increasingly unhealthy relationships, even to the point of staying in an abusive relationship that is not improving. On a less intense level, some people may have different gradients of co-dependency that lead to this relationship dynamic. People with codependent tendencies may stay with someone out of guilt, feelings of responsibility for his/her feelings, or to feel better about themselves. This type of need around companionship, sex, or taking on responsibility for others can lead to massive confusion for the people involved and a lot of unnecessary hurt. In decoding the nature of your non-committal tendency discerning between amplified fears and codependency is a crucial distinction to make.
This is not an easy thing to do on your own. I sure could have used some guidance at the time I was struggling with this, as my internal barometer for this kind of thing was still damaged and in recovery from my past relationship. Having a quiz like this one, or even a relationship expert to let me know that my cold feet were normal given what I had gone through would have been really helpful, and probably saved my wife and I a bit of drama. I believe this applies to many other couples as well. Of course, there are also situations where the opposite is true and knowing when non-commitment reaches the point of no return can be helpful for people to decide if it’s time to cut ties and move on with their life.
My wife was very intuitive and very understanding of me. She did not take my non-commitment personally. She’s a rare gem and I’m a lucky man because not everybody is so tolerant. Unfortunately many great relationships never come to be because people don’t explore their non-committal tendencies and they become too easily chalked up as the couple not being a good fit. Don’t get me wrong, there are signs that point to whether two people are not a good match or whether somebody is not ready for a relationship. It’s just that these differences are not examined or discerned. I hope this quiz can help people start to think more deeply about this and begin a process of self-exploration.
This is also one major reason I re-started a men’s group this past year… So that men don’t need to feel alone in this process of finding the relationship they're seeking or making the relationship they're in one in which they experience true joy and companionship. This first group in my more focused series of groups I plan to open is for men like you who have felt inadequate, not good enough, undeserving, or reluctant to be more assertive about going after the things you want out of life.
If you're a nice guy who is tired of being left in the dust, not getting the girl, or feel like you keep getting the short end of the stick in relationships, I am running an in-person and online group called Self Respect for Nice Guys. I'm here to coach you how to use your authentic personality to your advantage to get you where you want to be in life, and the type of attraction you want and find a happy, healthy relationship or turn the tide in one that is not making you happy. No more getting walked all over by women, no more seeing only other guys get the girl. It's your turn now... It's time to make it happen! This is for motivated men who are willing to take the next step, but need some direction. If you want to sign up for this group, do so here: www.selfrespectforniceguys.com. This is more than the regular email list. This group is for men who are ready to be active in the next step in their personal transformation.
Make sure to reserve your spot in the group! Availability is limited... www.selfrespectforniceguys.com
Get the eBook here: www.danbolton.com/FirstDateBook
Download your free online dating companion Online Dating Checklist for Mennow! Get your head write and into the right mindset before you even send the first message, a checklist of tips of what to write and what not towrite, and guidelines to keep in mind as you write up your online dating profile.
My 10 week mini-course Dating Advice for the Non Pick Up Artist is being updated. It will be back online shortly with updated content… Stay tuned!
For more on Relationship Advice for Men visit www.danbolton.com