Eyes lock. Cheeks flush. Butterflies flutter. A dizzying exchange of words and smiles confirms the connection is real. The start of a relationship involves some of the most refreshing and electrifying experiences out there. But figuring out how to get a man to commit can be a different scene entirely. We all know from experience that perfect starts don’t always end up the way we would like.
Nowadays, more relationships than ever before fall apart due to our culture’s emphasis on instant gratification and the “next best thing”. Lots of people now believe they are too busy to watch a 10 minutes video clip, let alone commit to a long-term relationship.
When it comes to understanding how to get a commitment from a man, you don’t have to be in the dark. In order to get him to commit fully and authentically to the all-around fantastic catch you are, there are some 7 key rules you’ll need to put into action.
How to Get a Man to Commit in 7 Steps
You know when the time is right. There’s that unshakable understanding that your relationship needs to build a real foundation of loyalty. Let’s look at the tools to take your man from a Tentative Ted to a Devoted Daniel.
1) Make Sure the Relationship Is Commitment-Worthy
First and foremost, take care of your own emotional well-being before getting too caught up in figuring out how to make him commit. Put some effort into scrutinizing your man and the relationship you share from a less attached perspective. Try to see the truth of the matter as it is, rather than as an enamored girlfriend. Ask yourself if he is truly worth seeking something more serious.
Assuming he’s not the classic “player” type, and you’re not dealing with sexual infidelity, it’s entirely possible that he has a chronic case of emotional unavailability. At this stage in his life, he isn’t capable of committing in the authentic, all-encompassing way you desire because he hasn’t learned how to communicate his emotions, a la Sex and the City’s Mr. Big.
Boys are taught from a young age to “man up” rather than outwardly express distress, insecurity, vulnerability, or any other emotions of “weakness”. Unfortunately, it often takes men a lot of unlearning to tap into their emotional intelligence once again.
Remember that the only person who can peel your guy’s heart open and reveal the capacity for true commitment is himself. Even if he’s your perfect match in every other way, it’s not worth the repeated disappointments and second-guesses you’ll endure if you try to stick it out with an emotionally-stunted version of him.
Make certain you’re in a truly healthy relationship with emotional intimacy before engaging Mission Commitment.
2) Stay Relaxed
Never get too uptight about controlling the direction of your relationship. If he feels you’re steering him like a commandeered ship, he’s likely to yank back the wheel.
Most men need to feel largely independent, even in a relationship. Demanding tangible or intangible action or doling out ultimatums will not only make you a less desirable person to commit to – it just may drive him away for good.
Rather than chasing him, make him chase you for the commitment you so desire. The next 5 steps will show you how.
3) Have a Blast Together
Unless you were a cheerleader in high school, no grown woman is bubbly and fun all the time, or even most of it. But the good news is, you don’t have to be! Us men quickly fall for women who are laid-back, lively, and make them feel comfortable.
I’m sure you also know how satisfying it is to be in the company of someone you feel natural ease with.
In the same way, a man will determine if he wants to commit to you based on how you make him feel. It’s an intuitive, emotional decision, even if he isn’t aware of it or won’t admit to it.
But be careful! Having natural, easy fun shouldn’t be equated with laziness. There is certain effort involved in having a great time – being attentive to physical cues, maintaining interesting and honest conversation, playing up your uniqueness in the so he grasps how cool and respectable you are.
The aspect that doesn’t require your effort? Receiving the same VIP service from him in return.
4) Befriend His Friends
If you wanna be his lover, it’s crucial that you honor the wisdom of the Spice Girls: “you gotta get with [his] friends.” Once you hit it off with a guy’s family or friends, you become undoubtedly more integrated into his life.
The approval of his peeps means a lot to him, just as it probably does for you. If they truly like you, and better yet, if they praise him for establishing a relationship with you, your man is more likely to make some long-lasting commitments.
However, this piece of advice comes with a caveat – befriending his friends can turn sour if he feels threatened by your newfound relationships with the people close to him.
There’s an important distinction between being a guest appearance in your guy’s existing friendships and being a friend thief. Making plans with your boyfriend’s friends that don’t involve him constitutes friend hijacking, and he’s bound to feel mooched on and suspicious.
Charming his friends without stealing his exclusivity to them can charm his desire to commit to you.
5) Keep Your Options Open
If your fickle flame still hasn’t committed to you after you’ve shown him the cool, witty, tender, badass, sincere woman you are, you shouldn’t feel obligated to cut off other opportunities either. Not only does this keep your own romantic options open – it naturally creates a less dependent attitude in you, which will be impossible for your man not to notice.
When you do this, you may very well find that he’s started taking action to reel you back in. If he sees he no longer has the same commitment on your end, there’s suddenly an incentive for him to step up his commitment game.
Give some careful attention to what’s going on behind the scenes. Is his sudden passion a classic case of wanting what he can’t have, or has he actually taken lasting steps towards committing? You may just realize that the change of heart is temporary and you’ll have to go on your merry way.
6) Pursue Your Path
Whether or not you feel you’re committed to your guy, if he hasn’t reciprocated the sentiment, don’t compromise other lifestyle decisions to “better accommodate the relationship.”
There is so much more to our lives than our romantic relationships – friendships, family, career, travel, hobbies, and many other pursuits – that it would be foolish to neglect other outlets for personal development and happiness for a “what if” relationship.
Of course, better aligning your lifestyle with that of your partner is an essential step in forging a long-term exclusive relationship. But if your guy hasn’t stepped up to commit to you and only you, you’re attempt at coordinating your daily lives will be one-sided and frustrating for the both of you.
Keep pursuing your interests and maintain your social life. It will be more attractive to him – and healthier for you – than being with him all the time.
7) Be Warm & Open
As you keep your options open and pursue your own path, don’t use this as an excuse to be an ice queen. You’re still in a relationship after all, and no one wants a cold or distant partner. If you still want to get him to commit, it’s important to stay warm and open and to welcome the relationship conversation when he’s ready to have it.
The Talk about where you stand as a couple will go much smoother if you’ve already cultivated kindness and receptiveness when communicating with him about one another.
Being independent in your life does not equate to “playing hard to get”. He will respect you and even desire you more for being self-sufficient when out in the world, yet patient and collaborative with him.
Still feeling stuck in the same place despite putting in the work?
Let’s consider what may be happening on his end.
Why Won’t He Commit?
Some men are unaware that they’re commitment-averse, and you end up having to discover this for yourself. As you go about your hands-on research in how to make him commit, be vigilant in noticing the reasons he may be holding back from you.
1) He’s Clinging To “Independence”
It’s a common misconception in the “man's world” to associate commitment with a loss of freedom. (Whoever established “ball and chain” as an appropriate synonym for a significant other was definitely male).
Us men don’t want to feel controlled, and we sometimes fear that we’ll be giving up more than we gain by committing to a relationship. The quickest way to send your guy running in the other direction is to become needy or nagging. Plus, there’s a clear correlation between neediness and insecurity, so you can do yourself a great service by developing greater self-confidence.
Don’t get worked up about your man having a guys’ night out, as long as it’s harmless for you both. If he’s routinely secretive or defensive about his plans, however, his extreme attachment to his independence isn’t worth your suffering. Take a tip from Aretha and cut that link from your chain.
2) There’s Someone Else
The most universally dreaded reason of them all. If there is someone else your guy is interested in just as much as you, it makes sense that he’s having trouble committing.
This issue is so sensitive it can break even non-exclusive relationships, as people who had thought they could stay “open” find themselves deeply wounded when their partner does engage in emotional or physical intimacy with another. Be gentle with yourself, even if you’ve agreed to participate in such a relationship, and keep your options open as well.
If you realize your guy isn’t ready to commit to only you when you are to him, you owe it to yourself to reevaluate and have a candid discussion about what you want. If it is the right relationship, it will fall into place.
3) He’s Not Done Dating
Even if there is not a specific other woman, men often have the vague feeling that they’re just not done dating, that there are still more experiences to be had and women to meet before committing to one.
If this is the case, it’s an indication that he still needs time to roam before he’s ready to date only you. It’s a good idea to end the relationship or start taking it less seriously since he’s not that serious either.
Issues of timing can be the hardest to accept, but remember that a change in his readiness to commit can only come from a change in his own psychology. Recognizing this truth will serve you well.
Now you know the 7 steps you can use how to get a man to commit, as well as the 3 main reasons he could be avoiding something more serious.
The biggest lesson of all when it comes to getting the object of your affection to wholeheartedly commit to you is that there is no one “trick” to make him flip the switch.
Establishing commitment is all about bringing value to one another with your own quirks, energy, and ability to comprehend the intimate realities of the other person.
Have you had any special luck (or trouble) figuring out how to get a man to commit? Share your experience in the comments below!