Has feelings for me, but doesn't want to commit

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    So I’ve been dating this guy for about 8 months now. He treats me like a girlfriend and his actions are consistent with someone who does indeed have feelings for me. He contacts me almost every day and goes out on dates with me multiple times a week, is always affectionate with me regardless of where we are, is always motivating me/lifting my spirits when I’m down, reminds me of how much he cares about me and how “terrific” I am, takes me around his friends, gets all paranoid when I get text messages from male friends or when I don’t text him immediately, etc… Heck, he even took me to his hometown for the sake of showing me all the places he grew up in.

    The problem is that he refuses to commit to a serious relationship and said that he considers me a “friend” at this point—not a girlfriend. Some of the reasons he gave were that it would require him to announce to the world that I am his girlfriend and that he would be responsible for my feelings. I’m guessing that he is worried about how certain friends would react given that we both have mutual friends, but I’m not sure what the case may be.

    What do you think? Could it be fear of commitment/losing freedom or perhaps uncertainty of wanting to get into a relationship with me?

    How can you motivate someone to commit?


    I forgot to mention that when I first met him he said that he was looking for a girlfriend and that if our relationship turns into something serious, some of our mutual friends are going to find out about it anyways. When we had this conversation about where our relationship was headed, he said that he sees me as someone he will be around with for a very long time. I even stopped talking to him for weeks and he kept texting me until I gave in and reached out to him eventually.

    Yet, he has not told me that he has feelings for me even though he does what I just described.


    Hi Lynne,

    Yes, it could be a fear of commitment and losing his freedom among a few other reasons that I will elaborate on.

    I don’t think that it is so much about uncertainty in wanting to get into a relationship with you.

    After all, it has been 8 months since you have been “dating” this guy. That is more than enough time to determine whether he wants to be in a serious relationship with you or not.

    He has told you that he considers you to be a friend. It is likely that he just doesn’t feel that he has to see you as anything other than that.

    In other words, he has become so content with you, getting just about every benefit that a boyfriend would get from a girlfriend, that he doesn’t feel the need to take things a step further by committing.

    If he were to commit, he would not only lose his freedom but as he told you, he would also be responsible for your feelings.

    He doesn’t want that kind of responsibility.

    When he first met you, he may have told you that he was looking for a girlfriend but he may have only told you that so that you would take him seriously and give him a chance.

    This is perhaps why he was so persistent in texting you for those weeks that you stopped talking to him.

    However, now, he has all the benefits of having you as a girlfriend without needing to make it “official.”

    Motivating someone like this to commit is tricky.

    You may get the best results if you stopped giving him all the privileges that come with having a real girlfriend and thereby make him feel like there are real stakes in your relationship.


    Thank you for your response. I was just wondering, would ignoring him and refusing to hang out with him anymore likely motivate a commitment-phobic like him to commit?

    I wished him the best of luck and started ignoring him after he said that he didn’t want to commit. Yet, he kept texting me even though I didn’t answer. I was foolish enough to give in after several weeks and asked him to meet up. He was more affectionate than ever before and told me how much he missed me—something he had never said.

    Lots of people tell me that if he’s not willing to commit or admit that he has feelings for me, that it means that he truly doesn’t care about me.

    Do you think this is the case for me? or Does it sound like he truly is in love, but is being held back by this fear of commitment?


    Hi Lynne,

    Ignoring him and refusing to hang out with him anymore may make a commitment-phobic like him commit as long as you don’t go overboard with it. In essence, you can still hang out and talk but you avoid making yourself so available every time he wants to hang out or talk.

    This creates scarcity and that will make him thirsty or hungry for more, thereby making him more emotionally invested in you without even realizing it.

    This would also allow you to begin to exercise a degree of ownership and control over this situation. If you are able to be consistent with this king of behavior, he may ultimately give in and commit because you have now created a stronger desire within him to be with you.

    I think that there is a degree of truth in what people are telling you about him not caring for you due to his unwillingness to commit or admit that he has feelings for you.

    However, a lot of this may also have to do with, yes, his fear of commitment and that may be further exacerbated by his own internal insecurities about what it would mean for him to commit.

    He may be fearful of failure to the point where he figures that it would be safer to avoid commitment altogether.

    It doesn’t sound like he truly is in love.

    Again, 8 months is a long time to avoid making things official. If he was truly in love, he would have done everything in his power by now to ensure that he keeps you by making his relationship with you official.


    If he’s not in love, does it sound like he at least has feelings for me based on what I just described?


    Also, could he fall in love at this point in time?

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