7 excuses men give in relationships when they’re afraid of commitment

In my observations and personal experiences with relationships, I’ve noticed a recurring theme: men often give excuses when they’re afraid of commitment.

Firstly, allow me to clarify that this does not imply all men, or that only men, display fear of commitment. It happens across genders and orientations.

However, in this piece, I’ll be focusing on common excuses men give.

Often, these excuses are presented as casual asides or humorous quips, a way of deflecting the seriousness of the issue at hand.

Other times, they are veiled behind layers of complexity that make it hard to decipher the true intent.

But regardless of the presentation, the central theme remains the same: a fear of commitment.

This fear surfaces during conversations with partners, where casual remarks hint at a deeper reluctance to commit.

It comes from friends who notice a pattern in their buddy’s relationships but can’t quite put a finger on the problem.

And it often leaves mothers wondering if their son will ever settle down.

A few questions arise from this observation:

Why is there such a fear of commitment among some men?

Do these excuses reflect a deep-seated societal issue or personal insecurities?

Should we be more understanding and patient with these fears or confront them head-on?

By the end of this article, I hope to shed some light on these pressing questions—providing insight into the psychology behind these common excuses and offering strategies to address them.

1) “I’m not ready”

Consider your body. It grows and changes without your conscious input. It ages, it heals, it adapts—all by itself.

Similarly, emotional readiness isn’t always something you can control or predict. Growth happens when we face challenges and step out of our comfort zones.

The excuse, “I’m not ready,” often stems from the illusion of control.

Many believe they can dictate when and how they will be ready for commitment, but the truth is much more complex.

Readiness isn’t something that magically happens one day—it’s a process that occurs over time, often without us even noticing.

It’s crucial to let go of this illusion of control.

If a man can stop clinging to the idea of being “ready” and instead focus on growing and learning within the relationship, he may find that readiness comes naturally.

In other words, you don’t need to be fully prepared to commit—you just need to be willing to embark on the journey. And sometimes, that’s the most challenging part.

2) “I’m not the marrying type”

Each person is unique, and we all have different aspirations, dreams, and views on life.

So, it’s logical to assume that not everyone is cut out for marriage or long-term commitment.

But is this really the case?

To understand this better, let’s consider an analogy: swimming.

Some people are naturally drawn to water and take to swimming like fish. Others might be hesitant, clinging to the pool edges, afraid of what lies in the deep end.

Does this mean they’re simply ‘not the swimming type’?

In reality, people who initially fear swimming can often become competent swimmers with practice and patience.

It’s not about being a ‘type’; it’s about facing fears, learning new skills, and adapting.

Similarly, saying “I’m not the marrying type” gives too much power to preconceived notions of self. It relinquishes the innate human capacity for growth and change.

The truth is, we are all capable of commitment and deep connection—it may just require moving out of our comfort zones.

It’s essential to observe these self-limiting beliefs without judgment, just as one would in meditation.

Watch them float by like clouds in the sky.

Don’t cling to them or try to push them away; simply let them be.

Facing fears of commitment doesn’t mean you need to rush down the aisle.

It means acknowledging these fears, understanding them better, and gradually dismantling them.

3) “I don’t want to lose my freedom”

Being in a committed relationship does not equate to a loss of freedom.

It’s a different kind of freedom—the freedom to choose one person, the freedom to build a life together, and the freedom to grow in ways you may never experience alone.

Just as your heart beats without conscious thought, your freedom remains intact without your control.

It’s inherent and unchanging, even when your circumstances change.

Shifting your perspective from seeing commitment as a loss of freedom to seeing it as a different expression of freedom can transform this fear.

You don’t need to clutch onto your freedom—it’ll always be there, just like your beating heart.

Remember, choosing to commit is an exercise of freedom itself—not a loss of it.

4) “I’ve been hurt before”

dating a master manipulator 7 excuses men give in relationships when they're afraid of commitment

It’s a protective mechanism, an instinctive response to past wounds.

Just like our bodies instinctively pull away from a hot stove to avoid getting burned, our hearts can also learn to avoid situations that have caused us pain.

But herein lies the paradox.

By avoiding commitment out of fear of getting hurt, men may inadvertently deny themselves the very experiences that can heal them.

It’s important to acknowledge past hurts without letting them dictate your future actions.

Just as your body knows how to heal a physical wound, your heart is capable of healing emotional ones—it just needs time and care.

The path to healing often lies in the very thing we’re afraid of.

Opening up to commitment may just be the salve your heart needs to heal from past wounds.

After all, every relationship is a new journey, a fresh start—it’s unfair to let past hurts dictate its course.

5) “I don’t want to ruin our friendship”

This excuse is one that I myself have used in the past.

There was a time in my life when I found myself drawn to a close friend. We had been friends for years, shared countless memories, and knew each other inside out.

But as my feelings began to shift from platonic to romantic, I found myself terrified of what commitment could do to our friendship.

“I don’t want to ruin our friendship,” I told him, and myself.

It felt like a valid concern.

After all, if the romantic relationship didn’t work out, couldn’t it lead to an irreparable rift in our friendship?

But as I grappled with this fear, I realized something crucial.

This excuse was a shield—a way for me to avoid the vulnerability that comes with commitment.

In truth, every worthwhile experience in life comes with a risk.

Friendships can turn sour, jobs can become redundant, and dreams can go unrealized.

But does that mean we should stop making friends, stop working or stop dreaming? Of course not.

The potential of ‘ruining the friendship’ was just a smokescreen for my fear of vulnerability and commitment.

Once I acknowledged this, I was able to face my fears and take the leap.

And guess what? Our relationship did change—we became closer than ever before. 

The lesson here is that fear should not hold us back from exploring deeper connections. 

6) “I don’t want to change”

This excuse is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding about relationships.

It suggests that commitment involves a loss of individuality or a need for drastic personal change.

Committing to someone doesn’t require you to change who you are at your core.

Instead, it asks for growth, understanding, and compromise—elements that are pivotal in any form of human interaction.

So, the fear of change shouldn’t be an obstacle to commitment.

The right relationship won’t ask you to become someone else—it will celebrate you for who you are while encouraging you to grow and evolve.

Change is not about losing yourself; it’s about discovering more of who you are.

7) “I’m waiting for the perfect person”

This excuse seems reasonable on the surface—who wouldn’t want to wait for the perfect partner?

But digging deeper, it reveals a skewed perspective on relationships and commitment.

In reality, there is no ‘perfect’ person.

Everyone has flaws and quirks—that’s what makes us human.

Waiting for perfection is like waiting for a mirage to become water—it’s simply not going to happen.

Moreover, this chase for perfection often masks a fear of vulnerability.

It’s easier to stay in the safe zone of waiting rather than opening up to someone who might not meet every single criterion on an imaginary checklist.

But here’s the catch:

The beauty of commitment lies in finding perfection in imperfection.

It’s about seeing a person for who they really are—flaws and all—and choosing to love them.

It’s about growing together, learning from each other, and building a bond that goes beyond superficial criteria.

So, if you find yourself waiting for the ‘perfect’ partner, maybe it’s time to reassess what perfection really means.

Perhaps it lies not in ticking all the boxes but in connecting with someone on a deep, authentic level—even if it means embracing a few imperfections along the way.

Picture of Dania Aziz

Dania Aziz

A spirited lifestyle and love advocate, who loves to explore the two to help herself and others discover what they are really searching for.

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