It's a question almost all of us have faced at one time or another.
Can he commit, or am I wasting my time?
It's a question that's so very important, because being able to recognize this one – whether he's even capable of being able to make a real, long term commitment to a real relationship – is the difference between you feeling empowered and you feeling absolutely heartbroken.
See, we’ve been told from almost the time we first came into this world that we could make someone love us if we just did everything they wanted us to.
While this may have first applied to our relationship with our parents or some other close care giver when we were very young, this programming continues throughout all of our relationships in our lives.
Once we're adults, it affects our romantic relationships as well.
It didn’t help that literally every fairytale, movie, advertisement, etc. we saw throughout our childhood and young adulthood all focused on the same thing – if you’re a worthy woman, you’re going to be able to change a man and make him ready (and even want) to commit to you!
We love the feeling of that message even if we don’t realize we do. It makes us feel powerful, it makes us feel special, it makes us feel worthy. It gives us a purpose in life!
Except that’s not how love really works. And it’s especially not how commitment really works.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who you want to make a commitment to you, you can be the most amazing woman in the world, but if he’s not ready to make that commitment, the most you’re going to get out of him is a temporary commitment that doesn’t last.
Because he was never ready in the first place.
That’s just too important a fact to miss. It’s like heavy handed discipline that only works in the short term because it makes someone afraid of you so they do what you want them to do. Until, of course, they realize it wasn’t their choice to begin with, and then they end up resenting you because you “made” them do something they didn't want or weren’t ready to do.
Whether it’s giving someone an ultimatum, manipulating them by playing on their weaknesses, or whatever other tactic you’ve been talked into trying, it won’t work unless he's actually ready!
So, how do you recognize if he’s ready? Or, maybe even more importantly, how can you tell if he isn’t?
We’ve all been in those relationships where we meet someone new who tells us he's looking for a serious relationship, only to discover three or four months down the road (when we’re head over heels) that he suddenly has cold feet.
What happened there?
Well, that’s the guy who wasn’t ready even though he thought he was. He’s got a false sense of readiness, a sense of himself that puts everything on you, believing that it’s all about finding the perfect woman and then he’s going to magically be ready.
But in reality, it doesn’t work that way.
He has to first have his head around what he wants, what he’s looking for, why he wants to make that commitment. If he isn't clear on his reasons, he's not clear about anything at all.
I had someone write to me the other day complaining that all men want is sex. That it just boils down to sex.
Well, that’s only half the story.
Yes, men need to be attracted to you, and yes, they want sex (which is a good thing), but the kind of man you want – and let me be clear that he’s the only kind you want – is someone who knows that he wants companionship and passion and family and love and emotional intimacy and trust and passion – and yes, sex.
Don’t confuse a player or a shallow, surface guy with a real guy.
A real guy who’s in touch with himself has done some work on himself, and knows it’s not just about sex.
If that’s all he’s focused on, then guess what? You have a really easy indicator that this isn’t a guy who’s ready for a commitment, and you don’t have to figure it out any more than that.
If you’re not having conversations about real stuff that matters, if he isn’t showing you his brain as much as his other parts, if you’re not able to share with him the things that matter to you and have him share those things with you, honestly, you’ve got half a man in there.
And unless you’re only looking for a warm body to hold against yours, he’s not going to be able to give you what you want, regardless of how many words he says and promises he makes.
You need someone real who shows up as real because he knows what he wants and hasn’t convinced himself it’s all about you.
It’s about him, too!
Are you beginning to see how this part – his readiness, his having done his own work, his getting clear around what it means to be ready – matters?
When you settle for someone like this, you teach him that you don’t need anything more than surface, that you’re fine with surface if it means a commitment. And when you settle for that, you get treated like someone who’s fine without anything deeper, that you don’t need anything more than that.
Remember how I’m always telling you that if you only wanted a man to commit to you so you’re not alone, you could easily find that man? That you could have any guy if that’s all you want?
Well, here’s the reason why this is true. It doesn’t take much to find a guy like this. Why? Because most of us have been lowering the bar and forgetting we have every right to hold up a standard for him to live up to.
Before giving our hearts away. Before giving our bodies away. Before selling our souls to be with someone who has no clue how to be anything except who he’s always been and doesn’t have to be bigger than that to have access to someone like you!
Don’t be that woman anymore. Don’t accept what you’ve been accepting. Don’t settle for what you’ve been told by people who’ve never seen you who’ve said you have to settle.
Don’t accept any of that!
You choose. You may not have a say in whether he’s ready to commit to you or not, but you absolutely have a say in whether you continue to stay with someone who tells you either with his words or his actions (or both), that there’s no committing from him anytime soon!
Got something to add to this conversation? Been here before? Tell us all about it in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!