I have had my share of relationships, the major proportion of which have ended for the simple reason that the men involved have been unable to commit to me and our relationship. Sure, at first, it was all roses and unicorns, and our relationship appeared alight with magic, but each time I broke up with one of them, I realised that the signs were always there. Eventually, it usually came down to one thing. I wanted a relationship not unlike that of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s. They, at the time, perhaps wanted a life of debauchery worthy of Colin Farrell. Either way, I have now developed what I like to call the ‘commitment phobe radar’. Here are the 9 signs that my radar instantly picks up on.
1. Has a long list of exes
You may think at the time that this does not signify, but I believe a George Clooney act speaks for itself. Oh, sure, Amal is terrific, but let us not forget those 21 years of being virtually emotionally crippled. So, if he/she has got a long list of former partners, then that should send off warning bells in your brain. Do you really want to be a part of a score card where you gradually become less interesting to them after they have ‘gotten’ you? That is usually how it proceeds. You two date, over time your good and bad aspects come to light (as it should in any normal relationship), they strive for perfection in all their partners and are thus endlessly finding faults with you, and eventually call it quits, and are once again on the lookout for the next person to fulfill that criteria.
2. Still half in love with the one that got away
Does your partner have that one ex that ‘got away’? Whether it is Judy Garland singing the vastly popular ‘The Man That Got Away’ or Matt Dillon never moving past Diaz, this phenomenon is more common than you would think. Several people subconsciously or consciously build up the image of the one ex that got away, often believing them to be perfect, and never really moving past that relationship. Every partner that comes after is compared to that one ex and somehow they never measure up. Steer clear of these people. Whether it was a recent break up or one long-ago, they can never be in a healthy relationship until they haven’t moved on from their previous one.
3. Hardly ever gets back to you
This has been by far the most exasperating habit I have had to endure in relationships. It may start out as wonderfully romantic, but gradually may begin to fizzle out, and they may do the vanishing act where they don’t call you for five days straight. It took me a little while, but I figured that this strategic retreat has less to do with me, and more to do with their own issues. It is reasonably understandable if this happens a few times, because that can be charted up to forgetfulness or being otherwise occupied. But anyone who makes a habit of not calling you back or responding to your messages evidently does not have you on their mind.
4. Doesn’t initiate plans to meet
Do you often get the distinct feeling that your partner doesn’t take the initiative to make plans any longer? Is it you who is usually proposing you two go out someplace? And each time you confront them about your feelings, they may come up with a story that is second to none. You may even believe them the first few times, but don’t fool yourself. You are not a priority in their lives, because if you were, then they would be making more of an effort to keep you in their lives.
5. Cares only for sex
So, in the beginning they are incredibly charming and seductive, and you feel like this one may just be it. They call you, message you when you least expect it, say pretty things to you and you feel like you may have found the equal of Salma Hayek, gorgeous as well as witty, but not everyone does an Adriana Lima. After some time has lapsed, you may get the distinct impression that all you’re getting out of the relationship is sex. And sure, the sex may seem great at first, but that’s all it is. Great sex. Of course they’re charming about it; they have spent a lifetime wheedling their way into people’s beds. But, if you are looking for anything more than great sex, you may just have to call them out for this one, no matter how unpleasant be the task.
6. Doesn’t introduce you to friends or family
When it has been a while to your relationship, it is only natural to expect to be introduced to your partner’s family or friends. Some people are more discrete than others, whereas some need more time to be certain of their feelings. It is normal to want to deliberate and take your time before doing the ‘big introduction’, but when despite enough time, you are at the receiving end of a diverse collection of excuses, know that irrespective of the logic and plausibility of each of their excuses, it is much more than that. It is imperative that you understand that this has nothing to do with you, and more to do with their own reluctance to commit to a relationship.
I recall rather vividly trying to have ‘the talk’ with my ex, where I would prod him into discussing our future together. But regardless of how many times I tried to initiate this conversation, I was always left feeling bereft. They made for distressing days, but I understood later that his reluctance to discuss our prospects was due to the fact that he never considered it a part of his own future. If your partner refuses to discuss the future of your relationship, then there is a high likelihood that there isn’t one. He/she does not believe you a part of their equation.
8. They don’t tell you they love you
This applies to most individuals unwilling to commit to relationships. They have a hard time expressing their feelings. Often times, people just aren’t sure of their feelings for the other person and need more time to be certain. This is normal. Saying it too early on in the relationship can often be a sign of a lack of depth to the feeling. Other times, people are unwilling to say it first and leave themselves vulnerable. It is not easy to put yourself out there knowing that there is the possibility that the feeling may not be mutual. This is normal too. But when they refuse to return the feeling, ever, then know that this runs much deeper than just plain ol’ vulnerability. Save yourself and move on.
9. Says that he/she doesn’t want a relationship
So, your partner says conflicting things like “I like you. I’d like to continue seeing you. But I don’t want a relationship/am not looking to get serious.” In such scenarios, it is critical to read between the lines, and not miss these valuable clues. If they say they are not looking for anything substantial, and your continued efforts are fruitless, then back away. They evidently do not wish a lasting connection, and are not ready to commit yet.