Provide a safe space for a guy that does not commit to nurture your relationship.

Dating a Guy Who Can't Commit

by Elischia Fludd

To commit or not to commit: When that is the question from a guy that is on the fence with his relationship, the final answer might as well be that he cannot commit. A man that cannot commit is unstable in a relationship and can leave his girlfriend feeling frustrated, particularly if she is not aware that “Mr. Right” is just not that into her. Commitment does not have to be the end goal of the relationship, but if you are going to be with Mr. Non-commitment, be aware of dating etiquette.

1. Learn His Dating History

Sometimes all a woman needs to do is communicate. Ask questions about his last relationship: How did he part ways with his last girlfriend? Was there anything he would do differently? These questions can help you understand his perspective more. Explore the questions without talking; just listen. His dating history may help you understand what not to do since he is likely to tell you all the things he did not like in his other relationships.

2. Establish Mutual Terms

Frustration can easily creep into a relationship with a guy that does not commit, but setting mutual terms in the relationship is key. Express what you want out of the relationship and give him a chance to respond how he envisions the future. Ask for honesty, communication and respect. Ask about what kinds of deal breakers he has for his relationships and make yours known too. Establishing mutual terms of interaction will help set the relationship on a smoother course toward willful relationship territory, however deep or casual your relationship may become.

3. Provide a Safe Space for Him to Open Up

Dating a guy who cannot commit can be like playing dodge ball -- only, you are the ball. When trying to get a guy that is not into commitment to open up to you, try gentle coaxing and do not be afraid to be assertive. Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D, author of the book "Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction," suggests allowing room for disagreement and finding common ground. To disarm his emotional wall, use open-ended questions that he can answer without feeling like he is being interrogated, such as "What do you think about our relationship?" Reassure him that you will take his ideas about the relationship into account; responding positively may further help to open him up.

4. Stick to the Plan

Once you come up with mutual terms and have a safe space for him to open up, it is important that the terms you two created are respected. Do regular check-ins with each other to see if he still feels comfortable with the relationship. Relationships can quickly go awry when one partner decides to switch the terms of the relationship and expects the other person to adhere to them without prior discussion. Remain honest with yourself and him. In time, the commitment question may be less of an issue.

About the Author

Elischia Fludd has been a writer focusing on community development, gender relations and peace building since 2012. She is a Huffington Post blogger and has work also featured in "GenderLinks" and "The New York Times." Fludd holds a B.A. in forensic psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is pursuing an M.S. in management at New England College.

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