By Mirabelle Summers
From of Why Men Pull Away
Learn exactly what pushes men to leave…and how to NEVER feel abandoned or rejected
What makes a man commit? 4 Things a Man HAS to Have
Why are some men ready to commit immediately … while others remain “playboy bachelors” forever?
How can you tell if the man you’re with is ever going to commit?
Is there any way to “make” a man commit?
Commitment is a HUGE question that touches every one of us in some way. So today I’m going to share the four things that every man needs before he can (or will) commit to you.
There is an acknowledged difference between being “in love” and actually LOVING somebody.
Everybody is capable of “falling in love” with someone – experiencing that heady combination of feel-good chemicals and adrenaline that occurs when we meet someone and develop an emotional connection with them. They make us feel good; therefore, we “fall in love” with them.
Actually LOVING somebody, as opposed to falling in love with them, implies a deeper and more mature emotional connection. When you truly love somebody, you are capable of altruism: you can put their needs before yours.
You are committed to their wellbeing and happiness. The focal point of the relationship becomes less centered around YOU, and how the other person makes YOU feel. Instead, you are more concerned with making your partner feel good.
All men are capable at all times of “falling in love” with somebody. Falling in love requires only a small emotional commitment: it’s easy to enjoy a person’s company and enjoy the way they make you feel about yourself.
When it comes to being IN LOVE with someone, things are different. Although it’s easy to “fall in love”, not all men are capable at all times of being IN LOVE with somebody.
There are certain requirements that most men need to be fulfilled before they’re able, or willing, to commit to a woman.
Today, I’m going to tell you what the top 4 commitment-requirements are: the 4 things that every man NEEDS before he can (or will) commit to you.
1. The Time is Right
For the average woman, loving someone is all about WHO she loves. She meets Mr. Right, and falls – and stays – in love with him.
Not so for men. For a man to commit to a woman, it’s more about WHEN it happens than WHO it happens with. As Thomas David Kehoe, author of the vastly enlightening “Hearts and Minds: How Our Brains are Hardwired for Relationships”, tell us, men look at their lives in a very chronological way.
When he feels that the time is right, he will choose to commit to whoever he is with at that time.
For most men, it’s less about WHO it is that WHEN it is.
Commitment, to a man, is mapped out in terms of “life chunks”: the times of his life when commitment is necessary, and times when it is not.
Here’s an example of how these “life chunks” might look:
– Chunk 1. Babyhood and childhood. Totally reliant on family; a commitment not an issue, since he is utterly dependent on others for basic survival.
– Chunk 2. Early adulthood: independence, sexual and emotional freedom. Experiments with familial tie-breaking; leaves home for college and/or for travel. Is able to prioritize his own needs and wants for the first time in his life. Complete freedom with no commitment or obligations to anybody.
– Chunk 3. Professional life begins. Obliged to commit to work and professional success. Little freedom for personal experimentation or growth, other than in a very controlled and restricted environment.
– Chunk 4. Marriage. Extreme commitment; obliged to stay in “safe” job in order to provide for wife and children.
– Chunk 5. Retirement. Severely limited personal freedom, due to the physical limitations imposed by age, and lack of funds available with which to compensate for this.
One thing is clear from this chronological sequence: early adulthood is the “fun” time of life for a man. It’s his opportunity to be selfish, do exactly what he wants to do, and heed nobody’s word or opinion other than his own.
That’s not to say that the other times of his life are not equally rewarding, in different ways; rather, that it is necessary for a man to feel that he’s had enough of “no commitment” before he’s ready, whole-heartedly, to embrace a committed relationship and the responsibilities it entails.
Interestingly, there are no actual time limits imposed on a man’s “life chunks” sequence, either. His progression from one stage to the next doesn’t depend on physical age or time; it’s more about personal maturation.
For some, the “early adulthood” stage might start at 18 and end at 22, or it might stretch through to his 30s or 40s – or even beyond. It all depends on his achievements in that period, and whether he feels that he’s fulfilled his goals.
Generally, men are not ready to move on to the next stage of life until they have fulfilled their personal goals from the previous one.
A man’s progression to the next stage of life is entirely dependent on whether or not he feels that he’s “been there and done that”.
This might mean traveling the world, meeting and dating all the women he possibly can, or starting his own business; whatever.
It’s about stretching his wings and being free to play all he likes: with nobody dependent on him, he’s able to cater to his OWN desires and independent needs, rather than feeling the constrictions of obligation or commitment to anybody else.
Kehoe tells us that the Early Adulthood phase is a very bad time to attempt to get a man to commit to you. If he’s not ready to settle down, then he won’t.
You may very well be “the one” for him in every way – but, if he’s not ready to say goodbye to the last vestiges of bachelor-hood, then all the emotional connection in the world won’t convince him otherwise.
If your own Mr. Right is still enjoying his “early adulthood” stage (remembering that it’s not AGE that determines this, but whether or not he feels that he’s done enough world-conquering), then you will either need to: – move on and find somebody who’s had their share of wing-stretching; or – convince your man that commitment to you will not restrict his personal freedom or independence.
REQUIREMENT #1: He needs to be READY to commit. Remember, it’s about WHEN, not WHO.
2. You Do Not Represent Limitation
No matter what stage of life a man is at, he is still an individual with his own needs and desires.
Just because he’s grown past his “early adulthood” stage doesn’t mean that he won’t want freedom and the right to assert his own will. He needs to know that you aren’t going to become a ball and chain.
You must represent an ASSET to his life, not a drain or a restriction.
It’s true that men are more attracted to feisty women who have their own opinions and ideas on the world and life at large. But it’s still necessary to strike the right balance between being an independent woman, and just being plain difficult.
For example, when confronted with a partner who wants to, say, take 4 weeks to go on a cross-country motorbike tour of five states, a smart-feisty woman would:
– express her admiration for his sense of adventure
– tell him that she’ll miss him, and
– send him on his way with a smile and a hug.
Then, when he returns, she might suggest a holiday or activity that SHE would enjoy, that the two of them can do together. This strengthens their bond in two ways:
1. It shows him that she cares about his happiness, and is, therefore, a good candidate for long-term commitment.
2. Enjoying bonding time together upon his return will highlight the good times they have together: it will underline the ways in which his relationship makes him happy, as opposed to the ways that solitary “independent time” makes him happy.
To get a man to want to commit to you, you need to make it obvious how much better you will make his life. It needs to be clear to him that having you around is much, MUCH better than the alternative.
This is where compromise and common sense come in. Statistics show us that the women in successful, committed relationships have nailed the art of compromise to a T: they have their own idealistic qualities for the “perfect man”, but they don’t let this quest for ephemeral perfection get in the way of a good relationship.
This means that you need to be a flexible and understanding girlfriend. You need to be prepared to put his welfare first sometimes, just as you expect him to do the same for you.
Save any demands for when you REALLY need to make them – and the rest of the time, allow him his independence with good grace.
REQUIREMENT #2: Having a woman who enjoys and admires his lust for life, not condemns him for it.
3. You’re Both on the Same Wavelength
Having common goals is an extremely important component of lasting relationships.
A certain amount of difference is to be expected in these goals, but only up to a certain point. The same “base goal” must be approximately the same for the both of you, otherwise, trouble is likely brewing.
Here’s an example of what I mean: let’s say he wants to travel to Peru at some point in the next 5 years, while you’ve got your heart set on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Very likely, the two of you will be able to come to some sort of arrangement here without the relationship being damaged at all. Why? Because the same “base goal” is a priority for each of you.
The bottom line is, you both want to travel.
Now let’s look at a different situation. Let’s say he wants to travel to Peru sometime in the next 5 years, whereas your life is more focused on finishing off your doctorate in linguistics.
Or climbing the career ladder. Or settling down and starting a family. In a situation like this, there is very little scope for mutual satisfaction: your “base goals” are completely different.
In the above example, while it might be possible for you to contrive a situation where you both stay together – say through compromise or goal adjustment – such a compromise or adjustment would likely require one person to either postpone or cancel their individual agenda.
That person would then be left feeling deprived, and potentially resentful.
Discussing your goals with your partner is an important aspect of mapping out your expectations for the future.
If you want to get a sense of how easy it will be for him to commit and STAY committed, to your relationship, have a talk about what you’d both like to achieve in the foreseeable future.
Specifics aren’t necessarily required at this point (“I want to own a home in this particular neighborhood in five years, and I want to have two kids and a collie-dog by the time I’m 33”).
Vagueness is perfectly acceptable (“Umm, I don’t know… I’ve always wanted to see the ashrams in Mysore, India, I suppose”).
All you’re aiming to do here is get a sense of whether or not your desires coincide in any way – and, if they don’t, how much scope for flexibility there is in each of your goals.
REQUIREMENT #3: His aims and desires must be at least basically the same as yours.
4. He Accepts Your Negative Traits, Not Just Your Positive Ones
Once the initial buzzy flush of “falling in love” has worn off, the two of you will begin to get a sense of each other’s positive and negative traits in a more realistic light.
This is the time when most couples either accept each other’s imperfections and stay together for the long haul or part ways and look for someone more suited to their needs.
A big part of this boils down to how ready he is for commitment (see commitment-requirement 1). We all know, on an intellectual level, that there’s no such thing as a “perfect partner”: we all have our off days and irritating idiosyncrasies.
But it takes experience and a certain degree of emotional maturity to understand this fact on the visceral, instinctive level that’s generally required to actually put it into practice.
In other words, men can all understand the concept that the “perfect partner” literally does not exist; and yet they’re not all ready to stop searching for this perfect person.
They need life-experience before they can adjust to the best that reality has to offer them, without feeling like they’re “settling”.
A man who’s still searching for Miss Perfect is not ready for commitment yet – to anybody. It will take some time for him to realize, on that gut level, that there’s no “perfect relationship” or “perfect woman” out there.
It’s not until he’s reached that gut-level understanding that he’ll be able to put aside a niggling sense that there’s a better option for him out there somewhere and become truly capable of lasting commitment.
REQUIREMENT #4: He knows that you – like everyone else – have flaws, but loves you anyway.
I hope you’ve enjoyed and gained great value out of today’s Blog Update, I’m keen to hear your comments and suggestions.
Until next time!
P.S. If you want to know more about how commitment works for men, and why men lose interest in some women, while they fall in love forever with others, then watch this video here: