To borrow the words of Matthew McConaughey, "all right, all right, all right," not all men are liars. That said, there are definitely guys out there who will make excuses about why he won't commit to you rather than serving you the truth straight up like a whiskey neat (which is also what I imagine MM sips after a long drive in his Lincoln).
TBH, I used to indulge in "everybody is a f*ckboy" paranoia. It felt like every guy I dated wound up using the same line: "I'm not ready for a relationship." Egregiously, they would use it before I ever said the word "relationship." Like, calm your buns, dude. Still. no matter how long I played it "cool," it seemed like there was some actual phobia coursing through millennial men. Or, maybe I just wasn't meeting the right people. (Why do I find neuroses so adorable?)
So how do you know if the guy you are seeing is just excusing himself politely, or if he actually needs a little more time to come around? Elite Daily spoke to psychologist Dr. Gregory Kushnick — and a few men on Reddit – about three excuses the guy who's not ready to commit will tell you.
1. He's Afraid Of Commitment
OK, this isn't always a lie per se, but it is an excuse. My therapist has told me that I have a fear of intimacy, and I still don't use this exact line as a way to wiggle out of a relationship talk. If the right person came along, I would probably buck up and commit.
"A man might say that he's still not over his ex or he is simply afraid of commitment," says Dr. Kushnick. "While there might be truth to these excuses, they often mask what is really going on behind the scenes."
So basically, yes, this rampant "fear of commitment" amongst men can be code for "I'm still thinking about my ex" or "I'm just not that into you beyond the regular boning you offer me." But it can also just be real talk. A Reddit user confirms that he is just straightforward when he doesn't want to commit:
If he's upfront with you and you still stick around, that's on you. So I guess the lesson here is to be a grown up and ask your man if he's up for something more serious. If he says no, you can be like, cool, noted, and then move the F on.
2. He Has A Major Life Event Distracting Him
Let's be real for a second. Sometimes, this is a very legitimate excuse. My mom passed away in May, and being vulnerable in any way feels somewhat insurmountable right now. Hopefully, your guy isn't lying to you about a death, because that's what we would call a socio, but he could be exaggerating the importance of heading to business school or losing his job to make breaking up more convenient.
After all, it's hard to tell someone you just don't want to be with them because of their personality. One guy on Reddit apparently has been milking his parents' divorce:
I also have friends who struggle to date because of their parents' divorce.
Do you believe that the guy you are dating really just needs a concrete amount of time to move on from a crazy life circumstance? Then stick around for a bit. It all comes down to whether you think this person is going to change their mind or not. As always, trust that gut.
3. It's Bad Timing For Him
Again, this can be a total lie from the type of guy who just wants to get laid for as long as possible without meeting your parents. Still, timing is an excuse that is sometimes legitimate... ish. (I wish it were black and white, but it really depends.)
"Timing is hugely important with regard to commitment because some men are in 'options mode' after a long relationship ends," explains Dr. Kushnick. "Timing is just as important as the strength of the attraction and the overall connection."
So if you meet a guy you meet who is fresh out of a three-year relationship, he might actually like you, but because he's still new to being single and also moving away soon, it's actually terrible timing for him. He wouldn't be ready to commit if you were Charlize Theron. There's societal pressure on men to take some time to be sex fiends after a monogamous relationship.
"In terms of emotional development in modern urban dating culture, you don't become a 'true man' until you've overcome the developmental milestone of thinking you should stay unattached because of all the options available," explains Dr. Kushnick.
It's also possible your guy just doesn't want to be in a new relationship so soon after a break up — that's never a good look. But a general "it's bad timing for me" is an excuse; if his timing for commitment isn't matching yours, move on.
Don't be afraid to bring up commitment with the guy you are seeing. Even if your cutie is not ready to get serious, he'll respect that you have enough love for yourself to bring up what you want. Worst case, he'll be flattered.
I've waited around for too long for people with whom I had a genuine connection, but none of the timing. If I had simply asked them, "Are you ever going to be ready for a relationship with me?" I would have saved myself a lot of time and anxiety. I also would've had an easier time getting over them in the end.
My friends who are shameless in telling men exactly what they want usually get the relationship they want. The ultimatum either pushes the guy to commit, or they got a, "No, thank you" and moved on to the next awesome guy.
It's important to trust your gut when it comes to entering a relationship — it's not just the guy's choice, it's a commitment you make together. If it feels like he's making excuses, he probably is. Onto the next one.