When I was a freshman in college, I connected with someone during the first week of school. We explored our new city, ate together in the dining halls, and had pretty deep conversations that all made me think we were meant to be. Even our zodiac signs were compatible. But our immediate connection felt different to me than it did to him. Despite our intense emotional and physical bond, he told me we were only going to be friends. From that year of unrequited longing, and additional years of on-again-off-again turmoil, I've picked up on signs they won't commit, so you know exactly what to avoid.
While that friendship did eventually turn into a romantic relationship, the first year was a wild ride of extreme emotions and uncertainty. There were plenty of signs that he wasn't ready for a relationship, and unable to commit in a healthy way. Sometimes he would go completely silent. Other times, he'd get upset when I didn't cancel my plans to comfort him at a moment's notice. While I don't regret those four years at all, I learned a lot about what I should avoid in the future.
They Don't Make Plans Ahead Of Time
If they're not committing to plans with you ahead of time, they're not committing to you as a person. Even the most sporadic, last-minute planner will make it clear they want to see you and give some sort of time frame for hanging out in advance.
If you only go out when you make plans in advance or they invite you last-minute, that's not an encouraging sign. You don't need to schedule your dates weeks in advance, but day-before or day-of means they aren't thinking of you in their future.
They Won't Let You Meet Their Friends
Someone in a relationship will want their significant other and friends to hang out. If you're not hanging with their buds, they don't see you in every aspect of their life, and may want to keep you separate for a reason.
You're A Secret
Set aside the fact that they're not introducing you to their friends, but if their friends don't even know about you, that's a major red flag. If they're keeping you a secret, that means they probably don't see you as a long-term partner. If they say things like wanting to keep whatever you have between the two of you, or only schedules private dates, something may be up. Also, don't you want someone who can't shut up about you? I know I do.
They Hide Other People They're Seeing
One of the most frustrating things about that my situation in college was him hiding things from me. He would lie to me about who he was spending time with, which felt especially shady and hurtful because our friendship was always my priority. I was upset that he felt like he couldn't be upfront and honest about who he dated with me. If someone is hiding things from you, it's worth wondering why. That's a big, giant, important red flag.
They Go MIA
"When some men start feeling like a relationship is starting to get a little more real than they were expecting, it's not uncommon for them to pull back, become a little more distant, and start doing things like taking longer to return calls or texts," says dating coach Eric Resnick to Elite Daily.
Now, all genders are definitely responsible for this kind of behavior when uninterested, and you should take the hint. Unfortunately, not everyone is respectful enough to give you the message loud and clear, so note this as another commitment-phobic. If their communication isn't as strong as it once was for no explanation given, take the sign, and move on.
"The most important part of a relationship is communication. If you do not have this, you are not respecting each other," says Nora Dekeyser, Three Day Rule’s date coach and matchmaker.
They Pick Fights
Resnick also says that when some people get scared of commitment, they begin to nitpick at behaviors, such as turning things into fights. Beside the inconvenience of having to deal with that kind of drama, is this kind of attitude something you even want in a partner long-term? Avoid the added stress altogether by finding a partner who doesn't pick arguments, wants to be committed to you, and shows it.
If you see any of these signs in action, it's up to you to decide how to discuss it with them. Address your concerns if you think there's something else going on, and decide if it's worth the effort to proceed with that person. For me, though, I've had enough of wondering if people are going to commit, and trying to squeeze it out of them. I've learned the fine art of not settling, moving on, and getting what I deserve.
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