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Why he won’t commit: 15 reasons why your relationship isn’t progressing to the next level

by eharmony Editorial Team - November 22, 2023

Commitments can mean different things to different people. For some couples, it can simply mean not dating anyone else. For others, it might be something far more serious, like moving in together or getting married. Regardless of where you are in your relationship, it’s important to be on the same page when it comes to commitments. However, before you can ask yourself, ‘why won’t he commit?’ it’s important to remember that some people are bad at commitment. Others might want to commit but hold back for various reasons. In this article, we’ll look at the various reasons why he won’t commit. 

The early days aren’t easy: when it feels like everyone only wants to hook up 

You know what it means when a guy says he wants to have fun with you – he’s only looking for something casual. And while casual is good, it can sometimes feel like that’s all anybody is looking for these days. If you’re wondering ‘why do guys only want to hook up with me?’ here are three reasons for it:  

He has other priorities 

The truth is, not everyone wants a serious relationship. If you’re wondering ‘why won’t he commit?’ The answer might be as simple as it simply not being a priority at this point in time – he might be too busy with work, or just enjoying the single life, to want to commit. 

How to handle it: Decide what your own priorities are, then keep or drop him depending on how well he matches.  

He’s going through a rough patch 

Life isn’t always sunshine and roses, unfortunately – the person you’re dating might be struggling with financial stress, illness (theirs, or that of a family member or friend), work-related problems, or any number of issues that make hooking up more attractive than a relationship. It’s definitely him, not you! 

How to handle it: If the problem is short term, it might be worth waiting it out.  

He isn’t ready for more 

The simple fact of the matter is, some people simply may not want to stop playing the field just yet, or they don’t feel strongly enough about you to settle down – and that’s perfectly fine! If you want more, though, it’s important to be clear about it rather than just letting yourself drift along wondering why he won’t commit. 

How to handle it: Make your expectations known… but don’t push.  

You’re dating, but why won’t he commit to a relationship? 

You’ve been dating a little while, things seem to be going well… but you can’t keep yourself from wondering, ‘we act like a couple… but he won’t commit. Why?’ There are several reasons why someone might not want to be serious when it’s still early in your relationship.  

He’s a serial dater 

Some guys are just in it for the thrill of the chase. They love the adrenaline and endorphin rush of the early stages of a relationship, but once that’s over, their interest fades and they’re ready to chase the next shiny object that catches their attention. It’s possible for a serial dater to change, but the odds aren’t high and being in a relationship with one can often be frustrating, especially if you’re looking for someone to settle down with.  

How to handle it: Head over to our article on dealing with serial daters to figure out if your partner is one and how to manage if they are. 

He’s still not over an ex 

Why won’t he commit to you? He’s still hung up on his ex. It may not even be conscious, but one reason for the lack of commitment may be that he’s comparing you to an ex. He might even have feelings he’s not ready to let go of yet. 

How to handle it: If you’re willing to put up with second place for a while, there’s a chance he may move on… or not. 

His friends and family don’t approve 

For plenty of guys, their friends and family are an important consideration when it comes to a serious relationship with anyone. If you’re wondering why your boyfriend won’t commit, it may be because the people in his life don’t like you. 

How to handle it: Make an effort to get to know and get along with his family and friends. 

He’s keeping his options open 

Some guys want to have their cake and eat it too; the comfort of regular dates (and sex) as well as the freedom of an uncommitted relationship. Ever asked yourself, ‘why does he keep coming back but won’t commit?’ It’s probably because he knows you won’t kick him to the curb just yet. 

How to handle it: Set your boundaries and make sure he knows them.  

He’s worried about money, honey 

One eharmony study shows that money is a common source of conflict in relationships1. Your boyfriend may not feel ready to commit to the increased financial burden of a serious relationship, or may want to progress further in his career before settling down.  

How to handle it: Plan low-cost dates and schedule a talk with them about a possible shared financial future. 

He’s emotionally unavailable 

While this accusation is often flung at individuals who don’t want to commit, there is a grain of truth to it. If you’re asking yourself, ‘why is he jealous but won’t commit?’ or wondering why he won’t commit but won’t leave you alone, it’s probably because he wants a relationship but not the vulnerability that comes with it. 

How to handle it: Make it clear to him that he needs to be invested in the relationship for it to continue. 

He’s just not that into you 

If he won’t commit, it might simply be because he’s only with you until a better option comes along. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a bad person; we’ve all fallen into relationships just because the person was there. It would certainly explain why he won’t commit but won’t leave you alone, either! 

How to handle it: Let the relationship go; there will be someone who will love you like you deserve. 

A blond woman looking at her phone, having a sad face.

Do you see the signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you?

While there are several reasons he might not want to commit there are also clear signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you. We’ll talk about these verbal and non-verbal signs, as well as whether a non-committed relationship is a good idea.

In a relationship: Why your partner won’t commit  

These are the kind of commitments people usually think of when the subject of “the big commitment”, like marriage or moving in together, come up once you’ve been together for a while. It can be very startling to realize ‘he loves me but won’t commit’. There’s usually a reason, though.  

He has different life goals than you do 

You might dream of picket fences; he might prefer to travel the world. You might want kids; he might be happily childfree. There’s nothing wrong with any of those choices, but it’s important for you and a partner to be on the same page before making any major commitments. 

How to handle it: Talk about your goals and what your future together might look like.  

He hasn’t recovered from past experiences 

If he won’t commit to you now, it’s entirely possible he’s been hurt badly enough in the past that the idea of making himself that vulnerable again is not something he’s willing to do. Bad relationships can affect us not only when we’re in them, but also damage our ability to trust again and might be the reason your boyfriend won’t commit. 

How to handle it: Try and be patient and understanding, and suggest therapy as an option. 

The current situation works for him 

You know the saying, if ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?’ Some people apply it to relationships, too. If your current relationship satisfies his physical and emotional needs – perhaps you already live together or are married in all but name – then he may not see the point of shaking things up and risking it going badly. 

How to handle it: Decide if, and how long, you want to maintain the status quo, and let him know. 

He doesn’t like feeling pressured 

It might be tempting to react to a boyfriend who won’t commit by pressuring him to do so, but it’s just as likely to backfire. Not to mention, would you want a relationship with someone who’s not in it completely out of their own free will?  

How to handle it: Bring up commitment once and then let it go. If he’s worth keeping, he’ll get the hint. 

He’s still not ready 

The truth is that he just might not be ready to take the relationship to the next level, whether because he’s happy with the way things are or because of the increased vulnerability and demands a more serious relationship will bring – which, again, is not an inherently bad thing. However, it’s important that he be clear about this rather than string you along with you asking yourself: “Why won’t he commit?” 

How to handle it: Give yourself a timeline for how long you’re willing to give him to get ready, then stick to it.  

Why Won’t He Commit? Understanding Relationship Challenges and Solution

There are so many answers to the question ‘Why won’t he commit?’, whether it’s because he’s still recovering from a previous hurt, is happy with the way the relationship currently is, or because he’s not into you enough to take the relationship further. Regardless of the genders involved, though, it can be very frustrating to be with someone who doesn’t take the relationship as seriously as you do. Which is why eharmony is a great option for when you’re sick of asking yourself why he won’t commit – you’ll find plenty of eligible singles all looking for a serious, committed relationship. Sign up for eharmony and set yourself up for future happiness today.  

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