Love—it's the central plot of most movies, the thing your relatives are asking you if you've found yet, and the thing you're always questioning if your cat reciprocates with you. Because you love Mr. Snuggles. Love can be all these things, but even weirder is that it can also be the one thing a bunch of guys are afraid of showing.
That's because love involves commitment, and to some men, that's the scariest thing in the world. If you're suspicious that your guy is actually just getting ready to run for the hills the moment you mention the longterm, here are some signs that can confirm your worst fears.
He's Never Been In Any Real Relationships
If the most commitment your guy has had in the past is sharing a Netflix account with the girl he used to see in college, then you better watch out because he may be a serial commitment-phobe.
If you're the longest and more serious he's ever had maybe you're the start of a change for him, but you should look into getting a seperate Disney+ account too, just to be safe.
He's Weirdly On Auto-Pilot The Moment You Guys Are Together
He's charming, sweet, and always so game to take you to try out all the cute little bagel sandwich shops in the city before you're official. But the moment you guys are something you can actually tell your mom about, all of a sudden he's distant and cold.
If he's weirdly distant now, chances are he was just in it for the chase and not a relationship.
He's Scared Of Labels
You guys are "hanging out," "seeing each other," "having fun" and like a thousand other expressions which basically mean you're an item only when he wants to admit you are.
If you even try and suggest you may be more than "very best friends who're intimate" he's shutting you down hard.
There's Always A Reason To Not Move In Together
So you've been seeing each other for a long time, you're pretty stable, so when you suggest that you guys take the next step and move in together, all of a sudden he's fine living in his roach-infested studio apartment beside the highway.
If this is a trigger then he's probably scared of doing anything that will make your relationship more long term. Like sharing cookery... yikes.
He Starts Getting Nervous Around Your One-Year Anniversary
A one-year anniversary is a big deal because a year somehow feels more real than a handful of months. A year suggests there are more years to come, which means... probably marriage.
The "m" word is something guys who fear commitment avoid like the plague, so if he's acting weird around the year-mark, get ready to have an awkward conversation.
You Feel Like He's Picking Fights
If a guy's scared of commitment and this fear is triggered, then he's going to find ways to end the relationship before it goes too far... even if there aren't any problems with it.
So that body wash you've been using for four years that smells like lavender? He's actually suddenly allergic to it so he's blocking you on Instagram now, bye.
Pets Are Off The Table
Pets, like moving in together, absolutely scream commitment. If you guys get a pet then you're going to share the responsibility of taking care of it, and, shocker, he's all about avoiding responsibility.
So unless you want one of those carnival goldfish that live for a week he's going to pass.
Things Are Very Hot And Heavy
Things being intimate is normally a good thing... but if physical intimacy is all that he allows the relationship to be you can pretty much bet that boy is never settling down.
Sure, he'll go down other places, but the relationship road is not on his list.
There Are A Lot Of Dealbreakers, Yet You're Still Together
If he's looking for a Christian girl (you're not), he wants two kids (you want a dog), and he wants to buy a house soon (you're looking at midtown apartments), and he knows all these things and you're somehow still together, he's definitely afraid of commitment.
If neither of you are budging over issues that pretty much demand a compromise, the minute one comes up he's moving on to someone else.
You're Too "Clingy"
Ladies, men, every gender, if a guy has hit you with a comment that you're "too clingy" then you're either straight-up too clingy or he's being overdramatic because he can't handle your love.
Imagine being so afraid at the mere thought of settling down that you call someone who loves you "too clingy." If you look up "child" in the dictionary, that's the definition.
He's Either Hot Or Cold—You Can Never Rely On Him
He's texting you constantly sending all these hearts and making brunch plans one day, and then the next day he's blowing you off and responding with one-word replies. Did you do something to him in your sleep? Of course not.
Commitment-phobes get weird and put distance between themselves and significant others when they feel like things are getting too serious.
Meeting Your Parents? Um, No, He's Busy That Day
If you really want to test whether the guy you've been dating is a commitment-phobe, just invite him over for a holiday meal at your parent's home where he'll meet them for the first time.
If you can see the blood slowly drain out of his face as he stammers out "I'm busy" then you've got a man who doesn't want to be known as "the boyfriend" by your family.
He's Compartmentalizing Everything
You've met his best friend, but you know he goes and hangs out with his brother, cousins, work friends, and mountain climbing friends other days of the week that you're free, yet you've never got the invite?
If he's compartmentalizing his life and weirdly keeping you from meeting people, then he's reducing the number of people who know about you. And that saves him the trouble of explaining why you guys broke up, which he'll eventually do, and is the mark of a man afraid of settling down.
They're Against Planning Anything That's More Than A Month Ahead
So it's September and you want to go on this cheap cruise in January and even though you've been together for a while, he's got the cash, and he loves the sun (like who doesn't?) he's saying no.
If that man won't plan ahead it's because he doesn't want to invest in prolonging the relationship and, let's say it all together now folks, that means he's scared of commitment.
He's Always Impromptu, And It's Getting On Your Nerves
People scared of commitment don't want you getting the wrong idea and thinking that you mean something long-term to them—so they're going to be jerks to send that message across.
That means asking you if you're free in five minutes to go out, and only ever inviting you to things last minute because your schedule doesn't matter.
You're "Fun" To Be Around
Watch out if you're seeing a guy and he says you're "fun" to be with. If you're a "good time" and the majority of the activities you two do together are of the night-variety, then he sees you as a fun seasonal fling and not wifey material.
And the kicker is he sees everyone he's dated like that.
You've Brought Up The Long Term And Suddenly He's Putting Distance Between The Two Of You
The second, and I mean the second, that you bring up commitment to a man who's allergic to it, he's going to find ways to skirt you.
He's not texting back, he seems mad or unengaged when you're together, and he just bought a one-way bus ticket to somewhere on the East coast.
He Disappears Randomly
If your man is a Houdini who seems to pop in and out of the city for days on end without giving you any notice, this is just an old trick commitment-phobes use to set up boundaries and stop the relationship from going farther.
Because, logically, you can't marry him if you're not in the same room.
He's Brought Up Bad Relationships He's Had In The Past
If he's always complaining about the bad people he's dated before who were "crazy," really "messed with him," and "damaged his trust," then he really needs to seek counsel about these issues and he's softening the blow for when he inevitably ends things for you.
Commitment-phobes use these little warnings as easy outs for when they leave so they can blame it on "not trusting women anymore."
He's Still On Tinder... Even Though You're In A Relationship
If that boy doesn't bother deleting the app, the account, and the freaking dating site profile when you guys start dating, then you need to seriously leave.
That is not only a sign of a commitment-phobe who's going to leave you soon, but it's a major disrespect to you. And you do. not. deserve. that.