Choosing the right partner for marriage
There are both male and female non-committers in the singles world. Yet when someone says the words “afraid to commit,” most of us think of a man.
In a healthy relationship (including friendship), commitment is spurred by the growth of affection and caring. The relationship develops because it supports both people. Thus, commitment is a natural evolution of the relationship.
Men and women who feel threatened avoid commitment. A reluctance to commit, then, often indicates that the relationship has unresolved issues of conflict.
So, what triggers conflict in a man, causing him to withdraw and become distant?
According to Herb Goldberg, PhD, in his book What Men Really Want, these triggers include:
“1. Tears and expressions of pain that he is accused of causing but doesn’t understand; and that make him feel unfairly blamed.
“2. Criticism of his behavior and the pressure to reassure his partner that love exists without her corresponding awareness of how her responses keep him at arm’s length.
“3. Assertions that he is selfish and unloving when he believes he is being generous and loving.
“4. Criticism of his worldview and response to people as cynical, ‘sick,’ or negative without awareness of the pressure he is under to find success in the competitive world.
“5. Assertions that he is intentionally making everything but the relationship his priority.”
What makes men feel less threatened and better able to move on to a committed relationship?
The obvious answer is a a woman who loves him for who he is and not for what he can do or provide.
However, Goldberg writes that a woman who feels confident in her ability to become fulfilled without the man’s help or presence brings out the best in him. She relieves the man’s fear that he will feel responsibility for her happiness and fulfillment.