We all know how this story goes.
Girl meets a guy. Things go great. Then, somewhere along the line what they want from a relationship doesn’t quite match up.
She wants commitment. But as soon as she leaves a toothbrush at his place he starts getting some serious cold feet.
It’s a pattern that gets played out all the time. Women want a man to commit, but men want to keep their options open.
In this article I’m going to list the 11 big things you can do to make a guy commit. Because men do actually want committed relationships — as long as they see a committed relationship as being better than what they currently have.
But before I get into these 11 big things you can do right now, let’s talk about why men often struggle with commitment.
Here’s 5 reasons why men are so afraid to commit.
Let’s start with an easy one — fear.
It isn’t that men don’t want to commit. Sometimes it is simply that they are scared by what that means. Men will look at not what they gain from committing to you, but instead at what they may lose.
Will his freedom be taken away from him? Is he signing up to a life that he will never, ever be able to escape from?
Men can be quite cowardly. If he currently has all the things he likes from a relationship (like companionship and sex), then he might see commitment as a choice that he doesn’t want to make right now.
He will look at commitment as the debit side of the sum, not the credit side.
“If it ain’t broke”
Some men look at commitment like they’d look at a balance sheet or an engine.
Everything seems to be working at the moment. So why change? What is the benefit?
They don’t consider the extent to which things are working for you, they probably just assume that, like them, you are happy with how things are.
This is basically about not wanting to move outside of his comfort zone. Until there is a decision to make, he isn’t going to even contemplate making one.
“What will my mates say?”
Men care about what their friends think.
Whenever a man commits to a relationship, he’ll likely encounter friendly barbs from his mates. Jokes like ‘being under the thumb’, asking ‘who wears the trousers’ and making whipcrack noises.
It’s all fun and games. But it would still bother him.
A man’s close group of friends are his audience for life. Often, he wants their approval more than he wants yours. If they feel that he is being taken away from them they will often do their level best to stop that from happening.
Men have been raised to believe that when it comes to the big decisions, they are the ones that get to make them.
So pressuring him to commit is not going to work. Because he feels that you’re taking the decision out of his hands.
If you want a man to commit then this has to feel like a choice that he is making. The more you try and herd him down a particular route the more he will get itchy feet and want to wander elsewhere.
He thinks he’s a player
The choice your man is making is not one between you and a life of loneliness and solitude. It’s a choice between you and an imagined future sipping champagne on a yacht with a swimwear model.
If he commits to you then that lovely model disappears.
Okay, she never really existed in the first place. But men are optimists and we always think it could be just around the corner…
… If we don’t get bogged down with commitment.
How to make a man commit: 11 ways to take control
So there you have it.
Your man won’t commit because he is scared, happy with things as they are, worried about what his mates will say, doesn’t like decisions being made for him, and dreams of an impossible future with an imaginary woman.
Because you want him to commit, the whole thing is a big trap. And no-one wants to wander into a trap.
Now we know what we are up against, it is easier to work out what you can do to convince him that a lifetime with you would be the best life he could live.
Here are 11 things that you can do — right now — to get your man to commit.
1. He wants to be your hero
It’s great that you’re independent, but it is also important that your guy doesn’t feel like he is an unnecessary addition to your life.
The simple truth is that men like to feel important and needed.
It’s a hard balance to strike. Being independent enough for him to respect and desire you, but also letting him step up to the plate for you and feel like a proper man.
Because men have a built-in desire to be your hero (this has nothing to do with being Bruce Willis).
Let me explain. In the last few years, scientists and relationship psychologists have been talking up a new theory called the hero instinct.
What it basically means is that men have a deeply rooted desire to step up to the plate for the woman in his life and protect her. He wants to provide her something no other man can and earn her love and respect in return.
In other words, he wants to be her hero. This is hardwired into his DNA.
I know it seems kind of silly. In this day and age women can take care of themselves. They don’t need a hero in their lives.
But this misses the point about what the hero instinct is all about. While you may not need a hero, men have a biological urge to feel like one.
The interesting bit is that it’s up to the woman to trigger this instinct in him. There are phrases you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can make to make him feel like the hero in your life.
And when his hero instinct is triggered, a man is much more likely to commit to being in a deep, passionate and long lasting relationship.
James Bauer, the relationship psychologist who first discovered the hero instinct, provides an excellent introduction to this transformative concept.
2. Make Beyoncé your role model
Like Beyoncé, you need to be an independent woman. Nothing rings alarm bells with a guy as much as being clingy.
Early on in a relationship, it is normal to want to spend as much time together as possible. Be careful that you don’t lose yourself in the relationship though. Remember, the woman he fell for was independent and outgoing.
That is incredibly attractive to a man.
Make sure that you keep your life outside of the relationship going strong. Keep seeing your friends. See him as part of your life, not all of your life. Not only will your friends thank you for it, so will he.
It gives him permission to do the same – and your relationship will be healthier for it.
Relationships thrive on a sense of balance. Keeping that right will make it much more likely that he will commit in the long term.
Not only that, but there is a lot of truth in the old saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. If you have had a fun weekend with your girlfriends, then chances are he will be enthusiastic to see you when you get back.
3. “Because you’re worth it”
Remember, this guy fell for you in the first place. Because he fancies you.
He probably watches you when you dress (and when you undress). He has seen you ready to go out for a night on the town and he has seen you when you have first woken up in the morning.
You need to be confident in how you look, and in how much he is attracted to you. Don’t seek reassurance from him about how you look all of the time. That suggests a neediness that will worm its way into his brain over time.
Telling him you need to lose weight, or that you wish your boobs were bigger, are other big no-nos.
The thing that will make you most attractive in his eyes is you feeling confident in how you look yourself. If you continue to point out that you aren’t as attractive as you could be, he’ll start to believe it himself.
4. Trust him
No man wants to feel like he is going out with Miss Marple. (In fact, the constant playing of detective was probably the reason that she never became Mrs Marple).
If a man thinks that you are constantly watching him, looking for clues to infidelity, then that will make him think that this is the wrong relationship for him. If you do this, you will be sending out a message that somehow, he could do better if he gets half a chance.
Again, if you believe this to be the case, then he’ll eventually believe it too.
For the relationship to work, it is absolutely vital that your man knows that you trust him completely. If you don’t trust him… them he’ll look for someone who does.
A lack of trust chips away at the very foundations of your relationship.
If you are always asking him about where he has been or who he has been with, you’re not the person he is going to want to spend a lifetime with.
Remember that he chose you. He wants to be with you. If he changes his mind on those key facts, then he changes his mind — but you are not going to stop him doing that by constantly asking him questions.
5. Make him feel essential
If your man won’t commit to you, then you simply have to dig a little deeper and get inside his mind.
What drives him as a man? What does he want from a relationship with you?
You may think that men are all about money, sex, food, sports, and power.
Sure, those things all come into play at times. But I think there is a deeper truth that few women are aware of. That men are driven less by the things I mentioned above and more by how you make them feel about themselves.
Above all else men want to feel essential to the woman in their life.
This doesn’t mean you have to cling on and suffocate him with attention. What it does mean is that you need to make him feel that he is providing you something that no other man can.
In other words, he needs to feel like your hero.
I mentioned the hero instinct above. It’s a fascinating new concept in relationship psychology that’s generating a lot of buzz at the moment.
The hero instinct is the drive inside a man to live a life full of meaning, to provide for those he cares about, and the desire to earn respect from those around him.
Men don’t necessarily want to be Thor but they want to do something with their lives that matters and they want to make a difference.
This is especially true for how they approach relationships. They want to protect their woman, treat her right and earn her love in return.
They want to be your hero. And if you want your relationship to succeed, you’ll let him.
How do you trigger the hero instinct in your man?
The best thing you can do is watch this excellent free video by relationship psychologist James Bauer.
James outlines the simple things you can do right now to make him feel more essential to you.
I don’t often buy into popular new concepts in psychology or recommend videos. But I think the hero instinct can help to make any man commit to a relationship.
6. Be his number 1 fan
You should believe in your man 100%.
You clearly think he is pretty special — so it is only natural that you would expect the entire world to share this opinion.
At the start we talked about the way that he may have dreams that he sees as being compromised or lost if he settles down with you. So it’s up to you to convince him that you are the one person in the whole world who can help him make his dreams reality.
This might mean that you support him as he shifts career, goes back to education or starts a business. It is not for you to be the voice of reason. There are plenty of people around who can do that for him.
What he needs is a strong, loyal, consistent believer who has his back as he goes through change and adjustment.
This isn’t old fashioned sexism by the way. I would say exactly the same to the man in your life. He should support your dreams too.
The sense that you are a team allows each of you to pursue your own individual dreams.
7. You don’t always need the last word
There’s nothing more off-putting for guys than being with a woman who always has to be right. Of course, sometimes you will need to press a point, but not all the time.
Save your corrections for the big things. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Otherwise, it can become a drip, drip, drip of corrections. How do you think that makes him feel? If you treat your man as if he is stupid then there are plenty of women out there ready to tell him how smart he is.
This is not about dumbing down. It is about letting him own his decisions and decide if they are good or bad. Telling him “well, I said we should have set off half an hour earlier”, is never going to be seen as helpful feedback. Let him work that out for himself. Maybe next time he will decide to set off half an hour early all by himself. He is an adult after all.
8. Know your own mind
“Black dress or blue dress? What do you think? Black’s more slimming. Blue goes with my shoes. What do you think?”
You really want to know what he is thinking? Okay, I’ll tell you. He’s thinking, “STOP ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS AND JUST PICK A DRESS!”
Men like to be involved in making decisions, but only the decisions they consider to be important or relevant. What dress you wear out to dinner might be important to you, but it isn’t to him.
The woman he first fell for would have been able to pick a dress on her own.
As much as men like to be in charge sometimes, they don’t want to be involved in the micromanagement of your life.
9. Respect your shared privacy
When you’re with someone, you learn things about them that you didn’t know before.
The way he likes you to touch him ‘just there’, or what drives him really wild. This is one of the great things about being with someone — not just the sex, but the level of intimacy that allows you to see and be seen.
You absolutely need to respect that intimacy though. It only works because there is a deep level of trust there. Once you lose trust it is almost impossible to win back.
That means that things that are private should stay that way.
No sharing bedroom secrets with your friends. He is trusting you by showing you himself in a whole and unhidden way. Your part of the deal is to keep intimate details between the two of you.
It’s the same with arguments. Arguments are best kept behind closed doors. If you want to shout and scream at him, fine. Doing it in the middle of a shopping mall isn’t. He will find it belittling and humiliating. Men hate being demeaned more than anything else.
If there are things that you need to say to him, do it in private.
10. Delight him in the bedroom
Getting a man to commit isn’t all about sex. But we both know that a relationship would be incomplete if sex wasn’t a part of it.
This isn’t about being a sexual doormat and catering to his every whim. That isn’t what will make him commit. He wants to be challenged by an equal in the bedroom.
Remember too that making love is for both of you. Don’t see sex as a commodity that is yours to trade, or one that you can withdraw as part of a negotiation. This isn’t a transaction. Sex is not something to trade.
The thing that men find hottest in a woman is when she knows her own mind and is confident in expressing her own desires.
That is what men want to commit to.
11. Be relaxed
If he wanted drama, he’d buy a ticket to the theatre.
Men commonly grumble that their woman is ‘hard work’. Think about that for a moment. Some men see being with their partner as a chore, as little more than drudgery. The equivalent of being in the office 9 to 5.
And men can spot someone else’s high-maintenance girlfriend from a hundred yards. I’ll level with you – those sorts of women can make great short term girlfriends, but they never make great long-term ones.
They can be exciting and dramatic but they don’t last. Being with a woman like that is like being on a rollercoaster. No-one wants to be on a rollercoaster for the long term.
It becomes exhausting.
The key thing here is to relax. Let the small things go. Control your anger. Or at the very least save it for the important things.
If he comes home with lipstick on his collar then be angry. If he leaves the toilet seat up, let it go.
Remember – This is About You Not Him
Notice anything with these 11 tips to make a man commit? They mostly start with how you see yourself, not what you can do for him.
These 11 big things can help guide a man to a place where he feels able to commit, but none of them are ‘tricks’. Ultimately, what will make him commit is the love he has for you.
And that’s what it comes down to in the end. If you are authentic, trusting, confident and respectful, that’s an excellent basis of all for a long and happy life together.
In short, the best way to make a man commit is to be yourself and trust him to make the right decision.