Ask a Guy: Is He A Commitment-phobe? post image

Ask a Guy: Is He A Commitment-phobe?

I’ve been separated over a year from my soon-to-be-ex-husband (only paperwork remains to make it official). I have been dating a man for 4 and 1/2 months, but he is slow to commit, saying that it is due to my impending divorce.

I do eventually want to get re-married and have children and I want to date people who are interested in those same things. How do I ask him if those are things he will someday want without scaring him into thinking I want those things with him now?

I want to know if marriage and children are on his radar (not necessarily with me) and he isn’t a perpetual bachelor or commitment-phobe.

I’m not saying he is or isn’t a commitment-phobe, but regardless I think he’s smart to hold back on starting a full-fledged, titled relationship with you.

I understand that paperwork might be the only thing separating you from being officially divorced, but that doesn’t mean it’s not significant.  If I were in the situation, I would hold back on getting into a full-blown relationship with a woman if she wasn’t officially divorced.

I mean, most guys (especially guys who have a moderate to good amount of relationship experience) know that it’s wise to choose slowly and not just race into a relationship with a woman. And I’m not saying that being divorced is a “Scarlett Letter”, but it is a red flag to a guy who might be considering dating you.  Divorce gives the appearance that even if he falls madly in love with you, someday, somehow, you might leave him too.

I just think that before I answer your specific question I needed to point that out – he could have very good, logical reasons for wanting to take it slow, but it doesn’t mean a relationship is not an option.  He just may need more time to be sure, given the circumstances.

Now, to answer your question, finding out where he’s at is relatively easy.  Being patient enough to get the answer (or lack thereof) is the hard part. If you haven’t done so already, find some occasion to mention that someday you want children and a family.  You can be subtle about it (actually, the more subtle, the better in this case), just as long as you state it somehow in some way.

If he wants no part of being a father and having a family someday, he most likely will not stick around much longer.  But if it’s something he’s on board for, he won’t up and leave.

On the other hand, he might not outright state that he’s looking for the same thing.  He might not say it for another month, 2 months or even a year.  But if he’s aware that that’s what you’re looking for and he hasn’t gracefully exited stage-left, then the potential is there and provided that the relationship continues in a positive way, there’s a good chance he’ll eventually come around and open up about his vision for your relationship’s future.

For now, though, handle your divorce situation.  I believe the guy when he says that’s an issue for him…

Good luck and hope it helps,

eric charles

Written by Eric Charles

I'm Eric Charles, the co-founder and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing articles to help people free themselves from suffering and have clarity in their love life. I have a degree in Psychology and I've dedicated the last 20 years of my life to learning everything I can about human psychology and sharing what gets people out of struggling with life and into having the life they really want. If you want to contact me, feel free to reach out on Facebook or Twitter.

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No, I have not heard of this; however, why not just ask him or are you trnyig to force him to do so?You can check with the insurance directly and find out and also be concerned if he has to pay any premiums for her insurance .clearly a child he did not adopt, hey?

Reply December 19, 2015, 12:59 pm


Look, i am divorcing a commitment phobe. after 7 years together of trying to love a man who wont commit, you need to do some real soul searching before you jump into another realtionship. i am 35, having fertility issues (which my husband freaked out over as this meant he had to commit to fertility treatments with me) and even i am scared of making another bad decision in another relationship. explore what you want in life, and what type of person you can share it with, before jumping onto another wagon which may be headed in the wrong direction……good luck !!!

Reply December 29, 2010, 6:52 pm


Hey “idiots”… looks like you are one. Are you divorced? If not, you simply cannot make a blanket statement that “divorcees jump into marriages over and over”. Divorce rates are high and there many valid reasons for divorce: such as mental instability, chemical dependency and abuse — which applied in my case. I’d rather be strong and get out of an unhealthy relationship rather than suck it up and be miserable the rest of my life, therefore, I opted for divorce. I’m very wary of getting married again and surely would not just “jump in” to another marriage. You, my friend, are the idiot.

Reply September 22, 2010, 5:06 pm


Ummm.. HELLO? You’re getting divorced, why would you even be thinking about marriage right now? WHAT AN IDIOT! No wonder the divorce rate is so high, divorcees jump into marriages over and over.

Reply August 16, 2010, 10:56 am


Technically, he cannot commit to her now, as she legally is not “available.” In fact, it would be a red flag if a man was pushing for a commitment before the ink on the divorce papers dried, whether that be engagement or even “going steady.” What’s the rush? I guess I am extremely old fashioned and didn’t get the memo that you are supposed to plan for a wedding as soon as the ink dries on the divorce papers.

I think the relationship is just in the “getting to know you” stage, at any rate. She might want to check in with herself and see if her desire for a commitment is some sort of reaction to the loss of being a Mrs. rather to responding to the way the new relationship is progressing, which can’t progress yet.

Reply August 10, 2010, 1:50 pm

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