You’ve been cuddling with this guy for a while now. You probably kissed more than normal couples would.
Though, you’re not exactly a couple, aren’t you? You’re just acting like one because there’s no commitment. At least not on his part.
Where does the problem lie, and how do you decode his behavior?
Here’s everything you need to know about this!
Understanding the meaning of “acting like a couple”.
Acting like a couple means exactly what the sentence describes. You spend most of your time together, you have deep conversations, and you do fun things daily or weekly.
However, what differs this from an exclusive couple is that one or none of you try to make it official.
Here are the most common reasons why this happens:
1. He doesn’t know how to settle in a relationship.
A reason why the relationship seems to not progress can be because he doesn’t know how to settle.
There is a chance he never had a committed relationship, and never had anything serious.
For a person who has never experienced a serious relationship, it’s hard for them to know how and when to settle.
2. He doesn’t know if you’re both on the same page regarding commitment.
This is where his fears and insecurities might come into play.
If your guy fears rejection or has insecurities (which often go hand in hand), he’s likely to be scared to make the first move because he’s not sure if you’d agree on a committed relationship with him.
3. You’re both scared to have THE conversation.
Your guy and you are acting like a couple without him committing because you haven’t had the exclusivity talk yet.
Have you expressed your expectations to him about this relationship yet?
If not, then this could probably be why he’s not committing.
On the other hand, if your answer to this question is yes, then we’re talking about other possible reasons!
3. He isn’t sure he wants you long-term.
Some men don’t know what they want, and that’s why their behavior is confusing.
When a man isn’t sure if he wants a long-term relationship with you, the way he acts around you will show it.
When he doesn’t know if he wants a relationship with you, he will act like a boyfriend, but run away anytime he feels it’s getting serious.
He will try to ignore the signs of commitment and avoid the conversation of exclusivity.
4. His fear of commitment is getting on the way.
Commitment issues play a significant role if he avoids committing to you. He might fear committing, or fear different aspects of relationships.
Whether it comes from childhood traumas or relationship traumas, some fears paralyze him from commitment.
Either way, this is a factor playing a major role in why you act like a couple but – because of him – there’s no commitment.
5. He is using you to get what he wants.
One of the reasons he is not committing, but feeding you with false hopes for a real relationship can be that he’s using you to get something he wants or needs.
It could be something physical, emotional, financial, or simply a rebound.
He might pretend to love you, but his behavior says otherwise.
He is clear in his head about what he wants from you but doesn’t make it obvious.
He doesn’t work into the development of the relationship but enjoys the perks of it by using you.
6. He is trying to keep his options open.
A big reason most men refuse to commit is the fear of losing their independence.
He might be scared that when you become exclusive, he will no longer be in charge of his decisions.
On the other hand, another reason why he’d like to keep his options open could be that he’s a player.
Furthermore, he wants to keep his options open, with the idea that he might find something better.
He refuses to be alone, that’s why he is keeping you stranded.
Some people refuse to grow up, also known as the Peter Pan syndrome.
People with this issue refuse to grow up, take responsibility, make adult decisions, and overall don’t know what they want.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a man-child or that he’s got the Peter Pan syndrome.
It could simply be something he’s going through, or something he’s been through in the past isn’t letting him make firm decisions.
8. He sees it as a friends-with-benefits situation.
Lack of communication can bring different issues in a connection.
If you don’t talk about the expectations from the beginning, both of you will be giving and expecting different things.
Due to a lack of communication, he might believe that this relationship is simply as friends with benefits.
He doesn’t expect the relationship to progress or become any serious. He is in for the fun and believes you are on board with it too.
9. You gave the impression you’re okay with how things are currently.
A study showed that a couple works better when both need fulfillment and connection with each other. If they don’t require fulfillment, the relationship builds up negative emotions.
When you fail to communicate in the relationship, problems like this appear in your relationship.
If you don’t voice your opinions about a matter, he will take it as if you are okay with this.
If you don’t talk with your partner about the said issues, they won’t be aware of your expectations, concerns, wants, and needs.
If you don’t mention commitment and don’t have a conversation about this, nothing will change.
10. There are deal breakers and incompatibilities involved.
There stands a chance that there is something about you that doesn’t sit right with him or vice versa.
This might be the reason he refuses to commit. But he doesn’t open up to you about it.
The fear of sounding criticizing or accusing, starting a fight, or simply talking about this can make you both prone to hush it.
You could be seeing one another — or he could be seeing you this way — as incompatible in important areas of life, hence the reluctance to create a ‘real’ relationship.
You can fix this. Here’s how!
You have understood what are the reasons he isn’t committing. Now it is in your hands to fix it.
Whether you want to turn this into a relationship, or at least understand what’s going on, you can fix this!
Here are some ways you can go about this:
- Communicate openly and honestly. You have come this far due to a lack of communication. You need to open up, be honest, and talk to him. Let him know what has been bothering you, and how you view this relationship.
- Reassure him that his fears won’t come to life. You need to let him know that you want him and this relationship. His independence will remain the same.
- Work on yourself to find and fix your issues. For your relationship to work, you must both work on yourselves. Make sure you notice your red flags, work on healthier behavior, and turn those flags green.
- Let him know of your expectations, and set boundaries. He needs to know what you expect from him and this relationship. Dr. Jacqui Gabb, professor of sociology and intimacy, explained the boundaries. “A couple needs to understand three entities in the relationship: you, your partner, and the relationship. Boundaries need to be set for the three of them for the relationship to work.”
- Give him space. Give him space to reflect on this and make a decision regarding your relationship. Don’t push him, simply let him take the time he needs.
- Understand the signs, and know when to stay. If he is willing to change and commit, that’s your sign to start putting in more effort. But if his behavior doesn’t change, that’s your cue to leave.