A couple standing by the water. He doesn't seem to be interested in her. She wants him to commit.

How to Get Him to Commit: 15 Tips and Tricks

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by eharmony Editorial Team - July 3, 2024

You’ve met someone, you really like him, and all the signs point to him really liking you too… but there are no signs of the relationship going to the next level. Which might leave you wondering how to get him to commit. While we wouldn’t advise pushing anyone into something they don’t want to do (that way lies resentment), we do have some idea what makes a man commit. Read on for why he may not want to commit, and 15 tips for how to get him to do it.

How long does it take a man to commit?

The answer depends on the man and the relationship. Some men know what they want on the third or even the first date, others can spend a decade in a relationship and not be ready to take it to the next level. Studies show that people who are willing to commit to a relationship generally do so1.

A man may not feel ready financially or emotionally to commit to a serious relationship; he may be afraid of ‘settling down’, especially if he loves partying and playing the field. He may think commitment brings with it responsibilities he’s not yet ready for. He might simply not want to be committed to the person he’s currently dating. Regardless of the reason, commitment isn’t something you can force; they have to want it for themselves.

Reasons why he won’t commit

Some people are bad at commitment. Others might want to commit but hold back for various reasons. We look at the various reasons why he won’t commit. 

A couple of a woman and a man looking at each other. She seems upset.

Though you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do, here’s something more in the vein of gentle encouragement:

Don’t be desperate

Wondering how to get a man to commit? Don’t ever give him the impression you’re desperate – if it doesn’t put him off, it’ll very likely lead to an unequal balance of power in the relationship. He’ll know he can use your feelings to get away with treating you in ways he might not have otherwise. Give him space rather than beg for his attention.

Don’t talk about commitment all the time…

Yes, we know you’re looking for commitment. However, nagging isn’t likely to end well. Instead, use reverse psychology to get him to commit – don’t mention commitment at all, except when it naturally comes up. Taking the pressure off might well lead your man to be more open to the idea of commitment – in fact, he may well come around to the idea on his own.

… but do make your expectations clear

Key relationship problems can be traced to mismatched expectations. If you want to be in a committed relationship, be clear about it right from the start. You’ll wind up self-selecting for men who want a serious relationship rather than staying up late wondering, “How do I get a man to commit?” Plus, clear communication can help you and your partner avoid fights and have a more peaceful relationship.

Live your own life

Get him to commit by pulling away. Well, not really, but don’t make him the center of your life. No matter what your feelings are, you need to have space for your interests, your friends and family, your life. As a bonus, having to work for your attention will hopefully remind your man that your time has value and so do you.

Have a timeline, if only in your head

Decide how much of your life you’re willing to commit to a man and stick to it. While the sunk cost fallacy is daunting – it can be hard to realize that you’ve wasted months or even years – it’s no better an idea to spend time waiting for a change that might never come.

Don’t try to change him

What makes a man want to commit? An important part of it is having a partner who loves him for who he is and won’t try to change him. While it’s important to help your partner be the best version of themselves, trying to change who he is will lead to resentment and possibly an end to the relationship. Instead work with him to find a compromise.

Show him you care

We all want to feel cared for. This doesn’t mean extravagant romantic gestures or even anything complex – it’s very often the thought that counts. So slip a sweet note into his bag, stop by with dinner during a busy week, let him have the last piece of candy. If you’re wondering how to get him to commit, small gestures can go a long way.

Support him emotionally…

Many men still find it difficult to show emotion or be vulnerable. Creating a safe space for him to be emotional with you and supporting him when he displays vulnerability not only makes you a good partner but makes it more likely that he’ll see you as someone he wants to commit to.

… but don’t do everything for him

Don’t take everything off his plate It’s not sustainable, or something you want to do long-term. It can come across controlling, or make a man look at you like his mother – not something you want to encourage! Remember you’re both adults and partners, and act accordingly.

Add value to his life

This does sound mercenary, but it’s true. What makes a man want to be exclusive? Things he can’t get while playing the field. Be his friend, his cheerleader, someone he can lean on, someone he’s happy to have in his life. While offering value should go both ways – does he make your life better by being in it? – asking yourself what you can give him that others can’t is a good starting point.

Fight fair

It’s not always going to be sunshine and roses. But if you’re wondering how to get him to commit then learn how to handle conflicts. It’s important to be able to fight without resorting to the blame game or name-calling. Knowing you still respect him even when you disagree is something men value in a partner, and you should too.

Let him play a role in your life

No, you don’t need a man, and somewhere in there, he knows it too. But it’s nice to feel needed, which is why, if you’re wondering how to get him to commit, allowing him to feel he has a big part to play in your life is so important – whether it’s small things like opening jars or dealing with spiders or larger things like providing for both of you.

Listen to him

If you’re wondering how to get him to commit, you can do far worse than simply listening. Men often have a hard time opening up, so being someone they can talk to is a quality they value highly in a romantic partner. Additionally, don’t just listen passively – check if they want advice or sympathy, and do the best you can to support them. As a bonus, it will bring you closer.

Get to know his circle

It’s not an exaggeration to say that when you marry a man, you marry his family and friends, too. Which is why, if you’re wondering how to make a man commit, you could do far worse than to get to know his friends and family. You don’t have to be best friends but given that men often rely on the opinions of people they love, making an effort with his friends and family can only be a good thing.

Skip the ultimatums

Have you ever heard of a ‘shut up ring’? It’s when a man proposes rather than be broken up with, but his heart isn’t actually in it. Shut up rings don’t make for great marriages. If ever you find yourself in a situation like that, it’s better to just break up rather than stay with a man who doesn’t want to commit to you.

When to give up on him

Some men just aren’t ready to commit and don’t want to, and that’s okay. In fact, his lack of desire to commit could very well be a red flag. Even if it isn’t a red flag, you deserve better than to stay with a man who isn’t all in on the relationship.

Even if he’s not committed to you, you should be committed to yourself – and that means letting go when it’s clear he has no desire to commit. 

A blond woman looking at her phone, having a sad face as example for signs he doesn't want a relationship with you

Signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you

Not being on the same page regarding commitment could lead to disappointment or unpleasant surprises for either of you. We’ll talk about signs he doesn’t want a relationship with you, as well as whether to stay or go.

Helping him to commit: Your path to real love

It’s never a good idea to try and force anyone to do something they don’t want to. However, sometimes people – especially men – just need a gentle nudge to realize that they need to make a move. If these tips on how to get him to commit don’t work, however, don’t despair. With eharmony, you’ll find a huge pool of eligible singles looking for the same thing you are –real love . Sign up today and find someone you can be yourself with.

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