Commitment — a word used to describe the meaning behind relationships and the explanation for why many of us struggle with them. Whether you’re in a steady relationship (and waiting for a proposal) or in the dating phase (and waiting for an “exclusive” title), we’re all faced with the idea of commitment at some time or another.
Like most things in life, relationships are always easier said than done. With the number of different people in the world comes the inevitable fact that you’ll experience many partners — including those who can’t seem to commit (to you). As frustrating and hurtful as this realization is, you shouldn’t blame yourself for it — a person’s inability to commit has a lot less to do with you and a lot more to do with him or her.
Although commitment comes in different forms, it all comes down to the mutual willingness of two people to decide to be together. Sure, we can’t tell you whether your partner will commit, but here are five signs that he or she won’t.
1. They don’t mention the future
A telltale indication that your partner doesn’t see you in his or her future is when you aren’t being invited to be a part of it. If your significant other is stalling on buying concert tickets with you in advance or avoiding it in general, the reason may be more than he or she not getting around to it.
Before you pick up your phone to confront your partner (and/or mass text your best friends for advice on it), remind yourself that your partner’s refusal to show further signs of commitment is a sign in itself. Even though it’s disappointing when relationships don’t turn out the way we imagined, the hurt seems to settle better once we accept that we don’t need to be creating a future with someone who isn’t considering us in theirs.
2. They already have all of your commitment
The truth is that a person who is right for you would never have a problem with committing to you — especially if you’re already committing back. Unfortunately, not everyone we come across deserves our loyalty, and those who don’t will be the ones trying to take advantage of it.
We’re not telling you to drastically act cold towards your partner, but to take a step back and reflect on your situation. If you’re treating your partner like you already have the commitment you’re asking for (for instance: living with a partner in hopes to eventually get married) and he or she shows no wish for the same result, this is something to consider. In the end, you have a right to the commitment you’re wishing for and should be with someone who is willing to give it to you.
3. They’re unavailable when you’re struggling
It only makes sense that the people who aren’t serious about you are nowhere to be found when you’re actually experiencing something you deem as serious. Regardless of if your issue is a bad day or a flat tire, your partner either doesn’t have enough time to pick up your call or is too busy to acknowledge it. Even though this scenario could be one that sounds all too familiar, it’s also one that indicates your partner’s lack of dedication to you. Remember — your best moments are just as important as your worst ones, and a committed partner will be there to support you through both.
4. They only share surfaced information with you
You can always tell how close someone feels to you by the way he or she answers when you ask how their day went. Those who don’t want to commit will most likely reply with a short and impersonal response — simply because they don’t wish to take the relationship to a more personal level.
Although you can’t expect your partner to tell you his or her deepest fears and greatest dreams all at once, their openness to do so can be found in their willingness to ask you intimate questions and their attentiveness when you answer. Overall, people will show you their intentions — it’s up to you to decide if you want to see them or not.
5. They do things based on convenience
Similar to how your partner may disappear when you need them most, a likely explanation for why you can’t seem to see them (when you want to) is the fact that they only want to be with you (when they want to).
The list of reasons for why your partner can’t spend time with you stretches in length (and truth) — from being stuck at work to being out with friends, your partner has an excuse lined up. Regardless of what the reason is, the only thing you need to know is that it doesn’t matter. A partner who plans to commit will not only make time for you, but will also not need to be asked to. After all, relationships are based on compromise — not convenience.