Regardless of where the phrase was born, the noncommittal man is here today and here, most likely, to stay. And there are definite red flags that give him away. Before trying to formulate your own personal commitment-phobe repellent, though, it's important to recognize the red flags in you.
There are two red flags that indicate you're a woman who may fall in love with and become addicted to a noncommittal man.
1. You're "The Romantic."
The Romantic believes in love at first sight and being swept off her feet.
So, when she meets a man who sees her across a crowded room and pursues her at a brisk pace, she impulsively jumps to the conclusion that he's "The One."
Romantic ladies—when a man tries to inhale you like a drug or shake you up to turn you into "Instant Girlfriend," he's most likely a sex and love addict. I call him Mr. Need-for-Speed.
This is one of the most confusing types of noncommittal men because, for a brief time, even he believes you're the remedy to his inability to commit. (Think Daniel Cleaver's charming rogue in Bridget Jones.)
This sex- and love-addicted man knows he's got issues, but rather than dealing with them himself, he's looking for that one special lady who will cure him.
Unfortunately, his efforts are misguided because as soon as the girl is hooked, his fear of engulfment kicks in and he runs for the hills.
Romantic women often come from chaotic homes peopled with dramatic, neglectful, or addicted parents.
These types of women often played the childhood role of therapist, priest, caretaker, or rescuer with a parent.
This leaves romantic women with a huge hole that needs to be filled. So, if we haven't done our emotional healing work, we will continue attracting partners who mirror our childhood role models.
You're a romantic woman if you:
- Mistake sex and new romantic excitement for love.
- Choose partners who are emotionally unavailable.
- Choose partners who have demanding needs but do not meet yours.
- Use sex, seduction, and manipulation to "hook" or hold on to a partner.
- Find it difficult to leave unhealthy or emotionally abusive relationships even though you keep promising yourself you will.
2. You're "The Thrill-Seeker."
The Thrill-Seeker loves a challenge. She tends to be attracted to the Brooding-Broken-Bad-Boy who has left a string of trampled hearts in his wake.
He might even come right out and warn The Thrill-Seeker that he's not the committed type.
But does that stop her? Nope. She's confident she can change the guy, and it doesn't hurt that he's charismatic and easy on the eyes.
The Thrill-Seeker might even meet with some early success and land him in bed, where he's most expressive and passionate.
But, quickly The Thrill-Seeker realizes in bed is the only place he's willing to commit. And should enough time go by...even that commitment waxes and wanes.
The Thrillseeker also comes from a chaotic home, but her reaction is the opposite of the Romantic woman's reaction.
The Thrill-Seeker might have felt smothered by her family of origin and couldn't wait to break away.
So, a nice guy standing in front of her, ready to commit, often scares her more than a noncommittal bad boy who keeps running away.
The Thrill-Seeker has her own fear of commitment lurking in the wings.
So, ladies, it's not enough just to know that you should avoid both the passionate Mr. Need-for-Speed and the intriguing Brooding-Broken-Bad-Boy.
It's most important that you understand yourself. Ask yourself these questions and journal your answers:
- What fears and needs control me?
- Do I mistake sex for love? What does that look like?
- Am I my man's psychiatrist, priest, caretaker, mother,and scold? What does that look like?
- What are my values?
- What are my goals for my romantic life?
- How do I abandon my values and goals when I date or am in a relationship?
The first step in avoiding noncommittal men is to understand where you come from and know where you want to go.
Avoid the "familiar" or the "challenging" if you come from a chaotic home.
Take contrary action by exploring the unfamiliar territory of getting to know a man slowly before falling into bed and becoming sexually bonded.
You are your first best defense against falling in love with a noncommittal man.
There are many paths to self-knowledge and self-love; my favorite is 12-step recovery.
You might also do well in a religious community, with a private therapist or with the guidance of a higher power.
But the one thing you should know above all is that the noncommittal man is just a symptom of the problem and may well be the catalyst you need to heal yourself and take responsibility for your own life.