Why Won't My Partner Commit? 7 Things It Can Mean If They're Not Ready For The Next Step

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If you've been seeing someone for a while and you've already exchanged "I love yous," it's normal to expect commitment and exclusivity. But that doesn't always happen. It's confusing to be in a situation where someone says they love you, but refuses to commit. While it's easy to assume that your partner is lying about how they feel, experts say that may not always be the case. There are many different reasons behind why a partner won't commit.

"While many of us would agree [what the definition of commitment is], it may look very different for each individual," Deanna Fernandez, MHC, NYC-based psychotherapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. "This is where our attachment styles, stories, values and beliefs, lifestyle and more come into play."

In other words, there are so many different reasons behind why your partner won't commit. It's not as simple as saying they just want to keep their options open or they're not that into you. For instance, past experiences like a bad relationship or attachment issues can affect how someone views commitment.

"If you align with dismissive, fearful, and maybe even anxious attachment styles, you may find it challenging to commit to others," Fernandez says. So even if your partner really does love you, their negative feelings about commitment will make them try to avoid it at all costs. Although it feels personal to not have someone want to commit to you, in this case, it really has nothing to do with you. It's something they need to work out on their own.

Here are some things it can mean if your partner doesn't want to commit, according to experts.