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Help! I'm Dating A Commitment Phobic. What's the Problem? Part 3 (Character)

Scenario #3- Commitment is not the issue, his “character-man” is. Your king could be very much in love with you, yet hesitate on commitment and engagement for reasons that are 100% about him and not you. One possibility is his fear, anxiety and uncertainty about his own character. In essence, how good of a husband he can be to you? Privately, he could be worrying about whether he has the character it takes to be a successful husband at this point in his life. Being a great husband requires a lot of character traits (fidelity, being a provider, kindness, emotional control, balance, consistency, etc.). Thus, his delay does not mean that he is afraid of commitment. Instead, he simply wants more time to develop his character because failing as a husband is not an option. This is true for men who have dynamic fathers or absent or very flawed fathers as examples. You want to measure up to how your dad treated your mom or avoid his mistakes, depending on your upbringing.

My advice would be to ask your King how he feels about carrying on the responsibility of being a husband and how ready he is to accept that role right now. If he is not ready, I would advise you to discuss versus attack the issue by exploring why he doesn’t feel comfortable being a fiance’ or husband yet. Listen to him deeply and then challenge him to be the man he desires to be; one with strong moral character. Challenge him to work out a plan to strengthen his character and then, actually take action on his issues. Next, watch his actions and not his words. A man who has issues but is in love with you will do whatever it takes to improve his character (counseling, men’s ministry, yoga, fast, etc.) to marry you. If he does not, you officially have a problem. You cannot make a man want to improve or take action on his own issues. However, you also cannot afford to lose precious time (a commodity none of us get more of) while he decides to remain too flawed to be a committed boyfriend, fiancé or husband. Before you panic with this dilemma, remember that this is extremely common and a process.

By biblical definition, a man is not complete without his rib. Genesis 2:18 states, “The Lord God said, it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” This implies that men need help. So, help him to take action on improving his character man so that he can be a phenomenal, Godly husband and benefit from the help of a wife. Last I checked, allowing your wife to help you does wonders for your career…just ask President Obama and Steve Harvey. Did you know that research states that marriage benefits men more than women? Married men are:

  1. Happier- have a helpmate and friend in the house)

  2. Healthier- wives nag husbands to go to the doctor (and follow up appointments for that matter) while single men let symptoms get worse) and

  3. Wealthier (two incomes, divided expenses, accountability partner, personal life coach, business partner, cheerleader, etc.).

Hence, it behooves men to desire marriage to actually “be all they can be” (slogan for Marines). What’s the takeaway?

Help your King to decide to take action on improving "character-man" so that he can successfully lead, take care of and listen to you in marriage.

If he refuses, take your talents to a man who is ready to be a husband or at least is ready to start the process. It’s all about action. Remember, flaws can be improved but a willful decision to remain flawed is a certain relationship killer. Why? His flaws will become your problems later. If he has addiction, decision making, infidelity, anger management, etc. issues, they will affect your marriage and family life. Privately, most men are aware of their issues and delay marriage to improve but never tell you why they are waiting. "Why ruin your better half with your own crap" is the mindset. What he needs to hear though is that all men improve when they actively admit their issues, vices and moral weaknesses and take action on them.

Final warning, this does not mean that you give your man an ultimatum to "shape up or ship out". Instead, simply double down on your own expectations of a husband and allow him to decide to step up or not. If he does, great. If he does not, he has disqualified himself. Think about buying a luxury car...Mercedes Benz refuses to sell you a car below it's worth. Either you step up and pay for it or you don't. They will not chase you. Why? They know their value and refuse to settle for anything less because they don't have to....someone else is HAPPY to pay full price. It’s okay to give him a timeline to get back with you on his decision, of course. Time will tell you all you need to know as to whether he is ready or not. God Bless!

P.S.- Hey, Greg and Juanita Baranco, of Mercedes Benz of Buckhead, can a brother get a great deal for the free plug in this blog? Smile. Support Black-owned business.

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