034 – SDP – 4 Reasons Why You Can’t Commit


When You Can’t Commit

I recently had a conversation with a gentleman who has been divorced for several years. I don’t remember exactly how many, but it was enough that he should be able to move on; however, he can’t seem to commit to new relationships. He has a desire to be in a new relationship and is dating but as soon as the relationship starts to look “official” he runs.

The question is why? Why is he scared of commitment?

As I’ve said many times before, one of the biggest mistakes I see people make after a divorce is seeking a new relationship too soon. Because of this, I would never encourage someone to date who just isn’t ready. But that’s not the case in this situation. He is already actively dating and he has been divorced long enough that it shouldn’t be an issue, yet he just can’t seem to commit to relationships.

Now this was just a passing conversation with someone I had just met so I can’t make any judgements as to why he is having difficultly with commitment; however, if you find yourself in this situation here are 4 possible reasons why moving on is proving difficult.

You Still Love Your Ex

Even though you are divorced, and have been for many years, given the right set of circumstances you would take your ex back. You would gladly remarry him/her if only they would make some changes.

If this is the case you need to stop dating. It’s not fair to the guys or gals you are seeing if you are emotionally unavailable. Find a good group of friends to hand out with, get involved in church or community activities, volunteer at a local charity, but don’t start dating until you can categorically say that your marriage is over forever.

You Haven’t Worked Through The Grieving Process

If you find yourself with continuing anger toward your ex or you are battling depression that was caused by the divorce you are stuck in the grieving process. Your ex still has power over you and moving on will be extremely difficult.

Take some time off from dating and work through the issues that are causing your emotional pain. Only when you have truly reached the point of accepting the divorce will you be ready to give your all to a new relationship.

You Keep Choosing Your Ex

Well not really your ex, but you keep choosing people to date who have many of the same qualities as your ex. It may be because that’s the type of person you are comfortable with many years of marriage or could just be that what attracted you to your ex initially is still attractive to you. In either case, as you get to know this new love interest you begin to see things that remind you of your ex and you want to run.

When this happens you need to take a step back and reevaluate what you are looking for in a date / future spouse. If you can’t figure out on your own why you are attracted to people who are not a good fit for you then you may need to seek the help of a counselor to guide you through the process. There may be things from your childhood that are subconsciously influencing your decisions now. Continuing to date people who are just like your ex is most likely not a good plan for future happiness.

Fear Of Failure

Maybe you are afraid of another failed marriage. You’re afraid that there is something wrong with you and you will never make a good husband or wife. Maybe you just don’t think it’s worth the risk of another divorce.

I don’t really have any sage advice if this is the case. I would suggest talking to your pastor or a counselor to work through your fears. It may also be that you’re just not ready to date.


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G.D. Lengacher is a life coach focusing on helping people heal after divorce. He produces the Surviving Divorce Podcast weekly.

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About gdlengacher

G.D. Lengacher is a life coach focusing on helping people heal after divorce. He produces the Surviving Divorce Podcast weekly.