“I get triggered when a man tells me he isn’t looking for a relationship,” a friend told me the other day.
After having my heart broken enough times, I also carried this sentiment for a long time. I saw most men as pussies afraid of commitment.
Truth is, their fear of commitment is a threat only to our fear of abandonment.
I can see why a lot of men have this defense mechanism up. It is to protect themselves from our need of being saved by their love and attention.
Their defense mechanism is to protect themselves from our wound.
If a lot of men are “not looking for a relationship,” it’s only because too many women are, unconsciously, desperately looking for one.
I never thought I was (desperate for a relationship, that is).
I don’t want to get married. I am content on my own. And yet, my own relational history started to reveal to me that, on a subconscious level, I was desperate.
As soon as I started relating to a man, my abandonment wound became activated, and any chance for true relating was overshadowed by unconscious fears and coping mechanisms. He became my source of love and fulfillment, and many, many silent expectations and resentments started to build.
Both men and women are relating more from their wound than from their heart—and we cannot keep blaming the other without looking into our own triggers.
We get triggered because it means we are relating from a place of wanting something, and him opening with “I’m not going to give you anything I don’t feel like freely giving to you” puts us in a major power disadvantage.
Analyzing whether or not a man is afraid of commitment shows that it is the commitment we want, not the man itself.
In relating from the heart, we don’t want anyone to give us anything that isn’t given freely without expectation. We refuse to partake in the power play in the first place.
Give or don’t give—up to you. Game over.
I have many stand-up guy friends in my life—the kind of men who we would deem the “good ones.” And there are a few things I’ve learned from them.
For some men, “I am not looking for a relationship” means, “I am afraid of commitment.” For others, it means, “I don’t want you to build up a whole fantasy of me and what hole I can fill in your heart. I just want the freedom for this connection to reveal—with time—what it is.”
If we aren’t looking for a fantasy but for a true connection, it wouldn’t matter. We would enjoy each other’s company and stay close to ourselves, tuning in every moment if we are being met where we want to be met.
If not, then we shouldn’t want the connection anyway. If we aren’t being met, yet we want him to commit, it’s not the man we want—it’s being saved that we want.
Our fear of his fear of commitment is a great gauge for where we have some inner work to do so that we can truly start relating from the heart, rather than our wound.
By pointing fingers and psychoanalysing the other sex, we keep this dynamic going strong. Only through looking deeply into our own fears and wounding can we transcend this dynamic altogether, at which point we simply lose interest in pathologising and labeling what others are or aren’t doing.
He is not afraid of commitment; he is afraid of becoming the source of our fulfillment.