As I always like to point out when you are out in the dating world, you have to remember that what someone says is not exactly what they mean. Even if you are bold enough to flat out ask the person where you stand or what their personal situation is, you are still often times going to be left in the dark. Most people communicate in a way that is vague AF and/or simply do not want to lay out their true intentions. The reasons for this could include that the person wants to keep you as a backup option (hate to say it but it can happen), has a busy life where dating is not their top priority, and/or more often than not, the person doesn’t know how to be honest if that involves hurting the the other person’s feelings. I find more women struggle with this than men do.
There might be a time you encounter someone with “commitment issues”–their words of course and not yours. I would say that if the person states commitment issues and follows that with a story in which they have cheated in their past (perhaps on multiple occasions), then that is a justified label and would make sense saying that because I would agree, a pattern of cheating does very well = commitment issues. Another situation a person could have commitment problems is if they have practically a zero dating record. As in, this person has never had a serious relationship or the relationships were all or mostly casual. That is definitely a commitment issue as well.
If the person does not provide a rational explanation behind their commitment issues, I would first and foremost suggest that you keep things moving or just keep the person as a friend rather than a potential romantic love interest because no matter what the true reason is, a commitment issue is NEVER a positive thing and definitely not a sign that you should stick around. If you are just looking for some added clarity, then you just need to read between the lines and dig deep as to what the real underlying issue is. I can easily list a few although it can be something else that is personal to that person or even a combination of the reasons listed below.
Emotional Attachment to Someone Else – There is a very high chance that if a person cannot commit to you, this is due to the fact that they are not over an ex or they already are currently emotionally invested into someone else in their present life.
Stuck in the Past/Fear of Getting Hurt – If the person was left deeply hurt by someone else, then this person might think that every person they meet has the potential to do the same thing so rather than move forward into the future and start fresh, this person is constantly living within their past and unfortunately just stays there.
Wants to Date Around and Not Settle on One Person – Not everyone is at the same stage in life where they want to settle down to one person and start a family. It can take longer for some people and some people want to casually date around before getting too serious with one person only.
Extremely Selective – Chances are, if a person is very selective, their dating history is very limited or non existent because they never find people they want to fully commit to. So the underlying problem is not that they cannot commit, they probably could if they were not so picky when choosing a mate.
Came From a Broken Home and/or Divorced Parents – This is extremely common where you will meet someone who grew up in a single parent household (so they did not see the love between their two parents) or witnessed their parents fighting which lead to a divorce and as a result left a painful imprint on the person’s heart and soul. It could also impact a person in a way where they do not want to commit to anyone because they have never seen what a healthy and happy relationship could look like.
Just Not Into You on a Romantic Level – Most people do not know how to flat out tell someone they are not interested so rather than coming forward with the truth, they will throw any excuse from the book to make it seem like it is not you and it is a problem on their end such as their “commitment issues” and etc. Trust me, when a person is into you, they are not going to shy away from the opportunity to commit to you and will not give you a bogus excuse to prevent the start of a committed relationship with you–bottom line.