Why won’t they commit to me?
You're at that stage in your life where you feel ready to settle down with your partner and you truly believe you've found your soulmate, but for some reason your partner isn’t showing any sign of wanting to do the same. You might not be looking for marriage or to have children, but it’s reassuring knowing that some day it’s a possibility, but when you're with a partner who appears unable to show any sign of commitment, it will certainly give you reason for reservation. There are a number of possible reasons for their inability to commit to you, some of which may have very little to do with you personally.
Knowing about their past relationships will give you an idea of why they're avoiding anything more serious than casual dating. If they've been hurt badly in the past by an ex, have had a failed marriage, or they went through a breakup just before getting together with you, it’s likely they're still thinking about their ex and the relationship they had with them. The whole time they're still thinking about past relationships, the chance of your relationship moving forward isn't likely. There will always be a comparison between your relationship and past relationships they've been in. They’ll emotionally hold themselves back to avoid future heartbreak.
Content with your relationship
Your partner could just be enjoying the way your relationship is now and doesn't feel the need to change something that is working well for them. Don't assume they don't want a future with you; they're just making the most of enjoying your relationship now before making important decisions. They may find the balance between work, friends, hobbies, alone time and you just right, but to you it feels like you're not an important part in their life. This doesn't mean they don't want to be with you, it just means they see things differently and other parts of their life are important too. You may feel they're being selfish, but as long as they're giving you their full attention when you see them, it shows they're still interested in you.
They get a thrill from the chase
If your relationship has drastically changed from when you were first dating and they're spending less and less time with you, then your partner could be someone who enjoys the chasing and flirting part of dating. After a while they get bored and distance themselves from you and look for excitement in finding someone new to date. If you notice their behaviour is strange at times and they tell unbelievable stories about where they've been or why they haven't been in touch, then it’s possible they're dating other people. They might admit it to your face implying they didn't know you were being exclusive and they were simply keeping their options open, or they might deny seeing other people, but the doubt will already be in your mind. It’s unlikely you'll manage to change someone like this, so don't waste unnecessary time on him or her.
Scared of commitment
By mentioning living together, marriage or having children in the future, you could have scared them off, even if you meant much further in the future. It’s possible they feel pressurised into a serious relationship and they react by not fully committing to you, which is the opposite effect to what you want. You might feel comfortable discussing these serious topics, but your partner obviously isn't quite ready. The thought of planning the future and making important life changing decisions is daunting to them. They might be scared that your relationship will change if you move in together or get engaged; therefore they’ll do all they can to keep things as they are. Also, not everyone is prepared to take on responsibility for others, especially when it comes to being ill or emotions, so the thought of comforting you when you are sad, or looking after you when you’re ill could send your partner into panic mode, resulting in them distancing themselves from you.
Children from previous relationships
If you have children from a previous relationship, it can unfortunately put some people off having a serious relationship with you. They may enjoy spending time with you and genuinely really like you, but the thought of taking on responsibility for your kids too, even if you don’t expect anything from them, can terrify them causing them to back off from your relationship. Alternatively if your partner has children, it could be the case that they don't want to settle down with you because they have other responsibilities they put before their own relationship, but they enjoy spending time with you in a more casual level. You can't come between a parent and their child, so never try to compete with them for attention from your partner. Likewise, never allow a partner to come between you and your children as a result of jealousy.
Maybe you're not ‘the one’
It could just be that as much as your partner likes being with you, you're just not ‘the one’. They enjoy spending time with you and do genuinely like you, but they can't see you having a future together, so for now they're enjoying the company until they find what they're looking for in a long-term partner. People do unfortunately get used in this way, especially if you are offering a physical relationship, which is often all some people are after, so make sure you're not just being used in this way and end up wasting valuable time.