I think it’s impossible to make a blanket generalization.
For some people, yes, obviously the reason they have not committed to the person they’re in a relationship with is that they just don’t want to with that person. This is obviously fairly common – people coast along in a relationship, sometimes for years, but don’t want to take the plunge to make it more permanent because they know that certain things about the relationship are not the right fit.
HOWEVER, commitment issues are a thing for some people. There are some genuine commitment-phobes out there. If you do a little research, you will see that this is a genuine, recognised phobia in the psychology community. Moreover, I know at least one person like this. And I mean, this is genuine commitment fear, nothing to do with the strength of his feelings for the person he is with. If I had not met and gotten to know this guy quite well, I might be inclined to agree with the article, but this guy definitely has a genuine fear of commitment, and I have met others like him.
He is 40 and lives alone – and has done for pretty much all of his adult life. He has lived for very brief periods (a few months) with girlfriends on two occasions. Never been married or engaged. Has dated prolifically, though. Has never had a relationship which has gone beyond a year and a half. He starts to feel suffocated if he spends too much time with someone, and if the relationships starts to go too well or get too close, he pushes the person away and starts to find something wrong with them. He rarely opens up about his feelings, never talks about the future and seems terrified to do so. He has had the same job, the same house and virtually exactly the same life for the past ten years. He doesn’t even go away on holiday. He seems absolutely stuck, and I doubt very much whether he will ever let a woman in enough that he could feel close to a real commitment. If I hadn’t seen this pattern over and over again with my own eyes, I would never have believed it.
In fact, I have become convinced that he could meet a woman who had the brains of an astrophysicist, the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, the personality of a stand-up comedian, and the heart of Mother Theresa and he would still not commit to her.
I’ve seen other people like him (but he is the most extreme case) – sometimes it’s a temporary commitment phobia, like if they’ve just come out of a divorce, and other times it’s more permanent, and it has nothing to do with the partner they are with at the time.
Commitment phobia is a real thing. It’s similar to claustrophobia. These people want a loving relationship with all their heart and soul, but are also so afraid of what that brings. It’s their conscious desire battling with their unconscious fear.
Frankly, I am sooooo over the tendency to put all relationship issues down to “he’s just not that into you.” People often have real issues preventing them from giving their all to a relationship which have absolutely nothing to do with the partner at hand. Not only is this “he’s just not that into you” trope often wildly inaccurate, I feel that it creates a whole seething hotbed of fear and insecurity in women that just doesn’t need to be there.
My point is – it might be that he’s just not that into you. But it could just as easily be something else. And jumping to that conclusion all the time doesn’t necessarily help anyone.