Home  >  Reads for Women  >  How To...

Indecisive Boyfriend: 27 Signs, Why He’s Unsure & How to Change Him

Does your man always change his mind? And does it drive you crazy? If you have an indecisive boyfriend, here is what you can do about it.

indecisive boyfriend man

They say love and relationships are like jobs; they change constantly until the right one sticks and makes you stay in it for the long haul. What happens when the right one isn’t quite sure about you? An indecisive boyfriend is always changing, “on the fence,” his feet not firmly planted. 

Will a man like this ever take a strong stand and move forward with his decision? 

Or worse, will he ever find the right woman—the woman that can make him stay in it for the long haul? Or will he continue to make decisions that waver from one moment to the next?

An indecisive boyfriend can be very annoying and this conundrum can age a woman prematurely because her man is not truly invested in their relationship, nor is he in control of his life!

Indeed, the word “indecisive” means not providing a clear and definite result. It is the inability to make a decision effectively when presented with more than one choice: a temporary paralysis.

What makes someone indecisive?

Indecisive people can be frustrating. So, you are probably wondering exactly why your boyfriend is indecisive. Here are some common reasons people can’t make decisions.

1. Overthinking

Some people are just natural over-thinkers. They just look at all the options that are available and then they just think too much. They think there are too many options, and they are trying to weigh the pros and cons of all of them. [Read: How to stop overthinking in a relationship and calm your mind down]

After a while, the person can feel paralyzed by overthinking because there is just too much to consider. When this happens, people get derailed from the important aspects of the decisions they need to make.

Realistically, people just have to admit that sometimes it’s impossible to calculate every outcome. In other words, no one can predict the future. So, it’s just better if they acknowledge that some things are out of their control.

2. Perfectionism

Some people can’t decide anything until everything seems perfect. But there is no such thing as perfect. What’s perfect to you is not perfect for another person. [Read: Dating a perfectionist – 12 things you must know before you date one]

However, there are people who simply cannot take any action until they think everything is “perfect” in their eyes. The thought of things not going to plan or making mistakes is intolerable to them.

They also think in terms of “right” and “wrong.” In addition, they rationally analyze everything so they choose the best option. They don’t understand that every decision will have advantages and disadvantages to them. There is no “perfect” decision, but they don’t know that.

3. People-pleasing

Some people have a hard time making decisions because they are people-pleasers. In relationships, there is always a struggle to make decisions. Even if it’s just “What do you want to have for dinner?” or “What do you want to do today?” [Read: People pleaser – 21 signs you’re one and how to stop people pleasing]

If someone can’t make a decision, it could be because they are overanalyzing what you want or putting too much emphasis on your needs.

For example, if you know your partner wants to eat at a certain restaurant but you prefer to go to a different one, you might not be able to decide easily.

You assume your partner wants to eat at that one restaurant, so you don’t want to upset them. But you also have to be honest with what you want too. As you can see, some people struggle to make a decision because they know what someone else wants but doesn’t really want to do it. [Read: Are you a taker or a giver in a relationship? 19 signs of a taker to watch out for]

4. Fear

Fear is closely related to insecurity. And a lot of people are insecure in the world. It’s easy to be scared of the unknown and the consequences of our actions. [Read: Fear of commitment – 47 signs, whys, and ways to get over your phobia]

They also might find themselves afraid of facing the responsibility of their actions. After all, no one wants to be blamed for the negative consequences of their actions. 

So, they don’t see taking personal responsibility for their behaviors as a positive thing. They don’t want to own their actions and work toward positive results. They don’t properly analyze these possible positive results, and as a result, they hold on to their fear.

5. Programming from childhood

Even though they are adults, some people’s parent’s opinions, personalities, and decision-making abilities can still affect them. Maybe someone grew up with controlling or overprotective parents, so they never developed their own decision-making skills. [Read: Being raised by narcissists – 18 harmful ways it affects your life]

If this is true, then the person would be overly worried about how their parents would judge their decision-making, so they aren’t even sure where to begin. Also, if someone had parents who were also indecisive, then they accidentally picked up the same behavior themselves.

The fear of disappointing parents can paralyze someone and prevent them from making any decision. Even if they intellectually know that it doesn’t matter, emotionally and subconsciously, they don’t.

6. Self-doubt

Most people doubt themselves from time to time. And for some, these doubts can have a big impact on their decision-making abilities.

Even if they know what decision they want to make or what’s best for them, their lack of confidence causes them to second-guess themselves. [Read: Overcoming self-doubt – The signs and best ways to stop doubting yourself]

Because of this, they might procrastinate because they feel their thought processes are too flawed to make the right choice. Insecurity can be crippling for some people. So, until they feel better about themselves, their indecisiveness may continue.

7. Fear of change

Whether the decision is big or small, it all comes with some sort of change in our lives. But change cannot ever be avoided. It’s an inevitability of life. But some people just don’t like change and it makes them uncomfortable.

For some people, change can even be scary, so they try to avoid it at all costs. Of course, this isn’t possible, but they sure try nonetheless. The unknown is unpredictable, and that can make people feel like something will go wrong. [Read: Why won’t he change? Your man says he will but never does]

Men and indecision

Men can be very mysterious creatures who are afraid to show their emotions, and constantly try to maintain that ‘macho’ status quo. Being indecisive, however, runs far deeper than being afraid to show emotions or maintaining a macho stance.

Indecisiveness could be due to fear—we all have some degree of fear—or it could simply be immaturity, or blowing hot and cold at the same time. Whatever the cause, being indecisive is agonizing to the person on the receiving end, like an itch you cannot scratch.

Indecisive behavior could very well be a reflection of who a man really is, rather than a purposeful act to annoy his partner. It could also be linked to failed relationships, his upbringing, or his inability to commit. All of these circumstances inevitably amount to frustration and pain for an indecisive man’s partner. [Read: Are insecure men ever worth dating?]

Identifying an indecisive boyfriend

So how does one put an end to such a scenario? How do you deal with your indecisive boyfriend? Under the circumstances, it would be easy to simply say, “End the relationship,” but sometimes life is not so simple. This is particularly true when you’re in a serious relationship with him.

Clearly, an indecisive boyfriend has commitment issues. He appears to make decisions and then shies away from those decisions due to panic or fear. It could also be a ploy to relieve himself of responsibility.

This kind of behavior, if it continues, will only destroy the relationship. You could end up falling into the trap of trying to help him make up his mind and allay his fears while forgetting your own needs.

This may temporarily blind you and prevent you from recognizing the bigger picture: that he has a problem with making decisions. [Read: 3 big reasons why men feel emasculated by the world we live in]

The signs of an indecisive boyfriend when it comes to you

You may already know that you have an indecisive boyfriend, but maybe you don’t. They are often associated with giving false hopes to their girlfriends. So, if you need to know the signs, here is what to look for.

1. Makes a lot of empty promises

An indecisive boyfriend will promise you a lot but rarely delivers. It could be something as simple as saying he’ll take you out to dinner on Saturday night or that you’ll get engaged by the end of the year. You are figuring out that he never means what he says.

2. Flakes on your plans with bad excuses

When he makes plans, he will very frequently flake on you. His excuses are bad too. He might use fake excuses like “I’m too tired,” “I had to work late,” or “My friend just came into town unexpectedly.”

You know they are not real reasons. He just had something better come up than spending time with you. [Read: 31 secrets to make someone fall in love with you and why this works]

3. Doesn’t mention you on social media

When someone is serious about their significant other, they want to show them off. They are proud to be with that person, and so they will post pictures of them to let the world know they are together.

But if your boyfriend doesn’t want to do that, then you have a problem.

4. Takes long to reply to you

For most couples, there is an understood amount of time that it takes to get back to each other via text or phone.

So, if he is taking a really long time to reply, then he is doing it on purpose. It doesn’t take much more than a few seconds to send a text to say hello or to answer you.

5. Seems “too busy” all the time

You seem like you’re the only one who tries to make plans with him anymore. He never puts in the effort. And when you do ask to see him, he always talks about how busy he is.

It could be with work, or his friends, or fixing his car. But he has a hard time finding time to spend with you because of his “busy schedule.” [Read: What makes someone a player? The 21 sly signs of a player’s mind]

6. Secretive about his activities

When you ask him what he’s been up to or what he’s doing this weekend, he is very vague. He might even hide his phone when you are around because he doesn’t want you to see it.

Someone who is serious about you would be an open book and not try to be secretive about their whereabouts or anything else.

7. Doesn’t want to meet your friends or family

You think the two of you are in a place where you should start to integrate your lives. And that involves meeting each other’s friends and family.

But he seems very uninterested in doing so. And even if you express your excitement, he always seems to find an excuse not to do it.

8. Doesn’t care about your feelings

When you try to express how you are feeling about his indecision, he doesn’t really care how you feel. He just brushes you off and tells you it’s not a big deal.

But you know it’s a big deal, and he does too. He just doesn’t want to talk about it because he knows he is indecisive. [Read: Selfish boyfriend – The signs he’s self-centered and how to deal with it]

9. Has a lot of close friends – and some of the opposite gender

There’s nothing wrong with having close friends. In fact, it’s great. But if he seems a little too close to his friends, then you may have a problem.

And if some of these friends are girls, then you have to wonder why he seems to prioritize them over his very own girlfriend.

Addressing indecision

Bear in mind that an indecisive person is likely in a state of torment as well; decision-making can be extremely difficult—particularly for people who struggle with commitment.

If your boyfriend cares for you, however, he should be willing to leave his indecisive behavior behind. As you navigate your relationship with a wary decision-maker, keep these steps in mind. [Read: What age does a man emotionally mature? 19 signs of maturity in a guy]

1. Make communication a priority

Communication is important at this stage of your relationship. Find out why he’s so indecisive and tell him what his uncertainty does to you. Tell him you know he’s scared to commit to the relationship or to the big issues in his life, but you are willing to take the leap of faith with him.

As you talk, let him know that you’re in this together. If he really wants to stay in the relationship and is not just looking for an excuse to bail, he will appreciate you commiserating with him. 

Tell him you understand that making decisions *especially a big one like getting married* can really be scary, but doesn’t have to be so difficult if you are both open and honest. [Read: 12 obvious signs your man has really big commitment issues]

Remind your partner that, although indecision may seem like the best route, making decisions and constantly doubting them *or avoiding them altogether* makes for a very frantic, confusing life.

2. Give him an ideal timeline

As you talk, present a timeline detailing how you would like your relationship to go. Let him know that you will give him time to decide how he will proceed, but you won’t wait forever.

His indecisiveness can be destructive to you, and you cannot place your life on hold indefinitely, as this will erode your self-worth.

3. Encourage him—don’t just attack his flaws

Try not to scold him for the decisions he makes, even if you are not in agreement with them. The point is to encourage him to make decisions, so if a decision didn’t work out well, don’t dwell on it.

Let him assist you in making simple decisions such as choosing which skirt you should wear to work, where to go for the next vacation, or where you should go out for dinner that night.

Give him simple decisions until he gains confidence and can make choices on his own. [Read: 15 mistakes women make when they want a man to commit to them]

4. Help him find a therapist or counselor

If your boyfriend still cannot make a decision as to the future of your relationship, or cannot make any decisions at all, he needs help. Help him find a therapist. 

You can be empathetic, but when these issues get in the way of forging a mutual and satisfactory relationship and there is no effort to resolve them, you have to step away.

Deciding wrong, making mistakes, and even failing at your relationship could, potentially, be better than avoiding decisions altogether.

A trained counselor will be able to explain this to your boyfriend with greater authority and will be equipped with tools to help him learn to be assertive and confident. [Read: Relationship therapy – 25 clues to know if it will help your romance]

5. Show him the consequences of his indecision

If your best efforts failed, let him know that he has left you with very little choice. At this point, letting go may not be easy, but it is likely your best option.

The sooner a woman can figure out that the relationship is not going anywhere, the sooner she can wrap her mind around the concept of moving on.

Let him know that being indecisive is a decision in itself: one he already made *to the detriment of the relationship* and being on the receiving end of his indecision isn’t good for your soul or your self-esteem.

How to make an indecisive boyfriend commit

It is probably making you crazy that your indecisive boyfriend hasn’t committed to you yet. So, how can you make that happen? Here are some tips. [Read: 47 secrets to get a guy to commit and make him realize he needs you]

1. Don’t force it on him

As much as you don’t want to hear this, the thing you have to remember the most is that there is no real way to get him to commit unless he wants to and is ready. If you try to force him to commit, you might make him feel like you are controlling. 

Most men hate that and will make them go running for the hills. So, if you want to keep him around, just ease off of him and don’t pressure him into anything.

2. Play a little hard to get

Don’t be too available to him even if he is your boyfriend. Make him chase you a little. Men love the challenge and satisfaction of winning over a woman with their charm. And if you do that, he will feel like he is in control – which he wants. [Read: How to play hard to get with a guy – 20 secrets to leave him smitten]

So, just take a step back and let him take the wheel and steer the relationship for a while. You might not believe it, but your lack of pursuit will bother him so much that he will be chasing after you before you know it.

3. Have your own life

You can’t just sit around and have your life revolve around him. That will annoy him. He doesn’t want to be the center of your universe.

Do your own thing. Be your own person. You were before you met him, right? So, have a lot of things going on outside of your relationship.

Men love independent women who have a life of their own. So, spend time with your family and friends and take up some hobbies. As you can see, the key here is to keep him wanting you. And when you take the time to just focus on yourself, it will drive him crazy. [Read: 24 ways to be a strong independent woman all men love and desire]

4. Be a good listener

When we think of men, we usually think of bad listeners and communicators. But believe it or not, men do like it when women are there for them if they want to talk.

As you probably know, a lot of men have a hard time opening up emotionally. So, it’s important to be a good listener and give advice if he asks for it. This will make him more likely to share himself with you emotionally.

5. Make him feel special

Women aren’t the only ones who want to feel special. Guys are human too! They have emotions and want to know that someone actually thinks the world of them.

Tell him how much you appreciate the things he does for you and compliment him. This lets him know that he means a lot to you. He will feel like what he does is necessary to your life and he will be more likely to commit more quickly and easily. [Read: 30 special compliments for guys to make them blush and make their day]

6. Ask him about it

If none of these tips seem comfortable to you, then just be upfront with him about what you want. Don’t do it too emotionally. Just be logical can calm about it. Ask him what he’s looking for in the future and if he sees you in it.

You deserve to know where you stand with him so you don’t waste your time. Sometimes being bold and courageous pays off. You’ll be just fine regardless of the outcome.

Is he indecisive about everything or only you? 

You might be wondering if your indecisive boyfriend is always bad at making decisions, or is it only about you? Well, only you can figure out how bad he is at making up his mind in all areas of life.

However, if he seems to be able to make decisions easily but not when it comes to you, then you have some thinking to do. [Read: He won’t commit but he won’t let go – What should you do now?]

You don’t want to be anyone’s option, do you? Sure, maybe you’ve been going out for a long time, but he’s not sure if he wants to make a deeper commitment to you. If that’s the case, you need to realize that you are worth so much more than being his option.

You deserve someone who will make you his number one priority. Putting you on top of his list shows that he respects, loves, and values you. So, if he is putting other things such as friends, career, or himself before you, that’s because he can’t make a decision about you.

Think about it this way. If he can’t even make up his own mind about your relationship, why would you continue with him? Any man who wants you by his side will do anything to make that happen. He’ll put in the effort, court you, and treat you right. [Read: Is he afraid of commitment? 30 signs he’s scared of a real relationship]

He will make it known to you that you are who he genuinely wants, and you will know from his actions without a doubt. Not only that, but he will follow through and stand firm in his decisions regarding you. He will constantly show you how sure he is of you.

You have to respect yourself enough not to wait around if your boyfriend is so indecisive that he has to “figure out” whether or not he wants to be with you long-term. Know your worth, and don’t accept less than you deserve.

If you’re not strong enough to move on, think about what lesson you’re teaching him. You’re telling him that his indecisiveness is acceptable to you. It says that you have changed your standards for him and you don’t love yourself enough to walk away. [Read: Is he leading you on? Reasons why he’s playing games]

If all else fails, let go

Not charting your own course with your own values and desires, or staying locked in a forced carefree state of mind is depressing; although staying may seem to be the best choice, doing so is tortuous and a recipe for regret. 

We are either going to make decisions for ourselves or allow someone to make them for us.

You alone are in charge of your decisions. If your boyfriend refuses to make a choice regarding you and your relationship, it is up to you to make your own choice and seek a healthier relationship.

[Read: 25 common insecurities of men that most women don’t realize]

Making decisions—especially life-changing ones—can be terrifying. This doesn’t mean you can forego making decisions altogether, however. If your boyfriend is continuously indecisive, trust your intuition and make the decision that is best for your own health and well-being.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...