Scenario #2- Commitment is not the issue, money is.
If your man treats you well, is emotionally open to getting married but tells you that things need to change first…listen to what he is really saying. First, he could want to marry you but does not feel that he is financially stable enough to provide the type of wedding, honeymoon, and future life that you deserve. Thus, he could be vague due to his pride (men do have that you know) but is privately making practical moves towards marriage (e.g., saving money, fixing financial issues, working more hours, etc.) so that marriage can be a logical next step. Hence, he’s not a commitment phobic; he’s a realist but a poor communicator about his plan. His behavior shows that he is serious about marriage but he doesn’t want to talk about it because there is no point. Why talk about something that cannot happen yet and get your hopes up for nothing and risk disappointment? That’s how men think.
His logic makes sense to men but not to women. Chances are that he doesn’t know that you simply needed to hear that he was in the planning phase so you could relax. In fact, you can possibly help out with finances (contribute yourself, help his business plans work better, problem solve together versus put it all on him). Your best option is to ask him about his finances, discuss yours, and get on the same page financially and survive to love and marry another day. Marriage involves money and if you haven’t had that conversation, it’s critical that you do sooner rather than later.
Remember, couples can solve all types of problems together but what you don’t know and cannot yet talk about will kill you. Instead of accusing him of being a commitment phobic, be smart and initiate an ongoing dialogue about marriage and finances. As a married couple, this will be a conversation you need to get used to having anyway.