Many frustrating “symptoms” arise from a man-child “suffering” from Peter Pan Syndrome (PPS). Perhaps the one that may be the most frustrating, and encompassing of various other traits, is the inability to commit. A man-child with PPS will more than likely avoid committing to the following life items: a job/career, a plan, a routine, a budget, a woman, a date, a home, an idea, a thought, a pair of socks, or an email account. In the case of Peter Pan, a guy may even have a hard time committing to a shirt to wear for the day in fear that it may tie him down for the rest of his life without regarding his desire to do a keg stand tomorrow.
Most frustrating of all, but provided as a wonderful red flag early on, is the man who won’t commit to a plan to spend time with you.
Why do PPS boys do this? What can you do about it?
A time, date, plan, or place:
Let’s suppose you met a male that you found interesting enough to want to spend more time with. Perhaps you are sexually attracted, perhaps not; either way you are interested in exploring this face to face. Perhaps you have had sex with them already; perhaps not. You contact them and ask them if they would like to make plans to meet. What does this to do to a man with Peter Pan Syndrome? It snowballs them into the following questions, one after another:
1. What does this girl want or expect from me?
2. Is she hoping for a relationship or a commitment?
3. What if I make plans with her and a better option comes along?
4. What if I miss out on partying with my friends instead, bro?
5. Am I going to have to marry this woman and never have sex with another woman again?
Then, it leads to some of the following responses:
1. “Not sure if I’m free. Let’s see and I’ll get back to you.”
2. “Let’s go with the flow and take it one day at a time.”
3. “I have no idea what’s in store for tomorrow, I am just living for today.”
4. “Let me get back to you on that.” (Then, doesn’t).
5. “That sounds good, let’s try for sometime soon.” (Good GOD, I hate the word “soon”)
Relax, dude. We were just interested in spending more time with you. Given that texting and messaging diminish quality interaction that can never be replaced by face to face interaction, we were just hoping to see you in the real world (you know, like people did before they had cell phones and Facebook) and to get to know you better. However, you are right. That would be a nightmare.
Not because of us, but because you are so egotistical that you think a woman wanting to spend time with you means the abolishment of your freedom and tequila shots on a Friday night.
What can you do about it, ladies?
If you attempt to try to spend time with a man asking for a somewhat specific plan or a time and date, and he won’t commit, call him out on his bullshit. First and foremost. Secondly, you can take any or all of the following actions:
1. If he gets a hold of you last minute, do not meet up with him even if you are free. He checked all his other options first, and you just so happened to be the only one to work out. Call him out on it. Don’t “play it cool”. Tell him that while you are happy his other options fell through, giving you his precious time, you’ve already made other plans with someone who felt like giving you priority. And that you’re going to have sex with them. Not him. Even if it’s not true. Seriously, say all of that. Then, laugh and never talk to the douche again.
2. A man saying he wants to take it one day at a time means the same exact thing. Tell him that while you understand taking everything one day at a time, you are an adult with a calendar and responsibilities. If he is unwilling to make plans with you until the last moment, then he does not care to make plans with you at all, and he is not considering the fact that you have a life you are balancing. You have become a convenience and an afterthought. Tell him that you are not a convenience, and you will be spending time with someone else who was willing to commit to a time and a plan. And you’re going to have sex with them. Not him.
3. If a man says he is just living for today, do not even respond. Run. Anyone who lives day by day does not think anywhere near the future and probably is in great debt, works at a pizza parlor, has ten roommates, and claims to be “supporting his art”. I mean, unless you’re into a man that lives this way in his 30s. If so, you probably do not need to continue to read this blog.
4. Make him define the word soon. Period. Soon, in the eyes of the Peter Pan man, usually means when I feel like it and when I remember you. If I remember you.
5. If a man feels like you are being “needy”, “clingy”, or “pushy” by showing interest in his time; he has become a great part of a huge societal trap that we are supposed to live up to, and it needs to stop. Women are told too often not to be needy or clingy, but then they are also told to be strong, assertive, and independent. How do we express to a man, in a strong and assertive way, that we would like to spend more time with them without being needy or clingy? Thanks, society. No pressure. I will say, you should definitely not give up your hobbies, wait around for the guy to finally have free time to spend with you, or constantly text. If you are doing this, you should assess your own self-worth and maybe take a step back from the dating world. If you have established a strong confidence and sense of self, and you are really just wanting to get to know a guy better and he responds with fear of commitment: then you have just found yourself a Peter Pan Syndrome “sufferer” and you will become a victim of his disorder if you continue to try and date him.
If you want change, start it. Do not play it cool. Call these guys out on their shit. Spend time with men who are willing to make plans with you. If you are a non-committal man, grow up. A woman wanting to spend time with you should be flattering and regarded as a privilege. Unless you are just not interested in her. In that case, be honest and just tell her that. Do not string her along as a last option when nothing better falls through.
This does not apply to a man who is legitimately busy and offers a time frame but needs some breathing room to figure that out. For example, a man saying something along the lines of: “That sounds really nice. This week is so swamped for me, but can I get back to you on that by tomorrow morning?”, is completely acceptable.