Commitment phobia strikes both men and women and the key factor is fear. These people have a fear of intimacy and getting close to others and tend to bail out of relationships just when their partners are beginning to relax with them. Commitment phobic men will bum rush a woman, seduce and flatter her, then bail out the minute she begins to lean on him. Commitment phobic women will start off very loving and sometimes clingy. When their partners think they are serious and want to settle down they becomes distant, intolerant and may find fault with everything the man does as an excuse to walk away.
|SEE ALSO: Living in Codependent Relationships|
Where Does Commitment Phobia Come From?
Commitment phobia often stems from the problematic home life of the victim as a child. There was either no display of affection in the family or a suffocating amount of it and the victim sees no point in committing as an adult when the very people they should have been able to relax and feel comfortable with during their childhood weren’t a comfort to be around.
Some people are too quick to end their relationship with commitment phobes and, before they do, will nag, pressure or ‘guilt trip’ that person into committing. Naturally this has the reverse effect and the commitment phobe will shy away. The person will leave them, then feel bitter, resentful and confused when the phobe is able to commit to someone else in no time at all.
Is it really worth ending a relationship because a person is afraid to commit? Walking away may seem easy, but you may wind up very lonely.
Before you walk away from a commitment phobe try helping them by:
- Being secure enough to give them the time and attention they need.
- Coax, don’t bully them into relaxing around you.
- Understand their fears and anxieties and work with them.
Am I Ready For a Relationship?
Everyone has been hurt in some way during their childhood. People who are over eager for closeness and immediately want a ‘committed relationship’ feel abandoned when their partners back off. These people did not experience enough nurturing or attention as they grew up and are very needy.
In contrast to this, there are those who have a fear of relationships and, as they progress toward possible lifetime commitment, feel trapped by the concept. These people where held too closely in the parent-child relationships and fear close contact with others. As adults, they feel intruded upon when their time and personal space is threatened.
Push-pull relationships are the most common because both the abandoned and trapped people invariably connect with each other. This painful process is only healed when each partner analyzes their own personal feelings by acknowledging them and dealing with them. Each partner must be empathetic with the other. The one who is scared of relationships (trapped) and the other who is seeking a relationship (abandoned).
Stay in the relationship, but help to heal it by making yourself grow as an individual. Discover who you are, take up a hobby or interest that gives you a focus as strong as your desire to be free or close.
Men and Commitment
When dating couples share the same beliefs, have the same interests and desires and truly respect and love one another, it is expected that both are ready for a commitment. However, this is not always the case and most of the time it is the male with commitment issues.
Again and again hundreds of women find themselves in the same pattern. They find a man loaded with potential, experience a beautiful relationship and they are eager and ready to commit only to find that their partner does not feel the same way – men with commitment issues.
This is a difficult code to crack and many times the woman is at fault for being too desperate, too anxious and willing to wait too long for the man to acquiesce to their viewpoint. The fear of losing this ‘great guy’ keeps the woman holding on, putting her own personal feelings and needs aside. The best solution is to look closely and fearlessly at the situation and review a few key components as to why your relationships always go awry and what to do to stop it.
- If he’s going to commit, it will be in his time.
- If he keeps putting off commitment, he may not feel the same as you.
- You can’t change him so don’t bother.
- He may not know why he’s not ready to commit.
When everything you have tried fails, the best thing to do is walk away. It may hurt for a while, but you will feel better for it in the end. In the meantime, you should take time to pamper and love yourself. The next time you find yourself involved in the makings of a relationship, take it slowly and make sure the man feels the same way you do about commitment.
Why Am I Afraid of Commitment?
People are afraid to commit for several reasons:
- Love makes them feel vulnerable.
- Love spurs existential fears.
- It brings up old emotional identities.
- They fear the relationship will be unbalanced.
In love, the fear of the unknown makes us wary of giving too much. We feel vulnerable because of the risks involved when we put our trust in someone. The whole process challenges who we are. We lose sight of self in exchange for the feelings of another. It changes our lives – and who we are – and shifts everything that we considered important in the past into perspective.
People are also scared of commitment because the other person may ‘love them too much’. This fear of ‘imbalanced love’ initiates inner turmoil which sometimes leads to anxiety and outbursts of anger directed at their partner. The pressure of feeling less emotion than their partner causes an overwhelming sense of guilt. This fear of what may happen, or how you may or may not feel about your partner in the future is unwarranted. It takes away from the time you could be enjoying your togetherness and getting to know your partner better. Be honest and open about how you feel rather than suffer in silence.
The more we gain, the more we stand to lose. If we put our all and best into someone and the relationship doesn’t work, we will feel worse than we did when we were single. These are the fears we mask under cover of petty idiosyncrasies like picking on our partners, finding fault with minor details, or giving up on the relationship completely for fear of losing out on an emotional investment. These existential fears are fear of commitment signs. We feel that we must give up the relationship and can actually cause it to deteriorate by making mountains out of molehills in order to cover the fear within us.
I Have Commitment Issues
The biggest commitment issue is to the self. We are afraid people won’t love us and this action can hinder us from getting the love we deserve and need – if we don’t stop building barriers against those who value and cherish us. Past hurts from our childhood make us feel we aren’t worthy of love and, therefore, we feel defensive when this mode of thought is challenged by anyone who really cares.
Am I Ready for a Commitment?
Now is the time to do some deep, soul searching. Finding out the truth about yourself does hurt sometimes, but it’s the only way toward self-healing. Once you reveal those deeply rooted issues you can work toward a more fulfilling life.
Are you afraid of feeling trapped? Look at the possible answers to the following questions and it will give you an idea of how you feel about the subject.
How much time are you willing to spend with the one you love?
- Every spare minute you have
- Once every day
- Two dates per week
- Once a month is good – you don’t like to be crowded
Do you like an occasional hug? yes, no, maybe
How do you feel about kissing? A little, a lot, no way!
How do you rate public signs of affection?
- I have no problem with it.
- I think intimate contact is best kept private.
- Hand holding and hugging is enough.
During a comedy movie both bride and groom make for the door when they hit center aisle. Your sentiments are:
- Wipe the tears away – the scene is too familiar.
- Roll your eyes – how corny and unrealistic can you get?
- Not a bad idea; a shame to waste all that money though.
Your partner mentions that they want you to meet their parents; you feel:
- Angry – why are they so pushy?
- Nervous, but hoping to make a good impression.
- It’s the happiest day of your life.
Your replies will determine whether:
- You have a healthy view toward marriage and relationships and are ready to take the plunge
- You are too anxious and willing to make that person your whole life
- You prefer to just date casually, but are unwilling to have it go further.