Are you the person who constantly drives away anyone who tries to get close?
Do you abandon each chance of a close relationship?
If so, you might just be a commitment-phobe.
Commitment issues are a topic frequently discussed nowadays. But, what does it really mean? If you aren’t quite sure whether you’re the one with the problem or it is someone you know, you will certainly find your answer after reading this.
We will discuss all possible signs of commitment issues, why they occur in the first place, and what to do to get over them.
What Are Commitment Issues?
Essentially, if you have commitment issues, that means that you are afraid to be seriously involved with your partner. The lack of an emotional connection helps you avoid being hurt.
These issues don’t necessarily concern only romantic relationships, though, as is widely believed. You can fear commitment when it comes to friendships or any kind of long-term objective for that matter.
The bottom line is that you’ve gone through extreme trauma that made it troublesome for you to be devoted to another person or goal. You have an avoidant attachment style. Essentially, you have learned to not depend on anyone.
Now, this style can manifest itself in three ways:
•anxious-preoccupied – You doubt the other person really wants you back.
•dismissive-avoidant – You don’t like depending on anyone nor vice versa.
•fearful-avoidant – You want a committed relationship, but you’re afraid of the potential pain.
What Are Signs Of Commitment Issues?
If you think that you have commitment issues, you probably do. That’s not too difficult to determine. However, the signs differ from one individual to another. Your problem isn’t necessarily the problem of someone else who is a commitment-phobe.
However, they all share one underlying problem – the desire for closeness that is intertwined with the fear of commitment.
If you’re not quite sure whether you have commitment phobia, stay with me and we’ll figure it out together. Essentially, when you’re afraid to commit, you do these things:
1. You are prone to short-term relationships.
Do you ever look back and notice that all of your relationships ended too soon? If so, you might be a commitment-phobe.
A long-term relationship might frighten you, so you seek short-term pleasures. You always find reasons to end them, or you simply trivialize your problem. You might take pride in the number of your conquests.
Of course, having a preference for temporary relationships doesn’t always mean that you have issues. Maybe you’re just that type of person.
What’s crucial is determining whether you have a problem or not is the motivation behind your choices. Is it pleasure? Or, is it fear?
2. You prefer casual relationships.
You may not want to have serious relationships of any kind. Instead, you prefer those that will provide you with the sexual enjoyment that you seek, whether they involve one person for a longer period of time or one-night stands.
It could be that having friends with benefits simply brings you satisfaction and joy. However, if you have even the slightest desire to seek a true connection with someone, you may want to reevaluate your choices.
Your problem may be repressed, but still entirely possible to both recognize and deal with.
3. You often cancel plans.
If you’re in a constant loop of arranging and cancelling plans, you may want to sit down and contemplate for a while.
The fact that you make plans in the first place shows that you desire them. But, if you continuously find excuses to abandon them, you have a fear of intimacy.
Devoting someone your time will result in closeness, and you’re not particularly tempted by the idea of an intimate relationship.
4. It takes you ages to reply to texts.
It’s quite possible that you are just not the type of person who’s fond of texting. However, if you find that you really enjoy someone’s presence, but nevertheless reply to their message days later, that’s a sign.
Texting, just like any kind of communication, is a serious matter. Choosing to engage in conversions every day is bound to turn into something greater. That’s how you often form bonds that last a lifetime.
You keep people at arm’s length because an intimate connection might bring worse feelings than the ones you’re experiencing due to a lack of it.
5. You dismiss discussions about the future.
Whenever your partner tries to talk about where the relationship might lead you, you leave or change the topic. The idea of a serious commitment terrifies you, and what’s more serious than future plans?
Your partner may talk about marriage, a shared apartment, or something as seemingly simple as a summer holiday. Still, that’s too far ahead for you to think about.
Enthusiasm about such plans can be destroyed in an instant. So, to avoid disappointment, you refuse to experience the joy of imagination, too.
6. When you talk about future plans, you never mention your partner.
Sometimes, when you do discuss the future with your romantic partner, you fail to mention anything concerning your relationship.
You might talk about your dream job or a house you only envisioned yourself or a hypothetical family living in. However, your partner is altogether left out.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t want a committed relationship. Perhaps that’s your greatest wish. Nevertheless, fulfilling it brings you unimaginable discomfort, so you don’t even reveal it.
7. You find it difficult to form a bond.
Allowing yourself to be deeply invested in someone comes with great risk. In order to avoid any potential emotional damage, you tend to gravitate towards more superficial relationships.
Perhaps you seek people with similar wishes, or you are the one who rejects any emotion. Naturally, emotions often come uninvited, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t pretend that they aren’t there.
It doesn’t matter if it’s emotional repression or a lack of attachment to your partner, an intimate connection is practically non-existent.
8. You often doubt your choice of partner.
Do you constantly seek flaws in your partner?
Do you find reasons to convince yourself that they’re just not good enough?
If so, the root cause of your behaviour might not be due to an unhappy relationship. It’s possible to question your partner even when you find them impeccable because it’s not necessarily about them.
If you take a look at your previous relationships and notice the same pattern, then the problem is your inability to resolve your commitment issues.
9. You search for any kind of excuse to end the relationship.
Are you always the one to end a relationship?
Do you find even the most foolish reasons to achieve this?
Of course, sometimes, even a seemingly minor thing might hide a more enormous problem underneath, but let’s be frank –
If you somehow always find excuses to terminate a relationship, especially when it’s about to progress, you rarely do it because you truly want to.
Opting for departure before getting seriously involved is how you avoid potential hurt.
10. You have a hard time confessing your love.
What’s relevant to realize is that having commitment issues doesn’t mean you’re incapable of feeling emotional attachment.
It might be the most powerful affection you’ve ever experienced, but that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to welcome it with open arms.
There’s nothing that can bring you closer to your partner like a love confession. This is precisely why you choose to suffer in silence.
However, sometimes, you may choose to say the words. You want honesty, and you feel prepared for what may come… that is, until it comes.
11. If your partner gets close, you run away.
If your partner makes any move that suggests a desire for more intimacy, you instantly flee. You either refuse them or you decide to end things.
You could be dying due to how much you love them, but converting your feelings into action is just out of the question.
This doesn’t mean that you never dare to get close. Some people do experience intimacy at its height. But, at some point, they always opt for departure because they’re afraid of what comes next.
12. You seek emotionally unavailable people.
It really could be a coincidence that you keep falling in love with the wrong people who could never give you what you want. Or, it might just be a pattern that you unconsciously repeat.
Your love is never reciprocated because that’s precisely what you want. If it was, you’d be petrified. You choose people you can’t be with because you know that you’ll end up alone.
This doesn’t mean that your love is any less real. Nevertheless, you allow it to happen only to continue with the pattern that takes away the fear, yet leaves nothing but a life devoid of the passion that you truly crave.
13. You avoid personal conversations.
Allowing someone access to your inner thoughts and feelings is a step you are rarely prepared to take. Intimate conversations require you to be your vulnerable self, that is, your true self.
After all, when someone sees your true nature, doesn’t that connect you for life?
You are aware of that, and that’s why you’re so hesitant. You can’t reveal anything but the most trivial facts and everyday occurrences you could tell anyone.
Naturally, each case is specific, and someone may indeed have no problem with revealing all aspects of their personality. Not all signs can be applied to your situation.
14. You always send mixed signals.
You’re the kind of person who is cold and merciless one minute, and the embodiment of tenderness the next. You never exist in one constant state of emotions. It’s a roller coaster relationship because the other party is never certain as to what your true desires are.
You awake interest only to vanish right afterwards. While there certainly are people who are inclined towards such selfish acts, more often than not, it’s a sign of your fear of commitment.
Toying with someone’s feelings in this manner isn’t your true motivation. You are simply unable to fully commit to a person but unable to depart from them, too.
15. You’re only up for a ”situationship.”
You have no problem regularly arranging ”dates” or texting the whole time. Being utterly vulnerable isn’t an issue either. You talk freely about everything with no holding back.
Simply put, you enjoy each benefit that comes with a relationship, but you’re not quite ready to actually start one. You enjoy being in a situationship. Whenever your potential partner tries to make things official, you avoid it in any way you can.
You’re comfortable with the situation the way it is, and you have no need to put any labels on it. At least, that’s what you convince yourself. Secretly, you share the same wishes as the other person.
Why Do I Have Commitment Issues?
The causes of commitment issues are different for each person. While a lot of people don’t fully understand where the problem stems from, others understand it perfectly.
If you belong in the first group, that’s fine. Revelation time is here, so buckle up! Here are the possible explanations for your struggle:
1. Extreme childhood trauma.
Everyone has different traumatic experiences. Perhaps it occurred in your family home or anywhere in your surroundings. Your abusers may have been your family members or the children you used to spend time with.
Either way, you were scarred permanently. Whoever harmed you made you believe that you were, and always will be, unworthy.
This is precisely why you reject serious advances. You either fear your feelings of unworthiness will be intensified, or you don’t believe you deserve love in the first place.
2. Unavailable parents in childhood.
If your parents were absent whenever you needed them as a child, that might have caused extreme trust issues.
After all, being a vulnerable creature, you needed their support and they failed to provide you with it. You couldn’t depend on them for help. You had to take care of yourself.
When you look at it this way, your deeply-rooted commitment issues make sense.
Your family life wasn’t what it was supposed to be for a child. Your primary caregivers emotionally abandoned you (perhaps even physically), and you feel like you will forever be the abandoned one.
3. Your parents’ doomed marriage.
It’s also possible that you continuously witnessed your parents arguing. Their constant, oftentimes loud, disagreements formed your belief that relationships simply cannot bring you any happiness.
Think about it. You’re only a child, and you hear your parents yelling at each other. You know that one day, you’ll grow up, too, and you will think: ”Well, this is how it’s going to be, I guess.”
What you see, especially in early childhood, is what you believe. And, destroying our core beliefs can be painfully difficult.
4. History of bad relationships.
Perhaps when you look back at your life, you see only romances that didn’t end well nor were they good to begin with. Since that’s your experience, it’s natural for you to be uncertain about relationships.
It’s also difficult if someone you deeply cared about rejected you in the end. Commitment issues can only get stronger then.
You think that if your most beloved person, the person who actually got to know you, didn’t accept you, nobody ever will.
Your self-esteem issues start getting in the way of every connection you wish to create. The trauma that your past relationships bring simply doesn’t allow you to move on.
5. Hollywood’s idea of romance.
Your commitment issues can also stem from the grand romantic ideal that is shown in movies nowadays. You await the flawless man or woman because Hollywood made you believe that they exist.
You have extremely high standards, and therefore, reject anyone who doesn’t meet them. If you see someone even slightly flawed, you want nothing to do with them.
The only kind of person worthy of your acceptance is the one capable of great romantic gestures. That can be someone either giving you flowers or sacrificing everything for your love.
You want poetry, or nothing.
How Do You Fix Commitment Issues?
You must be exhausted from wanting intimacy, yet rejecting it each time it comes to you. You’re not quite sure how to get rid of the fear of falling in love, even though there’s nothing you want more.
You look at other couples who are in healthy relationships, and think of every chance you missed because you dreaded its unpredictability.
Will it ever be possible for you to experience what others do easily? How do you achieve it?
Well, it’s hard work, but certainly not impossible. This is how you do it:
1. Healthy communication.
Don’t just flee from your partner. Tell them all about it. Explain how hard being in a serious relationship is for you. If you are truly compatible, they will understand.
If you need alone time to figure things out, tell them that, too. After all, the success of a relationship depends on honest communication.
2. Couples therapy.
You might feel like the relationship is doomed if you’ve become this desperate. But, the truth is, this only means that you love each other enough to overcome any obstacle.
You will go to someone who will create a safe space for you to express all your insecurities in. No matter how hard it can get, the situation is never hopeless.
3. Individual therapy.
Perhaps you have no desire to discuss your fear of commitment with your partner just yet. You want to handle it on your own, but it’s not going quite as you planned. If that’s the case, remember that you can always try individual therapy.
Speaking to a mental health professional who would give you an objective opinion on your state of mind could really help you. The root causes of your commitment issues would be determined, and thus, very easily dealt with.
This is truly the best course of action you can take to reach wellness.
How Do You Date A Commitment-phobe?
Dating someone with commitment issues can be challenging, but don’t give up just yet. Their refusal doesn’t always mean that they don’t appreciate you.
So, if you’re interested in finding out how exactly you can make a relationship with them work, this is how:
•Encourage them to communicate with you.
•Try not to rush things.
•Educate yourself to understand them better.
•Don’t blame them for their issues.
If, even after you’ve tried all these things, it’s still impossible to reach them, that’s a major red flag. Even if they’re a marvellous person, realize that you can’t wait forever for someone to decide to be with you. Move on.
P.S. Make sure that you differentiate between a commitment-phobe and someone who doesn’t want a relationship.
Basically, commitment issues usually stem from some form of childhood trauma, but not necessarily. You can get deeply traumatized at any age. The bottom line is that you hardly get over it, so you start dreading commitment of any kind.
If you find it hard to overcome the problem, consider opening up to some, whether it’s a friend or a professional.
It may be exhausting, and it might seem like it will never end. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Reach out to someone and dig up all the trauma. You can win this battle.