Many people find relationships as easy as breathing. They find comfort in committing to someone, be it in a relationship or simply having friends. Having friends or a significant other is essential to living life to the fullest. However, it is not easy for many as they fear committing to people.
What is commitment phobia?
People who face anxiety when in relationships and cannot comply with the societal norms and conditions face commitment phobia. They face difficulty placing their trust in other people and fail to fulfill promises.
It doesn’t mean these people do not develop feelings for others though, what these people feel is more intense, so much so they take a scary turn. Such intense feelings give way to anxiety and pile up to have serious repercussions. These people crave for a long-term serious relationship.
Though, when asked to commit to certain promises, their phobia overpowers unfolding past fears, and they end up giving up on the person eventually. The fear of commitment isn’t gender-specific.
What causes commitment phobia?
Many events that happen in one’s life can lead to this phobia. These include odd family dynamics. People whose parents had a failed marriage or a disturbed relationship often end up having anxiety when it comes to commitment, fearing certain events would repeat.
Childhood abuse or a disturbed childhood can account for such anxiety. A person can face commitment phobia due to past experiences as well.
People who were close ended up hurting the person. This leads to the person building walls around them and not letting others into their lives. These reservations don’t end here. Many people face this phobia due to their relationships ending badly without them being ready for it. Or they might have been in an unfit relationship, having faced abandonment or abuse in their past.
Commitment phobia signs
There are many commitment phobia symptoms. These include
1. No to labels
When certain labels like boyfriend, girlfriend or any other come into the equation, a commitment-phobic looks for an exit strategy
These people end their relationships on trivial matters. They will not provide you with logical reasoning. Their fear for long term relationships steal their ability to run them smoothly, and they stir up minor issues to break the tie.
3. Not reaching the finish line
Not being able to complete projects and leaving them halfway highlights a person’s ability to not being able to make decisions. This trait is seen in people who have commitment phobia.
As these people are not able to take their relationships and work on them.
They prefer leaving them in the middle rather than taking firm decisions.
4. The future
You will find people with the fear of commitment getting panicky or dismissive when you will talk about future plans. Talking about, ‘Growing old together,’ ‘Moving in together,’ is never easy with these people. They either will distract you from the topic or will not be interested in catering such thoughts.
It isn’t specified to couples only. A person with commitment phobia will try to run away from any conversation that include the future even if it’s something as simple as going to the movies.
5. They don’t like change
People with the fear of commitment will not cater to changes that well. They will freak out if any minor change comes up, be it labeling the relationship. They like things running the usual way.
Any minor ups and downs will get them worked up and running for the exit.
These instances don’t have to be huge announcements. A small night out on the weekend is enough to activate their anxiety.
How to get over commitment phobia
To overcome the fear of commitment and be able to establish a healthy relationship with your significant other or your friends is to address the issue.
You have to admit having commitment phobia. You need to know what scares you the most and why. Whatever the reason may be, do not be ashamed of it and embrace it. Once you know where you are wrong, it will be easier to work towards overcoming commitment phobia.
Once you know your shortcoming, you need to be ready to take risks. It’s either a win or lose. If you let the opportunity go away, you will go back to square one and fall further deep in your fears.
Try not to be influenced by past relationships
Instead of being scared of the past repeating itself, or being incompetent, try living to the fullest. Take life as an adventure and build your relationship on hope rather than fears. Before you break your commitment over minor issues, try going through them in your head and reason with yourself. This will help in calming you down and in making a wise decision.
You will not be able to accept any commitment phobia treatment if you a not willing to give up your past mistakes and fears.
Learn from the past and find ways to do better in the future.
Lastly, you can only treat yourself from commitment phobia is you are ready to address the issue and give yourself time and space to do better. Being too hard on yourself and getting worked up on minor changes will only do harm. Avoid overthinking matters. If your work on your present rather than thinking about what ifs, only then you will be able to turn expectations into a reality.
Addressing your fear and working on it will not be easy, but it isn’t impossible as well.