Are you scared of reaching the point of no return; that stage in your relationship when your partner can picture your entire life together, but you can’t quite commit? It’s not an unusual feeling or fear to contend with. For a lot of people, relationships are a natural progression of life and so battling them face on is not something of a challenge as both parties are going through the exact same journey. However, for some people, a relationship can pose more of a challenge and therefore produce an element of anxiety or fear of committing; a term that is known as ‘commitment phobia’. There is no denying that whilst they experience love like anyone else, their phobia drives an increased anxiety and therefore becomes an expectation to stay. And this expectation to stay can drive an individual to flee a relationship, rather than stay in one.
So, what are the underlying causes of commitment phobia?
Men and women both suffer from this anxiety and fear when committing to a relationship. That said, research has suggested that commitment phobia is commonly associated with men. The causes of this type of phobia varies between people, however the typical characteristics stem from having had a poor romantic relationship, whether it be first-hand or through the observation of other loved ones. Commitment phobia is also a probable consequence of a fear of having had a relationship end without an indication or sign, fear of not being with the right person, fear of abandonment, infidelity or abuse, childhood trauma or abuse, attachment issues and complicated dynamics from family relations.
What are the signs of commitment phobia?
- You do not like to be tied down – as soon as you say yes to something, you find a reason to escape
- you tend to sabotage good relationships for small and insignificant reasons
- you become defensive when you are challenged in your relationships
- your relationships start passionately and intense but soon disappears after a short period of time
- you leave yourself too busy and over-committed to plans
- You feel lonely the majority of the time
- You like to plan last minute and go with the flow
What can you do about it?
No matter the fear, phobia or cause for anxiety, it can always be helped and treated. Someone who suffers from commitment phobia must want to change to ensure their phobia is dealt with as best as possible. There are a number of ways to seek help, depending on the severity of the anxiety. The best possible option is to seek out psychotherapy; a trained therapist who can help understand the underlying cause and the cognitive distortions that the individual is dealing with. A therapist will demonstrate that there is not one relationship that doesn’t need care and nurture. The individual will learn to openly communicate with their partner any particular anxieties they have.
So, if you’re experiencing some of the mentioned characteristics of commitment phobia, or you just find it difficult to open up in a relationship, contact me today and see how busters can help you.