Commitment phobia is one of the most common phobias that affect people in the modern world. It is most apparent in romantic life since the person suffering from this phobia craves love and connection, which are also feared the most. It was earlier believed that only men suffered from commitment phobia. However, in recent times it has been noted that women too suffer from this phobia. The paradoxical craving for a frightening reality can be emotionally devastating. The key to understanding commitment phobia is to understand that this feeling is rooted in deep fear of making poor decisions or of lost options. The decisions are seen as permanent, with the possibility of the sufferer being trapped forever with no means of escape. This phobia can be manifested in everyday life, but is primarily seen in relationships. Read on to know causes, symptoms of commitment phobia and how you can handle it.
Fear Of Commitment
Causes Of Commitment Phobia
- Previous abusive relationships.
- Intimacy issues.
- Traumatic childhood experiences.
- Parental bereavement, separation, or divorce.
- Child abuse.
- Fear of rejection by others.
- Unhappy family life while growing up.
- Poor role models.
Symptoms Of Commitment Phobia
- A sudden feeling of uncertainty or of being trapped in a relationship.
- The phobic person would be extremely critical of his/her partner and might hurt the partner, thus sabotaging the relationship.
- The fear of getting noticed is there in this phobia. This is quite similar to those who suffer from social phobia.
- They get into relationships with those who can’t or won’t commit to them, thus keeping them safe from a long term commitment. Most of these involve relationships with married people or those who also suffer from commitment phobia.
- They prefer long distance relationships to direct ones since it seems a safe bet and is easier to get out of without a scene.
- Small triggers set them running out of the relationship. These triggers could be anything that is said or done by the other person, which seems to make the relationship more permanent.
How To Handle Commitment Phobia
Commitment phobia can be handled through therapy. However, commitment phobics at times find it hard to commit to therapy and counseling and it is not always beneficial. If you are the partner of a commitment phobic person, you can do a few things to ease the pressure on the relationship. In time, the phobic person will find it easier to relax and recognize a good thing when he/she sees it.
- Take the pressure off your partner. Since commitment phobia comes from a fear of having to give up freedom or from reaching a point of no return, be sure, you are not adding to the problem by making excessive demands.
- Your own inhibitions could cause your partner to feel that the relationship isn’t worth it. Take stock of what you have to give to the relationship and assess how you can keep your partner comfortable.
- Analyze the balance of attraction in your relationship. If you find that your partner’s level of interest is lower than yours, then your partner might feel pressured even if there is none. Learn how to handle this by taking things easy for some time, till your partner realizes that you are safe to be with.