Janice D. Bennet, PhD, describes commitment phobia as “an unrealistic fear of making a promise, a pledge, or a vow to be a faithful and loyal partner to another person”. You have been out on a number of unforgettable and passionate dates. You've fallen deeply and madly in love, but just as you're getting emotionally involved, your partner seems to draw away. You ask "Is it me or perhaps could it just be that he (or she) is terrified of commitment?” Earlier it was the domain of men, but now single urban women are facing the same predicament of whether they are prepared to commit themselves in the relationship. So, the query remains, are they commitment phobic? When someone with commitment phobia is asked what it feels like, they will often report that it is like a fear of being wedged, or trapped in a state of affairs, or that they fear feeling 'out of control' in their career or relationship. Commitment phobia is one of the most familiar phobias that affect people in their lives. Commitment phobia can articulate itself in all kinds of diverse ways, but usually those who suffer may display being excessively critical of the other partner in the relationship, and the relationship as a whole. Relationships aside, there are those with commitment phobia who feel reluctant to commit to anything such as jobs, responsibilities etc. Here are some tips to find out whether you are commitment phobic or not.
Fear Of Commitment
Commitment phobia can affect all the areas of a person’s life. They often fear committing to a relationship, a pet, a job, or anything else. These fears are exaggerations of the normal fears of making an incorrect choice of a mate or job. The phobia is born out of a fear of failure or a sense of unworthiness. They subconsciously choose to reject others before they can be snubbed. While most phobias can be treated by recurrent concise exposure to the situation feared, a therapist can’t expose a client to repeated relationships. The only way to treat this condition is to unearth and treat the root causes.
The Symptoms Of Commitment Phobia
- Social anxiety.
- Hurting the partner.
- Criticism of a partner.
- Scared of getting noticed.
- Unrealistic ideals.
- Long distance relationship.
- Affairs outside the relationship.
- The serial commitment phobic.
- The fear of commitment to anything.
- Moody and distant behavior.
- Evasive and secretive manners.
- Unsocial with friends and family.
The Causes Of Commitment Phobia
- A childhood associated with loss or trauma.
- Parental separation, divorce, or bereavement.
- Victim of abusive relationships.
- Poor role models during childhood.
- Fear of loss and rejection.
- To avoid pain and protecting oneself from control.
- The threat of being misjudged and trapped.
- Fear of feeling out of control due to past experiences.
- Anxiety and refusal to plan about the future.
Treatment And Help For Commitment Phobia
- The person should be ready to seek help and willing to work with a therapist.
- The therapist or counselor will determine if the problem is a phobia or personality disorder.
- Work with the counselor to find out the trigger of the problem.
- Therapy to understand what commitment means to the individual.
- Talk therapy and counseling to reduce stress in life.
- Taking steps to resolve conflicts and unanswered emotions.
- Mood stabilizing medications for extreme forms of phobia.
- Hypnoanalysis therapy especially for relationship phobias.