If you find yourself wanting to continue a relationship but struggling to be vulnerable or take steps forward, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a fear of commitment. This fear can come from a variety of factors, including fear of rejection, insecurity about what you can offer a partner or a general fear of relationships based on your own personal experiences.
We’ll go over some of the most typical indicators of a fear of commitment, as well as how ignoring to address commitment concerns can lead to the end of a beloved relationship.
Fear of Commitment
People who shun long-term relationships are sometimes told they have commitment issues or a fear of commitment. Many individuals casually use these statements, yet commitment (and the fear of it) is often rather complicated.
Commitment is a broad concept, but it often refers to devoting yourself to something for an extended period of time, whether it’s a career, a goal, a city, or a relationship. Commitment concerns, on the other hand, are most commonly discussed in the context of romantic relationships.
How common is a fear of commitment?
Individual phobia statistics are difficult to come by. A specific phobia is expected to affect 12.5 percent of adults in the United States at some time in their lives. The fear of flying, the fear of spiders, and the fear of needles are just a few of the more frequent ones.
It’s tough to say how many people are afraid of commitment. Not everyone seeks assistance or is given a diagnosis. It’s difficult to tell whether you have gamophobia or something else without expert help, such as:
- The fear of being abandoned
- Intimacy fear
- fear about putting one’s trust in others
Despite the absence of statistics, it’s reasonable to say that you’re not alone.
What triggers fear of marriage and commitment?
Specific phobias, such as gamophobia, can emerge at any age. It could be the result of a combination of factors rather than a single cause. It could be a learned response from parents or other close relatives who have observed you.
A specific event, such as watching your parents’ rocky relationship or divorce, can trigger a fear of commitment. You may have grown up believing that marital or relationship problems can’t be resolved; you don’t want to follow in your parents’ footsteps.
Gamophobia can develop from the ashes of a failed relationship or the fear of “missing out” if you commit to just one person. There’s a chance you’re predisposed to anxiety genetically.
Signs of Fear of Commitment
A fear of commitment becomes apparent over time, but there are some early warning signals to look for.
“A person who is afraid of commitment has typically had a familial pattern or loss that has developed a sense of safety with being alone or not emotionally attached,” says Christina Hathaway, MAS, MFT, founder and CEO of Ignite Ambition.
2. You Find It Difficult to Make and Keep Plans
Someone who has only one foot in the door is likely to be hesitant to establish long-term goals. Small examples include declining a three-month-ahead wedding invitation or postponing holiday plans.
3. Extreme Discomfort Is Caused By Your Emotions
Some interactions are more difficult than others, and it’s perfectly normal to feel uneasy at times. However, if you’re uncomfortable to the point where you avoid emotional conversations or don’t show your own emotion, it could be a symptom of a commitment problem.
If you think you have a fear of commitment, see if any of the following apply to you:
- You’re content with your relationship yet find yourself doubting it frequently.
- You find it difficult to consider the relationship’s future.
- You’re apprehensive about making arrangements.
- Discussing the future of the partnership makes you feel anxious.
- You find it difficult to be vulnerable, especially when your partner is attempting to connect emotionally.
- Your partner frequently inquires about where you are in the relationship and what you want to achieve in the future (they are seeking clarity because you have been unable to provide it)
- You don’t feel emotionally attached or engaged.
Quiz on Fear of Commitment
Are you apprehensive about making a commitment? Many people run for the hills when it comes to being vulnerable in a new relationship. If you’re concerned that you may have a fear of commitment, take our Am I Afraid of Commitment questionnaire to find out.
1. Do you always seem to identify a flaw in the people you date?
B. Each and every one of them has a flaw!
C. I’m not sure I’m like that.
2. Have you been injured in the past by a partner?
A. Every every one of them
C. Nothing too dreadful
3. How often do you hook up with someone on the spur of the moment?
B. I’ve only done it a couple of times.
C. Whenever I have the opportunity
4. Are you able to express your emotions to others?
C. I know a few folks.
5. Do you have a proclivity for persons who aren’t beneficial for you?
A. Not in the least
B. Perhaps now and then
C. Everyone I get out with or date eventually turns out to be poisonous.
6. Are you able to easily commit to other aspects of your life, such as work?
A. Ehhh… I’m not one for long-term commitments.
B. It’s not an issue for me!
C. From time to time, I require a little prodding.
7. How long have you been in a relationship?
A. For more than two years
B. It’s been about a month.
C. Under the age of two years
8. Do you have a fear of being left alone?
B. Perhaps a little
C. Shhh! That’s a closely guarded secret!
9. Do you find yourself with a lot of free time?
A. There’s nothing here but time.
B. I believe it is a reasonable sum.
C. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any spare time right now!
10. Do you believe you keep yourself occupied in order to avoid being in a relationship?
B. Perhaps that’s it!
C. I don’t believe so.
11. Do you tell yourself that being single all the time is completely normal?
A. Each and every day
C. No, although several of my acquaintances do.
12. Have you ever betrayed a partner?
B. This is how most of my relationships end.
C. Perhaps once or twice
13. Do you get tired of sleeping with the same person?
A. Not in the least
B. Every now and then
C. I’m so bored!
14. Is there somebody with whom you would want to spend the rest of your life?
A. Ugh…that freaks me out!
B. I believe so!
C. I’m still undecided.
15. Have you ever had the feeling that your lover was suffocating you?
B. They have a tendency to be clinging at times.
C. They all require a great deal of care!
16. Have you ever shared a home with another person?
B. Not for a long time.
C. There’s no way!
17. Has somebody ever asked you to change in a relationship and then abandoned you when you did?
C. I don’t think I’d trade places with anyone.
18. How do you handle or would you handle a one-night stand?
A. Bolt, Before they awoke
B. Stay for breakfast if you can.
C. Give them my phone number.
19. Are you able to reach an agreement with your partner?
A. It’s either my way or the highway!
C. The majority of the time
Fear of Commitment or Wrong Person
These are all significant considerations when deciding whether or not marriage is appropriate for you. That being said, here are my basic opinions on determining whether you have a fear of commitment or are simply dating the wrong person.
There are many men and women who are afraid of commitment, and they all have various reasons. Here are a few examples:
1. They have had a difficult childhood or past.
I know a man whose parents split when he was a child, and because his experience was so traumatic — watching his parents’ marriage disintegrate and then witnessing them go through a traumatic divorce – he is terrified of marrying and having children.
2. They were injured in a previous relationship.
Perhaps someone has experienced so much grief or been abandoned in a previous relationship that they can’t imagine trusting anybody else.
3. They don’t want to go through another divorce.
Some people are afraid of commitment for the simple reason that they don’t want to have to go through another divorce. As a result, the best answer for them is to simply avoid marriage. Maybe they don’t want to be divorced twice because it would be embarrassing, or maybe they just don’t want to risk it.
Another strong theory I have concerning commitment fear is that you might be with the wrong person.
Maybe this lady continually breaks up with the guy because she doesn’t want to commit to HIM, not because she is afraid of committing. In my heart, I feel that if two people truly love each other, they will not end their relationship because they cannot endure being apart. That’s all there is to it.
Do I know any couples who broke up before getting back together and marrying? Yes. Some couples may require a breakup in order to grasp the depths of their love and commitment. However, in this woman’s situation, it appears that she has distanced herself from this man on many occasions. She should reflect on why she has been willing to let him go on multiple occasions.
I was in a long-term relationship a few years ago, and marrying this person didn’t feel right to me for whatever reason. Something in my gut told me I shouldn’t do it. I was on the verge of getting engaged, but I ended up breaking up with him.
“You’re just worried since you’re divorced,” a lot of my pals would say. This isn’t going to be like your marriage.” I wasn’t sure if they were right at the time, but I did know one thing: I was afraid of commitment for whatever reason, and going through with it was the wrong thing to do.
It turns out that I wasn’t so afraid of commitment after all. After we broke up, I started dating the man I’m with now a few months later. It’s been a long time, but if he asked me to marry him, I’d say yes in a heartbeat. It’s a gut sensation of great love, trust, and commitment, regardless of whether we marry or not.
Related Articles: FEAR OF INTIMACY: OVERVIEW, TEST, SIGNS & HOW TO OVERCOME IT!!!
Returning to this woman’s issue, only time will tell whether she is afraid of commitment or if this guy isn’t the right fit for her. She might get engaged or move in with her partner. She may either learn she had an unfounded fear and live happily ever after, or she could end up moving out, breaking off the engagement, or, worst of all, getting divorced because she made the incorrect decision and ignored her instincts.
Another possibility is that if she breaks up with this guy and takes some time for herself–not just a few weeks, but a long period of time–she would have a better sense of what she really wants from him.
Finally, living with and marrying someone is not easy. So many divorced men and women I know will tell you that they had their misgivings before getting married, but went ahead and did it anyway.
That is certainly something to consider. However, I can personally witness the fact that your heart and gut instincts will guide you in the right direction. They’ll tell you whether you’re having trouble committing or if the problem is with the person you’re with. You owe it to yourself to pay attention to these two pieces of advice.
How to Get Over Fear of Commitment
“First and foremost,” Hathaway adds, “it’s critical to recognize the patterns that led to this conduct.” “You need to figure out why you’re afraid to commit.”
This is crucial, she explains, because the “why” is often no longer relevant in your life. Perhaps you haven’t fully recovered from a previous setback, or you’re afraid of recreating a poisonous relationship you observed. While investigating the ‘why’ on your own can be beneficial, don’t discount the advantages of consulting with a therapist.
Talking openly with your spouse about your fear of commitment is another technique to help you move over it. “Assist them in understanding your thoughts and feelings,” Hathaway says. Work together to develop supportive patterns that can help you manage your fears’ thoughts and feelings.”
How to Help Someone Fear of Commitment
Commitment issues in a relationship aren’t always an issue. Monogamous long-term relationships are not for everyone. Many people are content to remain single or date different partners throughout their lives, never marrying or settling down.
Others are willing to commit to a long-term relationship, but not with just one person. Still, if you want to increase your commitment or feel like fear is holding you back, consider the following strategies:
1. Personal therapy
Therapy is an excellent place to begin exploring the reasons why commitment may be difficult for you.
Past relationships, childhood events, or your particular attachment style could all play a role in these reasons. If any of the above indicators apply to you, speaking with a therapist may be beneficial. They can assist you in dealing with commitment fears in an empathic and nonjudgmental manner.
Therapy might also assist if your fear of commitment causes anxiety or other emotional sufferings. If your partner’s behavior is harming your mental health, a therapist can provide support in one-on-one treatment, but couples therapy could be another option.
2. Therapy for couples
Couples counseling can assist if you sincerely love your spouse and want to make the relationship work, but something is holding you back from taking the first steps toward commitment.
Although intimacy and commitment are not synonymous, they are frequently linked. People who struggle with one may struggle with the other as well. A qualified couples’ therapist can assist you and your spouse in navigating these issues and beginning to work through them in order to strengthen your relationship.
3. Discuss it.
Putting a name to your fear might sometimes help you feel better about it. If you care about your spouse but are having a commitment committing, talk to them about it. Tell them how you feel about them and the relationship, and if possible, tell them exactly what you’re terrified of.
“I went through a difficult breakup a few years ago, and it took me a long time to recover,” you might add. I like where this is going, and I care about you, but I need more time to adjust to the concept of being in a relationship.”
4. Put your commitment into practice.
If you and your spouse both want your relationship to flourish but are afraid of commitment, developing committed behaviors together can help.
The fact that you’ve found your way here indicates that you’re either hoping to break a pattern of failing to commit, or you’re attempting to navigate a relationship with someone who is afraid of commitment. You’re not alone in any circumstance. Understanding the source of the fear and communicating openly can pave the way to a genuinely satisfying relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes commitment phobia?
Commitment phobia is the same way. Relationship anxiety, often known as commitment phobia, can stem from a multitude of sources. Negative prior relationship experiences such as abuse, betrayal, and/or infidelity are some of the commonalities.
Can a commitment phobe fall in love?
To cut a long tale short, commitment-phobes can fall in love… This indicates that it’s absolutely possible for someone who is terrified of commitment to fall in love.” But, how may these commitment concerns affect a relationship, and how can they be resolved in the end to allow love in?
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