Do you prefer to avoid a serious relationship and do you get anxious when someone starts talking about ‘the future’?
Or don’t you ever let anyone get that close to talk about a relationship?
Who knows, you may have a fear of commitment and this fear stands in the way of entering into an emotional relationship with someone.
Do you or does your partner suffer from this?
What is Commitment Anxiety?
A person with fear of commitment is afraid of committing themselves to someone else. He or she does not let others get close enough and never enters into a serious relationship or emotional connection in this way.
Because of the fear of commitment, he or she ‘sabotages‘ all possibilities for something serious , even though he or she may have a need for this.
When it looks like a relationship is about to get serious, someone with a fear of commitment often squeezes out. As a result, his or her relationships can never develop sufficiently and always remain superficial
Sometimes fear of commitment is used as a reason to easily end a relationship.
Someone who has a lot of short relationships may have a fear of commitment, but that is not always the case. The concept of fear of commitment comes from psychology.
Commitment anxiety really points to problems with intimacy that usually originate in childhood or bad experiences in the past.
The disorder arises from emotions that are often unconscious and have deep roots in the past.
Fear of commitment can manifest itself in a person in different ways. There are people with fear of commitment who completely avoid relationships and “flee” as soon as there is any kind of stability during dating.
But there are also many people with fear of commitment who do start a relationship, but have difficulty taking it seriously.
They clap as soon as the partner starts talking about ” seeing each other more often ” or ” going on vacation together ” or when the partner talks about the future . Even when they actually like this, the idea alone is way too scary.
Finally, there are still people with fear of commitment, where this manifests itself in the constant selection of the ‘wrong’ people as partners. They throw themselves completely at an unreachable person, or someone they secretly know is not at all suitable for him or her.
In this way they can lose themselves a bit in a person, without fear that it will turn into something serious.
The Difference Between Commitment Anxiety And Separation Anxiety
Fear of commitment and fear of separation are often mentioned in the same breath, and they have many similarities.
However, in both cases it is a very different disorder.
Someone with separation anxiety often has no problem with this, but is mainly afraid that the other will leave him or her and adjusts his behavior as a result.
If you have separation anxiety you often claim your partner very much, you give the other little freedom and if the other indicates that they need more freedom, this is a signal to you that he or she no longer wants you.
It is also possible that you end the relationship early because of the fear of separation, because you have too little trust in the relationship and in the other.
Especially when you notice that your relationship is becoming more intimate, the fear of being committed or of being abandoned increases.
The big difference between fear of commitment and fear of separation is that people with separation anxiety constantly seek confirmation from their partner and quickly feel that their partner is rejecting them.T
While someone with a fear of commitment, on the other hand, gets very anxious if the partner becomes too intimate and does not dare or cannot give himself enough in the relationship.
The main symptoms of fear of commitment
Many people are sometimes insecure about their relationship. Is this person really the right one for you?
Is there perhaps someone else on this planet who is a better fit for you and makes you happier?
These are all questions that come up in many relationships and can make you doubt the relationship and maybe even break it.
This is of course not bad at all, because who knows, you may also be in a relationship that is not good for you at that moment.
It only becomes a problem for you if this happens to you on a structural basis and you notice that you don’t really give anyone a chance. The fear is then dominant and determines to a large extent your behavior in relationships.
Would you like to know whether you might suffer from fear of commitment and whether you structurally reject people who come too close to you?
Then see if you recognize yourself in the following symptoms .
- You actually always have short relationships or you are actually always single and don’t really make a serious effort to meet nice people.
- When you are in a relationship with a nice person, you constantly doubt whether he / she is the one for you.
- You actually spend a lot more time with your friends than with your boyfriend/girlfriend.
- You often like people who don’t want a permanent relationship or who don’t like you.
- When you are in a relationship you often find that your partner demands too much attention and time from you .
- You don’t want to go on holiday with your partner and get stressed when the next step is being discussed (living together, buying something together, getting married or having children). You don’t want to think too much about the future .
Recognizing fear of commitment in a man
The extent to which someone suffers from his fear of commitment can differ greatly from person to person.
In some people the fear is very deep and more difficult to understand than in others.
Furthermore, the symptoms can also differ greatly from person to person.
There are several ways in which someone with fear of commitment can ‘protect’ themselves against a bond that they cannot handle emotionally.
For example , there are men who reject any potential partner from the very first moment . These people won’t enter into a real relationship or call it that, even if it actually comes down to this.
Even though they know someone for a long time and see them regularly and are actually very fond of that person, they will not want to call this a relationship for fear of losing their freedom.
They want to continue on the same level continuously and are scared off if the partner indicates that they want to go a step further or calls the relationship as such.
In addition , there are also many men who do enter into relationships , but remain emotionally closed to the partner for a large part . By not letting someone get too close emotionally, they prevent them from feeling too connected and losing too much freedom.
Furthermore, you can sometimes recognize a man’s fear of commitment by his choice of partner .
Would a man rather choose someone who also wants freedom and does not want to commit? Or does he fall completely in love with someone who is completely out of reach for him? Or does he never have a boyfriend or girlfriend because his list of requirements is so extensive that no one can meet it?
These can all be unconscious expressions of the underlying fear of commitment. Consciously or unconsciously not allowing the right partner can be a protection mechanism that ensures that the man does not have to commit.
Women with fear of commitment
When we automatically think of fear of commitment, we often think of men who are hesitant about thinking about the future and who like to avoid it.
But in people who actually suffer from this disorder, this feeling and the effects often go much deeper. They really close off emotionally from any partners and are not good at making changes to this.
Often the cause lies in the past, in early childhood. So you can perhaps imagine that not only men suffer from this disorder .
There are also a lot of women who in some way take care to keep any partners well out of the reach of their actual emotions and who shut up and rebuff as soon as a relationship seems to get serious.
Dealing with a partner with fear of commitment
Do you feel that your boyfriend or girlfriend suffers from fear of commitment?
Or has he or she even said this to you?
Then you will probably run into difficult moments in your relationship.
It’s important to be understanding and try to partially adjust to your partner’s pace.
But it is especially important not to lose yourself too much and to become dependent on your partner . You are just as important in the relationship as he or she is and you also have the right to receive his or her love.
It will be difficult to strike a balance here. Do you find yourself really losing yourself in the relationship and maybe even losing your self-esteem? Then the relationship is not healthy for you and it is really better to end it. You will have to keep a close eye on yourself in this regard.
Your partner with fear of commitment has probably learned in the past not to express his feelings. If someone does not learn this well at a young age, it can be very difficult to do this in the relationship later in life.
Your partner is probably more distant and you often feel repelled by him or her. Especially when you want to talk about important things or the future, you probably come across a closed door.
Don’t let this put you off too much and keep a close eye on what’s important to you!
Your partner with fear of commitment will probably find it difficult in the long run to lose control and no longer determine for himself how often you see each other and how serious the relationship is now.
If you’re okay with him or her setting the intensity and frequency of the relationship, there’s probably not much going on for a long time.
But if at some point you really want to take the next step in your relationship, you will have to do this slowly and not surprise him or her too much with this . Give your partner time to get used to the idea, patience is very important if your partner suffers from fear of commitment.
Someone with fear of commitment can in many cases eventually have a healthy relationship with intimacy and a close bond with the partner. But this will take energy and a lot of patience from both sides . It is crucial that you both recognize, accept and deal with the fear of commitment .
- Talk about the problems you are experiencing. Have conversations about your relationship and take the tension off the situation. Make sure you give each other enough space in the conversations and, above all, listen carefully to each other.
- Give yourself and the other person time to change things and to grow in the relationship.
- Possibly you or you can get the help of a (relationship) psychologist . He can help you find out the cause of the fear and can guide you in finding ways to deal with the fear of commitment.
Discover the cause of fear of commitment
The cause of fear of commitment always lies in the person’s past. Someone with fear of commitment has often been traumatized by the things he or she has experienced or has not experienced sufficient emotional connection with others in his or her childhood.
Fear of commitment can often be traced back to childhood.
The interaction that someone with fear of commitment experienced with his parents as a young child has probably had a major influence on his current actions.
In psychology and pedagogy this is called attachment. Someone who was not well attached to his parents as a baby/toddler usually suffers from this for the rest of his life.
At this young age you learn whether you can trust people, love people and recognize and acknowledge your feelings .
If this was not the case in your upbringing, many of the problems you
Perhaps there were a lot of tensions in your home, your mother and father were not really there enough for you or they were there but found it difficult to express their emotions to you.
A child with parents who were not available to him emotionally enough has learned that it is not safe to show his or her feelings and to be vulnerable .
He may have finally come to the conclusion that it is better to rely only on oneself and to distance ourselves emotionally from others.
In order to connect well with someone else, you have to get to know yourself well. If you have fear of commitment, you will have to find out the cause of your fear and recognize your problem.
It is important to discuss this with your potential partner and to look for a way to deal with this together. Would it not work for you or not enough? Then call for help!
Look for a professional psychologist you trust who can help you grow closer.
Solutions for your fear of commitment
#1 Awareness of patterns and reactions
Make sure you become aware of your patterns and reactions in a (starting) relationship. Do you notice that you are starting to exhibit certain behaviors again that are destructive to a relationship? Then stop it!
#2 Acknowledge your fear
Recognize your own reactions to the fear you feel inside. Recognize your fear and dare to mention it to yourself and the other .
#3 Work on your self-confidence
Increase your confidence . Address negative thoughts and don’t dwell on worrying about yourself and your relationship. Don’t forget that your happiness in life is increased if you dare to take risks and enter into a relationship with someone who suits you well.
Realize that if you keep putting off relationships because you have certain doubts, it will never happen.
#4 Express your feelings
Keep communicating with your partner ! Even when you find something difficult and want it to go slower. Indicate this and discuss this with each other. Tell us what is bothering you and how you hope to get out of this together.
Solutions for dealing with a partner with fear of commitment:
#5 Give someone time for themselves
Not only when he or she indicates that he or she needs this, always keep in mind that your partner simply needs a little more space than average.
#6 Let the person get used to you
Your partner needs time to get to know you and to open up to you, so give him or her that time too.
#7 Don’t put pressure on it
Never pressure him or her. State what is important to you in the relationship and continue to mention this, but do not put pressure on the other person. Stay in touch and monitor your own goals.
But don’t make a big drama about this, because your partner probably won’t be able to handle this and he or she will have a tendency to run away.
#8 Spend time together
Do lots of fun things together . Make sure you find out what your partner likes, what does he or she enjoy doing and what activity does he or she feel good about?
Find similar activities and do something together regularly. Doing fun things together often generates a lot of emotions and ensures that you unconsciously grow closer to each other.
#9 Date others too
This may sound like a strange solution, but it is effective.
If you are not yet in a relationship, make sure you don’t claim him or her too soon. Keep living your own life and keep your life open to other people as well as long as he or she isn’t ready to take it more seriously.
In this way, you will maintain your self-esteem and not appear desperate and become more attractive.
#10 Give yourself a deadline
Give yourself a time limit. Think for yourself how long you want to give him or her time before you start to suffer too much yourself. The most important thing is that you continue to protect yourself well and continue to trust yourself.
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