For a lot of people, it takes time to feel confident about a commitment, but everyone eventually gets there. However, a number of people have a true phobia of being committed, and this can cause a lot of problems if you are trying to have a relationship with this person. This phenomenon is seen more often in men, and can lead to a breakup at the first sign of the phobia. With the right kind of support however, you can help your partner to overcome this phobia and maintain and strong and healthy relationship down the line with you. Though this sort of patience and support is not for everyone, it can be worth it if you feel like you’ve met the right person but he needs some help. Here are some tips that can help you to understand this time better:
1. Identify If It Is A Phobia
There is a difference between a man who just isn’t interested, and a man who has a commitment phobia. Moreover, you might be in love with someone who has a phobia of committing to you. If your partner falls into at least 2 of these following 6 categories, he might be a commitment phobic who could have feelings you, but is afraid to be in a relationship:
1. He has a history of short term relationships, or always dated someone without it turning into anything substantial.
2. He has a hard time making plans because he is afraid to commit even to a simple date. He does not give a “yes” or “no” answer, but answers everything with a “maybe”, or “if everything works out on that day” (or something along these lines)
3. He is overly sexually active, and this could be his way of trying to fill up an emotional void inside that needs to be addressed.
4. He never expresses his feelings, whatever they may be.
5. He doesn’t seem to have many friends: commitment phobics are afraid to commit to any sort of relationship, be it romantic or platonic.
6. He doesn’t introduce you to his family even after seeing each other for a few months.
7. You always end up doing what he wants to do, but he is good at making it look like it was your idea. Moreover, if something doesn’t work out the way it was supposed to, he blames you because he doesn’t want to take responsibility for his actions.
2. Identify The Root
Everyone has a root cause of the phobia, so identifying what might have triggered it in the first place is definitely helpful. Most often, people who have emotional issues from the past end up developing commitment issues, and resolving the root can start the process of resolving other emotions attached to this event or feeling. Below are some of the most common roots that lead to commitment phobia:
1. A really bad past relationship tends to be the most common reason, especially if the break up or divorce ended really badly and caused too much stress.
2. Past disappointments in life that stem from failure is also one of the most common reasons to not want to commit. A man might feel like he is not a good enough partner for the other person, and thus stays away from relationships to avoid failing again.
3. Childhood trauma or issues relating to parents, especially constant rejection and lack of affection, can affect someone profoundly. A man might fear being rejected or abandoned and thus does not want to pursue a relationship.
4. He has low self-esteem that keeps triggering anxiety, which he wants to avoid altogether. Moreover, the self-esteem issues might make him feel like he doesn’t deserve to be in a relationship.
5. He is looking for the perfect women, and feels like committing to someone might make him miss his chance with someone better.
6. He still wants to do more with his life and explore all it has to offer before he settles down with someone.
7. He feels like the relationship will only get worse once the honeymoon phase is done with, and is afraid of what comes next. He doesn’t want to take the responsibility of a full fledged relationship.
3. Working On It Together
If you believe that you want to expend a considerable amount of energy, emotion and patience on someone that might not always turn around and give back everything you put into a relationship, you can try to use these tips to help your partner overcome the commitment phobia.
1. Have a serious conversation with him about his inability to commit. Expressing yourself can be a great way to get the conversation started, and will also help you to understand what his point of view about the situation is. If he is in complete denial about his problems and shows no interest in working on the issues, it might be time for you to reconsider the relationship and invest your time in someone who can return the love you give in the relationship. After all, you are not a therapist or a parent to this person, and you are not obligated to solve his psychological issues. However, if you feel like he might be open to working on himself, you can talk about how to proceed together.
2. Getting professional help can be beneficial for both of you. Opting for individual therapy or counselling might be a better option as it gives the man a safe space to open and express himself without judgment. When you decide to take professional help for yourself, you can see how your own issues might be affecting how you perceive yourself and your relationship, and this can make the process of being with someone who has commitment issues easier.
3. If you are working on these issues together, you need to allow your partner his own space to become better, and also know that the pace of the relationship might be more slow than imagined. Dealing with issues is hard, and it might take a lot of trial and error on both your parts to get it right. It is important to understand that the psychological impact of the past might be difficult to maneuver at the beginning, but through support, can become easier for both of you.
4. In this time, remember to not lose yourself completely in this relationship. At the end of the day, you also need to maintain an identity outside of being this man’s partner, so make sure you have that time for yourself. Take days just for yourself to recover from the stress and anxiety, and you can come back with more perspective about how to handle this tough time. If you feel like it might be getting too much for you, and there is very little progress even after a span of 6 months, it might be time for you to consider better options for your future. It is important to support someone through a difficult time, but you also need to remember that a relationship is a two way street. If your needs aren’t being met in any way, you have every right to take care of yourself and look for someone who treats your relationship with the respect it deserves.