Fear of Commitment (9+ Overlooked Signs And Reasons)

by April Maccario

One word that scares many people is ‘commitment’. It could be a commitment in relationships or life decisions; whatever it is, we are afraid of it and can't seem to combat the stigma surrounding that word.

For many millennials, courtship has become some sort of taboo; this is thanks to the introduction of dating apps such as Tinder, which encourage one-night stands and relationships with 'no strings attached.' 

No doubt, such relationships usually end up being void of emotion, only driven by the desire to engage in frivolous sex or casual dating. 

That being said; being a commitment-phobe isn't a crime; I say this because I have experienced it before; thus, I know how you're feeling and what you're thinking. 

However, despite being in your shoes, I believe it’s vital to understand why those of us with commitment phobia feel the way we do, even when the urge to get into a serious relationship is strong. Hence why I have identified ten common reasons we all sabotage ourselves, to remain commitment-phobes for life.

Why Are You Afraid to Commit?

1. Fear of abandonment

Fear of abandonment

Those of us that are commitment-phobic never realize this, but we do have a fear of abandonment, and it is a considerable fear. This is a very serious point that goes a long way to freeze your ability to get into a relationship or involve yourself with someone emotionally. 

You might love a person so much, with all your being but for some reason can't express it how you'd wish to. This could be because your heart has been broken time and time again, or you've experienced bad marriages between family members; thus, you may be generally afraid of commitment when entering a relationship.

In such instances, the very thing you want and wish for yourself is the one thing you're afraid of - a committed relationship. Having a deep connection with the person you love is the cornerstone of every genuine intimate relationship. I'll advise that if you want a committed relationship with someone but can’t move forward, you should consider speaking to a relationship biased therapist.

2. Past experiences

Allowing what happened in your past to predict your future, especially with committed relationships, is a dangerous thing because it often creates commitment issues. I know many individuals who have problems deep-rooted concerning anxiety, which causes them to have a fear of commitment issues. They usually end things even before its begun, to keep themselves safe from the future, just in case it involves pain and hurt. 

This form of self-sabotage can and will affect your life choices and prevent you from living your best life. Every day, work on yourself by choosing not to dwell on your past experiences. See them as a lesson for your future life, a necessary life exam you were meant to take.  

3. You feel vulnerable 

Human as we are, and as much as we try to deny this, we are a very proud bunch. Humans are always on the move, striving to find purpose and meaning for their own lives in any way they can. In striving for such, we often become selfish, and extremely entitled, falling deep into the pit of pride. Pride isn't a bad thing until it gets too much. Too much pride in a person leaves them becoming individuals no one recognizes anymore.  

If your feeling of vulnerability is preventing you from committing to the people who mean the world to you, you must learn to come to the terms that it is only through failure that you're able to determine the right way to do things. Many successful people started as failures simply because they decided to take risks. It is these risks that made them known with their inventions and businesses. Never be afraid to take risks, and allow yourself to feel a little bit of vulnerability now and then.

4. You prefer hook-ups 

When asked the kind of relationship you prefer, you're quick to state the obvious. Those that involve you being comfortable making out naked in a bed with someone you just met, but not willing to stay long enough for breakfast. Or you're probably the one-date kind of girl, who allows only one Friday night movie date after which its goodbye, and sayonara.

This is an undeniable sign that you're afraid to stick to something more long-term. To get help with this, you will need to speak to a professional, preferably someone who is into relationship therapy and emotional resolution.

5. You’re always looking for something better  

The pursuit for perfection, or something a little better than what you have currently may have you moving from one relationship to the next, exchanging your partners as often as you would a baby's diaper. This sometimes stems from a human's need to be competitive. We all compete directly or indirectly because it’s in our nature. We always seek to get something much better, be it a new significant other, a new career, or a change in lifestyle.  

Doing this in your romantic relationships may cause a lot of stress for both you and the partner involved. It is up to you to realize that you don't have to drop one thing entirely for another thing. 

You can always change your lifestyle by pursuing a new career with your significant other by your side, offering support. Also, don't forget that the person you chose also chose you, fully aware of the alternatives available. Stop being a silly bloke, searching for an upgrade just because you feel like it.

6. Setting unrealistic commitment issues

As a human being, I often crave things I know I cannot have. Since I'm a creature of habit, I do this consistently, often drawing up lists inspired by the media, friends, and the general public. Most of these things center around having the perfect relationship and being with the ideal partner for a perfect love life. 

Most often, we forget that the movies we watch were written by over ten screenwriters, with actors and actresses who were paid to make the script come to life. To solve this issue, I had to remind myself all the time that I’m human and those checklists are for grocery shopping, not for living things. There's no such thing as a perfect person, thus, If you meet someone who loves you as much as you do them, give that relationship a go and work hard at it! 

7. The feeling of being trapped 

Have you ever felt you were suffocating, or that you were stuck? You may have heard this from friends or family, so much so that it means almost nothing now to you when its heard. In the world today, we are often over-dramatic, always complaining about one instance or the other, without trying to change the situation. 

When your complaints are coming from a fear of being trapped or stuck in a relationship, go out and do something about it. You're never stuck as you think; thus, change something about that relationship and strive to commit to it for as long as your feelings stay true.

8. You always go for the wrong people 

I’m also a victim of this, so I know how it gets. If you keep picking those bad-looking boys who happen to be very hot as well, knowing fully that they're not ideal long-term partners, it is a huge red flag of your commitment phobia. Some women may choose unavailable men in a bid to avoid relationships.

If you realize that there's a pattern to your choice of a significant other, set some time aside to assess and evaluate where your preferences stem from. Be candid with yourself and, if possible, you may speak to someone you trust who may help you find the patterns. 

After this, work towards changing the status quo by listing qualities you will love in a long-term partner, and using this as your benchmark during the dating process. 

9. There's no commitment in other parts of your life

Many people can't commit to anything in life! Being afraid of relationships often spreads into other areas of their lives, like a new job, a cross-country move, or a new lifestyle change. If this is you, you might not be afraid of commitment; rather, you might be fearful of change in general. This then comes into your relationships because you're so used to being single, you don't want to lose its perks and benefits.

10. You give time-based excuses

You give time-based excuses

You say you’re too young, or you’re not ready, or maybe someone has told you you need to wait for a little bit longer. These are the reasons we often give ourselves, only to regret in the long run. It's like seeing a bag you love, need, and can afford without breaking the bank, only to give a subpar reason why it may not be bought. 

You might end up missing out on that bag weeks or months later when you have nowhere to store your essential items while you run to and from work. Time doesn't wait for anyone; neither should you. Avoid all forms of regret and go for the things you love.  

FAQs

What is the fear of commitment?

Commitment phobia, or 'gamophobia' - as scientific people love to term it - is the inherent fear of marriage or extended commitment to another person or a decision. It may be persistent, excessive, uncontrollable, and very irrationally most of the time. Gamophobia is not uncommon among people who avoid long-term relationships. 

Is the fear of commitment normal? 

For people who avoid long-term relationships, commitment phobia isn’t uncommon. This may stem from past experiences, stories from close friends or relatives, or merely the fear of the unknown. Being a commitment-phobe isn't considered normal per se but is seen as a widespread phenomenon in the world today.

What is Pistanthrophobia?

Pistanthrophobia is the scientific term given to the fear of trusting others which may be a natural response to being hurt in a past relationship. Pistanthrophobia is a fear that needs to be treated if you wish to be in a happy, healthy relationship again.

How do I overcome my fear of commitment?

If you're afraid to stay in commitment with another person, even when you are in love with them, there are a few things you may try to help you overcome your fear. Sink deep into yourself to discover the root of your fear, and then face it head-on. 

Realize that only you can make you feel good, so don't hand that power over to another person. Consciously surround yourself with healthy people, and engage in healthy relationships with them where you can find freedom in love.

Why is commitment so hard?

Committing to another person in a romantic relationship may be very tough for some people. Those who suffer from this fear say it stems from the fear or having had their previous relationships ending without notice or signs. Another reason why this fear is developed is that some people don’t know if they’re in the 'right' relationship. 

To Conclude

Everyone deserves the best version of love possible. You deserve to be loved truly and deeply, without fervor. Likewise, you should have the liberty to live freely and deeply without being afraid of past experiences or future threats. If you consciously avoid commitment issues when forming a new relationship, you will likely say goodbye to commitment phobia fast!

I hope you like this article, and more importantly, it may help you or even your friends’ lives get over being afraid to start a committed relationship. Be sure to share this it needs to be seen. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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