Some of us have had a tough past. We’ve loved and we’ve lost, and it may have turned us unknowingly into commitment phobic monsters who can’t seem to fully invest in a real relationship. We try *or so we think*, but we just can’t do it.
Some of us may not have even had a horrific past that’s molded us into noncommittal creatures, but still, some people just can’t seem to commit to a serious relationship. And what’s worse, some of us many not even realize that we’re being so resistant.
The rundown on commitment phobia.
Commitment phobia is real. It’s a legitimate fear of committing to someone in a relationship. It’s not just a made-up phrase that people use to get out of being in a relationship with someone who they don’t like. It’s a real psychological condition that can have adverse effects on all involved.
I just so happen to be a former-serial-monogamous-turned-commitment-phobe. I used to always be in a relationship up until about a year ago. Then, I couldn’t even stomach the thought of being in a relationship, and I just couldn’t figure out why.
Are you a commitment phobe?
You may be suffering from commitment phobia without even knowing it. If you have trouble getting and staying in relationships, maybe you have some of the issues outlined below. Look at these signs to find out if you’re not ready for a real relationship… yet.
#1 You haven’t had an actual relationship in… forever. Okay, maybe you’ve had relationships in the past, but if you’ve been single for an extremely long time without even being close to being “in a relationship,” it’s a clear sign that you could have commitment issues. [Read: Confession – I want to be single again!]
#2 You’ve been hurt pretty badly. Many people don’t have a commitment phobia from birth. It’s usually an issue that arises out of a past experience. If you’ve dated someone who has hurt you very badly *cheated on you, dumped you out of the blue, etc.*, then you are definitely someone who’s at risk of becoming afraid of commitment.
In order to avoid that awful feeling of rejection from ever happening again, some of us just turn off the commitment part of ourselves so that we don’t have to go through the pain again. [Read: How to fall in love again after a breakup]
#3 You always find something extremely wrong with the other person. Your list of deal breakers is a mile long. You never think anyone you’re with is “perfect.” In fact, you find more flaws in people than you find good things in them. [Read: Is your negative thinking ruining your life?]
#4 You hate the idea of a label. If the thought of someone calling you a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” just makes you want to run away, then you have a commitment phobia. If you weren’t afraid of commitment, you would be overjoyed when someone for whom you have feelings wants to make your relationship official.
#5 You break it off with someone for no real reason. If the relationship is going great and nothing is wrong, yet you still feel the need to break up with your partner *for seemingly nothing*, then you could have a problem with commitment.
Some people actually end relationships because things are “too perfect.” This is just an excuse that they use when things start to show signs of becoming more serious, but they’re too scared to let it happen. [Read: 14 valid reasons to break up with someone]
#6 You have a problem making plans for the future. If any talk about future plans, whether they’re a week away or two months away, sends you running in the opposite direction or cringing like you just heard nails on chalkboard, you’re afraid of commitment.
You don’t like the idea of saying yes to those plans because you don’t want to have to commit to being with the same person for that long.
#7 You cringe at any hint of meeting their parents. Meeting the parents usually indicates that there’s some sort of deep connection with a person. This also means that there’s some level of commitment involved. Otherwise, they wouldn’t want to bring you home.
But if you can’t stand the idea of meeting someone else’s parents and always seem to find a way around it, you most likely have a commitment phobia. [Read: 7 clear signs it’s the right time to meet the parents]
#8 You never want anything to change. Most relationships progress naturally, and both people end up wanting things to change, whether this is moving faster, meeting parents/friends, or even just spending more nights together.
But if you’re happy how things are and don’t want to move forward or have anything change between the two of you, you could be afraid of what may lie ahead in the future.
#9 You don’t tell them personal information about you. Most people share intimate details about their lives with the person they’re with. They tell them childhood stories, their deepest desires, and even their stance on current issues in the world.
If you keep things only surface deep with your significant other, it’s because you have a fear of commitment. Personal details = commitment. [Read: What is pillow talk and how to make it better?]
#10 You don’t think you can be with them long-term. When someone asks you about your relationship with that particular person and you just say, “Eh, it’s okay” because you just don’t see yourself being with them much longer, you may want to reevaluate some things. [Read: 10 reasons your relationship is at a standstill]
#11 You never want to meet their friends. If you would prefer to endure the entire relationship without having met any of their friends, you have a commitment phobia. Most people who are afraid of commitment have a habit of keeping themselves at a fair distance from their significant other’s personal life. All the easier to slip out of their life altogether.
#12 If they ask to leave a toothbrush at your place, it turns into a major argument. This one is usually the most obvious sign that you have a problem. If your current love interest is staying over at your place a lot and wants to leave a toothbrush there, but you have an issue with it, it’s because you really can’t stand the thought of their belongings *ahem, them* moving in with you. [Read: Live-in romance: Are you ready to move in?]
#13 Your focus is on sex and not much else. When a relationship is based off of sex alone, and you prefer it that way, there’s really no need to commit further. You’re getting exactly what you want without having to give any more. [Read: How to know if you are not in love anymore]
#14 You don’t introduce someone as anything but a “friend,” if that. When the two of you run into people you know, do you introduce them? And if so, is it as a “friend”? If you don’t introduce them at all or are only saying that they’re your friend, you’re just scared of committing to the idea that they might be more than that to you.
#15 You think meeting “the one” is a myth. People with commitment phobia can never see themselves being with one person for the rest of their lives. If you think that meeting “the one” will never happen, or that it’s just a big myth, you have a serious commitment phobia. [Read: 10 possible reasons you’re still single and struggling]
Having a commitment phobia, even if you’re unaware of it, is a really hard thing to deal with. The first step is discovering that you are afraid of commitment and that you’re not ready for a real relationship right now. Hey, no one said there was anything wrong with taking a little time for yourself now and then.
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