Has society developed into a bunch of insatiable commitment-phobes? It certainly feels that way at times. Don’t get me wrong, people SAY they want to be in a commitment BUT at the first chance they get to run they do. What is it about the word “commitment” or “relationship” that has people running for the hills? It makes me wonder, is there a commitment phobia crisis? Did generations before us experience this same thing, or is it just us? It’s hard to say for certain, but it is definitely getting much harder to find the right match. People have evolved into independent beings who don’t really NEED others, which is good, right? Well, not so much, because we still need companionship … but, you say, you can get that from other sources. Could it be that when dating in the age of instant gratification the grass is always greener on the other side? I think that’s where the real problem lies. There’s the illusion of choices where none realistically exists and people have unrealistic expectations about what they want in a partner. So is there a commitment phobia crisis? I say a BIG YES and I’ll tell you why.
Is There a Commitment Phobia Crisis?
Commitment Phobia: The What & The Why
According to psychologists, “people with a commitment phobia long and want a long-term connection with another person, but their overwhelming anxiety prevents them from staying in any relationship for too long. If pressed for a commitment, they are far more likely to leave the relationship than to make the commitment. Or they may initially agree to the commitment, then back down days or weeks later, because of their overwhelming anxiety and fears.” Show of hands, who’s dated that person? Commitment fears are the hallmark of every whirlwind romance and bench marked by emotional unavailability. It’s all great while the fireworks are going off, but, when reality hits they go running for the hills. So what’s the problem? Why is this happening? Well, it could be for many reasons, however, some main ones do stand out. As mentioned earlier, there is an anxiety about being in the relationship due to “having experienced poor romantic relationships, either first-hand or through observation of others” as well as “fear of, or having had, the relationship end without notice or signs; fear of not being in the “right” relationship; fear of, or having been in, an unhealthy relationship; trust issues because of past hurts by those close to the person; childhood trauma or abuse; unmet childhood needs or attachment issues; complicated family dynamics while growing up.” So there you have it, why commitment phobia happens, but, is there a solution?
Commitment Phobia: How to Manage Yourself
Meeting someone new and entering into anything resembling a relationship can scare the hell out of someone who’s not ready for any sort of commitment. There is the fear that they will be let down. They really want to be with someone but their fears outweigh their logic. So what to do? Well experts say that “you have the keys to make your world whatever you want it to be … if you have been hurt, you can love again. Also trust that you have the good sense to walk away from someone with toxic behaviors and let a good person stroll into your life and heart.” If you’re a commitment-phobe you just need to take a chance and trust your judgement to let in those who mean well. This is advice that I needed to take myself, especially after my divorce, as well as help others discover. What people don’t understand is that they have the free will to choose what partner is best for them, they just have to take the chance and enjoy the process of getting to know someone. Be in the present moment with the person you are presently with. Try and see the good in the here and now and don’t worry about the outcome. Just don’t lead anyone on when you have no intention to move forward with them.
Dating a Commitment-phobe
Someone who is commitment phobic, remember, doesn’t easily form attachments, so buyer beware! If you’re dating someone who seems commitment phobic, don’t be too pushy with them but pay attention to the red flags. They will be awesome during the chase and fireworks phase, but, as mentioned earlier, they run for the hills when things get real. Their inherent desire to get attention and be wanted overwhelms their judgment and their logic and they either knowingly or unknowingly leave a trail of broken hearts in their wake. It’s important for you to recognize the patterns and avoid them unless you’re just in it for the fun as well. They don’t keep promises? They are hard to pin down? They are last minute daters? You seem perpetually in the “friend zone” or even worse the “friends with benefits” zone? They don’t share intimate details about their private life? No long term relationships in their past? Then, my friend, you might just have a commitment-phobe on your hands. Commitment-phobes are also relationship teases par excellence. Be smart and ask yourself if things are going too fast, too perfect, if you’re falling hard for something not realistic or if something just doesn’t feel right about them. If red flags are raising then YOU should be running in the other direction. Don’t waste your time, emotions and heart on this. You can’t save them and they won’t change just for your amazingly wonderful self. Sorry to burst your bubble, you aren’t the exception to the rule. If someone tells you they aren’t looking for a relationship BELIEVE THEM.
So, is there a commitment phobia crisis? Well, I think it’s definitely more prevalent than it used to be. It could be because of the digital age or it could be that people are just more self sufficient and independent. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to realize what we’re putting out there and what we’re attracting. Always be honest with your intentions and expectations and hopefully that will lead you in a positive direction on the path you desire the most.
READERS: Are you a commitment-phobe? Have you dated a commitment-phobe? Is there a commitment phobia crisis? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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