For many people, having a fear of commitment can be a serious issue that affects multiple aspects of daily life. This fear can impact a person’s ability to settle within their job, their choice of where to live, and the friendships they form in addition to intimate relationships. In extreme forms, people may become commitment phobic to the extent where they feel uncomfortable or constricted with something as simple as choosing a date to meet someone.
At times, the feeling of reluctance in regards to committing to a relationship is due to uncertainty concerning whether the person is the right one. In that situation, it is completely natural to hesitate. However, there are times the fear becomes unhealthy.
How to Cope with Fear of Commitment
Discover the Root Cause
Perhaps there is a history of relationships that have failed that lead to issues trusting that the current one can go better. Or perhaps their parents can’t support them emotionally or physically. Or perhaps they have successfully made a large commitment in the past but their trust was betrayed, leading to a broken heart. No matter the reason, the cause of this fear of committing will typically be somewhere in the past. In order to overcome the challenges, you need to try to find this root cause of your fear.
Let Yourself Feel Vulnerable at Times
As a species, humans constantly try to find purpose and meaning. We also have a tendency to enjoy feelings of selfishness, proud, or entitled while avoiding being vulnerable at all times, something which leads to a fear of commitment. To get over the fear, you need to embrace the fact that being wrong occasionally happens and is a necessary step on the path to success. You need to keep learning through life and this requires vulnerable. Learning to take the occasional risk and be vulnerable can help fight your concerns about commitment.
Know You Don’t Have to Give Up Something to Get Something
The average person tends to be very competitive, even against themselves. This translates into always looking for something better, whether it is in their romantic lives, career, or another area. Learn to recognize that it isn’t necessary to give up something in order to get something else. If, for example, you are concerned about committing to a relationship because you don’t want it to hurt your chances of traveling or continuing your education, realize that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. This can also lead to a fear of committing if you are worried that there is someone “better” for you out there. You need to trust your instincts and the love you and your significant other feel for each other.
Make Your Expectations Realistic
Everyone will have unrealistic expectations about something, whether it is finding the “perfect” relationship or just being the “perfect” person. Get over these unrealistic expectations by making a conscious effort to eliminate your checklists for relationships and more. Instead, focus on being happy with what you have and not getting caught up on the chance that a perfect relationship truly exists, which likely doesn’t.
Recognize It’s Never Too Early to Commit
Some people with a fear of commitment will continuously justify their actions by saying that they are still young and have plenty of time left to make the commitments. Being young and sure of yourself aren’t mutually exclusive though. You can always make a commitment and change your mind later but you won’t have the chance to go back and enter a relationship you missed out on. Time won’t wait for you and you don’t want to be left with a life of regrets.
Make Changes if You Feel Trapped
Some people’s fear of committing stems from feeling trapped in their current situation. Instead of giving into this feeling, try new things, make new friends, and just vary your routine. Start by committing to a small change and you will realize that you really aren’t trapped at all.
Understand that Your Past Won’t Be Repeated
While yes, it is possible for the past to repeat itself and your previous relationship issues to occur again, this is unlikely. Count on human nature to take care of you; if you have made the same mistake a handful of times before (or even once), you will subconsciously work to avoid it and be less likely to repeat it. Don’t sabotage your chances at a new relationship just because of past issues.
Find Time to Commit
Many people simply believe they don’t have the time for new commitments. This is a lie since if something truly matters to you, you will make the time for it. You can limit the time spent on something else that isn’t as important or just manage your time better. It is easy to find time if you really want to.
Don’t Rush; Communicate
On a related note to finding time, be sure not to rush when trying to commit to a new relationship. It is okay to move slowly, just be sure you are doing so for the right reasons. Rushing can actually cause more harm than good and committing will feel natural when you find the right partner and are at a healthy point in your relationship. Communicate with your partner so they know you want to take things slow and you are both aware of what the other expects. Your fear of commitment should slowly fade.