You prefer to keep a relationship (and the other person) at a distance. You can enter into a relationship but your own deeper feelings are triggered if someone gets too close. See if you recognize one or more of these seven signs in yourself or your partner: "In your subconciousness you fear to know exactly what you want - A deep emotional connection with another person".
"In your subconciousness you fear to know exactly what you want - A deep emotional connection with another person".Anoek Gerlings
The 7 signs of fear of commitment
You prefer to keep a relationship (and the other person) at a distance. You can enter into a relationship but your own deeper feelings are triggered if someone gets too close.
See if you recognize one or more of these seven signs in yourself or your partner:
1. Relationships remain superficial
You think it's totally OK to lie in bed naked and have sex with someone, but you feel pressured when they ask you to have breakfast together, or worse still, watch a movie on Friday? A clear sign that you have a fear of commitment is if you make an effort not to take a relationship too seriously and only make casual arrangements. In 'rebound' relationships (a relationship following shortly after another one has just ended), this behavior makes sense, but in any other case it suggests you are trying to avoid something. Sometimes you are already in a 'relationship', but it's not official yet. Learn how to improve your relationship by reading this article.
2. Your friends notice
You probably have a fear of commitment when your friends comment, “Huh? Why did you let him/her go? You were a perfect match! ” If you can't answer that and want to break this behavior, talk to family and close friends about what they see in your behavior and what they think it might be.
3. You do 'Ghosting'
You’ve been having fun texting someone in your favorite dating app for a few days now. You click. But now, they propose to schedule an appointment. Oops. You get scared, and from one moment to the next you disappear unannounced from the life of Mr/Mrs Right. You no longer respond to texts or attempts to make contact: you have ghosted them. The fact that you show flight behavior is not the fault of the other person. You probably have a fear of commitment.
The fact that you show flight behavior is not the fault of the other person. You probably have a fear of commitment.
4. You resist relationships
If you're saying to others, or telling yourself, all the time that you don't want a relationship because you think relationships are stupid or immature or [insert reason], you’re probably terrified of it. Sometimes, you're ending your relationships because of your fear of commitment. Read this article to learn how to save your relationship. It’s the ultimate form of denial: you resist relationships and that may be because you really want one.
5. You choose the wrong partner (every time)
It's a favorite way to avoid relationships: every time you choose one of those hot-looking bad boys/girls because somewhere deep inside you know that they're never going to be a good, long-lasting partner. Or you choose the 'unavailable person. Literally, as in occupied or married. Or emotionally unavailable, as in incapable of real emotional connection. Bonus: every time the relationship ends, you can tell yourself they weren't right! #vicious circle
6. You get stressed when the future comes up
Your partner has already brought it up several times. A vacation that can be planned together. Living together. Buying a house together. Marrying. Having children. And while you’re sure you really like your partner, every time the conversation goes in that direction, you get stressed out and avoid the topic or come up with a reason to postpone it. Maybe you just fear commitment.
7. You have a fear of being abandoned
There are many reasons why we are afraid of entering into a romantic relationship. Often, we don't even realize we're afraid of being abandoned, but maybe in the past your heart has been broken so badly that you want to protect yourself from the pain. Or you’re afraid of having the same problems in marriage that your parents had.
Where does fear of commitment come from?
The cornerstone of a serious relationship is to be open and vulnerable. But that is precisely what ignites your unconscious fear. Your partner is not the cause of that fear, but activates ('triggers ') a deeper emotional pain in yourself. A deeper fear that you have experienced before in life, consciously or unconsciously, and which you do not want to feel again.
Are you there for me when I need you?
From your earliest childhood, your parents or carers have been important in your life, and you attach yourself to that as a child. Later in life, the attachment with your loved one(s) plays an important role. When you have experienced difficult situations in this area (attachment), this plays a role throughout your entire life. That's why a loved partner is so daunting for someone with fear of commitment: you will have to deal with your deepest fears. That’s what so many people prefer to avoid or escape the situation.
How can you overcome your fear of commitment?
First of all, accept that you have a fear of commitment (or separation anxiety). Don't judge yourself, because it affects everyone to a greater or lesser extent. Look at yourself with love and try to become aware of these feelings. Something can be done about it!
1. Become aware of patterns and reactions
There are times when you do things that you can’t explain or justify afterwards. Based on these situations, you can try to find out what the 'trigger' was for your behavior. You can also see where you repeat yourself. What do you do over and over, with the same predictable (negative) outcome?
2. Examine your emotions
Investigate what feelings come up in you in the moments mentioned above. Consider such a situation and investigate what’s going on inside you under the surface. Acknowledge your fear and dare to state it to yourself and the other person. Someone else can’t guess what’s going on inside you. You have to share that yourself. Learn to indicate and discuss your feelings and needs with each other.
3. Dare to be vulnerable
Is there something about you that, if the other people were to know or discover it, it would confirm to them that you are someone not worth connecting with? You know, that "I'm not good enough" feeling: I'm not tall enough, not nice or thin enough, not rich or beautiful enough, not smart or successful enough? Shame is very easy to understand in connection with fear of commitment. You have to allow yourself to be really seen by another person, that’s necessary to enable a real connection. And that's scary. For everyone. Indicate to the other person that you’re struggling with unpleasant feelings. Dare to be vulnerable!
4. Seek Help!
Everyone thinks that relationship problems, such as fear of commitment, can be solved on their own. The reality is, no one has learned how to do this alone or without external help.
So ask for help:
- Talk to a (relationship) therapist.
- Read books or listen to podcasts.
- Start with the online relationship counseling program and support from Monsley to become aware of your negative patterns and emotions, and learn to be vulnerable with your partner. Strengthen your relationship, or escape your relationship crisis or dip, in just 12 weeks.