Commitment Issues

Usually, men are blamed for having commitment issues. I hate to tell you, America, but we live in a gender equal society now, and just as many women are scared of long term relationships as men. How can you pick out a commitmentphobe? There are more than a few signs that suggest a potential partner might have commitment issues. All the advice you need for commitment phobic men and women is here.

  1. They usually have a history of short relationships and they may never have been married.
  2. They want a relationship but they also want freedom and space so they are often attracted to long distance relationships and busy independent men or women.
  3. They are fast to move in on a man or a woman they are attracted to, and they pursue ardently until they win their hunt over.
  4. They are very charming. They say and do all the right things and they can be very romantic. They are very good salesmen to get their own needs met, but in reality they have very little concern for the other’s feelings, as they are always operating from hidden agendas.
  5. They spin stories to justify their contradictory behaviour, and when the other man or woman threatens to leave the relationship they may make promises to change.
  6. They tend to treat the other partner like a mistress rather than a real boy- or girlfriend.
  7. They tend to limit the amount of time they spend with their partner and treat him or her as a low priority.
  8. The word “forever” terrifies these men and women. Love doesn’t scare them, but what love represents to them scares them.
  9. They usually end up behaving worse and worse, and they sabotage more and more because they want the other partner to end the relationship as they feel too anxious or guilty to do so.
  10. Severe commitment phobics can also suffer from claustrophobia and/or a personality disorder.

Commitment IssuesSo what should you do if you find yourself attracted to a commitphobe?

  1. Don’t rush into bed with a partner — find out enough about them beforehand to determine their likelihood to be afraid to commit.
  2. Take your time. Listen carefully to a person’s history and leave as soon as you recognize abusive or commitment phobic behaviours — before you get involved and get hurt.
  3. If he or she tends to exclude you from other areas of their life, consider that the writing on the wall
  4. If you must stay involved with a commitment phobic person, you have to decide that you are going to set the pace of this relationship yourself — don’t allow a person with no sense of your worth to set the pace.
  5. You should accept and realize your love and attention won’t change the commitment phobic partner, but not needing him and giving him space might.
  6. Actions speak louder than words. Believe what the commitment phobic partner does, not what he or she says.
  7. Don’t cut yourself off from dating other partners – keep your options open as it is highly likely he or she is not saving themselves for you, nor can they ever give you what you want, need, or deserve.
  8. Don’t find excuses for the commitment phobic’s behaviour.
  9. If you are continually attracting commitment phobic partners, you will need some coaching to get different results.
  10. If you are in pain from a comittment phobic relationship you also may need some coaching to move you forward. Seek professional help.

Modern science is finding out that some men and women carry a genetic predisposition to avoid long term relationships. This could be a kind of survival tactic left over from our genetic forebears, and it certainly doesn’t get anyone off the hot seat for their commitment phobic behavior, but it does make me feel a little more kinship with this type of partner.

A commitment phobic partner needs a partner equally made to deal with commitment issues. What sorts of skills should this commitment superhero partner possess?

The commitment phobe’s partner ought to be someone who doesn’t automatically assume that it’s all a selfish act but understands and appreciates where the fear and anxieties are coming from. Commitmentphobia is rooted in fear of losing one’s independence, fear of marriage, fear of intimacy and sex, fear of having kids, fear of financial burdens, fear of sharing a home, fear of offending family members, fear of moving to another state or country and on and on. These are real fears, not just ego. Understanding and appreciation between partners can help the two of you come to a compromise.

The commitment phobe’s partner ought to be someone who is emotionally well enough and emotionally secure enough to really and truly give love, and give it frely. Many commitment phobes have been through so many relationships and know exactly how the script plays out, and will react with true sensitivity when they see these scripts being written. Having a partner who will not play by the script can sometimes be the “shock therapy” that your standard commitment phobe really needs. I have seen this work in my own relationships.

The commitment phobe’s partner ought to be someone who is committed to really helping the commitment phobe get to that place where he or she feels safe enough to come out of that hiding place. Commitment phobia, like all fear, is really a wall to hide behind. And seeing that there is really nothing to fear is a great relief to a commitment phobe. Before you walk away from what could be a valuable relationship, make sure that you’ve earned your own way out of the relationship — that means, that you have given it everything you’ve got and even some more. That way you don’t look back with regret because you dumped someone you still love and a few months later he or she commits to someone else. Don’t get drawn into the commitment phobic’s game. There’s hope.


  1. I totally disagree with your last paragraph. Commitment phobics want other people to keep them safe through acceptance and tolerance of their behavior yet they do not offer the same in a relationship. They pull away when you get super close, they will blame you for their own behavior, they play games with your emotion and heart, and then, if you have any emotional reaction to THEIR behavior and they feel unsafe for even a brief while, you are left, punished, and abandoned. The more you try to be perfect, the worse it becomes because they develop the expectation that it is your role to keep them safe. You can’t have needs. You can’t have expectations. The safety is ALL for them and they reserve the right to revoke it for the most minor infraction. In sum, they want YOUR commitment on their terms but they want the option of an out and safety forever. They need therapy and to take responsibility for their own behavior and the pain they inflict on their partners. Many of the people who suffer with this behavior are perfectly aware of the cause yet they don’t address it. Don’t tell the partners to caretake this behavior. Would you tell the spouse of an alcoholic to hide the bottles? It is co-dependent and enabling. It won’t solve the problem. THEY are the only ones that can solve the problem. And, the worse part is love and support and reassurance of always being there freaks them out because they are afraid of commitment, so offering it is not going to soothe!

Speak Your Mind