Commitment phobia is something I see in my practice often and happens to both women and men. The key piece is fear. Fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection. People with a commitment phobia 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. Commitment-phobic persons are tortured souls full of fear. They are in a constant state of emotional conflict because of their negative irrational beliefs about love, commitment and relationships. They display some of these behaviors:
They want a relationship but they also want freedom and space. They have a history of short relationships or never been married. They are very charming and usually very affectionate and loving at the beginning. They know an ongoing sexual relationship often leads to commitment, so they choose to run when things start to head in that direction. They spin stories to justify their contradictory behavior. They can be moody and blame the other person for why they’re acting so bizarrely. They lie, or are evasive and secretive about where they are and what they are doing to create space. They are often unfaithful in relationships. They can be overly committed to their work or to their children to avoid spending a lot of time with the other person.Behavioral inconsistencies are very noticeable when they find themselves getting too close. They become argumentative and abusive, or they create distance. A lot of uncaring, sabotaging behaviors ( working long hours, taking on extra projects, creating space, not ringing, being late, finding fault with the other person). They know on some level that they are deceptive and cruel to other person. They end up behaving worse and worse, and they sabotage more and more. This is because they want that the person to end the relationship, as they feel too anxious and guilty to do so. The word “forever” terrifies them.Love doesn’t scare them, it’s what love represents to them that scares them. This is due to their negative system about love and relationships. The fear of commitment can be overcome. The first step is being open to change, and wanting to make the changes in your life and your thinking that can help you be less anxious in future relationships.