The term Commitment Phobic stems from claustrophobia, in that some people begin to feel enclosed and trapped when they are in a relationship. Their flight impulse kicks in, and they feel the need to escape.
If you are suffering from commitment phobia, you may not know it, because you might feel like you are searching for love, but haven’t found the right person yet. However, you could be sabotaging your own happiness by finding flaws in available partners, while being attracted to those you cannot have.
Symptoms of Commitment Phobia
Are you searching for perfection in a partner?
Are you uncomfortable when your partner has certain expectations of you?
Have you been hurt in a past relationship and are afraid of it happening again?
When in a relationship, do you need your space? Do your emotions tend to flip-flop between wanting to get close, and then wanting to pull away?
Are you attracted to partners who are not available? They are too young, married, live in different city, etc.
Are you attracting potential partners who don’t actually want a relationship? You may feel like you are looking for the right person to settle down with, but you are constantly attracted to unavailable men. You actually find flaws with those who want a relationship. You seem to be really attracted to people who have just gotten out of a relationship, are too young for you, etc. But you can’t have them! In this way, you are actually commitment phobic, and it is not the fault of the person you are attracted to.
You are attracting your emotional mirror. When you are in an emotional place, you often attract others who are in that same state. You are emotionally sabotaging yourself by dating someone who is as unavailable as you are.
Once you know this, you have to monitor your fear so you don’t sabotage a relationship with an available partner.
How to Deal with Commitment Phobia
Awareness– Think about your past partners. Do you notice a pattern? Have they all been unavailable in some way?
Communicate– If you begin to feel claustrophobic in a relationship, rather then pushing the person away, share your feelings with them. Express how it is difficult to commit to someone because you fear being tied or slowed down. You may worry that you will become bored or that you will be hurt. When you share your feelings, it will help your partner understand why you are pulling away and they may help heal your wounds with their patience, love and understanding.
Seek counseling– It is best to seek the help of a professional and change your engrained beliefs about yourself and relationships. These issues usually stem from your childhood, where you saw relationships modeled by your parents and other caregivers. What type of relationship did your parents have? Were they always fighting? Were they happy? You could be afraid that you may turn out like them.
With a little guidance from a Psychotherapist, you can learn to accept your fears and pursue the right partners. If you are already dating someone, but you feel that your fear is holding you back from truly committing to that person, therapy can help you break through your old habits and find fulfillment and security in your relationship.