Are you commitment-phobic? Many people don’t experience committed, steady relationships, and they often assert this is so not because they are afraid of commitment but rather because they enjoy their freedom and flirtatious nature. And while this may be true for some who embrace their “forever single status,” more often when people say things like “I crave independence and space,” or “Love is for the weak,” what they are really unwittingly communicating is their deep-seated fear of commitment. Unfortunately, being afraid of commitment hinders both your ability to create and enjoy meaningful personal relationships but also your professional success.
Free Spirited or Afraid of Commitment?
Those who don’t have meaningful relationships must first determine whether they are a free spirit who has not yet found Mr. or Ms. Right or if they fear commitment. The answers to the following questions can help guide you through the process of discovering if you’re commitment phobic and how to break out of that mindset.
- Do you continually search for reasons to be critical of your partner or your relationship?
- Are you so picky about your personal space that you verge on being self-centered?
- Have you found yourself entering relationships with people with whom you have little in common regarding interests or compatibility on a regular basis?
- Are your relationships often rooted solely on mutual physical attraction?
- Do you look for ways to end relationships or have back-up “escape routes” to use the moment you suspect a relationship may take a turn for the serious?
- Do you tell yourself things like, “Relationships are too complicated,” or “I’m too busy with my career goals,” to avoid entering a serious relationship?
- Do you think (or have you been told) that your standards are too high?
- Are you guilty of intentionally annoying your partner or refusing to apologize?
- Have you found yourself on the hamster wheel of breaking up/making up/breaking up with the same person again and again?
- Do you show signs of being afraid of commitment in other aspects of your life?
- Did you experience trouble when you were young because your parents were incompatible or divorced?
- Did you experience abuse in your childhood?
- Have you been part of a serious romantic relationship that ended with your being heartbroken?
If the answer to several of the above questions was yes, then it’s entirely likely that you’re commitment phobic. Thinking about the answers to these questions can help you discern the roots of your fear of serious relationships.
If you determine that you do have commitment phobia, remember that this means you have an inability to commit rather than an intentional unwillingness to do so. The former means your actions stem from deep subconscious fears over which you have no conscious control, while the latter means you intentionally crave control. Discovering from where your inability to commit stems can help you in your personal relationships as your professional life.
You might find yourself lonely and bitter if you have an inability to commit because even the relationships you do have can be unfulfilling if, on a subconscious level, you continually choose people with whom you are incompatible. Then, if you happen to find someone with whom you are compatible, you might end up hurting that person due to your fear of establishing committed and serious relationships.
Knowing yourself is powerful, and you can learn more about who you are (and why you’re that way) by examining the aforementioned questions and using this knowledge to help you create, design and nurture new relationships that are successful both professionally and personally. Let this knowledge empower you to take action to build the healthy and successful relationships you deserve.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.