Commitment Phobia. What is it, and how do you conquer it?
To begin with, in general terms it is the fear that prevents you from engaging in a committed and healthy relationship. It is the inability or unwillingness to trust yourself and someone else with your innermost secrets, needs, and desires.
For some, the thought of a committed and loving relationship is either impossible or undesirable. Rather than developing a long-term relationship with someone, they engage in shallow and meaningless encounters and flee at the first hint of interest.
Men tend to have more of a commitment problem than women, but that isn’t always the case.
In extreme cases, he has a routine for dating that allows him to remain aloof and distant.
He finds someone he is interested in and goes on an initial date, but once she shows interest in him, he begins to identify her weaknesses and convinces himself that she is not ‘right’ for him.
He either doesn’t call or text after the date or he begins to build a wall of resistance if she attempts to contact him.
He repeats this cycle again and again, rarely getting beyond the first or second date. Meanwhile, his dates are left wondering what they said or did to offend him. It can be humiliating and devastating for the one who feels rejected.
Here are four simple steps to overcome commitment phobia.
Recognize Your Behavior – Understanding your behavior and admitting that you have a problem is the first step in overcoming your phobia. Being aware of your attitude towards relationships will help you identify your feelings and make better decisions.
Focus on the Positive Traits – When you meet someone you are interested in, identify positive traits she possesses (not only physical attributes either!) and focus on those.
Write her name and a few of her positive traits on a 3×5 card and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Every time you look in the mirror you will be reminded of these traits and this will help you maintain positive thoughts about the relationship.
Understand What Commitment Means – Realize that you are not committing to a life-long relationship right off the bat. Keep the commitment small initially. Commit to exclusive dating, and let the relationship build from there.
Take Small Steps, and Discipline Yourself to Stay the Course – Unless the first date goes horribly bad and you realize she is a convicted felon or a menace to society, commit to a second date. Before the date ends, set up a follow-up date. And then a third…and see what happens!
Take the relationship slowly and don’t rush anything. The best long-term relationships are between two individuals that are friends before they are lovers. Allow yourself time to enjoy the process of getting to know someone, and discipline yourself to follow through.
Realize that you are your own worst enemy, and the problem is with you – not with all the dates that you never allowed yourself to follow up on.