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Commitment Phobia aka Fear Of Commitment

"What's Really Behind It" 

By:Tim Taylor


Men and women alike struggle with this phenomenon; or do they? One or both parties may be dreading the day when the other wants to have that conversation over the health and status of their relationship. That fear is so real it's enough to make one sabotage an otherwise good union. Fear or failure to commit can be due to a range of reasons. You could be reacting to a bad relationship encounter someone close to you had and you vowed never to let that happen to you. You could be afraid of the unknown. You may not be sure you even like the person you're with. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This article is not for diagnosing why you may have a fear of commitment, but if you really have it to begin with. One possibility could be a lack of communication.

Because of poor communication skills, we tend to try and self diagnose problems based on perceived symptoms. If the diagnoses is wrong, the treatment can't help but be wrong. You have to consider the possibility that your mate doesn't have commitment phobia at all. Maybe it's just contentment with the present commitment. People grow at different stages and at different maturity levels. What worked for you two years ago may make you cringe now; while your partner is as pleased as a tick in a dog's ear. They haven't progressed to a point where they feel they need more. It doesn't mean they wont ever come to that point of restlessness for more, they're just not there yet. That can be very frustrating for someone who's gone past that point and the way they deal with a stagnant partner is to label them as having a fear of commitment.

If your mate seemed committed to where you were in your relationship in the past, then it's evident that they're capable of making a commitment with you. You have to find out what caused this lag in progression at this stage. Perhaps they never committed in the first place. You just may be a perpetual compromiser and went along to get along. It could also be a difference in the life span of a commitment. Your mate could be excellent in short term commitments, but is just not the marathon runner when it comes to this. This has little to do with commitment and more of the type of character you landed. There are those that just don't have it in them to commit to anything long term. If you're the opposite, you need to really think about your choice in mates. It's not to say you can't have a fulfilling relationship with them. You just have to be realistic in the early stages and don't pressure them when you want more but they never implied they were capable of any more than what they originally brought into the union.

The proper term would be Long term commitment phobia or fear of long term commitment. That's where most of the arguments stem from. When you accuse your partner of not being able to commit when with every fiber of their being, they feel they're being committed now and has been all along. You want something more progressively permanent and they seem to permanently want to stay where you are at this moment. They're wholly committed to staying their, too How's that for irony? This is why it's vitally important that the two of you are on the same page from day one with your expectations and defining of your relationship. The two of you can't use the same words with different meanings. You have to agree on what you have; and when the other wants more while the other doesn't, no matter how difficult or painful, you must move on. Don't pressure the other into going to the next stage just to salvage the relationship. There will be some heavy resentment capable of destroying the relationship. It's best to just make a clean break while appreciating what you had.

However, sometimes one partner may need a little nudge in the right direction. I can't help you there. You should be aware of each other's nuances and work within those perimeters to see if there's hope of moving to the next level. But most assuredly, if there's ongoing tension between the two of you over this subject, the other is clearly not ready or willing to go there with you. It's okay. It doesn't make either of you a bad person. It's just time to move on. Be mature about it and appreciate how you've grownup to that point.