How to Overcome the Fear of Commitment

1. Sometimes yesterday’s lessons teach us to keep living in fear rather than evaluating each day or each person anew.

Sherry Osadchey Do a reality check. Yesterday’s lessons sometimes teach us wise and useful understanding of how to tackle what is on our plate today. You know, like, that burner I placed my hand on…….THAT HURT! Don’t do that again! Sometimes though yesterday’s lessons teach us to keep living in fear rather than evaluating each day or each person anew.

Here’s the important first question to ask your eyes, your brain, and your heart. “Who is THIS person my heart has opened to (lately, or last year, or five years ago)? Here’s another good one, too. Is there something that happened to me in the past that is making me see today’s special someone through the filter of that old fear?

Do your reality check. And every time you feel yourself wanting to run or pull back or pull in and not be open….Take a breath. Stand still for a moment. Place your old memory of hurt or fear on the shelf where it belongs. Take a good look at that special someone. Is he or she some bigger than life scary creature? If the answer is yes, then your hesitation is one of those helpful, don’t put your hand on the burner again lessons. If your answer truly is no…… don’t let yourself lose out on what may be the most precious and meaningful decision of your life. Go for it!

Sherry Osadchey, www.sherryosadchey.com

2. Show willingness to trust yourself and someone else with your innermost secrets, needs, and desires .

Jason Coleman 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.

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 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.

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!

Realize that you are your own worst enemy, and the problem is with you – not with all the dates you never followed up on.

Jason Coleman, www.youramazingmarriage.com

3. Understanding why your partner doesn’t want to commit as well as what makes you afraid are important pieces to examine .

Lauren Trecosta I most often hear commitment phobia in the context of a woman who is frustrated and upset because her boyfriend is unwilling to commit. Men who are reluctant to commitment — or women for that matter — are likely to have been in a bad relationship in the past. They no longer have faith a good relationship will make a good relationship for the long haul. They may feel confused, no longer trusting themselves to make a long term commitment, and so avoid it altogether.

Some people don’t make a long term commitment because, even though they are happy enough in a relationship, they don’t see the relationship as a forever-after one. This one is especially confusing for partners who feel the relationship is good. There isn’t a lot of conflict. They get along for the most part. The relationship may even have been a long term one. But where one partner envisions getting married; the other partner feels — even if he can’t articulate what — that something is missing.

Others who are reluctant to commit may have issues that make them prone to keeping people on the outside. Even the people closest to the person are not let into the core. It feels as though one is always kept at bay. Those issues typically have their roots in childhood. Keeping people at an emotional arm’s length feels safest and becomes a way of life.

For the women who wonder “How can I make him commit?” The answer is you can’t make him do anything. Understanding why he doesn’t want to commit as well as what makes you afraid are important pieces to examine. If you can, work to deepen your level of communication in an atmosphere of safety and trust. This can be difficult if you are overly attached to the topic at hand. Consider getting help either individually or as a couple if you are uncertain about how to do this.

Lauren Trecosta, www.counselingbreakthrough.com

4. Don’t be afraid of your own imperfections.

Dan Blair Many of the around fifty percent of adults who are not married, would like to get married, but are postponing it. When couples live together before marriage, either they are aiming at commitment, with marriage as a future option, or they fear commitment due to personal or economical reasons. Those who are postponing marriage for economical reasons are waiting for greater financial stability. The lower your income, the less likely you’ll opt for marriage. Currently, there are more single parents and kids born out of wedlock than ever.

Some couples that live together before marriage will never commit, and some eventually commit because that’s the expectation, not necessarily a wish. Marrying out of expectation is a risk for divorce. People think that compatibility is the greatest factor in marital satisfaction, but commitment is the greatest determinant of a lasting marriage. Couples that involve themselves in spiritual practices more than four times a week have a divorce rate less than one percent.

Another aspect to consider is that those who live together without commitment have higher rates of depression, addiction and aggression. If there are kids involved, there are often more problems with the kids. Another growing segment experiencing such problems is those that live together after divorce.

Common reasons men or women are afraid to commit include fear of uncertainty, especially in these time, loss of freedom or extra pressure from the relationship, or fear that your faults will be seen and judged. Others have a mental pros and cons list that explains their reservation to commitment.

Perhaps you have seen enough hurt in your past that the thought of making a commitment to another person seems daunting. Dealing with that hurt instead of burying it “alive” may be the first step. Talk to someone who gets it. Looking at your past relationships, in what way did “opposites attract?” Maybe this compensation inhibits your own ability to make a promise. For example, if you are independent, what does it mean to be vulnerable in a relationship? Don’t be afraid of your own imperfections.

The more you develop your own character and are the kind of balanced person you want to be, you will attract the right kind of person that makes you feel safe. Relationships are like bridges, which needs the strength of individuals at both ends, with someone who is your equal in supporting the bridge.

By Dan Blair, http://blaircounselingandmediation.com

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