Commitment phobia, or fear of commitment, is a word that entered the English dictionary in 1987. when it is first mentioned in the popular self-help book Men Who Can’t Love. This was New York Times bestseller, written by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol so that a word gained major popularity in American jargon.
Commitment phobia is, essentially, an unreasonable fear of making poor decisions. People with a fear of commitment may find it very difficult to commit to anything, but especially romantic relationships. This phobia spreads even further, and affects person’s life to every single detail. This way, person may find it difficult to be truly involved and committed to their job, company and employer. On the other hand, commitment phobia is about not only avoiding obligations, ties and commitments, it is always accompanied with extreme restlessness and worry. People with this kind of phobia secretly yearn for love, connection and stable lives of those who are committed.
Signs of commitment phobia
Fear of commitment may not always be obvious. On the other hand, signs of commitment phobia may vary from person to person. However, this fear is evident in many situations and activities in a person’s life. In a romantic relationship, fear of commitment usually includes great expectations combined with too much criticism for partner. Person with commitment phobia usually have a pretty long list of expectations for their partner and they tend to exhibit unintentional or intentional undesired behavior, even if it means hurting the other person.
Commitment phobic people are constantly struggling with their emotions. Their partners may often describe them as unstable: caring and loving in one moment, angry, and nagging in another. The true reason for these apparent mood swings is that a person trying to decide how to behave to express the exact emotions to partner.
Commitment phobic people may also have a lot of suppressed feelings. They generally avoid taking any kind of support, talking about their troubles, feelings, and emotions. All this makes them very nervous and vulnerable.
Dealing with commitment phobia
Commitment phobia may be conquered with a lot of effort and support from the close ones. There a lot of therapies and even prescribed medications that may be helpful. Knowing that the commitment fear is rooted in fear, fear of lost options or fear of making poor decisions, the most important thing in dealing with this kind of emotional disability, is to constantly work on self-esteem. Modern behavioral psychologists say phobias result from painful and/or traumatic events. This means that commitment phobic person needs to learn how to deal with experiences from the past, and embrace the new ones with a lot of optimism.