Commitment can be a scary idea to some people. With today life style of immediate gratification and entitlement, more than ever before, fear of commitment infects modern relationships. Not only it is difficult to find happiness within oneself, it is also difficult to find satisfying and fulfilling connection in one’s intimate relationship with other people. Therefore, it is not surprising that many individuals face the fear of long-term commitment.
If you suffer from fear of commitment, you may feel suffocated and trapped by the thought of a long-term committed relationship. Despite the strong desire to have a committed intimate relationship, you may find yourself interested only in superficial relationships Once you find yourself getting more intimate, you withdraw or unable to go deeper. The end result is that you find yourself alone or engaging with limited level of relationships.
However, if you are interested in overcoming the fear of commitment, you must learn to accept yourself and build your identity and self esteem and work continuously to overcome your fear, so you can create the deep and meaningful relationship you so much desire.
Remember, living based on fear prevents you from seeing the opportunity of life. So, have the power to free yourself from the mental prison that fear creates. In that regards spiral2grow can help you overcome the overwhelming feelings of fear and guide you through this process. We can help you develop the necessary attitude and skills to have more committed and satisfying relationship.
How Fear Of Commitment Manifest Itself
The following are few examples how fear of commitment can manifest itself:
- Waiting for the right one; having the ideal (wrong) notion that there is only one/right person to be committed too. A ferry tell notion of “living happily ever after.”
- Expressing strong levels of criticism toward the partner or the relationship.
- Hurting their partner (deliberately or unconsciously) while sabotaging the relationship. Effectively giving reason for the relationship to fail.
- Having unrealistic expectations in their partners or themselves. Using it as an excuse to keep distance and not to progress in the relationship.
- Rejecting other prematurely and does not allow a potential relationship to grow.
- Avoiding discussions regarding “moving to the next level” in the relationship (moving together, getting engaged, planning for marriage etc.)
- Having sense of confusion and indecisiveness. They may leave a relationship, return to it, leave again, and so on.
Source Of Fear Of Commitment
Fear of commitment may be originated from several sources. It may be because of unhealthy dynamics that took place with a family of origin; with your parents or any of your caregivers. A conflicting needs between personal needs and confusion of social/cultural or parental needs/values that may lead to fear of commitment. You may have experienced a traumatic (emotional) experience or tragic incident in life who pushes you to maintain a safe distance from others. The fear to re-experience the traumatic pain prevents you from getting close and intimate. In addition, suffering from low self esteem, issue with identity, enmeshment, boundaries, inability to live with uncertainty may lead to challenges in this area.
The roots of commitment anxiety are many and change from one person to another. Generally, however, many people with commitment issues have expressed challenges of having experienced poor or unfulfilling intimate relationships.
Few of the common causes of commitment phobia may include:
- Complex family of origin dynamics while growing up
- Childhood trauma, neglect or abuse
- Unhealthy parents’ relationship that portrayed unhappy marriage
- Fear of not being in the “right” relationship
- Fear of losing freedom and identity
- Experiencing some sort of betrayal early in life
- Unmet childhood needs and/or experiencing attachment challenges
- Past wounds and hurts by close individuals that created an issue of trust
- Fear of rejection, abandonment or ending a relationship
- Having been in, an unhealthy relationship, such as abuse, infidelity, abandonment etc.
How To Overcome Fear Of Commitment:
- Be Honest with yourself – Understand yourself and your needs. Be on how you would define a healthy partnership. Do you view relationships as suffocating, time-consuming or limiting? Are you likely to run away when others are getting close, become intimate or show affection or asking you to commit? It is important to identify your patterns and behavior in past relationships to define the fears so you can overcome them. Know yourself and clarify your needs and wants and have the integrity to accept them. It is also important to acknowledge if the expectations are realistic.
- Find the root of your fear – We all at some level fear rejection and disapproval. As such, fear of disapproval from a potential partner often plays a part in your inability to commit. In general, fear of commitment is rooted in fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection. Each individual must explore what is stopping him from being committed. Once you identify this fear, then your next step should be to find a way to deal with that fear or to minimize that factor. In order to eliminate it, you need to make yourself see how much freedom you actually have. You can also go deeper into your belief and find out if your fear is real or valid. Most of the time you will find that this fear is baseless.
- Meet yourself where you are – By nature, you will not want to hurry into a relationship. If you rush yourself, then it will do more damage than good. Be patient and take your time to know your partner well. Date and spend time with them. Learn about their values and try to pick a partner that shares your values and ideas about a healthy and successful relationship. That way, you minimize your risks and slowly move into greater levels of commitment. So, meet yourself where you are, and slowly deepen the level of your intimacy and commitment to your partner.
- Face your fear with courage -Living in fear is a delusional mental state that takes you away from having a fulfilling life. Fear is driven by the “fight or flight response,” which is a primitive, automatic and inborn response that prepares us to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival. Even though fear is an integral and unconscious part of our being, once we recognize that in most instances, we are not in danger, we are able to face situations or challenges in life in a better, calmer way. Developing fearlessness means learning to sit still with the edginess of the energy. This is why we have to face our fear with courage and do the right thing despite the negative force of our fear. Courageous people handle the pressure and complications as they arise and more importantly push themselves to be courageous despite the difficult feelings that they experience. Everyone needs courage to plant the seeds of their love and dreams.
- Express your fear constructively – When you face your fear in a relationship, it is important to share your fears with your partner or potential partner. By being open and vulnerable and clearly communicating own your fears to another person you are able to admit and feel your emotions. You may say “I am not sure of what I feel, but I am afraid to commit to you, “I’m afraid that my needs will not be met,” “I’m afraid of not having control over my finances” or “I’m afraid I will be judged” articulate your feelings without blaming the other person. When you vocalize these fears with a loved one, you allow yourself to dig into the fears and reach out for support. By feeling your emotions, many times the fear of commitment is normalize and ultimately dissipate.
- Gain Support from Others – It always helpful to gain support from friends and family. Having someone to help you though your worries and concerns when you are in a relationship is useful. The emotional support and the normalization of the situation has powerful, positive effect on your well being and it also can bring you closer to overcome the fear of commitment.
- Seek professional help – When fears inhibit you from developing an close relationship or sustaining intimacy, seek the help of a professional counselor or marriage and family therapist (MFT) for strategies to deal with your fears. Psychotherapy can effectively help heal attachment wounds, or an inability to develop intimacy or deep relationships that may stem from childhood or adolescent experiences. Therapy sessions can focus on uncovering the reason for your fears, any negative beliefs you possess about yourself or relationships in general, and strategies for breaking unhealthy patterns.
Fear Of Commitment Therapy
spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy of New York City provides treatment to overcome fear of commitment to heal your mental and emotional pain and transform your life and laureateship. The process of the therapy includes two main stages. The first stage of therapy focuses on solving immediate problems. The second stage of therapy explores the aspects of each person’s life journey and story at a deeper level. spiral2grow assists individuals overcome their immediate problems and also helps them discover more joy, passion, meaning, intimacy and depth in their life and relationships.
Often the real problems and solutions are hidden from us by our own self limitations. We will help you uncover these limitations and guide you in discovering an inner strength to make it through difficult times. Below are some of the benefits of using Life Change Therapy to support and guide you through change and growth. We will use a combination of these life skills to create a plan to become your best while overcoming your problems.