Commitment phobia is commonly enough portrayed in the media—but usually as a man’s issue. In the new and much-hyped romantic comedy Trainwreck Amy Schumer‘s character challenges this stereotype.
Indeed, anyone—of any gender or sexual orientation—can have these issues.
Some primary causes of this type of relationship anxiety involve exposure to one’s parents’ unsatisfactory relationship or having one’s own history of failed relationships, for whatever reason.
Berit Brogaard, DMSci, PhD, Psychology Today, breaks down commitment phobia into possible symptoms. Click on the link for details.
1. Their past relationships are all short and/or very noncommittal
2. They are not willing to commit to dates or nights out weeks in advance
3. They are not letting you know whether they are attending your party
4. They use a lot of modifiers when speaking [about time commitments, for example]
5. They are sexually active, perhaps even promiscuous
6. Most of their relationships are undefined
7. They don’t say the L-word
8. They don’t like to use the words “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”
9. They don’t have a whole lot of close friends
10. They are unpredictable
How do you overcome your fear of commitment? Clinical social worker Terry Gaspard shares some wisdom (Huffington Post): “…Know that no relationship is conflict free, but you are worthy of having a relationship that makes you happy. If you aren’t there yet, embrace where you are now. What is it that holds you back from achieving a satisfying relationship? And once you have it, what will you do when you get there?”
Specific steps she proposes:
• Face your fear of commitment and embrace the notion that a lifelong commitment has to be made when there is some degree of uncertainty. If you wait to make a commitment when you are free of doubts, it will never happen.
• Remember that life can be more rewarding when you take risks and make a commitment to a partner who seems to be a good match for you.
• Take your time dating someone and make sure you’ve known them for at least two years to reduce your chance of divorce.
• Make sure that you have common values with individuals you date. If you marry someone with drastically different values, you will face complex issues that could put you more at risk for divorce.
• Learn to trust your judgment and be consistent with your commitment. Commitment to someone you love and consider your best friend is not an on-again, off-again proposition.