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Do You Have Commitment Phobia? Here’s How to Know and Deal With It

Mimansa Singh Tanwar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Fortis tells you the reasons responsible for commitment phobia, the signs that reveal you are commitment phobic, and exactly how to deal with it. 

Commitment phobia, an apparent indicator and feature of modern relationships, poses to be a struggle faced by more people than you'd think. However, contrary to popular belief, true commitment phobia involves any kind of commitment, not solely relationship-specific. It entails fear and anxiety induced by making a promise or important decisions of any kind. But truth be told, falling in love with a commitment phobic individual is a different battle altogether, no short of a nightmare.  

"Relationships require investment to build a strong, secure, and trusting bond. When couples value and adapt to each other’s needs and overcome challenges as a team, it enhances the longevity of the relationship. It is the commitment to the partner and the relationship as a whole which shapes the overall partnership," states Ms Mimansa.

"However, some tend to feel overwhelmed with the idea of settling with an individual. While your partner is expressing intense feelings or discussing concrete plans about the future, you may find yourself feeling overly fearful and anxious pondering over the changes you would need to undergo as the relationship progresses. You begin to withdraw emotionally, be evasive and less responsive, and even evade the subject. It is when you feel immense pressure from your partner to address the matter, feelings of being stuck or trapped in the relationship get triggered, causing you to put an end to things. As a result, your relationships are either short-lived or less-intense at the initial stage," she adds. 

So why are some people commitment phobic? Mimansa Singh Tanwar, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Fortis, who frequently collaborates with myUpchar, tells you everything you need to know. 

The Origins

1 Observing difficult relationships within close family members (such as a rough parent divorce) during your childhood years can significantly influence your beliefs and how you approach relationships.

2. Bad experiences in past romantic relationships that you may have undergone may also make you fearful to engage in commitment. The feelings of hurt, anger, anguish, or resentment can affect your attachment and ability to relate with your partner at a deeper level.

3. While you may be fully capable of loving and caring for your partner, the adjustment and accommodative choices one needs to make in a relationship can trigger a fear of losing one’s sense of individuality and freedom to exercise control over one’s own needs and goals.

4. You may also feel incapable of fulfilling your partner's expectations and sharing responsibilities, resulting from your own internal conflicts causing you to avoid closeness with your partner.

5. A lack of commitment may also stem from self-concepts that are shaped with regards to how you relate and perceive yourself. You may be harbouring feelings of low self- worth which are giving rise to the belief that you are unworthy of love.

6. There may also be a looming fear of abandonment or lack of trust in the partner, creating feelings of ambivalence towards the relationship as a whole.

All these factors play part in contributing to your inability to commit in a relationship. "So, when you are able to recognise and acknowledge such signs in yourself, it is imperative that you communicate the same with your partner and make conscious efforts in conquering your fear. Else, seek professional help to address the issues and develop healthy belief systems to relate and navigate your way ahead in the relationship," advocates Mimansa. No relationship is perfect, yet through consistent efforts to align values and commitment goals with one another, you are able to build a thriving, sustainable, and healthy relationship.