A fear of commitment affects people of both genders. Sometimes it can be mistaken with a loss of interest and lead to a breaking away the relationship. If you notice that your partner is getting more and more distant, it doesn’t have to mean that he or she stopped loving you. He/she might having commitment issues, also known as commitment phobia. Here are some important signs that your partner is struggling with the fear of commitment.
Your Partner has a Hard Time Making Plans and Decisions
Making any kind of a plan with your partner is a struggle. Even planning a dinner out or going to the movies can be a real challenge. If your partner answers with ‘We’ll see..’, ‘I don’t know…’ or ‘Maybe…’ instead of giving you a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in situations like these, you might be dating a person with commitment issues. People with a fear of commitment always try to leave themselves a way out by avoid giving straightforward answers.
Another situation you can encounter with your not-being-to-commit partner is sudden plan cancellation. He or she will call you in a minute to twelve to cancel the plan you previously made together.
They are Good at Making Excuses
Your partner always comes up with excuses and you have to admit that they are usually good ones. You find it hard to beat his arguments sometimes. For example, she/he will tell you something like, “I really think we should get to know each other better before you meet my parents”, and give you a list of accompanying arguments to support this. However, if this carries on as his/her behavior pattern, you will realize that it is a fear of commitment that stands behind these excuses.
They have a Hard Time Expressing Their Feelings
You will rarely hear the words of love from your partner who was commitment issues. Even if you do, they will sound forced and odd. People with a commitment fear usually have trouble expressing their feelings. This still doesn’t mean that your partner doesn’t love you. He/she just doesn’t feel comfortable saying it.
Your Partner with Commitment Issues Always Does what He / She Wants
You’re getting annoyed because everything you do as a couple is your partner’s decision. Whether it is a choice of a restaurant you’ll go to for dinner, vacation destination or something else, it’s always your partner’s choice, even if she/he makes it look like it was your idea. And if something goes wrong, he will most likely blame you. If this is the case, you’re probably in a relationship with a person with commitment problems.
His / Her Dating History Shows No Commitment
If you ask your partner about her/his previous relationships, you’ll probably realize that they were short and non-committed. Or they had a long relationship that ended up with a break up because your partner wasn’t ready to take it to the next level. Of course, this still doesn’t mean your partner suffers from a commitment phobia. But it does wave a small red flag.
Your Partner Avoids Introducing You to His / Her Family
If your long-term partner still hasn’t introduced you to his/her family, there is a good chance that you’re dating someone with commitment problems. People who struggle with commitment issues regard this as a step forward in a relationship. A step they usually are not ready for.
They Are not Willing to Make Future Plans
Whenever you try to talk about your future together, he or she tries everything to avoid the subject. Or they try their best to prove to you that ‘it is still early’, ‘your relationship is great as is, so why destroy that??’, ‘you need to get to know each other better’, or similar. This can be a signal of their commitment problems, especially if you have been in a relationship that has lasted for years.
Source of your Partner’s Commitment Issues and How to Deal with It?
Some of the possible reasons that led to your partner’s commitment fear may include: a low self-esteem, a fear of failure, bad earlier experiences and unwillingness to commit to one person (a Peter Pan Syndrome).
A low self-esteem
People with a low self-confidence have hard time making the decisions and taking the responsibilities. Situations in which they need to act responsibly and make decisions cause stress and anxiety.
A Fear of Failure
This is one of the most common reasons why people become afraid of commitment. People are sensitive to failures. Especially men are afraid of not being good enough as a partners or parents. This makes them fearful of commitment and responsibility.
Bad Previous Experiences
People that went through harsh life experiences like a bad break up or a divorce may become fearful of commitment. This is kind of easy to understand, because people tend to avoid going through stressful experiences again and they may see not committing as a good way to keep away from stress.
Or maybe he or she had a hard childhood experience such as parents’ divorce or domestic abuse that caused harms in their mental well-being.
A Peter Pan Syndrome
Some people may feel ‘still too young to commit’ to only one person. These people don’t want to settle before they change as many partners as they can, party with friends until they fall of their feet or backpack around the world. They see commitment as sacrificing their freedom.
Sometimes these people are on the search for the perfect woman/man. So they believe that committing to someone too early may cause them to miss the chance to find an even better partner.
How to Deal With It?
The fact that your partner is dealing with commitment issues doesn’t mean that she/he doesn’t love you. You don’t want to just give up on them if you really love them. You may want to find ways to help them overcome their fear of commitment and improve your relationship instead.
Talk to Your Partner
Have a serious conversation with your partner. Explain your feelings and thoughts and tell them what makes you feel worried and anxious. He or she may try to avoid the conversation or deny that they have any commitment problems, but this is the risk you ought to take.
Ask your partner about his/her feelings and expectations from your relationship. Thy talking about your future, but don’t be too pushy. Give them space and reassure them that you’re there to support them.
Take it Slowly
Don’t rush in bringing your relationship to the next level to soon. Give your commitment-troubled partner time to adjust to you and your relationship before deciding to go on first vacation as a couple, meet the parents, move in or have kids together. It takes much more to move on to a next stage of the relationship for your partner with commitment issues then for a person who doesn’t have this problem.
Give Your Partner Space
Don’t require your partner to spend all of his/her free time with you. Allow for separate experiences and try not to get upset if your partner wants to spend the evening with friends or take on hobbies on their own. Respecting your partner’s space, you will show them that you care for their needs and feelings.
Get Professional Assistance
Getting a help of professional relationship counselor can be a great way to help your partner with commitment issues. Suggest online relationship therapy that both of you can do together. Or seek counseling on your own to get the professional advice on how to cope with your partner’s commitment problems. Avoid forcing your partner into counseling, though. Your help will be efficient as long as they are willing to accept it.
To help your partner with commitment issues, you need to find the right tools and be supportive. Only that way your partner will be willing to start the change in his/her standpoint and behavior.
Being in a relationship with a partner who has commitment issues is not easy. Helping them in overcoming their commitment matters may be even harder. You need to keep in mind that you cannot fix your partner’s problems for them. However, what you can do is help them to find the right tools to deal with their commitment fear, supporting them and loving them. Your partner will be grateful to you in the end.