If you think commitment phobia only affects bachelor men, think again. Ladies can have suffered from certain commitment issues, too when it comes to dating, relationships and marriage.
In case you’re wondering, the fear of commitment phobia name is gamophobia. In society today, people who suffer from it are referred to as a commitment phobe or simply, being commitment phobic. The sad truth is, more and more people are becoming fearful, or at least hesitant in getting themselves into a committed relationship now more than ever.
Let the Numbers Tell the Gamophobia Story
According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, there are significantly more signs of unwillingness to commit in today’s millennials, or men and women ages 18 to 34.
A recent poll by Gallup revealed that the number of 18 to 29-year-old individuals who are single and currently not living with a partner had gone up significantly from 52 percent in 2004 to 64 percent in 2014.
To make the situation even more alarming, marriage among those in their 30’s had also dropped by 10 percentage points in recent years. On the other hand, the percentage of individuals living together had gone up significantly, going up from seven percent to 13 percent.
Based on these recent research findings, it seems commitment phobia has become a bit of a trend among single individuals today. Surprisingly, there are also a low of ways to determine if a person has become a commitment phobe or not.
Signs That You Are Dealing with Serious Commitment Issues
You may not easily realize that you are already dealing with commitment phobia. Luckily, there are certain signs of commitment phobia you can easily observe in yourself so that you can become aware about having this issue.
Here are some of the most common commitment phobia symptoms that you should take note of:
1. Your relationships with men only lasts a short time and you tend to be quite non-committal. It’s not that you don’t enjoy getting wooed, being intimate and having a good time with a man. It’s just that, you don’t tend to like hanging out with the same guy for a longer periods of time.
Whether you meant to do it consciously or unconsciously, your relationships with the opposite sex tend to just last a few months. Half a year is historically a feat for you. You just don’t like keeping them around too long.
Just how do you determine if it’s already time to have the break up talk? Well, you look for certain clues. You pay close attention to the way he looks at you. If you catch trying to steal a glance at you while you’re busy with something, you know he’s already fallen hard, and that’s not a good thing.
Another red flag situation for you is when he starts talking to you about his plans for your future. It begins with what he wants to accomplish in his career and how you have inspired him to want to achieve more. Then, he may start dropping hints about making a life together permanently. At this point, you decide to kick him out. You two no longer want the same thing so it’s time to end things for good.
2. You may have been married once, but did not last a long time either. Yes, marriage is a sacred thing. You have come to acknowledge that at some point in your life. The thing is, you have also come to realize that marriage is not for you.
A few years back, you may have walked down the aisle and exchanged vows with this amazing man in front of your family and friends. You were full of hope and excitement about starting a life together then, but not anymore.
Soon after the honeymoon phase, things just got too routinely boring for you. You were also overwhelmed with the realization that you will now only be with one man for the rest of your life. This was a frightening situation for you and you knew you had to end your marriage.
It’s also possible that you did not decide to end it instantly. Perhaps, you tried to remain in it to make the people around you happy. Eventually, however, you strayed. It’s likely you even ended up having a string of affairs throughout your marriage. Then, there came time when you got tired of keeping up appearances or keeping your other affairs from your spouse. That’s when your marriage ultimately fell apart.
3. You end your relationships for the silliest of reasons. For you, it doesn’t really matter if you had just been imagining things. The moment you are convinced that your relationship is doomed to fail for reasons that can even be irrational, you immediately make plans to end your relationship with a potential partner once and for all. The worst part is once you announced the break up to your partner, you don’t even give him a concrete reason as to why your relationship needs to be over already. You make excuses. You may even make accusations. In the end, you leave your partner both broken-hearted and confused.
4. You show a preference for partners who are obviously unavailable. It’s like you’re drawn to these kinds of men only, the ones who you know are already in a supposedly committed relationship.
Your reason for wanting to start something with men like these is simple: if they are essentially taken, you don’t have to stay with them long after you feel it’s time to move on.
This way, a break up gets much easier. These kind men generally can’t leave their existing relationship anyway, especially when it involves a wife and their children. For you, making the situation this much complicated works to your favor in the long run. You get the flirting. You get the sex. You get the affection. You get all these without having to commit yourself to him for good.
What’s that saying? Good things are not meant to last. For you, that’s an advantage. It’s time to move on to the next committed man anyway.
5. You may want to be in a relationship, but you also like having a good deal of space and not to mention, freedom. You may like the idea of being in a romantic relationship just like any other woman who thinks she’s destined to meet ‘the one’ someday.
Suddenly, you strike a conversation with this guy and it turns out, you two know how to have a good time together. So, you start going out and making out. It happens so frequently that without even realizing it, you have started a relationship with each other.
At some point, this great guy starts staying over at your place a lot more frequently than ever before. This is the part that you hate, the one that starts to destroy your fantasy of keeping the perfect set-up alive.
It’s almost like you can feel the walls in your bedroom closing in on you. You need space. You suddenly make up excuses, anything to get a day or more to yourself. You tell him you’ve got a project and you can’t be bothered. You keep telling him you need to spend long nights in the office in the coming weeks. You’d say anything just so he would not come over with clothes for a week.
For you, it would be a great idea if he gets assigned to another state. Long distance relationships are, in fact, much better. That way, you don’t have to keep pretending that you’re being held up at work when you don’t want him to come over.
6. You like to pass judgment on other relationships around you. You like to think that you are the authority when it comes to relationships and so you keeping passing judgment on the ones around you even if your friends or family didn’t ask for it. The worse part? Your opinion of them is mostly negative. No matter what you say about your friend’s relationship, one theme remains constant in all your sermons, negativity. You are always inclined to believe that all relationships are doomed to fail or that the partner your friend is currently with will never be good enough for them. You don’t like the idea that your friend is getting compromised just to stay in a relationship.
7. You enjoy fantasizing. For you, it’s all about creating the perfect fantasy as far as dating men and starting a relationship with them is involved. After all, what’s the harm in constant daydreaming? No one gets hurt anyway, right?
Well, someone does and that’s you. Because your fantasy often revolves around a partner that you cannot attain, you are left to have an unrealistic set of expectation on every single man that does come your way.
You compare every man you meet to a certain celebrity you have long been fantasizing about. Worse, you compare the guy in front of you to a movie character, a screen crush who was completely made up for the purpose of a film.
You might think it’s harmless, but this habit of yours may be what’s keeping you from meeting Mr. Right.
8. Most, if not all, of your dates are set up at the last minute or even, spur of the moment. One thing is for sure – you like to live adventurously and in the moment. You see a guy across the room. Your eyes meet, and he immediately approaches you. He asks you out, you go to dinner and you then, you later end up having dessert in your bed. This entire set-up works for you perhaps, as much as it does for him. Because there is no intimacy involved here, you are confident that when you wake up the next day, he will no longer be around. Even better, you will never hear from him again. It’s just the way you had planned it.
9. You lead a sexually active lifestyle and probably even feel promiscuous most of the time. Because you tend to choose flings over actual relationships, you are relatively more sexually active than your other friends who have been with their man for a year or more.
You have even become so sexually active that you a have stack of condoms in various shapes, colors and sizes in your bedroom drawer. It’s no longer about being intimate with someone for you. Nowadays, it’s always just about feeding that carnal desire to experience pleasure almost night after night.
10. You like idea of seducing and rejecting men almost at the same time. Relationships are more like a game for you. When you want to hook up with a man, you seduce him the moment you catch his eye. The moment you do end up sharing something though, you gradually push him out of your life. For you, it’s all about winning him over, having fun with him then kicking him out of your life. You’re off looking for the next guy anyway.
11. Just like some men, you tend to falter when it comes to expressing your feelings. Yes, you are almost like a guy. You have a hard time expressing your emotions or even telling someone how you feel. You have tendency to keep everything bottled up inside. After all, when nobody knows how you’re really feeling, you are more able to effectively end whatever relationship you want to end. Feelings just make the ending messy so it’s not worth it for you.
12. You do not appreciate being called someone’s boyfriend, you also get a bit annoyed when someone refers to you and your date as a couple. Labels are definitely not good for you and you do not encourage them. When someone starts referring to you as their girlfriend, you tend to freak out. After all, when you are in a relationship that you want to put an end to, there is no reason to be affectionately referred to by anyone.
13. You may or may not mean it, but you usually send mix signals to men. You like to keep men confused. In a way, you drive men crazy but not in a good way. With you, they always don’t know where they stand.
Whether you consciously do it or not, you send mix signals to any man you’re going out with. One minute, you’re playing the seductress, trying to hook him into being with you and spending more time with you.
The moment you get what you want, however, you pour your entire energy into rejecting him. All of a sudden, you don’t show him much interest or even attention. You may even decide to flirt with other men in front of him. In the end, you just hope he realizes leaving you is best.
14. You stay away from meeting any of the parents of the guy you are currently dating. Meeting the parents signify that your partner is ready to take your relationship to the next level and you simply don’t want that. For you, it’s always about having fun and living in the moment. The future of your relationship can wait or even fade. You don’t want to get close to any of his family members or friends because you don’t want to feel like they are family. This, after all, will make things harder for you when it’s finally time to end things with your man.
15. You keep making excuses. You always have to as to why you can’t commit to something. It’s not the right one. The timing is all wrong. It just doesn’t feel right. You’ll say anything to justify your decision not to commit.
Changing Your Ways: How to Overcome Your Commitment Phobia
Now that you have realized you are dealing with a case of commitment phobia, it’s time to figure out how you can get yourself and sense of commitment to much a better place. Here are some ideas that you can readily practice in your everyday life immediately:
1. Set some realistic expectations. The first step to overcoming your commitment phobia is be realistic about life and romance. Accept that not all relationships are meant to succeed. Heart breaks are as much of a part of life as marriages and expecting your first child. It can happen to you and you simply have to deal with it and move on if it does.
Have an open mind about being in a relationship. Don’t always try to find fault in every man you meet and don’t expect your chemistry to always be perfect. After all, your life is not a movie.
2. Learn to take responsibility. The way to encouraging yourself to stay in the path of commitment is to hold yourself more accountable. Go back to your previous relationships and think about what really went wrong. Did he really do something to end it or was it just you orchestrating your relationship to eventually fail? Reflect on that and own your mistakes.
3. Have an intimate talk with your potential partner. If the man you’ve been seeing truly loves you, there is a good chance that he is willing to help you sort through your issues when it comes to commitment.
Tell him about your commitment phobia and let him know that you’re working hard to change. Go through your issues with him. You two may get to a point where you are even comfortable enough to talk about the future. That is a good sign.
4. Go ahead and do more intimate things with your partner. If you are still having some hesitation about going into a committed relationship all the way, how about becoming a lot more physically intimate with your partner?
Hold hands in public. Let him put his arm around you when you are walking together. let him do nice things for you like making you breakfast and picking you up from work. At night, enjoy having intimate sex, as opposed to casual and hurried sex, too.
5. Make an effort to become more decisive in life. Encourage yourself to make more commitments, big or small. Set plans to meet up with your friends or family and stick to it. Make some plans for your future too, whether that concerns your work, your car or your residence.
The whole idea is to exercise making decisions and sticking by them. This way, commitment will no longer be such a big deal with you. The key is to take baby steps and gradually move up to making decisions with regard to your romantic relationships.
6. Visualize what could happen if you had finally let go of your fear of commitment. “Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hope; but no plans.” These were the wise words of business educator and consultant Peter Drucker. His is one of the most popular commitment phobia quotes that should inspire you to go ahead and consider letting go of your commitment phobia completely.
Close your eyes and bring yourself to look into your future. Imagine a life where you are no longer a commitment phobe. Visualize yourself having an intimate relationship with someone, what it’s like to fall in love completely to be loved in return.
Go ahead and imagine a future for yourself you have never thought possible. Do you see a family? Do you see yourself and your partner having children together? These are all exciting life possibilities you can have if you can just overcome your commitment issues. The first step is wanting to not be commitment phobic anymore.
So you’re dealing with commitment issues, but that should not stop you from being in an intimate relationship throughout an entire life. Commitment phobia is a real issue. The good news is, overcoming commitment phobia is possible. Work through your issues and don’t hesitate to ask help from a psychologist if you require an effective commitment phobia treatment.
Most of all, don’t give up on self-improvement. It’s never late to change. It’s also never late to love and feel loved.