Having personally suffered from severe commitment phobia for many years, I know that being in love with someone who is afraid of commitment is not fun at all. But does someone’s fear of commitment always have to be the end of a relationship?
In real life, some people are not really meant to be together, and sometimes when you’ve tried everything humanly possible — and I mean really tried everything including asking for divine intervention — and failed, it’s smart to know when to walk away.
But I think a lot of people walk away too soon. Many others go about trying to get someone to commit by pushing premature commitment because of their own internal pressures. Nagging, begging, blaming, guilt tripping, giving ultimatums, playing break-up on and off again games etc. doesn’t make someone afraid of commitment want to commit. it makes them want to run like an escaped death-row convict.
While being in love with someone who is afraid of commitment is hard, commitment phobia is not a “terminal illness”.
Men and women do get over their fear of commitment. I did. And you probably have heard or know of many men and women who were written off as commitment phobes by the people they were in a relationship with and two months later they have committed to someone else. And the person who dumped the commitment phobe is left confused, angry, jealous, bitter and feeling terribly inadequate — like something is so wrong with her/him that someone who could never commit to them, had no problems committing to the next person.
Sometimes what a commitment phobe needs is:
— someone who doesn’t automatically assume that it’s all a selfish act but understands and appreciates where the fear and anxieties are coming from (fear of losing one’s independence, fear of marriage, fear of intimacy, fear of having kids, fear of financial burdens, fear of sharing a home, fear of offending family members, fear of moving to another state or country etc). Understanding and appreciation can help the two of you come to a compromise you can both live with.
— someone who is emotionally well enough and emotionally secure enough to give some real tough-love; Many commitment phobes have been through so many relationships and know exactly how the script plays out. Having a game-changer who will not play by the script can sometimes be the “shock therapy” a commitment phobe really needs.
— someone who is committed to really helping the commitment phobe get to that place where he or she feels “safe” enough to come out of their hiding place. Commitment phobia, like all fear, is really a wall to hide behind. And seeing that there is really nothing to fear is a great relief to a commitment phobe.
So before you walk away, make sure that you’ve earned your way out — that is given it everything you got and more. That way you don’t look back with regret because you dumped someone you still love and a few months later he or she commits to someone else.