You’re afraid. Scared. Ready to bolt.
All because it’s time to get serious. After all, your partner is great fun, special, smart, and devoted to you. It’s time to take the next relationship step.
But all you can think is…”Run.”
Why are you so afraid, when you longed for companionship and hoped for love?
Isn’t that what you wanted?
Or deep down, did you know all along that your relationship wouldn’t go the distance?
Your fear of relationship commitment, sometimes referred to as “commitment phobia,” is relationship anxiety. Unsatisfying past relationships and worries about the future make breakups inevitable.
Maybe you like it that way. Maybe you want to make a change.
Either way, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at you fears and understand them — just in case you get tired of outrunning love, and decide to give it a fighting chance.
Do you have “trust issues”?
Past relationship pain, especially if you haven’t taken time to really resolve and forgive, can do a number on your desire to commit again. Fear of being taken advantage of, humiliated, or abused again is an obstacle that keeps some people stuck and alone.
Do you have FOMO (fear of missing out)?
Commitment is difficult, if you’re afraid the “right” relationship is always just around the next corner. You don’t want to give yourself to your current partner, in order to remain available for the next right person. Your current relationship, no matter how good, really never stands a chance. You can always keep one foot out of the connection, scanning for the elusive perfect match.
Do you fear heartbreak?
The thought of actually having the right relationship, and losing it, is enough to keep many people from getting in the commitment game. The whole idea of having loved and lost sounds too painful, regardless of the rewards. Anxiety about the possibility of being emotionally blindsided, abandoned, or rejected constantly keeps love at arms’ length.
Do you fear that history will repeat itself?
Childhood relationships are always at play in adult relationships. Early attachments, interactions, and experiences shape the way you see commitment today. Perhaps your mother didn’t make much time for you, you endured childhood abuse, or you felt that you could never measure up to your family’s expectations. It’s understandable that committing to a person who could let you down similarly would not be attractive, no matter how much you long to be loved.
Do you fear the unknown?
Maybe you just don’t want to fail. Many people look at the current divorce rates, their own family history, and the sheer amount of energy that it takes to make a relationship work and feel completely inadequate. You may find it too hard to imagine what it will take to sustain love and respect, amid the responsibilities of everyday life, so you give up before you really even get started. Failure is not an option for you, but neither is real, solid relationship effort.
Steven Carter, relationship expert and author of GETTING TO COMMITMENT: Overcoming the 8 Greatest Obstacles to Lasting Connection, speaks to commitment phobia:
“Relationship anxiety is simply an emotional response to a situation that is inherently scary: Getting genuinely close to another human being. Don’t assume that your anxiety is a ‘sign’ that you are making a mistake.”
The flight instinct keeps you running, and relegates you to a solitary future.
If you want more from your relationships, you’ll need help putting anxiety in its place. Reach out to a compassionate counsellor, who can help you learn to love past your comfort zone, and make peace with your fear of relationship commitment.
Click here to learn more about relationship counselling in Glasgow.