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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I have two serious questions about commitment in regards to serious relationships:


1) Why do I have "commitment 'phobia'"?

2) Do you? Do you know somebody who does? How have you or someone else overcome this? Your stories are more than welcome and appreciated!

To supply others with background from my angle:


I don't fear commitment because of the obligations that will be imposed, trust issues, fear of rejection, feel my personal space will be invaded, have the inability to be monogamous, fear change, or because some control will be taken away. But if it's not these reasons, then what is it? Why is this? What is the solution?


The thought of separation is horrifying. To raise a family in a broken home is a nightmare. Arguing over petty little nothings can become great somethings . The word 'divorce' or bringing my theoretical future spouse into questioning my love for them is terrifying. It breaks my heart to break others hearts. To think I will sometimes make them doubt my love, devotion, honesty, loyalty, and care for them or break their heart multiple times in any way is truly bothersome. Jesus' great love for the church is beyond words and marveling -- but I have never seen such a love in regards to couples. Only heard -- and rarely. My lack of faith here in regards to marriage/couple based relationships is pitiful.


Much appreciation and love for your responses!
~Cyan
 
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Wow. You are really over thinking this. To make this very simple for you, you won't face any of these "issues" once you find someone that you want to devote your life and love to. Sure, you'll fight and get into arguments. That's what relationships are. They are room for growth and potential. A relationship doesn't have to end in heartbreak. You have to meet the right person.
 

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I don't know why you have it.

I don't know why my Uncle has it either.

All I know is that he has a girlfriend for about a year, and then as soon as she starts talking about marriage, children or buying a house he is out of their as fast as he can.

He seems pretty happy with his life, as far as I can tell.
 

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2) Do you? Do you know somebody who does? How have you or someone else overcome this?
Your stories are more than welcome and appreciated!
For me, right now, commitment is in the "no thanks" column. Which may sound odd for a 40-something female, but it's because I'm coming off a 15-year train wreck of a marriage. You talk about a fear of breaking hearts and pain -- yup, being there, doing that, and you're right. It's awful. I hate that I have to be the one who does it.

Not doing it was worse, though.

I don't know if I'm phobic, but whenever some passing mention of a longer-term relationship comes from one of my FWBs it crashes into the brick wall of "no." I don't bolt out of there, but it does make me mentally pull back a bit.

Most likely, it's a phase and it will pass as I recover from the train wreck. Whether I'll ever want to make an official commitment like marriage again... probably not, but maybe I'll be willing to do something less formal someday. We'll see.
 

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I think there are quite a few reasons why someone could be like this...There's the fear of not being good enough, or not being capable in some way. There's the fear that the person isn't the right one, so you may get "cold feet" even though you like the person. Do either of those seem familiar? Sometimes we are unaware of additional things that are contributing, so we think it's something else, but when we know what the cause is then we probably will also know what to do about it.
 

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Wow. You are really over thinking this. To make this very simple for you, you won't face any of these "issues" once you find someone that you want to devote your life and love to.
Isn't that the issue though? You may enter the relationship with those intentions, but what guarantee is there that it will remain that way? None. Nothing to ensure that things that are or once were will continue to be. So, I think, some degree of anxiety is not only justifiable but normal when entering a relationship.

@OP
My own reasons for commitment phobia are actually a plethora of reasons and perhaps that's the same with you. If you're abstaining from relationships then there's no real concrete way to know what your issues with commitment are. You may not think invasion of space, infidelity or deception are big issues now, but when you're involved with someone your opinion might change.

If you're looking to better understand yourself, you have to thrust yourself in the middle of things in order to see things with greater clarity.
 
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People often fear the unknown.. I grew up in a broken home with supposedly Christian parents and decided when I was a kid that if even Christians we're undependable, I'd just never get married.

Marriage was a constant fear. I thought word for word what you said and often would often get cold sweats just thinking about it. I've met countless perfectly happy married couples though since then. And the fear just slowly went away. Then completely vanished when I met a guy that I love and trust with everything in me. Just plan on taking life a day at a time and if something happens in the future that hurts, its fine. You'll have the strength to bear it. Even if you feel you don't :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the responses. . .

Wow. . .!

You have all been very helpful! Thank you all for taking the time to make a response and those who shared their stories.

@Purposive - You're right, it's true there has been some over-analytical behavior in regards to these matters on my part. But it's not about meeting the "right" person but about making the right choices.

@Dewymorning - Thank you for sharing!

@carlaviii - You're wonderful for sharing that which was on your heart. I pray that your heart will be healed from your previous marriage and on to making new marvelous memories. We certainly will see.

@He's a Superhero! - Fear of not being good enough? Sounds very familiar. It's time to get to the cause of this fear. Thank you!

@android654 - You have a point. My life and career is centered around relationships that require more giving than taking and have a history of being involved with an individual for some time. You still hold a point though. Much appreciation for your post.

@Revenant - There it is again but in different words: Fear of failure. Many thanks for sharing the 'mere-exposure effect' link, but that is not the root of the problem knowing that I thrive off of unfamiliarity. Nonetheless, thank you for offering your help!

@Cappuccino - Thank you so much for sharing your story! I can actually relate to you in regards to being raised in a broken family. My family, fortunately, is working hard to mend the wounds and gives me much hope. You have 'met countless perfectly happy married couples'. See, you have actually met those who have very blessed relationships. I have not seen this in person yet, but have faith that it's out there. Taking life a day at a time is essential. "You'll have the strength to bear it. Even if you feel you don't". Thank you so much for sharing that. You have an admirable heart.

Much love to all of you who decided to post.

By sharing this, many of you have helped reveal something about this and it's apparent that there is a fear of failure. As Denis Waitley said, "Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success." It's clear that there should be no "phobia" in my heart about this situation or any other that will approach in the future. Phobia accomplishes nothing. It's clear that God is more glorious than any phobia, fear, or anxiety. His love is much greater. Philippians 4: 6-7 states,"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Much love
~Cyan
 

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Many of the people I know with severe commitment phobia saw there parents fight and break up when they were young. So it emotionally scarred them. The idea of staying in a relationship is literally painful for them in the way the idea of touching a hot stove would be painful. It's like, if you were told to touch a hot stove, how would you feel? The pain of anticipation could be almost as bad as touching the hot stove, whether or not it is hot.

Some people are just narcissists and have no idea about what self love is. They get their "juice" from other people, from exciting scenarios and people that make them look good or keep them entertained. Commitment prevents them from getting their juice because it entails actual give and take.

The only way I've seen people overcome this is by learning to love themselves and trying to heal the pain of the past.
 

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One too many entp-enfp relationships, and I'm now definining commitment by whether we make it to two new year's eve parties in a row.
Lol, this. So much this. The reason I have commitment phobia right now is because of an ENTP, as a matter of fact. I don't fear commitment because I want to keep my options open. I want to commit to someone one day! I fear commitment now because I've been hurt by someone and I don't want that to happen to me again. And the remnants of that failed relationship are all around to remind me that I can't let that happen again. A guy who's really starting to become interested in me told me I'm a commitment-phobe and joked that he needed my permission to let him be attracted to me. The worst part is, that's probably true. Worse than that, if he does fall for me, I'm probably going to run...
 
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