Okay, guys- humor me and take a quick commitment quiz.
Do your relationships typically last for less than a few months?
Do you usually find deal-breaking flaws in your love interests?
Do you distance yourself when a woman invades your space?
If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions, you might be struggling with commitment phobia. The truth is, many singles struggle with commitment phobia, but if you are one of them, your fear does not have to be fatal to your ability to ultimately find love and enjoy a long-term partnership. In my experience as a New York life coach, there are three main factors motivating fear of commitment. Follow up on your quiz results with a peek at the relationship advice I give to my commitment phobic clients, some of whom are now happily married!
Let’s start with the three fear of commitment factors:
Fear Factor #1 – Fear based on previous trauma
If you have experienced previous relationship trauma, you may self-protectively wince at commitment because of a fear of re-experiencing a similar type of pain. Relationship trauma varies; some commitment phobias are children of divorce, others have endured painful break ups, while others have escaped abusive relationships.
My No-Fear Relationship Advice: Before you can begin to work on committing to a partner you must first commit to resolving the residual pain from your previous relationship trauma. Resolution can come in the form of therapy, support groups, online communities, and self-help resources. Once you take the necessary steps to heal your past relationship wounds, you can begin looking toward the future.
Fear Factor #2 – Indecision and perfectionism
Commitment phobias are often perfectionists when it comes to choosing a partner. Searching endlessly for a flawless mate creates a pattern of indecision that is difficult to leave because it is such an effective way to disguise a commitment phobia’s underlying insecurities.
My No-Fear Relationship Advice: The next time you find yourself searching for a love interest’s imperfections, try switching gears and identify each emotion you are feeling at the moment. Because indecision and perfectionism are the perfect covers for fear and anxiety, it is important to focus your attention on unearthing the root of your insecurities when you find yourself fixating on your partner’s potential imperfections.
Fear Factor #3 – Desire to maintain independence
Quite often, high-achieving singles who enjoy a great deal of personal success will shirk from relationships they perceive to threaten their independence. For this type of commitment phobia, entering a partnership does not only potentially threaten his freedom but also his personal success.
My No-Fear Relationship Advice: Embrace your desire to maintain independence; the truth is that when two partners nurture their individual lives they simultaneously nurture the health of the relationship. The key to balancing partnership and independence is to seek partners who share your values and establish personal boundaries at the relationship’s outset. Communicate your need for space to a partner who shares your desire for independence and you may be surprised to find your fears melt away.
So, what do you think?
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