5 ways to spot a commitment phobe and how to deal with them

What is commitment phobia?

People who suffer from commitment phobia tend to have difficulties committing to people and things. Being a commitment phobe does not mean that you do not want to commit, but rather that you fear it. This fear can affect numerous aspects of one’s life and can go beyond the inability to commit to a person and/or a relationship. In other words, people who have a fear of commitment may find it difficult to make long-term decisions regarding almost anything in their life.

According to Arthur Peirce, this is how you can spot a commitment phobe:

1. They are constantly changing jobs 

Someone afraid of commitment may find it difficult to commit to a job or career. While quitting a job is normal and something that many people do at some point in their lives, if one does it too often and without a rational excuse, they could just be afraid of committing to it.

2. They have never been in a relationship 

While many people struggle to find the right person to date, commitment phobes tend to have dated multiple people for short periods of time. Similarly, many commitment phobes who have had more serious relationships may even deny the fact and claim that they had never actually labeled it as such.

3. They have difficulty talking about love

A commitment phobe struggles with labels and with saying (or even hearing) ‘I love you’. These three words tend to define the relationship and make it seem more real. Even if they do feel love towards you, they may be terrified of saying it out loud and may even break off the relationship out of fear.

4. They struggle committing to events in advance

Those who are afraid of commitment find it difficult to commit to attending events and making plans for the future. They tend to wait until a much closer date and time to confirm their attendance.

5. They have not introduced you to their friends and/or family

Introducing you to friends or family has the same effect as saying ‘I love you’. For this reason, a commitment phobe will most probably avoid introducing you to those who are close to them. What is more, Peirce explains that ‘this, in a sense, shows that they are keeping you in a separate compartment of their personal life – a compartment easily abandoned with no affect to the others’.

What can you do to deal with a commitment phobe?

First, you need to step back and ask yourself if your commitment phobic partner is causing you more stress, anxiety, and harm than good. If your relationship makes you feel unhappy more often than it makes you feel happy, then it is probably best that you walk away.

If, however, you are certain that you want to be with your commitment phobic partner, you should make sure that you try to always put yourself first. Putting yourself first and giving your commitment phobic partner space when they need it is necessary. According to the Business Insider, dating expert Lindsey Metselaar claims that ‘doing things without your CP partner shows them that they aren’t walking into a point of no return [when committing to you]. A real phobe needs to know that the walls aren’t closing in on them’.

Either way, it is vital that you do not rush your partner and that you always keep in mind that they may never change their mind about committing. 

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