Do you think you or your partner has commitment issues? 13 signs and how to deal with them
Fear of commitment or commitment issues as it is commonly referred to as is most often is used in reference to romantic relationships. However, a person who has commitment issues will find it hard to commit in other areas of life as well. Individuals with commitment issues undergo a lot of emotional difficulties whenever it is required of them to commit and dedicate themselves to a specific long-term goal.
This individual’s fear of commitment eventually leads to the development of anxiety as well as other mental health issues. A therapist can often help a person overcome commitment issues. Some people also try to implement self-help strategies that may help them deal with their commitment issues especially when this starts to have an impact on their daily life and relationships. A certified therapist can help a person deal with their commitment issues and help bring their life back in order.
What is a commitment?
A commitment can be referred to as an obligation or dedication which binds a person to a specific course of action or to a particular person. People make commitments either willingly or unwillingly. If a person is scared to commit to a specific goal, it can affect that individual’s life in numerous ways. Even though the term commitment issues specifically refers to an individual who is afraid of committing a romantic relationship, this term also encompasses other commitment issues regarding work as well as school or any other areas of life.
Commitment issues in the workplace
In the workplace, if a person has commitment issues, it will lead to the said person rejecting long-term goals and assignments. Such behavior can have a very negative impact on a person’s career, performance, and overall effectiveness.
Commitment issues in school
School is all about commitment issues. When you commit at the start of the year to get good grades, only then can you excel and get good grades at the end of the year. A student who fears commitment will most likely not invest any time or energy into reaching long-term career and academic goals. For example, a student might not commit to doing well in their college courses and therefore not even apply to college.
Commitment issues in case of romantic relationships
In the case of romantic relationships, if a person is facing commitment issues, it may lead to either one or both the partners rejecting the opportunity to embark on a more intimate and stable arrangement like moving in together, purchasing a house, or even getting married.
Signs that you or your partner are facing commitment issues
In the case of relationships, commitment issues can be very easily spotted. The golden sign of commitment issues is that you are averse to the idea of entering a secure relationship over a long time period. Commitment issues of a person can lead to a negative impact on all kinds of relationships whether it is a friendship, a professional relationship, or a family relationship.
Here are the primary signs of commitment issues
- Not wanting to commit to an academic plan over the long term like not enrolling in courses that might be good for the person’s career in the future.
- Not engaging in any long-term projects at the workplace
- Failure to feel a deep emotional connection with your partner in case of a relationship
- Ending the relationship physically as well as emotionally whenever a commitment as requested by the other person.
- Speeding through actions like moving in together, proposing, getting married or having kids
- Inconsistent behavior in a relationship
- Being physically and emotionally unfaithful to your partner
- Lack of any kind of emotional attachment to your partner
- History of short-lived relationships
- Being very nitpicky about even the smallest things
- Absence of proper communication or presence of a lot of miscommunication
- Always avoiding making any kind of plans with your partner which involves the future
- Avoiding any talks regarding the future or even thinking about the future in a relationship.
Now that you know the signs of commitment issues, it is time to understand why people have commitment issues.
The reason behind commitment issues
It has been observed that certain individuals want the love and companionship of a partner even though they fear committing towards a long-term goal or relationship. In such cases, therapy can most often help address any underlying issues which may have contributed to the person feeling this way. Over time with the help of therapy, the person can work through his or her problems and achieve the desired connection with the other person.
Those people who specifically experience commitment issues towards a long-term relationship with their partner may be facing this problem due to attachment insecurity. This basically means that they are insecure about forming an emotional attachment with the other person. Insecurity can manifest itself in different patterns and behaviors like
Fearful avoidant: The person was in a committed relationship before but was left broken-hearted. Therefore, the person does not want to commit to a long-term relationship again due to the fear of getting hurt.
Dismissive avoidant: The person feels that he or she is not dependent on anyone else and someone else should also not be dependent on him or her as well.
Anxious-preoccupied: The person wants to be close to the other person but he or she is not sure if the other person wants to be close or not.
A person with commitment issues will first agree to have a long-term relationship but will start to withdraw within a period of a few days, weeks, or months.
Certain individuals with commitment issues feel that the emotional attachment needed as a part of an intimate relationship is not worth it and decide to avoid long-term relationships. They are more likely to go for the “friends with benefits“ type of relationships, one-night stands, and short sexual flings. Others may move through relationships like a marathon without taking the time to figure out what went wrong in the previous relationships in the first place.
If a person favors short-term relationships over long-term ones, it does not indicate that the person has commitment issues. A lot of individuals prefer to be in short-term relationships and do not want to commit romantically to the other person. It is the choice of the person. However, if the person tells his or her partner that they want a long-term relationship but in reality, they are just misleading or being untruthful to the other person, such a person has commitment issues and needs help from a therapist.
The current cultural norms most often indicate that men are more likely to have commitment issues. However, this is not true. There is no evidence or survey suggesting that men are more likely to have commitment issues than women. Women are equally susceptible to having commitment issues.
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The types of commitment issues that arise within committed relationships
Commitment issues do not mean failure of committing to a long-term relationship. There can be many types of commitment issues within a long-term relationship as well
This is a commitment that describes a situation in which one wants to stay in the relationship out of their own volition. No one has forced the person to stay in the relationship but the person genuinely wants to continue and maintain the relationship and so he or she stays.
In certain cultures and beliefs, it is ingrained in a person‘s mind that they must remain committed to the relationship. Search people would stay committed to the relationship even in the absence of love. they stay primarily due to cultural or religious beliefs. Sometimes, when kids are involved, the parents may attempt to stay in the relationship even if there is no love so that they can ensure their child’s safe and secure future.
Society plays a huge role in this case. A partner may choose to not leave the relationship due to the lack of a suitable partner and the effort and time invested in the relationship. In such a condition, the person may believe, ‘I have spent so much of my time and feelings into the relationship, why should I give up now? Maybe I should give it some more time and figure things out’.
The causes behind commitment issues of a person
There are many causes that may come into play behind the commitment issues of a person like stress, traumatic event, childhood emotional trauma, or multiple small events. Some of the factors which may be the reason behind the person’s commitment issues are
- Fear of ending up in a relationship that is not satisfying
- Childhood trauma
- Sexual abuse
- Parental divorce or marital problems
- The previous relationships which had damaging effects like abandonment, abuse, or infidelity
- Estrangement from parents
- Attachment issues
- Finding it difficult to trust others.
Let’s look at a few of these reasons in detail:
Fear of the sudden ending of the relationship
If the person was in a relationship in the past and it ended abruptly, or the other person died, chances are that he or she will be more fearful of history repeating itself and may not want to commit to a long-term relationship.
Fear that the person is not in the right relationship
A person may be afraid that he or she is not in a relationship with the ‘right one’. A lot of people enter into relationships for reasons like convenience, money, children, etc. However, they do not feel that the companionship they are looking for is available in the relationship. Therefore, they may not want to commit to a higher level because they may not be sure if they want to stay with that person for a very long time.
Afraid of being in a relationship that is unhealthy
There are many reasons behind the ending of a relationship. One of the most common fears in people is that something bad might happen in the relationship which pushes the two parties away. This is especially common in those people who have previously been in relationships that ended due to abuse, infidelity, abandonment, or any other kind of hurtful dynamics.
Unresolved childhood abuse and trauma can start to rear their way into a person’s life at any point in time. The person may not even realize why they are behaving in a certain manner. However, the presence of a trigger in the relationship can make it difficult to commit to a long-term journey.
When a person’s trust is broken by someone who is very close to them, they find it hard to trust anyone else again. This may even include their partner.
Attachment issues or unmet childhood means
Parents are supposed to be the ones who provide safety, meet our needs and help us understand how to navigate the world the best we can. However, when this safety, protection, and love is absent during the formative years of the person, they tend to project these needs in their romantic relationships and may be afraid to commit for the same reason.
Growing up in a complicated family
Sometimes family can be tough. However, the primary thing which we learned from family is that we stick together no matter what. However, if a person has experienced unhealthy family dynamics previously like a psychopathic mother, overbearing parents et cetera, there is a chance that they may project those issues into their current relationship and be afraid to commit for a long term.
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How To deal with commitment issues?
I will be straight with you here. Commitment issues are not something that you can deal with overnight. In order to overcome your commitment issues, you must be aware of the problem and then work to get rid of them. For some people, this may even be a journey of a lifetime depending on the root cause for example childhood trauma, etc. The moot point or the first step is acknowledging that you have a problem. Stop avoiding your issues or running away from them and start working on the same. Here are a few pointers to get you on the right track.
Talk about your problems
Talking is not only for people who are in therapy. Letting a person who is close to you like your partner know what you’re feeling and going through can be a huge help in overcoming the problem. Talking about your problems will help not only relieve yourself but will also help you figure out the moot point or the cause behind your commitment issues. Talking to a professional therapist can also help in working out your past experiences, navigating through them safely, and emerging as a stronger individual.
Discuss your attachment style
Our attachment style is something that starts from childhood. This can act as a major eye-opener regarding your commitment issues. If you have an avoidant attachment style commitment issue, you will know that this is the moot point of your problem. You need to learn to feel secure in your attachments.
Go into couples therapy
If you are in a relationship with a person of your choice, you want to commit to a future with your partner but you are struggling with the same. Under such conditions, talking to a therapist with your partner may be the right way to go. When you go into therapy with your partner, your therapist works with both of you and helps both of you understand the right steps to be taken to manage the commitment issues and eventually get rid of them.
Practice commitment in other aspects of life
If you are facing commitment issues in the case of your relationships, chances are that you are facing commitment issues in other areas of your life as well like your work or school environment. Take a closer look at your performance in these two areas, and discuss the same with your partner. Before you start to commit to a long-term relationship with your partner, work on your commitment issues in case of your school or work environment. When you work through one commitment, It will help you work through your other commitment issues as well. It will instigate a positive feedback loop that will allow you to perform better and be more committed in your relationship as well
Now that you know the causes and signs of a person with commitment issues, do you think you or your partner is suffering from commitment issues? What would be your suggestion to help someone combat their commitment issues?
If you have any queries pertaining to this blog post or any other, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media channels. I will be happy to help
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Frequently asked questions
What are the signs of commitment issues?
Here are some signs of commitment issues:
- Your partner talks about the future but that future does not involve you.
- Your partner does not talk about having a future with you
- Your partner does not trust you with secrets
- Your partner does not involve you in making big decisions
- Your partner does the seem interested in you or in the relationship
How do you fix commitment issues?
Here are a few ways you can work on fixing commitment issues
- Give your partner space
- Be patient with your partner
- Be honest with your partner
- Show him or her that you can be trusted with secrets
- Try to understand why your partner behaves the way he or she does
- Do not forget to invest some time in caring about yourself as well
- Seek professional help
What causes fear of commitment in people?
There may be many causes behind the fear of commitment in a person but the most common reasons behind fear of commitment and songs. If the person had experienced a difficult relationship previously, parental divorce, growing up with relationship conflicts, estranged relationship with parents etc.