Kirstin was being pressed to say, ‘Yes” to a dating proposal. She didn’t know why she struggled to make this basic commitment to date a really nice man in her singles class at church. Why was this so difficult? She would never meet the right person if she didn’t take a chance. As she talked with me more, it was apparent that commitment to anything was hard for her. She was afraid to make a mistake.
John had a similar issue but it was related to accepting a new job. Everything about the job looked promising, but fear about leaving a good job for a better one took over. He couldn’t commit to the change and later regretted his decision.
These two people are not alone in their commitment phobia. A number of people seem to have problems committing things and, more importantly, committing to a relationship.
So what are the signs of being afraid to commit? Here are 6 questions to consider in order to determine if you have commitment phobia.
• Do I have a history of short-term relationships? Have I had difficulty staying in a relationship and working it through?
• Do I wait until the last minute to commit? Am I the type of person who wants to see all options or wait for a better opportunity, thus, I avoid saying yes?
• Do I say, “Maybe” more often than “Yes” or “No”?
• Do I use the words, “I might,” “perhaps” “probably” rather than making decisions?
• Do I have close friends or simply have acquaintances?
• Am I unpredictable?
If commitment phobia is a problem you self-diagnose, try to get at the root of this issue. Usually some type of fear is the culprit. Consider your original family and how stable you felt growing up. Then look at your previous relationship history. Was it problematic? Next, name the fear and face it.
Finally, make sure your relationship expectations are realistic. You won’t find a perfect person or situation. In life and relationships, hurt and rejection can happen. Don’t allow fear to drive your lack of decision making or block a potentially satisfying relationship.Are you commitment phobic?