Victoria’s radio interviews:

Commitment Phobia: The Source and The Way Out

Commitment phobia is a very painful experience both for the one who engages in the pattern and for those who are involved with that person. Usually the art of pushing and pulling and seduction are the domain of the commitment “phobe.” The answer dwells deeply in the family of origin survival patterns.

Commitment phobia is something I see in my office often and happens to both women and men. The key piece is fear. Fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection. People who are commitment phobic feel they need to cut off their feelings after a certain point of knowing someone as a means of feeling in control and feeling emotionally protected. This is often not conscious and going on at the deepest level of the sub consciousness.

You can spot a commitment-phobe a mile away only if you know what you are looking for.  But if not, it is not at all obvious because one can be deeply taken in by the art of seduction that is prevalent at the hands of a commitment phobic person.  They are deeply involved in the thrill of the hunt as a key part of the experience.  Once they “get” the person, it becomes less interesting for them. They begin the process of keeping score. They are consumed with picking out the negative traits in the other person in a meticulous fashion.  I am not saying people should ignore negative traits or stay in relationships they’re not happy with, but with the commitment-phobic person, this endeavour of seeking out negative traits in the other person is particularly acute and almost an obsessive process.

Basically, they are looking for perfection; which is what they erroneously feel would make them happy, in control and ultimately emotionally safe.  When they find someone that they feel would measure up the push/pull journeys begin.  They are there and then they are not. You know what I am talking about: The person is fully present and ensconced in compliments and sweet nothings, and then they don’t call for four days. You know- the disappearing act! When the commitment-phobic person is there, they are thinking at the back of their mind about their backdoor way out at all times.

A very unhappy commitment phobic client said to me once about his latest conquest: “I’m not here for a long time, but I’m here for a good time, so I’m going to be very seductive and very romantic with her. But, as soon as I get a whiff that she is starting to relax with me, be more human and real with me, I’m outta here!”  We find out through the therapeutic process that this person has done this repeatedly and he suffers from loneliness yet he cannot move away from this pattern. He comes from a divorced family that had immense instability throughout the childhood. So he is constantly working to mitigate future pain. Staying in the moment and just enjoying the new love is out of the question when the pattern is active. He needs to feel one step ahead in his relationships always. He is deeply consumed with not being “trapped” by a woman who depends on him in any way.  He perceives any form of intimacy as a trap,

Another sad case that I became aware of, was a woman that dated and even became engaged to a covert commitment phobe. He promised her a rose garden for years and one month prior to the fully planned and rsvp’d wedding, he bailed. The only reason they did not get to the actual wedding day (only to have him leave her standing alone at the alter) is because she finally woke up and started to piece together the commitment phobic symptomlogy he had been displaying. She decided to question him very deeply which did force him to admit he was not going to go through with the wedding. He had been seducing her and stringing her along, in a bid not to “hurt” her. Instead he felt that lying was a better option which included the act of a last minute wedding day bail out!

Look out for people you are dating that are constantly looking at other people while on a date with you. Also be mindful that the commitment-phobic person is a born sales person in that they can spin a web and tell a story that is unparalleled.  What is actually happening is that they are usually covering their lies with the stories.

The truth is, when I work with a commitment-phobic person I realize that they themselves are not at all in touch with their inner truths. I ask the question, “So why do you think you’re doing this?” And the answer invariably is, “I don’t know. I’m not sure.” They are very cut off from their own emotions as it is very scary for them. True, real grit, deep authentic truth and reality is tough for many people but for the person who is commitment-phobic, it is nearly impossible to have them face this type of emotional delving and truth.

This article is a cautionary tale alerting people to not to get involved with someone they suspect is commitment phobic because if a long term commitment is what you are after, this kind of person is sure to get you hurt!  It is not going to be a pretty situation, unless you yourself are a commitment-phobic person. We know that like attracts like, so that may also be a likely scenario. It actually may be a good match temporarily since both parties are not interested in longevity.  However denial is not just a river in Egypt! I have seen two commitment phobic people get married In Vegas within one week of knowing each other because they got caught up in the romance of it all. The intensity of the connection made them slip into a denial state that seduced them into a marriage decision. Of course it did not last and lots of pain ensued!  But I also see the scenario of the commitment phobe in a relationship with the highly clingy person. It’s a match made in hell seduced by romance and destroyed by codependency and low self worth on both sides.

A lot of commitment-phobic people tend to grow up in volatile addiction families or in families that the parents are in a loveless and silent relationship.  In either scenario there is a palpable feeling of tension, unhappiness and dissatisfaction that everyone just wants out of. In the case of the loud and volatile family there is a lot of insecurity about what will be happening the next day or what the mood of the mother or father will be in at any given time. These people were brought up to constantly have one foot in and one foot out. Can you imagine a child being completely invested in a mother or father whom they cannot trust? The child feels in a constant state of emotional panic. This volatile, unstable home creates a neural pathway belief system to be commitment-phobic. “Why am I going to commit when it’s only been unsafe to commit to people that I am supposed to trust and relax with?”  For those who grew up in a silent, loveless and inexpressive home the child has no role model for healthy committed adult attachments. They have no idea what it feels like have healthy emotional bonding.

For those of you who are commitment phobic and want to get over this, you need to engage in deep therapy, to look at your family-of-origin stuff, because clearly if you had a choice, you probably wouldn’t be doing this. I’ve worked with many whose answer to the ques­­tion, “Why do you do this?” is a big “I don’t know.” The consciousness level isn’t there. You’ve got to get conscious and commit to getting in touch with what’s making you act in ways that clearly hurt other people and yourself.

My opinion is that being in a relationship provides us with a forum to learn and to grow the most. I am not saying that when one is single one does not learn a lot, but when in a relationship you learn the discipline qualities of getting through emotional boredom, sexual boredom, immature impulsiveness, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and open and insecure in front of your partner and cultivating a sense of deep trust. These are qualities that are tremendously growth stimulating for a soul. Our souls look to find opportunities to become more vulnerable, more open, more trusting, less suspicious, less escapist.  We are, as souls, relationship-oriented, and I think that in relationships we tend to grow the most and to work our spiritual lessons most profoundly.

Quick tips for the commitment-phobic person:

  • Engage in the present moment: Be right here, right now with the person in front of you. See what is good and right in the relationship now! (Especially those of you who are in child-bearing years, who want to start to build a life with somebody.)
  • Know and accept that nothing and no one is perfect!
  • Become aware of how your parents did it and find ways to do the opposite.
  • Practice meditation regularly as a way to calm anxiety. The instinct to run and escape from intimacy often is a way to calm anxiety.  So use another way to calm that feeling state that is sabotaging your relationships.
  • Read the book: He’s Scared, She’ Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol
  • Practice meditation regularly as a way to calm anxiety. The instinct to run and escape from intimacy often is a way to calm anxiety.  So use another way to calm that feeling state that is sabotaging your relationships.

Victoria Lorient-Faibish MEd, CCC, RPP, RPE
Holistic Psychotherapist
Masters in Educational Psychology
Canadian Certified Counsellor
Registered Polarity Practitioner
Registered Polarity Educator
Reiki Master
New Decision Therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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67 Responses to Commitment Phobia: The Source and The Way Out
  1. Angel
    December 8, 2014 | 9:33 pm

    My heart goes out to everybody who is a CP and who dated a CP. I am in love with a CP for more than 10 years. He swept me away I would be “the one” 10 years ago and after a few months he cooled down he said. I wanted to break it off but he always still called me daily and said he only wants me. It was sooo confusing. Did he love me or not. I just did not get it. That went on a few years on and off until I could not take it anymore and looked for somebody else, got married and had children. I thought the whole thing with the CP was over, especially at that time I had no idea CPs exist and I was just convinced that this guy never really loved me enough. 3 years later he was back saying he regrets how he behaved towards me. I would have been the right woman for him. I should have a baby with him and leave my husband. Unfortunately I gave in as he is still the big love in my life. I became pregnant right away and what did he say? He loves me and also wants me to have the child but he never wants to have a relationship with me. I forced him to see him and have sex with me. WOW……sometimes you think that can not be true. I am happy my husband forgave me and I also was able – after reading a lot about CPs and the issue – to forgive my CP. He did apologize later and also told me he always still wants to see me but I know for myself that this is like a bad drug. He pulls me in, then is cold and uncaring, then loving and passionate and it destroys your self esteem because you always feel at one point you did something wrong. God bless him and God help me to keep my distance. I wish him to heal and find somebody who can be at his side but this was a very sad experience.

  2. Lori
    December 30, 2014 | 3:02 am

    This article is so good..And it has helped me not feel so resentful towards the man I have fallen in love with. He’ll say he loves me…well have great sex..laugh…talk for hours..And then say we’re just friends. I got so mad after years of this I felt he was a narcisstic con artist..but now I see he has deep problems that have nothing to do w me….I said many mean things to him…..to make me hate him and to tell him….im not a fool..I just loved him…to save my pride…. but now I feel sorry for both of us..he’s never been married..has an intense job..And is alone a lot…I hope he learns to seek Jesus …..because He can heal the hardest of hearts…he works miracles..And it sounds like ..cp people need devine help…or they will be alone till they grow old..And its sad..because we are tender friends..And now..I’m crushed…And my esteem is scarred..I feel something is wrong w me…due to the repeated rejections. But being grounded in truth…..and Gods love breaks the grip of the rejected love..we must love ourselves and release them with love…And a prayer.I know my love will be rewarded..when I end my addiction to my cp friend..lover…I must let him go…And just be joyful.

  3. Robert Biggar
    January 10, 2015 | 4:57 pm

    Bingo Merci!,

  4. Stone
    January 18, 2015 | 5:33 am

    I was 2 years in a relationship with a CP then we became just friends for four years. I didn’t know about CP at that time. I have to say our friendship was great, easy and natural, I was very fond of him but not in love. He recently instigated sex again and I fell in love with him again I didn’t let him know, he must have figured it out for himself, this was two months ago and now he’s just told me he’s met another woman!! I know he’s been single all this time and now he choses to find someone else.
    I have gone into complete shutdown, I will not be friends with him, he may as well say you’re ok but I’m looking for something better.
    Thank you for this site I now know what I’m dealing with and close relationships with these people is dangerous to your health. Self Preservation.

  5. Crayla
    February 18, 2015 | 10:12 am

    I’m pretty sure that I hve commitment phobia and Relationship anxiety. and it’s so so frustrating.. I have been with someone only one but that was all I needed to notice something was off. As soon as I said yes all I wanted was a way out. Everything hurt and I was depressed the entire time. I tried to force myself to ignore it and pretend to me “happy”, but after a month I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like every time I said sappy stuff about our future and that I loved her I was lieing. It hurt so so bad… Eventually I broke up with her, and she got really pissed at me. Told me I lied to her and that I didn’t love her and all this terrible stuff. To this day it hurts. Shortly afterward she apologized and said that she understood she didn’t mean it but I feel like the damage was done.. I was also asked by a good friend if she wanted to be girlfriends, and as an expirent I said yes. Instantly that feeling washed over me again. I apoligizef an hour later and told her that I couldnt do it. This problem is something that is extremely frustrating because I want to be happy and live with a beautiful girl for the rest of my life, but this damn problem isn’t allowing me to. This isn’t becasue I am manipulationg people, it isn’t that way.. I just want to be happy… I apologize if you read this sappy thing, I just needed somewhere to vent…

  6. Will
    March 8, 2015 | 7:26 pm

    Lissy, you should not generalize. Women treat men the same way you discribed and men feel like slaves as well. Yes, men have feelings too and they get hurt by women too.

  7. Jay
    March 12, 2015 | 10:51 am

    What to do when you are aware you are dating a committment phobe, who expresses they are dissastifued with their behavior and seem to genuinely want to end the behavior? This person has not damaged my self esteem by picking at me, nor by lying, and I feel that there is still value in this person/relationship?

  8. megan
    March 30, 2015 | 11:50 pm

    Being married to a commitment phobic man who had 2 affairs to get out and then pines over love, I had to figure out what it is in me that kept choosing cheaters. I have read the book, “He’s Scared, She’s Scared,” which opened my eyes to a passive commitment phobic stance on my part, which would explain my choice in partners. I have no problem being faithful but my biggest problem is space sharing. I’ve become neat and tidy and my current partner is a slob. Love him to death and he is a workaholic so he’s gone most of the time, which I enjoy but often leaves behind a mess for me to clean. When I ask him for help w chores, he threatens to leave which I’ve become quite comfortable with if he does. I’ve read articles that this is a common problem in relationships, but leaning towards the commitment phobic part because sometimes I get physically ill when I look at his mess or if he’s hanging out while I’m trying to get things done. Sometimes I feel like he’s hijacked my home and I don’t feel comfortable when he’s around or when he wants me to accompany him to the bar as his DD. Honeymoon stage has passed. There are multiple distancing techniques such as anger or adultery or fault finding. All of which I have suffered and also inflicted, except adultery. I try to focus on good qualifies but I daydream about having my house back and getting to pursue my hobbies and dreams, like he does w no regard to house chores; rather than spending my spare time cleaning his 2 boys’ nesses. I get conflicting signals from him all the time from “I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” to, “I’m not interested in anything whatsoever like a marriage again.” We both had failed marriages due to our spouse’s infidelity so we understand that our motives come from that fear; but many distancing techniques keep coming out subconsciously which makes for a tumultuous push/pull relationship. I’ve forgiven my ex spouse and we are on amicable terms because of our son. I do not ever think about going back. I moved on. He has not however, and constantly talks negatively about his ex-spouse and when he’s not fighting w her, he starts fighting w me. I told him if he wants to move out to date again, that’s fine w me. We were in agreeance w that, then he raged at me because I asked him to and he said he couldn’t go thru a breakup again. Told him it was not breaking up but a way to save the relationship in the long term so we could get over our divorces and we could have our own space and projects and take our time w commitment. He’s become an animal hoarder yet displaces anger on and tells me u have to get rid of my 2 cats I’ve had since he moved in. I’ve suggested getting a new place together but not ready for it yet. He tells me he’s moving out because of my cats then blames me for choosing my cats over him. He’s become lazy in the relationship. Icant voice any concerns like I used to w/o him flying off the handle and attacking me verbally. Hasn’t found a place to live. Hasn’t paid me passed debts, I can’t depend on him for anything and he doesn’t want me to expect anything from him out of the relationship, like going to family holidays or feeding my cats when I’m out of town. I told him if he wants a casual relationship then we can’t have that in a cohabitation since I’m always picking up his slack and making excuses for him. I’ve noticed commitment phobia in other ares of his life like the dozens of toxic half projects layed up against the walls and puking out onto the lawn. Gave him the garage, gave him his own room and he keeps buying more stuff and more animals despite my mentioning that he promised he would pay me back for the year i took care of him. Ive let go and stared to let him be resonsible for his own shit but nothing gets done! I feel stuck, trapped-like I can’t get rid of him and he won’t leave despite his many threats. I don’t want to hurt him by giving him the ultimatum but he’s in a rut and I’m ready to move on. He talked about having his own place since he moved in a year ago, so I thought i was giving him what he wanted when I asked him to move out when he threatened to kill my cats. I was hoping he would b4 I started to suffocate b4 things got bad so we could still date. Idk. Tough stuff. I try not to sweat the small stuff but all the little stuff adds up to one big thing.

  9. Rei
    May 2, 2015 | 5:26 am

    i have commitment issues and i can totally relate to the post .i had abusive relation in the past due to which there is like this inner defence mechanism that doesnt allow me to get close to anyone emotionally .the saddest part is that its always like that .i start seeing someone ,infatuated deeply ,after a month or two when the other starts expecting more from me , thats when i realise it isnt the real deal . it wont be love with him. i have broken few hearts and not proud of it. i just hope one day i can finally be with someone . i really wanna fall in love and be with someone.

  10. cynthia
    May 6, 2015 | 10:21 pm

    this commitment phobia thing…is bad they can destory and devestae a person to the point that they start think they are crazy ,,or wierd, or the phobic manipulates an tricks so bad that even when they tellu they have it u have to walk eggshells..so that u dont give them anxiety…when u truly fall in love w/ them cant even say it …of course at 1st they ride in on a white horse ur shinning prince in armor an most times they are so good thatu never had anyone put on act of seems to just be crazy for ya and genlte calm… then becomes hatefull…an yes they do tend to hang on ex’s an in some cases manipulate u into thinking ther just friendsafter a while nothin is about u they twist it around an make everbody else think u r clingy, want to much..or pretray u as bothering them…well i do think alot of it is (BS} an sometimes they have that excuse to be a complete sob…an i no one has recently ripped my heart out an made me feel like nothing i have evr felt it is horrible…he belittled me an bs me the whole year an toyed w/ me…now this is a man that new i had some depression battle and still treated me this way…although his anxiety isssues broke him down he needed the hugs an time spent holin him then just dumped me 10 min on phone like i was just some one he had known maybe for couple of dates or something…these men are dangerous an i can tell u im still in a bad depression…over this the hardest thing was him not even telling me why…most time they line somebody else up before they do this and the most worst thing bout this guy he told me several times he couldnt be my everday boyfriend over an over i thought he meant work….not his phobia then turned around posted he was in relationship on fb…6 weeks after he dumped me i saw him off an on for a year an didnt even get that an i kept havin to ask him if he was my boyfriend or what am i thru the whole year….so he never posted that when he was datin me…my feeling is that he lied about all of it….or maybe he was ashamed of me,,,i don’t no but he really hurt me bad…worst pain i ever emotionally had in my life…an now i think the whole thing was a lie an the phobia excuse that readiley be used to his advantadge,,im gone stick w/ he just lied and toyed w/ me i the one look like fool an everbody else still looking up to him…..he has no remorse i dont think…an he is just a liar…basically an player..an yes he was looking for perfection…well, he will not get it because it does not exist an he is not perfect either…but i did love him an he never got to know that because of his bs an moody.hatefull all excuse ways…i was last for every thing an the whole time i was watching from afar thats why i could not tell him an hoped he would come around but instead dumped me in a cowardley way…i have alot anger toward him…an i have a long ways to go in recooperating….all i can say if some tells u that ever run like helll!!!!

  11. cynthia
    May 6, 2015 | 10:24 pm

    horrible. most horrible feeling in world to be fooled by a commitment phobia an worst thing is they always got that excuse to use for what they do…cynthia

  12. Samantha Flores
    June 24, 2015 | 1:30 am

    I am definitely one of these people. I’m 19 and found myself realizing that I’m a commitment phobic.Once the author mentioned that this condition derives from a family situation I knew right away what it was. Since I was little I have never seen my parents display any affection towards each other. Never saw them kiss, hug, or say I love you once. Every single day they get mad at each other and I realized that I’m truly afraid I’ll become like my parents and hold anger towards my loved one.I’ve been doing this endless cycle with a guy since junior year in high school. I can’t count the countless times we’ve broken up. I always found myself lying or disrespecting our relationship. At times I would even make up a reason for why we should break up when in truth I truly care for this guy. Well we had a mutual agreement and broke up. He wasn’t happy and couldn’t trust me. I wasn’t happy and didn’t know who I really was. Yet even then I still hope I will end up with him in someway and we can get that happy ending. I just want to change but have struggled before and could never conquer it.

  13. Christine
    July 11, 2015 | 7:12 pm

    I have a question about a dating situation I was in, I was seeing this guy and things seemed to be going great. He would call, text, make plans and include me in all of his plans, I met his friends he met mine and we had a lot in common. He seems to only really open up when he has been drinking, he told me one night that he has commiment issues due to a bad childhood and home life. Both his parents were alcoholics and his dad would hit his mom and him, when he got older he would fight his dad, his mom died of liver sclerosis 4 years ago and he was crying after he told me. He told me that he wants a relationship with me, and that he wishes he could change who he was and how he was. He has a pattern of being with women and then leaving them a few weeks later, we were slow with the sex stuff and didn’t have sex, because he didn’t want this to happen with me, we were going to wait till he felt ready. He was still going on a dating site tho, and I saw female text messages in his phone that were sexual…which upset me. He said we didn’t have the were not going to talk to anyone else talk yet, so we did. I saw him 2 weekends ago after having this talk and now I haven’t heard from him, he won’t return my calls or texts, I’m not pushing and I’m being compassionate telling him how I feel and trying to give him time and space. I don’t know what to do now, I know it isn’t a good relationship to want but I do. Help, I just want to know if it’s him and what he is saying would cause commitment issues and being close or is it me. The biggest thing I am struggling with is his silence, I feel like he hates me, I want him to reach out and talk to me like he use too. I care about him as a person, why is he silent? I felt like we were really connecting. He told me that only his inner circle of friends knew who he was, and it seemed like when he was drinking, he was the person he wanted to be, when he was sober he was quiter and more to himself. I met one of his close friends who is a female and he said he did this to her, but realized they were better friends. They are now talking…I just feel lost, hurt and confused.

  14. Cole
    August 20, 2015 | 2:16 am

    My ex told me that I really suck and am a huge bitch because I’m a CP. I told him it’s not something I can turn off and on like a light switch. And I did warn him. I told him this wouldn’t last or don’t get attached. But he “fell” for me and hard as states by him. CP amazes me really because I can be in the honeymoon stage then literally and figuratively cut the strings to any emotion I feel towards him. Although he isn’t the first or the last I try to warn them but it seems CPs are very dangerous when it comes to the heart. I don’t really want to change because it’s part of me, my personality. Maybe I am a total bitch. I am atheist but lord help whoever falls for me I pity them. I’ll never fall in love at this rate.

  15. CPInSearchOfSolutions
    August 20, 2015 | 9:11 pm

    I am a CP big time. I broke many many hearts and created destruction and hurt around me. Yes: OK, we ARE BAD PEOPLE. Now can someone PLEASE give SOLUTIONS. When do we know we are in love and must STAY in the relationship? How do we manage the “phobic reflex” to “get out”. People who are NOT CP have NO idea of what they are talking about. WE SUFFER AT LEAST AS MUCH AS YOU DO!!!! Because YOU will be heartbroken, but eventually actually find a partner to build a life… WE live with guilt and anxiety and fear a life alone and miserable. Please help us find SOLUTIONS. Again: YES we know we create LOTS of hurting and confusion and all that – starting with ourselves! Now Give us solutions. Any CPs out there who found a way to break free of it??

  16. Vivian Westwood
    August 24, 2015 | 2:02 am

    This really hit my like a train. I was researching fear of commitment because it has gone through my mind a lot lately about myself. I have come to the final realization that I really fear commitment. It’s not because of my parents, though, because they were always good. I feel like a horrible person now :( I want to get to the bottom of this. I am considering therapy. I am so tired of hurting people that I love.

  17. Steve
    September 2, 2015 | 7:03 am

    Quite some time ago, it occurred to me that there was a distinct possibility I may have been a commitment-phobe. My relationships tend not to last longer than maybe three or four months, which has been a constant pattern for as long as I can remember up until now (29).

    Entering into a relationship, I would begin with the best of intentions, thinking that perhaps I’d be in for the long haul and at times even fantasised about what life would be like in the future with a family. Despite these thoughts, slowly, but surely the cloud of doubt would always rear its ugly head within my mind. I would begin to analyse my partner, look for the good and bad to weigh up whether they were worth staying with. And historically, this has meant my relationships have all ended.

    In late December 2014, I met with a girl who I have been friends with for a few years. Amusingly, we dated to begin with, but she called it off because she wasn’t ready at the time. We kept in contact over the years, but on that December, she asked me if perhaps I would like to try dating again.

    I was both ecstatic and felt amazing having the opportunity to go out with someone who I considered both a good friend and potential long term partner. Over the next eight months, a few arguments broke out, ones that I always considered to be very silly yet escalated toward the “break up” conversation every time. To elaborate somewhat; she wished to spend more time with me than just for one day a week. Unfortunately my job was one that left me exhausted in the evenings during the week meaning that often I only felt like weekends were suitable.

    I can understand that the natural evolution of any relationship involves both persons spending more and more time with each other; and as such a began to see her twice per week, mid week and the weekend.

    I noticed I had begun to analyse our relationship thinking about whether I had made the right choice in dating this woman. With such close examination, it was possible to pick holes in every part of the relationships, and I began to surmise there was a distinct possibility she had some narcissistic traits. In my head, it felt that she was trying to control me, and at times that it was her way or the highway.

    Of course, it is entirely possible that these things did exist and weren’t being exaggerated in my head; but of course I was in the midst of analysing her for reasons why we should not be together.

    Shortly thereafter, we went on holiday together, which in my memory was a cherished experience. We enjoyed each other’s company that whole week. However, given i am a typical Northern Ireland man, I was more used to lower temperatures and in the beginning of the holiday, I struggled with the heat. It was at this time that my partner was feeling a little, how shall we say, randy to put it politely. Sadly, the heat was so hot that I could not entertain one of my favourite novelties in life which led to some modicum of silent treatment from my partner for an hour or two until she finally asked if I fancied her anymore. Of course I calmed her concerns and was completely honest that she was beautiful.

    Since that holiday, we have had other arguments, one which she apologised for, and the other more recently being crossed wires over what time we would be going out for dinner. The latter resulted in both of is not seeing each other for the entire weekend, escalating toward another “break up” conversation which was had last night. She believed that we would be fine and just needed to change small things to make it work, I on the other hand thought there was more to it than that, and told her that for the first time, I did not know what I wanted, and had no inclination toward staying together or not; straight down the middle if you will.

    We ended our relationship last night, and out of not wanting her to feel bad, I had said that it was not her but I. I was not comfortable on returning home that I had given her a good enough explanation, and wrote the following letter from the heart.

    “I’ve been sitting here typing messages, deleting them entirely and re-writing them over and over. I don’t like the “it’s not you, it’s me” way that things were left; it’s both too common and such a crap way to explain myself. I had wanted to write this in a letter, but I’d prefer you saw it now than in a week.

    I know in my heart that I do love you, and love our time together. When we first started going out, it was like all my wishes came together and I felt absolutely ecstatic and brilliant. That certainly didn’t change, and still hasn’t.

    You once mentioned gremlins sitting on your shoulders, and I said it was insecurity to which you agreed.

    I too, in honesty am insecure. Mine aren’t the same as yours would be. But instead ones that I think have been there for many years. Sometimes, I’m lucky and they are forgotten about completely, only to rear their ugly heads at in-opportune times.

    We’d had a few words like any couple which, in our odd couple-fashion somehow escalated into something way bigger than they should ever have been. The first few times, we got over it fine and dandy. But on one occasion, my ‘gremlins’ made an appearance. And those are my commitment ones.

    I fear giving my everything to someone. I grew up introverted, and managed to become extroverted. But those first set of years defined me at the core. I thought, “wouldn’t it be brilliant if I didn’t need anyone, if I could turn on and off as I pleased, and never feel hurt because of it”.

    In the past, it’s worked very well. This time, it hasn’t. I couldn’t turn off at all, and I won’t be able to.

    You and I going out reignited that little flame of hope and made me forget about the flame of doubt. We have had some of the most memorable times together I could ever care to have, or even wish to have. You are, pretty much the best woman I have ever dated in my entire life.

    I wish, and would upon a star that I had the foresight to know that my commitment gremlins had not died out completely. I wish I could change my personality overnight just for you so this never happened. I wish my mind wasn’t such a screwed up mess at times.

    Yes, we had our problems, and maybe I overanalysed them far too much. I may still have reservations about you thinking that the only problem was us spending more time together as you thought, and perhaps we may never agree on the culminating reasons that brought us here. But, sitting here thinking, I believe you deserve the right to know what I couldn’t seem to put into words very well.

    Maybe, I may change for the better. Maybe I may not. But the point of this message is, to tell you what you already know. You are an amazing woman, AFFAA really does not do you justice. Such a woman really does deserve everything, and sadly I cannot seem to give it. Never change yourself Ashleigh, you’re every man’s dream, Achilles heel and Juliet.

    I’m sorry I could not be what you wanted me to be.

    You’ll always be loved, and our times together will always be cherished. And despite me not being able to change and this being my doing, you’ll always be missed.

    With all my love,
    Steve”

    Now, I sit in work constantly preoccupied with whether I’ve done the right thing or not. And question if it is possible that a commitment-phobic mind exaggerated the bad things in the relationship, or perhaps we just had clashing personalities.

    I write this message to you all as I believe this posting does speak some truth, but we are not all spinners of deceit, and some of is truly want to be able to be with someone. It saddens me to say that my personality has potentially led me to this point where I have now lost a best friend and partner all at the same time.

    Yes, the thought of commitment fills me with dread, and sometimes I don’t know why I cannot continue in a relationship. I do know that whilst i was much younger, I began to build and fortify my emotions with barricades and barriers when I used to be bullied at school; though a farcry from the man and personality I have now. Then, I was on steroids for a misdiagnosis meaning I put on weight and was shorter than my peers. Today I’m in reasonable shape and well over 6 foot.

    At age 20, my father committed suicide which further bolstered my wishes to develop an “off switch” to emotions, and it did work very well. These culminating factors have led me to develop a strong personality that is not easily downtrodden, I tend to be very laid back and do not worry about anything. I guess I’m explaining a bit of my past because it isn’t always family history that leads individuals to such a path, sometimes it is just a set of unfortunate circumstances.

    In a way, I’d love to change my ways to feel like I need to rely and trust someone, but it other ways, I feel I’m strong and do not wish for such a trait to be broken.

    Fear is not a word I would liken to why I don’t take the plunge, perhaps it is merely stubbornness. Though sometimes, just sometimes when I sit to reminisce and and contemplate life in general, and the events that led me to this juncture, I feel broken.

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