‘… and they lived happily ever after’ is something every person expects his/her story to end with. These days, unfortunately, people don’t reach that stage. There are so many levels and parameters of a ‘good relationship’ that a major section of today’s generation has turned into commitment-phobes. At times, you may be prepared for a serious relationship but your partner may not be ready to commit. So how do you know you are dating a commitment-phobe? There are some definite signs of a commitment-phobe that you can easily spot.
People who have a fear of getting into relationships show commitment-phobe traits. What are the signs of a commitment-phobic woman or signs of a commitment-phobic man? How do you know you are dating someone with commitment issues? We will come to all that in this article but before that let us tell you who exactly is a commitment-phobe.
Who Is A Commitment-Phobe?
A commitment-phobe is a person who has a fear of giving commitment to his/her love life. Basically, a commitment-phobe is scared to commit to anything that involves other people. Changing relationship status from ‘Single’ to ‘In a relationship’, letting their parents know about their significant other or the biggest of all fears, getting married, scares them out of their wits and they end up breaking off the relationship.
Nobody labels themselves or shows their fears of commitment right in the beginning, so it is very difficult to judge whether there lies a commitment-phobe beneath the layer of charm.
Mathew Jordan, a communications professional, is a perfect example of a commitment-phobe. Charming, caring and nice, Mathew has qualities that any woman would like. That’s why he’s had a string of relationships. But as soon the question of commitment would arise he developed cold feet. “If a girl pushes me for commitment I start dwelling on all her worse traits and then I just slither away. I cannot see myself stuck in a relationship no matter how much I like the lady.”
What makes someone a commitment-phobe?
The reasons could be numerous but mainly it can traced back to their childhood.
- Many people grow up in stable families but do not experience an emotional attachment with their parents and siblings
- This happens mainly in large families where there are too many kids and parents have no time to give individual attention
- It could be the other way round with helicopter parents when a child grows up hating the excessive attention they get
- But in either case the hugs, cuddles and kisses are always missing
- In adulthood when their partners want that kind of a relationship they cannot bring themselves to be so emotionally attached
- They develop a detached style of functioning that makes them the commitment-phobes they are. So they cannot sustain long-term relationships.
Here are 22 signs that can help you check if your partner is facing commitment issues.
22 Signs You Are Dating A Commitment-phobe
The fear of commitment is nothing new, all of us experience it. Being unsure about a relationship is perfectly fine, but what if you are dating someone who is not ready to commit?
You want a guarantee that your relationship lasts, but the other person does not have similar intentions. So how do you spot that you are dating a commitment-phobe? There are certain signs that you can spot early on.
1.They don’t promise things
They never tell you that they’ll accompany you to that event or whether they’ll be able to make it to that movie. They might come if they can but they don’t want to ‘promise’ you and then ‘disappoint’ you.
People who have commitment issues are constantly juggling between options and can never make up their mind. While they seem to be caring people, they really are not.
They are pretty much confused themselves, will keep giving you mixed signals and never promise you anything. Even if you tell them to meet for coffee they will tell you, “Is it okay if I confirm tomorrow?”
Related Reading: 15 Top Signs Of A Selfish Boyfriend
2. They don’t take initiatives
If it is always you who decides on what to do next weekend, which place to go and what plans to make then don’t overlook the red flag. Commitment-phobes never take initiatives. They never call or text, they just respond to your calls or texts and be present in your plans.
He may be dating you exclusively but not committed to you. It may not seem evident at the start but gradually, you’ll find yourself in a difficult position.
3. They can never be precise about time and place
They will never tell you if they can see you at 7 or 8 pm, and you’ll never know how much to wait before they arrive. ‘I’ll get free by 7, but I have to meet someone at 8, so maybe I’ll come in between.’
They won’t prioritise meeting you, rather, they would fling by your place when they have nothing else to do. A commitment-phobe wants to be friends with you and show you that you are not really their priority. Even if a commitment-phobe loves you they will try to show they are not that attached to you so they would no be precise about anything.
4. Even when they are, it’s only when it’s convenient for them
They might tell you where and when only when it suits their convenience. ‘I can meet you after work at that restaurant just a block away from my office.’
‘How about we meet at 9 because I finish my work at 8:45 pm?’ Commitment-phobes have the tendency to do things their way because it makes them feel secure.
Signs of a commitment-phobic man could include selfishness and lack of understanding of your feelings. That’s because even if they understand they don’t want to show their feelings to you.
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You
5. They don’t acknowledge their relationship in public
If your partner doesn’t hold hands in public because it’s too ‘cheap’ or won’t tell his/her colleagues about your relationship because ‘it’s not their concern, you know’, they are definitely facing the fear of commitment.
They don’t want anyone to find about their relationship because they themselves are not too sure about it and don’t want to create an image with someone else.
One of the main commitment-phobic traits is they will never acknowledge you in public. They will always try to keep up the friends façade.
6. They don’t prioritize their partner
‘Hey, can we meet?’
‘Yeah sure, let me just do my laundry, cook dinner, finish my work and then I’ll see you.’
Commitment-phobes never consider their partner to be their top priority. Instead, their partner always comes after everything on that list.
They do not want to rush at their partner’s phone call because they have ‘other’ important things to do. And don’t expect them to plan dates and outings because they fear that you would think they are attached to you.
7. They are reluctant to take it to the ‘next level’
Another sign of a commitment-phobe is that he/she always wants to take things ‘slow’. A commitment-phobe does not rush into things, especially in a relationship.
They want to think things through before taking a big step and taking things to the ‘next level’ totally freaks them out. They might get panic-stricken at the mere mention of it and brush the topic aside.
They don’t want to get into an exclusive relationship even though they have feelings for you. They might ask you for time and that can run into forever.
Related Reading: 15 signs he will break your heart
8. They have very few or no friends
The problem of a person with commitment issues is not just romantic relationships, but also friendships. They cannot maintain long lasting, deep friendships because they have a fear of intimacy.
They do not trust easily and are never satisfied, which leads them to be a loner most of the times. They might ‘know’ a lot of people but have very few or no close friends.
Because in every kind of relationship they cannot commit so they prefer to float from here to there without getting bogged down.
9. They’ve had a lot of short relationships before
These people constantly feel lonely and so keep on jumping from one relationship to another. They might be falling in love too fast.
They get attracted very easily to other people but as soon as they start knowing them, they lose interest, which is why, the commitment-phobes have a long list of previous relationships that they might not even categorise as relationships.
But isn’t this inevitable for a commitment-phobe to have a string of failed relationship? In fact failure to hold on to a relationship is a sign of a commitment phobic woman or man.
10. They will call all their relationships ‘casual’
Despite having so many past relationships, for them, those were mere encounters with people they liked. So, the girl he had been seeing for months, was just a casual fling.
People with a fear of commitment face trouble when it comes to acknowledgement of a relationship, and thus, they never acknowledge one.
In people with commitment issues will always want to keep it casual. Even sex for them is casual. But if they see their sex partner is getting too attached they might make the run. Commitment-phobes most often opt for friends with benefits relationships.
Related Reading: 20 Signs He Is Not Into You
11. They are self-righteous
They will never admit that they can be at fault, neither in their past relationships, nor in their current one. They have a didactic personality which they use to justify all their actions.
If your partner thinks that he/she is always right, you need to give the relationship a second thought. They cannot take any kind of criticism.
And if you tell them on their face that they have commitment phobia chances are they would get extremely angry but never agree with you.
12. They keep giving excuses whenever they don’t want to do things
Excuses are their best friends. They don’t want to go for that movie, they’ll keep showing you bad reviews about it. They don’t want to see your friends; they’ll be busy at work.
Anything that does not suit their convenience or seems boring to them, meets a ‘completely genuine’ excuse.
This trait of a commitment-phobe is actually very annoying. They carry a bag full of excuses around with them all the time and they would never bat an eyelid to fetch out one. This shows a very shallow trait of their personality.
Related Reading: Is Being Shy A Turn Off In A Man?
13. They are secretive
You are with them since a long time and you still don’t know any details about their past or their future plans. If your partner is extremely secretive about their life, they might be a commitment-phobe.
They don’t want to familiarise you with the aspects of their life that can make you desire commitment from them.
They always try to maintain an emotional distance and if you try to build emotional intimacy they back off instantly.
14. They are firm believers of ‘bigamy’ or ‘polygamy’
People with a commitment phobia cannot stick with one person or one relationship. They keep on asserting that monogamy is ‘not their thing’.
They keep on emphasising the fact that they can and might have more than one partner which is a definite red flag for you.
The traits of a commitment-phobe is they want to jump from one casual fling to another without being tied down that’s why open relationships or FWB works for them.
15. They will never admit that commitment is scary for them
Despite having problems with commitment, they can never admit it. Probably because they don’t want anyone to find out, or probably because they themselves haven’t found out yet.
Research says that people with commitment issues have had a traumatic past as a child or have gone through a series of traumatic relationships as an adult.
They are also incapable of facing their own issues. They might be madly in love but most often they fail to keep the phobia aside and commit.
16. They constantly demand sexual intimacy
People who run away from commitment are generally very lonely from within because they have never let anyone enter their private sphere.
They try to make up for the emotional intimacy by engaging themselves into physical intimacy. They are okay with sex but they don’t really make love.
They are incapable of developing that attachment that one needs to make love.
17. They never emphasise on their partner’s ‘importance’ in their life
They might feel attracted to you and like spending time with you but their fear of commitment will never let them tell you that you are important to them.
You’ll always be a person they date but you’ll never get the tag of a ‘girlfriend’ or a ‘boyfriend’. A typical commitment-phobe trait is they will always keep you hanging and guessing about the status of your relationship.
18. They are never sure about things
They are never sure whether they want that car or not. People with a fear of commitment have a lot of problems in decision making. They will think a thousand times before taking any decision that even, minorly affects their life.
The signs of a commitment-phobe man is he would never be able to take a decision easily. Even in their career decision or other important decisions about their life they vascilate.
So you can imagine their condition when it comes to taking a decision about committing to a relationship.
19. They constantly have mood swings
Commitment-phobes are moody people. One day they’ll be on the seventh heaven and the next day, they would have hit the ceiling. Their mood keeps on changing without any reason. Even the smallest things can offend them and they might burst into rage. You never know what will happen next, with them.
20. They run away from problems rather than facing them
One peculiar characteristic of a person facing commitment issues is that they cannot commit to problems also.
They will find ways to run away from it but do their best to not face it. If they are getting unwanted attention, they would make deliberate efforts to not look their best or will deactivate all social media accounts, rather than, going up to the person and confront him/her.
A commitment-phobe after a breakup can become completely invisible. It’s not that they are nursing a broken heart but rather to handle another panic attack they had thinking they might end up committing.
21. They are always ’emotionally protected’
These people have an outer personality which you see and an inner personality, about which, nobody except them, knows. You might be close to them but you will never find out about their emotional phases or problems.
They would battle on their own rather than being vulnerable in front of someone else. Since they refrain from developing emotional attachments it’s not that they suffer a lot.
They handle themselves well enough.
22. They constantly find flaws in their partner
Commitment phobia does not allow a person to be comfortable or satisfied with their partner. Such people, even if they are content, will never let their partner know about it.
They will keep on finding flaws in you that they cannot ‘tolerate’ in order to stay away from commitment. This is a horrible trait of a commitment-phobe but it is true.
It is extremely difficult to date a person who has a fear of commitment. You can always try to help them face their fear but unfortunately, these people tend to become toxic without them knowing about it. At the end of the day, every person desires a relationship with a mutual level on intimacy and comfort.
They are nice and charming people but if you are dating a commitment-phobe you will always feel you are not their priority and you don’t know where you stand in the relationship.
If you are okay with a casual relationship then it’s fine but if you want them to be serious about you then be sure it won’t happen. In that case it’s best to move on.
To get a commitment-phobe to commit the first thing you have to do is you do not pressurise them too much. Give them their space, make a few compromises and understand if they are in love with you. If they are totally into you, you can broach the topic.
You need to have oodles of patience, go along with what they want, have your own space as well, not pressurise too much and give them a sense of how much fun a long-term committed relationship with you can be.