We’re all chasing our “happily ever after.” These days, unfortunately, many 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.
Worse yet, finding yourself involved with one can lead to a messy few months, where you’ll struggle to fight between the constant push and pull of the whole dynamic. 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, allow us to tell you who exactly is a commitment-phobe.
Who Is A Commitment-Phobe?
A commitment-phobe is a person who has a fear of making a commitment to anyone, especially romantic interests. Simply put, 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 that lovely layer of charm. Moreover, a commitment-phobe keeps coming back, leading you to believe that perhaps this time, they’re “different.”
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 as the question of commitment arises, he develops cold feet. “If a girl pushes me for a commitment, I start dwelling on all her worst traits and I slither away. I cannot see myself stuck in a relationship no matter how much I like the lady.”
A person like Mathew may put up a charming façade of the perfect bachelor. They may seem like the perfect person to be in a relationship with. Unfortunately, the minute you display any sign of being interested in something more, you’ll see them pull away like you’re the plague, leaving you to ask yourself, “Is he afraid of commitment or just not into me?”
What Makes Someone A Commitment-Phobe?
As is the case with most things that are concerned with the way humans behave, it’s complex. The reasons could be numerous, but mainly they can be traced back to their childhood, as that’s when they established most of their ideologies about love and relationships. So, what do commitment-phobic men’s or women’s psychology look like? A few of the following could be at play:
- Lack of emotional attachment between parents and siblings while growing up
- Living in a large family where there was no individual attention given to the child
- In other cases, perhaps the child hated the extra attention or intrusive nature of their parents
- Lack of physical intimacy while growing up
- Unstable relationship between parents
- Development of a detached style of attachment that makes them commitment-phobes
As you can see, a person’s family dynamics and the experiences they had while growing up play a huge role in the commitment-phobic man’s psychology. When a commitment-phobe is in love, they don’t feel euphoric, and instead, they may convince themselves that they feel trapped. 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, so many 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 figure out if 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 minds. While they seem to be caring people, they really are not.
They are pretty much confused themselves, they will keep giving you mixed signals and never promise anything. Even if you tell them to meet for coffee, they’ll probably reply with something like, “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, where to go to and what plans to make, then don’t overlook the red flag. Commitment-phobes never take initiative. They never call or text, they just respond to your calls or texts and show up for plans you made. Notice how it’s you who’s taking all the first steps?
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 prioritize 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 won’t 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 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 do understand, they just don’t want to show you their feelings.
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 out 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 a “just 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 their to-do list. They do not want to start rushing their chores 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 they 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 a person with commitment issues has 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 not have too much company around them most of the time. They might “know” a lot of people, but have very few or no close friends. No matter what kind of relationship, they just 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 to other people very easily, but as soon as they start getting to know them, they lose interest, which is why commitment-phobes have a long list of previous relationships they might not even categorize as relationships.
But isn’t this inevitable, for a commitment-phobe to have a string of failed relationships? 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 the acknowledgment of a relationship, and thus, they never acknowledge one.
People with commitment issues will always want to keep it casual. Sex for them is casual as well, and if they see their sexual partner getting too attached, they might make a run for it. 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 ones. They have a didactic personality which they use to justify all their actions. If your partner thinks that they are always right, you need to give the relationship a second thought. They cannot take any kind of criticism.
And if you tell them to their face that they have commitment phobia, chances are, they would get extremely angry and never agree with you. Their constant struggle between running back to you on the one hand and picking fights with you on the other because they’re never wrong will leave you saying, “Are they afraid of commitment or just not into me?”
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, presents a “completely genuine” excuse.
This trait of a commitment-phobe is very annoying. They carry a bag full of excuses around with them all the time and they don’t bat an eyelid to fish one out. This shows a very shallow trait of their personality.
Related Reading: Is Being Shy A Turn Off In A Man?
13. They are secretive
Even if you’ve been with them for the longest time, you still won’t know any details about their past or about their future plans. If your partner is extremely secretive about their life, they might be a commitment-phobe.
They don’t want to familiarize you with any aspect 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 to one person or one relationship. They keep on asserting that monogamy is “not their thing”. They keep on emphasizing the fact that they can and might have more than one partner. The trait of a commitment-phobe is they want to jump from one casual fling to another without being tied down.
That’s why an open relationship or FWB works for them, or at least they think it does. A commitment-phobic man’s pattern may see him constantly try to keep multiple partners at once, before they realize that’s not something they’d like to maintain either.
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 really realized it 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 often fail to keep the phobia aside and commit. Hence, when a commitment-phobe is in love, they may not even realize why they’re so scared of letting themselves be vulnerable in this dynamic.
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 in physical intimacy. They are okay with sex, but they don’t really make love.
They are incapable of developing the attachment one needs to make love. One of the most common commitment-phobe traits is that they will never stick around to establish a closer connection with you after sex. Even if they do, they won’t really open up.
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 that person they’re dating, but you’ll never get the tag of a “girlfriend” or a “boyfriend.” A typical commitment-phobe trait is that they will always keep you hanging and guessing about the status of your relationship.
A commitment-phobic man’s pattern includes him letting go of his fear for just a little while, getting close to you, getting scared by the whole thing and pulling away again. We’d tell you to figure out what to say to end a relationship before they turn you into a commitment-phobe too.
18. They are never sure about things
Deciding on a restaurant is a nightmare. Once someone else does it for them, deciding on what they want to eat is literally the worst thing imaginable. 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 may not really affect them all that much.
The signs of a commitment-phobe man are that he won’t ever be able to take an easy decision. Whether in their career decisions or other important decisions in their life, they vacillate. Hence, you can imagine their condition when it comes to making a decision about committing to a relationship.
19. They constantly have mood swings
Commitment-phobes are moody people. One day they’ll be in seventh heaven, and the next day, they’ll have hit the ceiling. Their mood keeps on changing without any reason. Even the smallest things can offend them, and they might burst into a rage. You never know what will happen next with them.
As a result, commitment-phobes keep coming back to a romantic partner they may have pushed away in the past. Only after a period of no contact may they realize they miss you a lot more than they thought they would, run back to you and get freaked out again at the slight possibility of something more than they’d prefer.
20. They run away from problems rather than facing them
One peculiar characteristic of a person facing commitment issues is that they cannot even commit to facing problems. They will find ways to run away from it and do their best to not face it. If they are getting unwanted attention, they will make deliberate efforts to not look their best or will deactivate all social media accounts rather than go up to the person and confront them.
A commitment-phobe after a breakup can become completely invisible. It’s not that they are nursing a broken heart, but rather, handling the mini-panic attack they may be having when they realize how close they were to the possibility of committing to something.
21. They are always “emotionally protected”
These people have an outer personality that you see and an inner personality that nobody other than them knows about. You might be close to them, but you will never find out about their emotional phases or problems.
They would prefer to battle on their own rather than be vulnerable in front of someone else. As one of the common commitment-phobe traits, this sort of bottling up is done in an attempt to try and not let another person get too close with them. They often believe that the more they let a person into their lives and understand the way they think, the harder it’ll be to push them away. Hence, they don’t open up.
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 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, often without them even realizing it. At the end of the day, every person desires a relationship with a mutual level of 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 won’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 you cab 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 pressurize 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 pressurize too much and give them a sense of how much fun a long-term committed relationship with you can be.