Commitment phobia is often related to a lack of clarity about what people want for themselves. Love, over the years, has changed and is not just black and white anymore. In some countries, finding love or being pushed into finding love is fairly common; it is part of the culture where we are pushed to marry or have kids. Regressive as it is, it does destabilize the essence of what love could have been if not pushed.
Relationships often work, if you are lucky enough. But you could be the kind who can’t see himself/herself in a long-term committed relationship. No need to blame yourself. If you do think, “I really like him but I am not ready for a relationship”, don’t consider yourself at fault here. There are many like you who feel the same way. But here are some pointers that you should heed.
Relationships are not like a musical where you get to have background scores for each of your moments and a dance number to your lover’s heart. It is more like pinching yourself and then realizing you need to be a bit more self-aware. Relationships can give you some ground-breaking reality checks that help you understand yourself better.
What Does It Mean To Be In A Committed Relationship?
To understand commitment-phobia we have to first understand the signs of a committed relationship. Anne and Ricky were dating for 10 years. They believed theirs was a committed relationship because they were always together, they understood each other well and everyone presumed that after such a long dating period it was inevitable that the two would get married.
Ricky was every bit the committed boyfriend. He always made time for her after work and they met every evening. On the weekends, they would often hang out with friends and Anne was as much a part of Ricky’s family as Ricky was a part of Anne’s. They got invited to family gatherings and were there for each other through happiness and ill health.
Their relationship had all the signs of commitment, but things started taking a turn when Anne brought up marriage. Ricky started developing cold feet and was not ready to commit to a relationship that was now going to the next level. He wanted the relationship to be the way it was and didn’t want to take it forward.
So, while he was a committed boyfriend, he was not ready to become a husband. How do you know if you have commitment issues? We will talk about the signs, or the red flags that many people often ignore in a relationship.
Related Reading: 15 Signs A Commitment-Phobe Loves You
10 Ways To Tell When He Or She Is Not Ready For A Committed Relationship
The signs of a committed relationship could be apparent but there are levels of commitment as well. As we mentioned in the Anne-Ricky relationship, Ricky was ready to be a committed boyfriend but as soon the question of sharing the same roof came up, he started showing signs that he was not ready for the final commitment.
So when do you break through these levels and understand what level of commitment your partner might actually be at? Or are you trying to navigate your own stake in a relationship because you have been processing the thought, “I am not ready for a relationship but I like him”. Clearly, your feelings might be strong but you are not ready to take the plunge.
What are the signs you are not ready for a relationship? Let’s find out.
1. You are insecure all the time
You lack relationship readiness because you are insecure which makes you not ready to commit to a relationship. You keep worrying about the future, worrying your partner might leave you or it might not work out so you don’t don’t to step into a committed relationship because of the enormity of it all. Insecurities can only be somewhat diminished if you get an ample amount of validation but it gets toxic at some point. Your constant insecurity does not allow you to commit in a relationship.
Love is not a bouquet full of validation, it is something else entirely and unfathomable to begin with. But if you are looking to fill a void inside you with people’s validation, then you are probably unaware that you already have that dormant love inside you.
This also means that you are seeking emotional dependency, which is quite fair, but complete dependency is harmful to you. But when you find someone who is there unconditionally, then you will realize that you don’t need emotional dependency.
2. You don’t like sharing things
I mean, it really is okay to not share things and be a little particular that way, but there should be a deeper understanding of this problem. What seems like not wanting to share on the surface, can actually stem from something far more serious.
Sharing is something that we have been taught by our peers or parents. It is a symbol of generosity and shows that you care about the person you are sharing with.
If you are not ready to share openly and willingly then it’s an absolute red flag. It is one of the definite signs you are not ready for a relationship because a real relationship is all about partnership. Your generosity can only emerge once you love someone ardently enough to share everything from instant noodles to a TV set. Then you will know you are probably ready for a committed relationship.
Related Reading: 8 things that are OK to NOT share with your partner
3. You are not ready for commitment due to unresolved feelings
This is where we fumble the most but do not be too hard on yourself if this is the real reason you are not ready to commit to a relationship. Remember that such feelings are only a part of being human. Unresolved feelings are like a ghost; you can always cut that person off, but what do you do with the ghost? Do you let it haunt you?
Yes, sadly you do and unless you find closure for yourself, you can’t make it work with someone else. You need to bite down and do what is required; you know exactly what to do as well. Follow your instincts and find a way to work out those ill feelings before they spill all over your life and your other relationships.
4. You’re waiting for the right person without looking out for them
You always have the right person around you and maybe you are taking them for granted. You can be an entitled prick, but taking the right person for granted will only cause more trouble for you.
Nothing is all flowers and poetry, not even love, so go out and be a bit self-aware when you are looking for the right one. If you still have doubts, then write down what you need in that “right” person and then proceed. It will take you a lot of dates and might even take a year or so.
If your thoughts are, “I really like him but I not ready for a relationship”, it is possible that they are just not the right person for you. But it won’t be hard for you to find the right person, unless you really don’t want things to work out.
5. You have major commitment issues
People lack the courage to admit this, but this issue is not to be trivialized. If you are not ready for relationship but in love with that person, the problem is not the relationship but it is you, internally.
Commitment is the step that breaks the relationship waters down to their molecular level. It is indeed a step where you learn to know that you are not alone anymore. Just do a routine check and see if you are okay with the idea of someone being in that very routine you follow each day. Start getting used to that feeling of having someone around and then you will slowly learn to steer clear of commitment phobia.
6. You want to take your own decisions
When you are not ready for relationship but in love, it is possible that your issues are less emotional and more external. Being with a person means that you have to take a lot of decisions keeping their likes and dislikes in mind. It could start from the restaurant you choose to something more serious such as investing in an apartment together.
While you might be happy with a small apartment, your partner might push for a big one. You resent the fact that you cannot take your own decisions. You might be an independent woman who is wary of letting the reins go or sharing them with somebody else. Perhaps you have spent so much time taking care of yourself, you find it hard to picture sharing that responsibility with somebody else. This is a sign that you are not ready for commitment.
7. You are looking for perfection
This is something you will never find and you know that in your heart. But looking for the perfect person to date or marry allows you the excuse that you haven’t found the right person yet. But face it. The reality is you are not ready to commit, so under the garb of looking for perfection, you are feeding your commitment phobia.
For example, when Amy swipes left and right on Tinder, she is terribly restrictive of who she talks to or goes out with. Don’t get us wrong, being cautious is okay but Amy’s standards loom far too high. He needs to be tall, bulky, be a lawyer and have a dog. Anything other than that, and Amy starts to lose interest. This makes it difficult for her to even open herself up to the chance of committing somebody who might just surprise her!
Related Reading: Best Dating App Conversation Starters That Work Like A Charm
8. Looks matter to you
One of the signs you are not ready for a relationship is that you are preoccupied with the outward appearance of someone. You care far too much about how the person looks. You want the person you date or marry to look picture perfect. This is another unrealistic expectation which can make you not ready for commitment because commitment goes beyond such superficial things.
And this way, you keep benching dating hoping the next person you meet would be the most good looking one, the person of your dreams. This is nothing but avoiding the commitment that you would need to give if you get into a steady relationship with anyone.
9. You want your privacy
Committing to someone in a relationship does not mean sharing email or social media passwords but it does mean that you share your privacy with the person. It’s normal that they would want to know where you are on the weekend or what time you got home from work. But someone who is not ready to commit to a relationship, will prize their privacy and space above everything else, even love.
They could turn up at your home whenever they want to for a cuddle on the couch. But you want your privacy to watch Netflix alone in your jammies. This is an absolute tell-tale sign that you are not ready for commitment or to share your life with anyone.
For example, Mike comes home every night to his live in relationship with Veronica. Veronica is so exhausted by the end of the day that she prefers chilling all alone in the room and asks Mike to give her space while he spends an hour or two in the balcony or on the couch. Mike thinks this is unfair and often suggests that they at least stay in the same room if not talk. But Veronica does not budge because she is not willing to give up her time alone.
10. You are always counting money
How do you know if you have commitment issues or pick up signs you are not ready for a relationship? The answer is the very thought of spending that extra dime on your partner on a date, holiday or at a dinner makes you unhappy or uncomfortable.
You feel good about stashing your money in the bank and spending it as little as possible. The thought of commitment freaks you out because that would mean spending more money to surprise your partner. If you are thinking this way all the time it’s best you stay away from a committed relationship.
Falling in love is indeed the best feeling ever, but being in love is entirely different. Your love is there and not there at the same time, because it all depends on your way of perceiving things. If you are indeed of the thought process that, “I am not ready for a relationship but I like him”, that’s okay. You don’t need to force yourself to date him just because you have feelings for him.
Figure out your unresolved feelings first before you drag someone and yourself through the mud, when you are unsure of what you want. Compromise, but do it unconditionally, so that it won’t come back to haunt your conscience. If you have to commit then do it whole-heartedly and only when the doubts have dissipated. If not, revel in your single life and do a little bit more soul-searching.