Trouble with Commitment • San Jose Couples Counseling

san-jose-marriage-counseling-13Fear of commitment isn’t something that only happens to adolescents. It may begin then, but it often persists into adulthood making it difficult for some people to have healthy attachments.

Whenever it occurs, difficulty in committing to a relationship can be a contributing factors in why someone is unfaithful.

We hear it all the time: “He just won’t make a commitment,” “She just wants some space right now,” or – now – “I just need more time.”

As a therapist doing marriage therapy, I hear this all the time. What does having a fear of commitment really mean? Generally speaking, it means that you, or someone you are involved with, isn’t ready to take your relationship to the next level.

How do you know if you or your partner is truly afraid of commitment? Do these excuses sound familiar? “I’m not sure if I’m ready for a serious relationship,” or “I’m just under a lot of stress right now.”

Often, we want to accept these reasons because we are afraid to look at what lurks behind them. Other times, we are confused by our feelings and may perceive mixed messages from the other person.

Inability to Make a Commitment

So, how do you evaluate our ability to make a long-term commitment? How do you know if he/she is really ready or willing – or just making excuses? There are a couple of issues you can examine.

The first may be an actual fear of commitment. If this is the problem, it may help for the person with the fear of commitment to ask themselves the following:

  • Do you get anxious when you think about being together “forever”?
  • Are you afraid you might choose the wrong person?
  • Are you concerned that you would be a bad mate?
  • Do you fear losing your freedom?
  • Are you afraid of having a bad marriage?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be a good idea to look at where these feelings come from. Once you understand them better, you may choose to work on changing them so you can a more satisfying relationship and relationship counseling can help.

Commitment Phobia

marriage-therapy-affair-trouble-with-commitmentFor most people, being in a relationship is a natural occurrence. They find it as easy as having breakfast.

For others, relationships are considerably more challenging. In fact, they are so difficult for some people that they suffer from what is known as commitment phobia. To get over this fear, the person needs to understand of how the fear of commitment affects their relationships.

Fear of Attachment

Another thing to consider when it comes to being afraid of commitment is that you may simply need more time or emotional growth before you are ready to make a long-term commitment. There may be several realistic factors that influence your fear or you have have good reasons for staying single at this time.

Some people with relationship anxiety misconstrue positive feelings of excitement for another person and the potential of a relationship with the feelings of anxiety. Normal feelings of anticipation can be confused with a panic reaction or general negative anxiousness. When this happens, the person is actually suffering from what is called relationship anxiety.

Relationship Anxiety and Commitment Issues

Exploring these issues with a therapist may help you to determine what you will need in the future in order to be comfortable when making a commitment. Greater self-knowledge can help you to overcome blocks to building a lasting and satisfying relationship.

Another issue is the inability to make a commitment to a particular relationship. In reality, this may not be the right partner for you. In this case, you may need to explore the true level of involvement with each other.

Is there a genuine connection or is there a vague feeling of something missing? Relationship counseling can often help in this instance by helping you to sort out whether or not you and your partner have a future together.

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