People with commitment issues may agree to a long-term relationship at first and then begin to slowly retreat from the relationship months, weeks, or even days later.
Some individuals may move from one intense relationship to another with little understanding of what went wrong in previous relationships.
Others may not desire the emotional entanglement that typically occurs in an intimate relationship and may choose to avoid long-term relationships altogether.
Instead, they may decide to engage in “friends with benefits” relationships, short-term sexual partners, or one-night stands.
Possible Causes of Commitment Issues
Commitment issues might stem from a single traumatic event, early childhood stress, or a series of small events.
Factors that may play some part in an individual’s fear of commitment include:
- Parents’divorce or marital problems
- Fear of ending up in an unsatisfying relationship
- Media portrayal of the misery of committed relationships
- Damaging previous relationships that included infidelity, abuse, or abandonment.
- Attachment issues
- Difficulty trusting others
Some individuals confuse a person’s desire for a non-monogamous or polyamorous relationship with commitment issues, but it is quite possible for a person to commit to a long-term romantic partner in an open relationship and still engage in casual sexual encounters outside the relationship. Polyamorous relationships can exist in many forms, but they generally involve some level of commitment to multiple partners. Although some people who have commitment issues may also be polyamorous or prefer open relationships, one should not assume that all non-monogamous individuals have commitment issues.
Effects of Commitment Issues
Some individuals who fear commitment may desire a long-term romantic relationship, but as a consequence of their own fears, engage in self-sabotaging behaviour or end the relationship after a point for no real reason.
However, this can often lead to emotional suffering. An individual may feel as if it is impossible to have a successful relationship and develop feelings of worthlessness or depression.
The partner of a person who has commitment issues may find these issues difficult to understand, especially when the partner who has difficulty with commitment opens up, then pulls away.
This behaviour can be baffling and may have a damaging impact on the other partner’s emotional state, and it may lead to conflict in the relationship.
However, when a person is open and honest with a partner, in a serious relationship it may often be possible to work through commitment issues.
This can often lead to a stronger relationship, though the fear of commitment may still remain a recurring issue in the relationship.
Who can help…
A relationship expert/counsellor can often help an individual uncover potential causes of commitment issues and explore ways to work through these issues.
The support of a relationship expert/counsellor may be beneficial as a person attempts to decide on the best course of action within a relationship that is negatively impacted by one or both partners’ fear of commitment.
Do you need help you or your partner with commitment issues?
If the answer is yes, contact Ann Jay for a FREE 15- minute phone consultation to discuss your issue and find out how I can help. Call now on 021 26 89 842