Love & Relationships

Commitment Phobia: Signs, Causes, And The Best Ways to Deal With It

Mariam Youssef
8/13/23, 10:00 AM

Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner had difficulty committing to you and the relationship and avoided the subject of marriage or even saying the word “forever?” Many people experience anxiety when making major life decisions or seeing a new person. However, for some, the prospect of committing – whether to a new job or relationship – creates deep fear and a desire to avoid it. This is commitment phobia, which extends past what some people refer to as "commitment issues." Gamophobia is a term used to describe a dread of stable love relationships or marriage. In this article, we’ll talk more about Gamophobia or fear of commitment and how to deal with it, so keep reading.

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Gamophobia signs

The lack of knowledge of what lies ahead after making a major decision might leave some people unsure of what measures to take next. However, for some, uncertainty translates to fear, and they may refuse to make any decisions at all. Major decisions like selecting a college, signing a contract, quitting a job, or getting a job offer, and other things can all cause stress. Decisions like these are more challenging to make if you live with the fear of commitment. As a result, you frequently postpone them and, in some cases, leave them to others to complete. We can even sum up some of the most common signs of Gamophobia as follows:

  • Your partner may be unable to discuss the long-term prospects of your relationship or become extremely worried when the subject is brought up.
  • He may wonder about the future, but will not include you.
  • After a few months of dating, conversations may remain on the casual side.
  • It may seem difficult to establish intimacy in your relationship.
  • He may push you away or "get busy" for a few days after an emotionally personal situation or an occasion that may have brought you two closer together.
  • He may avoid sharing plans for the future with you, even if they are casual.
  • Labels like lover, partner, or girlfriend may irritate him.
  • Attempts to be vulnerable emotionally may be received with defensive behavior, coldness, or restlessness.
  • His previous relationships may have been brief and, in his opinion, meaningless. He may also have had a painful relationship in the past.

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What causes commitment phobia?

Insecure upbringing

Attachment styles are determined by how you formed your earliest parental relationships. Because not all parents act and respond in the same manner, not all children acquire the same form of attachment. For example, if your parents were reluctant to meet your needs and attempts to connect with you, you may develop an urge to avoid relying on others. If, however, they were physically and emotionally present for you as a kid, you might become more comfortable creating close ties with others.

Personality disorders

People with certain mental illnesses may be more likely to avoid or be terrified of commitment. People with borderline personality disorder, for example, may resist committing to a relationship because they have problems trusting others and are terrified of being abandoned. Fear of intimacy and bonding with people can occur in both schizoid and schizotypal personality disorders as well.

Traumatic past

Childhood trauma that was never tackled or resolved may result in interpersonal difficulties, including commitment anxiety. Negative prior experiences with adultery or violence may additionally contribute to a lack of trust and a fear of commitment.

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How to deal with commitment phobia?

Whether you’re dating someone showing signs of commitment issues or it is you that are unable to commit to your relationship, check out the below ways to tackle the situation.

Talk about it

Maintaining honest and open communication is one of the most effective methods to overcome commitment anxiety. According to studies, being on the same level as your partner is more vital for your relationship’s success than the actual degree of commitment.

Acknowledgement of positive steps

According to experts, when you recognize the value of your partner's work and sacrifices, they are less prone to withdraw. Positive reinforcement is effective. This is extremely important when both of you open up to each other about the commitment phobia. You’ll need to address and praise the efforts he’s making to make your relationship work.

Respect the boundaries

It is important to respect the boundaries of your partner, especially when he has a commitment phobia. Things are already difficult for him, so the last thing you want to do is to pressure him. It's unlikely that pressuring or luring them into committing to a bigger commitment than they're ready for will help. And if it does, it nearly always backfires quickly.

Couples therapy may help

Couples therapy with a mental health expert can be quite beneficial in dealing with anxiety and enhancing understanding within a relationship. Both of you will be able to understand each other better and learn how to deal with your insecurities and fears.

Take the highway

If you're all set for the next phase in your life but your partner isn't, assess whether you're truly prepared to continue in the relationship as it is. If you aren't, it may be time to call it quits and move on.

Although many men use the phrase “commitment issues” a lot to avoid confrontation about marriage or a happy-ever-after, sometimes, it is true. Commitment phobia is a condition that can be found in men and women alike and it hinders them from pursuing their life goals or romantic lives.

Main image credit: @georginagio



Mariam Youssef

Growing up, I've always wanted to become so many things: a fashion designer, painter, singer, actress, and anything that revolves around art. It wasn't until I watched "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" t...

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