Do you fear being committed in a relationship? If you do, you are not the only one. This post is not meant to judge you but it is to show that we are only human. I think we all are afraid of being hurt or feel alone in this world. It is normal to feel afraid to commit in a relationship, especially if it is a difficult one, but if this issue has brings a lot of mental and emotional distress in your life, I believe it is time for a change.
Origin of commitment issues
John Bowlby, a psychologist, created a model to explain the dynamics of long-term and short-term interpersonal relationships. He mentioned several types of attachment that are created ever since we are infants and that it affects us until we are adult:
- Secure attachment: Our parents paid sufficient attention to our emotional needs and communicational needs, we grow up knowing that our relationships are secure and we become secure children and adults.
- Anxious ambivalent: Our parents may have been unpredictable in their caregiving for us (they sometimes give and they sometimes ignore us) that we often respond by either being angry or passive as a way to cope with this type of upbringing.
- Anxious avoidant: Our parents may have been avoidant or do not really pay attention to us since we are infants. As our defense mechanism (a way to cope with an unpleasant situation), we cope by avoiding attachment to them and the people around us.
Most people who grow up with commitment issues tend to have the anxious ambivalent and anxious avoidant attachment styles. We either became anxious to commit to other people or even avoid being in a relationship.
How do we become or help others overcome fear of commitment? Here’s how:
1. Everybody hurts
Every time we are in a relationship with someone, it is definitely possible for us to hurt others and to be hurt by others as well. Why? Because we all have different values, norms, opinions, beliefs, and etc that are based on the different upbringing we experienced. The issue is that instead of communicating on what we want in a relationship, we prefer to force our own values and opinions on others.
How do we fix this issue? We need to listen attentively to each other to understand each other’s needs and also to know what we are bringing into a relationship and what we are expecting out of it.
2. You cannot change anyone else, except you
Some people mentioned to me that their partners do not want to change for them. Well, to be honest, people only change if they really want to or if they are forced to. Maybe some of us are affected by stories in which a person change for their significant others but do remember that those stories are the exceptions and most often our relationships are often not the exception but the norm.
We should always accept a person as he or she is simply because we are all imperfect in our own ways. We can only be the best version of us of who are compassionate and loving for our partner or friends and that is all. We would not want to be forced to change for someone anyway so why force others to change for us? I believe that we will eventually change for the better because we know when the relationship is right and is beneficial for our personal and interpersonal growth.
3. It is what it is, but it is not what it seems
As a frequent user of many social medias, I found that some media channels such as E!News often wrote stories on celebrities who broke up. Not only celebrities, maybe even our friends often tell us how their boyfriends or girlfriends are not treating them right. Unconsciously, this could lead us to believe that all relationships are going to be doomed. We need to remember that the media does this because they need to sell stories in order to make money. What stories would sell more, celebrity’s relationship going fine or them breaking up? I will let you be the judge of that yourself.
Maybe some of these relationships are doomed but again, we never really know what went wrong in their relationship so we cannot really judge that all relationships are going to fail. Focus and take care of your own relationship instead of theirs because your relationship is definitely not the same as theirs.
4. Be your own #RelationshipGoals
Too often we felt pressured to live up to other relationship that are “successful”. This could result us pressuring our partner or even become afraid to be in a relationship due to the fear of failing of being in a “successful” one. Sometimes, we may even prioritise to have a relationship that is “loved” on Instagram or liked on Facebook. Honestly, you should be your own #RelationshipGoals.
What we should remember is that what other people post on their social medias only represent the happy moments of their relationships. We never know what is actually going on behind those happy smiles and #RelationshipGoals captions. Nobody post pictures of their fights about the issues that they have simply because no one will care or want to know about them. Stop comparing your behind the scenes with everybody else’s highlight reels.
Living A Content Life
To sum it up, you cannot really diminish a fear that has been reinforced for years by simply saying “I will get rid of it.”, but it is definitely a good first step to start. We will always potentially hurt or be hurt in any relationship we are in so we need to be prepared. Always remember that no one is in charge of your own happiness other than you. It is difficult to change others but it is more possible to change yourself to be better. One day, we would not have any overwhelming fear when we are in a relationship with someone who is meant to be with us all along.
Do you feel that you are afraid to be committed in a relationship? If you do, what steps do you take to overcome it? Let us know in the comment below.
Please share this article in your social medias if you feel that it could help others around you, it is much appreciated!