What is fear of commitment or Why am I scared of commitment in a relationship?

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Written By:

Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.

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Reviewed By:

Clinical Psychologist - National Institute for Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities, Dehradun - M.Phil

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You have been going out with a special someone for a considerable amount of time now. You go out on dates and enjoy spending time with each other. But as things start to get better you start to be crippled with fear and can’t seem to get yourself to commit to this person. You want to spend your time with this person and even believe that they might be the one! But you just cannot seem to take things forward. 

Have you ever been in such a situation where you have found your person but are not able to commit to them? Or have you noticed this pattern in your past relationships? If this is the case, you might have a fear of commitment. 

What does a Fear of Commitment mean? 

A fear of commitment is a fear of forming long-lasting, long-term relationships; either in the form of marriage or a relationship. A person who has a fear of commitment is often characterized by the inability to get into a relationship because they are hesitant to be emotionally and/or physically vulnerable with their partner (which is a key element of any committed relationship). 

How do I know if I have a Fear of Commitment?

Inability to be Vulnerable

A big sign that indicates you have a fear of commitment is the inability to be vulnerable with your partner. Those with a fear of commitment have trouble sharing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions with their partners easily. They get uncomfortable with emotional vulnerability. When you are vulnerable with your partner, you trust a very special part of yourself with them. If you find it difficult to be vulnerable, it is because you don’t trust your partner enough.  

Fear Future Planning

A person who fears commitment is someone who is fearful of planning the future with their partner. They are hesitant every time their partner talks about future plans like going on a trip together, moving in, etc. If you feel like you want to be left out of such conversations and don’t like planning the future, then there is a chance that you have a fear of commitment. 

Fear of Rejection

Another fear that arises as a result of a fear of commitment is the fear of rejection. When someone is special to you and you decide to be vulnerable with them, you expose yourself to the risk of getting rejected. Those who have a fear of commitment don’t like being rejected, hence, they avoid any kind of commitment altogether. 

Past History

Take a minute to look at your past relationships. People who fear commitment don’t want long-term relationships and end a relationship anytime it gets serious. Has this happened to you? Such people always have short-term relationships. In such relationships, they don’t prefer exclusivity and prefer casual dating over serious dating. 

If you have a past history of such relationships, then it is likely that you have a fear of commitment. 

Why am I scared of Commitment? 

Commitment issues can arise due to many reasons. These could be some of the reasons, 

Attachment Issues

Those who have an avoidant attachment style often find it difficult to commit to relationships. This is because as a child their emotional and physical needs were not fulfilled by their caregivers. As a result, they find it difficult to open themselves up to vulnerability in their adult relationships. The underlying fear surrounding attachment issues is a deep-seated fear of being rejected or abandoned. 

Past Trauma

If past relationships caused significant physical and emotional trauma to someone, then it is highly likely that they will find it difficult to bring themselves to trust another person again. Most abusive relationships exploit the vulnerability of a person and break the trust of the person. This might make them see commitment as an uncomfortable situation to undertake in the future, and so they might avoid it altogether. 

Low Self-Esteem & Low Self-Worth

Individuals with low self-esteem and self-worth often find it difficult to commit to their partners. This is because they have the internal feeling that they are not good enough and so feel that they are going to be rejected by their partners. To avoid rejection, they avoid any form of commitment. 

What can I do? 

Reflecting is the first important step towards understanding how you can rid yourself of this fear of commitment. It is important that we become self-aware of the thoughts and emotions that arise when we are around our partners and work on those that are not helping us proceed further. This is where our platform, CoupleBees can help. 

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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