Many discussions that open up about commitment issues, talk about how commitment phobes cannot change.
Commitment phobes change when they feel safe too.
Like every other person, commitment-phobes can catch feelings. The difference is, they fear said feelings.
These 10 signs will help you understand everything you need to know about a commitment-phobe in love:
1. They’re starting to spend more time with you.
A person dealing with commitment issues tends to bail out the person they start dating.
They run away from time spent together with the idea that the less time together, the lower the possibility of commitment— exactly what they fear.
If the person you’re dating isn’t bailing on plans with you any longer – say, they call or ask you out often – it can be a great indicator that they love you.
2. They talk openly about their commitment issues.
Not everyone who suffers from commitment issues acknowledges it, or talks about it.
If your partner opens up about their past, and their past relationships, it gives you a chance to understand their issues. They might not necessarily know they have commitment issues, but you can tell by the way they display the fear of connecting.
If they open up to you about this, it means they’re allowing you to understand them because now you’re not someone who they run away from, you’ve become someone they run to.
3. Their behavior changes.
They will get closer to you, they visibly try to not hide their feelings for you, and they rarely cancel plans, instead, make more plans.
Knowing the typical behaviors of a common commitment-phobe, this is a massive shift, and it often happens when they love their partner—you.
4. They show trust and vulnerability toward you.
A person with commitment issues shows severe signs of trust issues. They fear trusting a person or show emotions over the fact that they might get hurt.
A commitment-phobe can start trusting you with their problems and feel less fear of showing you their weaknesses when they’re in love.
5. They can also detach completely.
Unfortunately, there’s another not-so-bright side to this.
Their fear of commitment can be overwhelming, making them prone to deal with it in unhealthy ways too.
Besides opening up, talking openly, and showing vulnerability, a commitment-phobe is also very likely to run away for good once they notice they love you.
They’re facing one of their biggest fears, and this may seem the easy way out once they sense they can’t handle what’s going on.
6. Their friends and family know about you/know you.
Commitment issues force a person to not let their dating life interfere with their circle – whether it’s friends or family.
They never allow their relationship to progress as far as meeting with their close people. It’s a way to protect themselves from what they fear.
Well, if you find yourself meeting their family and close friends, and a bigger bonus if they heard about you; That means that your commitment-phobe partner is at the very least catching feelings if not entirely in love.
7. You notice them trying to put effort into the relationship.
People with a fear of commitment tend to believe relationships don’t last, hence they tend to avoid putting effort into relationships.
You most likely gave them a glimmer of hope if you notice them putting effort into your relationship.
This is a positive sign that your partner is fighting with their fear of commitment, and is trying to do the right thing for both of you.
9. As scary as the future may be for them, they are ready to talk about it.
A big indicator of commitment issues in a person is their hesitance when it comes to talking about the future.
The fear of committing, the future turning out disappointing or not something they want, or the chance of getting it makes them evade it.
If your commitment-phobic partner is fighting that fear and is, at least, trying to talk to you about plans, then they love you.
This is a big step for them. And to take such a step it takes a greater emotion than fear: love.
10. They fight for you.
Commitment issues don’t allow the person suffering from it to get close enough and connect with someone so they can fight for them.
What does it mean to fight for a person? It means to:
- Do what they can to keep you around;
- Protect you from their negative side;
- Resolving conflicts;
- Have the tough conversations when it’s needed.
If you see that your partner is doing these things for you, it can indicate that their fears are slowly fading by the power of love.
Where do commitment issues come from?
Commitment issues come from traumas.
Those traumas are rooted in different timelines of a person’s life. They can either come from childhood or dating life.
Dr. Tim Lewis studied countless men with commitment issues.
“A high percentage of men I’ve treated grew up in an abusive environment. Their parents constantly fought and were dismissive of their feelings. Now they are horrified at reliving the same thing,” he explained.
Knowing more about your partner’s past will shed light on their reasons for fearing commitment so much.
One step at a time, without pressure you can figure this out together, as a team.
How should you go about this?
Overcoming the fear of commitment takes a lot of work and effort.
A person who struggles with fear of commitment can feel extremely overwhelmed when they start loving a romantic partner.
They tend to face a huge dilemma: “Should I stay because I love this person, or should I leave to protect myself from hurt?”
To not trigger them any further, and help them feel safe, here’s how you can go about this:
- Avoid pressuring them regarding the pace of the relationship. Let them take their time to process their feelings as they go.
- Avoid getting clingy because this can trigger their fears, and make them feel more overwhelmed.
- Have patience and let them have the space when they ask it. Don’t chase them.
- Try to be understanding of their struggles. They are struggling with this problem, and it affects their mental well-being.
- Let them know you are there to help. Make it known to them that you are a constant source of support for them. Allow them to see that you are trustworthy and will be their rock, helping them out any moment they need.
With work, patience, and willingness from both sides, a person with commitment issues can overcome their fears and learn healthy love.