You started off with a happy relationship, but then you gradually began to have doubts about the future. Doubts about making the right choice. Doubts about making a move forward. Sound familiar?
You’re trying to overcome your fear of commitment. But—you don’t know how.
The thought of taking your relationship to the next step may feel impossible. But there are ways to get past your fear of commitment and enjoy all the benefits of a committed relationship. And you can take these actionable steps to feel confident in your choice.
But first let’s talk about what you’re feeling. Here are some signs you may be experiencing a fear of commitment.
How To Know If You Have Fears of Commitment
If you suspect you may have a fear of commitment, but aren’t sure, here are some common signs:
- You have a deep fear of being trapped in the relationship- you’re afraid that you won’t be able to leave if things go bad, and this makes it hard for you to make decisions now
- You rarely make plans weeks or months in advance
- You tend to avoid serious conversations about the relationship
- You have a hard time being emotionally vulnerable
- Your relationships tend to be very casual
- You’re constantly questioning your relationship
- You feel uncomfortable when your partner shows a desire to commit
These are just some of the few indications that you may have a fear of commitment. However, keep in mind that each person’s thoughts, feelings and desires are different—meaning your exact situation is unique.
If you’re unclear on your feelings, spend some time looking inward and examining why you feel this way.
Is it a fear of commitment, or something else making you hesitate? This can be challenging, so you may consider seeking a therapist trained in relationships to help you through this inner work.
What Causes Fears of Commitment?
So why are you afraid to commit? There could be any number of things that are causing you to worry about committing.
It could be a past experience in your life that made it difficult for you to trust another. Maybe it’s hard for you to trust if they really love and care for you, so commitment seems too risky. Maybe you struggle with anxiety in general—which can cause you to doubt yourself and your choices.
Again, it’s time to check in with the source of your fears—but this process is very valuable. If you can find out the reason for your fears, you can understand why you feel this way, and start working past it.
Some potential reasons for commitment fears:
- Bad experiences with relationships: This could be romantic relationships, but can also be negative experiences with friends or family
- Observing someone close to you experiencing a poor relationship
- Issues with trust due to previous relationships
- Feeling unclear on what you want
- Fear of being hurt
- Struggles due to anxiety
4 Steps To Overcoming Your Fear of Commitment
Depending on the root of your fears, your path to overcoming them will look different.
But there are some steps that can help you work through your fear of commitment. These tips will help make it less scary for you to open yourself up to the potential of committing to a serious romantic relationship.
Step One: Accept the Fear
Feeling fear is a normal part of being human, and it won’t help to try and run away from it. The first step is to accept that you feel afraid, and that you may always have some amount of fear surrounding the future. Uncertainty can be scary! But no one knows what the future holds, and relationships always carry risk.
The idea of a lifelong commitment can be intimidating. But it is important to know that there is always going to be some degree of uncertainty in any decision you make—romantic or in other aspects of life.
Instead of focusing on what may go wrong in a relationship, consider what you may gain by being in a long-term, loving relationship.
Step Two: Uncover the Root Of Your Fear
This is the step that will help you understand what it actually is about commitment and relationships that makes you uneasy. Try to uncover the reason why you’re feeling fear over commitment.
Is it because of past trauma, or a relationship that went south? You may find that speaking with a therapist can help you untangle the anxieties and fears you have around commitment so you can clearly see what it is that’s holding you back.
And, consider talking to your partner about it. Communication is the foundation of any relationship, so tell them about your fears, desires, and expectations. As challenging it may be to open up to others, the more you practice this skill, the easier it gets.
Step Three: Build Confidence In Yourself
If you struggle with knowing what the “right” decision is, you may benefit from working on your confidence. You need to trust your judgment, and also trust that you can handle any negative emotions or experiences that may come up in a relationship.
Sometimes we fear commitment because we’re afraid of being hurt, so it’s important to work on building your own feelings of self-worth.
You have to learn how to love yourself, and believe that you’re worthy of a happy and healthy partnership. At the same time, you need to trust that if you experience challenges in your relationship, you have the strength to get through them.
Step Four: Seek The Relationship You Want
After accepting your feelings, getting to the bottom of your fears, and building your confidence, this is the final important step— knowing what it is that you really want in a relationship!
Reflect on the qualities you desire in a lifelong partner. What do you value? What’s important? What’s non-negotiable?
When you fear commitment in a relationship, you fear making a wrong choice. So, the clearer you can get on what it is you want in a partnership, the more confident you’ll feel about deciding whether a committed relationship is right for you.
For example—you might want someone who values communication as much as you do, or you may feel like having the same spiritual beliefs is important.
Knowing what you want will help give you the clarity and confidence to know when it’s time to commit and when it’s time to move on.
If you can determine what it is that makes a partnership worth committing to, then the next step would be finding someone who shares those same values.
Help Is Always Out There
Fear of commitment is a common problem that many people experience, and one that can be overcome. If you’ve been struggling with this fear for any reason, consult a therapist who understands relationships to help you work through your fears.
Feel free to contact us with any of your questions or concerns. Every day, we work with couples and individuals seeking meaningful romantic relationships.
We have the experience necessary to guide you in overcoming your fear of commitment so you can enjoy all the benefits of a committed relationship without fearing what might happen next.