The term ‘Scared of Commitment’ has somehow lost its meaning due to how much it is used in casual conversation. The truth is that some people experience intense feelings of anxiety and stress when faced with a situation they must commit to. We may hear this term mostly used as a reference to romantic relationships and taking big steps with your significant other such as marriage or buying a house. However, people can also be scared to commit to other things, for example, signing a contract for a new job or enrolling in a course.
Where did this fear come from?
Fear of commitment can develop for many reasons, but these reasons most commonly have to do with past experiences. For example, if someone has been hurt in the past by somebody they trusted, then they may find it difficult to be vulnerable around another partner. A part of the fear of commitment can also come from the fear of making the wrong decision, and then being stuck with it.
Here are some things that can support you when you’re feeling anxious about making a commitment.
Listen to your fears.
Sometimes the more we try to push away the thoughts, the louder they will get. Give them the space to be heard and acknowledged and hear what they have to say. By hearing them out, it doesn’t mean that they become true. By attempting to push away these fears and stop feeling the anxiety, someone may choose to not commit at all – which may keep them from experiencing something great.
Understand your fears
Most times our anxiety and fears are there as an attempt to protect ourselves. Understand the reason why these thoughts are there and what they may be trying to protect you from. You might realise that the fear to commit is trying to protect you from something that you feel you can handle if it happens, or something that you don’t think will happen in the first place.
Reason with your fears
Sometimes the anxious thoughts may bring up some valid questions or concerns. For example, someone may be scared to commit to a job because they don’t know exactly what it would entail. This is something that they can easily reach out to and ask someone to define for them. Other times our anxious thoughts are a little more irrational. With these thoughts, it would be helpful to reason with them and provide evidence as to why what you fear is unrealistic.
Sometimes our anxiety levels and the loudness of our thoughts may be too much for us to try and understand. Therefore, reaching out to a Mental Health Professional can help you get the support you need to work through your fears and gain some more insight.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Lisa Laspina is a Trainee Gestalt Psychotherapist who is currently working with Willingness. She is reading for a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy.
Raypole, C. (2022, May 6). How to Recognize and Get Over Commitment Issues. Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/fear-of-commitment#what-does-it-mean