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Ways to spot a commitment phobe

Published on: 1:40 pm - Thursday | June 22, 2017

Currentnews.com.bd

Ever been with someone who seemed totally in love with you and then did a runner at the last moment?
 
Chances are you’d hooked up with a commitment phobe: someone who has a fear of intimacy and commitment.
 
Commitment phobes find it difficult, if not impossible, to take relationships on to that ‘sign here’ stage.
 
Which is why no sane person wants to end up falling in love with one – and YOU need to know how to spot one.
And if it’s already too late? Skip to the final section for advice on what to do next…
 
HOW TO SPOT A COMMITMENT PHOBE:
 
They’ve had a bad experience in the past
 
Commitment phobics are terrified of being hurt – look at their past and you’ll usually find the reason why they’ve ended up that way.
 
They’ve been married or in a long-term relationship that ended badly. One parent died or their parents divorced and they saw the fall-out. 
 
Even worse, their parents are together but utterly miserable or venomous.
Inevitably, their experience of relationships thus far has not been ideal.
 
If all you’d seen was people hurting each other, you wouldn’t be too keen to put yourself in that situation either.
They’ve had lots of short-term relationships
 
Running away around the three month or three year point is quite common (the time when most couples make small or big commitments).
 
Also look at who they’ve dated: are they ‘unavailable’ people (married people, workaholics, living in another country)? It’s easy to ‘commit’ to someone who can’t commit to you.
 
They like to be in control
 
If your partner hates being told what to do, watch out. Commitment phobes often become really defensive and argumentative if you take control of a situation because they like being the ones in control.
If they’re in control, they can control their emotions and they can’t get hurt.
 
They blow hot and cold
 
Commitment phobes are usually ultra charming to begin with, then, once they’ve won you over, fade away.
They love the chase but not the capture: the more serious it gets, the less interested they are.
You haven’t met each other’s close friends, family or co-workers
Commitment phobes compartmentalise their lives.
 
The more people you know that are close to them, the closer you will be to them – and that’s dangerous!
They’re irresponsible
 
Commitment phobes have problems committing to anything, not just relationships.
 
They’re the people who are always late because they resent having to be somewhere at a certain time.
 
It’s the same with money. They don’t pay bills until they’re sent threatening letters.
If their life seems chaotic, this could be why.
 
They don’t like making any plans 
Whether it’s taking out a mortgage or contributing to the deposit for a group holiday with friends, they just can’t bring themselves to say, ‘I do.’
Like most things, there’s a sliding scale with commitment phobia.
Some people can’t commit to seeing you tomorrow, others are fine right up until the crucial last minute.
 
They don’t share intimate details about themselves
 
Be on high alert if they cover up their feelings and don’t show affection.
If they tell you intimate things about themselves, they’ve given you the power to hurt them.
 
Commitment phobes don’t like showing vulnerability: the more you see under the surface, they more power you have over them.
 
Their needs come first
 
They’re so busy protecting themselves, they ignore your emotional needs.
They panic when you mention the ‘c’ word
C-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t.
 
Spell it out nice and slow for them as you mention the other two no-nos – the ‘l’ word and the ‘m’ word (living together or marriage) – and watch their reaction.
 
Or simply say something like ‘My best friend’s getting married this weekend. Would you like to come to the wedding with me?’
 
The true commitment phobe will find this threatening on so many levels, they’ll instantly invent an excuse, change the topic or disappear.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE ALREADY INVOLVED WITH A COMMITMENT PHOBE
 
Check you’re not pushing too soon
People who simply need time to make big decisions aren’t commitment phobes. They’re sensible.
Is your request for commitment timely? Check with a trusted friend.
 
Be realistic
 
You can’t get someone to commit to you if they don’t want to.
If they don’t like being a commitment phobe and are willing to get help (either professional or with you gently guiding them), take a punt.
 
If you’re the only one that sees a problem, walk away.
 
Point out there is never going to be a 100 per cent guarantee
We live in a very uncertain world, we’re never 100 per cent sure of anything 100 per cent of the time. 
None of us knows what the future holds; all you can do is make a sensible choice and put all you’ve got into making it work.
 
Let them know anyone who loves, makes themselves vulnerable. You’re both taking a chance.
Point out people they or you know who’ve split up and are now happy again: they will survive.
Don’t change to accommodate them
 
They either want you or they don’t.
Changing your commitment needs – like deciding you don’t need to move in/get married/have a boyfriend or girlfriend who actually turns up to family do’s – won’t make them stay and will make you unhappy.
 
Take it slow
 
A lot of commitment phobes get over their fears once they find someone who gives them time to get used to being part of a couple.
 
But think twice before you let yourself fall in love with a long-term sufferer.
 
If they’re over 40 and have never, ever settled down for more than a few months, it’s going to take a lot of hard work to overcome their disil¬lusionment.
Personally, I’d cut my losses.
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