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are there any commitment phobics on here?
July 21, 2005
8:10 am
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donna25
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If there are I would like to hear your perspective.

July 21, 2005
12:25 pm
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donna25
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I guess not huh..

July 21, 2005
1:07 pm
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hmmm ("I guess not huh")... probably a lot I'd say, as measured by the lack of postings on this thread.

So, why is it that people avoid (or tend to be afraid of) commitment ?

if you choose to commit yourself, you'll have to be responsible, willing to be accountable, taking the "good" with the "bad" ...... a "no-fly" zone for some ...............

July 21, 2005
1:25 pm
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kc30
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How's this for a controversial point of view...

I think that many, many, if not the majority codependants are commitment phobics.

Allow me to explain...many of us tend to be attracted to emotionally unavailable partners who are unable to meet our needs, dysfunctional relationships and high drama? We'll never have a commitment in a relationship like this...never have to worry about dealing with the intimacy, closeness, emotional part of being in a committed relationship because of this.

It's impossible to be in a committed relationship if this is the kind of person we would be attracted to...BUT...we get to SAY that we want a committment, knowing damn well on some level we'll never actually have one with this person.

Commitment can only exist in a healthy relationship...we don't want the commitment that comes with a healthy relationship, or we would seek it out.

Feel free to disagree. It's just my own opinion.

I believe I am in this category that I described. I said I wanted marriage, commitment etc, but I married a man incapable of meeting my needs. If I truly wanted commitment, I would have sought out someone who was actually capable of commiting. By not doing that, I can keep up the facade that it's him not me. That's crap. It's all about me, my fears, my insecurities and my inability to relate to someone who is actually nice, calm, healthy and NORMAL who may actually want to get to know me better...treat me nicely...be with me.

Why else would we pursue a man who wasn't that into us? (or a woman)

Whatcha think! 🙂

kc

July 21, 2005
1:52 pm
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starshine
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KC,
I agree with you 100%, and have been told this in therapy many times. I seek out people that can never commit (emtionally, physically, spiritually)because of some sort of addiction (usually an alcoholic), try to wrangle them in, know it's not possible (in our hearts), stay miserable for a while, then leave. Thats my pattern, always has been. I was shocked the first time I had a therapist tell me that I was the commitment phobic!!! Thanks for sharing that!!

Starshine

July 21, 2005
1:56 pm
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kc30
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Thank you for sharing that Starshine! It's something I've just figured out in the last year about myself.

I believe in that "you spot in you've got it" philosophy...and I kept saying it was my husband who had the committment issues. So I turned it around, and this is what I came up with!

I really do want a healthy relationship some day, and I want to attract a healthy man. Like attracts like, so they say, so I know I need to work through this issue (one of many) so that I will be able to have the kind of relationship I long for.

kc

July 21, 2005
1:59 pm
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kathygy
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kc, I think you make some very good points. I agree that we find someone who mirrors our issues. If I am afraid of committment I will find someone who is also afraid of committment then I can be safe. It can be all subconscious. I think also we tend to create situations which feel familiar. My father was not avilable to me in a consistent and reliable manner. He poured love on me and then withdrew it based on his mood or drinking. So I have re-created this situation with a lot of men. I am now at the point where I may still feel a pull towards an unavilable man but I don't act on it and stay away from them. I have found that sometimes a man can make a full committment but still be unavailable for consistent intimacy. He can pull away while still very committed to the relationship. I have to avoid these kinds of men as well.

I'm holding out for a trully available and healthy man who is committed to personal growth. I haven't met him yet and it may be because I have mixed emotions about making a committment. Part of me wants it and another part of me wants to be free and left alone.

If a man is fully available for committment to me than I have to confront myself and that is a little scary because I want open and honest communication with a man which can make me feel very vulnerable. Yet, I have had relationships with open and honest communication and find it to be very gratifying. I think honesty is very exciting and makes for a rich intimacy.

July 21, 2005
2:01 pm
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starshine
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KC,
You are right again...."like attracts like"! Everytime I start to think of the looser I saddled myself with for the last five years, I think back to where I was (in my life) when I ran back into him. I came to the realization that I was (yet again) running away from another relationship. I was not in a good place at all, and I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. This time I'm doing things differently.n I made myself a promise that I will dedicate the next six months-one year to working on me. I want to attract something different this time, so the change has to come from within me!!!

(((Hugs)))
Starshine

July 21, 2005
2:12 pm
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kc30
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Starshine and Kathy
I agree with you both wholeheartedly. I like the mirror analogy...I am learning, sloooowly, that the very detailed inventory I have taken of my husband's character defects (why is it so easy to take another's inventory?) is actually my very own inventory. The things I loathe in him are the parts of myself that I don't like and that I want to change.

This has certainly turned things around for me. He has been my mirror, and now I find other people are my mirror as well...anyone who irritates me, upsets me, or evokes negative feelings in me is usually displaying some trait that I too possess that I have not yet learned to embrace as part of who I am. If I can look at ME and not them...I can get to work on accepting that part of myself, making changes if that's what I want...and voila! That person ceases to affect me any longer!

I know this is a bit off the committment topic, bear with me...

So...if there is something we want to change about another person...maybe we need to STOP and self-examine. If it bothers us in that person, it's because it's within us, and THAT is where our attention should be. Not on that other person, who we can't change anyways.

And if we can invoke that change in ourselves, we will be even happier than we would be if that other person changed.

So maybe, if you are in love with a "commitment phobic" and you want them to change...that means you are a committment phobic and you are the one who really wants/needs to change. And if you do that, you will be able to get the commitment you desire...probably not with the first guy....but with a better guy? One who doesn't have those issues because YOU don't have those issues.

Or we can stay attached to the commitment phobic guy, drive ourselves mad trying to change him, and get really hurt....all the while, never having to face our own committment issues, but being able to be the "victim", at least in our minds.

Sorry so long- great thread guys!

kc

July 21, 2005
6:52 pm
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chickyfighter
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Donna25, what did you want to ask, I am a comittment phobe, I guess...

July 21, 2005
7:54 pm
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cpt1212
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I am a commitment phobe. And not just in romantic relationships, but also in friendships. When I reach a certain level of emotional intimacy with someone I just cut them off completely, like I never knew them. I realized a while ago it is not fair to others, but am not yet sure how to change it, so I work very hard at keeping all of my relationships very superficial. I don't know if it is true for the rest of you, but I believe that the reason I have this "problem" is in order to commit to someone you must be willing to make yourself vulnerable and I learned at a very young age to do that equals pain and humiliation. Like I said I recognize the pattern and I am working up to fixing it, but if anyone else has another opinion on fear of commitment I would love to hear it.

July 21, 2005
8:09 pm
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22haha
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I don't have a fear of comittmennt at all - but my ex did. I have called him on it although he doesn't admit it. I have always said that I feel like he has a brick wall up and I have been picking at it for 6 yrs. yet can't get through. I also told him he is afraid to commit to being with me, yet he is afraid to commit to being alone. CPT1212- what steps have you taken to help yourself and why did you learn at an early age not to be vulnerable??? Hoping to give my ex some advise.

July 21, 2005
8:23 pm
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Anonymous
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I think that everyone has some sense of commitment phobia in them, but it is about confronting your fears. I know that for me, it is really hard to get close to people and that the only ones I seem attracted to are the unavailable ones, which really sucks.

It leads to many relationships that don't work out, and also to my questioning myself and having lack of self esteem.

I could label myself as commitment phobic but I also think that as stated many times before we attract what we are. When we see things in people that we date, for the most part those are things that can be seen in us. FOR THE MOST PART. We attract what we are.

July 21, 2005
8:30 pm
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cpt1212
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Well I come hear and read and share (which stretches my comfort level even though it is anonymous) and I started counseling last fall. Early in my counseling I decided to try to go out and do something social with someone at least once a week. At first it was agonizing and I only called on the same one or two people, but after awhile when I realized it was fun started to go outstide what I felt comfortable with and now it is much easier for me to maintain friendships. I am still working though and my counselor says that now I have to try to become more open with people. I guess if you were to give advice to you bf in my limited experience (ha!) it takes small steps doing something you ordinarily would not do and then afterward realizing that thinking about it and planning it were probably the worst part.

As far as how I learned not to commit, my father is bi-polar and my mother is chronically depressed, neither sought help when any of us kids lived at home. Growing up being sensitive, crying, or standing out (even for accomplishments) was met with cruel jokes and sometimes violence and weeks of silent treatment. My dad used to repeat often that it is a cold, cruel world and no one gives a shit about you. But if you were tough and could fight back or suffer in silence you recieved praise. Also, I have just come to realize in the past couple of days that in my family we are just people who know each other, not really a family---no intimacy. Which is not to say we don't love each other in some very weird way, but I think that just like every other skill, commitment is one that must be taught.

July 21, 2005
8:36 pm
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Anonymous
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i am a commitmentphobe. i set myself up every time. and every time i am surprised! and hurt! like it's never happened before.

July 21, 2005
8:39 pm
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22haha
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CPt1212- interesting about your last statement Sorry to hear about your childhood although my dad wasn't a peach to grow up with either (drunk, attempted suicide, always raging or depressed, verbal put downs). Sorry you feel your family isnt close - do you sometimes wish that you could have something now that you never had as a child? My ex's family isn't close at all. In fact his mother has cancer and when she called up to say it was cured - I cried (my mother passed away) and my ex said "yipee" in a sarcastic tone. I guess I am just curious if you are able to trust someone enough to make yourself vulnerable???

July 21, 2005
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cpt1212
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22haha

Yes, I do have this large hole it seems that needs to be filled. While I am uber-independent, I have this embarrassing ache for something that I never recieved as a child and am beginging to realize I never will. I know intellectually I have to grieve that and find something else to fill that, but I haven't yet been able to.

No, I am not able to make myself vulnerable. It is hard even here when we are anonymous, but I have been trying very hard in the last week to open up (this is an example) instead of just reading what everyone else has written. I have not yet been able to take the next step. I hate to say this but I am only comfortable enjoynig sex with someone I don't care about and wont have to interact with later. If I care about someone I am only able to be engaged physically intimately up to a certain point and then I detach. (this has ruined a few potentially good relationships). But I am happy right now to just maintain relationships. The thought of being vulnerable even with my therapist makes me very sick to my stomache and it is hard to breathe and my head starts to hurt and well you get the point!

July 21, 2005
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22haha
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cpt1212 - so interesting because I am the extreme opposite of you -a total open book. I could tell you my entire life story and I trust everyone under the sun - not good either. I hope you know I am a friend who is willing to listen without judgement or criticism any time you feel the need/want/desire/ whatever to talk. I know my ex is much like you and so I am interested in learning more. I hope you can realize that some of these good relationships you had are with people that care about you and trust you. You need to believe in yourself more then you will hopefully be able to open your heart up to someone else.

July 21, 2005
9:27 pm
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cpt1212
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Thanks. I appreciate your interest. It is funny you should say that I am similar to your b/f in how I handle relationships, because I am a female, but lately I have begun to realize I treat my relationships very much like some men do!

It is interesting though to hear that you an "open book". My sister and I come from the same background,but she will tell perfect strangers anything they would ever care to know and then some!

July 21, 2005
9:36 pm
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22haha
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I think both men and famales have commitment problems. I son't think you are like a lot of men - I think you are like a lot of people. I know you are female and I hope you aren't offended that I compared your similarities with my ex b/f. Your sister is like me - how did she learn to trust people? Maybe I don't trust people, maybe I am just looking for approval or something, who knows???

July 22, 2005
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donna25
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I kinda wondered if I was a kind of commit phobe in the past. I did always tend to fall for men there was no way I was ever going to get...and then pine after them...no one was ever good enough...I don't feel like that now but I'm still pretty picky when it comes to men and dating...I have a list....and for the commit phobe that I just ended it with...I liked him for the right reasons...he's a wonderful, good looking smart man...in the beginning he made me want to be a better person...the first time we kissed, I felt like I kissed my future husband...I don't understand how I could of been so wrong...I don't trust my instincts anymore with men.

July 22, 2005
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Cici
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I am a recovering committment phobe. I did the whole, date men who are emotionally unavailable thing.

My BF was not only very persistent in courting me, I was ready to challenge my habitual relationship patterns when I met him. He was patient with me, and I really was/am challenged. After he asked me to marry him I said yes but instead of being ecstatic I was glum and anxious for days. I still feel mildly paniced.

I just acknowledge that I am having a weak moment from my fear of committment and I try to mve on. It is difficult though, knowing I am with a wonderful man and yet having irrational anxieties and fears about being with him for the rest of my life!!

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