Fear of commitment

Do you keep finding yourself in relationships (and subsequently getting hurt) by people who are scared of commitment?  Or maybe you’re one who is scared of committing to anyone?

In this blog, we’re going to have a quick look at why this may be the case.

Signs someone has a fear of commitment:

  • Very keen to begin with
  • Rush into a relationship
  • As soon as the other person begins to reciprocate, they back off, even ending the relationship

So what are the possible reasons for this?

They usually want to have a relationship and genuinely believe the things they are saying at the beginning as they enjoy having the feelings of being in a relationship and the possibilities it holds.  They are also in control of the relationship at this point, but as soon as the other person starts to reciprocate, the reality of being in relationship becomes scary for them, as they are no longer in control, and the more serious the relationship, the more likely it becomes that they get hurt if their partner ends the relationship, so they bale out before it gets to that stage (either by ending the relationship or consciously, or even subconsciously, sabotaging it in some way), as that’s the only way they can guarantee that they won’t get hurt. 

It may feel like they’ve been deliberately leading the other person on because as soon as their partner starts having feelings for them, or starts moving at the pace that they’re moving at, that’s the moment they end the relationship. But it’s not done deliberately to hurt their partner, but actually to stop themselves from potentially getting hurt. It’s more than likely that they have been hurt before, either by someone in a previous relationship, or have an experience of being abandoned or separated by others.

If you recognise this behaviour in yourself, then counselling may help to uncover and explore the fears of commitment you have.  Or it may just take time to get over a previous relationship before you feel confident enough to put yourself out there again and risk getting hurt.  After all, no relationship can be 100% guaranteed but if you are looking for long-term love, then you have to be prepared to be vulnerable and run the risk that you may get hurt along the way.

On the other hand, if you find yourself continually attracted to people who seem to have a fear of commitment, then it is worth looking at what it is that is attracting you to them.  The things they say and the promises they make at the beginning of the relationship make you feel especially special and cherished – they’re telling you everything you want to hear, and if you have low self-esteem for example and rely on others to make you feel good about yourself, then you’re more likely to lap it up, believe everything they say, and quickly fall for them (and then end up getting incredibly hurt when they end it), instead of maybe looking at their words and actions through a more sceptical lens and questioning if the relationship is moving too fast or appears to be too good to be true.  Again, if you’re finding this is a pattern in your dating, counselling may help you to uncover why this may be.

The final note is to remember that no-one is in the wrong for either being scared of commitment, or for continually falling for people who are, as our actions and feelings are shaped by past experiences, but it is worth noticing if these are regular occurrences in your life, whichever camp you fall into, and be curious as to why these are recurring patterns. 

Until the next time…

Take care,


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