It is normal for people to be hesitant to settle down or commit to a relationship until the right partner comes along. Commitment-phobic people fear committing to their partner, even when the person is a good match for them. They may fear letting go of the thoughts they have of keeping their options open to other possibilities, suggests Mark Tyrrell, therapist, in his article, "Do You Have a Fear of Commitment?" Often, the relationships are stable and fulfilling until the commitment-phobic partner suddenly leaves, and the other person feels baffled and confused. Although you may have been hurt by this kind of partner in the past, warning signs exist that you can watch out for with future partners.
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In the beginning of a relationship, a commitment-phobic partner will treat you like royalty. They fool themselves, as well as their partners, family and friends, because they treat their partners sincerely, with adoration and devotion, according to the Cosmopolitan article, "The Truth Behind Commitment Phobia." Commitment phobics generally come on very strong. When they get a sense that their partners feel secure and are ready to commit, they swiftly back away. This can come when one partner wants to make the dating relationship serious or when the subject of marriage is brought up. Prince Charming suddenly disappears.
Too Hot, Too Cold
Partners who are commitment-phobic may seem to run hot and cold, according to the Today article, "10 Signs You're Afraid of Commitment." She may seem to be completely devoted to you, yet when you return her love and affection, she may retreat. If you are unaware of this pattern, soon you will find yourself on an intense, emotional roller coaster ride. The relationship can become hard work, while offering little or no payoff for you in the future.
Your commitment-phobic partner may not interact or take much of an interest in your friends and family, according to Cosmopolitan. You may have been introduced to his family in passing, but it's unlikely you've spent any significant time with them or gotten to know them on a deeper level. As time passes, you find that you are no longer a priority in his life. Your commitment-phobic partner may become busy with friends and activities, while excluding you.
Give Up Control
Nina Atwood, a relationship expert and author states in Cosmopolitan that you cannot cure a commitment-phobic partner and to move on rather than play the make-up and break-up game. The only hope for the relationship is if the commitment-phobic partner wants to overcome his anxiety and learn to commit to his relationship. In that case, he can talk to someone he trusts or to a therapist. Together, you can learn how to move forward in your relationship at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. Over time, he may begin to feel empowered by working toward dreams and goals as part of a couple.