What is Commitment Phobia?


Commitment phobia is a fear of a relationship or relationship anxiety.

Struggling with commitment is an extremely common occurrence in relationships for both men and women. However, when it comes to commitment phobia, this fear of commitment can be paralyzing; it is a very real experience of anxiety and fear.

Someone who has commitment phobia generally has a hard time staying in a long-term relationship. They experience love, however, this feeling can be intensely scary for them. These scary feelings increase anxiety, which builds upon itself and tends to increase the longer the relationship progresses.

Someone with a commitment phobia desires a long-term connection with another person, but this overwhelming anxiety prevents them from being able to stay in any relationship for too long. If this person feels pressured to further the commitment to their partner (ultimatum to propose), they are far more likely to leave the relationship than make that commitment. Another common reaction would be for that person to agree to the commitment, but then back down days or weeks later due to their overwhelming anxiety and fears.

Some causes of Commitment Phobia

There are many different causes of commitment phobia, so here are a few: 

1) Fear of not being in the "right" relationship

2) Fear of being abandoned or cheated on

3) Trust issues due to being hurt in a relationship in the past 

4) Childhood trauma or abuse

5) Unmet childhood needs or attachment issues

6) Complicated family dynamics while growing up

Tips to Ease Commitment Phobia

Someone who has commitment phobia can be helped, regardless of the causes. The key to changing is that the person has to want to overcome their anxiety, it cannot be done by someone else.

Some tips for someone who is struggling with commitment phobia:

1) Acknowledge your fear of relationships

2) Decide if your relationship is worth the risk of being scared

3) Try to live in the moment instead of focusing on your fear from the past or what could happen in the future

4) Think about why you have the commitment phobia

5) Engage in self-care when you begin to feel anxious about your relationship

6) Don't put too much pressure on yourself 

7) Commit each day at a time

8) Avoid overthinking things

9) Have realistic relationship expectations

10) Tell your partner about your fear

A talk therapist can help you with your commitment phobia! Click here to work with a modern therapist.