“I am giving so much love, affection and attention, but not receiving the same from my partner. Is that fair?” “We are having commitment issues in our relationship, should we continue to be together?”
These are some questions or doubts that come to mind for every person at some stage of a romantic relationship. Does this mean your relationship is suffering from commitment issues? The answer could be yes or also no.
Then how to identify these issues? Are there any signs? Is this happening in your relationship only? How can you solve this problem? In this article, we will find all the answers, do stay with us.
WHAT ARE COMMITMENT ISSUES?
Commitment issues are simply an avoidance of any commitment in a long relationship or marriage. Though commitment phobia refers mostly to romantic relationships, it can be related to other relationships in your life as well, whether that’s at work or at home.
First try to understand, what is commitment? Commitment is a pledge or agreement to do something better in the future for your loved ones. This is the starting point of any long relationship.
When you are casually dating someone, there are no issues of commitment but as soon as you start to think about it seriously and want to spend your whole life with your loved one, then either you or your partner can show signs of commitment phobia.
SIGNS OF COMMITMENT ISSUES
On social media there are many apps, games, tests, and quizzes that tell you about your relationship compatibility. But do not judge your partner and decide the future of your relationship on the results of such games. Everyone’s relationship and their problems are unique. So how do you identify these issues? What are some signs of commitment issues?
Some people interested in casual relationships do not want long term commitments. For such people, dating is fun or enjoyment of life. You should understand the nature of your partner.
Does your partner just want to date casually? Or is he/she really interested in a long-term relationship? If his/her nature is more casual, does not want to commit in the long run, then you should both talk seriously.
Not Showing Interest in the Future of the Relationship
Some people want a partner to share their feelings only, but are not ready to invest emotions long term. They think about the present only.Or they just got out of a long-term relationship and are not ready to open up to a new one.
If your partner thinks about the present moment only and avoids the answers for the future; then it’s time for you to sit together and discuss your relationship status.
Being too Questionable
Sometimes either you or your partner start questioning a lot. Are we compatible? Do you seriously want to spend your whole life with me? Do we have a future in this relationship? It is important to note that you must clear up your doubts before any sort of commitment.
Communication is the best tool to do this. Sometimes we will fear to confront our partner because we don’t want to lose our partner in this present moment. But in the long run, you should discuss your problems or try to understand each other.
Not Interested in Making Plans
When you are in true love, you want to spend every moment with your partner. To make travel, dinner or party plans with your partner is an exciting thing in any relationship. But if you or your partner are less interested in making plans or spending quality time together; then you should reconsider your relationship in a serious way.
Sometimes work or personal responsibilities will be the reason, but if it is happening consistently without any proper reason, then you should be alert about your relationship.
Don’t Feel Emotionally Attached
Some people are emotionally dry but still they are in a relationship. It can happen. In a healthy relationship, any emotional or financial support should always go both ways. It should not be a one-way street. There are some hints that can guide you to identify emotional problems in your relationship.
- Prioritizing the relationship and making a dedicated effort to communicate and spend quality time together. If both of you fail to put in an equal effort, you might have to worry about it.
- Freely talking about your frustration, on the other hand your partner shares nothing about their life. It is possible that your partner is a good listener, but you must decode his behavior.
- After interacting or spending more time with your partner, you should feel energized and want to stay in that moment. On the contrary if you feel drained, stressed, or dissatisfied after seeing your partner, it can suggest an unbalanced relationship.
All of these issues lead you towards a one-sided relationship. If you are investing your time and emotions in an emotionally dry person; in the future it will hurt you back.
So, identify these issues and if possible, try to resolve them given the fact that your partner is really interested in the relationship and commitment. If you are the dry person, discuss your problems, tell your partner whether you really want to continue this relationship or not.
Feel Trapped or Uneasy
When you are in a constant state of unhappiness or feel trapped in something you do not want to be; and it starts reflecting on your health in the form of anxiety or depression, then you are in a toxic relationship. If you feel controlled, lonely and cannot resolve your problems with your partner, at that point it may be because either of you are not emotionally involved in a relationship.
Sharing from Family and Friends
Sometimes, your family and friends who are close to you tend to make you realize that you may have some commitment fear. When you hear the following questions or comments from them, do not get angry, rather take it positively and think about it.
“You are a great guy but when will you find the right person for your life?”
“You have been in many relationships. Don’t you ever think about your relationship which starts too good but never lasts?”
“Don’t you think about family? You could feel lonely in your old age.”
“We love you but can’t keep track of your new relationships which changes every year.”
Do not feel like you are the wrong person or doing something terrible. But for your emotional stability, you should think about your own behavior, take actions timely to make improvements in your relationship.
ROOT CAUSES OF COMMITMENT ISSUES
Parents’ Divorce Or Marital Problems
If a child belongs to a family where fights and violence between parents is a routine, it surely affects that child’s emotional growth, as a result impacting negatively to his behavior later in life.
That child might not be willing to commit to any relationship in life in the long run as he/she might think he/she is not capable of providing a sense of security to the partner in a relationship.
Our family and growing environment indeed play a vital role in our life and how we face the problems of life. One study of children behaviors and parents’ relationship conducted among nearly thousand couples shows that there is a significant association between co-resident parents’ relationship quality and the level of children’s behavioral problem.
When you start doubting your partner for not being able to attend any event with you, for not being interested in making any plans or for not messaging or calling you for a long time, it will therefore certainly create trust issues.
Trust is the base of any long-term relationship. If you are having difficulty trusting your partner, then you should speak openly with your partner.
A research study conducted with 1184 adults who are unmarried but in relationship shows dedication and commitment is related to the stability of a relationship among unmarried individuals who are in love. As such, if you are involved in a relationship, embrace and show dedication to it, trust your partner and together make effort to sustain your relationship.
Different Ways Of Communication
Communication means showing your feelings and emotions to your partner. Every individual is different and their ways of expression also are. He may be belonging to the category of people who will not open their heart easily with anyone. Or he can be afraid to share his feelings or opinions openly.
Attachment is also one of the reasons here. Some are over conscious or over anxious before saying anything. If you spend some quality time together, you can understand the communication style of your partner and should make effort to adjust and compromise together for the best outcome.
Relationship Expectations Vary
Expectations and disappointments go hand in hand! If your goal and expectation is long term commitment with a great future of the relationship but your partner is thinking only about the present moment, then you can face conflicts in your relationships.
5 different studies of young individuals suggest that for many people the decision of whether to continue the present relationship depends on the future expectation, rather than the current scenario, with their partner.
For this reason, take your time out, discuss with your partner about your expectations and make sure both of you understand the expectations of each other well.
If anyone has a history of a break-up of a serious relationship or a history of abuse or negligence, then there is always some fear of ending up in an ongoing relationship in an unsatisfying way. These insecurities can manifest like a fear of not being in a “right relationship” with the “right person”.
GENERAL TIPS TO RESOLVE COMMITMENT PHOBIA
- Plan the weekend together out of the city, where you both spend some quality time together.
- While walking on the street or hanging out with friends, hold hands or sit together.
- Decide on a party, weekend together. Make travel plans and make sure you keep your commitments towards those plans.
- If you both are in a long-term relationship and thinking about the future, try to look for apartments or houses together for settling later.
- If you or your partner need some emotional support or just want to relax, then spend some quality time together and extend support to each other throughout.
PSYCHOLOGICAL STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME PERSONAL FEAR
Get Personally Comfortable About Yourself
Find the answers in yourself about your expectations, relationships, your immaturity, and your fear of a long relationship. Be comfortable and clear about who you are and what you want. This will make it easy for you personally if you are puzzled or face any issue.
Do Not Feel Sad About Other People’s Opinion
If you are clear about your motives and what you want from your relationship or potential partner, then do not feel bad about what others think or say about you. Because everyone’s life situation and needs in a relationship are totally different. Listen and follow your heart.
Present Your Own Self to the Right Partner
Your own self and the right partner are the keys here. If you want to spend your life with that one special person, then it’s good to share your past relationships and why you are like that. You should be clear about your thinking and share your personal thoughts with that person.
It’s always best to clear up some doubts and past things at the start of a new relationship. It is also of paramount importance to present your true self, not to adjust yourself completely for the sake of your partner.
Be your true self. This is the beauty of a relationship where two individual souls meet together and complete each other.
Counselling And Therapy
Some mental health professionals specialize in treating commitment issues, they will help an individual recognize and understand the commitment phobia through providing their professional counselling. They will help the person discover the root cause of the fear of commitment; whether it developed because of a recent failed relationship, from bad events that took place in childhood, or whether they don’t have any clear cause.
Therapy can help a person develop communication skills, so that the person is able to discuss the fear of commitment and any related issues with potential partners.
One evidence-based study of couples shows that couple counselling can improve outcomes such as relationship satisfaction, communication skills as well as general well-being.
BENEFITS OF A COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP
A loving relationship between two people is a beautiful journey. Every love story is unique. To have a successful and life-long relationship, effort, trust, dedication, communication and support to each other are the key.
If you and your partner stay committed, you will likely have a positive happy life, as such fostering overall well-being. Studies have shown that healthy relationships like marriage boost physical and psychological health. Moreover, it reduces stress and encourages healthy behaviors, thereby making you more happy and graceful. You are also likely to live longer.
Besides, a committed loving relationship improves your heart health. A study among a large population in Finland published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that married people have less incidence of cardio vascular disease as compared to unmarried people.
Well, at a certain point of a relationship, it is common to encounter signs of commitment issues. At that point, stay calm, listen to your heart, find out the root cause patiently and honestly and try to solve it. If you are determined to spend your whole life with your partner, communication and trusting each other are the keys.
Always openly express yourself, share your thoughts, expectations and concerns. Give each other extra space to think whenever needed. Make sure to be yourself and take good care of yourself. Do not make your heart suffer badly if it does not end well.
May you be blessed with a fruitful and loving relationship. Together, surmount all challenges, grow and glow with your partner!
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2. European Society of Cardiology. (2013, January 31). Marriage reduces the risk of heart attack in both men and women and at all ages. EurekAlert. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/esoc-mrt012913.php
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