When we first start dating someone new it can be easy to fall into the familiar trap of being blinded to the things we do not want to hear. Maybe the person says they do not want a relationship, maybe they say they do not know what they want, maybe they have a fear of commitment, but whatever the case may be, you need to HEAR IT. Rather than choosing to ignore a statement, it is important to hear it, listen to it, and remain mindful of our actions moving forward. It may feel as if the other person is now taking control of the outcome of your love life, but really you are the empowered one. Remember, that if you stay true to yourself, state what you want, and accept nothing less, you are the one in control of your own destiny. Do not let another person’s fears bring you down or get in the way of you having what your heart desires because it is really up to you. You have the power and you need to remain self-empowered to walk away from a situation that does not serve your highest good.
Lets back track…. What really is the fear of commitment?
Is the fear of commitment fundamentally the same as the fear of abandonment? I think they are similar variations of a deep-rooted fear of intimacy and vulnerability, but a fear of commitment may involve a fear of sacrifice or loss of freedom of self, whereas a fear of abandonment may come after a commitment has been made. For those with a fear of abandonment, the whole idea of commitment falls on shaky ground. Commitment does not ever feel secure enough to fulfill the deep-rooted desire to be loved unconditionally and accepted for our authentic selves.
Ask yourself these questions to assess and explore how to control your own ambivalence:
- What are the ways you make inappropriate or unrealistic commitments?
- What is the point in a relationship at which you are most likely to panic and run?
- What ways do you scare yourself by moving ahead too quickly?
- What are some expectations you have that will ultimately make you want to bolt and run away?
- What are your commitment fantasies?
- How do you respond to someone else’s fantasies?
- What ways are your responses so immediate and so intense that they might make a potential mate feel trapped?
- In what ways might you distance partners by constructing boundaries?
- How do you fail to erect reasonable boundaries?
- What are the ways your ambivalence may be acted out in the non-romantic areas of your life?
Let me know how the fear of commitment shows up for you in your life!