Signs of a commitment phobe.
HOW TO SPOT A COMMITMENT PHOBIC BEFORE HE BREAKS YOUR HEART!
Due to negative experiences and beliefs (or sometimes a personality disorder), both sexes can suffer from commitment phobia, but more and more men seem to be suffering from this problem (or challenge).
Let's look at some typical behaviours commitment phobic men display in relationships.
Commitment phobic men are tortured souls full of FEAR. They are in a constant state of emotional conflict because of their negative irrational beliefs about love, commitment and relationships. In relationships they create great confusion, havoc, pain, and anguish as their behaviours are often insensitive, unpredictable and bizarre.
These types of men can make women who are saints turn into mad women, as they play games with their minds and their hearts.
I am writing this article from my own personal experience, from experiences my friends and clients have had, and from interviews and research conducted by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol. The interviews were conducted with over hundred men who canít commit, and the women who have been involved with them.
(Ref: Men who canít Love by Steven Carte and Julia Sokol).
Commitment phobic men may display SOME or MANY of the following behaviours:
1. They usually have a history of short relationships and they may never have been married - there is often an excuse that they havenít met the right woman, or they justify their history by saying they still have plenty of time to settle down as they can have children at any age. A favourite line is "someday".
2. If they have been married it is likely to have been for a short time, or, if they have been in a long term relationship or marriage, they will usually have a history of infidelity.
3. They want a relationship but they also want freedom and space so they are often attracted to long distance relationships and busy independent women.
4. They are fast to move in on a woman they are attracted to, and they pursue ardently until they win the woman over.
5. They are very charming. They say and do all the right things and they can be very romantic. They are very good salesmen to get their own needs met, but in reality they have very little concern for the womanís feelings, as they are always operating from hidden agendas.
6. These men are usually very affectionate and loving. This is because in their mind the relationship is not going to be long term, so they feel free to give affection and love, knowing it wonít be forever. It isnít long though before they suddenly start rejecting the woman, by not ringing or not wanting to see her for days, or not including her in weekend arrangements etc. This is because they subtly want to give the woman the message that they donít want a long term committed relationship.
7. Severe commitment phobics play the seduction/rejection game. They canít make the decision to give totally to the relationship, but they canít commit to walk away either. They feel trapped by both choices. They feel love for the woman when they donít see her, but they want to run away when they become involved again.
8. Commitment phobics love the chase but they donít want the kill. This may happen after 1 night, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months or 1 year. They may start sabotaging just as they are about to get married, or just before or after there's a decision made to move in together.
9. They spin stories to justify their contradictory behaviour, and when the woman threatens to leave the relationship they may make promises to change, but they never do.
10. They tend to treat the woman like a mistress rather than a real girlfriend.
11. They tend to limit the amount of time they spend with the women and treat her as a low priority.
13. Commitment phobics behaviours announce subtlyÖďYou will be special for a short time, but it wonít be foreverĒ.
14. They often choose women who are not the type of partner they are looking for, for example they may be much older, much younger, married, or they may have different interests. They use these differences as excuses to end relationships.
15. They can have a history of frequent career change and often work in environments where they have a certain amount of space and freedom.
16. They treat requests for respect as demands and become, angry, obnoxious and rebellious.
17. Severe commitment phobics avoid events or outings that may include the woman's family or friends.
18. They know an ongoing sexual relationship often leads to commitment so they choose to run when things start to head in that direction.
19. They like to feel in control and create time frames that suit them, often treating the woman like a puppet on a string.
20. They donít like structure, particularly in their personal life.
21. They tend to compartmentalize their life and keep their work environment, friends or family off limits. They can create wonderful excuses why the woman shouldnít meet these people.
22. When they get the feeling they need to run, their words and actions are full of mixed messages. They play mind games.
23. A commitment phobic wonít allow the relationship to grow and they have no intentions of ever doing so.
24. They can be moody or aloof and blame the woman for why they are acting so bizarrely.
25. They may withdraw sexually and blame it on the woman for being demanding, or on work fatigue, or illness, or anything else that they can think of.
26. They can have a history of unavailability and inaccessibility .They can be hard to contact, and they are often unpredictable when it comes to returning phone calls. They can even avoid answering calls completely.
27. They lie, or they are evasive and secretive about where they are and what they are doing to create space.
28. Their living arrangements may be rather off-beat. They may have an apartment but they may rarely stay there, preferring to stay at friends places, with parents or ex-girlfriendís.
29. They hate planning ahead because that means commitments.
30. Severe commitment phobics may have very little furniture, not own property or a car, as these represent commitment as well. To some buying a car can be as big a decision as deciding to get married - it can be all too much for them as they donít want to feel stuck with anything.
31. They often donít invite women to their home because of their peculiar living arrangements, but they have no desire to change their situation. Even if their home is comfortable it exudes the feeling that they want to be alone. It is not welcoming to the outside world.
32. They are often unreliable, late and sometimes they donít turn up at all. They are like this with family and friends as well, although this is not the case in their working environment.
33. They are often unfaithful in relationships.
34. They can be overly committed to their work or to their children to avoid spending a lot of time with a woman.
35. Severe commitment phobics rarely lower their defences because they donít want to get too close to a woman, or vice versa. If they do, they usually only give little pieces of their soul in well- planned instalments, except if they are having an affair. Affairs are perfect for commitment phobics as they feel completely safe to disclose and to chase, as commitment is not an option while they are in another relationship.
36. If a man has been married he may void putting his divorce papers through as he can use this as an excuse to keep a woman at bay. This helps him to feel safe from the possibility of ever getting married again.
37. Behavioural inconsistencies are very noticeable with these men when they find themselves getting too close. They become argumentive and abusive, or they create distance. A lot of uncaring sabotage behaviours surface eg. working long hours, taking on extra projects, creating space, not ringing, being late, finding fault with the woman etc
38. They often choose to travel a lot for work, to play a lot of sport, or be involved in many projects to create distance.
39. These men know on some level that they are deceptive and cruel to women.
40. The word ďforeverĒ terrifies these men. Love doesnít scare them; rather it is what love represents to them that scares them. This is due to their negative belief system about love and relationships.
41. They usually end up behaving worse and worse, and they sabotage more and more because they want the woman to end the relationship as they feel too anxious and guilty to do so.
42. Severe commitment phobics can also suffer from claustrophobia and/or a personality disorder.
How you handle a commitment phobic
1. Donít rush into bed with these types of men (or any men for that matter), especially the ones who are very charming and pursue ardently, as they are the ones to be most wary of.
2. Take your time. Listen carefully to a manís history and leave him as soon as you recognize the behaviours before you get involved and hurt.
3. If he tends to exclude you from other areas of his life the writing is on the wall - beware
4. If you get involved before seeing the behaviours, set the pace with this man. Donít allow him to set the pace.
5. Act like you donít need him - stay independent and non-wife like.
6. Realize your love and attention wonít change him but not needing him and giving him space might (thatís if he isnít a severe case!)
7. Actions speak louder than words. Believe what he does, not what he says.
8. Donít expect a close committed relationship Ė be prepared to take the relationship for what it is. These types of men are best treated as occasional lovers rather than potential partners. Donít rely on having a relationship with them. If you do you will never feel emotionally safe or satisfied. You will be left confused, bewildered, angry and hurt.
9. Donít cut yourself off from dating other men Ė keep your options open as it is highly likely he is not saving himself for you, nor can he ever give you what you want, need and deserve.
10. Donít find excuses for his behaviour.
11. Evaluate whether he wants to change and whether he is capable of changing - some men will fall into this category but most wonít. Also evaluate how patient you are.
12. Donít think it was your fault when a commitment phobic relationship ends but learn form it. Make sure you donít get involved with one of these types of men again. Watch carefully for the behaviours.
13. Take care of yourself first as there is a high chance this man wonít be there for you when you really need him, despite his sweet words when he is in the mood.
14. If you are continually attracting commitment phobics, you will need some coaching to get different results.
15. If you are in pain from a commitment phobic relationship you may need some coaching to heal and move forward.
" For your life to change you must change" - Jim Rohn
What does a commitment phobic have to do to change?
1. He has to admit he has a problem.
2. He has to take responsibility for his behaviours toward women Ė that he leads them on and he behaves in an uncaring and cruel way.
3. He has to want to change.
4. He has to be prepared to seek help.
5. He has to look deep within to work out when and how his claustrophobic/commitment phobic symptoms started.
6. He will require coaching or cognitive behavioural therapy to change his negative, irrational thought patterns about love, commitment and relationships. He will also need to explore some of the faster healing therapies to heal, grow and change.
7. He needs some time out from relationships to reflect on his thinking patterns and behaviours.
8. He must develop his emotional and spiritual intelligence and become more aware. Personal and spiritual development courses raise awareness and consciousness and prevent us from sabotaging relationships. (Spiritual development is not about religion).
9. If he doesnít want to change his behaviours he has to be honest and upfront to women when he first meets them. He must tell them he does not want a committed relationship - that he is only interested in a casual liaison with space and freedom, and not to expect any more. Then it is up to the woman to decide whether she wishes to spend time with him on those terms.
I'm a female who is commit phobic if you are talking about marriage or living together. I just can't do it! I am way too independent for that. However, I always have very long-term relationships of 5 years or more. It's not that I don't love my bf, I do very much, but I don't want to live with him, or anyone else. Some of us commitment phobes are nice people, we just belong with others like ourselves so we don't hurt anyone. By the way, I've never treated my bf like a mistress. He's probably like that too much!
I'm also goiong to chime in here and put a warning out there. No doubt there are some commitmentphobes out there...tons. But I also run into a lot of women (and see older men doing this too) that are in a hurry to rush into a commitment and form a new relationship ASAP without even taking the time to properly date or get to know one another.
They go from 0-60 in 3 months and are looking to be headed towards marriage before we've even hit the 12 month mark. I have 12 months to decide if I want to spend the rest of my life with you? um, no.
So a lot of these "commitmentphobes" aren't naturally commitmentphobes, they are just forced into putting on some breaks so that the relationship can progress at a natural pace and not be force fed into something they aren't ready for.
Had to be said.
And......commitment phobic people are drawn to those that offere benefits, conveniences, sacrifices, and options in exchange for inclusion in the moment.
Neither party is capable of true healthy commitment - so they're a perfect fit.
Today, 01:35 AM
Actually, most of the biggest commitmentphobes I dated were the ones who did exactly that in the beginning of the relationship...then when they realized I was human, not some "perfect, angelic being" (bleah) like they thought I was, they also backed off at pretty much the same speed. It always made my head spin.
Originally Posted by i_win
Going from 0-60 in the very beginning requires no commitment whatsoever; it's selfishly and unwisely acting on the infatuation phase. Generally, I've found these people bail when real feelings/personalities surface, because they just don't want to deal with reality. They're looking for some fairy tale princess to project their fantasies onto, so they go through the first three months over and over with a succession of women, never realizing that the problem isn't them...it's him.
Last edited by chigal28; 05-01-2008 at 11:45 PM.
You can't cast aspersions on someone just because they wear a cape. Superman wore a cape.
i agree with you 100%
Originally Posted by chigal28
Last edited by i_win; 05-04-2008 at 02:55 PM.
Originally Posted by chigal28
Does this commitment phobe thing keep getting posted over and over again? I stick to my opinion: very few people are actually commitment-phobic. Chances are, everyone will commit to someone at some point. Try to move on instead of diagnosing people.
Originally Posted by bulletproof
Would you care to give reasons for your stance...?
Sure. I look around and I see people that are/were supposed "commitment-phobes" eventually getting into LTRs or marriages. I also know that when I've broken up with someone, it's about the person, not about a fear of commitment. Further, that list is ridiculous. It contradicts itself all over the place (commitment-phobes don't get married, but if they ARE married, it's short, or they don't put divorce papers thru, etc., etc.) so that it will fit any situation that the reader would like it to. It's like an astrological profile; it can fit anyone because of the way it's worded.
I also think that this is a product of the tendency on these boards to justify hurt feelings by blaming a disorder, and more times than not it's the disorder of the other person, of course. "The person who dumped me is a narcissist; he has bi-polar; he's a commitment-phobe." It's understandable that people have trouble facing the fact that someone doesn't want to be with them- I know I have certainly struggled with that in the past. But it seems a lot healthier to face it and move on.
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