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Need help in dealing with a commitment phobe.

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I'm in a situation of relationship limbo as my girlfriend or better exgirlfriend has left me and the island i'm from a month ago, to go on 'one more trip' to the otherside of the planet for 6 or 12 months (depending or her mood when she said it).


She will be 30 in a month and is acutely aware of her problem with commitment and her ticking body clock, and has thus taken this trip as she believes it will do the trick and get her to settle. Yet i'm all too aware that this pattern of hopping from country to country and falling inlove in each (which she's done for the past 5 years) will not solve anything.


I believe that this problem comes from her childhood of emotional abuse and abandonment. She's been through it all, anorexia, depression and even was suicidal at times. She is an extremely high achiever and the carreers she chose have all to do with her insatiable hunger for attention and adulation, such as politics, modelling etc. She tries to achieve physical and mental perfection and has developed a 'facade' of confidence, charm and capability, but believe me the terrorized fragile person that hides behind that 'facade' brings tears to my eyes as i write this...


Our relationship was a short but intense 6 months, which we both look at as the best we've ever had, but on the 5th month things changed.......she lost her job. This caused her to panic and her self worth crumbled, causing her to forget all the other beautiful things in her life and look for this job she is now doing abroad. After losing her job everything took the blame including the country which she had previously loved but now was the worst place on earth. Her jealousy and lack of trust in me intensified making arguments a more and more frequent occurrence. This pressure caused us to split.


What followed were 2 weeks of trying to meet 'as friends', "because we will regret it if we don't" she said. Yet each encounter ended in an argument as her insults continued.

At this point i thought i would not see her again as she said she'll be gone forever.


After this things started to change again.

She began telling me that she is sad about leaving, that she still believes in our dream, but not till she comes back, and that she will not be gone for good but just 6 months. Her love for the country also returned.

In this last 3 weeks she would call me at 3 or 4 in the morning asking if i'm out cos she was missing me and wanted to see me. This led us to get back together for 4 magical days in which even her best friend told me not to worry cos she loves me and she'll be back for me.


In her last 2 days she once again became irritable and critical about everything and although we kept on meeting, she cut all emotional ties with me. The last things she said were "these 6 months have been wonderful but we're not meant to be, maybe i'm destined to be alone for ever" I however assured her that i love her and i'll be here for her cos i've got used to such remarks from her.


When i look back i see a wonderful relationship that is not easy to find, that was interrupted by a problem outside of 'us'. I believe she sees the same. This is why i don't want to give up on her. For the time bieng i don't expect her to come running back as she will lose face with me, her parents etc.

At the moment my dillemma is: i don't know if i should just give her reassurance that i love her but not pressure her to give me an answer and let her return in her time, or do something 'bigger' like visit her there and let her know in a grander way.


I would be very greatful for your opinions


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Hi. I dated a girl for 3 years. Same type of girl. You should hear my story, see if it compares.


When I met her, it wasn't long before I felt she probably is "the one". I fell in love with her. She was sweet, attractive, from humble beginnings but was hiding her roots (embarrased of growing up poor). We were going to make it work together. She was going to move to my city and we were going to marry. I was going to help her move her business and build it up in the new city (after my day job).


After 1 year, I asked her to marry me, she needed more time. I respected that.


Then, I started feeling like... something.. was.. off.. Probably how you feel right now.


When I asked her for specifics.. like, what date should we set to get your new business up and running? When do you want to move to my city? When do you want to marry? When this.. when that.. She would give a date.. then ALWAYS find a reason that was not her fault as to why that wouldn't work.


I caught on.. after great heartbreak.. and broke up with her.. she came back to me 1 month later anorexic.. I took care of her for 6 more months and dumped her slowly. The fact is, she never gave a damn about me. She THOUGHT she did, but she only cared about herself. She was a manipulator and a liar. A beautiful one at that.


The fact is, your situtation sounds a lot like mine. You are dating a girl.. not a woman.. but a little girl you doesn't understand what love is. What it is to put someone's heart before your own. She cares about herself.


Please don't pity her. She's a grown woman. Time to grow up. Tell her what you think of her actions today and don't let her past give her an excuse for not GROWING UP.


My heart was broken and I'm okay now... don't do the same thing. If I can save someone from great pain, I know my heartbreak was worth it.



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Thanks alot for your reply, i think our stories resemble eachother, but i feel there is one major difference between the two. Its my fault for not including this important fact:


Unlike most commitment phobes, my exgirlfriend never ran from the sound of commitment, actually SHE would suggest things like, moving in together and looking for a house to buy, and at times she would accuse me of not showing enough interest... She also felt totally at home meeting my parents and family and developing a relationship with them, which was something of a novelty to her. We flirted with the idea of marriage and had names for our kids etc.

I'm not saying that if it came to action she would not have ran, but i see quite a difference in this area between her and other commitment phobes, as others panic even at the first hint of commitment.


With regards to commitment phobes bieng selfish: True! they can do and say things that are very hurtful and totally disregard anyone elses feelings. Sometimes i wonder whether they have hearts of stone. But this is due to the formidable defence mechanism they have developed over the years to protect themselves from their irrational fears that 'all men are bad' etc. Everyone feels slightly helpless and vulnerable when falling inlove, but such fears are irrationally large with commitment phobes, thus their tough exteriors. In my case she would 'let go' for 2 to 3 weeks of living her dream, telling me that i'm perfect etc but then withdraw into herself for a couple of days in which time she would lash out at me, pointing out characteristics about me that tell her why we're not meant to be.....she would then excuse herself and say its her not me thats the problem.


About lying: In my case it was more a lack of consistency from her part. As i said above, one day she'd say i'm the best boyfriend she ever had and the next i'm the worst. Or the country is the best place to settle one day and a week later its the worst. It seems to me that they don't see the greys between the black and white. But what i can say forsure from my experiance is: if she seemed to lie to me, it was only because she was lying to herself first.

My girlfriend seems to have developed a persona of toughness, independance etc, however most of the time she would let go and let herself taste what she truly wants from life, in which time she would love, trust, confess her dreams and fears and be receptive to criticism, but when she feels out of control or something reminds her of her childhood her persona takes over and in those moments behaves like a cold bitch.


What i mean to say by all this is that these people have problems and in most cases they are aware of them and trying to deal with them. At least accepting they have a problem is half the battle won.

If, as in my case her biggest fear is 'men bieng bad' i think the best thing to do would be to prove her wrong by not giving up on her. If I'm more concerned about my own feelings, thats another matter.


One thing for certain: loving and bieng loved is a basic need for all humans. Commitment phobes are no exception.


Looking forward to hearing more


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