Having ‘commitment issues’, ‘fear of commitment’ or being a ‘commitment phobe’ are terms most people recognise these days.
We tend to use these terms when describing someone who seems unable to maintain long-term relationships – even when they would like to.
Feeling like your partner has commitment issues can be a stressful and isolating experience, and it can leave you seriously doubting the future of your relationship.
While the hope is often that these issues will be addressed, and that eventually your partner will come round to the idea of a long-term relationship, the truth is often a little more complicated than this.
How do commitment issues develop?
Sometimes, early life experiences can have a bearing on how much someone wants to share themselves and their lives with an adult partner. Feeling rejected as a child might encourage someone to feel they’re not worthwhile and that if they commit to a relationship, eventually, their partner might see this and reject them. So, its ‘easier to have short-term relationships where no one gets the chance to see the ’truth’.
Equally, feeling unable to provide the emotional support that a partner would like is another reason why shying away from commitment might seem like a good idea. Again, low self-esteem and feeling you don’t have much to offer can be real reasons why someone might be reluctant to stay with the same person long-term.
Very often though, things like having been dumped by a previous partner or having been betrayed can make it very difficult to trust that a new relationship could work out differently. In circumstances like these, often it can feel like the best way to protect yourself is to avoid getting into a position where such a painful thing can happen again. So, making sure that future relationships never get past the starting post can seem a sensible thing to do.