Commitment Phobia?

If you are avoiding a love commitment chances are you’re afraid of being ‘locked up’ in your love relationship. This fear of being controlled requires an underlying belief that you will lose your freedom if you committed to love. Let’s examine this fear of losing your freedom in love a little more deeply. Many of us remember experiences of being controlled by someone we love.

This kind of experience happens frequently in the family of origin. As children and adolescents, control was often the parental response to an inadequately developed ability to take care of ourselves. In many instances, external control may have seemed a lot simpler than developing the internal resources needed to form a stable and responsible self-control. Being controlled took the place of developing an individual ability to guide and control oneself.

So what does this have to do with commitment phobia? By the time we make it to adulthood many of us have had experiences that make us associate love with control. Our interpersonal histories make it so. When this is the case it’s easy to overlook the real freedom that comes with being in love. Real freedom comes when your search for love is over. When you can say to yourself you have what you need for peace of mind and contentment. This is precisely why it is important to start becoming aware of what you’ve learned about love in the course of your life so far.

If commitment is scary you can start confronting this problem by first electing to take it seriously. Seriously enough to begin doing something about it. So the first commitment you’re going to make is to yourself. Commit to understanding what it is that scares you away from a love commitment. Don’t just accept that fact that it scares you and stay away from it. As you start to take a closer look at your personal feelings and how your personal history is in control of your emotions, it’ll get easier to challenge your routine avoidance by taking a risk on love.

Remember, the only thing that has a consistent track record of dispelling fear is taking the risk to exposure yourself to what you are afraid of once you’ve studied the problem enough to understand it. In this case it’s risking commitment to someone you love regardless of what your fear is telling you to do. Dr. T. Jordan




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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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