HomeTopical10 Signs Of Commitment Issues And How To Overcome Them

10 Signs Of Commitment Issues And How To Overcome Them

Commitment issues usually come from the fear of commitment, which is generally the fear of dedicating yourself to something for a period of time. It could be a job, a goal, or, of course, a relationship.

It is not uncommon for people who avoid long-term relationships to hear that they have commitment issues or a fear of commitment. And while a lot of people use these phrases casually, in reality, commitment (and the fear of it) can be quite complex.

However, with certain strategies, and being open about your fears, you can manage them.


Commitment Issues: What Are They?

Commitment is a broad term, but it generally comes down to dedicating yourself to something for a long time, whether that’s a job, a goal, a city, or a relationship.

While commitment is a broad term that encompasses one’s level of dedication to anything, the concept of commitment issues is most often associated with romantic relationships.

This typically refers to an inability to talk about the future or a lack of desire to take the next steps when a relationship begins to progress over time. Someone with commitment issues will often demonstrate a fear or unwillingness to commit to a long-term relationship.

Commitment issues may make it challenging to make the relationship go forward or last.

Do you think you or your partner may have a fear of commitment? Here are some things to watch for.

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Signs of Commitment Issues in Yourself

commitment issues

1. You don’t want to date seriously

Wanting to avoid serious relationships and just date casually doesn’t automatically mean you have commitment issues. But if you consistently feel the need to end things when relationships start moving past the casual stage, even though you like the person you’re seeing, you may have some unresolved commitment fears.

2. You don’t think about the future of the relationship

At some point in a relationship, most people start thinking about their compatibility with their partner in the long run. And, at this point, they usually end the relationship and move on if they can’t see a future.

However, some people don’t give the future any thought at all — and they don’t want to. If you are one of the people in the second set, you might have commitment issues.

3. You always question the relationship

Why Giphy

Maybe you do think about the future of your relationship. You have strong feelings for your partner, you feel connected and attached, you enjoy spending time together, etc.

But then, you can’t stop asking yourself things like:

  • “Am I ready for this?”
  • “Do they really love me?”
  • “Do I want this to work?”
  • “What happens next?”

It’s pretty normal to ask yourself questions like these from time to time, especially if you really care about someone and don’t want to lose them. But questioning the relationship constantly to the point where it interferes with both of you or causes emotional distress could be a sign of commitment fears.

4. You don’t want to make plans

Do you avoid making plans for a Friday night date until Friday morning? And even when you do, does thinking about the plans you’ve already made stress you out so much that you end up wanting to cancel them?

Not wanting to make plans sometimes suggests that you aren’t really interested in the person you’re dating, especially if you’re holding out for the possibility of better plans. But when you do like that person and enjoy their company but still feel anxious, the issue may be commitment.

5. You don’t feel emotionally attached

According to research, commitment is an effort to secure romantic attachment. Also, feelings of commitment can develop as a response to feelings of worry or fear over losing a partner.

This means that if you feel securely attached and really want the relationship to continue, you’re more likely to do the work required to make it last.

However, if you don’t feel any emotional attachment to your partner, you may not care or even think much about losing them. Sure, you have a great time together, but the thought of never seeing them again doesn’t really bother you. You’re perfectly content to keep doing your own thing.

Sometimes, not connecting emotionally just means the person you’re dating isn’t the best match for you. However, if you know you want a relationship and never feel emotionally invested in any of your partners, it could be commitment issues holding you back.

SEE: 7 Toxic Behaviors That Are Considered Normal

Signs of Commitment Issues in a Partner

So, maybe the problem isn’t you. You might be ready for a serious relationship, but your partner seems content with things staying the same. And then you might begin to wonder if they want the same things you do.

The following signs could suggest you’re dating someone who has some commitment issues:

1. They don’t seem invested in the relationship or you

This can show up in a lot of ways. They might know all of your friends but never introduce you to any of their own. They could also tell great stories but seem less interested in talking about their emotions or daily lives (or yours).

You might also notice a lack of interest in making any plans that aren’t in the immediate future.

2. They don’t want to talk about the future of the relationship

If you’ve been seeing someone you like for several months, you might start thinking about the possibility of a relationship developing. After all, you’re compatible, and you enjoy each other’s company, so why not date more seriously?

However, a partner with commitment issues may have a hard time having this conversation. They might change the subject or give vague replies when you ask how they feel.

3. They have a hard time opening up

Emotional vulnerability typically helps people become closer.

In solid relationships, partners usually learn about each other in pretty equal amounts as time passes. But someone with commitment issues may not readily open up, even after months go by. Your conversations may remain casual and lighthearted, never becoming more intimate or touching on any deeper feelings or experiences.

Difficulty becoming vulnerable might mean your partner just needs time. But it could also relate to commitment fears.

4. Their future plans don’t involve you

Some people who avoid commitment in romantic relationships have a hard time making commitments in other areas of life. They might dislike the idea of feeling trapped or tied down to any one future or outcome. But this isn’t always the case.

It’s easy to feel hurt if someone you’re dating talks about a future that doesn’t seem to include you, especially if things seem to be getting more serious from your perspective. It is possible that they just don’t want to assume you’ll continue dating. Or maybe they just haven’t given a long-term relationship much thought.

But these signs could also indicate that this partner isn’t ready to commit.

5. They don’t reply to your messages, calls, or texts for days

If you’ve been dating someone for a while, you might start to notice a pattern in their responses. They might go silent after 8 p.m. when unwinding before bed or not reply to you at all during their working hours.

In general, it’s pretty reasonable to expect a partner to reply within a day most of the time, unless you know they won’t be available for some reason. However, if you consistently don’t get replies, especially when you’re trying to make plans, or if you get half-answers that don’t fully answer your question, you might want to bring this up in person.

It’s possible your partner just doesn’t love texting. But this can also suggest emotional unavailability.

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How To Overcome Commitment Issues

How to overcome commitment issues

1. Individual therapy

Therapy is a great place to start examining the possible reasons why commitment might pose a challenge for you. These reasons could be grounded in past relationships, childhood experiences, or your personal attachment style.

Intimacy and commitment aren’t the same, but they often relate to each other. People who have trouble with one might also have a hard time with the other.

It can help to talk to a therapist if any of the above signs resonate with you or your partner. They can help both of you address commitment fears in an empathetic, judgment-free way.

Couples therapy works well when you and your partner share similar goals for the relationship. But even if one of you wants something else or if one or both of you aren’t sure exactly what you want, couples therapy can help you explore this, too.

2. Look for a partner who respects your needs

Dating someone who fits your criteria and your needs as a person can be beneficial when it comes to dealing with commitment issues.

This can depend on what exactly you need from a partner, of course. But someone who leads a busy lifestyle might be a good fit if you know you need a lot of space and alone time. It can also help to date someone who won’t press you to commit right away if you know you need time to feel secure in a relationship.

3. Talk about it

Sometimes, just putting a name to your fear can help you feel better about it. If you care about your partner but know that you have commitment issues with them, try talking with them.

Let them know how you feel about them and the relationship, and try to tell them precisely what it is you’re afraid of, if possible.

4. Practice Commitment

If you and your partner both want your relationship to succeed but one or both of you have commitment fears, it can help to develop committed habits together.

SEE: Social Media And Relationships: 7 Reasons Why It Is Like Mixing Oil And Water

Bottom Line On Commitment Issues

The internet is full of compatibility quizzes, lists of relationship red flags, and so on. These can be fun, and they might even help you notice some things about yourself or your relationship.

However, remember that your unique situation is just that: unique. These lists (including this one) can’t identify or take into account everything going on in your relationship.

Also, keep in mind that commitment isn’t the same as love. It’s entirely possible to love your romantic partner and still have commitment issues.

Regardless of all that’s been said, it is hard to know if these are really signs of commitment issues unless you and your partner talk. If you’re concerned about your or your partner’s commitment, an open, honest conversation is a good first step.

Jimmy Anisulowo
Jimmy Anisulowo
A couple of unexpected turns in life found Jimmy with a metaphorical pen in hand, churning out content and living in his head so much that he knighted himself the Pen Dragon. He is also an avid reader, gamer, drummer, full-blown metalhead, and all-round fun gi