How to Get Over a Fear of Commitment

For many guys it seems like a ‘fear of commitment’ is almost considered to be something ‘cool’ and that it’s not trendy to be willing to commit to people or things. People who are afraid of committing will often say things like ‘this wild horse can’t be tamed’ and ‘I’m a free spirit’, when in fact what they are more like is just plain old chickens.

The fact of the matter is that at some point you have to commit to something, and if you don’t then you will never be able to give yourself fully to a relationship or career and you will never accomplish anything more meaningful as a result. When we don’t commit to something we are holding back, which means we’re not firing on all cylinders and this just makes us look wet and indecisive to everyone else.

Which isn’t to say that being afraid of commitment isn’t a legitimate concern – it very much is and in fact some apprehension is very healthy when you’re making huge life decisions – it’s just that you need to recognize this as a problem and as something that needs to be changed. It’s also worth noting that a fear of commitment isn’t just something that can affect your relationships – it can also prevent you from progressing far down a particular career path and prevent you from even making basic life decisions sometimes. Here then we will look at how to overcome a fear of commitment and to have the strength of your convictions and be a richer and more confident character as a result.

Don’t Try to Predict the Future

While it’s not the best attitude in the world, it’s important to realise that no commitment you make is a binding contract and there is always a way out. If you propose to your partner then of course that’s a huge commitment and something you should take absolutely seriously. However it’s also a sad reality that sometimes people change and circumstances change and if things go wrong there is the option of divorce.

The point is that when you make commitments you can only vouch for your current situation and current state. Don’t second guess the future because that’s impossible – instead just go with your gut feelings as they are now and be honest with yourself. That’s all anyone can ask of you.

Realise You Don’t Need to Give Away One Thing to Get Something New

When it comes to commitment in relationships, one of the biggest fears that many of us have is that we’ll lose our freedom as a result and end up living boring lives. It’s true of course that that does happen to some people – but only because they let it. The point is that it is perfectly possible to raise a family and have a very exciting lifestyle, you just know how to juggle them both; just look at Richard Branson – billionaire, playboy, business man, adventurer… family man. Make plans and be smart so that you don’t have to compromise too much.

Accept Change as Positive

Another reason people are often unwilling to commit is that it stems from a simple fear of change. Some of us just like our creature comforts and don’t want to commit to a mortgage because it means moving out of our current property/mum’s home. At the end of the day though, staying in the exact same situation your entire life is not an option and wouldn’t be a very fulfilling lifestyle if it was. Change brings personal growth, it brings adventure and it shows you more of the tapestry of life. If you don’t like the new status quo? Then you just change again.

Build Your Confidence

If you still are struggling to let go and to move forward with your life then it might be that what you’re actually afraid of isn’t the commitment or the change, but the chance that you might fail. When you commit yourself to something you of course expose yourself and of course there’s a chance things might not go to plan – your partner might refuse your proposal, or you may never progress as far in your chosen career as you hoped to. If it comes down to that then you need to look at why it is that you have these reservations and consider seeing a therapist or doing some self-analysis in order to improve your confidence and develop the self-esteem you need to put yourself out there.

Go Incremental

If you aren’t ready to take ‘the plunge’ as it were then you can always compromise and make an incremental change instead which can get you more ‘warmed up’ to the idea of change. For instance if you can’t propose just yet, then why not offer an eternity ring to make your intentions known? And if you can’t quite move out of home yet, why not just start spending more time away so that you get the feel for it.

Cognitive Simulation

Alternatively you can always just do a thought experiment in order to ascertain what the commitment would really mean. Imagine in your mind’s eye what would happen if you were to move in with your partner or take that job and run through every scenario in your mind. This prepares you for the change and it shows you that it’s probably not as scary as you at first thought.

Talk to People

If you are still struggling with your decisions then talking to people can often help you to come to some conclusions. In these cases there are several people you should consider talking to – for one you should speak with the other people you know who have made the commitment you’re going to make and this could mean asking your parents how they came to the decision to move in together etc., and then on top of this you should also speak with someone connected to the decision.

In other words if you’re thinking of proposing but are too scared then discuss that with your partner. If you are thinking of taking a job but feel it’s a big step, then discuss your concerns with your employer. The worst that could happen here is that they get offended and retract their offer, but in that case the decision has just been made for you (and if you don’t tell them then your hesitation and reticence will only push them away). More likely though they’ll sympathise with your problem and will help you to come up with a solution/find ways to put your mind at ease.

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Adam Sinicki

Adam Sinicki is a full time writer who spends most of his time in the coffee shops of London. Adam has a BSc in psychology and is an amateur bodybuilder with a couple of competition wins to his name. His other interests are self improvement, general health, transhumanism and brain training. As well as writing for websites and magazines, he also runs his own sites and has published several books and apps on these topics.

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