Why the ‘C’ word scares the hell out of people

Published: May 5, 2017

Stop thinking that being single or not committing to someone is cool.

Does the word ‘commitment’ freak you out? Perhaps it conjures up images of lifetime imprisonment without the option of parole. Maybe it sounds like a rabbit in a trap, enslaved to a woman with her fancies and whims forever, or maybe it sounds like a deer caught in the headlights of a car?

Obviously, you are scared of the ‘C’ word or possess an irrational fear for it. In short, you are commitment-phobic.

What is commitment-phobia?

Coined in 1987 in the renowned self-help book Men Who Can’t Love, commitment-phobia is a flash of fright that restrains a person from progressing to the next step of a relationship or committing in a relationship. It is one of the most universal phobias which harm the typical love life of a couple.

In essence, it is the concern of long-term affairs that, in a flip, cause the evasion of eternal relationships and even marriage. Not long ago, as compared to women, men were, by and large, considered to be commitment-phobic people. However, studies and research have now confirmed that commitment-phobia is not gender-specific and is equally common in both males and females.

Astonishingly, the irony here is that those affected by commitment-phobia scurry off at the sight of the very things they are frightened of – intimate attachment and long-term love. It is mostly the concern of making poor choices besides the worry of losing one’s own identity which results in commitment-phoebes acting unpredictably.

They, therefore, walk out on their established relationships and hurt their spouses.

A matter of concern

Responsibility, assurance and promise are the three vital traits that are connected to the term commitment.

A healthy relationship always demands unconditional love, constant care and nurture from both lovers. However, with relationships losing their meaning and value, commitment issues are on the rise in this modern age and are real deal breakers for healthy relationships.

Panic due to commitment arises from people usually thinking that by promising their partner long-term commitment, they are going to lose their freedom and perhaps even their own space. They believe that their life will begin to be ruled by their partners.

The idea of spending an entire lifetime with one person scares the hell out of them. On the other hand, some individuals have genuine commitment issues from having dated wrong or bad people in the past. Some might have even been cheated on by a spouse.

However, being commitment-phobic will not only ruin your love life but also have a disastrous effect on your personal life. If you have started noticing that your fears of commitment have turned into a phobia that costs your happiness, there are ways to overcome them.

Change your attitude

Stop thinking that being single or not committing to someone is cool. Being committed doesn’t imply that you are trapped or emasculated; it means that you are blessed with a woman/man who loves you immensely and respects you for who you are.

It’s always better to wake up every day to the same partner, knowing she/he loves you rather than having a different date every night – which is misleading and even irksome.

Change your mind-set

Neither is every girl a cheater nor is she a gold digger. Look for a girl who is perfect for you and for a healthy relationship. Take your time. Get to know her better and who knows you’ll end up committing to her, leaving behind all your fears.

Talk openly

Talk openly with your partner about how you feel about dealing with relationship problems. Never hurt your partner by damaging your relationship with evil tactics or by bailing out on him/her. You may forget about the relationship or her, but she won’t be able to forget you for the rest of her life. When breaking up with a girl, at least give her a thoughtful justification as to why you are ending things.

Take risks

Last but not the least, get out of your comfort zone, release your fears and give your life a deeper meaning. Overcome all your suspicions and finally, don’t be a commitment-phoebe.

Treasure your relationship and give it the time it requires. You never know when your lack of commitment can actually cause a lack of happiness in your otherwise lovely relationship.

This post originally appeared here.

Deepti Verma

Deepti Verma

The author is co-founder of NationalViews.com - an online portal for articulating opinions, views that needs national as well as global attention. She tweets @universal_rover

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.