For many of us, we start relationships with others fairly easy, however, maintaining and building upon a relationship is not always easy.
Establishing a relationship comes naturally to many of us as most relationships start at birth, mother-child, father-child, sibling-sibling, etc. Relationships often come as naturally to us as breathing. However, for some people establishing, building, and committing to a relationship does not come as easy. In fact, establishing and committing to a relationship can present such a challenge to the individual, that he or she may have relationship anxiety, a fear of relationships, or suffer from “commitment phobia.” Commitment phobia is defined as a “fear of commitment” is the avoidance of long-term partnership or marriage.
Commitment phobia and or fear surrounding to a relationship is not a new concept at all. Many people that suffer from a fear of fully committing to a partner often do so because of unresolved abandonment issues, past trauma, prior abusive relationship, fear of exposing vulnerability, etc., making it difficult to completely trust and commit to another person. Commitment to a relationship is often related to the quality of the relationship. Partners that do not commit themselves fully to a relationship, but commit sporadically often do not receive the full benefits and rewards of being in the relationship.
Unfortunately, there are many people who cannot love and commit to a loving relationship with someone outside of their immediate family. These individuals can experience unrelenting love for children, parents, sibling, grandparents, etc., but will feel uneasy, conflicted, and vulnerable at the thought of freely giving themselves to someone else romantically. Commitment phobic people often have a desire to be in a committed romantic relationship, but are too scared to make a commitment.
Every time we open our hearts to someone, our home, or our life, we take the risk of being let down or hurt. However, if you do not open your hurt not only will you prevent your chances of being hurt but you also prevent your chances of being truly loved in a romantic relationship. When someone you love betrays you, devastation typically follows. Betrayal by someone we love cuts deeper and is more painful than being betrayed by someone that we do not love or have a romantic connection with. The healing process takes longer to attain and feelings about the betrayal are usually more conflicted and complicated.
The thought of someone else holding the keys to our heart or being responsible for holding the keys to the heart of someone else can feel overwhelming at times. The responsibility of meeting the needs of someone else can also prove too difficult as they often have trouble meeting their own personal needs.
32 Tips to look for Before Deciding to Commit to a Relationship:
- Does he or she bring out the best in me?
- Do I feel like I have to be someone other than myself when I am with him/her?
- Am I a priority in his/her life?
- Does he/she respect me?
- Is my partner trying to change me?
- Can I express my feeling freely around him/her?
- Do I feel secure when we’re together and when we’re not together?
- Do I like the way I feel when we are alone as well as when we are in the company of others?
- Do I like the way he/she treats me?
- Am I a priority in his/her life?
- Do we genuinely have fun together?
- Do I see a future with him/her?
- Do I like who I am when I’m with and without him/her?
- Do I feel free to pursue my dreams and passion?
- Do we challenge each other?
- Is he or she supportive and encouraging of what I would like to do with my life and career?
- Aside from being in a romantic relationship, are we friends?
- Does he/she motivate me to be a better version of myself?
- Are there any red flags that have not been discussed with my partner?
- Is he/she careful with my feelings?
- Does he/she treat others well?
- Does he or she include me in their life?
- Is he/she patient?
- Is he/she quick to anger?
- Can I live with his/her quirks?
- Can he/she live with my quirks?
- Is there passion in our relationship?
- Do we communicate well?
- Do we share the same or similar life goals?
- Do we share the same or similar values?
- Do we genuinely enjoy each other company?
- Are we looking for the same or similar things in a relationship?
Although, there is no specific answers or reasons as to when a relationship qualifies as a committed relationship, the above tips can be helpful with determining if a committed relationship if for you. The fear of commitment can be overwhelming but not insurmountable.
One of the first steps involved with committing yourself to a relationship is to allow yourself to be open to change and open to experiencing love. Unfortunately, sometimes opening yourself up for love also creates an opening for pain. However, you must ask yourself: “Is this person, or this relationship worth it?” If you have determined the person you are seeing or the relationship you are in is worth it, then it would be beneficial to you to open yourself completely. Like most things in life, love and relationships are a gamble. Therefore, unless you play, there is no possibility of winning.