Making a Commitment Isn’t Easy but it is Rewarding

Note: This is the second of a two-part series.

Here are more ideas on how you can overcome the fear of commitment:

  • Know yourself and recognize the pattern about how you behave in relationships. Know whether you actively run from commitment, or if you choose unavailable or inappropriate partners.  Know the point in any relationship at which you are most likely to panic and run.  Know the ways in which you scare yourself by moving forward in a relationship too quickly.  Know the ways you set up expectations that will ultimately make you want to run away.  Know the ways in which you distance your partner by constructing boundaries.  Know the ways in which you fail to construct reasonable boundaries.  Know the ways in which your inability to commit is acted out in the non-romantic areas of your life.
  • Give up the notion of temporary. Some people only make commitments when they perceive their choices as being temporary.  That’s how many of us end up with closets, cupboards and garages overflowing with stuff that we don’t really want.  Instead of purchasing the one sweater we love, we end up buying three that probably cost just as much, telling ourselves that the “temporary” ones that will do until we can afford what we really want.  When you have commitment conflicts, this kind of logic can extend into everything you do.  Instead of making firm commitments that you absolutely know you plan to keep, your schedule is filled with plans that you’ve agreed to—but that you tell yourself you can always get out of.
  • Stop falling in love with potential. Be especially aware of a tendency to commit to situations that could be perfect, someday, if only…
  • Give up the myth of the perfect person or the perfect relationship. Instead of trying to find the perfect relationship, work at making your relationship the best it can be.
  • Stay away from unavailable partners and unsatisfying relationships. Getting involved with the wrong partner is the single most effective way of avoiding commitment.   The best clue to recognizing an unavailable partner:  s/he is always a little bit out of reach.  Often will make a point of saying he has problems with “love,” “commitment” or “trust.”  She may talk about needing space or wanting to keep things spontaneous and unpressured.  He may explain that he hates expectations.  She may warn you not to fall in love.  He may hint that you may never be “the one.”
  • Face your control issues. Commitment means compromise.  That means learning how to live with and make equal decisions with another person.  So try to understand the ways in which you attempt to control your relationships, and the issues and fears you have about being controlled.

Always keeping your options open can be monumentally unfair to people who are counting on you.  Not only does it keep others from getting on with their lives, it keeps you from getting on with your own.

Source:  He’s Scared, She’s Scared by Carter and Sokol (M. J. F. Books)

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