Quiz: Are You Afraid of Commitment?

Note: This is first of a three-part series.

Dear Neil:  I am a 43-year-old educated, attractive and professional woman who has never been married.  I have left most of the men I have been involved with through the years.  Is there a way to tell if I am afraid of commitment?

Anxious In Portland

Dear Anxious:  Try answering the following questions honestly, using the scale seldom, sometimes or often:

  1. I’m afraid that no one will want me because I’m not perfect enough
  2. I’m afraid that any partner I choose won’t be perfect enough
  3. I’m afraid people will judge me by the partner I choose
  4. I’m afraid of losing the freedom to do what I want, when I want
  5. I’m afraid of losing my sexual freedom
  6. I’m afraid of being bored
  7. I’m afraid I’ll change my mind and therefore feel stuck
  8. I’m afraid I’ll end up feeling limited and constrained by the compromises and obligations of commitment
  9. I’m afraid of losing my individuality and my sense of self
  10. I’m afraid of being controlled
  11. I’m afraid of losing control
  12. I’m afraid that I won’t have that magic feeling—and won’t end up with the mate that fate had intended for me
  13. I’m afraid of growing older
  14. I’m afraid that my life will narrow and I’ll die without ever having lived—or  having done everything I want to do
  15. I’m afraid that I’ll love so much that something awful will happen to me
  16. I’m afraid that all the things I’m ashamed of will be found out by the person I care about, and s/he will therefore reject me
  17. I’m afraid of being dependent on someone else
  18. I’m afraid of having someone dependent on me
  19. I’m afraid of making another romantic mistake
  20. I’m afraid I’ll make my life more complicated and create more problems for myself
  21. I’m afraid I’ll be giving up the life I enjoy just the way it is
  22. I’m afraid of sharing my money
  23. I’m afraid that the circumstances of my life are such that there is no room for another person
  24. I’m afraid of the responsibilities that come with marriage and commitment

Scoring: 0 points for seldom, 1 for sometimes, and 2 for often. Although this is not scientific, the rule of thumb I would recommend you use is that if you have a score of 10 or more, you have problems with commitment. The higher the total, the more likely it is that you are afraid of commitment.

I will explain fear of commitment in next week’s column.

Source: He’s Scared, She’s Scared by Stephen Carter and Julia Sokol

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