Archive for the ‘Commitment Fears’ Category
In my readings I come cross situations where a person gets involved with a person who at some point in that involvement that just cuts off. Not in way that where they are back in touch two weeks later, this is a cutting off as in total “off the radar”, permanent, no talk, no returning of text or calls, no reply to emails, being delete from facebook, a total and complete shutdown,shut off and exit from their life.
This often is without explanation or closure. They don’t give a reason as to why they have just decided they never want to talk to you again. As a result you are just left guessing and making wild stabs in the dark. This can be very confusing and conflicting for a person. They may well still holding very strong and intense feelings for that person that they are just left wondering what to do with them. Because the person has cut off hasn’t sat down and told them “um sorry to say that this is our last conversation we are ever going to have, after this I will never to speak to you again or reply to any of your communication , these are my reason why blah blah blah ,so don’t hold out for me or think anything else other than I am out of your life for good, good bye and good luck.
Now that would be a hell of punch in the emotional guts but in reality it would allow the person at a minimum to move on. They know to expect nothing and any attempt to get more than nothing would be meet with nothing as promised. As this type of blunt and forthright statements are rarely made to the person left .So most are left with two difficult questions.
1 Why did they do this?
2. Will they every be back in touch and if so when?
Although every person and situation is different there are common motivations as to why a person would do this. The first and most obvious is guilt, couple with being a coward .If someone has decided that they no longer want to continue, rather than dragging it out they find it easier to just cut off .They can rationalise this by thinking after a while the other person will get the message. Because they may have made some big emotional promise and possibly fuelled the very feelings they are cutting off from, there strong sense of guilt. Rather than facing the hurt and pain they are part responsible for ,it’s a lot easier to just run away and be a relationship coward .In my opinion there is also an other more unconscious motive for not giving reasons and no closure. It allows that person the possibility of re-appearing, if or when they want to. As they have not told the person to move on and let go, it becomes subtle way of leaving slight backdoor open to return.
It’s a theme that I discuss regularly on this blog but its theme that I deal with regularly in my readings, it’s the issue of acceptance. On one hand it’s a simple and straight forward principle to practice , on the other hand it seems to grate and push against our instincts and drives. When faced with a scenario where someone is not feeling the way we want them to feel, we have hard time just accepting that this is the way they feel. We link accepting this with giving up and defeat. We then get caught in polarity that either I am pushing and striving to make the relationship better, or I depressingly throw in the towel and walk away. Yet often we fail to see that our “pushing” and “wanting” for that person to be different, could be a contributing factor that keeps them in the place where we don’t want them to be.
Acceptance is not about defeat, acceptance is solely about acceptance .If a person say, is unwilling to commit, they say upfront that they don’t want too much involvement. Acceptance is just respecting that person’s right to feel that way . Acceptance is practicing not fighting and struggling to get what you want, by trying to change the way another person feels. It can be tough and quite confronting, as our mind if often scheming and plotting to somehow, in some way, get what it wants. This could be more love, more commitment, more time, more contact, less distance, more communication, the list goes on .As we hold an idea in our mind of how we want that person to be and subtlety are pushing them into that place .We think if only they could commit and feel they way I want them to feel then everything would be ok.
The tricky part with acceptance may have to face the fact that the person we want to be a certain way, just isn’t that way. That doesn’t mean we have to water down the things we are desserving of, rather we just fully accept that this person is unwilling or unable to give us what we want at this moment. Choosing to continue with that person is then our choice, a choice we make with a honest understanding of where they are and want their willing to give .If someone decides to continue , whilst just accepting other person commits fears, they then may struggle with the feeling like the other person is now just getting things their way. It may feel like the relationship is now just shaped around their preferences and inability to commit .Yet the reality is, if they are unwilling to give more and really do only want something on their terms, then acceptance takes us away from the hope of a more commitment in the future that allows us to avoid the present.
I think it’s safe to assume if you were to ask the average Joe on the street what they want in life one way or another you would get the answer “To be happy”. Even if it wasn’t directly that, such as I want fame , money and power as your questions probed further that person may assume that all these other thing will lead them to being happy. So it makes sense if this is what most of us wants to ask the question “What is it that prevents us from getting it?” What causes us the pain that prevents us from being happy?
Will getting what we want make us happy?
Through my own personal experience, as well as trying to help others, I see much of our pain and suffering come from us all the time wanting to change things we have very little control over. This applies not just with people and circumstance but with ourselves. You might be startled to note how many times through the course of a day you find yourself fighting “something” or “someone” in our minds .From the minor like “He should have indicated when pulled out in front of my car” or “The waiter should have at least apologised when they brought out my lunch order forty minutes late” or, to the major ones of “I want my partner to more affectionate” ,”It’s unfair I didn’nt get the promotion” “I hate myself or being this overweight” .We are constantly evaluating our life interactions in terms do they give us what we want or what we expect.A good dayis made up of successfully getting what we want, a bad day is usually consistent of events and outcomes that far removed from what we want. Yet within this mindset most of us possess, we often fail to truly examine two pertinent questions
1)Is getting what want really the source of lasting happiness?
2) Why is it we huff and puff over things we have little or no control of?
No fighting, just accepting…
An alternative to this fighting is the practice of acceptance or non-resistance. When you imagine non-resistance you could envision just passively just “accepting” whatever comes your way. Kind of being a spiritual doormat. Yet we you really take a look its more the art of understanding what is you can’t and can control and not exerting energy and effort in pointless directions. This takes great trust in life and the “way of the universe” as just accepting goes hand in hand with letting go of our minds coveted outcomes, we are manoeuvring towards all the time.
Commitment is a crucial part of a successful and fulfilling relationship. We all want to be needed and loved, we want to feel that we are special for the person that we care about. Most of us feel also happy to reciprocate, to give back love, attention and loyalty. As long as we find ourselves in a relationship with one of the people who embrace commitment, things are on the right track. On the other hand, there are people who are afraid to commit, prefer to keep themselves at a safe distance and who will make it very difficult to start a relationship with.
The tricky part is that we don’t choose who we fall in love with, and we might very well be in the situation of liking someone who has commitment phobias. Here are some of the tell-tale signs of a commitment phobic.
1. Realiably Unreliable: People who are unreliable about keeping appointment dates, who are always late or who change their plans in the last minute often do so because they are afraid to have a steady and serious relationship.
2. No hand holding…in public: The commitment phobic has difficulties showing affection in public. If they are reluctant to hold your hand, hug or kiss you in public, you might ask yourself if they really want to develop a serious relationship with you.
3.Looking for Barbie: HavingÂ unrealistic expectationsÂ is another of the signs of commitment phobia. People who have a distorted, unrealistic image of their â€œdream dateâ€ will never find such a person, thus they will not get hurt.
4.Affraid to make plans: While it is a good idea to live in the present and to enjoy life one day at a time, most people also feel the need to make future plans with the person that is important to them. People who are afraid of commitment will not be comfortable talking about the future.
5.Canâ€™t feel their feelings: People who hide or suppress their feelings will not be able to have a healthy relationship. Commitment phobics are afraid to open up, because this will make them vulnerable. They don’t talk about their emotions and feelings, nor do they acknowledge them. 6.Always moving: Change is a fact of life, but people who are not happy without constantly changing will have a difficult time keeping a steady relationship. They will change their job, their home, their friends and their love interest in the search for happiness. 7.I donâ€™t want commitment means â€œI donâ€™t want commitmentâ€ Finally, the most obvious but often overlooked sign: commitment phobics will often be very clear about the way they view their relationship. If they say that they don’t want to settle down, to get married and they want to date other people, don’t make the mistake to think that this attitude will change.
The Cure for Commitment Phobia Revealed!
The first flush of loveâ€¦. When we enter a new relationship we tend to wonder how serious the relationship will be. It is a normal human quality to project into the future with our private fantasies of what could be, even if we have only had one date! Then the dates progress, weeks and months pass, and we enter these weird stages when we know them enough to be sure we like them, but not enough to ask them about their feelings. It is also during this period the unspoken rules and boundaries of a relationship are established, as enough time has passed to see patterns and precedents being set up. Often it is now that we start becoming aware that the person we find ourselves really liking may not be giving to the relationship in the same way or with the same priority and importance that we do. This is when it can start to feel complicated. Itâ€™s a time when it starts to dawn on us that maybe this person is unable to commit.
John and Betty and the same old story… The other day, when I was out for coffee with friends, two friends shared their tales of commitment woe with me.
â€œMike is a fantastic guyâ€, said Betty. â€œHe is everything I ever dreamed of. We have such wonderful times together; itâ€™s just that our contact is so inconsistent. Some weeks we speak to each other daily and Iâ€™ll spend the whole weekend with him. Other weeks I donâ€™t hear from him at all; he doesnâ€™t even return my messages.â€ Then John piped in: â€œAfter my divorce I never thought that I would meet another woman that I could love. Then I found Carol and everything changed. I feel as if we are perfect together and I want us to take our relationship to the next level, but every time I mention anything along the lines of settling down, she seems to withdraw, quickly changes the subject or has a reason to leave the room. I donâ€™t understand it. We are so close in every other way, but this is a topic where she simply wonâ€™t let me in.â€
What I heard were two loving people unsure of what to do and how to move forward. I am sure that if you have dealt with a person who is afraid of commitment you will be able to relate.