Commitment issues rear up in unexpected forms. If you're not aware of the signs you have commitment issues, you probably won't even see that you're exhibiting them. Whether or not you know that you have insecurities about commitment, they will be felt within your relationship. You might want very badly to be with the other person, but your subconscious issues cause you to place distance in the relationship or push the other person away.
There are a lot of reasons why somebody might fear commitment. One reason is that the relationships a person had in their past may have impacted the ways they formed bonds down the line. If somebody committed to another person who didn't respect them, who practiced avoidant relationship tactics, or who violated their trust, then the hurt caused by that previous relationship might inform the way that person approaches relationships now. They might subconsciously sabotage themselves so as to put off a commitment they want very badly to make, or they might eschew commitment all together, as a way to maintain feelings of safety and control.
Regardless of what place the fear of commitment is manifesting from, there are concrete signs that can help you identify what's going on internally, according to relationship experts.
1. You Feel Like You're In Transit
According to relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter, when you feel like you are between life situations, you don't want to begin a relationship. It might feel intimidatingly messy —the details beyond manageable. The thought of a breakup might fill you with dread.
"Timing is at play here, as well as the disposition of your partner," Winter tells Elite Daily. Are you open to finding love when it arrives, or do you impose strict rules on yourself when you know you are about to leave town?
"A true commitment-phobe may begin an affair under these ideal conditions," says Winter. After it's been clearly established that you are leaving town (or they are), a commitment-phobe may continue to sleep with the person, while remaining closed off to the idea of a long-distance relationship.
2. You Experience Discomfort With "Labels"
According to Winter, if you are afraid of commitment, you might not like being called "girlfriend" or "boyfriend," and you may even balk at the idea of deeming someone a "partner." You will also probably back up your reasons for rejecting said labels with well-thought out arguments that reinforce your worldview.
"[Commitment-phobes] will say they don't do labels, labels are confining, or what you both have is beyond terminology," says Winter. "Bottom line: They don't want the responsibility."
3. Making Plans Seems Daunting
According to therapist Nicole Richardson, you might be afraid of commitment and still think that the other person is great. But when it comes to seeing them on a regular basis, you shirk at the thought of having to set firm plans.
"[You might] find yourself not wanting to make plans in case something else presents itself as an opportunity," Richardson tells Elite Daily. "You forget to call or text them back."
If something always seems to be getting in the way of seeing someone again, you might be secretly sabotaging yourself.
4. Your Relationships Never Make It Past A Certain Point
Winter says that it's pretty common to "date a number of people before we find the best fit in a partner." But those who fear commitment might find themselves continuously cycling through their dates while experiencing an ongoing turnover.
"This is to alleviate the possibility of one person digging in their nails and getting too close," says Winter.
If you find a reason to break it off before somebody can actually get to know the real you, then it might be because you fear what it would mean for someone to see your true self. Find a way to let go of the fear, so that when you meet the right one, you are able to open your heart wide enough to let them in.
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