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Are you commitment phobic?

Does the thought of investing your life in a serious relationship scare you? Kanchan Maslekar on how to overcome it.

sex and relationships Updated: Aug 22, 2013 13:39 IST
Kanchan Maslekar

Madhumita and Aryan are childhood sweethearts, in love with each other for years. The problem though is Madhumita refuses to commit.

Their friends fail to understand her problem. Some of them even tell Aryan to forget about her and get on with his life.

Aryan patiently explains his sweetheart's commitment phobia and knows she will get over it. "I know Madhumita loves me but is running away from a commitment," he says. Aryan realised the problem and spoke to a relationship counsellor.<b1>

Often considered to be a western concept, commitment phobia has made an appearance in India too, where couples date regularly but are afraid to commit to that final step.

Commitment phobia is when you are scared of investing your life in a serious relationship. Like Madhumita and Aryan she wants the relationship but is afraid of commitment. It's the fear of responsibility that will certainly follow a marriage that worries couples.

Different personalities
There are various reasons that discourage people from committing to a relationship. These reasons differ from person to person, depending on the personality, nature and circumstances.

Mellisa, is afraid to commit to Marc after two broken relationships. "I really want to be with Marc, but I am so afraid. I can't handle another broken relationship right now," she confesses. It's a defence mechanism for Mellisa who consoles herself that since she has not committed, she can't get hurt. <b2>

Past imperfect
It's the fear of losing - your heart, your confidence, or even your ability to trust - that prevents a person from committing, says Reena D, a family counsellor.

She says getting over the past and believing that it will work is the way forward. That's possible only after you have acknowledged that you have a problem committing. Be positive and give the relationship a try. By segregating the past from the future, you give the new relationship a fair chance to succeed.

Cause and effect
The most common reason, according to experts, is when you are not confident of the person.

Lina has been in a relationship with Anurag for the last year but is unsure about him. "If you keep wondering whether the person is the right one or not,then you will never commit wholeheartedly," says Reena.

Though Anurag has asked Lina to marry him, she refused. "It's a nagging doubt that instills fear, especially if you are in a low phase of the relationship and wonder if it's worth investing time and emotions in it, Lina says.

Another reason for the growing number of commitment phobes is unrealistic expectations. The ideal Mr or Miss Right is usually perfect with all good qualities rolled into this package deal. It's very difficult to find people in the actual world to match these unrealistic expectations, says Reena. Consciously, lower your expectations.

Childhood could also be a cause. A loss or trauma, possibly broken homes that discourages a healthy long term relationship. Losing love is the perennial fear.

Giving it a shot
It's simple to deal with it. Understand the problem exists. Reena advises dealing with each relationship individually without any emotional baggage of earlier rela tionships. "Communicate well. Don't go into a shell. You won't be able to handle a crisis or the relationship." Reena stresses that if the person or the relationship mean anything to you, its definitely worth a try so don't be afraid to give it a shot!