People suffering from commitment issues have a really hard time when a situation requires them to engage in a long-term relationship or job. Some tend to stigmatize these people and call them “toxic”, but that couldn’t be further from reality.
Commitment issues are a serious problem and knowing how to deal with them is crucial to get away from the anxiety and distress they cause you. However, to understand how to address those issues, you need to know how to notice them. Keep reading this article to learn everything you need to know about commitment issues signs and how to get over them.
What Are Commitment Issues?
As their name suggest, commitment issues are the anxiety generated from committing to a situation or event that could last a considerable amount of time or emotionally get to you. This is very common in romantic relationships but can be applied to friendships, jobs, trips, and anything that involves attaching to something for a long time.
These issues are not something that comes from nowhere. They tend to originate from people’s childhoods and the relationships they had back then. Yet, having commitment issues doesn’t mean not wanting to get into a relationship.
It can seem confusing, but most people with commitment issues want to get into a relationship. The problem is not that they don’t want to get attached to something, but that they literally can’t.
People suffering from commitment issues get a great deal of anxiety whenever they get into a situation that needs them to commit to something. That’s why, even if they do want to get into the relationship or project, the distress it causes them to be in it is overwhelming.
What Does Someone with Commitment Issues Think?
It’s very interesting to get inside the head of someone with commitment issues. That also helps you understand them and relate to their problem. As said before, people with commitment issues feel a lot of anxiety and distress when they need to commit to something, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to do it.
That’s the main problem about commitment issues, they make people feel unable to get into a relationship or long-term project. When that happens, the person afraid to commit starts to develop several doubts about the subject and insecurities that make everything more difficult.
These are some examples of commitment issues in different situations:
In a Romantic Matter:
This is the most common and popular situation that involves commitment issues. People afraid to commit to a romantic relationship can start feeling safe and confident when they start talking to their new partner. However, when there’s a sign of commitment from them the anxiety and distress strike in, and also do the insecurities and hesitations.
They may want to keep getting to know the person or even get into a relationship with them, but the feeling of being afraid is so overwhelming it makes them quit everything and even stop talking to the person. Unfortunately, the issues don’t finish there, since people suffering from that problem can feel sad and start thinking they can’t get into a relationship with anyone.
Yet, many things can concern you when you are getting into a relationship. Psychologists have analyzed the thoughts and beliefs of people suffering from commitment issues and enlisted three principal thought patterns and behaviors that can help you know which one you or your loved ones are experiencing. These are:
- Fearful Avoidant: People in this category experience fear of getting hurt by the other person or the relationship itself. That insecurity is not always towards themselves, but mainly about not trusting their partner. That makes them jealous of anything that could represent a threat to them or the relationship. Fearful avoidant people also overthink everything their partner does and says, which causes progressive anxiety.
- Dismissive Avoidant: Dismissive avoidant people see relationships as something that holds them back and makes them lose their independence. They fear depending on others since that can end up hurting them. That’s why they prefer to be by themselves than to feel vulnerable towards someone.
- Anxious Preoccupied: This expression of commitment issues makes the people suffering from it more scared about themselves. They think they are not enough for their partner or that they’ll be abandoned by them. That makes them fear getting into a relationship since they don’t want their partner to get bored of them.
There are other things related to commitment issues. A common one is a fear of missing better options (or FOBO). FOBO is a term used by experts to describe people scared to make a choice and then lose the opportunity to get a better option. That involves being afraid of not being as happy as you can with the person you are at the moment.
These thought patterns and behaviors can also apply to friendships and things of the sort, but not many people notice them or they simply decide to ignore them.
In a Professional Matter:
As mentioned before, you can also experience commitment issues in a professional environment. That’s because some projects may require you to commit to them for the long term. Those projects can be more rewarding at the end of the day, but they need you to invest a considerable amount of time on them, which can trigger commitment issues.
While experiencing commitment issues in a romantic or personal matter can jeopardize your mental health and self-esteem, doing it in your work environment directly affects the possibility of having a better job position or getting higher-paying jobs.
Similar to romantic commitment issues, people having trouble committing at work can overthink many things that lead them to not take the project or not doing it as well as they could. Some of the things that can disturb people when committing to a new job or project are:
- Fear of not being enough: Many people reject projects that can be highly profitable because they think they can’t do a job that is good enough to meet the boss’s expectations. That can make people more insecure about their work each day and produce a significant deal of anxiety and distress since they won’t think about any other thing but work.
- Fear of being judged: This can be related to the previous expression of professional commitment issues. That’s because the fear of being judged can be caused by thinking you are not a good fit for the project and that there are people that can do a better job than you. People experiencing commitment issues in this way prefer to reject the project than to deal with the anxiety of people disliking their work.
- Ambivalence: This can happen, too when talking about romantic commitment issues. Ambivalence is described as having mixed feelings towards something. That makes people indecisive when they have to make a decision. That could be caused by FOBO since it makes you think you’d be happier taking another project.
Those are the most popular situations when someone can experience commitment issues, but it also happens in other situations. Some examples of that are moving out, taking a long trip, and deciding what career to take when talking about young adults.
How to Notice If You or Another Person Has Commitment Issues
The first step in addressing an issue is noticing it and understanding it. While some people acknowledge they have commitment issues but don’t do anything about it, others simply don’t notice they have them and are unable to see the pattern in their romantic and professional relationships.
Some people have a hard time noticing their commitment issues because it’s not a popular term among most people. There are even some people that relate having commitment issues to being a “toxic” person, which couldn’t be further from reality.
Fortunately, some signs can tell you if you are experiencing commitment issues you need to address. However, they vary depending on the person and there are different ways of detecting them. You may notice if someone has commitment issues if they:
- Don’t have many long-term friends.
- Have trust issues.
- Become distant when someone talks to them about commitment.
- Avoid having conversations that could end up with them committing to something.
- Are difficult to reach.
- Are overly picky with things.
- Are attracted to unreachable or unavailable love interests.
- Don’t make plans in a long term or talk about what they’ll be doing in the long run.
However, each person reacts differently to things, so the best you can do is analyze carefully if they have one or more of these signs. The most noticeable sign of commitment issues is becoming distant and getting away when there are signs of commitment, especially when talking about romantic relationships.
When it comes to the work environment, you can see if someone has commitment issues by analyzing their workload. If they only accept short-term jobs that are easy to complete quickly, they could be experiencing work-related commitment issues. It’s also a significant sign of commitment issues if their boss or supervisor offers them long-term job positions that are more profitable than their current job, but they reject them.
You can notice if you are suffering from commitment issues if you:
- Feel uncomfortable talking about commitment in any area of your life.
- Have trouble trusting people whether it’s in friendly or romantic relationships.
- Have a constant fear of getting abandoned by your loved ones or people close to you regardless if they gave you signs of leaving or not.
- Feel extreme anxiety and distress when committing to something. That situation can be overwhelming enough to make you quit anything you are committing to.
How to Overcome Commitment Issues
It can seem that commitment issues are something you cannot solve, but there are many ways to address that problem. Commitment issues get bigger each day, which can jeopardize many aspects of your life and worsen the situation. Whether you are experiencing this issue or a relative or loved one is, you need all the help you can get to overcome the situation.
Yet, some things are fundamental to address that situation. Those things help you gain trust in yourself and in the people close to you, which consequently leads to losing the fear of committing to things. Here are some examples of it:
Avoid Stigmatizing People with Commitment Issues
Some people see commitment issues as something that “toxic” people have and treat them as bad persons when they are just suffering from a problem. If you know someone that has commitment issues and is seeking help, help them and make them know that you won’t judge them nor think that they are bad people.
If you are the one suffering from commitment issues, know that the ones that judge you for that matter won’t help you overcome the problem. Stick to the people close to you that care for you and want you to feel better with yourself and with your relationships.
Talk About Your Problem
Avoiding the problem doesn’t make it disappear, but the opposite. If you ignore you have abandonment issues, you are just allowing it to keep progressing and jeopardize your mental health. Talking about it means acknowledging you have the problem, which is taking the first step into solving the problem.
If you want to feel more comfortable committing to things, then the best way to do it is to practice your commitment. That doesn’t mean overcommitting to things overnight, though. You need to find a space where you can start doing small commitments on a mid-term, even if it makes you a little uncomfortable.
Go to Therapy
If you notice your commitment issues are getting worse and that they are starting to cause you more problems than before, then the best you can do is go to a therapist. Many therapists are used to dealing with commitment issues and know exactly what to do to solve the problem.
Going to therapy is also helpful since therapists can unravel what caused you the commitment issues in the first place. That helps you address other problems in your life and improve your well-being.