Skip to content

Commitment Phobia: 4 Things That Drive This Fear

Commitment Phobia Things That Drive This Fear

You must have encountered many people with commitment phobia. But have you ever thought about what makes them commitment-phobic? 

Recently I was asked why it is that some people never enter into a mature, thoroughly committed relationship?

Although there are many possible reasons for this fear, most of the time it boils down to one of the following.

ONE: Peter Pan Is Alive and Well

This is more common in men than in women. The person simply does not wish to grow up. Being an adult requires that you place your needs (at least much of the time) second to those of others. Particularly those with whom you have a commitment.

Moreover, a committed relationship has obligations attached to it, and this means one must be accountable to someone else.

Commitment Phobia

TWO: Ghosts From the Past

Another very common theme seen in both men and women. Those who grew up in homes where the parents had a horrible relationship are more likely to be afraid of commitment than those raised by parents who had a reasonably happy relationship.

This is particularly true if there were no alternative role models (e.g., happily married grandparents, or close friends whose parents were happily married).

Commitment Phobia

Read 50 Questions To Ask Yourself To Know Your Deepest Insecurities

THREE: Greener Pastures Await

Although seen in both men and women, it is somewhat more with men. There is always the prospect that another partner will more fully satisfy one’s desires and longings. People who perpetually struggle with the Greener Pastures fallacy have failed to accept that no one will be a perfect match. Anyone with whom they develop a relationship will have strengths and weaknesses.

The Greener Pasture aficionado fails to see that it is not a matter of finding a soul mate who is without flaws. It is all about finding a soul mate with the qualities you cannot live without, and the flaws that you can tolerate (and keep in mind, your soul mate will need to live with your flaws as well, so let’s not put on airs).

finding a soul amte

FOUR: No Dice, Home Slice

These individuals are simply terrified of rejection and failure. They have no problem being in a relationship as long as it does not involve meaningful commitment. When the “we” of a relationship starts to be more important than the “me” of the relationship, these folks head for the hills.

Asking for a deeper commitment from a “failure phobic” man or woman is similar to asking Superman to take a bite of a kryptonite appetizer. They shake with fear like the lead singer in a rumba band and quickly make towards the exit.

failure phobic

Men and women who are terrified of rejection/failure in relationships believe that were they to make a commitment and it did not work out, they would be crushed. Devastated beyond repair. Their solution to this fear? Play it safe, don’t risk too much, don’t take that big step into commitment.

Read The Deepest, Darkest Secrets Of Each Zodiac Sign Revealed

Very sad. At the end of life, no one looks back and says “I’m so glad I played it safe. My life has been so rich and full because I always played it safe and never risked my heart.”

So those are the four main obstacles to the commitment that I’ve noticed. But people can change, and no one is destined to remain stymied by these obstacles. It’s a matter of having the courage to try something new.

If you want to read more blogs by Forrest Talley, then visit his website, Forrest Talley.


Written By Forrest Talley
Originally Appeared In Forrest Talley
Republished with permission

Suffering from commitment phobia can be a mentally exhausting thing to experience, but knowing what is driving this fear can help alleviate it. So, if you are someone who is scared of commitment, then don’t be. Loving someone and being in a healthy relationship is one of the best things life has to offer. Try to move on from this fear and embrace happiness in your life.


Forces Behind Commitment Phobia pin
4 Driving Forces Behind Commitment Phobia
Commitment Phobia: 4 Things That Drive This Fear

Forrest Talley Ph.D.

Forrest Talley, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Folsom California. Prior to opening this practice, he spent 21 years working at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center. During that time he supervised MFT and SW interns, psychology interns, and medical residents. In addition, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UCDMC. He worked in several capacities at the UCDMC CAARE Center. These include Co-Training Director of the APA approved psychology internship program, the Individual and Group Therapy Manager, primary supervisor for interns and staff, and the main supplier of bagels/cream cheese for all souls at the UCDMC CAARE Center.View Author posts

1 thought on “Commitment Phobia: 4 Things That Drive This Fear”

  1. Avatar of Dana Warr

    Reading this article I realized just how rare my marriage is. You look out into the world and see that most people are afraid of a committed relationship, because they’ve never seen or been a part of one. That’s how I was. I met my husband and his parents were still married. He was 27 at the time, he has a older and younger sister, so his parents had been together a while. My husband had never had a serious relationship before me. Not because he wasn’t ready for commitment, but because he was looking for commitment and everyone before me that he met wasn’t. At least not with him. But we clicked. As different as our personalities are , we worked.

    When we got married almost 8 years ago, I still wasn’t sure I wanted to be married, it was weird. I knew deep down inside that I wanted to be with someone who loved me, I wanted to love someone, but there was still that part of me that didn’t believe marriage was for real for real ya know. But we’ve grown together and we’re still growing and this article touched home and still was yet unknown grounds for me personally.

    I was more of that Peter Pan is still alive one in the beginning of our relationship and marriage.

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Successful Women Dating: What Is It Like Dating A Successful Woman: Some Myths and Realities

Successful Women Dating

There's this perception that men tend to have a hard time dating and being in a relationship with successful women. What is the real truth about this? Do successful women dating issues a myth or reality?

Do Smart Men Really Marry Down?

About 14 years ago, the psyches of successful single women were singed with worry when journalist John Schwartz wrote a New York Times article titled “Glass Ceiling at Altar as Well as Bedroom.” He claimed that “men would rather marry their secretaries than their bosses.”

The following year, Maureen Dowd followed with another Times column (and a book, Are Men Necessary?), agreeing with Schwartz. The authors’ clear thesis: Men prefer to marry down. Since then the media have continued with this narrative lending credence to the succ

Up Next

5 Things To Do When Your Ex Reaches Out To You

Things When Ex Reaches Out To You

When your ex reaches out to you out of the blue, it may be a confusing and unpleasant experience. Here are some of the things you can do to deal with them.

I know that it can feel really good when your ex reaches out. I mean, they left you behind and here they are, wanting to be in contact again.

But, I can tell you that, when your ex reaches out, there are so many opportunities for things to go bad, even if it feels great at first.

Perhaps they beg for you back, only to leave you. Perhaps you have sex with them, only to have them disappear again. Perhaps they make you promises that they don’t keep, just like last time.

And you are left, right back where you started: broken hearted!

Up Next

When Relationship Becomes Business: 5 Signs Of A Transactional Relationship

Signs Transactional Relationship

Are you in a transactional relationship? Transactional love is a form of romantic interest that results in a relationship of convenience. It can be considered like a business transaction where the focus is not on strengthening emotional connection, but on what one has to give and can receive from their partner. 

Let’s explore the meaning of transactional relationship to see if you are in one.

What is transactional relationship? 

To be honest, a transactional relationship sounds more like a business deal than a real relationship. It can be considered as a “business transaction” where two people enter a romantic relationship where one partner offers certain services or “gifts” and the other partner provides services in return. The

Up Next

Cold Hands And Warm Hearts: 30+ Winter Date Ideas To Heat Up Your Relationship

Winter Date Ideas

Looking for some cutesy winter date ideas that will make you and your boo feel warm and cozy? Look no further, we’ve got you covered.

Dating in summer is simple and easy. You can go for a movie, or a concert, or even for a walk on the beach. But when winter sets in, the choices become slimmer and you need to put on your thinking cap to find the perfect date idea… week after week. To make things worse, you need to add variety to your winter date ideas to keep things spicy. After all, how many times are you going to stay indoors and watch Netflix? 

Dating is crucial for our

Up Next

4 Revealing Signs Your Relationship Is Ending

Revealing Signs Your Relationship Is Ending

Knowing the prominent signs your relationship is ending can help you manage things at the right time so that you can give your marriage another chance and potentially work things out.

All married couples experience difficulties, but for some, these troubles reach a point where partners become profoundly unhappy in their marriages. This can create a destructive downward spiral where the relationship focus stays on the negative.

Despite how hopeless you feel, learning to be aware of certain risk factors can be a step in the right direction. Once that happens, you can see what needs to change and be deliberate about doing things differently.

According to John Gottman, Ph.D., a leading expert on predicting divorce, there are four signs that indicate serious problems in a marriage.