Commitment Issues: Why Some People Have Them

I’m sure at one point in time, you have heard the term “I have commitment issues.” Whether it was in a movie, book, or real life.

Sometimes it’s said for laughs, while others use it to excuse their behavior when they get in trouble. Just because you’ve heard, it does not have to mean you know what it means.

Today, I will go over commitment issues and how that term can affect your relationships and life.

What Are Commitment Issues?

To start with, let’s go over the very basics. What exactly are commitment issues?

Commitment is a dedication to a cause, activity, or person. That means being dedicated to the person you are within a relationship with.

Mental health professionals say that commitment issues can also be explained as commitment phobia, relationship anxiety, and fear of commitment.

And it can happen to anyone, whether they are already in a relationship or are single and dating.

What Are Signs Of Commitment Issues?

A few consistent signs are linked back to having commitment issues.

Some include:

  • Flaky, inconsistent behavior
  • Delayed responses with texts and Calling
  • Avoidance making plans as a couple
  • Lack of emotions and emotional attachment
  • Nitpicky about the small things
  • Short-lived relationships
  • Avoidance talking about the future together

Sometimes they can show resistance to things like labels and couples therapy.

These can happen with one or both partners, in a long-term relationship, or just starting dating.

Commitment Issues And Romantic Relationships

It can be exciting and fun at the beginning of any romantic relationship. But if someone fears commitment, they can use this as an excuse to not communicate with their romantic partner.

While the partner may have gotten the idea that the relationship is singular and going somewhere in the future, the partner with the commitment issues may not feel that way.

It can make it hard to connect and keep romantic relationships that can be moved into long-term relationships.

Commitment Issues and Long Term Relationships

It can seem impossible even to make it to serious relationships when there are constant commitment issues. Most of the time, the whole point of a relationship is to become a committed relationship.

If the fear of commitment continues, there is very little chance any romantic relationship will turn into a healthy relationship.

What Causes A Person To Have Commitment Issues?

Now that you have seen how commitment issues can affect different aspects of your and your partner’s life, you probably want to know what can cause a person to have commitment issues.

A few different things can cause someone to have commitment issues.

Family Dynamics From Childhood

Sometimes family values or lack thereof can affect us up into adulthood. Having to unlearn traits you had in childhood can lead to a fear of commitment.

Childhood attachment and needs

When we are young, we believe our caregivers are there to well, care for us. Sometimes we don’t get the love, safety, and care we need.

This can translate into a commitment phobia as we age.

Trauma/Abuse as a Child

Unresolved trauma can stay hidden for a long time, only to show up when you are at your most vulnerable. Sometimes a constant or new trigger can affect a relationship success.

Trust Broken From Past Relationships

Just as our past childhood can affect how we can have commitment issues, a past relationship as an adult can also come into play. It can happen to anyone.

Maybe someone close to you broke your trust, making you second guess every interaction with them. Sometimes we even end up projecting that broken trust onto other people.


Fear causes a lot of people to stand still and do nothing. They could fear that they are not with the ‘right’ person, fear that their relationship is toxic, and fear that the person could end the relationship with no warning or reason.

In their mind, it is better to ‘beat them to the punch’ and be the person who causes the fear instead.

Can You Have Healthy Relationships?

Yes, you can!

Like with any mental health issue, it will take a lot of work to understand who you are and how you need help.

Couples therapy is something that can be looked into.

What Do You Do If You Have Commitment Issues?

How do you fix commitment issues? Anyone can start overcoming commitment issues, sometimes by yourself, if you research enough, and sometimes you need help from an outside source.

There are a lot of resources that are just for someone with commitment issues. Communication through couples therapy and everyone being on the same page helps.

Understanding and realizing you need help and want to change is another thing to help.

My Final Thoughts

Commitment issues are seen as a mental health issue. If left untreated, overcoming commitment issues can lead to not having healthy relationships. Fear of commitment and fear of not keeping someone in your life can cause anxiety.

If you or someone you know wants to seek treatment, be supportive and help them as they work to overcome their commitment issues.

I hope you will continue learning and growing into a better version of yourself every day.

Remember to love yourself and others around you.

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