Fear of commitment or abandonment - Tips
Tips for coping with fear of commitment or abandonment
Would you like some tips and advice how to deal with fear of commitment / a commitment phobia? And how to deal with fear of abandoment.
This forum is a great place to:
- explore several tips.
- respond to tips / share your experience.
- share the tips that work for you.
What's your tip how to deal with fear of commitment / a commitment phobia? And how to deal with fear of abandonment?
Overview of tips
Tip 1 - Take it step by step
Stay present in situations where you feel a little bit fear of commitment. Take it step by step. You will see that your free space grows bigger.
Don't avoid situations where you feel the fear. That can only make the fear bigger. But experiment with small steps in situations where you feel a little fear.
Tip 2 - Give each other space - keep your own life as well
Give each other space - keep your own life as well
When you are in a relationship, this doesn't mean that you have to spend all your free time together. Don't become dependent on each other.
Keep your own life too. Keep your hobbies. Go out with friends (without your partner). This can even give an extra positive impulse to your relationship.
And so it's also good when your partner does the same, keeps his/ her hobbies and meets friends without you.
Like this, your autonomy can remain and you both bring new energy in your relationship.
Tip 3 - Don't talk too much about the future
Does your partner have fear of commitment? Then don't talk too much with him about a future together, about living together, getting married, have children, grow old together, stay together for the rest of your lives...
For somebody with fear of commitment this can create a lot of stress.
But also do not avoid the subject. Just moderately. You can take it step by step to slowly let the capacity of your partner grow.
Tip 4 - Communicate open and honest about your fear of commitment
Do you have a fear of commitment, be honest about it. Express it in words when you feel it, this will create space.
Does your partner have fear of commitment and does he express it when he feels it? Then respond by letting him know that it is all completely fine. The fear is allowed to be there.
Tip 5 - Honestly communicate about your needs and boundaries
Do you have fear of commitment, then communicate honest and clear about your needs and your boundaries.
Would you for example like to sleep alone at night, because you need space, express this honestly.
Are you a partner of somebody with fear of commitment, realize that by giving him or her space, the chances increase that the relationship will work out.
Tip 6 - You are free and autonomous
If you struggle with a fear of commitment, realize that you are free and autonomous.
Nothing last forever. You can choose for a relationship (or a date) at this moment, but that doesn't mean that you have to stay together forever.
You are always free to make another choice.
Tip 7 - Don't always run away from your fear
Do you suffer from fear of commitment? Don't always go on the run for it.
You have several options when it occurs:
- Stay with the fearful feeling and feel it
- Talk about it with your partner
- Distract yourself, go and do something else.
Feel free to do sometimes the one and sometimes the other. Like this you feel more freedom of choice and you will feel more space inside.
Tip 8 - Partner with a fear of commitment? Accept it
Does your partner have a fear of commitment? Then accept that your partner is someone with a fear of commitment. Partially it might always stay like that.
You can see it as a handicap of your partner that you will have to learn to live with if you want to stay with your partner.
When someone has a broken leg, you also don't blame him for not being able to run a marathon. So don't blame somebody who has fear of commitment that he feels easily suffocated and needs space.
Tip 9 - Don't claim your partner too much
Does your partner have fear of commitment? Don't claim him/her too much. Don't put all kinds of demands, but give him the feeling he is free and autonomous.
Tip 10 - Visualize what you want
Visualize what you want.
Visualize how you want to be in certain situations, how you want to think, how you want to feel and how you want to act.
Think of a certain current situation where you often feel anxious. And visualize how you would want to feel. Imagine it vividly and try to really feel and experience it.
You are then practicing, in your mind and with your emotions, and you are preparing your body for this situation. You are creating new possibilities.
When the situation presents itself again in the future you have created a new framework, with which you feel differently, you think differently and you act differently.
Tip 11 - Take responsibility for your feelings
Take the responsibility for your insecurities and fears. Don't make it your partners responsibility to solve them.
When you make somebody else responsible, you are not able to solve it yourself. Once you start making it your own responsibility, you are able to do something about it.
Accept that you and your partner are both individuals. You may have a relationship, but you are also still an individual. This can help you gain strength to take the responsibility for your needs.
Tip 12 - Investigate the secondary gain
Investigate the secondary gain of having fear of commitment. Even when you want to let go of your fears, it can be that you do not succeed, because (unconsciously) you benefit from having the fear.
- It can be, for example, that because of your fear, you do not have to do certain things that you actually do not want to do.
- Or because of your fear you receive extra attention from your parents, lovers or therapists. And that you actually like that.
As soon as you know what the positive effects of your fears are (the secondary gain), you can start to look for an alternative way to get the same advantage, without having to hold on to your fears.
The next questions can help you discover the advantage of your fear:
- What (nice things) can I do because of the fear, of commitment, what I otherwise could not do?
- What (nice things) do I receive because of the fear, that I would otherwise not receive?
- What could go wrong when I do not have the fear of commitment anymore?
Tip 13 - Practice mindfulness
Look with a mild, gentle and friendly attention to your fears.
Accept that fear is there, without identifying with it. You are not the fear, you have the fear.
By approaching yourself and your fears in a gentle manner, you can relax deeper and then your fear can become soft too.
Tip 14 - Learn to be happy in being alone
Love can manifest in a relation, but starts in deep isolation.
When you are happy in being alone, when you do not need the other at all, if the other is not a necessity, then you are able to love.
As long as the other is a necessity, you can exploit, manipulate, dominate, but you cannot love.
Tip 15 - Find a relationship counsellor
Are your suffering from fear of commitment / commitment phobia and could you use some support?
A relationship counsellor can help you.
Tip 17 - Acknowledge you need the other
Tip for people with fear of commitment:
Take a moment to realize what you need from the other. Who is really important to you and why? What do these people give you? Acknowledge to yourself that you need the other and how beautiful would it be if you would let the other person know that!
Tip 18 - Listen to what the fear wants to tell you
Listen to what the fear of commitment (or abandonment) of you wants to tell you
We all have different parts in us (sub personalities). Those different parts do not always agree with each other. For example on one side you want this, but on the other side you want something else.
So in the same way there are parts in you that are fearful. Also those parts have good intentions and often want to protect you.
In the past, this part was maybe very useful, but right now it is probably more like a burden.
Listen to what this part of you that fears commitment wants to tell you and connect with it again. Accept in a loving way that this part is there and allow it to be there. When this part feels heard and acknowledged, then there is space for change.
Tip 19 - Explore what "committing" means to you
What does commitment mean to you? What pictures does it trigger?
Can you make a drawing about it? Or write a story or poem about it?
You can collect pictures from magazines and make a collage. Use anything that comes up in you (words, ideas, different materials) to visualize commitment as you experienced and experience it with parents, partners, friends, children, work, etc.
Without any judgment about it, make time to explore it. This way you connect with what commitment means to you at this moment...
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