Updated: Oct 16, 2022
Do you need constant reassurance from your partner or loved ones? Are you experiencing the overwhelming fear of losing someone and being abandoned, or do you have difficulty committing to any kind of relationship? If you feel this way, you might be dealing with commitment phobia.
We will discuss the fear of being alone, abandonment issues, and the signs of commitment phobia. This article should in no case be used to self-diagnose. This article raises awareness by informing and identifying the problems that come with the phobia of commitment.
What is commitment phobia?
Commitment phobia, also known as fear of abandonment or separation anxiety, is a phobia of becoming close to people or making long-term relationship commitments. The anxiety of the unknown is normal, but those who suffer from commitment phobia often extend this fear to other aspects of their lives. It can manifest itself in a variety of ways, not only in romantic relationships but also in deep friendships.
When committed to someone the constant fear of being abandoned is present. We all have emotional needs. When those needs are not met, you may feel unappreciated, unloved, and neglected. You can feel very much alone, even when you are in a relationship with someone physically present.
Fear of abandonment can also come with separation anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder, and avoidant personality disorder.
7 Commitment phobia signs.
1. Wanting to impress everyone you meet You are the ultimate people-pleaser. You do not want to take any chances that someone won’t like you. You go out of your way to help others to avoid making people upset with you. This can manifest in a low sense of self-worth, which brings us to the next point.
2. Struggling with insecurity and low self-esteem
You feel as if you are never good enough for your partner or any relationship. You feel inadequate and unappealing. People with low self-esteem have a negatively distorted view of their self-worth.
This insecurity can manifest in the following ways: 1. You may find yourself very reactive to your partner their words and actions. 2. You are devastated when someone gets upset with you in any way. 3. You view criticism more intensely. 4. You emotionally overreact very quickly. 5. Everything feels like rejection which amplifies your fears and confirms your insecurities. 6. You need constant reassurance that you are loved and won't be abandoned.
In the end, it will make you feel unworthy of love.
3. Difficulty with trusting people In relationships, you have a hard time trusting your partner, which makes you want to be in control of your partner. You are often jealous, suspicious, or critical of your partner. Which will negatively impact the relationship.
When you are told they won't leave you, or when your friends tell you that they care about you, whatever it is, you can't seem to trust anything that they are saying.
4. Breaking up with your partner so they can’t break up with you
One of the worst things you can deal with as someone with commitment phobia is pushing away loved ones to avoid rejection. You are scared that your partner will leave you even when nothing is wrong. Finding unrealistic reasons to leave someone out of fear of them leaving you.
''Abandonment trauma will lead you to sabotage your relationships as a way to affirm your fears.''
5. Clinginess When it comes to any kind of relationship, you are overdependent on your friends, family, or partner. Unlike some other signs, clinginess can be a common coping mechanism for fears since you are afraid of being alone.
6. Moving quickly from one relationship to another
Getting attached to people quickly might be hard to grasp for someone with commitment phobia. You get attached easily to that one person that makes you feel loved.
People with a fear of abandonment often rush into relationships because they want to hold on to that feeling of not being alone. When the relationship ends, instead of giving yourself time to heal, you move on quickly just for the reason of not wanting to be alone. For this reason, it might be hard to maintain any relationship because it is forced out of underlying fear.
7. Walking a fine line between craving and fearing love
Committing to a relationship is hard for you dealing with commitment issues. You take extreme measures to avoid rejection and separation. At the same time, you crave not wanting to be alone.
Fear of being alone combined with a phobia of commitment.
What causes fear of abandonment?
The secure and insecure attachment styles Early childhood interactions, between the child and their caregivers, are the primary determinant of whether a person develops a secure or insecure attachment style.
A person with a secure attachment style has learned to trust and open up to others. Someone who is responsive and warm to others and can form healthy and close relationships.
An insecure attachment style represents a person who remains in a state of chronic stress and fear. Preventing important social and emotional milestones from being reached.
Commitment issues in children In children, abandonment issues often show up as anxiety, especially when separated from their caregiver. They have difficulty regulating their emotions and are more easily upset. They can either demonstrate avoidant or antisocial behaviors. Withdrawing from friends or even bullying others is a common occurrence. They can either be very fearful of adults or overly trust them.
Commitment issues in adults Adults frequently develop protective mechanisms that make forming close and healthy relationships more difficult. They withdraw, avoid trusting, and push people away. The types of defense mechanisms that a person with abandonment issues develops can be different. The display, however, will have similar unhealthy patterns in relationships.
Causes fear of abandonment Children Abandonment issues typically arise from childhood. It often stems from a traumatic experience such as:
1. Physical or emotional abuse. 2. Having a caregiver that is neglectful to the feelings and needs of the child. 3. The caregiver is inconsistent with their emotions. 4. Being a victim of sexual abuse. 5. The death of a parent, imprisonment, or not having an active caregiver.
Some people are unaware of their emotional trauma, which untreated can manifest into unhealthy behaviors over time and persist into adulthood.
Keep in mind that parents are not always to blame for someone having commitment issues. Instead of parental deficiencies, some environmental factors or circumstances might cause this. Such as being exposed to violence, coming from low socioeconomic status, or being a minority. Even children who grew up in loving and stable families may develop abandonment issues.
While experiencing trauma in childhood is more likely to lead to insecure attachment, experiences later on in life can also trigger insecure attachment and abandonment fears.
Causes fear of abandonment adults As an adult, abandonment issues often come from the following traumatic experiences:
1. Being in an emotionally, physically, or sexually abusive relationship. 2. Getting cheated on or betrayed. 3. Experiencing rejection.
Not everyone will develop abandonment issues, but some will. It mostly happens when the trauma is unresolved and carries over from one relationship to the next.
Negative beliefs about yourself and others might develop from traumatic experiences, which can lead to abandonment issues. These beliefs can include self-worth issues, like believing one is unlovable or unworthy. Also, that others are untrustworthy, or that people will always end up leaving.
How to get over the fear of abandonment?