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Fear of commitment: people who fear formal love

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An understandable reaction to bad experiences as a couple. We explain their causes and effects.

The psychology of personal relationships is one of the most confusing facets of our behavior. For example, it is the case that people who learn to fully enjoy each other’s company, suddenly, distance themselves.

Not because the personality of one of them has changed overnight, or because of something that someone has said or done; simply, because of something called fear of commitment.

This fear about the future is one of the types of fear that are not produced by a type of animal or a situation that endangers physical integrity, but rather have to do with the anguish that produces the anticipation of an experience Unwanted.

What is the fear of commitment?

Fear of commitment is the more or less irrational fear of a situation that has not occurred and that has to do with limiting one’s freedom as a sacrifice to be made to form a bond with another person.

Many times we link the fear of commitment to the world of relationships, but it can really appear in any situation where we see the possibility of being tied up in a formal or informal relationship that demands too much from us.

The fundamental belief on which this mental state is based is relatively simple: to be able to choose between several options, even if that implies instability, is preferable to drawing a pact or a compromise that limits our freedom of movement.

However, the fear of compromise can be understood by addressing the different pillars on which it is based. They are the following.

1. A marked individualism

The mindset of people prone to fear of compromise is basically individualistic, in the most neutral sense of the word. They do not have to be selfish or egocentric; they simply value first the individual needs, and not so much the collective ones. That is why they will hardly show enthusiasm and initiative of their own for a joint project that is just beginning; in any case, they will be watching with curiosity.

The same goes for relationships between couples; The fear of compromise makes the possibility of having a romantic relationship interpreted, among other things, as a way to dilute one’s identity and sacrifice time and effort. The couple is not thought of as a unit but as the sum of two parts.

2. Pessimism when assessing the future

People who show fear of constant and systematic commitment tend to believe that each of the options for the future that are spread before their eyes is destined to be a bad experience in which the costs and sacrifices that have to be made will not be compensated by the advantages. The problem is not so much that either a concrete commitment is accepted, but that it is rejected in advance to embrace any commitment that limits one’s own freedom in the future.

3. Dichotomous thinking

People with a fear of compromise see the decisions that have to do with reciprocity and covenants as a matter of all or nothing: either it fits into a framework of relationships that the other person imposes on us, or it is not accepted. We hardly think about the possibility of negotiating where each one’s responsibilities and obligations end and where they end, and it does not even occur to the mind that this commitment can be adapted to the needs of oneself.

That is why, on occasion, the fact of running away when a glimpse of commitment appears in the future causes confusion and discomfort, if not damage to self-esteem. Many times it is understood that it has not been that fictitious idea of ​​what commitment supposes what has produced fear in the other, but oneself, the characteristics of the person.

What to do about this type of fear?

In the world of business and formal relations, the fear of compromise can reasonably be substantiated if it occurs punctually; after all, it can be a sign that the treatment offered, simply, or was good. What is worrisome is that the fear of commitment extends to all facets of life, also to the love and effective life, and systematically and consistently for a long time.

In these cases, couples therapy can be a very advisable solution, since through mediation it is possible to reach very interesting agreements and, at the same time, modify the beliefs of the person so that they do not have so many prejudices about what It implies assuming that commitment.

Other interesting options are Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, aimed at helping the person to modify their own way of thinking in favor of a more adaptive one. This usually means, among other things, adopting A less individualistic mentality, one that is capable of valuing those experiences that can only be lived intensely if they are understood as the product of two people who establish a relationship whose product is more than the sum of its components.

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