Surprise, surprise ladies! Men aren’t the only ones who fear commitment. You, too, may harbor an intense fear of getting involved in a serious relationship and not even realize it. However, there are definitely signs that you’re someone who’s chronically afraid of commitment. Does the thought of marriage have you running for the hills, screaming? Or saying the word “love” make you want to throw up in your mouth? Exactly. You probably wouldn’t even be reading this article if you weren’t a little bit curious to find out that maybe you really are afraid of commitment. Check out our five tell-tale signs below for some good old self-diagnosis.
1. You have chronic issues committing yourself to just one person
Nowadays it’s not uncommon for millennials to think, “Pssssh, monogamy.” That doesn’t mean we aren’t open to it, but it’s more accepted to spend our 20s uncommitted with multiple partners before eventually settling down. However, there is a difference between being a free spirit and actually having trouble dedicating yourself to one person.
“Pretty often my relationships are really short,” says Arianna Delira, a junior at Georgia State University. “It can be for a variety of reasons, but I think I have a hard time wanting to be with one person forever—and sometimes even six months feels like forever. I’m not like cheating when I am in a relationship, but I don’t date someone for more than a few months. I do admit I have a fear of commitment, specifically because I’m scared being with someone for too long will make us both bored or cause the relationship to end badly instead of casually.”
Your commitment issues aren’t something you have to worry about now, because it’s fine to play the field while still taking the time to develop yourself. You don’t need to be getting married tomorrow. Still, your commitment should be self-monitored so that you’re able to anticipate your detest for long-term monogamous relationships in the future, and deal with them accordingly when you meet someone worthy of your commitment.
2. You feel as though relationships hold you back
If it means missing the opportunity to hang out with friends or even sacrifice a career advancement, relationships may seem utterly oppressing to you because they’re restrictive. You’re the type of person who enjoys having their options open, and a relationship is much too limiting for you. It makes more sense to orient your future and schedule your time between work, friends and family. Love is a demanding priority, so you avoid it at all costs.
“The future is really daunting, and there’s a lot of other things that seem more important like graduation and figuring out what you want to do with your life,” explains Briana Ruba, a sophomore at Marquette University. “Even if someone is amazing and I’m madly in love with them, I’m worried that I’ll have to make life sacrifices for them and compromise my own goals for them.”
Consistently ending your relationships because you’re worried about missing out on something better is a sure sign that you really are afraid of commitment. Realize that it’s time to let go of this fear, and understand it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. Committing yourself to a partner is an opportunity in and of itself to take on the welcome twists and turns of life alongside someone who adores you. Spending time with couples who have complicated careers and social lives but are still able to maintain successful relationships might be of some encouragement to you.
3. You still feel emotionally scarred from previous relationships
Sometimes the past can inhibit you from moving forward with healthy relationships. It’s totally reasonable to still feel the emotional effects of someone who hurt you, but it becomes problematic when you prevent yourself from committing to another person who’s not the jerk who hurt you. Let’s be real, we’ve all got trust issues, but it’s time to pack those gremlins away and let love happen.
“I know it’s not fair to have trust issues with my boyfriend, because he’s not the one who cheated on me, my ex did,” says Katie McNierney, a junior at Barnard College. “Part of me thinks that maybe I won’t be able to let myself be happy or ever commit to someone again, because I’ve had someone hurtfully break their commitment to me. It’s a vicious cycle where my relationship escalates and I have a meltdown thinking I’m going to get hurt again so I run away.”
It sucks to have to be guarded with your partner and never fully give yourself over to them out of fear. Our encouragement is to just go for it! Don’t close yourself off from being with a potentially amazing person just because of your past! This is definitely a situation where you will need to take risks to get over your fear of commitment.
4. Even your best relationships end for the smallest reasons
It’s a sure sign that you have commitment issues if you can’t help but sabotage your own relationships—sometimes even on purpose. Think about the last time you broke up with someone. What caused you to leave them? Was it the annoying way they ate their food or that they only did laundry once a month? Whatever it was, it probably wasn’t a good enough reason to end your relationship.
It’s reasonable to break up with someone for unmatched ideologies, excessive fighting and differing life goals among other legitimate problems. However, ending a relationship over small annoyances that you tell yourself are “big things” prove that you don’t want to be committed to that person.
“I notoriously stop dating people for stupid reasons to the point that it’s a joke among my friends,” says Morgan Mozzacco, a junior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “I’ve ended relationships because of hygiene habits, movie preferences and even the way someone dresses. It’s awful and I know it. My friends have psychoanalyzed me to the point that we all collectively agree it’s because I have commitment issues and actually can’t handle being with someone.”
Our best advice is to just stick it out. You will learn to love your partner’s weird quirks over time, you just need to give them a chance first. If you actively stop sabotaging your relationships, it will definitely pay off.
Related: [Why We Ended It to Save Our Relationship]
5. You’re more interested in sex than an emotional connection
Sex is easy. A relationship oriented around sex means that your partner never has to meet your parents. There isn’t any ooey-gooey love talk or serious dates where you have to eloquently discuss your feelings. You’re relieved from thinking about the future or moving in together because sex is focused on the here and now. Basically, an emotionally connected relationship is much, much harder.
“I’m really good at sex, not so good at the whole love thing,” says Hunter Laningham, a senior at the University of Tennessee. “I know that if I took the time to stay with one person my relationship would be super cool, but I’m scared of getting hurt by someone I finally commit myself too. That’s why brief, physical relationships are working for me right now until I’m stronger.”
Years of casual dating may have taught you just how emotionally present you need to be for the relationship to survive, but overall, you don’t give much of yourself to it. It’s time to change this mindset girlfriend. Yes, sex is delightful—but it’s certainly not everything. Plus, having sex with a partner that you’re emotionally connected to might just feel 100,000 times better than some anonymous person from Tinder. Give it a try!
So how did that trip of self-diagnosis go? In all honesty, it’s fine if you’re a person that’s deathly afraid of commitment. We only hope that one day you can let go of this fear and enjoy happy, healthy relationships that last. You’ll get there—we promise.