If you are a person who is fearful of commitment, someone who enjoys being close to others but grows distant when the relationship becomes more emotionally involved, then you might struggle with attachment issues.
Many commitment issues stem from past relationship experiences and/or our attachment to our parents or primary caregivers as children. It all comes down to having our needs met and being confident that if for some reason a relationship doesn’t work out, it’s ok. The good news is even if you are a person who has a hard time moving forward in relationships, there is hope in overcoming these struggles. It just takes some effort on your part.
Moving Forward is Possible
Talk to a therapist. A licensed mental health professional has the proper training to help you move from unhealthy attachment styles to secure attachment. Proper counseling can help to heal the deep wounds that are causing you troubles now. Forming a secure relationship with a therapist can help to increase feelings of security and help make sense of the past.
The first part of overcoming attachment struggles is to identify the problem. You must first understand where these emotions are coming from so you can work to heal them. A therapist who asks the right questions can help you to identify aspects of your childhood that may have led to your current emotional state.
Second, it is important that whoever your partner is has a healthier attachment style. Being with someone who understands what a healthy relationship looks like can further help you to heal by developing more trust in others and how they will respond to your needs. That being said, you don’t need another person to heal, but if you are in a relationship try to choose a healthy one—one that makes you feel good, one that is not full of jealousy and insecurity.
Third, believe in yourself. You do have the ability to move forward and have a happy, committed relationship.
We all know someone who has trouble with commitment. You know the type—the serial dater, the person who suddenly stops calling or showing up when the relationship starts to progress. It can be frustrating for both sides.
There are a few reasons why a person might struggle with commitment. They may have formed an insecure attachment/avoidant relationship style. This type of personality style usually stems from a person’s childhood and their relationship with their parents or primary caregiver. Likely, as children, they felt as if their emotional needs were not being met and have since learned to not give as much weight to their emotions making it harder to get close to people. People with this type of attachment style tend to enjoy being in relationships but become uncomfortable when relationships get too emotionally close.
Another reason why someone might struggle with commitment is because of catastrophic thinking. They have severe anxiety about relationships and always think the worst— “it will never work out, why bother,” “I am going to be trapped,” “I am just going to get my heart broken,” etc. This usually stems from childhood experiences of seeing their own parents unhappy and arguing on a regular basis. Or, they may have had a series of bad relationships in the past that has led them to think nothing will ever work out. They have lost faith in relationships and are fearful of getting too attached.
It is, of course, difficult for both sides of the relationship when commitment troubles are a factor, but it doesn’t mean it is not possible to find love and to have true, meaningful relationships. It just might take some work. Meeting with a licensed mental health professional can help those struggling with commitment to identify the reasons why they might have trouble in this area and what can be done to move forward.
Someone asked me the other day — ‘how do I know I won’t find someone better than my partner?’ The person went on to tell me how they wanted to make sure there wasn’t a better choice before becoming exclusive with the person they had been seeing.
The truth is, there is always someone “better” if you choose to think about it that way. You will always come across people that are more fun, funnier, handsomer, smarter, or whatever qualities you are looking for. Committing to another person is a choice. It is not based on all that external stuff. When you decide to go all in with another person, you are making the conscious decision to shut down all the external noise. Stop comparing him/her to that coworker, or the guy that works in the office down the hall. Shut down the date search, and that cute guy that keeps talking about having dinner with you.
Choosing to commit is choosing to be with that one person— who probably isn’t always going to be the best in the room. But they should be the one that feels right for you. By committing you are choosing to accept that person as they are, and to close the door to the other options. If you spend your life always searching for the ‘best’ or the ‘better’ option then you will likely always find something, but will you be happy?
When did you choose to commit?