i'm trying to leave a commitment phobe
January 16, 2011 1:40 PM Subscribe
are you a commitment phobic or involved with one?
posted by memi to Human Relations (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
stats: both is our mid to late 30's. we have been dating for 6 months now. i love him and he loves me. neither of us is sleeping with other people. when we are both relaxed, we laugh and chat and have a generally fantastic time. there is a lot of fun and great sex. mutually considerate gifts and we had a lovely holiday together.
we also have one easily identifiable issue. he has consistently told me that he has commitment issues, doesn't want to be in a relationship and can't provide a relationship what it needs. he has also asked me to be patient. says that he wants to work through these issues. that the way he feels about being in a relationship doesn't jibe with the way he feels about me. he tells me that he feels hopeful about wanting to be in a relationship at some point. we have had many many long conversations about this issue resulting in both of us feeling pretty upset.
i think he's smart, funny, generous and super fun to be with, when he isn't pushing me away. and there's the crux. when he goes into jerky commitment phobia mode (mean comments, standoffish behavior, general unavailability, sexual withholding) i get hurt feelings. i also get very controlling and try to force the is this a relationship or not issue. (i've tried several times in the past to end things and we've rekindled very quickly). his commitment phobic behavior (and my controlling behavior) is by no means the sole way we interact. he can often admit later, yes i was feeling commitment phobic at that time but it seems to take me being very angry with him for him to come around to, oh, yeah, you deserve my respect and attention.
i don't think that this issue will ever change for him. he's not in therapy. he doesn't seem to be talking to friends about what happens between us. the relationship gets more loaded as we care more for each other.
so i called the whole thing off. he is hurt and angry at me. he says i have no empathy for his position, that i am taking away something he cares about (me) because i cannot be patient and wait for him to be able to make a commitment. and he's right, i don't have any empathy. we are talking SO here, not marriage or cohabitation. help me get some perspective.
are there commitment phobic people who were able to overcome their issues? did you do it alone? what shifted for you? were you involved with a commitment phobe? were there coping mechanisms? should i really just get out while the getting is good?