Do You Have Commitment Issues?

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Our relationship expert, Dr Pam Spurr (on Twitter and Instagram @drpamspurr) gives us her 3 tips on how to move towards the commitment stage.

In my last column I covered how to ‘help along’ someone you’re dating who obviously has commitment issues – even if they don’t realise they do. However, what if YOU are the one who has commitment issues? How do you move to an ‘emotionally-ready place’ to actually commit to someone you’ve met?

Many singles wrongly assume that if they meet someone with commitment issues, that person is very happy not committing. That’s simply not true and I’ve worked with many people who have commitment issues, who are ready to try and find real emotional intimacy with someone.

Here are three key tips for you to get you ready for commitment:

1. Look inwards and do a bit of navel-gazing about where your anxiety over commitment comes from. Did your parents have a difficult, even traumatic, relationship? Did this leave you feeling that relationships are scary things rather than something to be treasured?

If so, begin to actively look for healthy relationships that you can admire and even emulate. Maybe a best friend has a very happy relationship. Maybe one of your siblings has developed a satisfying and committed relationship. Actively begin to challenge your thinking that relationships are unhappy and emotionally scary places.

2. Does the thought of committing to someone strike fear into you because you worry that you’ll get bored? This is another major reason why some people – who are natural born risktakers - shy away from committing. They love the thrill of new things and that includes finding new people to date.

Two things to consider – make sure that you choose a hobby or pastime that really satisfies your need for excitement. That way there is less pressure on a new relationship.

Plus, the next time you start dating someone, make sure that you suggest fun and varied dates. Prove to yourself that dating doesn’t have to be dull. And alongside this, start to value the quieter, loving moments that a new relationship can offer you and your new partner.

3. Learn to be honest about the worries or anxieties you have about commitment. Keeping such things secret means you’re probably likely to dump people very quickly after a couple dates. That way you don’t have to face any emotionally intimate conversations about your feelings.

Start small and feel your way around a deeper and more emotionally intimate conversation. You’ll feel less threatened if you take these conversations one step at a time.

You might raise the general topic of serious relationships by saying how you’ve tended to avoid getting involved. And that you realise you’d like to relate at a deeper level going forward.

Listen to what that new person has to say to that. Hopefully they’ll be encouraging! And not run a mile if they’re looking for something serious and are now frightened you’ll dump them the minute things look a bit serious.

Good luck and happy dating, Pam x

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Photo by Andres Ayrton from Pexels

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