Commitment-Phobia Not Just A Man’s Disorder

PHOBIA

The epic scenario of a man dating a woman for months, and won’t commit to calling her his ‘girlfriend’; A man who has been with a woman for years and won’t ask her to be his wife, has been the generalized definition of a commitment-phobe. We so very often blame men for not going for the gusto! ” Just ask me already so we can make this thing legit”! That’s the type of frustration that us women feel when we’ve realized that our relationship has flat-lined, and it’s all because the male species typically has a problem with commitment…right? How true is this statement? Do men really have commitment issues or are women as much to blame for the lack of commitment in modern day male-female interactions?


We all know that men want their freedom, want space, still want to have a life outside of a relationship, have been hurt before and don’t want to subject themselves to the same hurt again, want to have their cake and eat it too (by the way, I never understood why having cake and eating it was a bad thing??), don’t want the “drama” that comes along with a committed relationship; all general reasons why men have a hard time committing to women. But what is it about women that allows the string to attach itself to are coat sleeve as oppose to the attachment of a man’s emotions? Do we often give off some type of vibe that we’re commitment-phobes as well? I believe that we ABSOLUTELY DO!

In this day in age, not only are men exposed to multiple women who make themselves available to them, women are now experiencing a surplus of men who will make themselves as equally available. Social media and dating sites allow the dynamic of having “options” much more appealing to the modern day woman. A woman who is single, and has been single for quite some time, may take full advantage of men “thirsting” after her. Men, in return, become fearful that women who have options, may be playing the field…but I’d like to note that just because a woman may have options more than ever, does not mean she is sleeping with them all! However, men can be quite insecure about a woman who gages the interest of a lot of men, hence the cause of his non-commitment.

Let’s talk about women who deal with emotionally unavailable men; you know, men who have never committed to a woman, and show no signs of committing any time soon. Why do women get involved with men who seemingly has no interest in being in a committed relationship? The answer is because she knows that she, in return, will not have to commit to him! It’s definitely a psychological thing, often done unintentionally, nevertheless, it is being done more often than not.

Many wonder, “why people are afraid to commit?” or “why am I afraid of commitment?”. There are some very simple, yet complex, reasons why people, in general, may be afraid of commitment. Listed below are three common reasons why commitment is so hard to come by:

1. Both men and women need their space. They need to feel a sense of independence and often times feel that they lose that independence when they are in a committed relationship. Very few people know how to operate in a relationship as it relates to taking in consideration the feelings of the other party while still being true to thy self. We focus so much on making the other person happy, that we forget that our own happiness should come first. There are things that make people happy outside of their relationship that may become neglected. It is important to maintain a balance between independence and collectivity, so that there aren’t any regrets about choosing to embark in a committed relationship.

2. There are feelings of abandonment, neglect and rejection that men and women both struggle with. If a person has experienced any one of the three, it is likely that they have developed a defense mechanism that “protects” them from experiencing that feeling again. When this is the case, it is often times very difficult for the person to TRUST others. When trust is lacking in the relationship, it stunts growth, development, and commitment. It can take years for a person to realize that they fear the possibility of being abandoned, neglected or rejected, and throughout their dating experience they may ‘sabotage’ the relationship in many different ways. Men typically sabotage relationships by becoming inconsistent, emotionally withdrawn, unfaithful, controlling, insensitive, etc. Women generally sabotage relationships by becoming accusatory, aggressive in approach, making up things that aren’t really there within the relationship based upon past relationships, clingy or needy in an attempt to keep him around, etc. It is extremely important to deal with those issues before committing yourself to a relationship.

3. You’ve heard the saying, “what you won’t do another person will”? Well. unfortunately, it is very true! What you won’t do in your relationship whether it is deemed as a need or a want, there is someone, somewhere, who will provide whatever it may be to your significant other. It is very easy to retrieve what you are not getting at home in someone else’s humble abode. This is probably the most feared reason of non commitment for both men and women. Nobody wants to experience someone stepping out on them, fore, it is a form of feeling REJECTED.

Men AND women really need to examine themselves before choosing to commit and if you aren’t in a committed relationship but are ‘entertaining’ someone, please make sure that everyone is on the same playing field. There is nothing wrong with being single, if that is what you want to be. Just make sure that all involved understands the intent of the relationship and agrees.

Kara Warner is an upcoming author, blogger, and educator from Omaha, NE, by way of Hammond, IN. She has placed much emphasis on supporting, and becoming an advocate for women and youth who struggle with self- esteem, image, and perception issues.
In 2009, Kara founded a program entitled, ‘Beauty Is Skin Deep Movement, Inc.” in order to reconstruct the perception and image of women of color in American society. She has conducted classes for the YMCA, Urban League of Nebraska, Middle School Learning Center, and Girls Incorporated of Omaha.

Kara is currently working on a book titled, ” False Feelings Appearing Real”, a compilation of experiences and stories by women who have, throughout their life, struggled with understanding their feelings and are now learning how to cope with them.

You can contact Kara @Conquistanoir (IG), @LivLifewPurpose (Twitter). For booking inquiries please email Kara at warnerbsd@gmail.com

One Comment

  1. Great article!

    So true…

    “When trust is lacking in the relationship, it stunts growth, development, and commitment. It can take years for a person to realize that they fear the possibility of being abandoned, neglected or rejected, and throughout their dating experience they may ‘sabotage’ the relationship in many different ways.”

    I believe it is trust, first in ourselves before we can trust others. Trust that we will listen and read the clues, unspoken words and not draw unfounded conclusions and stop our patterns or cycles of hurt or victimization. I know many women who can’t commit, married or dating, they believe cheating is the way to stay ahead of getting hurt or are with the person for security. Security of not being alone, looking like the ideal couple (appearances), having access to “couples only” things that singles don’t have, someone they might like, but don’t love and never will, so they never committed, but co-exist.

    Men are attracted to women who give them a chase, seem to have eyes for others, so the chase ensues, women who will cheat because ultimately or unconsciously they want someone unavailable, but it goes back to “trust issues.”

    This is an important discussion because there is a dating and marital paradigm shift for black women as our options have opened and expanded, if we are to get different results than we have in past relationships!

    Good read!

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