8 Steps To Overcome Commitment Issues
One of the biggest relationship questions people ask is “Am I with the right person?” It’s a big question that comes at some point in a relationship and it takes different shapes.
“Will this last?”
“Am I settling?”
“Is one person enough for a lifetime?”
No matter how you phrase this question in your head, it all points back to one thing: commitment issues.
We get it though. Committing to one person for life is not an easy decision. It’s scary, daunting and terrifying. In 2018, a study by eHarmony found one of the top three reasons millennials struggle with commitment are:
- Uncertainty if the partner is right for them.
- Fear of opening up and getting hurt.
- Lack of confidence in their ability to maintain a relationship.
Regardless of your age, these uncertainties, fears, and anxieties plague people young and old, male or female. Men more so than women fear commitment due to the potential of finding “better” options later.
Why commit right now when “the one” could be right around the corner? Clearly it’s a gamble men are willing to take. Pair that up with men’s natural instinct to withdraw, and you can see some of the reasons men struggle to commit more so than women.
Women on the other hand are pursuers. They criticize or find faults in people to avoid conflict. They find logical reasons to not commit is what we mean. But it’s this particular trait that women have that makes commitment such a challenging part of a relationship.
So to help with that, here are some steps to consider in helping you overcome commitment fears.
First, Take Responsibility
You’re not going to get anywhere if you’re not taking responsibility. In order to do this, it’s important that you discern between relationship anxiety and your own intuition.
When looking at your fear of being with the wrong person, this can either be an omen or an intuition. If you’re holding to the belief that you’d be better with another person, you could be twisting your thoughts and words in such a way where you’re wriggling out of responsibility.
Instead, look at the root of your questions. If you’re finding faults, wonder why you are noticing those over anything else. Ask yourself whether your partner is good, attractive, smart, or witty enough for you? Because that’s a better question than “Am I enough?”
The key is to see your doubt as opportunities to ask yourself questions. Doubt raises red flags, but it’s worth addressing them, as they are what cause us to doubt relationships with other people.
Second, Redefine Monogamy
In relationships, defining words and boundaries is important. They set the tone for the relationship and will help you to determine whether the person is right for you. But one other thing we’d recommend is to go back and begin to redefine some things.
In particular: monogamy.
Consider this definition of monogamy: a really deep surrender to what each of you is.
We suggest this because those who believe there is more to discover about themselves with their partner are more satisfied than those losing interest in their partner.
This makes sense when you consider the needs of a relationship. When needs aren’t being met, we begin to look elsewhere to satisfy that needs. As such, it’s key that when needs aren’t being met, we look for ways to keep those close to us even closer.
Third, Set Realistic Expectations
As we mentioned above, setting boundaries and discussing them is important. Expectations follow this same thing. Of course, expectations can change over time and they should. A choir doesn’t have to sing a single song to thrive.
All the same, people are going to have uncertainties and debate over decisions. The key to remember is that while our expectations will shift, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with the relationship. Discuss things and steer the relationship. Both of you are at the helm.
Fourth, Rework Committing
What we mean by this is reworking your definition. Committing for many is seen as settling into a relationship for life. And sometimes settling means that you’re okay for settling with less.
That is not the case at all.
The reality is settling means you’ve accepted something you didn’t like and didn’t say anything about it. Settling – in terms of relationships – isn’t where you’re talking about everything that’s lacking in a relationship.
Fifth, Rework Your Needs
When it comes to our needs, it’s important to realize that while relationships won’t hit our needs, changing them won’t satisfy all of our needs too. One person alone isn’t capable of satisfying each of our needs.
In a relationship, you need to break the needs into three sections: your needs, your partner’s needs, and the needs of the relationship.
When you look at successful relationships, they’re succeeding not because they’re meeting every single need. They’re thriving because the couples are able to accept their differences with respect.
To rework your needs, take some time to look outside of the relationship while still maintaining it. For example, say you want to be getting in shape or you have a habit of exercising, but your partner isn’t that big into exercising. Instead of seeing that as incompatible, make a point of finding a workout buddy that can satisfy that need to be with someone while working out.
Sixth, Look For Your Root Causes Of Commitment Fear
When it comes down to it, fear of commitment can equate to fear of the unknown. To know for certain, take some time to do a self-reflection. Now that you’ve reworked a few things, you may be able to find experiences or challenges that can inspire you to forge forward.
Seventh, Work On Being Less Defensive
As mentioned above, successful relationships focus on the greater whole. They thrive by discussing things in a non-defensive manner. With this in mind, you must learn how to talk in a non-defensive way.
Here is how you can do that:
- When making observations, use “I” statements and avoid “always” and “never”. If your partner struggles to clean up after themselves say “I noticed the place hasn’t been cleaned.” This is better than “You always leave a mess.”
- You can also put in emotions. Tell your partner how their action or inaction made you feel.
- Lastly, make specific requests, rather than constant criticisms. For example “Can you put your phone away when talking to me?” Is better than “You never listen to me!”
Lastly, Commit To The Process
The final step is committing to the process, as well as the person. Relationships are works in progress constantly, so it’s not just a matter of committing to the person in front of you and leaving it at that.
It’s important you commit to the process and are willing to work through things together. With this in mind, it’s key to remember that people can change over time. Not that we should force people to change, but being around people and developing habits can make impacts on other peoples lives.
Every action creates a ripple effect for other people. As such, it’s important that we persist in a relationship within reason.