Don't ignore these.
Is your partner someone who gives you mixed signals when it comes to commitment?
Maybe you feel it’s time to become exclusive, or maybe you’ve been together for awhile and you're ready to move your relationship to the next level.
But ... your partner doesn’t seem to be jumping at the opportunity to be your "one and only". In fact, the closer you become, the more he or she seems to pull away.
As humans, we are all wired to attach and connect with others.
However, we all have different styles and levels of comfort in our attachments with others. Our attachment styles are basically formed in the first few years of life, and set the foundation for how we will connect with others in our adult lives.
These styles usually don’t change much. This means that if someone has spent their whole lives fearing closeness, it’s unlikely that they will suddenly dive head first into anything that would feel intimate, no matter how amazing you might be.
If you are someone who craves the intimacy of a relationship, you are likely not going to feel comfortable with someone who avoids the very things you need... closeness and intimacy. What is important is to know your own style, and what kind of style you need in a relationship.
It's helpful to not take things personal, but instead to develop an awareness and acceptance of the fact that we all have differing needs with attachment. These needs can sometimes be tricky to change because they are such a fundamental part of us.
If you are the kind of person who likes closeness, intimacy, and committed relationships, it’s good to know how to identify partners who have a tendency to be uncomfortable with commitment. Knowing what you need and how to find it can prevent a lot of future heartbreak.
So, how do you tell if someone has a fear of commitment?
1. They avoid discussions about any type of commitment, such as becoming "exclusive", moving in together, or marriage.
2. They have strict rules about what can or can’t be discussed about the relationship.
(Examples: avoids calling you a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend", despite a seemingly committed relationship, talks about commitment but never acts on it, like being engaged for a long time but avoiding setting a date to get married).
3. They give confusing signals, such as texting or seeing you a lot, and then disappears or becomes very distant with dates and text messages.
4. They have a history of cheating on you or other partners.
5. They tell you are too "needy" or "clingy" when you try to express your emotions or get close.
6. They have an unrealistic idea of what relationships really look like.
(Example: idealizes past relationships but can’t identify what went wrong, talks about wanting a relationship where there is never "conflict").
7. They make comments that indicate a fear of being "tied down" by relationships, or acts like having a relationship is like a "ball and chain".
9. They put a high value on his or her independence, is a workaholic, spends more time without you than with you.
10. They leave in an argument, not to take a quick time out to cool down, but rather seems to distance from the conflict and not make an effort to resolve it.
If you have an ultimate goal of commitment and marriage, but your partner shows several of these signs, it might be time to re-evaluate whether this relationship is a good match for you.
If you fear having a discussion about it, because he or she might think you’re giving an "ultimatum" about the relationship … well… that would be sign number 11 of a commitment-phobe.
If you are dating someone who is comfortable with intimacy and relationships, it is possible to discuss where the relationship is going without emotional distancing or fear.
If you find yourself frequently confused about your partner’s intentions, doubting yourself, or acting disinterested when you really need your partner to be closer to you, you may de dating someone with this non-committal style of attachment.
It is difficult to feel like you can get your relationship needs met with someone like this, no matter how much convincing you try to do.
Do yourself, your heart, and your future a favor and have an honest conversation and ask for what you want. If your partner is still not willing to commit, then put your chin up, respect your needs for commitment, and move on.
Interested in learning more about attachment and how your brain works in love? Learn more here.
This article was originally published at Chelli Pumphrey. Reprinted with permission from the author.