Marilee, a client of mine, was commitment phobic.
"I'd love to be in a loving relationship," she told me in one of our counseling sessions, "but I'm not willing to give up my freedom. I have a great life. I love my work and my friends. I love to travel and take workshops and classes. I don't want anyone telling me what I can or can't do. I don't want to deal with someone feeling hurt because I want to work rather than be with him. It's just not worth all the hassle." 5 Facts That Prove Men Aren't All Commitment-Phobes
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Marcus, another client of mine, also experienced fear of commitment.
"When I'm not in a relationship, that's all I can think about it. I really want someone to play with, to love and to grow with, but soon after getting into a relationship, I start to feel trapped. I feel like I can't do what I want to do and I start to resent the person for limiting me. Most of the time, she has no idea what's going on and is stunned by the break-up. She thought everything was fine. After leaving her, I'm back to square one — wanting to be in a relationship. This has happened over and over again."
Commitment phobia has its roots in the belief that when we love someone, we are responsible for their feelings rather than for our own. Once we believe that we are responsible for another's feelings of hurt or rejection as a result of our behavior, we believe we need to limit ourselves in order to not upset the other person. Then, instead of standing up for our own freedom and right to pursue that which brings us joy, we limit our freedom in an effort to have control over the other person's feelings. This will always eventually lead to resentment. Why It's Easy to be Afraid of Committment?
"Marilee," I asked in one of our phone sessions, "What if you picked someone who also loved his work and his personal freedom?"
"Frankly, I can't imagine that. Every man I've been in a relationship with has wanted to spend more time with me than I have with him. Am I just picking the wrong man over and over?" 10 Signs He's Not The One
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