Fear of Commitment and Film-viewing


Fear of Commitment and Film-viewing
Many people enter therapy to cure their fear of commitment.

Many people enter therapy because they are struggling to make a decision about commitment. Sometimes, deciding to commit to a romantic partner can produce tremendous anxiety, especially for those who have not been exposed to healthy, intimate relationships

Directed by Gus Van Sant, Good Will Hunting is an intense and inspiring coming-of-age film about friendship, loyalty, and living up to one's potential. It is also a remarkable exploration of intimacy and fear of commitment. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck became over-night celebrities as the writers and co-stars of this film for which they shared the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. 

Will Hunting (Matt Damon) is a product of the foster care system living on the South Side of Boston and working as a janitor at MIT. He begins solving complex equations on the blackboard that have rendered the elite university students stumped. It turns out that Will Hunting possesses the kind of mathematical genius that comes along once in a lifetime. After assaulting a police officer, Will represents himself in court and avoids jail time by agreeing (reluctantly) to meet regularly with a therapist. To say that Will resists his work with therapist Sean McGuire (Robin Williams) is something of an understatement. The therapy is somewhat unconventional, and the breakthrough moment is an over-simplification of the therapeutic process; however, the therapy serves as a remarkable backdrop for an exploration of intimacy, fear of commitment, and the human struggle to live up to one’s potential.  

What is unusual about this film is its ability to explore intimacy and commitment in a way that feels honest and real. By doing so, Good Will Hunting demonstrates that sometimes the most important aspects of parenting may not take place with a biological parent. The human ability to connect on an intimate level with friends, mentors and teachers may fill gaps that parents have been unavailable or otherwise unable to provide. Sometimes people who were not properly protected or nurtured by their biological parents figure out ways to meet these unmet needs through developing formative relationships with parent figures so that they do not get stuck in unhealthy patterns and instead develop the ability to experience intimacy and live up to their potential.

If you are struggling with the question of whether to take an intimate relationship to the next level, viewing Good Will Hunting could be a worthwhile step in your decision making process. Follow @elisjoy, learn more at www.dccounselingcenter.com and learn more about fear of commitment through Elisabeth's book, Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce.

More commitment advice from YourTango:

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Elisabeth LaMotte


Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
Other Articles/News by Elisabeth LaMotte:

Is Your Teen Or Tween Struggling Because They Feel Different?


If you have tween or teen daughters, it is highly likely that you have already heard an earful about John Green's bestselling novel and subsequently recently released film, The Fault in our Stars.  Even if you do not have teens or tweens, you would have to be living under a rock to have missed the hype about Hazel Grace, Augustus Waters, and their ... Read more

5 Things Movies Can Teach You About Breakups


A painful breakup is one of the most common reasons people seek therapy. Breakups are almost never easy and almost never mutual. Most people going through a breakup say they wish they could reverse their situation back into a relationship. However, as much as losing a relationship can hurt, breakups also carry the opportunity for important emotional ... Read more

Are You Ready to Unplug Your Love Life?


As a therapist working with adults in their twenties, thirties and forties, many of whom are single, I frequently discuss the way that technology affects dating and relationships with my clients.  I often wonder what the future will look like, and how much farther the internet revolution will infiltrate and impact the human experience of ... Read more

See More


Sign up for our daily email and get the stories everyone is talking about.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.