3 Reasons You KEEP Falling In Love With Total Commitment Phobes

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It's time to break the pattern!

Have you ever wondered why every partner you seem to attract is an emotional robot, unavailable to meet your relationship needs? You consider yourself open, available and ready for love, yet you keep finding partners who are the opposite.

You may have a history of dating people who fear commitment and intimacy. They lack emotional sensitivity, they cheat, or, after pouring on the attention at first, they pull back and emotionally withdrawn.

So, what's the reason for this pattern? There are a few reasons, actually: 

1. Your attachment style is working against you. 

The science of human attachment may be the best explanation for this pattern. Many people who fear commitment and who struggle with intimacy and emotional connection are people with, what’s called, an avoidant attachment style. This means the roots of their emotional unavailability run deep into their childhood.

The word "attachment" refers to the bond that develops between a child and a primary caregiver (birth parent or other caregiver) in the first few years of life. This interaction creates the foundation for how we interact in our adult relationships. It is a crucial framework for understanding adult relationships and dating. Attachment styles remain fairly stable throughout the lifespan, but can be changed with influences from a healthy, or unhealthy relationship, therapy, and self-awareness.

There are a few categories of attachment, but to simplify here, we’ll only discuss the secure, anxious, and avoidant styles. Here's a quick overview: 

  • A secure style indicates a comfort in adult relationships, and an ability to desire and tolerate intimacy and commitment.
  • An anxious style feels a lot of anxiety in relationships until there is commitment, security, and intimacy.
  • An avoidant style fears intimacy and closeness, and often struggles with reading emotional cues of others.

Often, people with anxious and/or avoidant attachments will end up together in relationships.

The anxious person will feel perpetually anxious and unfulfilled, wondering why their partner isn’t meeting their expectations for commitment and intimacy. They often feel like they aren’t good enough for their partner to love them. Simultaneously, the avoidant partner will withdraw and feel a sense of anxiety that they're being suffocated, or pushed into something they don’t want in the relationship in response to the anxious person's expressed need for more closeness or commitment.

It can become a painful cycle that ultimately ends the relationship at some point.

If you feel like you may have a more anxious style, and you’ve been dating avoidants, it could be helpful to learn more about adult attachment. Once you can learn your style, and the pattern of partners you usually date, it becomes easier to find compatible partners who are emotionally available.

2. You’re actually emotionally unavailable.

Another reason you might continually attract emotionally unavailable partners is that you're not open with your own emotions. If you struggle with self-esteem, shyness, or feelings of inadequacy (like you’re not good enough), you may find it difficult to be authentic and vulnerable in intimate relationships. Or, perhaps you've had your heart broken too many times and the vulnerability of love makes you hold back your emotions.

Despite telling yourself and others that you're open and trying to find love, you may find it intimidating to date people who are truly emotionally available, because it feels too risky. If this is the case, it’s time to work on taking the courageous step to stand in your vulnerablly and show up authentically in your relationships.

3. You're drawn to people who need "fixing." 

Do you attract emotionally unavailable partners who seem to need healing? If you're a sensitive soul, or if you come with a history of not-so-healthy caretaking or co-dependency, you may feel attracted to the pattern of helping. This can become a toxic pattern for some people, as it can lead to unhealthy or even abusive relationships that leave you feeling unfulfilled and out of balance, as you are likely to give more than you get out of the relationships.

This is a pattern that requires some attention and healing itself. 

Can you break this pattern and finally find real love? 
There are plenty of emotionally available people who will happily go the distance and share in the depth of love with you. But you must be truly ready to be in a healthy relationship first. Reflect on the real reason you keep attracting commitment phobic partners. Once you're aware of your pattern, you can change it! 

This article was originally published at Meetmindful.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.