If He Does These 5 Frustrating Things, He Has A Deep Fear Of Commitment

Commitment just isn't his thing.

Last updated on Mar 20, 2023

man and woman holding hands on date Dikushin Dmitry / Shutterstock

A fear of commitment in a relationship is fairly common these days.

In fact, I've noticed a steady increase in commitment phobia over recent years.

What is this relationship anxiety about? What scares people this much about being in a relationship with someone who loves them?

Anyone who is looking for a serious relationship wants something stable and long-lasting with someone who is willing to invest.


So why the cold feet when things begin to get serious?

Is there any relationship advice for when you notice that your significant other has a commitment phobia? What if you're starting to realize that you have a fear of commitment?

Does that mean your relationship is doomed? Where is this feeling coming from? What can you do about it?

Commitment phobia can really hold a person back from being truly happy in a relationship.

Fortunately, there are tools that you can implement in your daily life for healthy relationships. Not only will these help you in your current situation, but they're also going to help you find long-term solutions that will protect your relationship in the future.


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The problem with relationship anxiety

Relationship anxiety is characterized by a fear of committing to another person. Interestingly enough, this doesn't only pertain to romantic relationships. It also can be seen in the workplace or when making promises to family or friends.

A commitment-phobe will steer clear of making promises for which they will have to assume responsibility.


In my line of work, I often encounter clients who come to me for help because they've fallen in love with someone who can't commit. They're frustrated and insecure about their situation and have no idea what to do. They worry that if they pull away and try to use the "Chase me and I'll run technique," the other person will happily walk away.

Commitment phobia does not just pop up out of the blue one day. It is linked to a deep desire for independence. Falling in love with someone who does not want to commit can be very challenging and can lead to a lot of heartaches.

So before we dive into what to do, let’s take a look at where this feeling stems from.

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What triggers fear of commitment?

Often, when a person struggles with commitment phobia and relationship anxiety, they went through a painful experience in their past.

It doesn’t always have to be linked to a previous romantic relationship, though this is the most common. It can also be linked to feelings of insecurity and inadequacy that stem from a person’s childhood.

Being made to feel like you were not good enough by someone that you loved can leave deep scars that can resurface in the form of relationship phobia.

On a subconscious level, a lot of people don’t want to allow themselves to wind up in a vulnerable place again and end up getting hurt just like they did before.


Though that is the most common reason behind this phenomenon, it is not the only one.

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Searching for an elusive 'easy' relationship

It is also not uncommon for people to look for the "easy way" and have all the benefits of a relationship, without actually having to accept all the responsibilities. It’s kind of like having your cake and eating it too. You can hang out and sleep together, but they don’t actually have to commit to you.

If one person wants something serious and the other doesn’t, the person who’s ready to invest in a solid relationship can end up getting very hurt.


In order to get a better idea of what’s going on here, you need to look out for some signs and figure out if the person you have feelings for is afraid of committing or not.

You might be sitting here thinking, "I have a feeling the guy I'm dating is a commitment-phobe" or, "I think she might have commitment issues."

But is there a way to know for sure? There are definitely some tell-tale commitment phobia warning signs that you need to keep an eye out for.

Right off the bat, I want to tell you that if you recognize some of the signs in the person you have feelings for, don't panic.

Yes, it is going to be a challenge to construct a solid foundation for a relationship with them, but know that nothing is impossible in love as long as you're willing to work for it.


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Here are five signs your partner fears commitment:

1. They always wiggle out of introducing you to their friends and family

This can be especially suspicious if you've been dating for a while now. The person who gets nervous at the thought of getting too involved with your personal life could be trying to ensure that they can make a clean break.

That said, if you've only been dating for a few weeks and you want to introduce this person to your parents over dinner at the house, it's normal that they might find it to be a little bit premature.

Some people aren't commitment-phobes. Instead, they just don't want things to move too fast. Pay attention to timing and your partner’s reactions to the idea of getting more involved in your life.


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2. They avoid using the 'L' word or saying 'boyfriend' or 'girlfriend'

Admitting that you love someone is a huge deal. A lot of the people who have commitment phobia will say things like, "I'm just having fun right now" or, "I don't really like to label things."

This keeps them safe from being accused of leading someone on.

This doesn't mean that they don't feel anything for you — it means that they don't want to suddenly find themselves in a relationship. Many people feel like saying that you love someone is the same as saying that you want to be with them.

This is perfectly normal, but to someone who is afraid of commitment, it's scary.


Similarly, be wary of a person who makes an effort to avoid talking about how they feel about you.

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3. They will avoid talking about the future with you

Remember, a person who is afraid of getting into a relationship can have many reasons to feel this way. The fact of the matter remains the same — they do not want to make plans for the future that involve another person.

Planning something in the future with you can make things feel considerably more serious.

4. They often go missing in action

The person with commitment phobia does not like to feel like they're on call for anybody.


If they're dating someone and it feels like things are getting more serious, they might just drop off the face of the planet to prove (to both of you) that they still have their independence.

If you've begun dating someone and your only complaint is that they need some time to themselves from time to time, there is no need to panic.

Everybody needs some alone time, so think about whether your partner is extremely hot and cold and sometimes needs to feel completely disconnected from you. Or, maybe they are just making sure that they dedicate time to their personal life as well (and therefore creating balance in the relationship).

I say this because the latter is actually a crucial element of a healthy relationship!


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5. They only see you as a friend with benefits 

The person you're developing serious feelings for may have relationship anxiety if it feels like the only thing they want to share with you is sex.

Passion in the relationship is a great thing of course, but is that all you're sharing? Do you go on dates during the day and then go to places like the beach or amusement parks? Or does this person call you up after 10 and make you feel like a booty call?

Are you often intimate but they shy away from talking about relationships (both yours and those others), meticulously avoid the "L" word, wiggle out of meeting people that are important to you, and disappear for long periods of time?


Well, we might be seeing signs of a commitment-phobic.

So what can be done? How do you handle a commitment-phobe?

Some people will tell you that you should run full speed in the opposite direction if you come across someone with relationship anxiety.

I am not going to tell you what you need to do, but I am going to tell you about your options:

  • You throw in the towel because you don't want to try to convince someone to be with you.
  • You decide that this person is worth the effort and you begin to implement the tools to make things better.

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Here are three steps to respond to a commitment-phobe

1. Put your needs first

The very first thing you need to start doing is putting your own needs first.


I know that it feels natural to want to give and give and give to this person, but you must not make it easy for them to take you for granted.

If you feel that they are pulling away, give them some space. The worst thing you could do would be to make them feel suffocated.

A lot of people panic and try to do anything they can to get closer to the person. They send twenty-five text messages, they call over and over and over, and they even start messaging the person’s friends in hopes of finding out what's going on.


As you switch your focus to yourself, work on becoming the best version of yourself. Make sure that your life looks the way you want it to, and do new, very interesting things. It's going to boost your self-confidence and your self-esteem.

When this happens, you naturally steer clear from needy or clingy behavior — two things that can make someone with commitment phobia run for the hills.

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2. Be attractive by loving life

People who love life and give off very positive energy attract others like moths to a flame. In turn, it makes them super attractive!

So if you want to make a person want to spend more time with you, you have to inspire them. Keep in mind that you don't have to be obvious about your intentions.


Don't send this person pictures of your trip to Joshua Tree and say, "We would be having so much fun here together!" Don’t send them a photo of you jet skiing saying, "I can’t wait to do this with you!"

I know might sound counterintuitive, but hear me out.

Do this, instead: Post these types of pictures on your social media pages. Keep the caption simple and don’t gear it toward your "target." Upon seeing these pictures, they will see how much fun you’re having in your life and will be inspired to be a part of it.

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3. Stop initiating contact every time

Don't reply the second you receive a message. Ideally, you should use the "Chase me and I'll run" technique.


I know that these situations are delicate and challenging, and I want you to know that it’s OK to walk away if you realize that this person isn’t going to give you the love you deserve.

But, if your gut tells you that this person is worth fighting for, then you have these tools to help you along.

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Alex Cormont is an expert in dating and relationships, founder of French Relationship Expert, and author who works with women to guide them to find the right man and have the relationship they've always dreamed of.