Are you terrified of getting married or do you feel you’re not ready enough? Have you been witnessing all the disappointing stories around marriage? What can you do to overcome the fear of marriage? Here are my thoughts.
I have a friend who got really anxious around her wedding time. She was a strong independent woman, soaring high in her career and a proud provider for her aged parents. Yet even after choosing a partner of her own free will, she was having the jitters.
When I asked her what was troubling her, she replied “Everything is going just too perfectly well. V is great in all ways, but what if he changes after marriage? What if he doesn’t allow me to be myself? What if he gets jealous like many men do? ” I couldn’t believe that despite being a confident person she feared losing control in her marriage.
Trouble did strike the couple after a few months, when my friend’s husband lost his job due to recession and she became solely responsible to maintain their standard of life. Expectations crossed limits, disappointments creeped in, society talked and so came regret.
She remained aloof for a few years and we had no contact. But recently when I again got in touch with her, she shared with me how her life had truly changed post marriage and now even after two children, they were going really strong.
So what had happened? How did she face her problems?
Well, avoiding her feelings definitely didn’t help. But talking to her husband did.
The added burden of maintaining their lifestyle had definitely brought in a lot of challenges but she and her husband were open in communicating their thoughts and feelings to each other.
There were arguments and bad days. Yet, they took this challenge as a team project and whole-heartedly helped each other to be successful at it. Her husband found a job again. She continued to be successful at her career and they soon became a family of four.
“So you don’t have fights now?” I asked curiously
“Ofcourse we do” she laughed, “I just don’t fear them anymore.”
Most fears around marriage, in my experience, are based on the basic need for love. We all wish to be loved and protected all the time. In marriage we expect this love and protection from our partners too.
It is always hard to entrust this need onto someone else, knowing that this could strip us from all the control that we have, over our thoughts and actions.
What is this fear of marriage based upon-
What if I marry the “wrong” person?
Harsh truth- You never marry the right person! Just as you can’t guarantee on how you could change post marriage, the same stands for every other person too. People change all the time! In marriage, you always have to work your way into becoming right for each other.
Hi! My name is Rubitah. I’m a certified Life Coach, Social Work professional and the Founder of Being Rubitah. Over the years through my professional and personal life, I have realized that prayers and love can do wonders to family life once you come to terms with yourself and surrender to God. Do you relate to me? Then you may like what I post here! Read more about me
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People with gamophobia can have full-blown panic attacks at the thought of marriage. / Photo: Net
Nadia’s last relationship ended a few weeks ago, she and the boyfriend had been dating for close to two years when they eventually got engaged. She recalls their relationship being in a good place until her ex-boyfriend brought up the topic of marriage.
Things immediately started falling apart as soon as he proposed to me. I guess I ran into panic mode. We started having constant arguments which later led to our break-up, she says.
Though she says she is not against the idea of marriage, Nadia admits to having a profound fear of starting a family.
For some, getting married can be a dream come true yet for others it is the total opposite. People with a fear of marriage can be in a long term relationship and the minute the relationship starts heading towards marriage, they want to run for the hills.
Experts term this condition as gamophobia. According to them, this type of fear causes an overwhelming and irrational fear of marriage or commitment.
According to Jane Biira, a counsellor, people who have gamophobia can have full-blown panic attacks at the thought of marriage or commitment.
She explains that whereas most people tend to get ‘cold feet’ about marriage, most get past this uncertainty, but the situation is different for those who have gamophobia; for them, it’s more than just reluctance—it’s a paralysing fear.
Innocent Kabera, a counsellor as well, says sometimes they receive clients who swear to never marry in life and they later find out that many of them have a problem of self-esteem.
Self-esteem affects people in different ways, he explains. “Another way this affects us is when we do not love ourselves, we all know that you can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Those who don’t love themselves or who feel unworthy are not able to accept that someone else can accept them, others are afraid of responsibilities,” he says.
Kabera also notes that happiness anxiety can be another cause of this fear. He explains that some people have grown up programmed that suffering is the symptom of happy endings, or that when someone is happy, it’s because there’s something wrong going to happen.
“They get most of these beliefs from their parents/guardians. Those who have grown up in unhappy families are afraid that they might be happier than their parents and that their parents won’t be happy for them. It can also be caused by depression; you might have been disappointed by your first partner or that your parents have lived in an unhappy marriage and fearing that it might happen to you too.”
Therapist Lori Gottlieb says that whether it’s with marriage or something else, it’s easier to devalue something we might not get than to acknowledge that we might want it.
“I wouldn’t want a house that big,” someone might say when driving by a gorgeous home, when in fact the person would love to live there but feels she’ll never be able to afford it. “That guy’s not my type,” a person might say of a guy she’s attracted to but feels she can’t have. Likewise, “I wouldn’t want to be the boss, it’s too stressful,” feels better than, “I don’t think I’m good enough for that job.”
She notes that of course, many people find marriage highly appealing, or nobody in a free society would choose it. Most marriages are neither rom-com fantasy nor celebrity disaster, but something in the comfortable middle.
“If you don’t address your underlying terror, you won’t get close enough with anyone to consider the prospect of marriage. And if you don’t get close enough, you will never be able to make a clear-eyed decision about whether or not marriage is something you want. None of us can love and be loved without the possibility of loss, but there is a difference between knowledge and terror.”
Dealing with gamophobia
There are different ways of overcoming this form of anxiety. Kabera says better solutions exist but these must be discovered, must be learned and practiced.
If it’s the issue with how one grew up, he recommends evaluating one’s perception towards marriage.
“You should ask yourself, does my self-concept permit it? Does my view of the universe permit it? Does my childhood programming permit it? Does my life scenario permit it? If the answer is negative, it is important to try to solve those problems by engaging in different practices that help you reprogram your mind set like therapies, meditation, and yoga.”
For those whom happiness triggers anxiety and disorientation, Kabera says it’s important to learn how to live in the moment and worry less about the future.
“At times we must learn how to do nothing—that is to breath into our feelings, to allow them be, to watch our own process, to accept the depths of our own experience while at the same time being a conscious witness to them and not be manipulated into behaving self-destructively. With time, we can build a tolerance for happiness; we can increase our ability to handle joy without panicking. This way, we discover that happiness is our birth right and that a new way of being is possible,” he adds.
For those struggling with this kind of fear, the counsellor also recommends loving yourselves first for this will allow others to love you back.
Fear is accepting something as harmful that hasn’t happened yet. False evidence appearing real.
Here are a few examples of fear the enemy brings to disrupt your marriage.
- Fear of being transparent
- Of being honest
- Of not being able to provide for your family
- Of your spouse committing adultery so you may falsely accuse them based on your fear or insecurities.
- Fear of growing apart
- Fear of total commitment
- Fear of someone taking your husband or wife because they are younger, pretty, or handsome, less weight however your fear manifest.
Satan’s plan for our marriages is to cloud our minds with so much fear that we can’t see the truth of God’s promise in and for our marriages.
Understand there is a difference between fear and danger. Danger is real, fear is an illusion pretending to be real until we speak it into existence.
Fear is not designed to only make you afraid…it is also designed to make you doubt, make you feel you are missing out on something, it is designed to make you hesitate or make a bad decision. Fear is a choice!
We choose to accept it, or reject fear. The enemy would say to you that a known captivity is more comfortable than an unknown freedom. That is a lie! Freedom known or unknown is always better than captivity.
So how do we overcome fear in our marriages?
*Talk about your fears with your partner…fear likes secrecy and to be kept in the dark.
*Recognize life’s imperfection…no one is perfect
*Talk with your partner about sexual exclusivity… commitment…needs that need to be met.
*Picture yourself in 10-20 years….what is your vision.
*Try living together…not as single people
*Talk to those whom you respect that are married
*Consider marriage counseling
*Develop realistic expectations.
*Gain knowledge. We perish for the lack of knowledge
*Know your reason for marrying. A plan without purpose is a blueprint for how to waste time.
*Gain confidence that you can succeed.
Determine to overcome fear — it’s a choice.
Breaking fear in marriage starts with trusting the love you have for one another. If there is doubt fear will always have a place to take root and grow.
I refuse to let false evidence appear real in my marriage, I refuse to allow my decisions to be dictated by what hasn’t happened or allow fear to keep the love that my wife and I deserve from each other, I refuse to give or receive love in a tainted state.
I choose…..not fear!
Marriage Matters, to God be the glory!
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
What if you never get married? What will your life be like if you never get that desire for a relationship fulfilled? How can you overcome the fear of never getting married?
Here are 3 ways to overcome this fear.
Fear Is Rooted In Doubting God’s Love for You
If you want to overcome the fear of never getting married, I believe it is wise to first understand where all fear ultimately comes from. We all fear many different things at times. But at the heart of every fear is the doubt that God loves you and is control. If you doubt God’s control over your life and if you doubt God’s love for you, you will experience deep fear. 1 John 4:16, 18 explains:
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. . . . There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
So the first way to overcome any fear is to firmly believe the truth that God really does love you. Even if your life does not turn out the way you want, even if you never get the marriage you want, you must remember the love God has for you.
Many people believe God loves them but then they get confused because their desires are not fulfilled in their life. If God loves you, why doesn’t God show you his love by giving you the things you want, like marriage?
God Ultimately Shows His Love for Us Through His Presence, Not Through the Gift of Marriage
God will show his love for all his people, but God will not bless all people with the gift of marriage, even though many of his people who are single would want to be married. So how can this be? How can God love us and yet not give us what we want, like marriage?
There are many reasons God does not allow some people to get married. As I talk about a lot, many times it’s not a spiritual issue but a practical issue. If people don’t take the normal steps needed to interact with the opposite sex, then God should not be blamed. Besides that, there are many other reasons why some people will be called to a life of singleness. I’ve talked about that a lot. You can check those articles out here.
But the main reason God does not always give people what they ask for even though he loves them is because God knows the ultimate gift of love is himself. While God may not give you a marriage, God is always offering himself fully to you. God’s love is not something he has. God’s love is who he is. Therefore he always offers himself as the ultimate gift of love. In Philippians 3:7-8 Paul said:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.”
So one way you can overcome the fear of never getting married is to realize that God, not marriage, is ultimately the main need for your heart to be healthy and satisfied. God’s love can satisfy you completely. Marriage is a blessing, but it can never satisfy you like God. Therefore no matter if you receive the blessing of marriage or not, God has made a way for your joy to be totally complete in him through the access we gain into his presence through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You Have to Come to Terms with the Possibility of Never Getting Married. Once You Accept This Is Possible, You Will Not Fear It
If you truly want to overcome the fear of never getting married, the last step you will eventually need to take is to accept that it is possible you will never get married. If you can never accept this possibility and if you can never come to terms with a life of singleness, you will always have this fear of never getting married.
You have to get to the place in your heart that you know, even if you never do get married, you will still choose to live a joyful, meaningful life in God. If you simply wait to be happy until you get married, if you simply wait to really live until you get into a relationship, fear will ruin your life. You must get to that place in your heart where you know you will be okay even if you never get married. You will be sad and disappointed, but you must resolve to not lose heart just because you never married.
The key is to accept the possibility of never marrying without becoming hopeless that you will never marry. Many people think they are becoming accepting but in reality they are simply become depressed and hopeless. You don’t need to give up your desire for a Christian marriage. You don’t need to stop praying and being active in your pursuit of a godly relationship. But you also need to accept the possibility of never marrying while not being bitter about it.
If you can gain acceptance without bitterness, you will be able to overcome the fear of never getting married.
Anxiety surrounding new relationships is normal. But if your fear of commitment is making it impossible for you to enjoy a long-term romance, it will limit your quality of life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help overcome your fear of commitment and eliminate your relationship anxiety once and for all. This article examines relationship anxiety and offers some practical solutions for overcoming it.
What Are Some Reasons People Fear Commitment?
The fear of commitment and anxiety during or before engaging in a relationship is quite common. Reasons often include:
- Fear of rejection
- Afraid of emotional betrayal
- Can’t let down emotional guard
- Don’t want to lose independence
- Trust issues
- Fear of responsibility
Many individuals who grew up in homes that experienced divorce during their childhood also experience relationship anxiety. They don’t want to end up being a part of a relationship that ends up in failure so they close themselves off.
What Can I Do About my Fear of Commitment?
First, it is important to remember that perfect relationships don’t exist. Believing in the fairy-tale relationship fantasy sets up for unrealistic expectations. Going into a relationship understanding that there will be ups and downs helps take away some anxiety. There are several simple steps you can take to help alleviate your fear of commitment, including:
Practice Positive Thinking
Negative thinking often leads to negative outcomes. When entering a relationship it’s imperative to go into it with a positive attitude. It’s easier said than done, and for some, it takes time to “rewire” your thought patterns, but approaching relationships from a place of positivity can make all the difference.
You’ve probably heard the saying “with no risk, there is no reward.” The same goes for relationships. If you don’t put yourself out there, you might miss out on finding the perfect person for you.
No Need To Rush
Don’t put pressure on yourself. Take your new relationship slow at first. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your new relationship partner. By slowing things down it allows your relationship to grow at a pace that is comfortable for you.
Have Compatible Relationship Values
Have open and honest conversations about what both of you want in a relationship. When you communicate what you are looking for, it allows for both of you to see if your values are compatible. If they aren’t, you’ll know early in the relationship before it gets too serious.
Before jumping into a relationship, make sure you know yourself. Openly and honestly explore the reasons for your relationship anxiety. Write down what is making you nervous, no matter how silly it seems. Just the simple act of getting your thoughts on paper can help relieve anxiety.
Let Go Of Control
Understand that you can’t control everything. This includes your relationships. To let go of relationship anxiety, allow both you and your partner to have some space to grow. Find some hobbies that are just yours. The act of doing something just for you allows individual growth.
Consider Therapy For Underlying General Anxiety
Sometimes there are other factors at play behind your fear of commitment. Often, those who suffer from relationship anxiety have an underlying general anxiety condition as well. If this is the case, seeing a professional therapist can help you find tools to face your anxiety in life and your relationships.
Stop Looking For Quick Excitement
Some people experience relationship anxiety because they get attached to the emotional feeling of new relationships. A new relationship is always exciting, and it is possible to get addicted to those feelings. But if you are looking to shed your fear of commitment, you’ll need to start looking past the beginning excitement and towards the rewards a long-term relationship can offer.
New relationships are bound to bring about anxiety from time to time. But if your fear of commitment is making you miss out on meaningful relationships, it’s time to seek help. In Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, expert counselors at North Brooklyn Marriage & Family Therapy are there to help you get past your fear of commitment. Call the office or book an appointment conveniently online.
One of the biggest sources of joy and happiness in life is having an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with a partner who feels the same about us as we do about them. But for some people, becoming emotionally intimate with another person is difficult.
Let’s explore some of the reasons people are afraid of intimacy, and some of the ways to let go of emotional intimacy issues and build healthy, emotionally-rich relationships.
What is emotional intimacy, and fear of emotional intimacy?
Emotional intimacy is the state of feeling supremely connected to your partner. You feel safe, protected, and understood. You know that you can allow yourself to be totally open, vulnerable and honest with your partner and they will never criticize or belittle what you are experiencing.
Emotionally intimate relationships are partnerships in the truest sense of the word, and something to aspire for when envisioning the highest level of adult love .
But there are many people who are not equipped with the tools to become emotionally intimate partners without some expert help, they suffer from fear of emotional intimacy.
Men and women who come from backgrounds that include physical and/or mental abuse, trauma or neglect have a difficult time attaching emotionally to others. There have been several studies that link these two.
People who grew up in households where criticism, fighting, denigration, and threats were weapons parents used against each other and the children have challenges to overcome to be able to open up emotionally with their partner.
For marriages, the danger here is that long-term emotionally distant people who deal with the fear of emotional intimacy can unknowingly contribute to unhappiness, dissatisfaction and eventually the end of the relationship.
Watch this video outlining the warning signs of the fear of intimacy:
Why does fear of emotional intimacy happen?
Fear of intimacy comes from a place of anxiety. It is hard for someone who did not grow up in secure, loving and stable conditions to feel safe bonding with a partner.
They may imagine themselves as unworthy of love (because they had a critical parent), or feel certain that their partner will leave them one day (because they grew up with an absent parent).
They may have learned to shut off all emotion because expressing feelings was met with contempt and humiliation when they were young. This is one of the major emotional intimacy signs.
Obstacles leading to fear of emotional intimacy
1. Lack of trust
A key factor in bonding emotionally is trust , and people who have experienced childhoods where trust was not established have to reprogram their brains in order to trust others, and in turn, become emotionally intimate with them.
2. Lack of feeling safe
Adults whose formative years were spent in situations where they were clearly unsafe, due to household or community violence, unreliable, sporadic parenting, poverty, drug or alcohol use, have a fear of emotional intimacy.
Fear of emotional intimacy is a predictable consequence for those who have experienced trauma such as rape, incest, violence in the home, and other life-altering events.
How to overcome the fear of emotional intimacy
1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to expert help
For people coming from backgrounds of abuse, trauma, and neglect, it is highly recommended that they enlist the help of a qualified therapist to help them learn to restructure how they see others and acquire the techniques needed to build trust.
This is not a quick process, but well worth the investment so that the people with the fear of emotional intimacy can truly experience intimacy in all its forms.
If you are in love with an emotionally absent partner, therapy can be helpful for you, too, so that you can understand how your partner became the way he is, and what you can do to support his evolution towards becoming an emotionally intimate person.
2. Tell your loved one where you are coming from
If you are finding it difficult to establish emotional intimacy, it will be essential to tell your partner what you are experiencing so they won’t think they are at fault.
This is also the first step in showing your vulnerability and not meeting with rejection—an important part of your path towards bonding with your partner.
3. Learn to express your emotions, not shut them off
Another vital step in building intimacy is to express your feelings—negative and positive—with your partner, using “I” statements. “I am feeling overwhelmed by all these emotions” is a great way to begin!
The reaction of a loving and understanding partner, who listens and validates your feelings, will show you that it is OK to open up to them. They won’t mock you or run away (like you experienced in childhood).
Make these disclosures small so that you maintain a feeling of safety throughout this process. There is no need to go big with this step. Express your emotions bit by bit, at a rate in which you feel comfortable.
As you obtain validation from your partner, memorize that feeling. You are retraining your brain to recognize that your loving partner is a safe person to open up to. They will not reject you for showing who you are inside.
4. Take it day by day
Moving from dealing with the fear of emotional intimacy towards becoming an emotionally available person is a long process and it takes patience and understanding for both partners.
It took many years for the emotionally distant person to learn this adaptive behavior and it will take him some time to reframe how to view the world as a safe place.
The process is not straightforward, and there will be moments where you may see regression instead of progress. But stay optimistic. Ultimately the gift of becoming a person capable of becoming emotionally intimate is worth the work involved.
Your relationship will become richer and closer as you open up to the creation and deepening of the emotional bond that ties you together.
In the modern world, marriage is no longer considered a necessity, so many women deliberately refuse this format of love relationships. But there are those who do not object to it. However, for some reason, they are afraid of the wedding. If you belong to this category, we propose to understand the real reasons for such a phobia.
Why is it so scary?
To begin with, let’s clarify that fear is based on the instinct of self-preservation and is designed to protect us. It reminds us of the negative events that once happened to us, of the bad experiences that we faced in the past, or that we had to observe from aside. We can say that fear tries to do everything to keep us from the pain already experienced. Thus, the fear of marriage is often associated with four main reasons:
Someone else’s fear
Arguments of parents in the presence of children or simply an unfavorable situation in the family often lead to the fact that the child develops a negative attitude towards marriage. A girl comes to the conclusion that she does not want such a life. Growing up, she begins to experience serious doubts about marriage.
Children do not always receive negative experience from their parents – other relatives or, for example, family acquaintances can also instill the feeling of fear in the child.
What should be done? To begin with, admit that there are people around who are unhappy in marriage. But there are those who are more fortunate. Try to find at least a few examples of happy families among your acquaintances, relatives and friends.
Analyze why you think you are bound to be among the unlucky ones. Is there even a small chance that everything will turn out well in your marriage? Now consider what you and your partner can do to increase your chances of a happy marriage.
No one can guarantee that everything will turn out in the best way for you, but giving up in advance is obviously a losing option.
Perhaps the girl once had an attempt to start a family, but everything did not end in the best way. For example, there was a breakup right before the wedding, or there was a divorce shortly after the wedding.
For a young girl who married in love or in a fit of passion, this event can be so traumatic that later she begins to fear marriage.
What should be done? A mental wound is similar to a bodily wound – if you do not take care of it, if it is not worked out, there is a risk of complications and scar formation. The traumatic experience requires that it should be properly experienced, understood and learned from life. Once this happens, you can get rid of the doubts and fears associated with marriage and a stable relationship.
A woman often believes that marriage will turn her whole life upside down – routine chores, endless housework, and a complete loss of freedom. For a woman, marriage is often associated with the disappearance of diversity and joy from life. As a rule, women do not realize that it is destructive attitudes that must be blamed for this, not marriage.
What should be done? The human brain loves stereotypes, because they allow it to relax. There is an assumption, and we stick to it. But stereotypes can be so destructive that they can ruin even the strongest union.
You can spare some time for a reality check of your thoughts, force yourself to doubt your own opinion, and try to challenge it. If you and your partner are happy at the planning stage, if your relationship does not feel like an endless series of tedious life, and if you and your partner have a clear idea of how to lead this very life and how to build your life together, marriage is unlikely to radically change your reality.
Of course, there will be some changes in your life, which, however, can always be discussed – try asking your partner a number of questions about his idea of living together, set comfortable boundaries and frameworks, and then it will be easier for you to implement changes in life (Also read Things Couples Should Discuss Before Getting Married).
Fear of change
After marriage, partners decide most of the issues together, and if a person is used to living independently and arranging their life alone, marriage may seem frightening. Therefore, the person believes that it is better to abandon it.
What should be done? Try to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the current state of affairs. You do not marry for fear that now you will find yourself limited in your choice, that you will have to take into consideration someone else’s opinion and negotiate. But the marriage may have other pleasant bonuses.
Now estimate your unwillingness to consider the opinion of another person and those “bonuses”. In which direction would you like to move? In case you are not ready to let go of your freedom, marriage is likely to really be a torture. But if the positive aspects of the relationships with your beloved one outweigh the cons, try to let go of fear and start a new stage of your life.
Whatever the reasons for the fear of marriage, it is important to understand that problems will not go away on their own. Obeying this feeling of imaginary danger and avoiding serious relationships, a woman does not solve the problem. She simply escapes from it.
If you really want to be with your loved one, but doubt the correctness of the decision due to a phobia, try to sort out your feelings and work through negative attitudes – so you can understand yourself and leave all the fears in the past.
We all have friends who do not seem to stick to one partner on the pretense that the partner is not good enough for them. Gamophobia or fear of commitment is a very real thing. In fact, this fear is not only real but can have devastating consequences for all parties that are emotionally involved. While the person on the receiving end nurses a broken heart, the sufferer fails to maintain long-term relationships. To them, making a commitment sounds too permanent and unbearable. This factor makes the sufferer feel trapped!
Why You Fear Commitment
You do it because you fear making the wrong decision. That may make sense to you but it is not very logical. Here is why: It is true that you take a risk when you commit to something or someone. However, you are also risking something by extending the wait for that “perfect” opportunity. In fact, the risk of losing the other opportunity is much greater than the risk of the commitment itself! Take a look at exceptional people and you will see that they were not afraid to take a risk and were rewarded by huge success and most importantly with personal growth and fulfillment in return. The cost of success and fulfillment is commitment. If you want to succeed, you need to commit to a goal or a cause. Whether in your professional or personal life, if you want to reach the next level, you need to take an important step in which you must pledge yourself to the cause and take the leap. If you keep thinking about the alternate options that you won’t be choosing with your final decision, it will add the anxiety that comes with waiting.
How to Cure It
Can gamophobia be cured through therapy or some other kind of treatment? Fortunately, yes it can! The following ways may be used as a remedy for fear of commitment:
Find the root of your fear
In general, fear of commitment is rooted in fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection. Yet, each individual has his own “specific something” that prevents him/her from the commitment itself. The individual must explore what is stopping him from committing himself. For instance, if you are dithering about committing yourself to a life partner, what could be stopping you? Maybe you think that you will not be able to do things when and how you want. May be it is also the fact that you will have to pitch in when it comes to chores or not be able to go out with friends. That indicates that what you are afraid of is not being free and this understanding is an important one. Once you identify this fear, then your next step should be to find a way to deal with that fear or to minimize that factor. You can also go deeper into your belief and find out if your fear is real or valid. Most of the time you will find that this fear is baseless. In order to eliminate it, you need to make yourself see how much freedom you actually have.
Face your fear
Living in fear is a delusional mental state that takes you away from the present moment, which is the only moment you have to live. It is important to understand that fear has it place in extreme survival conditions. Fear drives your “fight or flight response,” which is a primitive, automatic, inborn response that prepares us to “fight” or “flee” from perceived attack, harm or threat to our survival. Once we recognize that in most cases, we are not in danger, we can calmly face situations or challenges in life.
Yet, fear is an integral and unconscious part of our being and even when we understand we should not fear, we still fear. Developing fearlessness means learning to sit still with the edginess of the energy. This is why we have to face our fear with courage and do the right thing despite the negative force of our fear.
Everyone needs courage to plant the seeds of their love and dreams. Most of the people that are successful are seldom confident at the beginning of a challenge. They learn to use tools that help them manage the natural fear created by uncertainty. They handle the pressure and complications as they arise and more importantly push themselves to be courageous despite the difficult feelings that they experience.
Envision a desirable future. When the fear of commitment gets too much for you, you have to keep the big picture and long term vision in your sights. You will have to keep reminding yourself when you take risks life becomes more rewarding. This reward will be in the form of a partner that will fill your life. The reward will come in the form of experiencing love or intimacy in a way you cannot reach, unless in a committed relationship. But above all, the reward will come in the form of self development, spiritual growth and happiness.
Take your time
By nature, you will not want to hurry into a relationship. If you rush yourself, then it will do more damage than good. Be patient and take your time to know your partner well. Date and spend time with them. Learn about their values and try to pick a partner that shares your values and ideas about a healthy and successful relationship. That way, you minimize your risks and slowly move into greater levels of commitment.
Believing we can handle whatever comes is something we learn as adults. We can face the possibility of hard times, even failure, when launching a business, starting a new relationship, or taking on a personal challenge.
Remember, you are stronger and more resilient than you were taught to believe. So, if you are committed to someone you love, then trust yourself to have made the right decision, and regardless of what could happen in the future, you will be able to deal with it.
Living based on fear prevents you from seeing the opportunity of life. So, have the power to free yourself from the mental prison that fear creates. Anything worth having is worth working for, and you deserve to live fearless and free.
Moshe Ratson (MBA, MS MFT, LMFT) is a Licensed Couples/Marriage Family Therapist and Executive Coach based in New York City.