THE BLOG
09/30/2015 04:30 pm ET Updated Sep 30, 2016

Getting Over Your Fear of Commitment

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You know that feeling you get after a particularly vulnerable moment? Perhaps it's during an intimate moment, when you suddenly see the red flag of fear pop up, and you will do anything to create space and distance between you and your partner? That desire for space and distance is your need to restore a sense of control.

Remember the boy you liked in high school who finally asked you out? Or the fellow who chased you until he caught you, and then discarded you like driftwood? These feelings of the fear of commitment, so common to us all, become heightened when we feel vulnerable.

Once in a relationship, where control is mutual and shared, so is your feeling of vulnerability. In fact, your anxiety can mount to such a high pitch, that you find yourself fighting with your mate in order to restore a level playing field... that feeling of balance. This push-pull behavior represents your fear of intimacy.

So what can you do about it?

  • The first thing you have to do is recognize that this is going on. Call a thing by its name and you gain a certain amount of power over it.
  • Acknowledge it. When you acknowledge your feelings, your inner voice hears your fear.
  • Take back your projected emotions. When you bring back your fear of commitment, by recognizing that it is YOUR fear that's driving your behavior, and not the fault of your partner, you are taking your behavior back into yourself, where it belongs. By deliberately taking back your own projected material, you begin the process of healing your fear of commitment.
  • It's never about the other person. In fact, it's never about what it's about; it's always about you. Your behavior patterns originate in your childhood, and compel your interactions with others... so to integrate them back into your unconscious consistently with awareness is to overcome it.
  • Redeem your pattern of fear of commitment, instead of acting it out. When you follow this process, you can clearly and consciously override your fear of commitment when it rears its ugly little head. And, the more you deliberately do this, the less power that fear has over you.

This approach is not too different than the one used at Alcoholics Anonymous. The more actively you overpower your need for control, the more likely you are to diffuse your need for space and distance. The more often you do this, the more you lower the decibels that compel your behavior.

Ultimately, you put the genie back into the bottle, and that bottle can be found in your unconscious, where you can retrieve it whenever you wish. Thus, your fear of commitment is not suppressed, but rather under your discretion. Finally, by creating a new pattern, you have the opportunity to experience the fulfillment of a relationship through the intimacy of commitment.