Fear of Commitment?

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Ah, the big “C”: commitment.  What does that word bring up for you?

You can’t have a lasting relationship without commitment so it’s pretty important to get yourself straight.


No right or wrong answers here, it’s just that our unique associations are going to have a pretty big impact on how we date and relate.  The heart might be willing but fears, especially subconscious ones, will get in the way.


The person who wants a long-term relationship but has negative associations with commitment is either going to find themselves experiencing some pretty conflicting emotions or sabotaging the relationship.  They might not be consciously aware or understand it but it will happen.


If you’ve been there know that I have too.  I’m not proud of it and I feel bad about the women I inadvertently hurt but I am proud of finally recognizing and breaking the pattern.


Why is it that some people run away from commitment while others run towards it?  And why do some people who want a committed relationship hesitate when they have the opportunity for one?

Understand the meaning that someone attaches to the idea of ‘commitment’ and you’ve discovered an important key to unlocking their heart.  “Meaning” impacts our quality of life, the decisions we make and our overall destiny in an extraordinarily powerful way.

Blessing or a curse?  Your “meaning” is going to determine which you see.  Challenge or defeat?  Yup, your meaning will dictate what you experience here as well.  Our experiences from childhood through the present all have a powerful impact on the meaning we apply to every situation we find ourselves in.  But… 


The most important determiner of meaning is choice.


Our values and beliefs help guide the meaning we’ll automatically give to something but in the same way that we can choose our values and beliefs we can also choose the meaning we apply to any idea or situation.  Like many things its simple: just take responsibility for your life and responsibility for your happiness.  There, see?  Simple.  I didn’t say it was easy!


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Does your lover hesitate about committing even though they’re sincere and loving?  Ask them what meaning occurs for them when they think about it.  Maybe they’ve witnessed the pain of divorce in people close to them like parents, siblings or friends.  My own parents had long and vicious divorce that gave me some pretty negative associations and, even though deep down I knew I wanted to committed relationship, I also had to face and overcome a LOT of fears before I was able to actually have one.


When your partner has negative experiences and meanings around commitment you’ve got to help them discover a NEW meaning for commitment.  You can do that in two ways:

  1. Show them positive examples of committed relationships
  2. Help them understand how their life could be even better by committing to YOU


Committing is easy when we believe that a person really meets our needs and will keep meeting our needs; if there’s any doubt then there will be lots of room for commitment fears to wedge their way between the two of you.


Anthony Robbins and Cloe Madanes describe six human needs that we all share, the only difference between us being how we prioritize those needs and what we need to fulfill them.  The six needs are:

  • Certainty
  • Variety
  • Significance
  • Love
  • Growth
  • Contribution



If your partner is hesitant about taking your relationship to the next level then either you’re not meeting very many of their needs or you’re not meeting their needs very well.  It may be difficult to hear but it really is as simple as that.  I’ve had to face that truth and if you want an ongoing loving relationship then you’ve got to as well.


Which two of the Six Human Needs are most important to your partner and what is the order of importance of their four other needs?  Take a good look at your partner and really think about it.  


When you meet your partner’s top two needs in a strong way then the relationship will be off to a good start but (and this is a pretty important ‘but’) that really is the minimum.  You’ve got to meet four or more of their needs in a strong way to have a really good and strong relationship.




Meet all six needs of their needs to create an attraction, love and devotion stronger than anything you can imagine.  Do that and you’ll have someone who truly adores you and will do anything for you.


Here’s an exercise: invest the time to understand your partner and their needs.  Start with what you think they are based on how you know your partner, then go ahead and ask them because you may find that you weren’t quite on target.  Once you’ve got those keys to their kingdom take the next step and, from that place of love, make sure to meet those needs in ways that they can recognize, appreciate and enjoy.  Do the work!  That is, after all, the essence of love.  Lovingly meet all six of your partners needs and watch any hesitations about commitment disappear.


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Category: Relationship

About the Author ()

Guy Ardito is an in-demand coach, trainer and founder of Relate U., an initiative dedicated to creating a better world through extraordinary relationships. Guy helps his clients overcome even the most complex challenges with humor and creativity, skills honed with decades of experience solving relationship problems in both corporate and personal arenas. As a certified Master Coach, Strategic Interventionist and Relationship and Marriage Educator, Guy has helped singles and couples resolve conflicts, reignite passions, and experience the love they’ve always wanted. He’s proud to live in New York with his extraordinary wife and their beautiful son.

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