Friday, April 11, 2008

Are You a Closet Commitment Phobic?

Breaking up is hard to do or is it? Everyone I know is coming apart at the seams. What's going on? Is it because it's the end of the summer? Have we run out of crazy glue? Doesn't anyone want a commitment anymore? Are relationships really too hard to cope with now? I think there must be a run on magnifying glasses. After all, what relationship could survive once a flaw is revealed?

What do you do when you find out the person you love is less than perfect? Break up!

What do you do when all your needs aren't being satisfied...now? Break up!

What do you do when the going gets rough? Break up!

It seems to me that many people today don't just want a relationship, they want the perfect relationship, with the perfect partner who is Buff Buddha with Bucks who should have some but not too much sensitivity or Buxom Barbie with Brains who should have some gushing and obedience training.

Those people, but not you of course, don't settle for anything less ,except in the few cases when:

  • they think they have found prince or princess charming. Then they ignore the red flags and rush blindly into the relationship. The problem is that by the time the blinders come off, it's too late. They are already hooked into the relationship.


  • they figure that prince or princess charming hasn't shown up yet, so in the meantime...


  • they believe that prince or princess charming is never going to show up. So their lives become the song if you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with. In other words, they resentfully accept that this relationship is as good as it gets and that it is better than nothing,

Staying together isn't easy. Breaking up isn't easy either. But settling, now that's really hard. When you settle and ignore all the "deal-breaker" flags, you wind up in a relationship that is neither fulfilling nor intimate nor committed.

It's awful to be in a relationship and be alone and feel lonely. There's nothing worse than being with someone who doesn't have the basic qualities on your deal-maker dating/relationship list. I can hear the cries now "but I love him" or "she's perfect for me."

To these I say, "so what!" Does the person you're dating or in relationship with have enough of the "star qualities" to be on your YES list? If not, face it, you two are not going to be the dynamic duo. So take off the big "D" baseball cap (here's a hint, the D does not stand for Dallas) and get real. You're either a commitment phobic or you're dating one which means you are a commitment phobic because you've still seeing that guy or gal.

But breaking up and dating someone else isn't the solution. Unless you make some fundamental changes to how and who you date, you're going to continue to attract and have relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable.

How do you stop a perpetual dating, relating, breaking up cycle? Here are some tips:


  • At the beginning of the dating/relating phase don't confuse real chemistry with being pulled in by a "person who has those "oh so" familiar qualities that usually hook you in.


  • Pay attention to your intuition. If it feels "too" familiar or "too" comfortable, trust yourself because you've probably been here before. You know somewhere in your mind, soul, or previous nightmare, I mean experience, that this person or relationship is not good for you.


  • Even though the attraction is really strong and I'm sure it is, ask yourself, " have I been here before? Is this the kind of relationship I want...again?" The short answer should be N-O.


  • Like yourself enough not to settle. Allow yourself to have what you want and so deserve. (now this is going to require lots of self-love and self-control)


  • Don't settle for what looks like intimacy but isn't the real thing. Many people today are closet commitment phobics, afraid of commitment so they date unavailable people. Commitment phobics reel you in, but you take the bait and decide to stay.


  • Don't engage in a push-pull game. If a person rushes you and pulls you in, but pushes you away as soon as you get too close, they are playing "the game" because of their fear of being in a close relationship. These are some of the symptoms of the game to look for: your partner makes you feel insecure, crazy, confused, depressed, and at a loss of what to do.

Are you a closet commitment phobic or are you dating one? Here's how to tell:
Is push-pull one of your favorite game, consciously or unconsciously?
Are you a serial monogamist?
Does commitment feel like death?
Is your definition of connecting mean losing your individuality?
On the Love-o-meter, intimacy isn't one of your strong suits?

Did you answer yes to any of the above? Then, you're probably a commitment phobic or dating one. But don't worry, all is not lost. Come out of the closet by following Shari's One Step Program - Stop being a relationship victim and start practicing making better choices from now on.


P.S. Here are some great books that may be of help to you:

If I'm so Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? By Susan Page
He's Scared, She's Scared by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol
What Smart Women Know by Steven Carter and Julia Sokol

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