Is Your Unconscious Nixing Your Chance To Find Love?
I’ve introduced my pal Mark to several attractive women friends based on his assurance that he really wanted to be in a committed relationship or even remarry. After each encounter I received a positive report. “What a great lady! I’m definitely going to call her.” When questioned, weeks later, he admitted that he had not followed through. Susan, I learned, was on a focused campaign to find her next life partner after recuperating from an unexpected and painful divorce. Being attractive and “out there”, she had no problems meeting men. Yet once a prospect became a real possibility, she pushed the panic button. Next!
First dates that don’t lead to second ones happen to all daters. Lack of chemistry is a frequent reason why people drop the ball. Many couples, however, who take the time to discover each other, find that the spark eventually happened and love bloomed. So what about those grand first encounters when both parties can’t wait to see each other again? Somehow the promised phone call never happened and anticipation turned into disappointment? The very fact that both parties “clicked” may trigger panic. When the commitment phobic candidate realizes that the person they have just met is exactly the ideal partner they’ve been dreaming about, their unconscious is flooded with fears so overwhelming that it paralyzes them.
Commitment fears are deeply rooted and differ in men and women. Men specifically fear loss of freedom; doing what they want to do, when they want to do it. They fear loss of sexual variety, fear of intimacy, marriage, fear of being rejected. Women often fear of having to give themselves up to be loved, fear of making bad decisions and being hurt again, fear of financial doom. Commitment-phobia is always fear based. According to “The National Marriage Project”, a Rutgers University Study, men today overwhelmingly worry about getting committed. Cohabitation, offering an escape hatch, has dramatically increased and is not, as research states, a positive development for establishing a happily married life.
Clearly Mark’s and Susan both suffer from commitment fears. So how can they overcome their deeply rooted issues? Recognition that there is a problem and owning up to it is clearly the first step. Sometimes the help of a counselor or therapist makes it easier and safer to openly admit the fears and reveal their origin. When a commitment-phobic meets a secure, caring person who understands the problem and is willing to hang in, the phobic can be helped. It is not unusual that, over time, he or she learns to trust the partner and feels safe in the relationship, when witnessing day by day, that there is nothing to fear. Many people with commitment phobia have been able to free themselves of their psychological shackles because they really want to change and seek a happier life and a committed, loving partnership.
Whatever fears people harbor, the old truth applies across the board; there is nothing to fear except fear itself. Letting fears make you walk away too soon may mean missing the chance of finding a great and enduring love.
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