All Women's Talk

The Ultimate Secret to Helping You Nail down a Commitment-Phobe ...

By Lyndsie

Some people are afraid of commitment, and I want to start off by saying that those fears are completely valid. You can't talk someone out of a fear, although you can help them. If you're interested in someone who's simply not into the idea of commitments, you can't force that person to change their mind. See, the secret to nailing down a commitmentphobe is not trying to nail them down in the first place. You're not doomed, though, and you don't have to give up the idea of having a relationship, you just have to work a little magic.

Table of contents:

  1. Don't let them dwell on the past
  2. Go easy on the boundaries
  3. Take things a little slower with them
  4. Be affectionate
  5. Don't let them avoid too many outings or events
  6. Discuss response times early in the relationship
  7. Realize that titles could scare them away
  8. Excuses shouldn't cut it with you
  9. Tread lightly when things get a little serious
  10. Keep them curious
  11. You may need to have some serious talks
  12. It's okay to talk about the past
  13. Make it clear that you're different
  14. Make it difficult for them to disconnect
  15. Nix the melodrama
  16. They don't like a lot of structure
  17. Make sure you stay flexible – it'll pay off

1 Don't Let Them Dwell on the past

The thing to remember is that most commitmentphobes have a reason they don't like commitment. Something likely happened in one of their past relationships that put them off the idea. Everyone's experiences are powerful and valid. What you can do is help your commitmentphobe stop dwelling on the past by making them understand that you are different and a future with you will be different, too.

2 Go Easy on the Boundaries

The worst thing you can do to someone who has issues with commitment is to try to box them in with boundaries or limit their freedom in any way. As you begin trying to have a relationship, realize that not everything needs labels.

3 Take Things a Little Slower with Them

In fact, it doesn't hurt to take things slow. Ease into the relationship, take it one step at a time, and prove how easy, natural, and even fun a commitment can be.

4 Be Affectionate

Affection can make people more comfortable. Depending on what specific fears a commitmentphobe has, it can help them to see that you, their potential partner, won't change just because there's a relationship.

5 Don't Let Them Avoid Too Many Outings or Events

You do have to put your foot down sometimes, however. It's not fair to you if you're a “private partner” and the two of you never go out in public together. Furthermore, going on outings as a couple can show a commitmentphobe that relationships can be fun, too.

6 Discuss Response Times Early in the Relationship

Some commitmentphobes rebel against “relationship norms,” and so they might not answer your phone calls or texts in a prompt matter – or at all. If that's important to you, let them know early on. Maybe you can reach a compromise.

7 Realize That Titles Could Scare Them Away

What's more important? Actually having a partner who cares about you, or putting a label on that person so everyone knows you have a boyfriend or girlfriend? The person is more important, right? So don't rush to put labels or titles on everything.

8 Excuses Shouldn't Cut It with You

Being respectful of someone's feelings about commitment is one thing. Accepting less than you deserve is another thing. Let your commitmentphobe know that you prefer the truth to an excuse, especially if it comes down to broken dates or canceled plans.

9 Tread Lightly when Things Get a Little Serious

It really is important to go slow. You don't want to rush anything, not when it's so precarious in the first place.

10 Keep Them Curious

Commitmentphobes may cut and run when they get bored because they fear that relationships themselves get boring, predictable, and complacent. Keep them curious, keep them guessing, and keep them on their toes to avoid this problem.

11 You May Need to Have Some Serious Talks

Base your relationship on honesty and open communication. Not only should you discuss your feelings and expectations, but you have to be open to listening to your commitmentphobe, too.

12 It's Okay to Talk about the past

I know I said not to let your commitmentphobe dwell on the past, and that's true. However, you should always let someone who's afraid of commitment talk about the past. If they're willing to talk about what made them dislike or fear commitment, that's a huge step.

13 Make It Clear That You're Different

There's always a reason a commitmentphobe hates commitment. Show that you're different and that you're trying to understand.

14 Make It Difficult for Them to Disconnect

Commitmentphobes often compartmentalize their feelings to disconnect and distance themselves from anyone who wants a relationship. Make that hard. Make it impossible. Prove that you're here and you're staying.

15 Nix the Melodrama

It can be so hard, and even heartbreaking, to deal with a commitmentphobe. The arguments and discussions you have can get dramatic. That's okay, to an extent. Just try not to let the drama overpower everything else.

16 They Don't like a Lot of Structure

In general, people who dislike commitment also hate feeling like they're boxed in. If you keep things cool, laid-back, and relaxed, however …

17 Make Sure You Stay Flexible – It'll Pay off

Then, yes, it will pay off! Well, probably.

See, some people just aren't cut out for commitment, no matter what you do – because it's not always up to you. Trying these tactics can help, though. Just remember not to push too hard. Try to listen. Have you ever been in love with a commitmentphobe?

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