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Commitment Phobia and Singles

committment phobia

Commitment phobia is the fear of commitment. When we speak of commitment phobia among singles, we are referring to folks who avoid commiting to long term relationships such as marriage. People who suffer from committment phobia come in all varieties. Commitment phobes (no, I didn’t make this term up!) can be both male and female, Christian and non-Christian, teens, single parents or seniors.

Commitment phobia among singles can occur for several reasons. However, most commitment phobic men and women truly yearn for a deep and intimate relationship leading toward marriage, but fright causes them to butcher every dating opportunity they may get. This is a sad catch-22 situation.

Afterwards, these singles loathe themselves for acting so stupidly. Previous abusive relationships, intimacy issues or traumatic childhood experiences could be causes for this kind of commitment avoidance. Many of these singles, Christian or not, are incapable of making a commitment without therapeutic help, patience and lots of prayer.

Unfortunately, it is not just the person with commitment phobia who suffers. Many times singles looking for love get hooked in by the charm and manipulation of commitment phobic singles, who may or may not know what pain they are about to unload on the unsuspecting person.

The pain cycle of someone who gets stuck on a person with committment phobia:

  • The Allurement-This is the place where manipulation and romance occurs.
  • The Abandonment-Just as the single who is not afraid of commitment thinks the “relationship” is going somewhere, the commitment phobe inexplicably withdraws from the friendship. Needless to say, this leaves the other single devestatingly heartbroken, confused and feeling rejected. Can we get a few amens out there from some people who have suffered through this?

Avoiding Singles With Commitment Phobia

The best way to avoid a heartbreak with this kind of person is to spot the tell tale signs of a commitment phobic person. I guess I should be honest at this point and tell you that most singles who suffer from commitment phobia are, you guessed it, men. Anyway, here are some signs, and if you find most of them in the person you are really into…run for the hills before it’s too late:

  • He comes on real strong, making you think he is really smitten by your charms.

  • Pulls out everything but the “kitchen sink” in making you believe he is your perfect match. For example, if you like something, he will say he likes the same thing.

  • Indicates you are that “long lost soulmate” he has been waiting and praying for all of his life.

  • In the beginning he tries to spend every moment he can with you. Often, he will call you just to say what he knows you want to hear, like “I miss you.”

  • Talks about a life together in the future. For example, “When we have our kids I would love to live here.” This gives the impression that he is planning on staying with you forever.

  • He has a horrible past relationship history, but makes you believe this time it will finally work.

If you are a single Christian who has commitment phobia, but knows it is destroying your life and those around you, know that there is hope. Our recommendation is to contact a church in your local area, and ask for a counseling referral. If you don’t have a local church, New Life Ministries offers a 24 hour international counseling hotline. You can call toll free at 1-800-NEW-LIFE. If you reside in NJ contact our own ministry at Oasis-Church-NJ.com, or call us at 732-406-7821

Finally, consider helping other singles by sharing your experiences with commitment phobia.

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7 Comments

  1. this is so true, speaking from my experience. I once dated this guy, he is an atheist (I know…I know…I can see many eyes are rolling here :) He came on very strongly at first, it was like a period of non-stop texting, chatting and calling for almost two months. Lots of talks about family and marriage plans. And yeah, threw in a couple of “I’m willing to convert to Christianity” on the way as well. Needless to say, after I gave him a go-ahead and we’d been dating for two months, he almost never bothered to make an effort to communicate. It was always I who made the approach. Anyways…let bygones be bygones, and let go be let God :)

  2. This is so true. I once dated an atheist (I know…I can see many eyes are rolling here :) He came on very strongly at first, it’s like a period of non-stop texting, chatting, calling, like he couldn’t get enough of me. There were plenty of talks about marriage, building a family, future, and oh, he threw in that “I’m willing to convert” subject as well. My mistake, and sin, was that I did not pray about it first, and just gave assumed that God sent him to me, and that he was the one. Needless to say, after I gave him the go-ahead and we had been dating for almost 2 months, he started to distant himself, saying that he was too busy to call or text. It was always me who initiated the communication. On the fourth month I couldn’t take it anymore and called the whole thing off.

  3. Dear Monanea,

    Doesn’t it make you laugh (and want to kick yourself) when you read something so classic and know that you fell for it yourself?

    I find it difficult sometimes to decipher what is my will verses God’s will. If this guy was put in your path, shouldn’t that mean it was His will? God is sovereign, right?

    He is! He is all powerful and can choose to allow or disallow anything He desires. We have to be very careful that we pray and listen for an answer from God on His will. It may not be this booming voice from the sky that says “STOP! This is going to be BAD!” It oftens comes in the form of a little whisper in our ears that lets us know this just doesn’t feel right.

    I sometimes have a really tough time knowing if I am listening to my will (or HIS will) We can ignore those whispers, shut them out, especially when the voice that we want to hear is much louder!

    It sounds like this guy knew exactly how to appeal to you and played you like a violin. Our beleifs can be preyed upon easily. Ask God to fufill all the promises He made. The breastplate of righteousness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and the belt of truth. (Ephesians 6:10-19)

    God Bless,

    Jodi

  4. I just broke up with this so-called Christian man. I came to this website by change and read this article and he was exactly this. I also found out that he was “passive-aggressive.” In the first 6 months, he was a man any woman in this world would want to have. He was an angel, he would do anything I ask. Then slowly and gradually, he changed, but ever so slightly until the end, except he would not had no ability to reconcile our differences, resolve conflicts, give me silent treatment when I address issues in our relationship, then get REALLY nasty afterwards. Exactly one year after we got very close, he told me something so outrageous that tells me how little he trusted me (and I am the most faithful and loyal woman on earth, gave him no reason to doubt my faithfulness)and then he said something like “I shouldn’t have said this. I should keep to myself things that would make you upset,” He was doubting that I was lusting over other men, or checking with other men, etc… CRAZY THOUGHT, but what’s crazier is he hid all of this and other negative feelings, but all the time he was acting like there was nothing wrong, he was so in love with me, etc… it was all FAKE. He hid all of the emotions he didn’t want me to know, and he said and acted like he was “totally committed for marriage.” He broke up with me when he continued the cycle of silent treatment and nasty after I raised another issue we needed to resolve, nothing unusual, just a relationship adjustment that is all needed, but to him who did not even budge for anything in reality to work out our differences and never committed as he claimed, it was something to flee from, not to cope with. He dumped the relationship without even giving us a change to “talk” he just disappeared, totally abandoning responsibility to even close the relationship HE started by approaching me. All he wanted is having fun with me…he admitted he was very “attracted to me” because I was “wonderful” even when the relationship was going down. I asked him and told him we need to take action, get help, to keep our relationship healthy, he acted like he was going to get help, when he actually was thinking how much he wanted out. He LIED to me and DECEIVED me all the time. For his pleasure and fun. He had not idea how much he was hurting me by doing this whole thing to my life. More than a month later, he came explaining, he could not stand to see my tears, he is not a good enough man, he cannot be my perfect dream man, etc. etc… never apologized for the damage he caused in my life, just dodging responsibility. This is totally unChristian, worse than a conscious non-Christian man. He even said his sister made a decision to stop him from seeing me (it’s true, he lets his sister run his life…)… CUMON. We are not high school kids. He is 52 years old.

    Ladies, there are these men who are like wolves out there. They claim to be Christian, but no way they are not. I was a little careless to have emotionally fallen for him before I confirmed his act was genuine. But it took one whole year to see his lies. Guard your heart, ladies. Be careful, when they are so angelically good, they are faking.

  5. I’m a 23 year old guy who since I was old enough to like girls has always sought serious long-term relationships. I lost my virginity at 16, which completely changed my outlook on romantic relationships. I recently learned about the chemicals in our bodies that cause us to form bonds with people, and how sex releases an intense amount of these chemicals. Looking back, I realize how much I damaged myself by having sex with my girlfriends, because these relationships were never meant to last a lifetime and therefore my brain dealt with breakups much in the same way it would deal with the death of a spouse. It wasn’t until all of this took place that I developed a fear of commitment. I became a Christian at age 18, but spent a long time in the pit of this dilemma. I’ve had a lot of partners in the bedroom, some who I was intimately dating and some who I barely knew or talked to after the fact. It’s only through God’s love and grace and the support of amazing people that I’ve grown up and been delivered from this type of thinking and behaving. Sometimes it’s not that men are rotten and have no regard for what they’re doing, sometimes it’s just the consequences from making bad decisions that have a lasting impact, on everyone.

    I’m pretty terrified reading this because I’m at a point where I’ve been saved and redeemed and I want to find someone to settle down with, but I’m exhibiting all of these characteristics of someone who is afraid to commit.

    I came on strongly because I want to show her that I’m confident with who I am and confident that she has me charmed.

    I ask tough questions to find out if we’re a perfect match, and when things line up I get super excited.

    Having so many bad relationships means that I won’t settle for anything less than the “long lost soulmate” that God has brought into my life for the purpose of a marriage relationship

    I want to spend a lot of time with her in the beginning because I’m just that into her. I have no desire to play games and mess up something I really want. Women are the most insecure people in the world and need to be told that they are beautiful, enjoyed, missed.

    I talk about a life together in the future, because I want to make sure she doesn’t want to live on a farm and raise 10 children or won’t join me when I want to do something fun like go snowboarding.

    Regardless of my horrible past relationship history, I believe in myself to be dedicated and show immense love to one woman. I want it to finally work.

    People change. People care. Be careful but don’t be bitter.

  6. I just read about this on another site. Yes, my ex-boyfriend has all the classic traits of the commitment phobia; the 1st year was heaven; I believed that God sent him to me. We were planning marriage, we worshiped and prayed together, then BOOM; God told him that I was not the one and he had to wait on the Lord to lead him to the one.. Yeah right, he turned to alcohol, antidepressants, and immoral women.
    That was 4 years ago so I stayed with the church, he didn’t but we went together on and off all that time. Jan, 2010, I thought he hit rock bottom, DUI, wrong. Stupid me took him in and he did try to stay sober in my home we even went to church a few times but he had a drinking lady friend too. And that is where he is at now cause he can drink and do whatever he wants and not pay her a dime.

    Yes he is out of my life, lesson learned, even if he owes me rent and half of his belongings are still in my home. I can only pray for him and her both.

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