Long time reader, first time writing in. My fiancé (22) and I (23) have been together for a lovely 5 years, have never had a single fight and have been fairly good at communicating. Our wedding is scheduled for mid next year and we have of course got into the intensive planning phase.
Appreciate the site, and your responses to so many of us trying to figure this whole “desire for romance” thing out. It’s not easy, so thank you.
My question to you regards the idea of “commitment-phobia”. I put it in quotation marks because, while I had heard the term before, I never really knew there was a pattern of behavior associated with the phrase. I just assumed it was what people told themselves/others when they were rejected by someone they fancied so as to alleviate the sting of that rejection. Plus, I know it’s not an actual, clinical diagnosis with criteria that need to be met and so forth so I never really thought it could be a real thing.
Until it happened to me.
I was telling my buddy that the great woman (we’ll call her E) I spent two months with abruptly ended everything and pulled the “I’m not ready for a relationship” card (another phrase I never take at face value, to be honest) out of nowhere. My buddy was aware of how quickly things between myself and E escalated, and upon hearing of her very sudden and unexpected departure, said “yeah dude. She’s afraid of commitment.” After telling him I thought that was bullshit, he went on to explain that commitment-phobia unfolds exactly how things unfolded with E and I. Commitment-phobes are super, crazy hot for you at the beginning, but the second they feel like a real relationship is forming, with obligations and expectations they’ll need to meet, they leave. They’re terrified of these obligations, these expectations, so goes the theory of commitment-phobia.
I started reading what the internet had to say about commitment-phobia and was floored. Blown away by how SPECIFIC these sites/authors were relaying E’s behavior. Our relationship was textbook commitment-phobia, come to find. We met through a friend of a friend and immediately hit it off. Numbers were exchanged that first night, flirted for about a month before our schedules allowed us to see each other again, and we were off and running. Text messages throughout the day, staying with each other two, three nights a week, dinners cooked, friends met and sex, sex, sex. Each and every time we were alone at either my place or hers, it went down. And SHE initiated virtually all of these things. I never said no to her, despite thinking once or twice that we were moving pretty fast, because I was absolutely crazy about her. She was amazing. We had “the talk” two weeks in, where she told me she thought about some reasons she shouldn’t move things forward with me but that she ultimately decided she had to be with me, she felt for me that much. “There’s no way I can not be in a relationship with you” she said, verbatim. I was absolutely over the moon. Couldn’t have been happier to hear her say that, I was head over heels for this woman.
So, this goes on for two months until one Monday night (she always came over on Mondays after her dance class and stayed the night with me; again, we definitely had a routine of shared time down by this point) she arrives without her overnight bag. I ask why she doesn’t have it, and she tells me we need to talk. My heart immediately sunk. Those are never good words to hear from your woman and sure enough, she did what everyone does when they tell you they “need to talk”. She dumped me. And did it by explaining how perfect a guy I am and that “this isn’t some Tinder shit with you, I think about you way too much, all day, and I can’t have that in my life right now. I’m way too busy starting my career and I’ve been through a lot of changes in life recently. You’re such a good, genuine person and I can’t give you what I know you deserve right now, so I have to end this.”
Crushed, broken-hearted and dejected I told her I wished she felt differently, that I would hope this could be something we actually talked about before she made such a big decision, but her mind was made up. So, I told her how much I cared about her and how awesome I thought our connection was one last time and then let her go.
But she didn’t let me go. Again, according to the patterns of behavior associated with commitment-phobia I read so much about, the commitment-phobe will end the relationship only until the anxiety they feel over being in a relationship and all the expectations with it subside, and then they’ll be back in touch. And E was. Not specifically to get back together, but to ask questions that didn’t need asking, to make comments that didn’t need to be made and just overall being unable to go without being in touch for more than two or three weeks at a time. I ultimately had to tell her not to be in touch with me for any reason, no matter how big or small she thought it was unless it was to discuss the rekindling of our intimate and romantic relationship.
To sum things up, and my question to you, is what I should be making of all of this and are the red flags described in the ideas of commitment-phobia something I need to pay closer attention should I find myself in a similar situation in the future? “If it feels great and is moving quickly because two people legitimately have deep feelings for one another, and they realize this soon, then SHUT IT DOWN because one of you is a commitment-phobe”. That just sounds crazy.
Or could E have been legitimately honest when she said she wasn’t ready for a relationship when she did so much, and went so far out of her way to make me think she did, and that she was into me and was in it for the long haul? If that’s the case, how is it possible the idea of her not being ready for a relationship only occurred to her after making it a point to spend as much time with me as she could for two whole months? She’s a mature, adult woman who is HIGHLY educated (38 years old with a Ph.D. in psychology FFS). How could she NOT have known she wasn’t ready for a relationship when we flirted for a month and then she solidified everything herself by bringing up “the talk” and telling me she had to be in a relationship with me?
I’ve had my fair share of experiences with women, I know when they pull the “I’m not ready” card it’s because they’re just not into you, but NOTHING about E’s behavior made me think she wasn’t anything but crazy about me.
What am I missing here?
Victim of Commitment-phobia?
When you’re talking to someone you think is hot – whether you’re hoping to get a phone number or a date, to practice your flirting or lay the groundwork for future interactions, it can feel like you’re having to juggle while riding a unicycle. And the unicycle is on a tightrope. And the tightrope is also on fire.
You’re trying to do a dozen things at once – you want to be witty and funny because you want them to laugh but you are also trying to be a bit flirty because you want them to like you and you’re also desperately trying to gauge how they’re responding to you so you’re looking for any clue about how you’re doing and you’re also trying to think about what you’re going to say next because the last thing you want to do is let that awkward moment of silence crop up and make everything uncomfortable.
If you want to get someone’s interest, you have to learn how to talk to them without freaking out. This week, we’re going to talk about what it takes to learn to talk to hot women without fear.
- Why your brain locks up talking to women you’re attracted to
- The psychological trick that gets people interested in you almost immediately
- Why trying to impress her is going to backfire on you
- The best questions to ask to create an instant connection
- One simple trick to make talking to women feel effortless
…and so much more.
Want more dating advice? Check out my books at www.www.doctornerdlove.com/books
Everyone deals with social anxiety to one degree or another. We’re all worried that we’re going to humiliate ourselves, say the wrong thing and otherwise become a social pariah because we’ve managed to alienate people by saying something so unbelievably awful that we can never be forgiven or show our face in public again.
But social anxiety can overtake our lives, making it a nightmare just trying to interact with other people in our day to day lives. It’s one thing to understand things logically, but when you feel your anxiety building, logic goes out the window.
Which is why this week we’re talking about some things you can do in the moment to conquer your social anxiety and be the outgoing, confident person you want to be.
- Why social pain is worse that physical pain
- The most embarrassing moment in Dr. NerdLove’s career
- How everyone can be socially awkward – even celebrities
- How to use your body to override your fears
- Why you need to be thinking more not less
and so much more.
Want more dating advice? Check out my books at www.www.doctornerdlove.com/books
I want to talk to you about fear – especially the fears I see crop up around dating. Success in dating, after all, is 80% internal, 10% external presentation and 10% skill. When you want to improve your dating life, you have to start working from the inside out. This includes dealing with your dating fears. No matter how much work you put into your wardrobe or your banter, not facing down your dating fears will sabotage your progress.
The problem is that for many guys, those fears become the reason why they don’t progress. They want to avoid triggering those dating fears and become risk-averse. They throw away their shot because they see the risks as being too high. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a warm approach or cold approach situation. It doesn’t matter if it’s at a party or a coffee shop. Unless they’re 100% assured of success – or at least, a lack of failure – they don’t want to take a chance. After all: if you don’t fail, then you can live with the idea that you could succeed if you really felt like it. In the meantime, you get to enjoy the warm feeling of setting your dreams on fire.
However, it’s in avoiding failure that they ultimately cause themselves to stagnate. If we never take those risks, we lose our ability to overcome adversity. Failure is how we build those emotional hit-points that let us keep going after we fuck up. By risking rejection, we learn that rejection isn’t fatal. We court failure in order to learn how to recover from it. It’s in falling that we learn how to get up again.
So let’s look at some of your most common dating fears and how to overcome them.