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ghoshr 01-09-2009 03:57 AM

how to date someone who is commitment phobic
I'm dating a girl who I think has a fear of commitment (perhaps based on her first real relationship, which lasted for 3 years and left her broken hearted). She's not a serial dater - in that her last couple of relationships have been for at least a year.

About us: We've been dating for about 8 weeks now. All of this time has been exclusive, but the first time I mentioned that we were in a relationship she reacted had a very nervous reaction. She likes spending time with me, but has admitted that sometimes she's almost angry at herself for liking spending time with me. She hates the term of "relationship" as she says it conjures up images of doing "couply" things. When talking about this, she brings up her hated fear that in a marriage (not that we've talked about it ourselves) she will be seen as someone's wife or mother and not herself. At the same time she says that she does want that romantic relationship, the ability to put her emotions on the line, and that family life, but she has thinks she needs to approach her life in sequence (e.g. job, country, and then person).

I take the fact that we talk about this and she says this as a good sign, but I'm wondering if there's things that I can/should (or even should not) do, in order to help her and I develop our relationship. I really like her, and would like to be able to move forward, no matter how slowly. Just wondering if anyone's had any experience, or can share some advice/ideas. Thanks

Larrylou'smom 01-09-2009 11:07 AM

Re: how to date someone who is commitment phobic
She's being very honest and very clear and she's telling you exactly who she is and what you can expect from her. It's up to you whether to listen to her or not.

Redneon82 01-09-2009 11:29 AM

Re: how to date someone who is commitment phobic
I am commitment phobic I guess. I am a "serial monogamist", that is, I date one guy at a time, usually for several years. I am committed in some way to the guy, but I don't plan or expect anything down the road more than a few months, and I do NOT want to get married. I am currently dating a guy (for the past 3 1/2 years) who also does not want to get married, and isn't interested in planning ahead more than "let's go to Vegas in March (not to get married!)".

It's best to date people with the same goals rather than one partner wanting to get serious and plan a future, and one who just wants to go day by day and not think about the future.

Of course, sometimes people do change their minds...I've seen threads on here by women who didn't want a relationship at first then changed their minds after they lost the guy. So maybe you can ask her if she'd be willing to be open to the possibility of getting serious with someone (hopefully you!) sometime in the future.

vm189 01-09-2009 01:02 PM

Re: how to date someone who is commitment phobic
Wow, this girl sounds a lot like me! It is kind of nice to know I'm not the only one who feels that way. Anyway, I agree that she is being very clear and honest with you, which is a good sign. If she didn't care about you, I doubt she'd bother to try and explain the way she feels, as I'm sure it's not easy for her to talk about and that she knew being upfront could cause problems between you two.

I also agree that it is definitely possible to change someone like this's mind. I almost threw up the first time the guy I've been seeing referred to himself as my boyfriend, and we have broken up and gotten back together several times over this exact issue. The last time he finally agreed that we would just see each other casually and not be in a relationship and things have been going smoothly ever since. Ironically, not too long after that, I finally realized that I like him a lot better than any of the other options I was so afraid of missing out on, so I told him I wasn't interested in dating other people anymore. By that point he had resigned himself to us not being committed and started dating other people himself, so who knows what will happen.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on about my situation. My point is that even the most commitment-averse women can come around, provided you are willing to be patient, let things develop slowly, and not pressure her to move faster. Even though the stereotype is that all women are eager to get into relationships, some of us genuinely like being single, or at least need to get to know someone for a long time before we feel comfortable committing. If you really like this girl and are ok with not being super serious right now, I would suggest giving it some time without bringing up commitment and just see what happens. You sound like a great guy, and hopefully she will realize she's lucky to have you...even really dense girls like me are capable of that epiphany, though I hope it doesn't take her quite as long as it took me. ;) Good luck!

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