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She has fear of commitment?
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She has fear of commitment?

Im 20 years old and Ive met this girl who I am in college with. Shes the same age and we take all the same classes together so we see eachother every day as we are in a program. Over the course of this year we’ve gotten close to where some of our friends in class have thought we are perfect for each other. The problem is that she had just came out of a 3 year relationship with her boyfriend who broke up with her and found someone else. She is still not over it and I think that it has had an emotional impact on her life when it comes to relationships with guys. She has always been with guys that have broken her heart and I think it has made her very insecure and hard for her to trust guys. Weve gotten pretty close over the past couple months and we are not in a friend zone because its more than that. She has told her friends that she thinks im cute but she is someone that has problems opening up emotionally. Anyways we always use to talk and sit next to eachother and all of a sudden during spring break I ask her in a email to come out to a bbq (not a date) just to hang out which she didn’t reply to and after coming back from spring break she doesn’t want to talk to me or be near me? What is this about?

I think she has signs of commitment phobia. She use to like being around me but now moves away emotionally and physically. Ever since spring break she has tried to distance herself now not wanting to be around me and has definitely tried to stay away from me.She’s one that is definitely afraid to talk about or express emotions. She keeps all of her emotions built up inside.

I don’t know how to react to it or what to do. i have not done anything weird to her to that would make her feel uncomfortable  Do you think that shes experiencing feelings toward me right now and is avoiding me because shes afraid of being attached and hurt? If so, what can I do to help fix the situation that is so awkward? what do you think is the state of mind she has right now?
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Dear Marco,

You’ve hit the nail on the head when you say:

“ . . . she had just came out of a 3 year relationship with her boyfriend who broke up with her and found someone else. She is still not over it and I think that it has had an emotional impact on her life when it comes to relationships with guys. She has always been with guys that have broken her heart and I think it has made her very insecure and hard for her to trust guys.”

However, what you’re missing is that there’s nothing active you can do to fix the situation. She’s got to heal on her own, and that means SLOWLY (just the thing us guys don’t like to hear!). It has nothing to do with commitment phobia, which involves problems within the context of a long term relationship. Very likely she senses your interest, but is too hurt from what happened with the other guys, particularly the last one, and moves away to feel safe. Hence she declined the BBQ un-date.

What you can’t do is expect her to be with you short-term. It won’t happen, or if it does, it will be volatile and likely won’t last. Rebound relationships hardly ever do, because they’re not selected out of freedom but out of fear of the pain and loneliness. Your job is NOT to help her get her emotions out. That’s her business. If she chooses you for that, likely you won’t be the next boyfriend. That’s how it works.

All this said here’s what you can do: first, you could get out of the picture entirely, and wait for her to heal on her own. Second, you could could simply be gently, zero-pressure-for-contact available as a friend, but this only works if you can put your boyfriend desires out of action, and this is very hard to do. the hots are the hots!

Sorry to say it, but she’s no more ready for a relationship than a car crash victim is to race at Daytona the next day. Read your email to me again. In almost every sentence you’re telling us that she can’t handle a relationship now. And let’s not forget the brutal truth that even when she will be, it’s unclear whether she wants one with you.

Unfortunately, Marco, it’s up to her to get out of the friend zone, not you. No matter how perfect other people say you two are for each other, attachment means hurt for her now. Respect that, and when she’s healed she may remember and have increased respect for you.

And, who knows, your cool behavior now may lead to warm affection!

Cordially,

Dr. P.
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