Relationship is that space in human life where there is reciprocal give and take. In order to establish a relationship, there is requirement of minimum of two people. These individuals showcase attachment and care for each other. They have certain needs and requirements which are expected to be fulfilled by the other person in the relationship, and vice-versa. It is important that these two individuals have similar picture of life and similar goals so that they can walk and work on the goals together. There are multiple characteristics through which one chooses their partner. They might vary from appearance, intelligence, career, family background, financial status, etc. But other times it is only feelings and emotions that pull two or more people together. And with some people, we share relationship by birth and blood. The intensity of emotional bond cannot be calculated by blood relations; Sometimes, it is the friendships which establish even stronger and stable bonds. 

One thing that is common in every kind of relationship is Commitment. Commitment means being dedicated to put efforts and loyalty in the relationship. Two or more people in the relationship agree on some principles and abiding to these principles is called commitment. Commitment is an inevitable part of every relationship because it forms a boundary out of which the individual cannot perform and also provides a private space for relationship. Relationships in the contemporary times are being calculated on the measure of someone‚Äôs ability to commit to their partners. 

It is recorded among many people that they are afraid or phobic of commitment in the relationships. They find it hard to carry on with commitment principles and ideas. Only the thought of committing to the other person makes them go restless. Many reasons can be pointed out for this fear. Like, if an individual had a very emotionally destructive relationship, childhood trauma, or even dysfunctional family. These factors effects their love relationships and friendship. They run away from developing anything which is emotionally deep and engaging. Psychologically speaking, they showcase problems in attachment styles. 

There are many symptoms which can help one understand commitment phobic people. Like, whenever there is a conversation about love or relationship, they try to refrain from being a participant of the conversation or may even leave the place. These individuals also do not participate in collective plans for parties and trips. They may even cancel the plan at the last moment. When there is a talk about the future, they experience extreme anxiety and restlessness. Often it can be seen that commitment phobic people do not have many friends and they maintain very limited contacts. These contacts may be limited to only their immediate family members and old childhood friends. But with these limited people, they share an extremely bond, which is free of any commitments and expectations. 

It becomes very difficult for commitment phobic people to relate themselves with others. The usually do not engage in intense emotional relationships and there is total absence of any future commitments too. This is also a belief among them that being in a relationship or commitment, will restrict them from carrying out various activities, and they, thus experience Relationship Anxiety. Their behaviour is very much centred around their own thoughts and habits.

It can be seen across that people who are forcibly put into relationship by their family members or peer pressure, are never happy. Every society and culture has a definite age by which they expect everyone to get married and begin their family life. And if there is any individual who fails to do so within that age frame, they make it very difficult for that particular individual. In such cases, the commitment phobic person is reprimanded and continuously poked to find a match and enter into a relationship. This happiness is not only destroyed for the commitment phobic individual, but also for the individual who is engaged to them. Because any person would expect reciprocal efforts and the inability of their partner to do so often makes them feel hurt. This is not the fault of anybody in the relationship, but of the people outside who forced a person with Relationship Anxiety into a relationship. 

People need to be made aware of the fact that there is nothing wrong and disturbing about not being able to make commitments in any sort of relationship. The end goal of survival is happiness and peace. And if an individual is able to attain that happiness by being with himself and not committing any future activities and situations with some other individual, it should be completely normal. Everyone has baggage of past and it may be a repercussion of the past experiences that they are finding it so difficult to establish intense reciprocal relationship with others. It should not seem like a burden on them to confirm to the societal norms of coming into a relationship at a certain age. People should understand that it is very much difficult for them to do so, and societal pressure in this case may even trigger anxiety and other psychological disorders for them. So, people should be made aware of this situation and help commitment phobic people lead a normal and happy life, in the way that they wish. 

There are many ways through which commitment phobic people can be helped. Their partners must try to avoid hard and core future plans. Communication in this scenario acts like biggest healer. When the person with relationship anxiety feels that he or she is being understood, they find it easy to participate in the relationship with their partner. Professionals in therapy and psychology also help a great deal in overcoming this phobia. There are individual therapies, family therapies and couple therapies also. A professionally diagnosed issue and properly organised action plan can be very useful to help commitment phobic people. They are motivated to form intimate relationships with their partner, have transparent conversations about the needs and requirements from the partner. Following such steps can make the lives of people with Commitment Phobia and Relationship Anxiety easy.


  • Dr. Bhavna Barmi

    Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Therapist

    Happiness Studio

    Dr. Bhavna Barmi is an internationally renowned child and clinical psychologist with over 25 years of practice. Dr. Barmi has worked with over 1 lakh clients, both individuals and families, successfully advising them on personality growth, relationships management, clinical concerns, self-esteem issues. Her expertise ranges from being a relationship expert, to NLP and hypnotherapy. She is the founder of Happiness Studios-Center for Psychological and Psychiatric Well-Being and the co-founder of PsyCare - A Neuropsychiatry Hospital. Dr Barmi is associated as a senior clinical psychologist with the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi. Recognising her immense contribution and service, Dr Barmi has been bestowed with many prestigious awards including the Gold Medal Award for Excellence in the field of Psychology, EPA Award (European Psychiatric Association) and Starstell Award for best practices in Psychology. She is the Associate Editor: The Heart of the Matter, Journal of Prevention and Holistic Management. Dr Barmi also lends her expertise to both print and digital media as a respected expert on psychological consultation.