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Any help appreciated - committment phobic

(64 Posts)
36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 02:13:21


Has anyone witnessed a man with serious committment phobia (so not just 'isnt the right woman', but actual panics, sweats, etc) move on to a healthy relationship?
I have been seeing someone with this issue for 8 months, and he is very aware of his problems. It is very tiring and upsetting, and I am wondering whether i continue to wait it out as we have such a great time together, or whether i just cut it now and suffer the pain now, rather than later if it is inevitable.


goddessofsmallthings Tue 08-Dec-15 02:53:13

Anyone who is seriously conflicted about making a commitment such as an engagement/marriage/promise to live together etc to another person is unlikely to be able to "move on" to a healthy relationship without therapy/counselling to address the cause of the phobia.

Have you witnessed these physical phenomena and in what circumstances did they manifest?

ImtheChristmasCarcass Tue 08-Dec-15 03:19:01

I haven't ever seen it, but then honestly, I wouldn't waste my time waiting around to see if he'd change. Someone that commitment-phobic is waaayyy beyond a layperson's ability to change him.

36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 03:37:15

thanks goddessofsmallthings for your reply, much appreciated as I feel so lost right now.

He chased me very hard for a few months, said i was all he wanted, spoke of future, children etc etc. Said that i was breaking his heart eventually and I needed to make a decision 'here and now' as to whether i could be with him, as he couldnt bear to be loving me but not with me anymore. That it was as simple as did i think we could bring value to each others lives, and were our morals aligned, and from there it was just a risk but we would never know if we didnt try etc. He said that he knew what he wanted, so ball was in my court to work out what i wanted. Two weeks passed and i thought very seriously about this, about what he wanted, his work travels etc and whether i could support him in this.
I realised I was in love with him, and so as he asked, i went to tell him one night that yes i was happy to see how we went as a couple.
I hardly had any words out, and he freaked! I have not seen someone - let alone a grown man, with so much fear in his eyes! He said he had never really thought of us properly etc etc, that he might put some thought into it now, and pretty much pushed me out the door.
He apologised later that he may have been more abrupt than he meant to.

I didnt hear much from him over next two weeks, and he then came to see me. Apologised and said that he had been feeling so anxious, he almost felt sick any time he now even saw my name come up on his phone (and im pretty aware of his issues, so i have never been demanding, made an issue of his on/off behaviour etc or over texted him - which he acknowledges) He said that as much as he felt a lot for me, he knew that he had felt this way before, and if we got together then in 2-3 months he would disappear. He said he could almost promise it, and didnt want to keep hurting ppl.
He explained a lot about his childhood, and was quite upset i think that this was all happenning again for him (he has worked through the childhood stuff but the committment issues are there even though he has done counselling twice)
He said he would like to try being friends, didnt know whether it would work, and that we wouldnt be intimate anymore as he felt that would be damaging should we get together in future.

the next couple of times I saw him, he was very distant, quite stressed, up and down, and made sure he didnt sit next to me etc.
He offered to help me move one day, and arrived with his bags, and asked if he was welcome to stay the night. I said that was ok. he was lovely as always re the move (he is generous with his things always etc) And when we are together it is always so relaxed, fun, easy going etc.

He stayed, we cuddled, but that was all.

We continued to see each other - he would keep suggesting once or twice a week. But if we had a really lovely time then he def pulls right away for 2-3 days after. He often ignores texts and messages, and things are def on his terms and he needs to feel in control of his heart and safe.
then he came one night to watch movies, stayed, and ended up staying three days, all of his own accord. We had such a lovely time, and it was very clear at times he was even surprised that i was not questioning him on things., We were intimate, and at the end of the weekend he said 'if i wasnt such a nutcase then this would be exactly what i want'
Afterwards, he sent me message saying you are actually a really cool chick, i had such a great weekend, maybe not all women are horrible'

He went away for 3 weeks shortly after and told me before he went that he was going to talk to his mum and best mate while away about his issues.
He didnt contact me for first couple of weeks while away ( i think he was trying to see if he could forget me) but the very day he came back he wanted to see me. Was just short, but when i left he kissed me and said see you soon. I was very surprised.

We have gone out a couple of times since, and had an amazing time. We have dinner planned this weekend again, and an event the weekend after.

However in between these times, i get nothing. I am even left wondering whether he will cancel sat night as i have no idea where he is at......

Sorry that was so long, theres just so much to it and I was trying to avoid too much detail to start with but there it is.
Im very understanding of his fears and i know that they are very real for him.

But I guess im wondering whether there is any hope and whether over time he will learn he is safe with me (he has little faith in that women can be trusted to be faithful etc) and that he can still have space etc, or whether it will never move forward.

Thanks for reading! xx

36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 03:39:22

I guess also i know an ultimatum is def not a good idea, how should i proceed?

He is not seeing other women (as i said, he is very honest about things, and i do believe him on this)

36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 03:41:53


Yes, he is also aware he needs help. I want him to know that if he WANTS to make it work and try then i am happy to do this with him, and see how it goes slowly together, however i dont know whether its just best leaving another couple of months and him seeing I am not going to change etc rather than having a direct conversation with him about what he wants?

Isetan Tue 08-Dec-15 03:41:58

If he's aware of his problems but hasn't done anything about it, why are you continuing to invest in a relationship with someone who isn't prepared to reciprocate? This isn't a question about him and his 'commitment phobia' it's about your standards for how you're treated.

36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 03:44:54

Thanks Isetan, I guess only as since he went away he has actually locked in those times to see me and to plan proper dates, which is quite a surprise. I felt like perhaps this was his way of 'giving it a proper go' and seeing how that feels for him, rather than actually addressing with me and letting me know he was willing to give it a shot (that would be way too 'committal and scary for him)

I do agree also, I am probably in this situation as i accepted less than i should have to begin with when many would have walked away.

ImtheChristmasCarcass Tue 08-Dec-15 03:57:15

I think that if he feels strongly for you and knows he has a problem, that if he really wants to be with you but can't because of this 'phobia', he'd already be seeking professional help to overcome it.

I have a deathly fear of flying. Right now there's nowhere I want to go, or can afford to go, bad enough to make me do anything about it. But if someone were to offer me an all expenses paid vacation to the UK (currently beyond my financial means) you can bet I'd be doing something to conquer that fear, pronto!

36mumof1 Tue 08-Dec-15 04:05:19


thank you so much.

So should i see how the next two planned dates go, and then see where its at perhaps? but definitely no later than that time (which is two weeks away) to have a decision?

Isetan Tue 08-Dec-15 04:32:57

Sorry x posted. After reading your updates I would suggest you get out now. Him hasing you and talking of the future knowing that he had issues surrounding commitment, is a huge red flag. He's at best deluded and at worst, a chancer who's planned his exit strategy in advance. Get out now and have a strong word with yourself because if your standards for how you should be treated were higher, this player would already been in your past.

Isetan Tue 08-Dec-15 04:49:08

You aren't the reason for his 'issues' and therefore sorting them, should be independent of the promise of a relationship with you. It really is not as complicated as you appear to think it is but for some reason, you are of the mindset that your presence is of influence.

Start judging him by his behaviour and not the imaginary scenarios that are being played out in your head. There is probably a match for this man but you aren't it and that isn't saying anything negative about you.

AugustMoon Tue 08-Dec-15 04:54:40

He sounds like a nob tbh

ImtheChristmasCarcass Tue 08-Dec-15 05:17:57

Honestly, I'd cut my losses right now. You deserve much better than he is giving you. Get on with your own life. Someone willing to share their life with you is out there. You don't want to be in a half-relationship when he walks by.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 08-Dec-15 06:21:30

I can't add to what's been said by others above and, in particular,I suggest you take note of Isetan's posts at 04.32 and 04.49.

With regard to he chased me very hard for a few months, said i was all he wanted, spoke of future, children etc etc. Said that i was breaking his heart eventually and I needed to make a decision 'here and now' as to whether i could be with him, as he couldnt bear to be loving me but not with me anymore coming on so intense so soon is a BIG red flag and his abrupt about turn is sufficient to convince me that he's nowt but a drama llama who gets off on suckering unsuspecting women into his sad games - if I'd seen the whites of his eyes while they were rolling panic struck in his head, I would have shot him out of the door and made sure he was locked in. smile

niceupthedance Tue 08-Dec-15 06:46:32

Life is too short for this sort of bullshit. Don't waste your time.

Glastokitty Tue 08-Dec-15 06:57:16

I'd tell him and his drama llama commitment phobia to knob off, ain't nobody got time for that!

Cabrinha Tue 08-Dec-15 07:18:56

He's not a commitment phobe, he's a WANKER.

Seriously. He's a nasty bit of work too. He's not just a low grade wanker who isn't that interested and wants to keep you at arm's length / on own terms he is DELIBERATELY messing with your head.

All that chasing?

I am fed up (sorry!) with hearing about "commitment phobes".

Look, my friend has a banana phobia (yeah, seriously, she laughs at the ridiculousness too - but that's phobia for you).

Does she have bananas delivered and sit there stroking then saying "one day I'll eat one of you"?

No, no she does not.

She avoids them like the plague.

A true commitment phobe just would have been chasing down a relationship in the first place, would they?

He's just an arsehole.
Please read your posts back and think "fucking hell, I'm not going to be treated like that".


Oysterbabe Tue 08-Dec-15 07:37:01

This reads like you're constantly waiting for him to deem to pay you some attention and lap it up gratefully when he does. Fuck that. Relationships shouldn't be you tiptoeing around him, doing whatever he wants through fear of frightening him away. Disappearing for days on end when it suits him? What about what you want? Agree with pp, he's a twat. Get rid.

TooSassy Tue 08-Dec-15 07:44:44


He sounds like a piece of work and I am a little shocked that you're tolerating this behaviour.
Do you like the drama and the ups and downs?
I see no other reason that you would continue to see this man!

C8tontherug Tue 08-Dec-15 07:51:36

This guy sounds like hard work !

You have only been together a few months & it seems too much drama

I would cut my ties with this guy

UterusUterusGhali Tue 08-Dec-15 08:24:51

He sounds like a twat tbh.
If he was genuinely commitment phobic he wouldn't have acted like that at the begining.

Is there any possibility he has another lover on the go?
Two weeks is a long time to not contact someone you're purporting to be in love with.

IrenetheQuaint Tue 08-Dec-15 08:30:56

Yy Cabrinha. I am a bit of a commitment phobe and just steer clear of the whole relationship thing (and even when I did go out with people was very careful not to promise more than I could deliver).

If you stay in this 'relationship' it will be all about him, always.

Isetan Tue 08-Dec-15 09:03:49

You're making this all about him when it really isn't and I wonder why you've surrendered so much power and so quickly, to someone who clearly isn't as interested as he made out.

Come Op, invest your energies where you'll benefit and it definitely isn't with this guy.

lavenderhoney Tue 08-Dec-15 09:14:28

Time to move on. Tell him you aren't a match, what with his commitment issues and your wanting a normal relationship issues. 8 months is quite long enough.

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