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Getting over the hurt of a commitment phobe

(13 Posts)
BlueBetty Sun 27-Dec-15 23:53:17

I wanted to know if anyone could share any personal experience from being in one of those situations with someone you care about deeply but who is not interested, or even very scared of actually having a close and intimate relationship?

I have tried to be objective in my mind, because it feels to me like "if he he liked you enough he would just get over it" and I am not sure if that's true or not.

I have been with people who only wanted me for sex or who were seeing lots of women at once and he wasn't like that. It was almost like he wanted a "relationship" but without actually getting too close to me emotionally.

It felt really strange to live through. It wasn't like he was acting like a bad boyfriend in a lot of ways. Like he was always there for me to call for anything, he was really keen for me to be around his friends, he'd sleep over all night and stay the next day and he'd plan nice trips and we'd have fun.

It was just that he wouldn't let me close to him. He was always pulling me closer and then pushing me away. He would sometimes be very disconnected and aloof and he would say silly things about being sure I would reject him eventually.

He started talking nonsense about our relationship being temporary and it just made me feel awful, so I have been a smart girl and ended the relationship and no longer see him.

I mean, I know he needs time or therapy or a labotomy but I wish I could shake that awful feeling that he just didn't like me enough to get close to me or that something was lacking in me and it's such a horrible feeling.

I talked to my counsellor about it and she says he is a classic commitment phobe and that people like that want intimacy and to be close to someone but they are ultimately going to run in the other dirction when things get serious.

Does anyone think that is true? Or is it just bollocks and any man will settle down for the right girl?

OP’s posts: |
sparklesnpearls Mon 28-Dec-15 00:49:48

I'm scared of commitment I think as I seem to jeopardise every relationship I have sub-consciously hmm

BlueBetty Mon 28-Dec-15 00:52:35

Oh God, thanks for saying that Sparkles. I have it in my head it's just a made up thing.

(sorry for you)

OP’s posts: |
summerainbow Mon 28-Dec-15 11:57:25

My counsellor said the said the same thing about a man I am seeing.

AnotherCider Mon 28-Dec-15 12:09:52

Its a real thing. But sometimes, just sometimes, these men will get help for this and they can overcome it. But it won't be because they have found someone they love 'enough', but because of the hurt they have felt when a number of people they have loved leave them, its a cumulative thing. Its that 'rock bottom' thing you hear about. If you stick around, the won't ever hit rock bottom.

ALaughAMinute Mon 28-Dec-15 12:10:21

I don't think there is any doubt that some people are afraid of commitment. Has he been hurt in the past?

BlueBetty Mon 28-Dec-15 17:53:14

See my problem is that I am internalising it and believing that if he liked me more or cared more about me he'd just get over it and stop being silly. People say that all the time. It's not that he doesn't want to commit, it's that he doesn't want to commit to you.

Yes, he has good reason probably. His parents hadn 't want him to live with her because of her new boyfriend, then he had a very long relationship that started in his teenage years which was his first proper attachment, and she left him also for someone else and since then he's not "been right" he says. Hes been like this for four years now.

Do you believe being afraid like this would genuinely cause you to pull away from someone you cared for?

OP’s posts: |
BlueBetty Mon 28-Dec-15 17:55:31

That all came out wrong. His parents had a very bad marriage, he grew up in a very angry home with a lot of fighting and horrible stuff, then Mum left and didn't want to take him due to her new partner not liking him. He was only little.

His first partner, that was with him for 7 years, also left him for someone else very unexpectedly and out of the blue.

OP’s posts: |
BlueBetty Mon 28-Dec-15 18:01:28

the specifics of how he behaved were...

Not wanting to give us an official title.
Throwing himself into work and extra hobbies almost like he was avoiding me
Only wanting to make last minute plans
Organising a lot of hobbies at the weekends that meant we couldn't see each other
Holding back his emotions and thoughts a lot of the time
Pushing me away and then pulling me back in

It was just not nice to live like that. I didn't want immediate marriage or kids, but couldn't live with all of that making me me feel rejected.

He kept saying he could not offer forever or children or marriage but that he wanted them one day but not now. Conversations were in circles. He didn't want me to go, but he only wanted to give me 25%.

After we'd gotten closer, the worse it got.

OP’s posts: |
Norest Mon 28-Dec-15 18:42:04

It does sound like he has had some really bad experiences during 'formative' times - from his mother and his first romantic relationship.

I don't think that love conquers all in terms of someone getting help for their issues if they love another person 'enough'. It does sound like he tried to deal with his fear of rejection by getting you to reject him..but what else are you supposed to do? Hang on in a relationship which is not meeting your needs and hoping he will decide to trust in you enough to 'let you in', or seek therapy etc?

Of course there could always be other reasons for his behaviour, he might just not want to commit to you, it is possible. But it could also be that he just doesn't want a relationship which is that serious, full stop.

Or he could be a bit of a player type, and only want to make minimal effort in a relationship.

I do not think any man, or any person will settle down for the 'right' one. I think that's bollocks people say!

I think the important thing to remember is he is clearly not capable of giving you the relationship you want and need, and might never be (or at least not without a LOT of changes which all take a lot of time).

BlueBetty Mon 28-Dec-15 18:51:44

Do you think I should just leave him for a few months and let him go back to what life was like without me?

OP’s posts: |
OnGoldenPond Mon 28-Dec-15 19:49:14

No, Betty, you should leave him for good and mean it. Don't have some half baked idea of giving him a few months to "sort himself out".

If he ever changes it will take a lot more than a few months and he may never change. He has to recognise he has a problem and WANT to change first. Please don't waste your life waiting for this to happen.

In the end, you can't fix him, he's the only one who can do that.

Baylor88 Sun 26-Apr-20 14:47:54


I just found this thread, years later. I just went through an almost identical experience with a commitment phobic guy, and I wanted to ask how everything turned out for you? I hope you found peace and all things good.

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