What is Commitment Phobia & Relationship Anxiety?

What is Commitment Phobia & Relationship Anxiety?

a couple upset at each other

Being in a relationship is a goal for most people. It makes them feel relaxed and happy, with the main focus of being in that relationship for the rest of their life. For some, the idea of a long-term relationship sounds overwhelming, and the feelings of entering that kind of commitment can cause concerns, stress, or even panic.  Enter Commitment Phobia & Relationship Anxiety.

Related: Benefits Of Online Couple Counseling

What is commitment phobia? 

When it comes to being in a relationship, commitment anxiety is very common. People that struggle with this fear can shy away from the idea of dating or showing any connection with someone, although they are keen to love and be loved by another person. 

Commitment anxiety can also occur in current relationships that appear to be healthy and going well. If a physical connection begins to be too much for them, it can often cause an emotional effect, resulting in a lot of anxiety and fear. This is when you may start to deny or are unaware of your commitment issues. You will often feel like you want freedom and space when it’s too intermediate or close. 

Do you experience fear of getting into a relationship with someone you love? Couple’s Counselors San Diego can help you today

The Causes of Commitment Phobia? 

Sadly, the Phobia does not disappear on its own, but it will often increase. It is a balanced phenomenon among men and women, and the causes can progress from a negative experience in the past, accidents, injuries, or traumas that have not been treated or managed correctly. 

Sometimes it can progress over time since childhood that can affect you later on in life. For example, loneliness, neglect, divorce, fighting between parents, or having an overprotective youth can cause a lot of confidence issues

Past relationships can frequently have a considerable impact on current connections for fear of repeating emotional or physical abuse, and it can have a knock-on effect with touch, sexual chemistry, and trust.

Losing trust in a relationship from being in an unhealthy one or witnessing friends and family in a toxic one can linger subconsciously in the back of the mind.

Commitment phobia can also stem from social media, which is becoming a massive part of our lives. It’s something we are looking for and comparing ourselves to every moment of the day. Even though someone’s photos and statuses you see online seem like they are living the perfect life, it can sometimes be the total opposite. Just remember that people only post what they want to post, there are moments that they need a cry and time to be alone. The media can put a massive weight on us and leave us feeling engulfed with emotion and can turn us away from a healthy committed relationship.

Related: Can Your Verbally Abusive Partner Change?

Fear of Commitment? These Ideas May Help. 

Happy married couple

If it’s the feeling of fear that’s been a hurdle for you in letting go and embracing the love from a healthy relationship for a while, and are unable to overcome it, then we have some solutions for you.

If you are constantly thinking about this one question, “Should I stay or should I go?” then Sarah Cook Ruggera LMFT could be the solution for you, especially if you find it impossible to communicate without fighting. The “moving forward plan” will put goals in place to stabilize or correct your problem areas. 

Talking may be the hardest part, but it’s a great way to let your emotions and thoughts out. Speaking to a marriage counselor where you can spill your thoughts and feelings alone or in front of your partner, even if it’s not in order or if it does not make sense as you say it. A counselor can take everything you’re saying and pick it apart and put the puzzle together to align your mind

We all know the feeling of trying to say something, but you can not explain it in the way you want to. If you visit a trained counselor who has experience in treating clients with commitment issues, then they will completely understand what you are going through, and present strategies to overcome it. 

Social engagement with positive people in your life has proved to help with the anxiety of a relationship. Being in a relaxed environment may give you the freedom you need and take the problem off your mind allowing yourself to breathe. 

If your commitment issues are a milder case, you may benefit from some self-help books from the library. However, self-help books have its limitations, so you don’t get the full support you need from counseling.

Understanding the hidden fears that will hurt your relationships may come across as very overwhelming in your mind, but writing a journal or drawing your thoughts can play a significant role. If you struggle with where to start, then start by writing a brain dump page that will take a massive weight off your shoulders, write anything that comes to your mind, without concentrating on spellings, neatness, or if it makes sense. You could write or draw the struggling experience from last week, which triggers anxiety. 

After producing this, you will see certain things jumping out at you. These are the parts you can start with when writing a journal to decide if you need to speak to anyone or take time for yourself to process your feelings. It can give you some structure, so you spend less time worrying about forgetting any vital details. 

Contact Sarah Cook Ruggera to learn more about treating relationship anxiety and commitment phobia


Feeling and admitting the fear of commitment anxiety, even to yourself in the first place, is the most crucial step to recovery. Giving yourself that praise that you have made it this far will improve your journey to change and fix the fear. Allowing yourself and your life to be open for change is another massive step that will help you feel less anxious and more rewarding about the healing process.

Related: Counseling In the Convenience of your own Home – Teletherapy


What To Know About Breakups

What To Know About Breakups. One of the biggest challenges on mental health is obsessing about relationships that are in the process of ending, have ended, or should end. As a Marriage Counselor working with couples, married or not married, I utilize strategies for navigating what one can and cannot control when their relationship ends.

I recently worked with a couple who came in due to infidelity. The Hurt Partner (female) stated she wanted to work on Affair Recovery. The Affair Partner (male) was willing to go through the process and took responsibility for his behavior. During the course of counseling the hurt partner continued to inappropriately act out her emotions of hurt, anger, and disappointment by yelling, blowing up his phone, showing up at his office unannounced, etc.  According to the Affair Partner her melt downs and inability to manage her feelings validated his decision to end their 5 year relationship as he realized his betrayal was one of many issues the couple faced.

His decision blindsided her and she was left devastated. Reconciliation was not an option as his decision was final for all of his valid reasons. Both were experiencing grief and loss.

With mixed emotions they individually sought counseling with me to try and understand what happened. Breakups are awful. The one who wants to leave the relationship feels just as bad as the person who was left. (See blog: Dumpers and Dumpees)

Both asked what they can do to manage their feelings about the breakup. The best thing you can do during a breakup is to concentrate on yourself. Spend time focusing on “self” rather than “other.” Everyone has their own way of healing. Sometimes that way is not conducive to the other person. You can’t control anyone but yourself. Develop a support system.  Stay off of social media so you can concentrate on yourself and not what your “ex” is doing. Journal your feelings and what you learned about yourself in this relationship.  Your breakup can be a means to grow. Take advantage of the time alone.  Become the person someone would want to grow old with.

Call me at (858) 735-1139 for more information on surviving your recent breakup.

Vacation With An Asperger Husband

Vacation With An Asperger Husband. I recently took a vacation to Italy and wanted to share what travelling with a partner on the Spectrum looks like. To start off, I love my husband very much and we both have been working hard on maintaining a cohesive Neurodiverse Relationship. As mentioned in older posts his inability to be relational made me feel more like a group leader/organizer than a woman on vacation with her man in one of the most romantic places in the world.

Vacation With An Asperger Husband

We visited Naples, Rome, Tuscany and Venice and during our down time from sightseeing he was on his phone listening to audio books which were of apparent interest to him. While napping in a Villa in Tuscany he was listening to his audio books as he did when I took a bubble bath in our Grand Canal view suite in Venice. Had I not been educated on Asperger’s and being married to a spouse on the Spectrum I would have experienced many melt downs which include being upset, yelling, ignoring, shaming, crying, and threatening the relationship. In the past I wouldn’t bring his behavior to his attention, rather, ignore it or make some excuse about why he isn’t more interactive. Because I do so now and share what it means to me I am able to manage my emotions more appropriately. He learns with each opportunity as I tell him exactly what I need and want in challenging situations. He appreciates my input and is mindful to adjust his behavior in meeting them.

Being married to someone on the spectrum can make you feel alone, lonely and invisible. Cassandra Syndrome shares more of these kinds feelings. To help manage these emotions it’s important to have a good sense of self and do things to overcompensate them. On vacation I like to carve out time to be by myself for a couple of hours. As a Marriage Counselor, I enjoy people watching and observing couples interacting within their own dynamic. Helps me get some perspective as all couples have their ups and downs.

It isn’t easy travelling with someone on the spectrum as most of the time you do all the work. As with anything life isn’t perfect and being married to an Asperger husband has it pros and cons. In conclusion the trip was fabulous. Due in part, to our understanding of our Neurodiversity and the two of us being able to express our expectations.

For more information on being married to someone on the spectrum and how to manage being in a Neurodiverse Relationship please contact me at (858) 735-1139.