Relationships as a couple have profound implications in our lives

31.10.2020

Although the emphasis is usually placed on the emotions that love and infatuation produce, leaving singleness behind is not limited to the feelings we experience when "being with someone". Starting a relationship is, in practice, starting a project with long-term plans, even if it is not talked about nor does it want to name the type of affective bond that unites these two people.

However, in recent times it is increasingly common for this long-term logic of love relationships to run into the phenomenon of fear of commitment . Many people seek psychological assistance precisely because they feel a contradiction, the desire to be and at the same time not be in a relationship. What is the cause of that?

Dynamics that erode the bond with the couple

It is true that in some very exceptional cases, fear of commitment can meet the characteristics of a psychopathology that is expressed in other symptoms beyond people's love life; Above all, it occurs through emotional disturbances that belong to the category of anxiety disorders and phobias.

However, in most situations, the dysfunctional fear of long-term commitment to a relationship is expressed in subtle ways that cannot be "summarized" by concepts that appear in diagnostic manuals used in the world of health. mental.

In fact, many people suffer discomfort due to the fear of commitment but do not even realize that this is a problem to be addressed, since in most areas of their life they develop relatively well and there are no clear symptoms of a Psychological trastorn. But that something is not a psychopathology does not mean that it should not be treated or, where appropriate, overcome through individual or couple therapy.

Part of the phenomenon of fear of commitment, then, does not arise from an imbalance in the functioning of the brain, nor from traumas or diagnosable clinical pictures, but from diffuse behavior patterns that have been learned and that, in some cases, "float in the environment "to which the person is exposed every day: in the media they consume, in the unwritten rules of their circle of friends, etc.

It is partly because of these social and cultural aspects that if a few decades ago what was scary was to remain single after a certain age, today it is not uncommon to feel fear otherwise, to be linked to someone in a "hasty" way.

Main causes of fear of commitment

What is happening that so many people are afraid of commitment? Let's look at a series of factors that make it easier for us to fall into this source of fear when it comes to sexual and love life.

1. Lack of assertiveness

Sometimes the fear of commitment appears because of something as simple as not daring to talk about one's plans, life expectations, etc. This blockage in communication makes being in a relationship a problem , since this implies projecting into the future together with a person with whom you hardly talk about very important aspects.

Thus, the fear of commitment can become associated with the fear of talking about things and looking for a solution in the present; A solution that does not have to imply ending the courtship.

2. Fear of showing vulnerabilities

The more time we spend in a love relationship, the more numerous are the occasions in which we show the other person our vulnerabilities. For those who tend to be very suspicious of what others can do to them in the long term, this can lead to some concern . The key is to learn to trust where it makes sense to do so, and a loving relationship is one of those contexts in which opening up is as liberating as it is necessary for the bond to work.

3. Immersion in a culture of short-termism

If every day we are bombarded with messages that emphasize short-termism and extreme individualism, it is not surprising that we end up falling into the fear of commitment. In such cases, part of the problem is exposing oneself to social environments that give visibility to a single, very specific ideology.

4. Lack of tolerance for uncertainty

Being in a relationship always involves taking certain risks , since, as we have seen, it is a long-term project. This means that we agree to make plans for the future even knowing that, technically, the other person can decide to end the relationship at any time. This idea must be managed properly, and there are those who find it difficult.

5. Frustration at tending to unrealistic expectations

Finally, we cannot ignore that some people experience the relationship from mixed feelings: one loves the other person but, at the same time, the experience of being with them does not fit with the expectations that had been created about what it is. have a boyfriend or girlfriend. And since this tension exists, the idea arises that there is no point in giving up forever feeling what one thinks is "true love" and that it is really nothing more than an idealization.

Psychotherapy is not simply about meeting with the psychologist and telling him out loud about the frustrations that we have been carrying over the last days or weeks; nor is it going to informative sessions in which as patients we internalize theoretical knowledge about what happens to us and we let go of false beliefs.

The concept of "addiction" usually goes hand in hand with that of "drug", but in practice, this is not the case. There are addictions in which the consumption of any addictive substance is not involved, and in fact, they are not statistically rare cases.

Dynamic Psychology is an approach oriented to the study of the forces that act in the individual , between the organization of the personality and the consequences of these.