Commitment Phobia

It’s When the Relationship Gets Closer That Many Men Begin Staging a Way Out

Since the publication of Andrew G. Marshall’s book I Love You, But I’m Not in Love With You, we know that the way you say the “magic word” actually matters.

However, what if a guy tells you he’s IN love with you, convinces you to transfer to his college or workplace in another country to be with him. He says repeatedly he’s never been happier.., but breaks up with you after a ridiculous argument?

Very likely, he is afraid of commitment, like about half of all western men, as research by Bowdoin University suggests. Julia Sokol, author of Men Who Can’t Love, goes even as far as to call commitment-phobia an epidemic.

Even if the woman is not really interested in the man at first, she is eventually won over by the intensity of his interest in her.

It’s when the relationship gets closer, and a commitment has been made, that he starts to get scared. By the time the woman has been totally swept off her feet, and he has “won” her, her starts backing off, sometimes even involuntarily sabotaging the relationship so as to have an excuse to leave.

For women, it is often very painful to experience such a drastic change of a man’s attitude. And since the symptoms are not always obvious, they often blame themselves for the failure of the relationship. Of course the man’s efforts to persuade the woman that she caused the break-up by being neurotic, clingy, needy, or demanding doesn’t help. When feelings are hurt it is hard to stay clear, and even harder to get over the lost lover and move on.

Commitment-phobia seems to be mainly due to men’s lack of self-confidence – a fear they will not be able to live up to what’s expected of them – and perhaps also a fear of the strong, independent women of the 21st Century who don’t need or want to be protected or insulated from the rough and tumble of life as was earlier thought to be traditional. In particular, if the man has had a history of feeling unworthy, inferior, or rejected, he may go about staging the same circumstances again, to prove that his self definition was right.

A half a century ago, men earned the money in most middle class families while women ran the household and took care of the children. But today, the man’s superiority and strength – traditional gender roles in general — are questioned by women’s success in school and in the work place, in government, diplomacy or even the business world.

In the end, it’s about the willingness to share power. And whether men continue to follow this trend, or they accept women as their equals — a relationship worthy of a real commitment — time, society and men themselves will dictate. However, the real losers are those who pass on a relationship, because they don’t recognize the pattern until too late.

Share This Post

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » appearance » Widgets » and move a widget into Advertise Widget Zone