I Keep Attracting Commitment-Phobes & I Finally Understand Why

“Why can’t I meet a nice guy who isn’t afraid of commitment?” I asked my friend. He replied, “Maybe you’re the commitment-phobe.” What? The insult! The injury! But then I realized the dude was right… sort of.

  1. I was afraid to love. I wasn’t afraid of commitment, I was afraid to love because I was afraid to get hurt by someone amazing. The fear was like a set of nesting dolls with a range of big and small worries. At the heart of it, I was desperately afraid to have my heart and happiness smashed into pieces.
  2. I felt I didn’t deserve love. Sadly, I felt like I didn’t deserve a great guy who’d treat me well. So if I kept choosing guys who couldn’t commit, we’d never get to a serious relationship and then I’d never have to feel like I wasn’t worthy of one. Simple.
  3. I didn’t have standards. I thought I had standards but I was actually guilty of not having any because I didn’t feel I deserved a high-quality guy. Without deal breakers and expectations in place, I’d go for the commitment-phobes who wanted to date casually and I’d settle for being unfulfilled in my relationships.
  4. I didn’t have boundaries. Guys could walk all over me because I didn’t have good boundaries in place. I’d end up accepting bad behavior from guys who gave me mixed messages, for example, and end up completely wasting my time. Again, it came down to not respecting myself. How could I expect others to respect me?
  5. I didn’t want to be the needy one. I was afraid to be called “needy” or “clingy” for having relationship expectations. The result? Not only did I settle for the commitment-phobes, but I also ended up neglecting what I really wanted. No wonder I never felt happy.
  6. I thought I could change them. I wanted to help the guys realize they could commit and be happy. I thought if I could achieve that, not only would my ego get major stroking but I’d be happy too. Wrong! The only thing that happened was that they didn’t change and I wasted all my time on them.
  7. I bottled up my emotions. Not just when it came to hiding what I really wanted, but I’d pretend not to be hurt or not to really like the guy. I did this out of fear that they’d see the real me and leave, but a weird thing would happen: the genuine guys would leave because they could sense I wasn’t being real and I’d just attract all the commitment-phobes who were also hiding their emotions! Ha!
  8. I chased lofty relationship ideas. In spite of all the wrong things I was doing to find a partner, I had unrealistic relationship ideals. I was way too focused on these and not concentrating enough on actually finding a person who had qualities that would be good for building a committed relationship. For example, I’d imagine fixing the guy and living happily ever after—that wasn’t going to happen. Or I’d imagine dating a super-hot guy when attractiveness wasn’t going to put happiness on the relationship table. I wanted all the wrong things.
  9. I acted like I was desperate. I wanted to get into a relationship and I was eager to be seen as a great girlfriend, so I tried way too hard. Cringe. The result was that this behavior attracted guys who weren’t keen on commitment. They’d stick around for as long as the times were good because I made it so easy for them, then ditch me because they weren’t interested in being serious. The more I tried to hold on and make things work, the more the really great guys who wanted to commit were put off dating me.
  10. I fell too fast. I was always romantic about love. I wanted to be swept off my feet and find “The One,” so I’d see a guy I thought could be good to be with and I’d fall head over heels immediately. Once I was attached, it took a lot for me to change my mind about him. I’d ignore the commitment issue he had by concentrating on his better qualities, obviously screwing myself over in the process. FML.
  11. I was afraid of rejection. I’d choose the most unavailable man I could find, then cry to my BFFs about how I always attracted guys who were already in relationships. I failed to see that I was to blame because I was choosing them because I was afraid of being rejected. See, it felt safer to choose a guy who couldn’t hurt me than to get rejected by a guy who gave me a chance and then realized he didn’t like me enough to date me. That I couldn’t deal with. I thought by never having my heart rejected, I could be happy. Wrong! I ended up more miserable than ever and missed some great chances. Sigh. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all…
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.