Are you facing a relationship – or even a NON-relationship – that is prevented from moving forward due to fear of commitment? Have you taken any steps to try to confront and banish this fear, or, like many women, do you resort to needy behavior such as clinging or unproductive displays of anger?

As women, we are often taught to approach things within a relationship in a manner that is 100% the opposite of helpful behavior. It’s not our fault – because often the approach we use and the behavior we display SOUNDS completely rational.

I mean, if your boyfriend is pulling away and you show him that you need him, as a man, as a caregiver and protector, that should make him want you more, right? Show him your vulnerability and, if he is a real man, he will want to soothe it and make it go away.

Actually – when you are dealing with a fear of commitment, that is incorrect.

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Here is a great question from a reader on HER experience with commitment phobia:

Dear Sarah,

I have a boyfriend with fear of commitment. He wants me to wear a promise ring but he has such a fear about marriage that when he fell in love with me he started getting distant & I couldn’t talk about the future with him without him looking like a deer caught in headlights! So I gave his ring back & told him I couldn’t promise him I wouldn’t date, but he said he wasn’t going to. He is going to a counselor for help. He was bringing me down, he was hot then cold, that hurt me so that’s when I gave the ring back. When I didn’t see him for 2 weeks .and told him I dated another man, he was crushed! He did not believe I would do that. I love him, what do I do to get him over this fear of commitment? Please help me!



My answer to C…

Thank you for writing in with your relationship problems. C- fear of commitment is such a common problem in relationships today; you need to know that you are not alone! The wonderful thing is, you are handling this correctly. Let me explain.

One of the first reactions that women have when faced with fear of commitment is to become demanding, needy or clingy. The thought process behind this actually causes more relationship problems than it fixes, though. When a woman becomes clingy or needy, instead of a man rising to the occasion and helping her like she dreams he will, he often pulls away, becoming distant or hot/cold.

Instead, if you use a tactic like Leaning Back, such as Rori Raye describes in her Have the Relationship You Want eBook, you are much more likely to get the results you are looking for and end your relationship problems.

Now, what you are doing is correct. You need to lean back, as Rori Raye says, and give HIM the space to Lean Forward. By you dating other men and showing him that you will not be bound by a commitment he is not willing to make, you are showing him that you are independent of him, in demand and not going to wait around. It’s perfect!

I know it may not FEEL like you are doing the right thing, because he is hurting because of it. BUT – if he is going to make a genuine commitment to you, then he needs to do it and quit walking the edge between commitment and freedom. If he will not give you the commitment, then he IS giving you freedom – and you need to take it. It’s either one or the other – there IS no in between.

A promise ring, in my mind, represents an immature commitment. Either hi will or he won’t – he cannot promise to promise, if you know what I mean. And as long as you are NOT committed to him, then you need to be dating other people and learning what else is out there. So in spite of what your emotions are telling you – feeling guilty about his pain, wanting to “fix” what is wrong with him by giving in and letting things go back to the way they were – you are CORRECT in dating other people and refusing a “half-commitment” when dealing with fear of commitment from your boyfriend.

To read more on how to deal with fear of commitment, educate yourself by visiting the section on Rori Raye on my website by clicking here:

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Michaels is a dating and relationship expert, bringing diverse and educated relationship advice to women all over the world. Visit her blog here: to ask dating and relationship advice questions, and get answers!