How Commitment Phobia Keep You Awake At Night – 4 Levels Of Commitment Fear.

Originally Published: May 5, 2018

Updated: October 26, 2021



“Researched statistics on individual phobias are hard to come by. It’s estimated that 12.5 percent of adults in the United States experience a specific phobia at some point.”

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Are You Staying Awake Nights Thinking About Commitment?

 Commitment Phobia worry most singles.

Being single is ok for now. But when you’re constantly chasing and looking; it can be exhausting!

How commitment phobia keep you awake at night is concerning. Your mind starts wondering, “Will things work out, if I do find someone?”

You start thinking “How serious will this get?” “I’m I really ready to be tied down?” “This crap is driving me CRAZY!!”

Just the idea of ‘permanently’ settling down with another human being for the rest of your life makes your heart pound.

No Commitment Made


How Commitment Phobia Keep You Awake At Night
She’s angry that boyfriend is afraid of commitment.

Granted, you’re not in any physical danger regarding your significant other, but you start experiencing anxieties and fears that your body just can’t understand.

Keeping awake at night and not getting enough sleep, will cause other health issues.

What you are experiencing is a condition known as ‘Commitment Phobia.’ It’s a claustrophobic response to intimate relationships.

The dictionary defines claustrophobia as a fear of enclosed or narrow spaces.

To a commitment phobic, that’s what a relationship symbolizes – an enclosed space in which he or she may get stuck.

Commitment phobia comes with all 12 classic phobic symptoms:

    • Headaches
    • Gastrointestinal disturbances
    • Nausea
    • Nervousness
    • Excessive sweating
    • Chills
    • Intense anxiety
    • Palpitations
    • Hyperventilation
    • Labored breathing
    • Suffocating sensations
    • A general sense of dread


Commitment Phobia: Mind & Body In Sync Is ‘Key!’

As most of us know, these are all “fight or flight” responses- the body’s way of mobilizing itself against a threat.

How Commitment Phobia Keep You Awake At Night
Women is worried will her long time partner ever commit.

And it is how people with severe and active commitment conflicts respond when they feel they are involved in a romantic situation that bears the trappings of permanency.

Then next, they know after a short while, will come more issues to deal with later, down the road.


The brain sends a message to the body: “I’m terrified.” And the body sends a message back: “Danger! Get Out! Now!!”

You don’t have to be in any real physical danger for the body to mobilize its defenses. If you perceive something as a threat, then the body reacts as though there is indeed a very real threat.

“Give me liberty or give me death!” it cries. “Fifty-four or fight!” “Not another nickel to the King!” Whether you know it or not, your body has gone to war.

Why war? What’s so scary that such drastic action is called for? And who is the foe?

For someone with a genuine commitment phobic response, the foe is the relationship itself. It’s the loss of freedom that’s frightening.

If on some very visceral level you equate commitment with the loss of  freedom, then commitment may be anxiety provoking or even truly terrifying. Your body gets prepared to help you escape.

It will respond to that relationship the same way it would respond if you were a claustrophobic trapped in an elevator, an airplane, a crowd, or a closet.

4 Different Levels Of Commitment Fear

Of course not everyone experiences his or her fear of commitment in the same way. Fear can range from severe to more subtle. For example:

  • Overwhelming panic: is the best way to describe reactions that are both immediate and intense. The minute the relationship gets “tight” fear sets in. These men and women can’t help but recognize what they are feeling.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety ranging from mild to intense is the way many men and women with commitment conflicts describe their feelings.
    This group rarely feels outright panic, and the symptoms of fear, or phobia, may be so subtle and so seemingly disconnected from the relationship that at first they are only vaguely aware of what’s taking place. But when the anxiety hangs around long enough, they become acutely aware of their discomfort.
  • Controlled fear: is the feeling expressed by those men and women  who acknowledge their conflicts and who are attempting to lead their lives in a way that compensates for their feelings.
  • Hidden fear: is the only way to describe the reactions of those men and women whose history clearly indicates that they are avoiding commitment, even though they have no conscious awareness of what they are doing. These men and women are so terrified of commitment that they rarely, if ever, consider becoming involved with anyone who would present them with the opportunity to confront their terror. Because they are attracted to partners who are unavailable or pulling away, unless they accidentally stumble into a committed relationship, they have no idea of the depth of their anxiety.

Should The Idea Of Commitment Be Threating?

How Commitment Phobia Keep You Awake At Night
The fear of committing to his girlfriend of 3 years is nerve wrecking.

Some people might argue that fear of commitment is built into our genetic code, that in the human jungle the mere act of caring for and accommodating to a full-time partner is a threat.

After all, it means slowing down, lowing defenses, and becoming less alert to the possibility of danger.

The fact is that commitment is scary for a lot of reasons, all of which need to be acknowledged and examined.

First is what we see as the primary conflict – what we feel when commitment threatens our basic and powerful need to feel free.

These are those who would even take this a step farther and question  whether or not permanent commitment is healthy or even normal.

These people question whether humans are meant to form permanent unions with each other.

While thinking about this is provocative, there is probably no satisfactory answer to the question of whether people, like swans, are designed to mate for life.

And we are not about to argue the merits of marriage versus a single life.

Forever is scary. Commitment – whether in the form of marriage or not- represents an enormous responsibility.

Once we commit ourselves, we owe something to another human being. (This is what get most people a little shaky).

Someone else counts on us, depends on us, relies on us. The notion of this extra burden is frightening. But there is a difference between having commitment fears and being downright phobic.

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  1. This definitely rang partly true with me! I think I am a little bit of a commitment phobe! I came out a 7-year relationship 3 years ago and have loved being single so much since that I’m quite nervous about getting into something more permanent again and feeling ‘trapped’. This isn’t to say I don’t want to meet someone, but I’m so independent I think I need to meet someone who can appreciate that!

    1. Hi Louise. I understand you clearly. You need your space and don’t want to be smothered. I’m a widower and is hesitant about going on ‘lock down’ again. I’m now just enjoying my freedom after 33 years of marriage. It’s unfortunate i ended up single this way, (wife died almost 3 years ago) but hey…life goes on. Louise, enjoy your freedom. Eventually that ‘special person’ will soon come along without any special effort on your part.


  2. I initially thought this was funny as I started reading cause I didn’t think it was an actual thing. But then I saw the symptoms and realized it was kind of serious.
    But I can understand how fearing the loss of one’s freedom can be scary. No one wants to ever lose themselves; and no one should.
    Fear is something else though. Fear is scary! lol

    1. Yes Yemi, no one wants to be tied down when they don’t wanna be. A lot of people end up being miserable because they didn’t follow their fears. (They should have ran the other way.) I always say if freedom means more to you, then don’t give yourself a ‘nervous breakdown’ fearing you’ll be smothered to death with no way out!

  3. Commitment phobia! I have never heard of this condition before, I see it is very much like being trapped, but I didn’t realize there were symptoms to this problem like headaches, dreed, and palpitations, very serious stuff.
    I am married and have been for some time, I can see why some people would have a fear of commitment, what if you chose the wrong partner who doesn’t suit you, that would be terrible.

    1. Hey Kris, many folks hesitate when it comes to making a ‘lifetime commitment’ decision. They go through a complete breakdown. Not all! Some may handle it well. But as far as choosing the wrong partner, that does happen. I think that only happens when you rush into things and don’t get to know the other person well. Yes, overtime you’ll definitely feel trapped! (You’ll start thinking that the only exit out is by the ‘hangman’s noose.’)lol.

  4. Exactly, this is a great post and I cannot agree less with what you have shared here because they are just the right things to do. On a more serious note, it becomes a lot more simpler to become committed if the commitment phobia can be over looked and more concentrated thought placed on becoming better rather than letting it overpower us. I really like this post. Thanks so much for sharing

    1. Thank you Rodarrick for enjoying my post. Yes I agree that being laser focus on what you’re trying to achieve, would make life a little more bearable. Less stress regarding relationships is what we need. Knowing our direction in life is ‘key.’ Please share my post with others.

  5. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your guide. I started reading cause I didn’t think it was an actual thing. But then I saw the symptoms and realized it was kind of serious. But I can understand how fearing the loss of one’s freedom can be scary. I am married and have been for some time, I can see why some people would have a fear of commitment, what if you chose the wrong partner who doesn’t suit you, that would be terrible. 

    1. You are right, my friend and thank you for checking in with me. Finding a compatible mate I feel, is for sure one of the most difficult thing to do. As you say, not feeling sure if this is ‘the one’ I put fear in your heart. Knowing that you may be giving up your freedom will get you nervous as hell. But that’s life! Please share this with others.

  6. Hay! Thanks for sharing such an informative article and I would like to say that this article is extremely important to me because you have talked about the very important subject and I love this article personally because I have got some information and knowledge from  this article which is important in my life. you have described perfectly the relationship life and symptoms of phobia. I just want to tell you that your article has the power to change someone’s life for that reason, your article is extremely special to me and I still now I am following your instructions properly.

    1. Thank you my friend for reading my article. I’m glad to hear after what I wrote will help you with any future decisions. We all aren’t perfect and will make bad choices. You make me feel good saying that my post has the power to change someone life. Yes, please follow my advice all the way to the book. It has even more important info enclosed. Please share my post.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing a beautiful, informative article with us. The principal element of this article is to How Commitment Phobia Keep You Awake At Night. It’s really amazing that you covered this subject so well in your post. I have learned a lot from reading your post and gained a lot of knowledge about it. I like DIFFERENT LEVELS OF FEAR of the points mentioned in your article. I also have a real experience that I could not sleep at night because of commitments. I committed a friend to a foreigner and set him up abroad but later on, because of my worsening condition, I was so ashamed and scared because of my comments.
    I’ve read your article and enjoyed it and I’d like to share it with my friends by posting it in the Facebook community so that everyone knows about your article and gets to know it.

    1. Thank you for your warm compliments my friend. It seems this phobia of committing to a serious relationship can be quite devastating to many. They don’t know what direction to turn or what to do. As you stated, you’ve experienced this first-hand, so you know the pitfalls. Yes MD, you have my permission to share with your Facebook group. No problem! 

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