Commitment Phobe Insight Needed

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Commitment Phobe Insight Needed
5
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 5:12pm
I need some input on a recent relationship I had with someone I think is a commitment phobe.

I was seeing this woman for a couple months. We seemed really compatible, shared similar senses of humor, similar educational backgrounds etc. A sexual relationship was developing, and she was also expressing feelings for me. Nonetheless, I started to sense a push/pull forming once she admitted these feelings, and it seemed like she was trying to get me to end the relationship. The textbook responses, I guess:

sending mixed messages;scheduling time;compartmentalizing her life;starting to find faults in me;setting limitations and boundaries;jumping out of bed after sex (and then saying I kicked her out of bed);etc.

Right out of bizarro world.

Anyway, the panic levels finally got so high that she pulled away completely. Told me not to call, but said she would call me when she was ready (ho-hum; she takes control). The kicker was that she blamed me for pushing her away, when it really felt like she had her track shoes on from the beginning. It was an odd situation. Maybe I pushed the boundaries, but I also felt she was blurring them.

Logically, I know that the commitment phobia is the problem, not my desire for closeness/intimacy/affection. However, I did like this person and was really trying hard to get to know her. We haven't talked for about a month, as I am honoring her need for time and space.

For the ladies: Do I let this one go, or do I contact her, and let her know that I want to support her (she recognizes the issue)? I genuinely miss the dinners, movies, and just hanging out. We were a good match.

For the gents: How dangerous is this woman? I have never encountered this before in my life with a woman. Personally, I think she is a good person, but I also think she has the power to destroy men.

I have already adopted the attitude that it is "her loss". But I do care about her, and I'd like to think I could help her in some way.

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 5:25pm
I know someone in a similar situation. At the beginning, she wasn't really that interested in him as a long term partner (for whatever reason) but enjoyed the company of the/a really cute, sweet, nice guy. Then things started to get more intense (physically)as they spent more time together. With sexual interaction (also for myself, like many girls) comes a feeling of closeness and attachement that is put onto the other person. Maybe she started admitting these feelings but feels in her heart that it wasn't 'meant to be' from the beginning and can't stand breaking the heart of someone that she cares for, likes & respects. A lot of times when you are wiht someone a lot they grow on you, you get close to them, but it doesn't mean that you intended on getting serious. My friend was wrestling with those feelings (immediate gratification vs dragging out something/leading someone on)

She perhaps was trying to drive you away b/c she didn't want to break your heart. I've been on the other side and it is very confusing...

Or- i could be COMPLETELY WRONG. Just coming from my experience...

Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 5:58pm
If you're not her therapist and don't want to be (which would be a wise decision!), then there's nothing you can do to "help" her with this. It's up to her to address her issues with the help of a counselor, if she ever chooses to do so.

It sounds like you want more than just a friendship, and if that's the case, you need to let go, because she's not going to give you that. It's beyond her capability at this point.

Sheri

Avatar for mamma2my3sons
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 8:49am
do you really need or want a "fixer-upper"?! Clearly this woman has significant issues. No I would not call her, she asked you not to. Drop it, drop her & find someone who is actually ready & willing to have a healthy adult relationship with you. Think you will save yourself a bunch of grief. You can't help or fix someone who doesn't acknowlege their own problems or want to help themselves.

Barbara

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 12:02am
Thanks.

I think your experience counts here. The interesting thing is that a commitment phobic person never thinks it's "meant to be" I guess. They always find faults, think too far into the future, etc. Nevertheless, I definitely think she was taken off-guard by how much she connected with me, and that made her panic.

I do agree that she was concerned about my feelings, and I think that is because she genuinely liked me as a person. So, I think you are right on with your endpoint. I am just still confused by her actions and words. It came off like she was almost angry that she had to end the relationship. Maybe she was just denying the fact that she was running again...

I don't know, probably never will. In the end, this ultimately was a casual experience. I can't say I liked it all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 12:23am
I agree with you, and it is wise advice. In the end, we are all working on becoming better people. I guess I believe accepting this in ourselves and others gives us the confidence to trust one another and build relationships. Unfortunately, finding flaws is the name of the game for a CP. I've learned you don't stand much of a chance when in their crosshairs.

I do think she wants to help herself, however. She was taking those steps, and then I walked in.

Anyway... thanks for the input. Live and learn.