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How to Recognize the Signs of Commitment Phobia on a First Date

Are you on a first date with someone that you suspect has a fear of commitment?

Getting involved with someone that isn’t ready for a serious relationship is a waste of time and emotional energy. You could be into them, but their fear of commitment might be stronger than their desire to change.

Your date could be charming on the outside, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to commit to you in the same way you want them.

It is possible to tell if you’re setting yourself up for heartbreak even on the first date. So, save yourself the trouble by knowing which red flags mean a future relationship disaster.

What Is Commitment Phobia?

Although commitment phobia isn’t an official term, it’s often used to describe people with relationship anxiety. A commitment-phobe wants a long-term connection but has trouble forming a meaningful relationship because of their anxiety.

Both men and women can have commitment issues, although fear of commitment may be more common in men.

Commitment-phobes may sabotage a relationship without even realizing they are doing it. Because of this, dating someone with these issues is a draining and difficult experience.

If you think your date might be a commitment-phobe look for these key signs.

They Hate Planning Ahead

Planning for the future takes commitment. Even planning a future trip together is hard for someone with a fear of commitment.

Instead of thinking of the future, a commitment-phobe only plans for short-term periods. They might agree to same-day plans or only think ahead by a few days.

Big commitments that involve the two of you together induce high levels of stress. People with commitment issues are more likely to back out if a plan or a date involves too much planning. So, if you’re on your first date and they’re already being flaky, watch out.

“Us” and “We” Aren’t in Their Vocabulary

If you’re dating someone with commitment issues, you may notice they distance themselves romantically. They might say they want to take things slow, but your relationship doesn’t go anywhere at all. Some days it may not feel like a relationship at all.

Saying ‘’we’’ and ‘’us’’ when talking about plans usually means the two of you plan on attending something together. But a commitment-phobe doesn’t want to feel tied down to anything that isn’t required of them. Much like the “L-word”, they have a hard time saying it.

They’ve Had Lots of Short Relationships

Another sign is if your date has a long history of short-term relationships or “flings”.

They might refuse to define a past relationship as anything other than casual. For example, he may have been dating a girl for six months but he never saw it as anything serious. He may not have even called her his girlfriend.

Commitment-phobes sometimes dislike terms like boyfriend or girlfriend because it’s too defined.

They Don’t Have Many Close Friends

One warning sign you’re seeing someone with a fear of commitment is that they don’t have many close friends. People with an aversion to commitment often lack close personal friends as well as long-term romantic partners. Even on a platonic level, maintaining a relationship takes a lot of work and commitment.

They might meet up with people but usually as a casual gathering. It’s unlikely that a person with relationship anxiety would have a close best friend. If they do, the other person probably does all the relationship legwork.

They Constantly Stress How Casual the Relationship Is

You may have heard the “I’m not ready for a relationship right now but maybe one day” or the “give me time” excuse. Someone with commitment issues may want a meaningful relationship, but they’re not ready for it now. So instead of breaking it off, they string you along.

Dating a commitment-phobe is an easy way to get your heartbroken and you may have to ask yourself if it’s worth waiting around. The other person fills your head with ideas of what could be one day, but that day never comes.

They Dislike Structure

While a commitment-phobe may like structure when it comes to obligations like work or school, their romantic relationships are often unstructured. They might be flaky or unwilling when it comes to future date plans or hanging out. Maybe they were even late for your first date and they didn’t apologize or give you a good excuse.

If they’re not obligated to do something, they find it difficult to put time and effort into those plans. These commitments could be as simple as setting up a second date or even sending a text back after your first meeting.

Look for These Red Flags to Avoid Heartbreak

It is possible to overcome commitment phobia, but only if that person wants to change. The best way for them to deal with relationship anxiety is to seek a trained therapist. Even if you’re really into them, you can’t force them to change.

If you recognized these commitment phobia signs on your first date, it’s best that you steer clear. Healthy relationships are all about equal effort, and a commitment-phobe just isn’t ready for that.


Dianne Brady is a full-time content manager and blog writer. She creates articles for the DoULike Blog which provides expert dating advice for singles everywhere.

Dianne offers writing services and SEO consultations for clients. Her background in creative writing and experience with copywriting and marketing helps her write on a variety of topics.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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