You’ve found this sweet girl again and you actually want more from her… but still, as usual, you keep your distance once things get “serious” between you. “I want to, but…” says the voice in her head.
It’s quite possible that you’ll get over your fear of committing as a man if that unpleasant feeling is at stake here.
We men find this internal blockage quite depressing. After all, we don’t want to be single forever or have an incomplete partnership, but rather we want to overcome the agonizing fears of the relationship and make ourselves happy – with a great woman by our side.
In this article, therefore, I will tell you how you can overcome your fear of attachment as a man. Experience the clear symptoms and learn how to deal with this feeling!
A woman’s fear of committing as a partner – how to behave?
Maybe you weren’t affected in any way, but you’ve found a hesitant woman as a potential partner who seems to be suffering from an acute fear of attachment.
How should you behave and deal with it now to win him over?
In that case, you shouldn’t put pressure on the lady, but give her the time she needs to get to know each other and build a lot of trusts so she can allay her fears.
In another article of mine, you can find help if she likes you but doesn’t want a relationship.
Causes and symptoms (signs) of relationship anxiety
It’s a terrible feeling to be divided. The wise poet Goethe once described it in these words: “Two souls live, alas! in my chest… “But we don’t want to be too poetic today.
What I mean by this: Men with a fear of commitment have a somewhat “schizophrenic” feeling that causes ambivalent behavior – their magic word in life is YES. On the one hand, they are fed up with being single and yearning for a relationship with a great woman…
… on the other hand, they fear a partnership like a devil fears holy water.
Horror thoughts with the stimulus word “relationship”
Hundreds of fears and apprehensions run through their heads like nightmares that make it impossible to get close to great women:
- This constant, perhaps “overwhelming” closeness to the other person
- Fear of losing freedom… of being without the cool manly nights out with your own rock band
- Fear of being let down, hurt, betrayed, and abandoned again (fear of losing)
- The worry of not meeting the other person’s demands or, conversely, having to let your partner down at some point if you want to break up
- No mood for commitments (Sundays for the in-laws monsters, your best friend’s birthday, etc.)
- Fear of a relationship or marriage as an irreversible “final” decision in life
These fears can become so great that we men want to protect ourselves at all costs from emotional wounds and completely withdraw into our little snail shells.
But what is the cause of relationship anxiety?
Maybe you are a “scarred child”, as the saying goes. One obvious cause is that you may have been bitterly disappointed with previous partnerships.
At the time, your ex-girlfriend restricted you, cheated on you, suddenly left you, or inflicted some emotional pain on you that a man’s heart still hasn’t recovered from.
The expression above with the wounded child can also be taken literally: Perhaps the causes of fear of attachment and fear of loss are in (early) childhood.
Perhaps human closeness in the previous family environment was associated with negative behavior on the part of the parents: rejection, exaggerated expectations or restriction/overprotection. The loss of a parent can also be a cause.
The experiences we have as children in family relationships, we, as adults, transfer (unconsciously) to our partnerships for self-protection, because we want to prevent this misery from happening again.
Symptoms: Am I Afraid of Attachment or Not?
In my opinion, you should also leave the church in the village to evaluate yourself and not exaggerate anything. After all, a little nervousness before a new relationship is normal… even as a man!
Everyone is a little worried about getting involved with the unknown, fears getting hurt from the closeness, and wonders what the future might bring with a partner.
It only becomes really problematic when a blatant fear of attachment prevents you from getting into relationships, even if you really want it so badly.
Test to detect attachment anxiety: 12 clear signs
Maybe now you’re asking yourself: am I really that scared? Or do I just have a few concerns that can be quickly overcome once I speak well and gain (self) confidence?
Let’s do a little test to identify the problem: Here are 12 clear external signs that you, as a man, suffer from fear of attachment/fear of loss:
- You’ve been single for years, although you know many women, date and would even be suitable “candidates” among them.
- OR: Many relationships in which distance and separation can occur quickly
- Statements like “I need my space” or “Classic relationships are only for other people!”
- Constant affairs, one-night stands, and other uncommitted bed stories
- Proposal to have an “extra friendship” because you just want something relaxed, without strenuous commitments
- Great interest in obviously unreachable partners (because a relationship is not expected here anyway) such as the coworker, the married woman/engaged, etc.
- Constant doubts when getting to know each other with distance or even breaking contact as soon as they become “serious” (“This woman is not for me …” or “It will be horror with her!”)
- Fearful comparisons to the unhappy relationship with his ex-girlfriend: “It didn’t work out with her either and this time it will fail again for the same problems!”
- Date sabotage: (unconsciously), provoking arguments or misreporting yourself to torpedo the “dangerous” approach
- Panic fear at the thought of a relationship or even marriage (“This is a definite thing”, “I am losing my freedoms” or “She will expect things I cannot fulfill”, “She will hurt me”)
- Physical symptoms, such as sweating, a racing heart, or panic attacks
- Ambivalent behavior: constant interaction between seeking closeness and distancing or breaking contact/sudden separation
How many of the test points apply to you to what extent? The more symptoms you notice in yourself and the more intense they are, the stronger the relationship anxiety will be.
Overcoming the fear of attachment without therapy: 7 tips for correct behavior
Now you know, based on the external symptoms and signs, how strong your fear as a man really is and how urgently you have to work on your behavior right now. Here I have 7 tips for you on what you can do:
1. Check fears in 3 steps:
When the negative feelings of fear of attachment gain control again, give yourself the order: stop the merry-go-round of thoughts! You should stop the quick journey of your inner doubts and check your thought patterns with the 3-way formula:
1) What exactly am I afraid of? More accurate:
- What could a partner ask/want from me that I cannot fulfill?
- To what extent can my freedom be unacceptably restricted?
- How could the woman hurt me or let me down?
- How likely is it that she will suddenly leave me and my fear of loss is justified?
- What exactly can go wrong in our relationship?
2) How realistic are these fears? More accurate:
- Can this problem really arise now?
- Or is it just childhood experiences or previous partnerships that I now transfer to us as a (potential) couple?
- Note: To recognize this, you must, of course, deal with your past experiences and become aware of old-time patterns.
3) As a man, how could you handle such a situation?
If the bad feeling is justified (and not a projection of the past):
- Do I definitely have to keep my distance/break off contact, or is there a way to resolve the relationship issue?
- If so, how can I deal with potential relationship issues?
- What exactly can I do now so that this situation does NOT occur in the relationship?
More on that in a moment…
With these 3-step considerations, you’ll now know to what extent your fear of attachment is a realistic fear — and which of these troubling thoughts are just soap bubbles that can burst…
2. No more comparisons with the ex-girlfriend
Of course, each of us has been unhappy in love and/or has had bad experiences in previous relationships. Even so, you must end this legacy, dump your ex-girlfriend, and go in search of a mate with an open mind.
When you meet a woman, think about this: Is my fear of losing or relationship anxiety justified, or am I just transferring my unhappy experiences with my ex-girlfriend onto this new girl?
Remember: everyone is different – and perhaps the parallels you draw with your ex-girlfriend are completely defined by fate.
If so, give this “candidate” a chance! Of course, bad experiences can be repeated, but there are some risks in all relationships.
If you can really recognize recurring patterns in your relationships and go through the same crap over and over again, you should look for a different type of woman in the future to avoid this problem.
And that means:
3. Change your unfortunate search from today
Hand on heart:
Do you keep falling in love with the same girls who bring you bad luck?
Or do you just approach the quest half-heartedly and get something wrong? Maybe you’re always looking for unapproachable women to protect yourself by excluding a partnership early on…
It does not matter which of the two cases applies: You must then urgently change your prey scheme to defeat the fear of attachment.
Goal: Look for girls who are single, who like you, and who really suit you – even at the “risk” that a real relationship might develop.
4. Allow enough time to get to know each other
Many men don’t get past the first date. Although the woman is really nice, they break through the tents as soon as there’s a noticeable closeness and something serious happens. The feeling of anxiety in the relationship and the fear of loss prevail again.
If you notice this behavior in yourself, say “STOP!” Inwardly, try to give you and the girl a chance together and also arrange a second or third date, rather than running away immediately.
Maybe when you get to know each other better, you’ll discover that your doubts were unfounded and that your relationship with her would work out if you could get involved.
Of course, it could also be true that you guys don’t fit in… but you didn’t know that at first! And if you give it a fair chance, at least you tried.
Positive experiences can also help you stave off fear for good. Maybe 3 months from now you’ll say, “Now I’m happy with my new girlfriend… all my worries were completely unfounded!”
Then you will also be less afraid to commit if you meet a great lady again in the future…
5. Gain confidence slowly
We men are often plagued by relationship anxiety because we don’t know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into. We imagine:
“How will a woman behave in a relationship? Now at first, she’s still pretty cool, but even the most beautiful angel can suddenly become a dragon…”
So take the time to get to know them well. Find out what kind of person she really is and if she suits you. And that means: taking the conversation to a personal level, asking questions about values, understanding loyalty, etc.
As I said before: no relationship is risk-free – but doing so will reduce the likelihood of disappointment.
And one more thing: taking your time doesn’t mean you should unnecessarily prolong the process of getting to know each other to avoid a possible relationship out of sheer fear of commitment. At each meeting, there should be significant progress in terms of familiarity.
6. Make clear agreements and set boundaries
Defend your needs in partnership! As a man, you should always know exactly what you want and let the woman know from the start when you get to know each other.
The truth is, you don’t have to worry about restricting yourself excessively, giving up freedoms, or having to meet unreasonable expectations as long as the fronts are precisely defined.
This means, for example:
- Clearly communicate on a date or later in life how important your hobbies are to you (sports, music, travel, etc.) and that you would never open them up for a partner.
- Also, explain to her that you need freedom and that you want to do something with your friends over the weekend.
- You can also broadcast your impediments, which you would never do… go shopping in the crowded city on a Saturday or spend time in front of the television on Sunday mornings, if that’s always been awful for you.
The whole thing shouldn’t sound like you’re making excessive demands or planning your relationship on the drawing board like a control freak.
Convey your clear ideas about a partnership to her more casually in casual conversation on a date. She will then notice how you are acting and decide if she can get involved. Maybe you’re lucky and she sees things the same way.
7. In an emergency: Talk openly about fear of attachment
None of this helps, does it help, and you find yourself acting strangely? Does that fear overwhelm you again and do you keep your distance or run away into non-commitment (“just a loose story between us”)?
So, it would be wise to openly address relationship anxiety and admit that feeling, even though this is often difficult for us men.
An open discussion also takes a heavy burden off your shoulders.
For example, you can say:
“Hey, I really like you, please don’t misunderstand my distant behavior. But I was seriously hurt in my last relationship, so I want to take my time and get to know you better before it becomes a disappointment to both of us. “
By doing this, you help the woman better understand her hesitant behavior and at the same time show that you are truly open to a stable partnership. At the same time, it can help you overcome fear if you have already made up your mind.