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  • Writer's pictureClaire Timmermans

About Fear of Commitment & Separation Anxiety

Do you have everything in order but does it always go wrong in love and/or relationships? Do you long for a partner but keep walking away as you get closer? Do you fall in love with someone who already has a partner? Or do all your feelings disappear and you keep your distance if someone wants to go for you? If you keep ending up in situations like this, you might recognize the dance of separation anxiety and fear of commitment/ bonding anxiety. The conflict between our need for intimacy on the one hand and the need for freedom on the other, creates a game of chasing and running away, attracting and rejecting.

The attraction between fear of commitment and separation anxiety

People with a fear of commitment attract people who have separation anxiety and vice versa. Maybe this sounds very contradictory. But those fears both arose the moment you didn't get what you needed. Someone who has developed a fear of commitment got it because, for example, this person was hardly comforted as a child when he/she needed it. This familiar situation is unknowingly revisited and found in someone with separation anxiety! We both want to keep a certain distance; They don't let the other person get any closer because it feels safer. They both don't want to be hurt, abandoned or rejected. The person with separation anxiety wants to keep the distance as small as possible in order to get confirmation, while the person with fear of commitment wants to keep his/her distance.

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The dynamics are in yourself

Separation anxiety and fear of commitment are very related to each other. It may well be that you recognize yourself in symptoms of fear of commitment as well as symptoms of separation anxiety. As painful as the game of attracting and repelling can be, it always comes from both sides. Fear of commitment and separation anxiety are the same at its core. Only how this is expressed has to do with the person facing you. For example, you may experience separation anxiety in one relationship, but in a subsequent relationship you may struggle to bond yourself. Although it is easier to place the blame on the other person, it is much nicer and more interesting to investigate your own fear first. Because if you don't look closely at your own share, you're going to fall into the same trap every time.

The wound of abandonment

Only when you are connected to yourself you can connect with another. This way you are able to carry, feel and process your own feelings of trauma. This is sometimes painful, because it forces you to come into contact with your former wound. When you become aware of how you behave in relationships, you can get started working on this. When you enter into a relationship, it should be about that real connection and not about covering up your fear of being tied up or abandoned. This is a process, but it can be learned.

Should you recognize yourself in separation anxiety and/or the fear of commitment and do you want to work on this? Please contact us via the contact form on our website In a free and completely free introductory meeting we are happy to tell you what you can do for you and how we can help you.

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