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Why do playboys settle down?

What makes the commitment phobhic agree to long-term relationships? the guide tries to find some of the answers

Expert Talk

Why are people commitment phobic?
>> In many cases, an earlier experience that ended badly tends to leave a mark on their mental make-up. Thus, they decide that they will not get into the same situation again.
>> If a person has seen a traumatic relationship in childhood, it can affect their perception of a committed relationship. If they have seen a parent going through a painful relationship, they will not wish to endure the same.


Eternal playboy and Hollywood hearthrob George Clooney got engaged to British lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is nearly 16 years his junior. Pic/AFP

>> Sometimes, observing and listening to a friend complain about the changes that they had to make in their life leads to aversion to commitments.
>> Fear of losing freedom, anticipating that life will change completely, and concerns that one would have to be answerable, etc, also triggers this emotion.
>> Some people have anticipatory anxiety where they feel that if things don’t work out, they will have to experience a lot of pain, and lose financially, socially and emotionally.

Hollywood actor George Clooney
Hollywood actor George Clooney at the 70th Venice International Film Festival last year. Pic/Getty Images

Why do they settle down?
In many cases, there is a strong need for emotional attachment; commitment phobics are not averse to loving. They have an unreasonable fear of  not being able to sustain a relationship. So, due to family insistence, the fear of losing a loved one and sometimes, realising that they are being unrealistic, the person considers settling down. Also, the conflicting need to be loved and need for having someone as they grow older makes the person give in.


George Clooney recently announced his engagement with British lawyer Amal Alamuddin, who is 36 years old

Should they be trusted?
Trust is a two-way street. Firstly, they need to start trusting the relationship and themselves. When they are unable to trust their own capacity to sustain a relationship they end up engaging in behaviour that leads to tension and break-ups, and confirms their belief that they can’t handle commitments. So, they need to begin with trusting themselves and then the partner can do so. If they take care of this then they will take conscious actions which will lead to the partner trusting them. As for whether they can be trusted — yes. But their issues with commitment and associated problems need to be directly addressed.

Information courtesy: Dr Neha Patel, Psychologist

Are men more commitment phobic?

Yes, men have more commitment issues than women. The reason is that they are conditioned to believe that the strings of maintaining or sustaining relationships is in their hands.



Many men have confessed that they feel claustrophobic with the thought that they might have to comply with the so-called norms and rules of a married life. Many can’t see themselves in a particular stereotype in relation to marriage. Women, on the other hand, seek relationships, so that they can find a suitable partner for life; this is not the case for many men. It’s not that they trivialise the relationship, it’s just that men feel the need of having a companion is already fulfilled. Information courtesy: Dr Seema Hingorrany, Clinical Psychologist

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