Today we’re going to discuss the 5 keys to getting a commitment-phobic ex back, or more specifically, to getting a commitment-phobic ex actually to commit to you once and for all.
- Understand Why Your Ex Is A Commitment Phobe
- Outgrow Your Ex During A No Contact Rule
- Embrace The Interdependence Theory (Satisfaction, Alternatives, Investment)
- Learn About The Secure Attachment Gravity
- Employ Tactical Empathy In Conversations With Them
Let’s take a few moments and go through each one of these steps so you have a complete understanding of what we mean by them.
Key #1: Understand Why Your Ex Is a Commitment-Phobe
There are a lot of different reasons people develop commitment-phobia.
Fear of losing their independence is one of the most common reasons we see in many people with avoidant attachment styles. Their biggest fear is no longer having freedom of self or the independence that comes with it, especially when the relationship gets deeper, more serious, and more emotional.
Then they may fear being used, which is another common thread in relationships these days.
It’s a nightmare for men, where they fear women dating them, getting pregnant on purpose, and roping them in for child support for over 18 years with limited access to the child. This will sound controversial, but this is something men actually consider when it comes to commitment-phobes.
Usually, they’ll project poor experiences they have had in the past or poor experiences with their own parents onto all their future relationships and perceptions of women.
The fear comes into play specially when they have become intimate with their ex and then they start worrying about being roped in and ‘losing their lives forever’.
Another reason behind most commitment-phobes is fear of rejection.
They have that one lost love that has had such a long-lasting, usually negative impact on their lives, making them project it onto every other person who enters their life in the romantic capacity. Rather than facing rejection, they would rather be the rejector.
Then we have people with idealized expectations.
This one is simpler to explain, as this describes people who become obsessed with the honeymoon period. They get used to things feeling good all the time, so they start naturally believing that things should be this way every single moment of every single day.
What happens here is that your ex was so engrossed by the idea of the honeymoon period that when the honeymoon period starts to diminish, they start to think that something is going wrong. Moreover, they think they are not in love anymore as their idealized expectations do not match reality anymore.
They are basing everything on a phase in the honeymoon period when we all know that the real part of relationships starts after that.
Lastly, we have other relationships traumatic experiences.
This is where they have had a bad experience in a past relationship, and now they grade every new person they date on this scale. They think you will treat them just like their ex treated them, and this is where commitment phobia comes into play.
They’d rather stay away than let themselves be heartbroken again.
The challenge here is to understand which of these categories your ex falls into, and once you get the hang of that, you can move into actionable steps to overcome this.
Key # 2: Outgrow Your Ex During A No Contact Rule
This may seem like we are getting a little off-topic, but you will understand this step in a bit. If this isn’t your first rodeo, you’ve probably heard of the no contact rule, which is without a doubt our most talked about strategy.
However, we have noticed that everyone who talks about the no contact rule completely misses the point of the no contact rule.
Yes, the no contact rule or simply ignoring your ex for a certain period of time will make you look like you’re ‘playing hard to get’ and stimulate emotions within your ex where they try to reobtain the freedom of talking to you again. Psychologically too, it will make your ex miss you more.
However, the no contact rule is not all about making an ex miss you. More than anything, it should be about you getting into a state emotionally where you have outgrown your ex.
If you can get to this space emotionally, you will notice how your ex treats you differently when you eventually start talking to them again.
The big issue is that most people don’t outgrow their ex at all, especially if their ex is a commitment-phobe, since they want them to commit so badly. Yet, the irony is that the best way to make them commit may very well be in the fact that you need to get over them first before you approach them.
We will address this specifically when we discuss avoidant attachment styles, so put it on the back burner for now.
Key # 3: Embrace The Interdependence Theory
The interdependence theory helps us understand why human beings commit to one another.
This theory outlines that human beings commit to one another based on cost and benefit scenarios. As human beings, we are always trying to maximize the benefits of being with someone while minimizing costs.
Theoretically, if you can find someone with more benefits and less costs, you are likely to cut bait and run to this person.
The criteria where we grade these benefits and costs can be divided into 3 specific categories.
- Satisfaction: How satisfied we are in a relationship
- Alternatives: Is there a better alternative out there than ‘us’
- Investment: How much have we invested into this relationship (monetarily, emotionally)
Which out of these three categories matters the most?
Research indicates that even if you are extremely unsatisfied in a relationship and you start thinking you can find someone better, you are still likely to stay in the same relationship if you think you have invested a lot of time, money, and effort into the relationship.
Often, this is why people stay in marriages that they are very unhappy in because they feel they have invested so much and do not want to lose that time.
If you interview people like this and ask them why they’re still in a relationship with this person, and they say, ‘It’s because I don’t want it to be for nothing.’ We need to reverse analyze this because, ultimately, you have to focus on those 3 categories.
You want every interaction with your ex after the no contact rule to be satisfying, and if they’re satisfying, it leads to the alternative aspect, meaning if your conversations with your ex are extremely satisfying, then they will be at ease.
They will begin to think that there is no better alternative than you. However, the main thing you need to achieve is to gain a monopoly of your ex’s time.
If you succeed in doing this, i.e., your ex is now spending more time texting you and talking to you, all of a sudden, your value has risen more than anyone else, and the other things just take care of themselves. The secret to the interdependence theory is to create as much investment from your ex into you as possible.
Key # 4: Learn About The ‘Secure Attachment Gravity’
We are very big on attachment styles when it comes to helping our clients understand what is going on with their exes. If you are not familiar with attachment styles, it is the relationship you had with your parents in your child and how it impacts how you deal with others in your own romantic lives.
Generally, there are 4 attachment styles.
- Secure Attachment: The holy grail, where people are healthy and normal in their relationships.
- Anxious Attachment: People incredibly anxious after a breakup. They are most likely to blow up your phone, show up at your work, embarrass you. Their entire lives revolve around this relationship with you, and any threat to that makes them go berserk.
- Avoidant Attachment: People with avoidant attachment styles often feel right at home with commitment-phobes because they value their independence more than anything you can ever imagine. As a result, they tend to push people away when they feel that independence is being threatened.
- Fearful Attachment: The fearful attachment style combines the worst elements of an anxious person and an avoidant person. They usually have a pendulum shift between the two extremes. One minute their anxious, the next minute their avoidant, and the next minute anxious again. You are left wondering what is wrong with this person. The interesting thing about fearful attachment style is that only 7% of the entire human population has been diagnosed with fearful attachment styles. This means that it is highly unlikely that your commitment-phobic ex has a fearful attachment style. What’s more likely is that your commitment-phobic ex is avoidant.
We know that someone with an avoidant attachment style or someone who has a commitment phobia will not permit themselves to miss you until they feel you have completely moved on. If you understand this, you will probably connect the dots on why outgrowing your ex makes sense.
By outgrowing your ex, you are making your ex think that you do not want them back anymore so they can allow themselves to daydream about what life could have been like with you. This is when you want to start talking to them again.
How do you make someone with commitment phobia commit to you more and also ‘cure’ them?
This is where the secure attachment gravity comes into play. It is a concept that we have recently started to explore. The secure attachment style serves as the hero for all attachment styles, so when you pair up someone with a secure attachment style and an avoidant attachment style, with enough time, the avoidant attachment style will become susceptible to the secure attachment style’s tendencies.
It’s almost as if you are teaching them how to treat a human being in a relationship. They will slowly begin to mimic the secure attachment style tendencies. This does not happen overnight and can even take many years to happen, but it does exist.
The same theory can apply to fearful people and anxious people paired up with secure people. The smartest thing you can do is doubling down on understanding your own attachment style and shifting it towards a more secure attachment style.
We’re going to save you some time. If you are looking at this article or spending time on our website, you most likely have an anxious attachment style because these people value their relationship with their ex higher than anyone else.
Our research can back this up as close to 90% of our clients have anxious attachment styles, whereas their exes have avoidant attachment styles. Since you have more anxious tendencies, it is best to shift them towards secure tendencies that will make your ex look at you as a whole new person. Your secure attachment will mean that eventually, your ex will begin to take up some of those secure tendencies themselves.
Key # 5: Employ ‘Tactical Empathy’ In Conversations With Them
People who have avoidant tendencies and/or are commitment-phones tend to think that the world does not understand them.
As a result of this, they do not even bother to explain why they are doing things. However, you can employ tactical empathy by repeating their own worldview to them.
This bridges the gap and makes that person stop and say, ‘you really do get me.’
Tactical empathy not only gives you brownie points but allows them to open up about how they really feel. The only way to get a commitment-phobe actually to commit to you is if they can talk to you, communicate, and feel safe.
The key is that if you can use tactical empathy, understand their worldview, and repeat it back to them, they will feel safer around you.
A good example is you know a commitment-phobe who is afraid of losing their independence and saying to them, ‘I know you feel like being with me is going to cause you not to be able to go out with your friends or have fun, but I can assure you it won’t’. This will make them stop and think about how you’re right, it’s true, and how they are afraid of it.
This will allow them to blossom more, and you will learn more about them. Now, it will not make them commit to you right away – none of the things in this article will make them commit to you right away – but they are steps in the right direction. A combination of these methods will do the trick and make your commit-phobic ex commit to you.
Getting a commitment-phobic person out of their shell is not an easy task at hand, but you can do it through the various methods we have covered. It is pivotal that you follow these steps and apply them carefully. The 5 major keys are:
- Understanding why and what type of commitment-phobe your ex is
- Outgrowing your ex in a no contact rule
- Embracing the interdependence theory (Satisfaction, Alternatives, and Investment)
- Learning about the ‘Secure Attachment Gravity’
- Employing ‘Tactical Empathy’
Through these steps, not only will you make your commitment-phobic ex commit to you, but you will also go through self-discovery and find out how you can push yourself towards a more secure attachment style.