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Commitment-phobe misdiagnosis his ailment

Young man  with hands outstretched, warding off any unwelcome siDear Harlan, What happens if you have commitment-phobia? You don’t want to settle because you’re worried you’ll miss out on things you can do while single or that something better will come along? I want to be in a relationship, but I don’t want to restrict myself at the same time. Help! – Commitment Phobic

Dear Commitment Phobic,  This is actually called, “afraid of getting hurt phobia.”  You’re not afraid of settling or missing out. You’re scared of being vulnerable. Being vulnerable means getting hurt.  You hate getting hurt (or hurting other people).  It’s much easier to blame commitment than it is to acknowledge the real fear. The way to commit is to allow yourself to safely get hurt. And the way to allow yourself to safely get hurt is to build emotional, physical and spiritual stamina. It takes surrounding yourself with people who will always love and support you. Once you start working to be your best physically, emotionally and spiritually, and once you surround yourself with people who support and love you unconditionally, you’ll be more comfortable opening up and being vulnerable. And POOF! Your fake phobia will be gone.

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  1. Bruce Alan Wilson

    Harlan, some of these letters to you make me wonder if you ever are tempted to answer something like this: “Your problem is very simple. You’re a jerk of brobidnagian proportions and it would be a great service to society if you would go into your room and stay there. Work online, get food delivered, don’t interact with other people unless absolutely necessary, and even then think twice.” Of course, as a professional you would never actually write anything like that; but it must be tempting.

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