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          Are You a Commitment-Phobe?

          October 21, 2002

          Whether it’s you or your partner who’s having commitment issues, Dr. Phil suggests you consider the following.

          • What are your filters? If you look at the world with fear, then even when you really want something, you’re too afraid to go after it. Let love — not fear — control your life.
          • What are your “tapes” about marriage? If you were dumped by a fiancé, for example, that may be playing a role in how you now view marriage. Did your parents have a bitter divorce? Consider how you can do things differently.
          • Assess the risk/reward ratio. Are you gambling a lot to get a little? You may have some risk if a relationship moves forward, but the rewards can be huge in terms of marriage, family, kids and togetherness.
          • What went wrong with your previous relationships Do a relationship autopsy to learn from it.
          • If you go outside the wall that you’ve built around yourself, you can get hurt. But behind the wall there’s still pain — it’s just a different kind. Imagine how nice it would be to have a soft place to fall.
          • Stop complaining and start asking specifically for what you want.
          • Do you really want to marry someone if you have to convince him/her to do it? The divorce rate is already above 50 percent — and that’s for people who WANT to get married.
          • Find a plan that meets the needs of the two people involved. If one person needs the symbolism of marriage, and the other needs freedom, it can still work!
          • #1 reason why men don’t commit: It’s easier than ever to get sex without marriage! Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
          • #1 reason why women don’t commit: They no longer need men to support them.

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