Signs your significant other suffers from commitment anxiety

While people tend to joke about commitment phobia when it comes to relationships, it's no laughing matter if you happen to find yourself in a relationship with a partner who always seems to have one eye on the horizon and one foot out the door. Sure, if you're both just in it for casual fun and you're dating merely as a way to pass the time until season 2 of The Mandalorian comes out and brings the return of your real true love, Baby Yoda, then it's all good. If you actually want a capital-R relationship, like a real, grown-up, long-lasting one, though... well, let's just say the odds may not be ever in your favor.

While a person with commitment anxiety might actually want to make a long-term connection with somebody, someday, the chances of you being the right person at the right time are not all that great. As PsychCentral explains it, the commitment-phobe's "overwhelming anxiety prevents them from staying in any relationship for too long." What's more, if you press for a commitment, "they are far more likely to leave the relationship than to make the commitment. Or they may initially agree to the commitment, then back down days or weeks later, because of their overwhelming anxiety and fears." Unless you want to waste time hoping for a change that may never come, it's best to spot your significant other's signs of commitment anxiety as soon as possible so you can decide whether to stay or to go.

A person with commitment anxiety might have a long list of exes

If your partner has dated many, many people in the past, what's the one thing each of these past relationships has had in common with the others? They all ended. At least, they should have done so. If not, then you've probably got much bigger problems — unless you're cool with an open relationship, that is.

As Psychology Today points out, though, any adult who has had a long string of short-term relationships in the past is probably not going to be all that likely to commit to a long-term relationship in the present, either. Sure, there's always a chance that you might be the one who has the magic power to make this leopard change their spots... but only if you spend thousands of dollars purchasing every relationship self-help package out there on the Internet (and spring for the private coaching, as well).

Your conversations tend toward the casual with a commitment-phobe

While couples conversations don't always have to be deep and meaningful — sharing light and playful moments is one of the best parts of being in love — still, getting serious about a relationship does involve a certain amount of soul-baring. If you're the only one letting it all hang out, though, that's a major red flag as regards your future together. Healthline points out that emotional vulnerability is part of what helps people become closer, stating that "[s]omeone who has a hard time with commitment may not readily open up, even after months go by."

Needless to say, significant conversations about the nature of your relationship and where it's headed aren't going to take place until, oh, about half-past never.

Your commitment-phobe partner doesn't like to plan too far ahead

If your partner won't commit to making joint vacation plans months in advance... well, that may be perfectly normal, especially if the two of you haven't been dating all that long. If, however, they can only give you a weak "maybe" or "I'll try" or, worse yet, "we'll see" when you issue an invite to your annual company picnic next week, this could be a problem. And if you get a noncommittal answer when the event you're celebrating happens to be your own birthday... well, at that point, you might want to ask yourself if you're even in a relationship at all.

While Psychology Today notes that having to make any future plans other than those that are strictly required (work, court dates, doctor's appointments, etc.) can be a major cause of fear for someone with commitment anxiety, still, anyone who really wants to be in a relationship with you can make at least as much effort to overcome those fears on your behalf as they would to see their dentist.

Sure, you're absolutely wonderful and amazing and gorgeous. It's not you, really. When you're dealing with your partner's commitment anxiety, the problem lies with them. Your best bet is always going to involve looking elsewhere for someone who can and does appreciate you fully in the here and now, not just "maybe... someday."