Blame parents for avoiding commitment in relations
Adults avoiding commitment in a romantic relationship may be trying to live out experiences from their childhood needs, says an Israeli research. A study of the romantic history of 58 adults, aged 22-28 years, found that those who avoid committing themselves in romantic relationships are likely a product of unresponsive or over-intrusive parenting, said Sharon Dekel, psychologist at the Bob Shapell School of Social Work of the Tel Aviv University.
Dekel and fellow researcher Barry Farber, professor at the Columbia University, US, found that 22.4 percent of participants could be categorized as "avoidant" when it came to their relationships, demonstrating anxiety about intimacy, reluctance to commit to or share with their partner, or a belief that their partner was "clingy", for example.
Overall, they reported less personal satisfaction in their relationships than participants who were determined to be secure in their relationships, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reported.
The goal of the study was to address the widespread research debate on "avoidant attachment" - whether such behaviour is due to innate personality traits, such as being more of a loner, or is a delayed reaction to unmet childhood needs, according to an university statement.
The premise of their study, says Dekel, is based on attachment theory, which posits that during times of stress, infants seek proximity to their caregivers for emotional support.
However, if the parent is unresponsive or overly intrusive, the child learns to avoid their caregiver.
The researchers believe that adult relationships reflect these earlier experiences.
When infantile needs are met in childhood, that person approaches adult relationships with more security, seeking intimacy, sharing, caring and fun.
The tendency to avoid dependence on a partner is a defence mechanism rather than an avoidance of intimacy, added Dekel.