Psychologists define a phobia as a strong, generally irrational fear of a thing or concept. Thus, a commitment phobic person has a strong aversion to entering into a committed relationship with another person. Fortunately, it is not one warning sign but a combination of several that will point to the condition in someone who is otherwise interested in dating. To know when you are commitment phobic, look for such a set of signs.
First, know that when you're commitment phobic that it is still possible to meet great people and even find a love interest. The problem comes when you begin to pull away from making an emotional connection in the initial attraction phase of the potential relationship.
You know you're commitment phobic when you try to have a real relationship with a special person you've met but break up with him or her before things start to feel too good. This is not the same as what some people call being a "player", because the commitment phobic person would want to make a real go of a relationship but fear what would happen instead of being in that relationship plus several others just to enjoy what he or she can get from each person.
You also know when you're commitment phobic because your friends will point out what a great match you make with your date, but you break up the next day. The breakup comes out of fear of exclusivity, whether you have been hurt in the past or never learned to love romantically in the first place. After the breakup, friends will wonder why such a great couple is no longer dating, and a wise friend who recognizes the signs of a commitment phobia in someone will recommend counseling to help discover why you follow such patterns of behavior.
You know you're commitment phobic when you've felt the sparks for someone and the love is requited, but you run at all costs. Protecting your heart never is wise when true love is beginning to bloom, for if it is meant to be, love will stay. An exclusive relationship is not something to fear, and those that are meant to last stay with you through the ups and downs of life when the partners to the relationship learn to love one another for who they really are and grow with each other. If you find that you are commitment phobic, it is always wise to step back from the dating scene and seek out counseling until you're surer of yourself. The confidence you'll find in overcoming a fear of commitment will attract many potential partners and make it easier for you to find the relationship you've probably been craving during the period of commitment phobia.