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Can’t Commit in Friendship, Is It Normal?

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I used to be an extremely self confident person, so confident that some even think I’m arrogant. And also, I’m somewhat charismatic person too, someone you’d like in the very first meeting.

And, lately I’ve been very concerned. I have very little friends. And by ‘friends’, i mean the ones who aren’t superficial. It’s not them. It’s me. I have the tendency to ‘jump in’ a group of friends and then ‘jump out’ and move on to another group. Like, i can’t commit and cherish the friendship i am having ’till death do us apart’. I know my friends genuinely like me, but i keep on running away from them.

It happens with reasons, though. I have some trust issues which stem from my terrible, yet enjoyable childhood. My childhood was bad, to the point where i learned not to trust someone and be self sufficient. Now, i’m seen as independent and very capable of myself. Still, i have issues people don’t know.

Even though i have friends, i feel somewhat lonely and can’t enjoy myself. And this feeling is the reason why i left a cliquey and move to another one. It has happened multiple times, especially when i do the charisma fit to impress someone i meet for the first time. I befriended someone only to dump them later.

Now, i can’t enjoy socialising. Actually i never enjoy socialising as i prefer to be on my own. I socialise to smooth things for me (for college and stuffs). But it doesn’t mean I am not genuine in whatever friendship i ever been. In fact, i really want to be in a friendship that lasts.

Recently, it becomes more bizarre as the loneliness literally hurt my chest. This loneliness too had turned me from a confident person to a self-conscious one.

And here’s the questions :
1) Is it normal if one can’t commit in friendship?
2) How can I resolve my trust issue? And vanish the loneliness?
3) I’m concerned. Should I be concerned?

Every answer is appreciated, but please don’t refer me to seek professional help as I don’t have the means to.

Can’t Commit in Friendship, Is It Normal?

Answered by on -



A. You have said that you do not have the means to seek professional help. Perhaps when you finish college, you will have the means to do so. You are aware that you have a problem and it is a problem that you would like to both understand and solve. If you have a problem with a leaking sink in your kitchen, if you can afford it, the easiest thing to do would be to call a plumber. If you can’t afford to call a plumber then you can attempt to fix it yourself and you may or may not succeed. If you do succeed I am sure it will be after great effort because to succeed would mean that you would have to learn the things that a plumber has had to learn. It’s not that you aren’t intelligent enough to learn to be a plumber, it’s that it will take time and effort to learn the things that a plumber knows.

If you try to fix the sink and fail you might succeed at a workaround that will allow you to continue to use the kitchen sink but with additional effort. The sink will not be fixed but it will be usable until you can call in a plumber.

You mention your relationships with friends but you do not mention your romantic relationships. You mention that you are lonely and I would ask are you in a romantic relationship and still feeling lonely or are you not in a romantic relationship?

Not knowing the answer to that question I would advise you that difficulty in deepening a relationship would be a difficulty in all types of relationships. Superficial relationships do not involve trust to any significant degree. Deeper relationships always involve trust. You yourself have brought up the trust issue. Many books both academic and nonacademic have been written about relationships. You might start by doing research in this area and reading some of those books.

It is not a question of whether or not one should be in a serious relationship. Most people do choose and desire a deep, committed relationship. It has been said that people have time for very few friends because real friends require time. It has been said that one is lucky to have one or two real friends in a lifetime and all the other people that we might casually refer to as “friends” are not friends at all but are merely acquaintances.

Most people do choose, deeper committed relationships but not all people do so. Some people are very involved in their work or their religion and deliberately do not seek out deeper committed relationships. So it isn’t a matter of right or wrong. In your case the problem isn’t that you are not in a deep committed relationship but the problem is that you desire to be in a deep committed relationship and are not. It is your desire that makes this an issue that should be addressed. When something is attainable and it is something that you desire to attain and objectively it is something that would be good for you or would at least improve your life in some tangible way, then it is something that you should consider problematic. The problem that is stopping you from attaining that which is good for you and desirable to you should be solved.

You are still in college and many people and I included, would say that your number one goal is clearly to succeed at your education. Your concern, effort and desire should all be aimed at gaining the education that you have chosen. If you can achieve that goal and have extra time and energy to invest then you might aim it all at a lesser goal or secondary goal, like deepening relationships or learning to trust more fully.

I hope that my words have helped you at least a little and I wish you the very best of luck in all that the future brings to you.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Can’t Commit in Friendship, Is It Normal?

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Can’t Commit in Friendship, Is It Normal?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 21 Sep 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.