To put it in simpler words, commitment phobia is when a person is afraid of being in a relationship for the fear of being tied down and/or missing out (FOMO) on all the other things (and people) that life has to offer them. Commitment phobes believe in living in the moment, for the simple reason of the future being uncertain and unpredictable, and all you’re left with is—now. So make it count!

While their way of life could be exhilarating for those with strict limitations upon themselves (fixed Earth signs), there’s also a bad (ugly) side to commitment phobes that you couldn’t see—because they’re pretty darn good at concealing it. To spot if you’re dealing with, or worse, dating a commitment-phobe, here are a few red flags to watch out for…

Sign #1: They’re afraid of labels and definitions
 

Sign #1: They’re afraid of labels and definitions

Want to put the ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’ tag on them? Boy, that’ll be one long ride home! If your SO is a commitment phobe, he/she will run away from any form of definition as if there was a hurricane approaching. You’d be risking their sense of freedom and they’re now perceiving you as a threat.

Sign #2: They often don’t finish what they start
 

Sign #2: They often don’t finish what they start

Not just in a relationship, but in life, in general. Ever found them take up a class or sign up for a gym membership and later completely back out of it? That’s it right there. Anything that requires them to stay committed, they’d rather skip it altogether. Because it’d hinder their spontaneity, and that's just a big NO.

Sign #3: There’s something charming about them
 

Sign #3: There’s something charming about them

You find yourself drawn to them despite the doubt in your head. Not just their outward appearance but also their traits and quirks that feel so animated and alive. Tell ya what, it’s just something they’ve acquired along the way, by dodging any form of commitment that would risk draining their energy out.

Sign #4: They can’t even think short term
 

Sign #4: They can’t even think short term

Ask them if they’re free for a Saturday night plan on Wednesday and you’re likely to receive a blank expression. Three days is a long time—this is a Walter Mitty you’re dealing with. Ask again on Saturday morning and you just might get an answer. Their definition for short term is really darn short.

Sign #5: You’ve never met their friends and family
 

Sign #5: You’ve never met their friends and family

“No honey, you are important to me, but why bring them in the picture? Can’t it be just us two?” Hmmm. Take your cues there. Your SO probably doesn’t think this is going to last long enough to involve his close folks. He/she is probably wondering it’ll be hella awkward for them should the two of you split.

Sign #6: They tend to detach/distance themselves
 

Sign #6: They tend to detach/distance themselves

Were things finally looking good with your SO before he/she decided to back out a bit? That’s probably because he/she was starting to feel claustrophobic. Intimacy or emotional bonding is perceived as a wake up call for the commitment phobes that things were getting too real. So instead of strengthening them, they try to sabotage.

Sign #7: Their relationship history isn’t extensive
 

Sign #7: Their relationship history isn’t extensive

Don't let your SO’s lack of serious past relationships delude you into thinking they were waiting on the right one. They were probably dodging them all along or backing out as in sign #6 up there. Don’t also be fooled when they claim to not have found ‘the one’ yet or that there's still time before they settled down—because they’re just running away from commitment.