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He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships Paperback – January 2, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 156 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships
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  • Men Who Can't Love: How to Recognize a Commitmentphobic Man Before He Breaks Your Heart
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Carter and Sokol ( Men Who Can't Love ) argue that fear of commitment affects women as well as men, and that both sexes crave the often conflicting conditions of intimacy and freedom. According to the authors, men tend to be more prone to "active" avoidance after winning over a lover. "Passive" avoidance, on the other hand, involves choosing someone who is unavailable--a woman falls for a gay man; a man becomes smitten with his married woman boss; or either sex subconsciously chooses as a love object a person who is an active avoider. Using case histories, the authors examine the reasons people avoid commitment and through quizzes encourage readers to determine their "commitmentphobic" patterns--narcissistic, claustrophobic, universal, or circumstantial--and explore feelings and fears. The authors give straightforward advice on how to detect commitmentphobia in others and how to move towards true intimacy. The authors' achievement is that they have gone beyond the obvious avoidance patterns to uncover the more subtle ways men and women sabotage love. First serial to New Woman; author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

From the authors of What Every Man Should Know About the "New Woman" ( LJ 6/1/84) comes this guide for those who are afraid of committed relationships. The authors are not therapists; their advice is based on insight gleaned from interviews rather than clinical experience or psychological research. Carter and Sokol spent eight years interviewing men and women about their relationships to find anxieties, issues, and behavioral patterns common to people who can't commit. Written in a nonjudgmental, nontechnical style, their book is divided into three sections: identifying fears that undermine commitment, facing them, and managing them. Examples and diagnostic and directive lists make this book easy to read. There is something here for every personality type, and even the committed will recognize some of their anxieties. For public libraries where self-help books are popular. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/93.
- Carol R. Nelson, Ball State Univ. Lib., Muncie, Ind.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Dell (January 2, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440506255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440506256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This was a great book! It changed my life! I read it after getting involved with someone who admitted that they were 'commitmentphobic.' For whatever reason, even after knowing this, I still got involved. I felt drawn to this person like never before. Anyway, I was crushed when the 'relationship' suddenly changed and ended. I was left feeling very confused by their behavior, as well as by their reappearances in my life. I couldn't believe after reading this, how acurately it depicted the events that took place between my partner and me. It felt as if the authors were writing my dating biography.
Well, I now realize that my partners weren't all to blame. I kept choosing partners who weren't completely available for a long-term commitment. I longed for love, and yet kept running the other way, wanting "my space", when any relationship I was in got too 'close'-- or when it seemed like the other person wanted more than I was willing to give. Thus, unintentionally, I began to seek out persons who simply couldn't give the time or consistency to a warm, honest, and balanced relationship. You may think, like I used to, that you just haven't found "THE ONE". But trust me, if you have gone from relationship to relationship; if you or your partner suddenly have ended things and gone the other way; you have to come to realize that the issue is much deeper than it may seem. This book forces you to look at yourself in the mirror! Don't read this, if you want to continue pursuing 'fantasy partners!' Only read it if you want to GET REAL with yourself and your dating history!!! Get real..so you can get the real and committed relationship that you desire.
Also recommened: Men who can't love. ( Same authors )
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts out well enough, it defines the word commitmentphobic (anyone scared of a commitment) and then discusses active and passive conflicts. It then talks about characteristics of each type -- things a person with active conflicts typically does in relationship, and the same for those with passive conflicts. You'll probably start to see some familiar behaviors here. Then it'll explain how everyone has commitment issues to some extent, both passive and active, and how it's only a problem if it interferes with your relationships.

You say to yourself, great. This is all very reassuring. So what do I do about it?

For the next 200 pages (it's about 300 pages total), the book offers NO practical advice. Instead it begins to use "commitmentphobic" as a dirty word, and starts to tell stories of relationships. You read story after story thinking "Hey, I see some of myself here, I wonder what they'll recommend to resolve this situation...". You get to the end of the story and there's no advice, just another story. You get to the end of the chapter and there's no advice, just another chapter full of stories. And regardless of what they say, not all the stories are of commitmentphobic people.

The book also practices a lot of tough love. In several cases it appears to be saying "Anyone who is willing to commit to you is the person you should commit to. There is no perfect person, no person of your dreams, no one you should be holding out for. Growing up means giving up on your dreams and settling down."

Finally, the last few chapters of the book attempt to give some practical advice, but it ends up being contradictory. Here's what one of the last chapters said, boiled down to a few sentences.
Read more ›
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By A Customer on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Had I read this 2 years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time, demoralizing heartache, frustration, and yes, money (living up to a committmentphobe's fantasies not only deflates your self-worth, but your bank account as well). Finally someone explained to me why after ending a relationship with a man who set up unreasonable boundaries, evaded talking about the future, withdrew emotionally, and maintained "friendships" with ex-lovers...I STILL COULDN'T STOP THINKING ABOUT THIS JERK! I knew that the fact I had not been able to let go was my problem and not his, and this book explained it very clearly: I'm just as afraid of committment as the obvious "committmentphobe", and it's been the emotional hook that's kept me from detaching. The chapter on Runners and Chasers could have been written about me and my ex, and I was the passive and willing participant in the push/pull dance.
I can congratulate myself for getting out after only a year of this nonsense. Moving on has been hell, but finding this book has been a huge help in taking the first step in resolving my own fears of sharing life with another person.
I hope that Carter and Sokol write some follow-up books to help those of us who truly want committed relationships but are afraid to realize them.
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Format: Paperback
In my life, I've been an passive commitment phobic person and later an active type. Yes, I run, I break hearts, including my own. This book helped me to own up to the fact that this is the game I'm playing. It really hasn't helped me understand the underlying causes or how to rescue myself from the behavior. I think it's fair to say that the authors make a point of seeking professional couseling. I will likely do just that, because I don't think a book is going to solve the problem. I want to fix myself, and there's some work to be done to accomplish that. I'm sure it took years of psychological damage to get like this, it's unlikely to unravel overnight. So ultimately, I think this book is a stepping stone to identifying and solving a problem.

I would like to add that it's not fair to categorize those of us with this phobia as losers or unworthy. I am worthy of love and I am a good person at heart. So many women here feel justified by this book. Have some compassion, this problem often stems from traumatic and abusive childhood experience. It's not fair to burn us at the stake for it. We need help. I know I will turn this around with God's help and my own desire to change.
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