07/11/2013 12:27 GMT | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Top 15 Signs of a Commitment Phobic

Do you ever wonder why your relationships start off so promising, yet don't last? Well there's a reason this happens. Here's the thing, way back I dated several guys who pursued me relentlessly, sending flowers, wining and dining me and showing me off to their friends. OUT OF THE BLUE - they pulled away.

I started asking myself: "Did I do something wrong? Am I too old, too young? Maybe I am not successful enough? Perhaps I talk too much."

It was baffling. I spent hours on the phone to friends. Each friend suggested a different take. Some suggestions were: I chase him, I play cool, I sit him down and ask him directly. All I kept thinking was: "Why won't he commit?"

I couldn't figure out why this kept happening to me. The moment things became serious, they backed off. Several laughed yet looked incredibly uncomfortable and changed the subject when mutual friends would say, "When are you two getting hitched?" I HAD to look at myself.

After starting a journey of self-discovery, it became SO clear: a) I had to stop doubting myself and assuming I had done something wrong or I was not good enough, and b) I had to look within and discover why I kept attracting CPs.

I wish I had known then what I know now.

Top 15 Tips to spotting a CP

1. They love the chase but not the catch.

2. Many CP's have a history of flings and short relationship's yet always make out it is the ex's fault they split.

3. They are charming, seductive and attentive.

4. They play games with your heart as they are in a constant state of emotional conflict.

5. They are not easy to be pinned down. They like to plan last minute and 'go with the flow', and often say 'sounds great'' or 'I will get back to you' and cancel last minute, stand you up or turn up late.

6. They twist things when you confront them by turning nasty, calling you a drama queen or accusing you of being over sensitive.

7. They are often attractive and successful, yet come up with lots of reasons why they haven't been married, lived with anyone or had a long term commitment.

8. If you complain about not seeing them enough - they say you are too clingy or needy.

9. They like to control everything by picking time frames that are convenient for them.

10. They often date people who live a distance or are married, as then when they want 'out' they then have a great excuse to end the relationship.

11. They pull away when you get close and chase you when you pull away.

12. They are often unfaithful and favour affairs and flings over long term relationships.

13. They like to date as they get lonely but get bored easily which is when the text, emails and calls start slowing down.

14. They often compartmentalise elements of their life which is a sure sign you are they are not into you for the long term.

15. They often mask their deep unhappiness with empty sex, gambling, drink or drugs.

Run as fast as you can... Many friends and clients, go into 'euphoric recall' - selective memory focusing on the good sex or/and great lifestyle or charm or looks. They minimise, alter or deny the reality and make excuses for the CP. Many fantasise about what they want the relationship to be and live in 'constant hope' rather than getting real about what's in front of them. CPs are lovers, not partners. They will NEVER meet your needs and many try to fix or heal a CP. You didn't break them, you can't fix them.

Never allow a CP to point the finger of blame at you and cause you havoc, confusion, pain and heartache. CPs dislike being busted and become self- righteous, defiant and reactive when their selfish behaviour is flagged up.

If you want marriage and children and/or a commitment and you are dating or living with a CP, I suggest you question yourself as to why you would find it acceptable behaviour and continue on in a relationship with someone who is not showing you the respect, and love you SO deserve?

On the other hand, if, like me you keep attracting CP's - it is surely time to take a look inside and get vigorously honest about why you are attracting CP's?

Annie Ashdown is the author of Doormat Nor Diva Be and The Confidence Factor -