I Want The Guy To Offer Me Commitment While I Am Reluctant To Offer It Myself. I Can’t Be The Only One
Each time I tell this guy I like that I am scared of commitment, he doesn’t believe me. Well, it’s possible that because I look visibly upset when he talks of his fear of the uncertain future. I mean, yes, I do feel upset because deep down, I do want a healthy, long-term relationship I am not afraid of. Maybe I want a partner who looks me in my eyes and says that he is so sure of me. Maybe I want a partner who makes me undoubtedly happy. Okay, I passionately pursue happiness and know to make myself content but it doesn’t mean I can put up with a partner who doubles up as an obstacle on my way to a peaceful existence. I am not scared of intimacy, my cats will vouch for that. What I am truly scared of is signing up for a relationship that will fuck my happiness and snatch away the little faith I have left in love, courtesy the hookup culture millennials have a love-hate connection with.
How did I realise that I am as commitment phobic as my love interest? Before that, allow me two minutes of silence for this doomed romance. Anyhoo, it so happened that after we had this spontaneous discussion after a night of canoodling, and I was clearly unhappy with the uncertainty our relationship holds. And most women will love it because he actually said let’s dive right in and be committed and all that. I really, really appreciate him for this leap of faith he tried to take – I mean I understand how much it must have taken for him to muster up the courage to really do it. Of course, he was petrified and we sat in a café, talking about the details of it.
He has some crazy ideas of the kind of attention I would want from him. But hey, if he was in my hair that much, I would probably have to sign myself up for a course, any course that takes me to the Himalayas and away from him. I love attention but I have a life and a career. He also had some really wild ideas about how having a girlfriend means that I will get mad at him if he is busy working or following his passion or growing in life. If anything, I would be the kind of girlfriend who would ask him to stick to go to that language learning class, instead of cancelling it and meeting me.
I too, had my own insecurities. I wondered if I would get jealous and I don’t even know why. Would he care to alter his interactions with potential distractions? I mean, as long as you’re not committed you can’t really say anything, right? You hide your insecurities and drop a laughing emoji to camouflage it further. After panicking over his idea of getting committed and making a list of things that may pose challenges to our togetherness, we canned it.
Honestly, as much as I appreciated him wanting to get committed, I didn’t want him to do it while still scared. I know, after a month or two, he’d feel like he’d made a mistake. Or not, but I didn’t want to take a chance. But most importantly, I didn’t want him to commit to me while I am still scared of it.
I don’t know why, it’s all I wanted and yet, when he suggested that I got so scared. Marriage seems beautiful to me and yet when I think about it, I tell my friends to not let me escape through the back gate. We say we want commitment and yet we fall for guys we know won’t offer us that. And that’s something psychologists have been trying to tell us for years now. We fall for commitment phobes, because subconsciously we too have relationship anxiety and it means it’s not our dilemma.
“[Commitment-phobia] is another name for relationship anxiety,” psychologist and dating coach Melanie Schilling wrote in eHarmony. “People with a commitment-phobia generally want a deep, meaningful connection with another person, but their overwhelming anxiety prevents them from staying in any relationship for too long. If pressured for a commitment, they are far more likely to leave the relationship than to make the commitment. Or, they may initially agree to the commitment, then back down days or weeks later, because of their overwhelming anxiety and fears,” she further added. Exactly! And that is probably why I can understand him and this other commitment phobic man I dated earlier. I understand because we are on the same page.
Victoria Lorient-Faibish wrote on her website, Visualization Works, “The key piece is fear—fear of intimacy and deep emotional connection. People who are commitment-phobic feel they need to cut off their feelings after a certain point of knowing someone as a means of feeling in control and feeling emotionally protected. This is often not conscious and is going on at the deepest level of the subconsciousness.” Well, this happens. It’s true. And I don’t know how and when I developed relationship anxiety but I do know that I value relationships and marriage.
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Is it the hookup culture that fucked us up? Is it being disappointed by guys? I think relationship anxiety is contagious and maybe all of us are just waiting for that one person who will make us believe again. Maybe the best way is to accept that life is unpredictable and it can fail. But if it succeeds, it will be so worth it. I think it’s about making yourself strong enough to face disappointments and failures and learn to let go, with as little damage as possible. Dive right in and I shall, maybe with lifejacket on but I shall!