Commitment-Phobia Is Killing My Love Life — But I’m The One Who Has It

All of my girlfriends seem to complain about how they can’t get a guy to commit. I nod along as if I totally know what they mean and can commiserate, but little do they know I have a deep, dark secret: I can’t commit either. Here’s why:

  1. Being with one person forever is scary AF. To me, the thought of being with one person forever doesn’t make me go crazy with longing and love — it makes my heart pound with anxiety. How can I be sure that by agreeing to be with someone forever, I’ll actually be happy with that person forever? I know I don’t have it in me to make a decision like that, so I just avoid it altogether.
  2. I can’t even commit to reading a whole book. Most of the books I’ve “read” are still in progress. If something else more interesting comes along, I’ll gladly drop the one I’m reading and pick up the shiny new one. I’m the exact same way with guys. I can’t help it — I just want the best of the best.
  3. I need novelty in my life — otherwise, I get bored. When I look back on my life, the times I was the most happy were when I was doing something new and exciting. Taking a trip, dating someone new, starting a new job… all of these things kept me engaged and excited. Not being able to date whoever I want would take me away from that feeling of newness that I crave so much.
  4. I’ve been hurt in the past, so it’s hard for me to get close to someone. I’ve been betrayed and cheated on by so many guys, it’s no wonder I’m a bit apprehensive when it comes to commitment. A part of me is afraid that I might get hurt again, so I try to keep myself at a distance. I know it’s not exactly the best way to live, but it works for me (for now).
  5. I put myself first in almost every circumstance and that’s just how I like it. I put my needs over anyone else’s, including a potential partner’s. It scares me to think I might not be able to do whatever I want whenever I want. If I ever felt like leaving the country at the drop of a hat, I should be able to do it, right? I couldn’t if I was in a relationship, so why should I be in one?
  6. What if he’s not “The One”? This thought flashes into my mind more often than I’d like to admit. What if I commit to this guy and we spend a few years together and then it all explodes into a million tiny pieces? I just wasted my time with some dude when I should have been with my prince. It’s easier to just keep myself at a distance until I’m totally sure about him.
  7. I’ve always been this way, so maybe that’s just me. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had trouble with commitment, whether it was me as a little girl not sure which ice cream flavor to pick or me at 18 trying to decide which colleges to apply to. Also, once I’ve finally chosen something, I’ll immediately panic that I picked the wrong thing. It’s just the way I’m wired.
  8. Even if I love someone, that doesn’t mean I want to commit to them. I can’t rationalize committing to someone just because I love them. Being in love with each other and being right for each other are two very different things. Guys get confused when I tell them that I can’t be with them. It’s not because I don’t love them, it’s because I just KNOW it’s not going to work out in the long run, so why even bother?
  9. I’m afraid that a relationship will distract me from focusing on my career. As a woman in my mid-20s, every waking moment is dedicated to forwarding my career. When loves comes along, it’s hard to juggle the two. I just know that I’ll be spending my weekends at my boyfriend’s house instead of getting my writing done. This is THE time for me to get ready for my future, and not having the time to do it freaks me out.
  10. I value my freedom more than anything else. Nothing is more important to me than being free. Having to worry about someone else’s needs will only hold me back from doing the things that will make me happy. If I didn’t have such an intense bucket list, I guess I would be okay with nesting up with someone cute, but as it’s looking right now, he won’t be able to handle me.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.