Many people look forward to having a compatible partner in a committed, loving relationship. They consider it a higher level of fulfillment to share their lives with a romantic partner. I, on the other hand, have always found it terrifying to be in relationships. I guess you can say I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe.
There’s a constant responsibility. When you’re single, you can make decisions based on what works for you and your life. Once you’re coupled up, it’s all about considering your partner’s feelings and how the things you do will affect them. You can argue that it’s worth it because you care about them and they offer you the same in return, but the added burden of always being responsible for someone else’s feelings is not appealing to me.
Heartbreak sucks! I hate hurting other people’s feelings, and I feel even worse when I know I’m the reason for someone else’s pain. Yes, there are times when I have to put myself first and remove myself from a toxic relationship, but the thought of getting my heart broken or breaking the heart of someone I love is too much to bear.
What if he cheats on me? This is one of my biggest fears. You can be in a relationship thinking things are going great and then you find out your partner is being unfaithful and it tears your world apart. It’s scary to think about. I almost feel like it would shatter me completely, changing me into someone who is bitter and emotionally withdrawn.
What if he holds me back? When you’re in a relationship, part of making it work is compromising so that you can keep each other happy. This is OK to an extent, but when you’re heavily invested in a relationship to the point that losing your partner scares you more than losing yourself, you can end up overdoing it with compromise. This can be especially true where you have to make decisions about moving cities to advance your career, for instance, or even declining a promotion at work because your partner is insecure about you earning more than him. Either way, it’s rare to find a partner who challenges you and doesn’t let their selfish needs get in the way of your happiness.
I have trust issues. With social media and all the dating apps out there, developing new connections is way too convenient and I feel as though it’s easier now more than ever for your partner to cheat on you. I know that you can’t prevent someone from cheating, but I’d still be paranoid about it. I’d always want to check my partner’s phone, wonder who he’s talking to every time he gets a notification or text, and wonder if he’s secretly on dating apps. For me to be able to trust my partner, I would want an all-access pass to his phone and social media to make me feel reassured. This has been an issue in past relationships.
What if I lose myself? In relationships, it’s very easy to get into the comfort of being identified as a couple rather than your own person because you’re always doing things together and continuously trying to make each other happy. All this can cause you to lose your individuality. Whereby, even if you are not with your partner you answer your questions as ‘we,’ and you don’t have the independence to do something unless you check with your partner. It can even extend to you doing things to get your partner’s approval and vice versa, which can breed an unhealthy codependent relationship. I’ve worked on my self-esteem and individuality so much and I wouldn’t want to risk losing it.
What if he falls out of love with me? The thought that I can be genuinely in love with my partner and he falls out of love with me and wants to break up out of nowhere is gut-wrenching. It would make me feel blindsided and hurt. I would also question how long he’s been pretending to be into the relationship and when he checked out. It would concern me that maybe he’s been scoping the dating scene to see if there’s more potential out there, which would make dumping me easier.
What if I settle? Feeling as if you’re settling for less than you deserve or want can be devastating. It can start by overlooking small things in your partner’s character, telling yourself that you’re OK with things the way they are. But if you’re not careful, you can end up wasting your time investing in a relationship that won’t fulfill you in the long-term instead of cutting your losses and seeking a relationship that is more in line with your ideals. I’m terrified of doing that without even realizing, so I’d rather avoid it altogether.
Nothing is in my control. When you’re in a relationship, you have to give up a lot of control. You don’t know if your partner will maintain the characteristics you fell in love with, if they’ll be faithful to you, or if they’ll dump you out of the blue. You have to blindly trust that if your relationship is meant to last, then things will fall into place and work out for the best. That’s too much uncertainty for me. I prefer the single life.
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