It Turns Out I Wasn’t Afraid Of Commitment — I Was Afraid Of Committing To HIM

I recently dated a guy who was great in pretty much every way, but something was holding me back from getting into a real relationship with him and making him my official boyfriend. I figured it was because I was subconsciously freaking out about commitment so I broke up with him. Turns out, that wasn’t what was wrong at all.

  1. I thought feelings would develop. When we started dating, I didn’t feel much excitement. I thought maybe I’d become jaded from failed relationships in the past and my feeling of being emotionally detached was from all the pain I’d experienced. I didn’t realize that I just felt nothing for this guy in particular.
  2. I thought I was holding myself back. I knew I was holding back. I wasn’t in a rush to spend time with him and I often found myself drifting off during phone conversations. He picked up on it and asked why I was keeping myself at a distance. I felt so bad because he was a great guy, so I told him I’m a commitment-phobe, thinking that had to be the reason.
  3. He was great on paperHe was smart, had a great personality, came from a good family, had a solid career and a social circle of friends he’d known since he was a kid. How could I not feel for him? I didn’t realize that my heart didn’t care what he’d achieved or how well he played football — I just felt no chemistry.
  4. I thought I’d lost my spark. Being around this guy after a long period of being single made me worry I’d lost my spark. I felt nothing when we kissed or held hands even though he was really attractive and treated me like a queen. I started to worry that there was something wrong with me.
  5. I became a flake. He’d invite me out to a movie or picnic and I’d say yes, but then when he invited me out to more serious things, like meeting his folks or going for drinks with his best friend, I’d bail on him with a stupid excuse. I was becoming unreliable because I was afraid to get closer to him. Afraid of what? Of being with him. In my gut I knew I just didn’t want to be his girlfriend.
  6. I used the “busy” excuseI became one of those people who didn’t want to hurt the guy or completely remove him as a possible dating option, so I’d buy time by saying I was busy when I couldn’t make a date. It sucked because I’d always feel guilty afterward and yet I couldn’t stop myself.
  7. I never missed him. Although I felt guilty, I didn’t miss him the way he missed me when we weren’t together. Honestly, I hardly missed him at all. I could happily live my days without even thinking about him much.
  8. I didn’t realize I was committing to other things just fine. I started to think that I was afraid to commit to this guy because he was so wonderful and serious. But come on, that was such BS! I was committing to so many things in my life: my career, my friends, my passions. I really wasn’t afraid of commitment at all. Why should a relationship have been any different?
  9. I thought I didn’t want a boyfriend. It was weird, yes, but dating this guy and not feeling much for him in spite of him being wonderful really messed with me. I started to think maybe I just didn’t want a boyfriend at that time in my life. I paid more attention to my social life with friends and my career and put thoughts of relationships on the back-burner.
  10. I then met someone I was crazy about. As often happens, life intervened. I met a guy through work who was awesome and made me feel a spark for him right from our first interaction. As time went on, I realized I DID want a boyfriend. I’d thought I was shying away from a relationship because I wasn’t ready for a real one, but I’d really been shying away from a relationship with that other guy specifically!
  11. I now know the confusion some commitment-phobes feel. I used to mock guys who claimed to be confused about someone, but honestly, I now know what it feels like! It’s terrible. I wanted to be around this guy ’cause he was amazing, but I didn’t want to be his girlfriend. However, I didn’t want to say I didn’t want to be his girlfriend because then I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him. Argh. It was so frustrating!
  12. The worst is the self-deceit. I was lying to myself about what I really felt — or didn’t feel — for him. When I finally confessed to him that I wasn’t interested in him, he was offended, but he shouldn’t have been. I’d been all over the place, believing my own lies and desperately trying to make something happen that my heart just wasn’t interested in. I’d been the jerk, leading him on and lying to him. Thankfully, I learned my lesson to trust my gut in future right from the beginning.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.