“Commitment issues” are usually what women moan about over tequilas when describing their partners, but I had a case of cold feet when it came to love for a really long time. Like most commitment-phobes, I didn’t realize I was the one with the problem and it eventually backfired spectacularly — that is, until I met an amazing guy and fell in love.
I thought I wanted commitment.
I used to be on the prowl for guys to love — or so I thought. But the actual idea of commitment scared the hell out of me, like something straight out of a Japanese horror movie. It seemed so final, like I’d be locked down to a relationship forever with no chance of ever escaping. The minute a guy started to get serious about me, I felt my feelings shrivel up and die.
I attracted commitment-phobes.
Many of the men I dated were commitment-phobes. They were either emotionally unavailable or had so many issues that their drama kept them from getting serious. This was, in a weird way, security for me. If I was with them, I wouldn’t have to give my heart. The catch? Sometimes I caught feelings for them and ended up being the one getting rejected and hurt. Oh, the irony.
Love was the unknown.
Then I met a guy who stole my heart and he wasn’t just any guy, but a unicorn. My initial reaction was to bolt because I was so afraid to get serious. Since I’d only chosen guys who were emotionally unavailable and toxic in the past, how the hell was I going to deal with something completely different? For the commitment-phobe, getting used to fear and pain is part of the deal. It’s easier to deal with stuff than it is to deal with good stuff because there’s been lots of practice with the former and something positive and real is the unknown and therefore a threat. (I know, it’s messed up.)
Finding the right person makes the difference.
I fell for a guy who wasn’t like all the others and although this was a foreign feeling, it was actually really nice — like how trying to speak French fluently with native speakers can be intimidating at first, but then it sounds so beautiful that you realize you want to do more of it.
I’d been wrong about commitment.
I realized through loving this guy that although I’d used the term “afraid of commitment”, there was nothing scary about it — except for giving it to the wrong guys, which I’d been guilty of so many times. I had brought pain onto myself.
Love isn’t a blindfolded leap off a cliff.
I’d always seen love as a big leap off a cliff, but I realized it didn’t have to be so dangerous or dramatic. It was really about choosing something with my eyes opened and taking a step that I wanted. It was up to me to make the choice or change my mind. Then it didn’t have to be so scary.
My fear of missing out on a chance was bigger than my issues.
Yes, I had commitment issues, but honestly if I missed out on being with such an amazing guy, I’d never forgive myself. My fear of walking away from something great and life-changing was greater than the fear of settling down for good.
There’s no such thing as not being ready.
God, men had used the excuse that they weren’t ready or looking for a relationship on me in the past and it had always made me feel crap. Now I realized why: it’s the biggest lie in the book. I didn’t have to be ready for my unicorn. I didn’t have to be persuaded to be with him. I loved him and that was it.
My commitment symptoms went away.
Although my fear of commitment was wrapped up in fear of getting close to someone only to get hurt, I wasn’t showing signs of it anymore. I wasn’t afraid to be affectionate and express my feelings of love because for the first time I was with someone I could trust.
He made commitment feel easy.
This was due to his approach. He was open about his feelings for me and intentions right from the start and showed me that he wanted something serious. This was a game changer and it made me rise to the occasion.
I had wanted something bigger all along.
Back when I was dating guys who were commitment-phobes, I hadn’t realized that I got so hurt by them because I secretly wanted commitment. I just hadn’t known how to get it, so I remained stuck in the situation of dating stage-five commitment-phobes. As you can probably imagine, two commitment-phobes trying to make a relationship work is like a pain buffet that’s always open.
My commitment issues were bigger than me.
I realized that my commitment issues with guys in my past had actually been a good thing. I had held back with them, not just because I’d been afraid of love but because the relationships were wrong AF for me. They’d never come close to the healthy love that walked into my life and put cozy socks on my commitment cold feet.
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