You have met someone great and you are spending a lot of time together. You can see the signs, things in common, the same goals, you make each other laugh – this might be the one. But as close as you have gotten you can’t get yourself across that final bridge to the land of commitment.
So what is it that slows us down as we approach commitment? There are several factors that contribute the fear of commitment and commitment issues overall. Below are a few of the most common.
1. You are afraid of being rejected or getting hurt.
Things may be going well now, but somewhere deep inside there is a fear that at some point your mate will realize your inadequacies and move on, leaving you broken-hearted and alone. This is not an uncommon feeling, especially if you have experienced a failed relationship in the past.
This fear of getting hurt comes from deep insecurities that make us question our worth to others. You are not alone—we all harbor a few of those. When these insecurities rise up and cause us to sabotage potential happiness by breaking ties with people we are close to then there is a problem.
What to do. Nearly all of us have experienced rejection and a failed relationship or two (or more). Before you start putting yourself full force into the dating world it is a good idea to spend some time working toward goals that are important to you. This will allow you to get comfortable with yourself and have achievements that you can take pride in. The confidence that you will feel from doing this will help you feel less dependent on the approval of others and as your self-esteem rises you won’t feel as strong a need to make decisions based on fear of rejection. As an added bonus to this, confidence is an attractive quality and will make you that much more interesting to those around you.
Things like health and physical goals—running a few races or cleaning up your diet, taking a class in something important to you, or getting involved with the community can be good places to start.
2. You are afraid to hurt someone.
Similar to the fear of getting hurt, the fear of hurting someone comes from insecurities we feel as well. In this case your self-view leaves you doubting your worth as a person. You may feel that you are incapable of doing things right and therefore are destined to disappoint those you care about and therefore hurt them. Or, you may have a history of decisions considered questionable by those close to you and now second guess all that you do.
What to do. Hurting someone you care about can be almost as painful to you as it is to that person. It can also be nearly as difficult to get past. When your relationship is growing closer take time to do some self-evaluation before you start making proclamations or plans. Do your feelings seem equally matched? Do you share the same basic philosophies and morals? Are your visions of the future in-line with one another? When you have thought these through discuss them with your partner. Identifying significant differences early can save you from having to make hurtful decisions later.
3. The “there’s something better complex.”
The persistent feeling that there may be someone better or more right for you can keep you moving from partner to partner, never really giving someone a chance. Society makes it really easy for us too, with apps for everything from dating to one-night stands. But constantly looking at your potential mate wondering if you can do better, puts you on a quick track to a lonely life.
What to do. No one is suggesting you attempt to make something work that you know is wrong, but before you decide that you don’t like the tilt of her eyebrows, or that he has one too many beer steins and consider these deal-breakers, stop to think about what is really important to you. What qualities are you looking for and does this person have them? More importantly, how do you feel when you are together? Are you happy? Can you see a future? If they do and you can, consider the fact that maybe you have found the “something better” you are seeking.
Regardless as to why you find yourself steering clear of the commitment zone, it is important to recognize what it is doing to your ability to find happiness. Committed relationships between people who love and respect each other can be one of life’s most satisfying accomplishments. It would be a shame to let fear prevent you from experiencing that.
Photo: Getty Images