The Fear of Commitment


For the last few years my inner circle has tried to convince me that I have a fear of commitment. I combated these wild accusations with the following argument:

“Um, that’s bullshit. Wanna know why? Because I have been totally committed to AT&T wireless for the last 6 years and have been completely satisfied. So, suck it.”

Then I inhale another cupcake while watching yet another episode of “Sex and the City” with my hand in the air, yelling “preach, Carrie! PREACH!” as crumbs go everywhere.

(Maybe this is why I’m single?)

Fear of commitment, what a joke. The only thing I fear is fear itself….and whales. Definitely whales.  Also needles.

In the last few months, however, I have begun to take a look at my life as a whole, which sadly includes all the dating fails of the last 10 years, and realized I might have a problem.

I call this problem “pushing 30 and still being single”.

I’ve always thought that I was the kind of girl who “loved love”. I longed for the comfort that a relationship would bring me, and thought I was the victim of bad luck or that I was just a “douche magnet”.

I could not be more incorrect.

In the last few years I have dated a few guys, had one serious relationship that lasted a whopping 4 months and gone on more Internet dates than I care to share, all with the same end result: me being alone. Now, I could easily blame this on the men because obviously they don’t see what a total catch I am, but after breaking down the similarities these guys have (and also breaking open a few bottles of wine to cope with the situation), I realized the problem is me.

I have a tendency to date men who are emotionally (and sometimes geographically) unavailable. Oh you live 3,000 miles away? You have baby mama drama? You aren’t sure where your life is going? You need a strong woman who will put up with your shit but only via text?  You’re in transition? SIGN ME UP AND BRING ALL YOUR BAGGAGE WITH YOU.

How an intelligent, successful and not-so-bad-looking woman like me ends up in these circumstances blows my mind. The only thing I have left to blame it on is this:

If I never fully commit, I will never get hurt. I can avoid the impending doom of a break-up. I can stay safe. By knowing the guy I’m talking to isn’t playing with a full deck, I can partially check out of the relationship and never feel too bad when it ends, nor do I have to add him to my “favorites” list on my iPhone. Everyone wins.

I fear the idea that a man might actually like me for me: that he might find me irresistible because I am a catch. The thought of a man wanting to commit his entire life to me, because I deserve it, is terrifying. Am I the only one who does this? Who pushes away from perfectly nice guys and goes for the perfectly unavailable one because she’s scared? What a disservice I am doing myself.

As I near 30, I’ve made a promise to myself to put distance between myself and my old dating habits. I will not allow myself to be scared of getting hurt, of being loved completely or accepted fully.  I will be ok with jumping in with both feet, with opening up to a guy for the first time in a long time and risk being hurt. Maybe by writing it down and putting it out into the blogosphere I will actually stick to it.

Or maybe I will just stay with AT&T and call it a day.

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Alex Wise served over 5 years as relationship expert helping women from around the world figure out the men in their love lives from an honest, male perspective. Alex is one of the contributors and editors for dating website. He is passionate about thought leadership writing, and regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and online dating communities.