How to understand your commitment issues and actually dealing with them
In a Gen Z society, where one-night stands are normalized and a ‘good morning’ text is the epitome of a healthy relationship, it seems all of us are scared to commit to someone else. Which is understandable, since most of us have no idea who we are as individuals anyways.
As cliché as it might sound, that’s what we're trying to do right? Find ourselves? And for many of us, we tend to do that by being ~closely~ bound to a number of people. And yes, I’m talking about hookup culture.
In reality, when we’re pulling more people physically closer to us, we're pushing our ability to love farther away.
As sex became more attainable, commitment became harder to come by.
I never thought commitment issues were a real thing - until I found someone that completely and utterly consumed my mind, yet I still couldn’t bring myself to be in a relationship. I beat myself up every day trying to find ways to get over it; it was mentally exhausting, and nothing worked.
Many months, many boys, and many mistakenly given love letters later (I know, just call me Lara Jean) I FELT the walls encasing my ability to love come crashing down.
But now I know what I should have done when I was falling for someone, and everything I did that I shouldn’t have.
That's what I’m about to share with you.
“Some people want the attention of having you without the responsibility of being committed to you” - (21, female)
The most important step is to determine if you have commitment issues, or if you’re really just not ready for a relationship.
When you’re not ready for a relationship, usually it’s because you’re still developing yourself. It’s hard to be in a healthy relationship when you’re not mentally healthy. You don’t have the energy to give to another person because you NEED that energy for yourself. Commitment issues come more in the form of fear of not having options; so not wanting people to know you’re together, not wanting people to see you together, and fear of losing your independence/freedom.
For me, it came when I realized my thoughts, actions, and emotions were consumed with him. I didn’t like the fact that someone else had so much control over me, without them even trying.
Remember: adding a relationship to your life isn't going to magically eradicate your freedom.
You have two options when you have commitment issues.
You can fight through it, risk getting hurt, and potentially find the person you’ll spend the rest of your life with.
Will it be mentally exhausting? Yes.
Are you going to want to stop? Probably.
PSA: There's a difference between ending a relationship because you're scared and ending a relationship because you know it's not going to work. Don’t risk a potential love because you’re scared you might be missing out on something better.
You could end it right then and there. You could admit to your commitment issues and do nothing about them. You could wait it out until you magically grow out of them. Coming from someone who chose to avoid the mental taxation of fighting for love, and instead pushed it way, I wouldn’t recommend it.
PSA: This option almost always results in heartbreak.
“I’m scared of getting hurt but I think everyone is scared of getting hurt. The difference is that I’m willing to put myself on the line and risk getting hurt if it means that I could have found the right person and the person I wanna spend the rest of my life with” (Male, 19).
Unfortunately, I did neither of those things. Instead, I drowned myself in Pink Whitney, kept the relationship going because I was scared of losing him but also scared of committing … until I decided I couldn’t fight through it and had to end it.
Commitment issues also stem from a lack of trust.
It’s hard to commit to someone when you can’t seem to entirely trust them, right?
I didn’t think anyone could like me, given my past and the person I was. I really didn’t think anyone could love me. I realize now that I was wrong, but that was also a huge part of my commitment issues. I didn’t believe the love I was receiving was real, so I didn’t trust it. Skepticism kept me from seeing the love that was right in front of me.
My advice? Well, if I could go back in time I would have fought through the fear of the future. I would have reminded myself that I am worthy of love and that I have plenty of love within me to share with another person.
Love is worth fighting for; even if it’s not the love you spend the rest of your life with.
If you don't experiment with love, how are you going to know when you really find the person you’re ready to commit the rest of your life to?
In the words of someone who married their high school sweetheart:
"If you find someone, and you think you're ready to take the plunge, just do it. Because commitment is never a perfect story."