Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Commitment Issues [ Part 1 - Me ]

Commitment issue is one of the most common modern relationship obstacles. It's a real thing, and it goes as serious as an actual phobia that needs medical attention from a psychologist. But socially, we use this term very regularly. Except for the actual serious medical situation, I personally don't believe in "commitment issues". If anything, if my man wants to quit due to such phobia, that's only because he doesn't love me enough. I believe if you really love someone, you will try anything to overcome the hitches. I also believe, if you truly love the person you are with, commitment issues may even gradually vanish as you will naturally want to love, stay, and obligate without additional effort.

I've never considered this before, but as I read up related articles before writing this post, I realize, for a phase, I was also close to, or at least acted like, what they call a commitment-phobe; hence the part 1 of this bigger topic. I wouldn't say the fear of commitment is a flaw, but the way most people handle it is certainly hurtful to those they involve with. I wish I could handle many things better too. It was, however, a phase of growth that has led me the stability I relish today. So I'm thankful for it. 

I spent 1/3 of my life with the same guy, and when that relationship ended, as dramatic as it may sound, I truly believed I could never love, or love with the same intensity, again. However, I'm specially talented at picking myself up and moving on. So during the aftermath, I was very active socially. I was open to meeting new guys and friends were busy setting me up with people. I went on numerous dates but that was when the commitment-phobia kicked in.

First and second dates were always fine. You flirt, you laugh, you enjoy the moments, no commitment. Nothing more was required other than attending dinner dates, plus at most a movie, a walk, or a dessert after. Typical. But when things seemed to go well between the two of us, when I sensed the other party started to want to spend more time together, make more efforts, and hope to become more exclusive, I'd end it hastily. I was clearly not ready and capable to reciprocate. Not that my 9-year relationship was a nightmare, but after that, I was definitely afraid of getting into another serious long term thing. I was terrified of wasting time, feelings, and efforts for something that might end at some point. I think my commitment phobia was actually a symptom of my phobia for frivolling myself away.

So for a phase, I was only involved in these type of short-lived casual dates. It was not because those men were horrible, no, they were very decent people and will make great boyfriends to any lucky girl. It was me. I didn't even want to give them the chance to make me commit. I didn't want to talk on the phone because I felt like it was such a waste of time to stay on the line and not able to do anything else. I didn't want to meet up often because I didn't want this new guy to mess up my regular routine. I didn't want to meet their friends or them to meet mine because that will increase our presence in each other's lives. I didn't stop flirting with other men, the idea of being held down by one person scared me. Don't get me wrong though, I did wish for a long-term, stable relationship regardless. However, I didn't know if it was commitment issues or my defense mechanism, I couldn't go on more than 3 dates with the same guy. 

Then something magical came along, in the form of a human, named Frank. At first I thought he was just another man I'd briefly associate with. But he stayed, and it was so easy, my what seemingly a commitment problem, cured, just like that *snaps finger. All my old quirks evaporated as quickly as I fell for this guy. I still remember the times we spent hours on the phone, gladly wasting the night away. And my routine ? What routine ? I remember, for weeks, spending time with him till the wee hours of the morning, then struggled to wake up for work the next day.

As for meeting friends, I remember when he first introduced me to his group of friends, we walked in holding hands. I didn't show it, but that was very foreign to me. Only a bit later, he met mine. It felt even more strange. I remember he came to join me and my girl friends for dinner, I blushed like there was no tomorrow.  I never introduced any "special someone" to my friends, even close friends of many many years had never ever seen me with a guy. I didn't know how it was like to mix boyfriend in my own social circle or vice versa. I was not used to that idea. But with him, I got over it very quickly and easily.

And the exclusivity... I actually went on a few more dates with other men shortly after meeting Frank. But those became so dreadful they felt like work. I remember so clearly that I was at this perfectly romantic restaurant with this guy having a candle lit dinner. I don't remember anything else from that date but how I eagerly wanted to go home. I really just wanted to go home, do nothing, and replay the conversations I had with Frank in my head, alone, with peace, hahahaha. #truestory. Also, even though at that time, Frank and I haven't declared any sort of monogamy, I felt guilty. This may give you goosebumps, but it really was more like I felt guilty because I was betraying my own heart. So I told the guy I wasn't feeling well and ended the date early. That was the last time I went on a date with another man.

I guess, what I'm trying to say is, commitment issues only happen with the wrong person. It only occurs when you are unsure or haven't found what you want. It only occurs when you don't want it enough, or don't know how much you want it. And trust me, it disappears, when you want it more than you are afraid of it.

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