The Process of Getting Over the Fear of Commitment

Commitment: the idea of dedicating oneself to something or someone. 

 

I don’t know how it came to be, but I’ve had this issue with “commitment” for as long as I can remember. Whether it was about committing to a relationship or even with renting the Seattle Airbnb last week for me and my friends for winter break, the idea of fully dedicating myself to a project or a person has always frightened me. In my perspective, if I were to invest time and effort into something and it turned around and smacked me in the face, then all of this disappointment and hurt would rain down. And that would suck. Therefore, to avoid this “what if” situation, I would do what I do best: avoid, detach myself emotionally, or not commit. It was a simple resolution to an overly complicated dilemma I had with myself. 

Even when I was in a relationship, anxiety and fear gloomed over me whenever the thought of “forever” invaded my head. My boyfriend at the time would talk about the future—our future—and that, coupled with all the distrust he had accumulated in the relationship, increased my anxieties and fears of commitment. Length never equated to relieving the fear of committing to him (or anyone for that matter), which was ironic and odd to many since I was in an almost four-year-long relationship with him. So many questions would invade my head:

 

If we talk about our future, does that mean I have to go through with it?

I don’t want to disappoint him or make him sad.

What if our plans fall through?

He wants to marry me, but what if I don’t want to get married in the end?

 

As college came around the corner, putting down the deposit of attending a university was also a terrifying process. Declaring majors, learning to resocialize with new people, exploring a new city and a new campus, and the piles and piles of debt I would collect were all factors I had to consider and it was all in a click of a button. 

 

What if I don’t like the school I pick?

What will happen if I can’t pay tuition?

What if it’s easier to get my major at the other school?

That’s a lot of money, what if I decide to not go anymore?

 

Even with all these questions though, I knew I had to make a decision. And that was where I realized something. With every big commitment, no matter the situation, we have to come to a decision eventually. If we don't, then we are just stuck somewhere. Plus, when it came to college, I had to make a decision eventually. Slowly, but surely, I began to make more committed decisions and am now somewhat able to look commitment in the eye and not run away. 

It’s been roughly four years since I’ve realized this fear and while I can’t completely say I’m over it, but I’ve learned to not have it stop me in life. It took longer than expected, but there will come a time where all of one’s fears and “what if”s of the world will vanish into thin air. Holding someone’s hand in public or declaring your major won’t feel like a commitment, but a stepping stone to something bigger in life. I realized that life requires commitments and those commitments are what make us evolve, learn, and become a better version of ourselves that we have not found yet. The rationality of fearing commitment is real and is common. However, it should not stop us from achieving bigger and better things in life, whether it be in love, in school, or in life.