First entry: Her prince charming
She met him at a music concert in the city. He was with his friends and she with hers. His strikingly good looks and boyish grin charmed her. She was instantly attracted to him. She knew it was love at sight. And she did not try to hide it. Sparks flew, cupid struck, they were in love.
Second entry: He asked her to marry him
Soon they moved in together. Life seemed perfect with him. One sunny Sunday morning, he asked her to marry him. She had seen this coming and feared it as much. She had goosebumps on her hands. Her intent gaze had earnestness of telling him her dilemma. He thought she was overwhelmed. But as the deafening silence in the room grew louder, he sensed something was amiss. She felt hopeless. She didn’t know how to tell him she loved him but the thought of taking the relationship ahead scared her? All she did that day was walk away from him, walk away from the relationship that meant the world to her. It was over.
Third entry: Thoughts. Thought. Thoughts
She failed to understand why she could not say yes to him. Yes was a simple word. He was all she wanted. Still, she could not make the promise. It was her not him. It was her inherent fear to commit to anything and everything. Thus read the excerpts from the diary of a commitment-phobic 20-something woman.
It is everyone’s story
Many of us can attest to having been in situations akin to this. We can’t commit ourselves to the very relationships we want. Why is it so? Is it the nature of commitment? Do we feel trapped? Do we even understand what commitment really is?
Commitment is an action. It is sticking to a promise no matter how discouraging things seem. There might be a 1000 reasons to not pursue a particular relationship or venture, but you still do it for the one reason you are there in the first place. It is like being left in a dark room and being asked to find a way to the door. No matter what, you will find your way to the door.
No analysis, no complaints, you just do what is necessary to find the door. You commit to what’s non-negotiable for you, despite the fear of doing so. We are a walking bag of contradictions. We love and want something or someone, yet we run away from them. Not being here nor there, and not knowing where to go. This is fear of commitment. People have different reasons for such fears. The most commonly known are:
Too little time
As of now, I am focussing on my career and I have no time for relationships. This is the most cited reason by those who are scared of commitment. If we scratch the surface a little, here’s what we find: We live in a competitive world and there is just no time to invest in a committed relationship. We tell ourselves once things are sorted, we would make time to go out and socialise. But as the popular cliché goes, you never have time until you make time. It is about priorities.
Set realistic expectations
Unmet expectations really hurt. All the more, when the expectations are unrealistic. Setting out on a search for the perfect person, creating a checklist of desired traits, comparing that seemingly perfect person with other near-perfect people are doorways to disappointments and uncertainty. Commitment is about saying yes to the person with whom spending our whole lives seems like a no-brainer.
My freedom is gone
People often complain about how they feel trapped in a relationship. Even crippled and suffocated. Freedom seems to be compromised. Relationship gurus say, genuinely healthy relationships never take your freedom away. They empower you to spread your wings. Where is the room for fear in a mature, wise relationship’s wide-open skies?
Don’t let the past ruin you
Once bitten twice shy. We have been in and out of relationships and have access to self-prescribed anxiety about where the next one is going to go. The past baggage can sabotage your next relationship even before you begin. What happened in the past happened for a reason. All it is supposed to do is offer lessons for the future.
Final entry: Epiphany
As she reflected on her relationship, she had an epiphany. She knew she was always sure of it. She wondered what then happened to all the things she worked hard for in this relationship. All those things were still there and they had done their job well. It was something else that created fear. It was the wall she built around herself to never get hurt again. That wall is all that stood between her and the near-perfect relationship she had found.