We can call it commitment phobia. But before we label it, let’s examine it. I’d bet it has happened to nearly all of us at one time or another.
You meet someone terrific, and he feels similarly. You date for a while — months or even years. You say you are committed to each other, maybe even engaged, but the relationship does not progress beyond sharing each other’s lives — and beds — several times a week.
Many people say this shows a commitment problem or immaturity on one or both people’s part. However, for the couple it may be just fine to have your own space and not want to be together full time. If you live within a reasonable driving distance, it may work well for both.
The complication comes when one or both of you would have to make a big change to be together frequently. If you live far enough apart, multiple visits each week can become a hassle, no matter how wonderful your time together is. If your homes are too small to easily accommodate another person, or if the commute to each other’s place onerous, something will need to change to keep the relationship together. One or both of you will need to move.
Some people try to stave off having to make decisions like this by purposefully avoiding dating people who are outside a reasonable commute difference. Unfortunately, their heart hasn’t heard of this love perimeter, so they may fall for someone regardless of their boundary.
Yesterday, I had a conversation with an astute, conscious, self-aware, long-single friend who shared that the dramatic changes involved when one has found The One has kept him from pursuing serious relationships. While one could diss him as immature, selfish, or commitment phobic, I applaud his insight.
I’ve examined this for myself, noting that I’ve not been in any serious relationships during my 2.5 years of dating, while other divorcées are often remarried in this time frame. If you have been dating for a while, is there a lingering concern that a major lifestyle change will have to happen when you meet The One? You’d have to modify things in your life that are working for you, whether it’s your ability to do whatever you want when you want or having to clean out closet space and drawers if he were to move into your place. Or you’d have to shoehorn your belongings into his place, or you’d move to a new place together. While some people find change exciting, others find major change wrought with concerns, like what if it doesn’t work out after you’ve made this big changes.
Do you have any fears that go hand in hand with finding The One? If so, share them so others can learn from you.
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