Unsolicited dating advice – Commitment phobia

Are you scared of commitment? Do you have “something-better-might-come-along syndrome”? You desperately want a relationship, but every time you let someone get close enough that you might have to Define The Relationship (DTR), you wig out and run the other way faster than a BYU student at a party that serves alcohol. It’s time to cool your jets, break the streak of empty, self-destructive NCMOs and remember how great it feels to trust and love someone enough to commit.

• How often do we fall out of love because that person we’ve viewed as the perfect match for so long just starts to grate on our nerves? We start to focus on the little quirks in that significant other, which, if not remedied quickly, can turn into the personality defects that make you kill the relationship faster than it started. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to change your focus.
Love is blinding. There’s going to come a time when the twitterpation goggles start to lose their effect. This is the time where you get to make the choice to either count the virtues in your companion or concentrate on the glaring imperfections, which will inevitably result in misery and regret on both parties. When you weigh the good against the bad and choose to focus on the good, it will transform your relationship. I mean, honestly, are you going to give up a handsome guy who loves you for who you are, treats you like a princess and has goals and drive because he picks his nose in the car? Or what about the girl who is kind, caring and assertive who snorts when she laughs? You be the judge of what you can tolerate … but judge carefully.

• Remember, just because you’re dating someone doesn’t mean you have to marry them! One of the plagues of Utah Valley culture is the fear of marriage. Some nut job somewhere along the line decided that once you start dating someone, the lifelong (and sometimes longer) commitment of marriage is inevitable.
Now, on the first date, girls are thinking, “Wait, if he wants to take me out, that means he wants to date me, which means he might want to marry me. I’m too young to have babies! I’m not ready for this kind of commitment!” On the flip side, guys, stop thinking of every girl you ask out as a potential wife. Just go have fun, and stop thinking of every potential girlfriend as the rearer of your unborn children.

• Stop telling people all about your love life. Seriously. Do you really think it does you any good to involve your roommates, your mom, your ex, your best friends from high school, your institute teacher and that dude who sits next to you in English class in your love life? Trust me, it doesn’t. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Before you know it, your relationships don’t involve you and your love interest, but an entire community of people.
When you keep the personal things personal in your life, you will notice that you have more balance. You stop second guessing yourself so much, and you start trusting your feelings. Suddenly, you have control over the giant bag of crazy that used to be your relationship, and when something terrible rolls your way, instead of turning to the peanut gallery for advice, you get to be an adult and work things out together with your mate. Imagine that.

Commitment doesn’t have to be an earth-shaking, panic inducing thing. Focus on seeing the good in each other, having fun and being yourself. Stop worrying so much about the future, and you’ll soon see that it works itself out quite nicely.

5 Responses to "Unsolicited dating advice – Commitment phobia"

  1. Natalie   October 6, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Good points. But I do think every date should be thought of as “could I marry this person, could we have a future?” Like a job interview.

    If not, one date turns to two, two turns to three, four, etc. and before you know it, you’ve been in a relationship with a guy you never really saw yourself with — suddenly committed — and may even marry him because it “just happened.”

    Even if people don’t get married, I know a lot of people who finally broke up after four years because they really wanted to get married — and then realized they were wasting their life with a guy they’d never get married to.

    Just sayin it might be good to look at commitment.

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  2. Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt   October 6, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    True-life story to add to your point about “stop telling your friends about your love life”: I knew a guy in my old church who was over the moon that an old girl “friend” had recently contacted him out of the blue.

    He went around spreading the news to everyone in our circle at church — asking questions like “Do you think this means she’s interested in me?” and “Do you think I should ask her out?” and “Think my strategy of making her chase after me is the right choice?”

    Poor guy never had a chance to live out his fantasies of being a cool cucumber. As soon as said girl heard he was carrying on like a guy desperate for a date (which he was), she pointedly started ignoring…

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  3. JonnyGee   October 6, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Great timely advice for me. I’m currently dating a girl right now and changed my Facebook profile pic to one of her and me. A few days ago a friend mentioned that she didn’t think she looked like my type, the next couple of days were difficult and I kept questioning my decision to date her. I then started to focus on the small things that she didn’t have that my other girlfriends had. I finally was able to kick those third-party idea viruses out of my head and started once again focusing on the things I like about her. Oh and I stopped worrying about marriage and just decided to have fun. My relationship is back on track, where those tracks lead I don’t know, but I’m having fun and feel good about where I’m at.

    @Natalie I respectfully disagree with you. You assume you know what you want in a person. It is only through dating that I have found out what I want and don’t want in…

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  4. JonnyGee   October 6, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    My other message got truncated. Here is the rest of my rant.

    @Natalie I respectfully disagree with you. You assume you know what you want in a person. It is only through dating that I have found out what I want and don’t want in a person.

    If you start dating someone just for fun and continue to have fun and it leads to marriage that would be a great thing. Much better than the alternative of not dating them because you think they are not right. STOP THINKING! Start living! let life happen.

    I agree you need to make sure you are not in a relationship just because you don’t want to go back into the dating scene. Make sure you are in love with the person and not the relationship, but don’t let someone pass you by just because you don’t think you would marry them, you might be surprised and that person is perfect for you.

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  5. Diana   October 7, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Good advice and greatly appreciated!

    Reply

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