Let's face it, commitment is a very scary concept for most of us.
With apps like Tinder and reality dating shows making the centuries-old practice of courtship obsolete, our society has encouraged a one-night stand hookup culture, where we're all in pursuit of a "no strings attached" style of relationship.
I'm guilty of partaking in this sort of behavior myself. I've absolutely tried to avoid real connection and intimacy. Throughout the years, however, I've learned a few things about how we may actually be sabotaging ourselves in order to avoid any commitment.
There are people who may actually be happier living life with no commitments and no relationships, but I think for most of us, random hookups are simply temporary fixes to a much bigger emotional issue. That lifestyle doesn't actually make us content in the long run.
So why are we still wary of commitment?
1. Being vulnerable is uncomfortable.
Human beings are creatures of comfort. How often have you heard the phrase "get out of your comfort zone?"
We like routines. When we have a plan of how our life is "supposed" to be, only to suddenly get thrown a curveball, we question everything. We tend to believe we were wrong all along and become guarded from the world, fearing being seen as a failure.
Now, of course, we should be careful about who we open up to. But we should always allow ourselves to take risks and be vulnerable. Even if we're "wrong," about who we opened up with, there's always a lesson from every single relationship.
2. "The grass is always greener" theory.
Competition is a natural part of being human. We always want the best cars, the best technology, the best clothes, the best everything. We apply this theory to relationships as well.
By desiring the best partner in romantic relationships, we constantly search and strive to find a "perfect" person who, honestly, doesn't even exist.
Say you've been going on dates with a new guy who works in accounting. You've always wanted an artsy guy, so you instantly tell yourself accounting guy is never going to be relationship material because of some "flaw" you perceive.
When you do find an artsy guy, you dump the business dude instantly, even though he chose you. There could've been something to build there, but you're afraid of settling.
3. We fear feeling trapped.
How many times have you heard a friend say, "I feel stuck" or "I'm suffocating" while discussing their relationship?
It's a scary thought, and we dread feeling that way. However, it seems to be more of a made-up fear than anything.
People tend to over-dramatize their lives and complain about their relationships and current situations. Somehow, complaining has become the way we connect with others.
The truth is, the people who claim to feel trapped are actually just scared to face their emotions. People run away from change. We feel trapped in our job or our relationships, yet we don't look for other opportunities to grow.
A simple mindset shift is all that's needed to course correct our behavior. Simply by altering the way we think about change will allow us to grow out of the feeling of being trapped.
4. We don't want to grow up.
Committing means growing up. Most of us have a real fear of becoming full-fledged adults with mortgages, long-term careers and families to support.
Making a commitment to one person signals a different stage of life. We suddenly become terrified that we're about to have kids and a house and become our parents. We idolize our youth, where we aren't truly pinned down to anything.
Making a commitment to a person doesn't mean it has to be forever, and there's nothing wrong with becoming older. Being more mature and stable isn't a death sentence -- it's a good thing.
5. Our baggage is holding us back.
Maybe you're a child of divorce or have had a difficult breakup recently. Those feelings stay with us, and make us scared that relationships can't last.
You have to remember just because your parents' relationship didn't work out, it doesn't mean you don't know what a healthy relationship is. I'm sure you have healthy friendships, which means you are fully capable of committing to a romantic relationship.
And just because the last guy you dated ghosted you and didn't have the decency to break up in person, it doesn't mean that every guy will end things that way. Commitment does involve risk. We are investing energy into something that could fail.
But we can never be absolutely certain of anything that happens in our lives. Unfortunately, romantic relationships can't be the exception. We just have to trust that the reward will be worth it.
Committing is scary -- I get that. There's so many reasons to avoid taking the plunge. But these fears and hangups could be holding you back from experiencing something great. You don't know until you try.