Are You Afraid Of Settling Down, Even After You’ve Found The One? 3 Signs You’re Still Scared
You’re pretty sure you’ve found "the one", and all signs point to a happy ending: You’re compatible, you’re comfortable, and you’re madly in love. So, why do you get the nagging sense that you’re still afraid of settling down? The thing is, even if you’re super satisfied in your current relationship, it’s still possible to feel hesitant when it comes to committing to forever.
As it turns out, you’re not alone. “As a matchmaker, I see this all the time," says Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking.
Millennials are actually significantly less likely to be married in their 20s than previous generations, according to a 2014 report by The Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, a 2015 Gallup poll found that marriage among 30-somethings dropped 10 percentage points between 2004 and 2014 alone. Gallup researchers have concluded that “young adults are not simply swapping marriage for living together, but rather staying single longer. This doesn't necessarily mean young adults are staying out of relationships, just that they are less likely to be making the more serious commitment associated with moving in together — whether in marriage or not.”
Suspect that you may fear commitment? Our gut instincts are powerful, and they are usually trying to tell us something we need to acknowledge in order to grow. Either way, it's important to keep in mind that hesitance to commit doesn't mean there's something wrong with you, or that you aren't capable of having a healthy, lasting relationship. Getting to the bottom of your fears, however, will help you to better understand what steps to take in your current situation. Here are some signs you’re scared to settle down — even with the person you suspect may be “the one.”
You’re Wondering What Else Is Out There
The fact is, we have more choices than ever when it comes to our dating pool, thanks to apps and sites that present thousands of potential matches that we can swipe through. If you find yourself pondering whether there might be someone better out there, even though you’re totally content with your current partner, you may not be ready to settle down.
“You have FOMO,” says Trombetti.
Essentially, you’re afraid of missing out on other romantic experiences. No matter how satisfied you are in your relationship, you can’t shake the curiosity about other potential partners who might be better.
This can often happen to people who haven’t dated much before having a serious relationship or struggle to be decisive in general. If you feel this way, it’s worth exploring whether there’s anything about your current relationship that’s causing your curiosity about what else is out there, or whether it simply comes down to a deep-seeded fear of commitment.
You Feel Like Your Relationship Is Holding You Back
Do you have a laundry list of things you want to accomplish before you settle down, places you want to travel, or career objectives you want to achieve? If you’ve started to feel like committing to someone means sacrificing your own goals (even though your SO hasn’t done anything to reinforce this), then you may be associating relationships with limitations and naturally, afraid to settle down.
“You just don’t feel challenged by partners that are actually there for you and you get bored with it,” explains Trombetti.
While relationships do demand a lot of time and energy, they don’t mean compromising all of your own personal desires. If you feel like you've been giving up your hobbies and interests in your relationship, take some time to reconnect with the things that make you happy as an individual — a supportive partner will cheer you on in this. Remember that you can have the best of both worlds — as in, pursuing all of your own passions while also committing to a significant other. In fact, having a partner to support you through all of those accomplishments and the challenges they come with can actually make them even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
You Search For Insignificant Reasons It Won't Work
While it’s reasonable to end a relationship due to mismatched values or life goals, questioning your bond due to small discrepancies, like differing tastes in music or tidiness habits may mean you’re simply looking for an excuse not to commit.
“You have a pattern of sabotaging your relationships,” explains Trombetti. “You find something wrong about them — even if it’s just their socks.”
Do you feel like you’re searching for reasons why you shouldn’t be with your current partner (and not finding anything significant)? Or, have you ended past relationships due to factors that weren’t ultimately worthy? You might be afraid of settling down.
If these signs sound familiar, Trombetti recommends seeing a therapist who can help you get to the root of your fears. This fear of settling down may stem from a variety of things. Maybe this is your first serious relationship, and you’re starting to wonder what else is out there. Maybe your perspective on commitment is skewed because you’ve witnessed a lot of failed relationships. Maybe you’re feeling doubtful about whether you are monogamous by nature.
Regardless of the reason, it’s worth acknowledging. And remember: it is possible to overcome a fear of commitment, especially if you're with an understanding and supportive partner. As long as you can identify what's holding you back from settling down with someone who makes you happy, you can free yourself up for a fulfilling, lasting love.
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