Whether you struggle to pick an ice cream flavor and then second-guess your choice as your side-eye everyone else's cone or you've been looking at two different pairs of white ankle booties for a month and literally can't decide which ones you want, commitment issues come in all shapes and sizes. So when it comes to dating, if you’re in love but nervous to commit, you're totally not alone.
If you've just been through a gnarly breakup or you've never had a long-term relationship, deciding you want to go the distance with a boo can feel like venturing into uncharted territory. Whether you're not sure that you're ready to settle down or you're scared to get your heart broken, the prospect of building something serious with someone can be seriously scary. Of course, no matter how in love you are, feeling some commitment-jitters as your relationship progresses is completely normal. Building a committed relationship with someone means opening your heart and taking healthy risks. And though love is a beautiful thing, the vulnerability can be intimidating!
Here are nine things to remember if you're totally into your boo but feeling a bit nervous to fully commit.
1. Everything You're Feeling Is OK
From nerves to jitters to full-on stress, whatever you're feeling is real and valid. Having doubts or questioning things in your relationship doesn't mean that you don't have feelings for your partner or that you shouldn't be with them. It's totally natural to feel nervous at any stage of a relationship. But if you're feeling really uncomfortable about something, it may mean it's time to open up a dialogue with your partner.
2. You Deserve Love And Happiness
If you've dealt with heartbreak before or you've never dated someone who was honest and dependable, the prospect of building a real relationship may be terrifying. Of course, you are a flawless angel and you deserve love and happiness. Whether you want a serious monogamous relationship or you're excited to explore something committed but open, you deserve to have the type of relationship you want to have and your deserve to be happy in it.
3. You Will Be Fine No Matter What Happens
Whether you're having stress dreams about getting dumped or you're worried about feeling smothered, sometimes you can't help but play out the worst-case scenario of something in your head. Of course, no matter what happens in this relationship, you are going to be fine. Maybe you and your boo will end up tying the knot one day or you'll date for a while then realize you were meant to be friends. Whatever happens, life is about change and transition and you are going to be fine.
4. Boundaries Are Healthy
Being in love doesn't mean having no time for yourself or constantly being at someone's beck and call. Whether you pick one night a week to see your friends or you want to establish some boundaries about talking about work at the dinner table, in a healthy relationship, you get you express your needs and have them be met.
5. Love Takes Vulnerability
At risk of sounding like an Atlantic City blackjack dealer, big risk means big reward. Whether you're scared of getting hurt again or nervous to put yourself out there, falling in love takes vulnerability. Although you never need to do anything that makes you literally uncomfortable (i.e. sending someone nudes or trying a new sex move you're not into), building a real and healthy relationship sometimes means expanding your comfort zone (i.e. expressing your feelings and being honest about your needs).
6. That Was Then, This Is Now
If old memories of heartbreak start to creep in the back of your mind, remind yourself: That was then and this is now. You are older and wiser than you were before, you are more clear on what you're looking for and you know what you need to do to make yourself happy. You are strong and smart and you will make the right choices for you.
7. You Can Take It Day By Day
At any stage of a relationship, it can be easy to get a little ahead of yourself. Whether you're terrified of a potential breakup or nervous about the idea of being together forever, take your relationship one day at the time. Living in the present and focusing on where your connection is right now can help you and your boo simply enjoy each other's company without worrying too much about the future.
8. You Don't Need To Lose Yourself To Find Love
Committing to someone doesn't mean changing who you are or completely rerouting your life. You still get to be you. A relationship doesn't need to be two halves coming together to make one whole, it can be two wholes coming together to be, well, two wholes. You and your partner will always be independent, exciting, and fun people that happen to enjoy spending time together.
9. It's OK To Talk About Your Nerves
If you're feeling nervous about your relationship, you can always tell your partner about it. Feeling nervous about committing doesn't make you a "bad person" nor does it mean that you're not ready to date. Being open and honest about where your head is at and what you need to feel supported can help you build a sustainable and dependable relationship with your boo.
Whether you've had your heart broken before or if you've never been in love, building a real relationship with someone can be intimidating. Of course, whatever you're feeling is real and valid, and it's always OK to share what's on your mind. Commitment jitters are totally natural, but you never need to feel nervous about being yourself.