Regardless of how long you've been on the dating scene, being scared to settle down is completely valid. There are plenty of reasons you might feel this way: You could've dealt with a rough breakup and you're a little skeptical of jumping back into another commitment, you might be put off from serious relationships after witnessing your parents', or you are generally nervous about getting your heart broken. Not wanting to put yourself through the lows of a relationship makes sense if you've observed any of the above.
It's understandable if you are a tad reluctant to settling down with someone, so don't feel like you're alone in this at all. I spoke with Dr. Danielle Forshee, licensed clinical social worker, about this phenomenon and how it's absolutely normal and what you can do about it.
She says if you have "difficulty initiating or following through with a discussion pertaining to future plans or fantasies with your partner," you could be scared of settling down.
"When we are confident that we have found the person that we want to settle down with, it is a natural instinct to be excited and fantasize about future plans together such as going away on vacations, living together, having a family together, etc," Forshee explains.
If you are dating someone and struggling telling other people in your life about it, that could indicate that you're scared of commitment, says Forshee. "When we feel confident and secure in a relationship with our partner, we want people important to us to know about them," she says. "Not only do we want them to know about our partner but, we also feel proud to give them the label of boyfriend or girlfriend."
She says those afraid of committing may not introduce their partner to their other loved ones because that makes the relationship or partnership more real.
"Those who do not want to settle down or are unsure of settling down in general have difficulty with making things permanent," she says. "For example, the permeance of labeling your partner as a boyfriend and girlfriend to other people in your life will create a situation where their friends are likely to bring up and ask about their boyfriend or girlfriend, creating potential pressure for the person who has difficulty settling down."
If you're at a place in your life where you're not wanting to settle down, don't freak out that relationships aren't for you. It may be a passing phase, you may prefer non-monogamous relationships, or you could just be wanting to play the field, which is absolutely fine. But if you're seeing someone while unsure about your desired commitment with them, keep in mind it's possible that they may want to commit more than you. You'll want to show that person respect if you just want different things in this point in time. But if you're single and not wanting to settle down, keep doing your thing — you absolutely do not have to be in a relationship right now and you are completely valid in not wanting one.
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