Do you fall hard for people but once the intensity morphs into a conversation about “next steps” you instantly feel like you’re trapped? Do you often think to yourself that being with one person, while it has definite benefits, is not something you believe you’re capable of? You’ll fake it? Cheat? You’ll do whatever it means as long as you aren’t locked down with someone, right?
These circling thoughts and tendencies can be stressful, tiresome and confusing, but it doesn’t mean that it has to be like that, that is if you don’t want it to be.
Relationships can take on many forms and are to be defined by you and your partner. The problem is, sometimes it’s easier for one person to be all in and ready to commit 100 per cent while the other is super hesitant on taking that plunge. If you’re someone that falls into this cycle often, regardless of partners or time, you may have a fear with committing and that’s cool if you don’t want to commit, but if you’re wanting to get over your commitment-phobia, there may be some solutions to help ease you on your way.
Here are some ideas that you may want to consider if you’re looking to change your ways and start relishing in a committed, loving, relationship.
Understand, recognize and challenge the fear
A lot of our biggest fears stem from past experiences that we may not want to relive. As much as we listen to the “think about the future, forget the past” jargon, it’s easier said than done. We need to understand that getting into a relationship with someone new, and actually being able to say “this is my boyfriend” without gagging or our heart clinching (in a suffocating, “run!” way) is something we have to cognitively and bravely decide to do. We need to actually go there, not dip one foot in a pool while having the other out getting massaged by the pool guy.
Be OK with saying no
Not being able to say no only hurts you. If you’re used to trying to please others, more so, afraid to say “no I’m not interested” then you never really get the satisfaction of making a decision that you can stand by. By not being able to confidently understand what you want and don’t want you run the risk of leading people on and messing with your own emotional canvas. This can lead to indecisiveness, which can then lead to you pulling back from a potentially rewarding, committed relationship. “Trust your gut” right? Well, that can be hard when you don’t know which gut you’re feeling on any given moment. So, the more you learn about what you aren’t looking for or what you can’t say yes to, the more equipped you’ll be when the person that you want to commit to comes around. If you’re always giving in and just trying to feel something that isn’t there, you’ve basically trained your brain and heart to be OK with not really being “into it” and this makes you checked out when it comes to getting serious. After all, if you’ve “sucked it up” before, you’ll do it again, and kicking that habit is needed for you to be fully content in being with that one and only. After you start being able to say no, saying a genuine yes and actually going all in will be in closer reach. Life’s too short to fake feelings.
Stop worrying you’ll be rejected
Humans crave connections and even if you aren’t the most sexual, most romantic, most touchy–whatever, being admired by someone you care about is a great feeling. Sometimes when great things are happening and the feelings are intensifying there’s that urge to sabotage or instead of understanding it’s perfectly normal to feel vulnerable and rejection is part of life. As “The Great One” so famously coined: You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.
Accept that you cannot control everything or anyone
This can be one of the biggest hurdles because those who are used to controlling their lives (and those they get involved with) are often afraid deep down that if that control fades they will lose it (or the person they’re with). Control is a very a powerful, dangerous and scary game to play with others, because manipulation becomes your mask instead of being comfortable and confident in what you have with that person. The more you learn to let go, the better the feeling will be when you see how someone genuinely feels about you. Honestly, if he/she wants to leave you no matter how much you try to control it, it will eventually end. It’s only a matter of time. No one likes to be controlled and neither does love. The more you exhale away from controlling the situation the more at peace you will be, and probably, more excited about getting into something real with someone, long term.
Don’t be afraid of disappointing
Opening yourself up to someone can be exhilarating, it can hype you up and make you addicted to the feeling of connecting. Once you get to that level you may then start to second guess, put yourself down, find reasons why it won’t work, etc. Think to yourself though, really think, and see if the reason you are wanting to keep things not committal is because you are afraid that the job interview is done, and now your real self won’t be as attractive to hire. Relationships do go through their stages and no matter how much you try to mask your insecurities, flaws, confusing inner rage moments, whatever, the more you are psyching yourself out and wasting precious time that could be better spent learning about that beauty beside you. Jim Morrison may have been referring to friends in the following quote, but it applies (and hopefully your potential love is someone you consider a friend, too). So, remember “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to–letting a person be what he really is.”
Stop using distractions to avoid from feeling
Put down the phone, stop trying to deter your mind to work, forget about that conversation you don’t really need to have with your friend later. Instead, focus on what’s in front of you, make your partner a priority and keep that priority alive. The more you try to distract yourself the harder, the more you lose focus the more discouraged you’ll become, which can lead to you making comments or decisions that you will regret.
Embrace feeling vulnerable and falling for someone
Some people absolutely love the feeling of being in love, for others it’s absolutely bloody terrifying. It’s the notion that “if it’s this good, something bad has to happen.” Or “there’s no way this is happening to me.” Believe it. Believe in it. But, also understand that there may be times down the road (or at the beginning for that matter) that you may be feeling more than your partner, but that will bounce around at some point too, where you’ll be feeling less and they’ll be into it more. That’s the cycle. Some people really dig being on the same page all the time and that’s fine, but understanding that relationships are full of highs and lows, moments of fire and fear exist, and that we are all our own humans, should add a layer of hope to combat those negative voices and make sure they don’t creep in as much.
“Love, above all things, is a commitment to your choice” so if you’re ready, make the choice and hold on tight.