I have a confession. I am a commitment-phobe. Yes that’s a thing, and yes it does tend to cause problems. It causes problems in a lot of aspects of life! I tend to think of myself of a person who doesn’t plan ahead, and what kind of non-planner commits to anything really?! I’m not really sure what the point of writing about this is yet, but maybe somebody somewhere will get something out of it!
Let’s look first at the root of my problem. I’m a military brat. Yep, that means I moved a few times growing up. How does that relate to a phobia of commitment, you ask? Well, aside from my family, I’ve had no sense of permanence in my life. The longest I’ve lived in one house continuously is seven years of my childhood in Silverdale, WA. That’s less than a third of my life! I have friends, maybe some of you reading this, that lived in the same house from the time they were born until they left for college. That is a completely foreign and absolutely terrifying idea to me! Making a commitment seems to me like a lifetime thing, and I don’t understand things that last a lifetime!
What parts of my life does this affect? Quite a few! From small things like planning out an outfit or meal the day before to big things like relationships. Let’s start with the small stuff. Okay, I’m not actually afraid of planning an outfit the day before, but I am 98.7% likely to change my mind the day of. I’d rather just choose something that I feel like wearing at the moment I’m getting dressed. Planning meals is a very similar concept. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve thawed something out and changed my mind on what I want to eat at the last minute. Obviously not being able to commit to an outfit or meal is not going to change my life, it’s just annoying.
Relationships on the other hand are a bigger deal, both platonic and romantic. My longest running friendships of people that I would still consider good friends are about eight to nine years in the making. (Shout out to Sarah and Chase!) That’s not to say that I don’t make friends with people, my friendships just tend to be short lived because I don’t commit to them. Here’s an example. Two years ago, I began volunteering with Youth Encounter on a ministry team. (Feel free to ask me more about it sometime!) About twenty-five us, split into four different teams, all spent one month of training together before going our separate ways. I had this mindset of not needing to commit to forming relationships with anyone outside of the other five people on my team because I would only be with them for a month and a handful of other times throughout the year. I just didn’t see the point. I did come out of that year with some solid friendships thanks to an eventual change of mind, but I know I missed out on cultivating more great friendships because of my fear of committing time to people who I didn’t think would be permanently in my life.
As far as romantic relationships, its a whole different ball game. I’ve had more platonic relationships than I can count, and zero romantic. It’s really not for lack of opportunity, though I used to believe it was. My lack of commitment is strong in this department! At twenty-six years old, if I get into a relationship I feel like I should want it to end in marriage. That’s what everyone says at this point in there life, but that’s terrifying! Marriage=permanence=scary! Don’t get me wrong, I get crushes just like any other girl out there, but once they start getting too close, I’ll push them away. Usually I’ll do this by either cutting off communication or blatantly acting disinterested, even if I actually am interested. It’s something that happens sub-consciously, but I am attempting to be more self-aware. This is definitely the aspect of my life that I think is most affected by my phobia!
There you have it folks; confessions of a commitment-phobe! I’m not sure if there was even a point in writing this, but I hope you were at least somewhat entertained by my shortcomings! And if you want to offer up any advice on how to not be a commitment-phobe, have at it!