This weekend, I was with my sister, catching up after a few weeks of busy. She told me all about her new boyfriend (she always seems to be dating somebody), and I took her to the spot where I regularly flirt with the sales guy. (It's my definition of speed dating.)
After we left, she insisted I ask him out the next time I stop by, but I explained why I hadn't. In short: Dudes freak me out, and I'm terrified of commitment.
Are you a commitment-phobe too? Are maybe you're afraid you might be in a relationship with one? Well, here's the typical life cycle of a relationship. If this one sounds like you, you might have some commitment issues you have to work out. (Also, I'm writing this from a female's perspective, but feel free to flip it and reverse it as needed, guys.)
1. You're the perpetually single friend.
Maybe you go on a couple dates here and there, maybe you're even considered the biggest flirt among your friends, but you can count how many 'serious' relationships you've had on one hand and how many lasted more than six months on even less.
2. Dating for the sake of dating feels like a waste.
Do you know how many hours you waste every week that you're in a relationship? Do you know how much more productive you would be if you stayed single? All the most influential people have spent their lives single. Take Mother Teresa, Big Bird, or Jesus, for example.
3. You get a crush, and it feels like death.
Whenever you get a crush on someone, you get a strange feeling in your stomach - and it's definitely not butterflies. It's actually bad gas. When you're a commitment-phobe, you're allergic to crushes because it means you're vulnerable to a potential relationship.
4. It's even worse when they like you back.
This is that awkward stage where you both keep going back and forth, and there's a lot of gross feelings, and sometimes you're really stoked to hang out with them, and then other times the commitment-phobe in you is like "CAN YOU LEAVE ME ALONE?"
5. More progress = more boundaries.
When you finally feel yourself falling into the routine of a normal relationship, you freak out because your brain rethinks about all the time you're wasting being lovey dovey when you could be out discovering cures for cancer, running for office, or becoming 'New Oprah'.
6. You start pulling away.
You stop responding to texts as quickly as you normally would. You begin blowing off plans. When they say something sweet to you, you just sort of laugh awkwardly and tease them about it. Basically, you're beginning to 'ghost' and not in that cute Patrick Swayze way.
7. "Hey, whatever happened to that guy you were dating?"
You did it. You're free. Your relationship shifted from 'What are we?' to 'Where did you go?' to 'What? Why? How?'. You tell your friends that he turned out to be 'so clingy' and 'such a psycho' when he really just liked you and you're too much of a jerk to handle intimacy.
8. You try again later.
Blame it on the forces of nature, but it's only inevitable for you to become interested in someone else again. And somehow, you find it in yourself to believe that this time will be 'different' and better than the last. That is, until you screw it all up again.
In short, it'll be okay. Whether you eventually find an 'other half' or spend your life single, no one should ever make you feel like what you're doing is the wrong way to live your life.
However, if you're a commitment-phobe, stop tugging around those hopeless romantics. That stuff's really painful!
And if you're one of those hopeless romantic types that ARE dating or WILL date a commitment-phobe, don't give up hope. Slow and steady wins the race. (Okay, not too steady. Consistency in relationships freaks us out.)