What if I told you I had a huge stack of fears and doubts just packed into my head? You’d believe me instantly, I mean, duh. I’m human. But there’s a story I want to tell and a confession I need to make that begins like this:
Nearly four months ago I made a promise to someone very important to me. Knowing that when he finishes his master’s degree, my “significant other” would be moving somewhere else for a job, I told him without hesitation that I’d go anywhere with him. At the time I really meant it. And at the time, I really expected that I’d continue to believe it without a second thought. But the truth is, since then, I’ve had a second thought, and a third, fourth, fifth, and at this point probably two-hundred post-promise thoughts about it. Now, today, I still know I’ll go anywhere with him. That has not changed, not even once. In fact, today I’m even more sure than ever that I’d never choose any other future than one with him. But I have this issue that I must now confess.
Hello Confessions Anonymous, My name is Shelby and I’m a commitment-phobe. … Let that sink in. Yeah, it sounds a little weird, coming from someone who just virtually cemented a promise to spend eternity traipsing all over the earth with the man she loves. But think about it this way. Being a commitment-phobe doesn’t make me incapable of commitment. It doesn’t make me unwanting of commitment. It simply means I’m really, really scared of committing to a long term relationship with anyone. And really, you shouldn’t blame me. I’ve been in a relationship where my spouse erased all illusion of hope by admitting he never loved me. I was dumped by a guy I cared about after I was assaulted by a co-worker because it was too “stressful” for him to know his girlfriend was “damaged goods.” I’ve gone on singular dates with guys who just wanted to roll around horizontally and didn’t like me when I wouldn’t.
Why on earth shouldn’t I be a commitment-phobe? Everyone I’ve ever committed to or thought I could commit to has walked away. Why shouldn’t I be afraid to be with someone, no matter how incredible and loving he is. Now, months later, I’m still scared of everything. I’m afraid of the most committed man in my life (besides my dad) suddenly deciding I’m not worth the effort. I’m scared I’ll scare him away. I’m scared I won’t be enough. But I know I won’t let my fear of committing to him prevent me from doing it anyway. Nothing is worth anything if you’re not willing to give time and trust. Nothing deserves your faith more than the people who put theirs in you. And nothing will stop me from following my heart, because this time I’m pretty sure it’s safe.