A lot of people have fears: flying, heights, spiders & snakes, and deep waters. A relationship can force you to face your fears and when you’re in a healthy relationship you will face them with a trusted partner to hold your hand. Be it taking your first flight or skydiving, petting a snake or holding a spider, snorkeling, or, the biggie… commitment. So many people have a fear of commitment. For some it’s a “fake” fear because they’re more afraid of the unknown while others are completely frightened of spending the rest of their life with just one someone, trusting someone else completely and being vulnerable. How sweet is it to be able to squeeze the hand of your loved one as you face your fear, whether that hand is real or symbolic? It is an experience to have together which will bond you and allow you to be dependent upon someone to help you get through a phobia. There’s no better way to overcome a fear of commitment than to overcome another fear together – it gives you the opportunity to be vulnerable, it forces you to trust and it hopefully makes you want to continue to face other obstacles in the future.
I just read your post “Never Been Married” from January 19 about your friend who met a 40 year old who has never been married or come close to it.
Characterizing those of us who are in our 40s and haven’t married yet as “over the hill” and “too picky until it was too late” is just so biased. There is no age limit or restriction for when people get married. And just because the majority of people do it in their 20s and 30s, doesn’t make the rest of us wrong or abnormal.
Thank you for your email! I completely agree that there’s no age limit and that not having been married by your 40th birthday doesn’t make you abnormal. My concern is when someone reaches the age of 40 and hasn’t been in a serious, long-term relationship. There is someone (or more than one someone) for everyone and some people just meet them later in life. I believe that every relationship throughout your life helps shape the person you are, so it’s imperative to have both made a commitment and have had your heart broken by the age of 40.
It is very common for women to dismiss all men as being afraid of commitment. It seems they use this reasoning whenever they want to diagnose any problem they see in men. If a guy doesn’t want to take a morning jog at seven a.m., he’s afraid of commitment. If a guy doesn’t want to go department store shopping for the better part of a weekend, he’s afraid of commitment. If a guy has been dating a women for ten years, and still won’t propose, he’s afraid of commitment. Okay, I concede on that one.
I may not speak for all men. I may not be speaking for many men. I may be speaking only for myself. I don’t see anything wrong or scary with spending the rest of your life with the woman that you love. I don’t even see anything wrong with spending the rest of your life with the woman that you tolerate. Seriously, dating is hard. The constant fear of rejection and the relentless pursuit of self-perfection gets tiring. They can wear on you until you become irrationally afraid of weekends and of any restaurants that have valet parking. Sometimes, we just want it to be over. I am very much looking forward to becoming fat and apathetic about life. Complacency is my ultimate life goal.
Though I don’t think I am afraid of commitment, I know for sure that I am scared of crazy women. I think that if a woman becomes so sure that any man she dates is scared of settling down, she may work herself up so much that she can come off as insane. If I’m on a date, for example, and the woman starts asking me how many kids I want before our bread arrives, I get scared. This is not because I don’t eventually want kids. This is because we have literally known each other for five minutes and I spent all week obsessively getting ready for this dinner. Right now, I am completely committed to making this dinner as pleasurable as possible for the both of us. You can’t just skip to us having kids. Right now, I’m too focused on trying to figure out how to fill the next two hours with inane small talk to produce another life with you.