Commitment Phobia


1.    the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.:

2.    an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action

Commitment. One word. Two different meanings. Three syllables. A three step process.

Step 1:

Choosing a person to invest in, grow in love with, and laugh through the lows of life with and praying to God that they choose you back.

Step 2:

Establishing boundaries and defining what commitment looks like in your world.

Step 3:

Actually doing the work to bring that commitment to life.

Commitment looks different to everyone and so do the boundaries that go along with it. For some, it’s calling first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed and sending texts throughout the day. For others, it’s consistently making time to hang out or spend together. Some people thrive from commitment. Some love the idea of waking up every single day and knowing that there is one person they have in their corner no matter what. Some people love the thought of commitment and they decide everyday to prioritize their commitment to somebody else.

I respect those people. I admire those people. I wish I was one of those people. I've tried to be one of those people..

In a world filled with superficial attractions, hurt people searching for healing by hurting other people, and play or get played mentalities, finding someone worthy of committing to is a challenge. Step 1 is hard; incredibly hard. So hard that most people spend years trying to get past it. Most people would consider step 1 the hardest part of commitment but, for me.. step 2 and step 3 are much more difficult. I will make it past step 1, gracefully march through step 2, and when step 3 is staring me in my face.. I will run. I don't mean a half walk-half jog trot either. I mean a full on sprint as far away from commitment as possible. I will run before I commit, I will run before I commit, I will run before I commit.

I will be completely honest, raw, and real here. The thought of commitment is terrifying to me, in fact I hate it. I am petrified of it. Commitment is not easy. Life is hard enough, I don’t want to add committing to someone to my never-ending-list of difficult things to tackle. Commitment isn’t just a word. In fact, I don’t even think it should be considered a noun, it is a verb. It requires action, consistent action. It’s not a trend, a game, or something you do just to pass time when you’re bored. It’s a soul agreement that requires sacrifice, compromise, and a certain level of fearlessness. When you commit to somebody else, you’re trusting them with the most precious things you can offer... your time, energy, and love. You can't get those things back either. You’re choosing to invest in a future with somebody else that you can’t even see yet. Commitment is fearlessness in motion.

I can be a lot of things, but I cannot always be fearless. My fearless has boundaries. I can quit jobs without back up plans, jump out of planes, and speak in front of crowds of hundreds of people. I can travel half way across the country by myself, move to a new city alone, and pour my heart out to strangers, but my fearlessness ends there. I am not fearless in love. I am a coward when it comes to commitment. And this fear is more about me than anyone else. I believe the decision to commit is an obligation to somebody else. It’s an obligation to show up and to be present in their life. It requires showing up in somebody’s life, even when it’s ugly, even when it’s hard, even when there’s a million other things you’d rather do. And showing up is a decision you make daily. Deciding to show up every day is only the first step, that kind of decision requires follow through. The desire to be present isn't enough; you must do the work to show up. You must do the work to not overstep boundaries.

My fear of commitment has nothing to do with the person asking me to commit, it has everything to do with my fear of showing up. I am terrified of my inability to be present in someone else’s life. This fear doesn’t stem from heart break or unhealed wounds. I am not hurt or bitter from relationships that just weren’t meant to last; I am afraid that I can’t show up in somebody else’s life every single day in the ways they need me to. Some days I struggle to show up for myself. In a world where I’m constantly struggling to balance my career, side hustles, friendships, and navigating the ups and downs of life, it’s hard enough to be present in all facets of my own life. I am still learning to be gentle with myself on the days that life beats me up; I can’t commit to being someone else’s soft place to land right now. How can I agree to show up for someone else when I struggle to do so for myself? I can’t. I choose not to. In fact, my “cant’s” are just my decisions not to.

Maybe that's a cop out. Maybe I'm letting my fear win. Maybe I just haven’t met the one who makes me want to stare my fear of commitment down and march right through it. Maybe I’m still just trying to figure out what commitment looks like for me in my world. Or maybe I'm a coward when it comes to commitment. But, I am honest and I am brave enough to expose my fears and stand firm in my truths. Even if they are ugly and uncomfortable to say out loud. Some people choose to commit, others choose not too, and then other people, like myself struggle with commitment..all are okay. All are truths we should be brave enough to stand in. There is no cheat code for this, there’s no blueprint, no manual, no life class on commitment. We’re all just doing what works best for us in our personal lives. We're all just trying our hardest not to break our own hearts or anyone else's in the process of figuring it all out.

storiesJayde Ware