I’ve been in a decisive mood lately, which is so very rare.
Decision 1: I’ve decided to start a regular Top 10 list – on a variety of topics. There’s something about the neatness and clarity of listing things that peaks my interest and appeals to my OCD side. Ever been to a website that presents information in these long, almost-no-punctuation-constant-scrolling-omg-too-much-information-overload paragraphs? Drives me bonkers.
Decision 2: I want my first Top 10 list to be about commitment issues. I received a text from a friend yesterday indicating that after several grueling years of dating her boyfriend, he has officially indicated that he wants to commit to her. I say grueling because he’d talk about marrying her one day then break up with her the next. He’d admit that he loved her, and then decide that they should probably just be friends. Once it finally hit him how much my friend meant to him (cue light bulb and a host of angels singing “Halleluiah”), he decided it was time to commit.
“I don’t know how to feel right now,” my friend texted me. “I’ve spent so long hoping for this to happen, I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I need a nap.”
And with that, we go to my list. Based on data from our Fear of Relationship Commitment Test, these are the Top 10 reasons why some men and some women are afraid to commit:
Top 10 reasons why men are afraid to commit:
10) 80% of commitment-phobic men are afraid that if they commit, they’ll end up messing something up and cause the relationship to end.
9) 82% of commitment-phobic men don’t like the idea of having to put their partner’s needs before their own.
8) 83% of commitment-phobic men are afraid of getting too attached to someone.
7) 83% of commitment-phobic men worry that a committed relationship won’t be as good as they imagine it will be.
6) 83% of commitment-phobic men are afraid that committing to a relationship will interfere with or put off the goals they want to accomplish.
5) 83% of commitment-phobic men are afraid of losing their privacy.
4) 85% of commitment-phobic men are afraid of making a mistake; they’re worried that the person they choose to commit to will not be the right person for them in the long-run.
3) 86% of commitment-phobic men don’t like the idea of a partner becoming dependent on them, financially or emotionally.
2) 92% of commitment-phobic men are afraid of losing their freedom or identity.
1) 95% of commitment-phobic men don’t like the added responsibility of keeping up a committed relationship. Let’s face it: relationships take a lot of work.
Top 10 reasons why women are afraid to commit:
10) 83% of commitment-phobic women don’t like the idea of having to depend on their partner financially and emotionally.
9) 83% of commitment-phobic women are worried that committing to partner will prevent them from meeting someone better.
8) 83% of commitment-phobic women have trust issues.
7) 86% of commitment-phobic women are concerned that a committed relationship won’t be all it’s cracked up to be.
6) 87% of commitment-phobic women are worried about losing their privacy.
5) 88% of commitment-phobic women don’t like the extra effort and work needed to maintain a committed relationship.
4) 88% of commitment-phobic women worry about getting too attached to a partner.
3) 90% of commitment-phobic women are afraid that the partner they choose to commit to will be the wrong person for them.
2) 90% of commitment-phobic women are afraid that a committed partner will become financially and emotionally dependent on them.
1) 93% of commitment-phobic women are afraid that they’ll lose their freedom or identity once they commit to someone.
“The philosopher Odo Marquard has noted a correlation in the German language between the word zwei, which means ‘two,’ and the word zweifel, which means ‘doubt’ – suggesting that two of anything brings the automatic possibility of uncertainty to our lives. Now imagine a life in which every day a person is presented with not two or even three but dozens of choices, and you can begin to grasp why the modern world has become, even with all its advantages, a neurosis-generating machine of the highest order. In a world of such abundant possibility, many of us simply go limp from indecision. Or we derail our life’s journey again and again, backing up to try the doors we neglected on the first round, desperate to get it right this time. Or we become compulsive comparers – always measuring our lives against some other person’s life, secretly wondering if we should have taken her path instead.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage