Four steps for even the most stubborn commitment-phobes.
How do I deal with my fear of commitment? It's not an easy journey; it's not something that changes overnight, but with conscious efforts , we can get closer to letting go, closer to surrender. After all, a fear of commitment is nothing more than a fear of letting oneself go.
This list is not exhaustive and is not just for him; it's for me and everyone else who has held back whether in a relationship or outside of one. This is for everyone who wants a real, supportive, loving relationship that fosters growth and independence, which fosters staying in the present, kindness, safety and peace and ultimately a relationship which really and truly works for you.
1. Stop asking for phone numbers from girls you don't intend to call. This is so dishonest. Your self-protective, scared-to-death ego with all its games and masks have got the real you buried so deep under all that muck that if the real thing came and knocked on your door, you'd be too messed up to see it or know it. For everyone else, this means recognizing all the behaviors you do to make yourself feel good in the moment, which really don't serve you any real purpose in the end, than perhaps breaking a bunch of hearts or making yourself unhappy.
2. Stop lying to yourself. What are you telling yourself versus what is going on in a deeper level? Do you constantly compare yourself to your friends in relationships and size them up and compare your single life to theirs? What purpose does this serve? Are you building a case? Are you doing this solely to make yourself feel better? What do their relationships mean to you? Everyone's idea of relationships may be different.
I recognize many people follow the crowd when it comes to monogamous relationships. I tend to feel suffocated by the expectations based on societal assumptions. And while this may work for many other people, it doesn't work for me, and that is okay. This doesn't mean you have to disregard relationships all together. Yes, this may mean finding a partner for you is more of a challenge but that is quite a different thing than just saying, "I love being single," if it's only half true. Finding the relationships that work for you may just mean recognizing that you can work towards creating what works for you. It doesn't just happen.
3. Get your self-esteem boost in ways that don't involve other people's feelings. Go to the gym, write a book, join an art class, what are you good at? What do you love to do? Get out there and do it. Whether people accept you or reject you doesn't change who you are. If what people think about you is something you struggle with, then you a lot less likely to let go. The irony of this is that you are the most critical judge. So judge yourself on the things you do have control of.
4. Take care of yourself. This means eating healthy, possibly avoiding alcohol, drugs, caffeine or sugar, getting exercise, getting fresh air, spending time with caring, kind individuals and, most of all, relaxing.
When you meet someone interesting and you are not catering to your ego, your lies, your self protective mechanisms and games of shunning all relationships, when you are working on yourself to get what you need, you will naturally be more relaxed, more creative, more of a problem-solver, more at ease and less worried about clinging to your walls. You're more likely to smile and be yourself.
Moushumi Ghose is a Los Angeles based Sex Therapist. Please visit her website at www.LASexTherapist.com. She is the author of Marriage, Money and Porn, available on Amazon. Moushumi is the co-host of The Sex Talk, a web-series dedicated to sex, dating and relationships.