“I’m afraid of commitment”. Quite frankly I’m tired of hearing this bullshit. What does it even mean?

It’s yet another emotional epidemic amongst Gen Y – and forgive me for talking in broad strokes here but I feel this one particularly affects the male of the generation.  

Before I begin, let me get something straight, I’m not saying that consciously knowing and choosing to not be in a monogamous relationship is a bad thing. Far from it. More power to you if you know want you want and are clear about that. If you enjoy, ahem, sowing your wild oats, and you’re doing it in a safe, healthy way that’s honest and fair to your bed partners then by all means, go ahead. Fill your boots. You certainly don’t need my permission! But that’s not being “afraid” of commitment.

However, it is kind of worrying that it’s become cool to be seen as a person who doesn’t want to knuckle down to the serious business of what it takes to be in a committed, loving, fulfilling relationship. Worse still, someone who proudly and openly labels that as a “fear” and trots out the old clichéd line at every opportunity. Particularly in the presence of new female company, lest she should fall at your feet and want to snag you with the ol’ ball and chain after one whiff of your Cool Waters.

I feel like “I’m afraid of commitment” as well as couple of other classics - “I have intimacy issues”. “I don’t know who I am / want I want / what to do…” - have become slogans of my generation and, you know what, as long as we keeping repeating this crap we’ll keep believing it

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I’m afraid of commitment” or
“I have intimacy issues” or “I don’t know who I am or want I want or what to do…

In fact, outside of cases where a person may have a very legitimate excuse in the form of some serious past abuse that continues to affect them on a deep psychological level, I believe these are stories we have sold to ourselves to keep us on the plane of the superficial. Because honestly, when you really get your teeth into the meat of life, it is more difficult. The lows are low.

But the flipside of getting your hands dirty and throwing everything you’ve got at life, physically, mentally and emotionally, is that the highs are literally incomparable. In my experience it is true that you cannot taste the sweetest of highs until you have touched the equivalent depths going South. There seems to be something about my generation that is afraid of the real experience of life. Afraid of hard work, and true love, bitter pain and the elation of the comeback. Content rather to augment reality with drugs and alcohol and Instagram, for that all important quick fix. 

And so this brings me back to my least favourite phrase of the moment: “I’m afraid of commitment”. If this is something you make a habit of saying, can we make a deal right here, right now? Just say what you actually mean instead, so that you and those that have the mixed blessing of coming into your sphere of romantic influence can get on with their lives without having to write a blog post about it.  

Do you mean you don’t want to be in a relationship? Do you mean you want to be in a relationship but don’t want to get married? Maybe you mean you’d like to try an open relationship? Or maybe you really do mean that you have a deep-seated fear of commitment. In which case, please stop wearing it like a badge of pride, something you say with a smirk on your face at parties or after sexy time with your freshest notch on the bed post. It’s dull. And if it’s true, isn’t about time you grew up, took some responsibility for your emotional health and stopped carrying it round like a fucking suitcase so you could get some help? 

 

 

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