Scary. For the first time in my life I am experiencing an involuntary aversion to commitment. I now understand (I think) why so many men (and women too) stay single. It’s not JUST about the sense of free will I am taking full advantage of, but that is certainly a major part. I actually realized what I’ve been feeling when someone asked me, “Why does monogamy scare you?” and that gave me pause.
Well, to be clear, it’s not actually monogamy with which I have a problem. It’s the feelings that now arise at the thought of it. For instance, the other night I believe my first thought was, “It feels weird to be this comfortable with someone.” That doesn’t happen with every guy I meet, but it comes up more frequently than it ever did. And I’m finding it a little surprising mostly because, as my psychologist said, I’m well equipped to “attach” quickly and love well.
Basically, I fall in love pretty easily. It can be a great thing but it also comes with the wild roller coaster of fleeting relationships that usually end as soon as the guy realizes that I’m making him approach the danger zone of “commitment.”
So, you can probably understand why someone like me would be a little shocked and confused when I start sensing internal brakes screeching to a halt as I’m curling up on the couch with someone and my palms start to sweat at the thought of falling into the same deep crevasse of comfort, familiarity, and…commitment. My first line of reasoning of course starts with a fear of being hurt again. Of being absolutely certain, once more, that THIS guy is IT, and then it shattering as the floor rises up quickly to meet a falling me. I know this is normal. Everyone can agree that getting back in the saddle on a horse that bucked is nerve-racking.
Interestingly though, the greater fear for me lies in repeating my same bad habits, my same mistakes. I have had the tendency to completely consume myself in another person so much that I forget myself, who I am, and what I want. As I was recently told, it can be deemed as “satisficing.” Basically, lowering your standards, making excuses for the other person, to delude yourself into contentment (not happiness). I don’t ever want that again. As my sister commented, “If you don’t look out for your best interests, who will?”
Now that I’ve realized this, I’ve begun to delve more into my feelings and involuntary reactions and I’m finding that my aversion lies in yet another corner. I’m afraid of becoming (or rather returning to) being static. By static I mean many things. I don’t want to be complacent, settled in with such familiarity that excitement is gone. Now that I’ve been single for a bit of time, I’ve come to enjoy the excitement of meeting new people at every turn, reacquainting myself with me through them, as well as enjoying each new personality. Because I don’t believe that self-cultivation can occur in a vacuum. I need others who can openly give advice, provide feedback, and just offer their perspective based on their experiences.
While at the beginning of my new life pursuit I was skeptical that I would be happy along this path, I have finally found relief in personal enlightenment and ultimate success. To be specific – I can honestly say that I “Love” someone (see earlier blog entry “love, Love, LOVE”). But I can also just as honestly say that I will not sacrifice my current convictions of leading a discretionary non-monogamous life because I am not ready. I’ve surprised myself with the ability to embrace my own newly developed definitions. How amazing!