Is the stigma behind preferring a single, unattached lifestyle creating problems that may not exist? The term “commitment issues” tossed around as an answer to what may not be an issue at all. We all want different things. Isn’t it possible that fear is a misdiagnosis? What if I’m not scared, I’m just independent? What if my ideal lifestyle doesn’t look like you’d imagine?
My high school and college years I didn’t experiment much with dating. I was semi-promiscuous, interested in male attention and what comes with that, but never had boyfriends or even proper dates. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin and I was still unsure of what could make me happy in my day to day life. I didn’t believe I was attractive or worthy of committing to. Heck, I didn’t even want to commit to myself!
Today, I’m still not quite sure what kind of relationship I expect for myself. Of course, I have needs for intimacy. Loneliness is definitely a factor in living a single life. But, I question what kind of relationship would bring me more joy than the one I have with myself. I am working through my wants and needs, imagining what my ideal relationship goals are and which boundaries or single perks I am willing to sacrifice to find a happy medium. I’m sure it’s possible to find someone with similar views when it comes to space, independence, loyalty, and other values I feel strongly about. Maybe I don’t see myself married with kids and a white picket fence. However, I could see the possibility of a shared home with individual space. My parents travel independently and even have their own spaces within their home to appreciate alone time. They provide an image of marriage that inspires me.
I wonder why being married isn’t an obvious goal to me when I was raised by what feels like the perfect couple. I’ve watched my parents lean on each other through hard times, find joy from each other’s company, make decisions together and grow together. They demonstrate an entirely positive experience, yet the idea of living with another person, or promising someone I want to be with them forever is something I struggle with.
How can I make a promise for forever when I can’t predict the future? Who I am today will be different than who I am in a year, and that is a goal to me. How can I be sure that the growth I am doing will continue to align with the growth of a partner? I want to put my best life first always and adapt and adjust as time moves forward. I also want that from someone I love unconditionally. How can I KNOW that means a relationship for the rest of our lives? Maybe I’m scared of being heartbroken or maybe I’m scared to break hearts. The promise to commit to someone, no matter what the circumstance, is a sacrifice to be made when being in a relationship is a priority. There is a difference between loving and caring for someone unconditionally and the work it takes to maintain a happy, healthy relationship. Relationship hurdles never end and can be extremely challenging to work through. Yes, I might find someone I communicate effortlessly with. We could form a team where our battles are fought together and working through marital struggles is a power we gain strength from. But are these battles necessary to my storyline? I believe my perspective of a relationship can be altered predominately by my preference. However handling roadblocks with a partner, instead of by myself, is inevitable.
Commitment issues are not what’s keeping me single. I simply haven’t found a romantic connection that makes me happier than life by myself. Someone I know I want with me on my journey, no matter what. Someone who adds to the life I’ve created instead of drains it from me. I haven’t met someone who makes me understand that sharing my life is worth the risk. Someone I trust committing to will bring me more joy, growth, and love than being alone. Until I find a relationship that appeals to me, I am more than happy living my life single. Why try to fix a situation that only feels “broken” because of “social norms?” I trust my process. I trust with an open mind and continual self-development and personal growth, no “issues” exist that can stop me from living my best life.