Hi, my name is Kris, and I’m a commitment phobe.

Commitment. It’s a big word. It’s a scary word. It’s a word that fills me with anxiety and makes me second guess everything I know. Why, you may ask? Good question. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the first guy I ever had real feelings for led me on and made me believe that I had a chance and then changed his mind. Maybe it’s because the first guy I loved told me he’d love me forever the night before he broke up with me. Maybe it’s because I’m too scared to open myself up to another person when I can barely even be honest with myself half the time. Or maybe it’s just the way I am. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-relationship. Quite on the contrary, actually, I would love to be in a healthy, happy relationship with someone who cares about me. So why is it, then, that anytime a guy brings up the “what are we” conversation, I clam up and shut down and avoid the question? Is there some part of me deep down that doesn’t want me to be happy? Is it because I’m scared of having something (or someone) to lose? Is it a fear of vulnerability? Whatever it is, I wish it would go away.

I’m currently dating a guy that I went to high school with. Actually, I’m dating the same guy that led me on and broke my heart in high school. In an effort to clarify the situation a little, here is a brief timeline of our history together:

Grade 9: We meet, our friend groups merge and we start getting to know each other.
Grade 10: We talk a lot (over MSN because that was still a thing at the time) and I realize I’m starting to like him as more than a friend. Over the summer, we talk and hang out a lot and I start to think that maybe, just maybe, he might like me too. I don’t do anything about it.
Grade 11: In the fall, he starts to date one of our mutual friends. I’m a little upset, but we still talk and he is still one of my good friends. In the winter, they break up. We start talking more and more and we start hanging out. We kiss. We hold hands. He says maybe we should just be friends. We stop talking. In the spring, we start talking again. He asks me out again. I say yes. We kiss. We hold hands. He changes his mind. Again. We stop talking.
Grade 12: Our friends are all still the same and so we still see each other around and hang out together, but we rarely talk to each other alone anymore. We graduate. I move away for university.
First year: I meet a guy. We sleep together. We have fun. I get a message from an old friend that makes me question our relationship. We talk for a few days and then not for the rest of the year. By Christmas, I am calling the new guy my boyfriend.
Second year: My boyfriend and I break up.
Third year: Single.
Fourth year: Still single.
Grad School: I move closer to my hometown for a masters program. Over Christmas break, I get a message out of the blue from him. We catch up. We spend New Years Eve together (with friends). He flirts. I flirt back. We continue to talk a lot. He asks me out. I say yes. We go on our first official date. We hold hands. He kisses me goodbye. We keep talking. We go on a second date, and a third. We make out. We have movie night at my apartment. We have sex. He asks what we are. I say I don’t know. We have sex again. He tells me I’m beautiful.
Now: We talk every day. I want to trust him. I keep waiting for him to change his mind. I want to define the relationship. I can’t bring myself to bring it up. We’re basically dating, but I don’t know if I can call him my boyfriend. I don’t know if I want to call him my boyfriend. What have I gotten myself in to?

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