Am I Really Settling Or Am I Scared Of Commitment?

Back when I was actively dating, I always found first dates to be fun and exciting. You never know what you’re going to be getting yourself into and in addition to learning about someone new, you actually end up discovering a lot about yourself as well.

On these first dates, you’re trying to get to know people and have them get to know you. When it was my turn to share about my life, I would talk about how I made my way to California, my job, my living situation… You know, the usual topics you discuss on a first date. Generally, I’d end up telling the dates about how much I loved my current living situation because it was a month-to-month lease so I didn’t have to be ‘stuck’ in a one-year lease. On a couple separate occasions the guys would joke that I had commitment issues. I would just giggle, brush it off, and be like nooo

But then after multiple instances of people stating this, I began to think: hmm maybe I do have just a little issue with commitment..?

The other day I was on another one of our weekly (more like every other day) hour-long phone calls with my mom and we got onto the topic of relationships. Particularly, my fear of them. I was telling her about everything that was going on in my love life, how I was kinda-sorta-maybe unsure if I should be falling for someone, and all of the fears I had about potentially getting into a new relationship.

Why have I always been so reluctant to being committed to a person whose company I undoubtedly enjoyed and whose presence made me always look forward to the next time I’d be with him? I told my mom I was scared that I’d be settling, that there could be someone better out there, and that I’d be missing out on what could be if I decided to commit to a guy. Here is what my mom told me:

“Make a list of the top five qualities you want in a partner. If he doesn’t fulfill those qualities, he’s not the one for you. If he does possess all five of your top qualities, then what else are you searching for, Cindy? You’ve got to understand that yes, there will always be someone ‘better’ out there. There will always be someone better looking, someone smarter, or someone more successful, but just because someone is better in one of these aspects, does not mean that they will also possess all of the other top five qualities you are looking for.”

Wow. Okay. My mom is actually so wise.

After speaking with my mom, I took time to figure out and make a list of my top five qualities I’d personally want in a partner. In no particular order, here is what I came up with:

  1. Kind
  2. Honest
  3. Optimistic
  4. Intelligent
  5. Supportive

So this got me thinking… If this person carries all of the top five qualities that are important to me in a partner, wouldn’t that not be considered settling, but instead, hitting the jackpot? Umm, I would say so, right?

It was once so effortlessly simple for me to find little insignificant things that were wrong with the person or the relationship in order for me to leave and call it quits. I always wondered why it was so unusually easy for me to cut ties with someone. Then it dawned on me: it was all due to fear. I was scared of commitment because I wasn’t sure what I wanted or what exactly I was looking for. But it makes sense: why would I want to commit to someone when I myself had no idea what I wanted in a partner?

Once I completed my list, my mom’s words really hit me and made me wonder: I now know what qualities I need in a partner, so what else was there for me to be searching for?


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