Ask Wendy

Why is it Hard to Commit?

Friday, March 6, 2020
Hey Wendy,

I’ve been dating this wonderful man for two years, but I’m having a hard time committing to making a permanent living relationship with him. I wonder, is he on the rebound? Will he tire of me? Will he find someone new? With that kind of thinking, I start to find fault with his habits, which have been deal-breakers for me in other relationships.

I love so much about him. He’s the companion I never had. He loves me as I am. I can be me in all my ‘faulty’ glory. He accepts my love, enjoys my family, he’s a fantastic lover, he’s amazing. So why am I so scared to commit?

Shirley S.

Hey Shirley,

Your guy sounds pretty great! I could give you all kinds of convincing reasons to jump in both feet first, but I’d be troubled if you took my advice over using your own perfectly good intuition. What really has you scared to commit? Look deep. Is your gut trying to tell you something, or is your head just making up stories that aren’t serving you?

Hint: Your head and heart are the least reliable sources for accurate intuition. The heart can flip-flop. The brain gets confused, conflicted and, said simply, plain makes shit up. Listen to your gut. Your gut knows. If it doesn’t have anything to say, that means you don’t have enough information yet.

Here are some of my gut-level answers to your commitment questions – check them out before you go any further:

Is he on the rebound?

A rebound, by definition, doesn’t last over two years—unless he’s been detached and/or checked out for the entire time. Two years is not a rebound, it’s a relationship.

Will he tire of you?

He might…if you’re tiring. It doesn’t sound like you guys have this problem though. You don’t have to be the life of the party every moment of every day to sustain a relationship. What gets tiring is being with someone who is chronically unhappy. What’s tiring is hearing the same complaints over and over. What’s tiring is someone who doesn’t want to connect, be involved, or do things together.

What’s enlivening is living with someone who mostly brings harmony to the home, speaks up with kindness and clarity when things need adjustments or changes, and from time to time, is interested in bringing something new and interesting to the table, like a discussion about our culture’s latest hot topic or a plan or new idea for something fun to do or an improvement for the home or relationship. If you two are committed to keeping things engaged and enlivened between you, then this isn’t going to be an issue.

Will he find someone new?

He might. Just like you might. There are no guarantees in life. My hunch is he won’t be on the hunt for someone new anytime soon, since you two seem like you’re super into each other. Still, you two will need to figure out exactly what you’re committing to in your relationship, and what fidelity looks like to each of you. But if you picked someone who means well even if he’s rough around the edges in places, who has high levels of integrity, and who loves you, flaws and all, then chances are he’s sticking around for the long haul.


Now, here’s how you sort out your deal-breakers with him: Take them one at a time and ask yourself, “Would I rather be alone than live with this thing he does (or doesn’t do)?” Run each item through that little test, and by the end, you’ll know if you’re settling in or if you’re walking.

Happy relationshipping!

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