As the days get longer and the birds start singing earlier and earlier, it is impossible to deny that spring is in the air and summer is beckoning. As I was dusting off my collection of sandals, I began thinking that April showers not only bring us an abundance of May flowers, but also wedding bells! There is something about the warm weather that both seduces and charms us into a romantic frame of mind. I often wonder how many warm-weather romances actually end with ringing bells and white dresses. It got me to thinking about just what it is that gives couples that lasting power, and how that type of commitment evolves.
I had my daughter and her friends over the other night for dinner and one of her girlfriends was a self-prescribed “commitaphobe,” who finally found the man with whom she felt she could spend the rest of her life. While she claimed to be content and in love, she couldn’t help but feel some of those old doubts creeping into her mind. I can’t tell you how many women and men contact me daily about the same issues!
No matter what side of the relationship you are on, it is important that couples strive to open the lines of communication so that together you can address the issue and distinguish some factors that may be causing a fear of commitment. While this may be a difficult conversation to have, it is better to lay all of the cards out early so that if one of you decides that a long-term commitment is not for you, the other person’s heart will have time to heal. Conversely, someone who remains in a long-term relationship with a person who is unwilling to take things to the next level is simply enabling the commitaphobe. It is not fair that you give so much of yourself without receiving the same respect in return, especially when the situation has been addressed.
Finally, it is important to distinguish whether or not you are experiencing a fear of “forever” or a fear of forever with that particular person. Truth be told, I know from experience that many people, both men and women commonly come down with a case of cold feet before getting married. This is a time when many of our anxieties come to a head, and they may not even deal directly with our partners. Weddings are very stressful events for the bride and groom, and often our fears subside after the big day. The thing is, we all must ultimately examine ourselves. We attract people based on the way we see ourselves and our goals. Recognizing what we want and need will surely determine whether we will hear wedding bells in the near, or not so near future!