A little over a month ago, I went on a rather impromptu first date with a guy I‘m currently seeing. And on the night of our rendezvous, I had an unseemly black eye. In most cases, I would have simply rescheduled after the swelling on my face looked less like a botched Botox job. But the guy and I conversed on the phone a few times and he’d given off really good vibes. I decided to take a chance and go anyway.
For fear of looking too much like a Chris Brown and Rihanna rematch, we opted for takeout at his apartment instead of venturing out in public. And neither the apartment setting nor the black eye seemed to put a damper on the getting-to-know-you conversation. In fact, the story surrounding the facial swelling prompted a humorous conversation about my most recent relationship history. Unfortunately, the last guy I dated instigated a drunken brawl between my sister and I (over an iPod he refused to return). Needless to say, my sister and I made up—but I don’t see much of a future with Mr. Get-me-punched-in-the-face.
In between bites of shrimp Alfredo, my new friend listened to me carefully, laughed when appropriate, and lent his honest criticism.
“I think you have commitment issues”, he’d said. Knowing me for about a week—maybe, he addressed me with an undeniable certainty that made me actually consider the thought. Sure, we exchanged a few evil ex stories but what exactly in my past pointed directly to commitment issues? Those guys had wronged me, not the other way around! Commitment issues? Me? But women don’t have those.
I always thought most women had their weddings planned out by age 4. But a little research showed pre-pre-nuptial cold feet is a common thing for the modern woman. According to Audrey Chapman, author of Seven Attitude Adjustments to Finding a Loving Man, women got a little more than we bargained for after the movement for equality (check out her Q&A talking about commitment on the Discovery Health website http://tiny.cc/4ym7m). Chapman claims that the new opportunities women have to excel career-wise have women avoiding marriage just as much as men. So along with other un-pleasantries like their ability to pick up the tab, today’s women have also inherited men’s commitment issues (Isn’t “liberation” great?). Chapman goes on to describe the four types of commitment-phobic women.
The “Pity Party-Goer”. She’s got a classic case of what Chapman deems the self-fulfilling prophecy of dating, choosing all the Mr. Wrongs just to reiterate a deep down belief that relationships will not work. And doing things this way, she always manages to prove herself right.
The “Boomerang”. She continually goes back to that one lousy boyfriend she’s had since elementary school. They break up and get back together more than cheap jewelry. But she stays with the loser just to avoid a real relationship.
The “Detective”. This woman is on a never-ending search for perfection, keeping her from committing to anything solid. Her dream man is the best at everything. Regrettably, however, Mr. Perfect is just that—a dream.
The “Picky Picker”. Unlike the rest of these women, she tends to end up with good men. But she picks at them like a picky eater picks at her food, finding fault where there is none.
If you feel anything like I felt after reading this, your jaw just dropped to the floor. Its okay, pick it up and own your phobia. Hi, my name is Passion and I am a “Pity Party-Goer”. All this time I thought Mr. Right evaded me when really, I must have leaped a little too willingly into the arms of Mr. Wrong. And although my misadventures make great stories, it seems these jerks have all been a subconscious effort to avoid real commitment. So what’s next on the quest to becoming someone’s Mrs. Right? Well I don’t know yet. But I do know I will be seeing a lot more of this new guy.