Home Dating apps Carolyn Hax: Is it a commitment issue or a bad taste issue in men?

Carolyn Hax: Is it a commitment issue or a bad taste issue in men?



Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Caroline: I turned 30 last month and always thought that at that age I would be ready to settle down and get married. I’m not even close and I’m starting to wonder if it’s because I’m not fully focused on the man I date whenever the going gets tough.

Thanks to dating apps, there are so many options and I can’t help but think about the possibility that there is someone better for me – someone more caring, funnier, more hot, more in tune with me. It’s not like these thoughts are in the foreground all the time, but I’m usually six months or even a year into a relationship and as soon as we hit a few bumps I start wondering if I’ve really found the good guy.

How do you tell the difference between someone who isn’t long-term compatible with you and you have commitment issues? It took two tries for both my parents to find the right person – could this affect me? In case you’re wondering: Yes, I’ve considered therapy, spoken to a few therapists, still looking for one I like who is available. I also have a great job, hobbies, lots of friends, and I’m pretty happy with my life, but I’d still like to get married and maybe be a mom one day.

Unable to commit: The “someone better for me…more in tune with me” person you’re looking for is probably (ugh) you.

Sorry. So banal. But also so often, again and again and again, the response to someone rushing in search of something and feeling unfocused and dissatisfied. Very often the better answer than “find out what you’re looking for” is “find out why you’re looking so hard in the first place”. Whatever the reason, if you are looking, you are by definition not fully present where you are.

So I urge you to do just that: stop and breathe and be present where you are. Even if you’ve done it once – even if that’s how you got “great job, hobbies, lots of friends” and “pretty happy with my life”, that’s not no small feat, it could just mean that you have to stop and breathe again.

Part of the reason is pragmatic. You want a partner and maybe kids, nothing wrong with that – but they’re not guaranteed either. The only guaranteed life configuration you have is you. So being okay-satisfied-delighted with all of this is quite a winner.

Part of the reason is romantic-pragmatic. The person I suspect you’ll want to keep is the one you notice when you feel so good about your life that you don’t feel any urgency to add someone to it – until the person themselves justifies it. . emergency. Until you can’t imagine life without him. Or just really don’t want to.

  • One thing I found helpful to accept long before I got married is that there will ALWAYS be someone better (funnier, hotter, whatever) out there. The purpose of marriage is not to nab the best, like a trophy. I really think the path to finding the right person is “throwing early, throwing often”. Really. Keep that relationship space open if it’s not occupied by someone really great.
  • The longest relationship I had before I met my husband lasted just over a year. There’s nothing wrong with not trying to force something that creaks at the first sign of pressure.