The Overly-Committed Commitment-phobe

17 Sep

I have a problem. I mean, I’ve got lots, who doesn’t? This problem though is one I’ve started to grasp over the last year and it’s leaving me in a bit of a limbo.

My name is Sara, and I am a commitment-phobe. I have a fear of commitment, because I know when I commit, I over-commit.

I know, I’m ridiculous. I need to get my head on straight. If one is afraid to commit they just don’t, right? I wish.

I realized that I’m a very loyal person. When I say I am going into something, I’m all in. Through high school and college I got myself so involved that I was barely keeping my head above water. Even things I didn’t want to do I would say yes- and then never back out because I committed to it. I was so stressed out and emotionally struggling but I had no idea why. Not until my first true bout of freedom the summer after my grad-school year.

When I moved to Costa Rica to teach- that’s all I had to do. Teach. (Teachers, calm down, this includes the billion other responsibilities we have..). I felt so relieved to finally be able to focus on one main thing, that I felt under accomplished not being the head of something, or involved in 3 other committees or activities. I was a first year teacher though, and that was proving to be work enough for me despite my overactive past.

A parent asked me that first-year to tutor her child. Sure! Some extra cash, a little more involvement, sign me up. Turns out she wanted me to babysit her child from 7pm-11pm 3 nights of the school week and parts of my weekend. I didn’t find out these details until later, but at this point I had already said yes, and, you guessed it- I stuck it out because I had committed. My teacher friends, who thankfully have a little more backbone and logic than I do told me that I had to back out. That it just wasn’t reasonable and I was not some high-school kid looking to make a buck- I was an education professional and should be doing work as such. I found her a replacement and quit. This is the first time I’ve ever backed out of anything (except for my 8th grade school play…). Everything else in my life I’ve only ended because of the inevitable need to move onto the next stage of life, the time-period allotted ends, or I move.

Ever since I realized this habit of mine, I’ve been afraid to commit to anything.

  • A place to live that’s not for rent or lease? Forget it … I’m not ready to live in one place!
  • A job in the states? I’m pretty sure I fled the country not just for travel, but because I was afraid that once I settled down I’d never leave. I’ll be that teacher who’s been there for 50 years and everyone thinks needs to retire. And I’ll hate myself everyday not for my job but for not getting out there and DOING more.
  • Relationships? Ppsh, not unless I think we’re getting married. Not that I want to get married, but if you’re not freaking awesome and I can’t see the long-term with you I’m probably out. Once I’m in, I’m usually in until you break-up with me. No matter how unhappy things are. Sorry, sounds crazy but it’s that commitment issue again. (Although I think I’m starting to make progress on this one..)

“The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.” -Martina Navratilova

So, my dear readers. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

  • Feeling trapped
  • Anxiety
  • Loathing
  • Exhaustion
  • Disappointment

If so, you may be suffering from Overly-Committed Commitmentphobia.

Best of luck.


One Response to “The Overly-Committed Commitment-phobe”


  1. Progress Achieved: Now Please Return to Square 1 | Reviving the Spark - February 19, 2014

    […] back in September 2013 I published a post called “The Overly-Committed Commitmentphobe” where I […]

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