I Don’t Want to Be in a Committed Relationship Right Now, And That’s Okay

I don’t want to be in a long-term, committed relationship right now, and that’s okay. Maybe things will change in the future; maybe my feelings will change in the future, and I’ll actively pursue a long-term relationship. But for now, I’m not looking for that kind of commitment, and I’m okay with that.

I have my moments where I wish I was in relationships. They’re usually spurred on whenever I see people post their relationship anniversary photos on social media, see a couple walking hand in hand downtown, or read articles on relationship advice. When I see or hear engagement announcements, weddings, or couples starting a family, sometimes I wonder if that’s what I’m supposed to do, supposed to strive for in life.

Sometimes I’ll look at those people and think that they’re so happy because they are together, that being with someone else will infinitely increase your happiness. Sometimes I think that I am doing myself a disservice by not being in a relationship. Sometimes I chastise myself for not “trying harder” to get into relationships with people, for scrolling on dating apps for a few seconds before I give up because I’m just not feeling it. I can’t expect a relationship or be jealous of someone else in one if I’m not actively pursuing one. Relationships are a matter of luck, but they’re also a matter of you being open to opportunities and taking chances. In my case, I haven’t done the latter, which makes me wonder if I’m sabotaging myself when my desire for a monogamous relationship sinks in.

What scares me the most is the idea that I’m afraid of commitment. Long-term relationships are something I’m wary of, especially when I see articles on those kinds of relationships that state that most people are looking for long-term but too many people are afraid to commit. And I think I may be one of them. Committing to a monogamous relationship is asking a lot for someone. Marriage is a lot to ask of someone. It’s asking you to commit to staying with this person for the rest of your life, through good and bad. Breakups and divorces do happen, but that’s never intended. The idea of a committed relationship is that you plan to be with the person for the foreseeable future, and that’s not something I’m ready to commit to.

I’m the type of person who dives headfirst into everything. If I say I’m going to commit to a relationship, I will commit 100% and expect the same of someone else. That’s not a completely realistic expectation, but it’s one I expect my significant other to uphold more often than not. And the only time I dive headfirst into anything, relationships included, is when I know, I truly know, that this is what I want. I have to know that this is a person I want to be with, my ride or die. I have to know that this person is someone I feel comfortable with, someone I trust, and someone I love romantically.

I haven’t met that person yet, and I’m tired of pushing myself to meet that kind of person.

I like exploring and experiencing new things. I love the idea of casual dating, of hanging out with one person for a bit until we both decide to cut it off. I love the idea of meeting multiple people and even doing casual hookups if it’s right for both of us, but not necessarily staying with them long-term. I love the idea of exploring my options. I crave adventure, and a casual relationship is a type of adventure that sounds fun and exciting to me.

I know deep down that it’s fine for me to feel this way and that I don’t have to justify myself to anyone, but sometimes I still feel like I have to. It feels like I’m being told that my relationships aren’t “real,” that they’re simply a sign of yet another Millennial who’s too afraid of commitment, who’s “destroying” what “meaningful” relationships mean in society. It’s ridiculous and I would never judge someone else who feels the same way about relationships that I do, yet I judge myself. 

But I’m a work in progress, no matter how much I want to be perfect, because deep down I know I’ll never be “perfect.” And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think of me, because it’s my life, and the only people I should be listening to are me and the people who care about me. 

So what if I’m afraid of commitment? That’s something I’ll talk to my future partner and therapist about, but not something any stranger has any right to judge. Regardless of whether or not it’s romantic, sexual, platonic, or something in between (or neither of those choices), all relationships are meaningful and deserve to be respected. We can’t judge a relationship based on what we think merits a “legit” relationship. Relationships involve healthy interactions with people, and as long as people are doing that, that’s all that matters.

The truth is, I’m happy on my own. And I’m tired of questioning my choices because I think they’re “wrong.” I want to feel secure in myself and my choices. I want to, above all else, love myself and my life, with all its flaws and imperfections. And as long as I’m living that way, striving to live that way, then I’ll always be living the best life for myself.