A Different Fear of Commitment
Jonathan Torres- Contributor
I feel like I should be sitting in some circle in a nondescript class or meeting room, surrounded by faces I don’t know each looking as guilty as I. I’m Jonathan; I’m 30 years old and have never been married. The next part is a bit confusing though. Although a 30 year old single male with no kids isn’t as rare as it used to be, I was recently accused of having a fear of commitment by an ex-girlfriend, of course. Short history lesson: Lost my job, lost a close friend who seemingly may have taken her own life and my grandfather was in his final days in the hospital. In the heat of an argument, I took my relationship down with everything else life had and was taking from me.
In one of the many subsequent post-break up battles a set of words were spoken that I couldn’t recall ever having heard before. “You’re just afraid of commitment!” she said. Here’s where it gets confusing. Sure, I was 30; I’d lived with a couple long-term girlfriends and was even engaged to one of them for a couple years. Was she saying that because I freaked out as my world was falling apart and I realized she was basically moving in at the same time? No, that was too easy. She was alluding to the fact that I also blew up my engagement (twice) and never even got close to planning the big day. Now we’re getting somewhere.
There’s nothing like the passing of one of your closest elders when you’re starting to hit your stride as an adult to make you analyze and re-analyze your life like the overnight reruns of Sportscenter™. My grandfather’s passing was the loss of the first significant male figure in my life. I had some thinking to do. Why wasn’t I married? Should I be? If I did have a fear of commitment, where would it have started? My parents divorced around the 21st year of my life, it wasn’t necessarily a surprise, my dad screwed up. I’d learned then of a younger half sister, conceived through infidelity, of only 5 years of age at the time that had been residing only a block away from where we vacationed every year. The week following my grandfather’s passing, I finally grasped the reality that he too had given me a half aunt at some point during the early days of his marriage to my grandmother.
As ridiculous as it may sound, it doesn’t stop there. I could point to almost every marriage within my immediate and extended family over the past few generations and show you fewer successful marriages than I could count on a single hand. Infidelity, it turns out, runs as thick through my blood as my Colombian accent. So is it really a fear of commitment, or a fear of failure? Am I genetically destined to be in a failed marriage? I am looking forward to the day I get married and have some kids of my own, but will I be able to break the cycle or is history determined to repeat itself? I guess until I jump in the deep end of the pool I won’t truly know if I can swim.
To the bride and groom,