The Thrill of the Chase
By Emily, age 21, Newfoundland
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
For a really long time, I have been fabulously single. I tell all my friends that I'm happy and that I'm not looking for a guy, but sometimes I really miss having an intimate relationship with someone. I do miss having someone to go home to, to go to sleep with, and most of all, someone to tell my day to. There's only one problem: I have a commitment phobia.
It started with my old boyfriend. He and I were together for almost two years, and after a messy but mutual break-up, there have been no more boyfriends in my life. That was four and a half years ago.
At first I put the blame on wanting to re-establish myself as an individual. After all, for two years I'd been known as "Adam's Girlfriend". I'd ceased to have my own name. So I took two years to reclaim myself, and after that I thought I was ready to date again.
Then I went to university and I had all this hope for the new Emily, the one who could be in a relationship and keep her identity. So, as I went through the list of guys I was seeing, which included Josh, the well-off electrician, Daniel, the sweet engineering major, and my cat's meow, Walter, who was surprisingly only two years older than me, I started placing the blame on the guys. After all, they were all really strange. Josh was respectful, but I suspected that he smoked a lot of pot. Daniel was home-schooled until the 9th grade, was socially awkward, and occasionally used recreational drugs. Walter was, well, an ass. But then it dawned on me that I had my doubts before I ever really got to know them. In fact, I was fighting with my brain to let me "finally like this one". So maybe the problem was me?
Putting all the knowledge I knew about myself onto the table, very slowly and painfully I realized that I had a commitment phobia. Even the nicest guys I met were unacceptable. My brain simply wouldn't let me be happy. The only thing that made me happy was the process of figuring out whether they actually liked me or were just interested in other things. So not only did I have a phobia of commitment, I also had an addiction to the thrill of the chase.
So now I'm in my third year of university and I'm still alone. Usually it doesn't bother me, but other times when I see my friends and how happy they are with their boyfriends, I get jealous. They have someone to do things for them, or someone to sleep with at night, or someone to go home to. I'm the only one left in my group with no one.
Some people tell me that this will pass, but I'm starting to worry that it won't. I'm 21 and I haven't been in a functional committed relationship in four and a half years, and I wonder, what's so great about the thrill of the chase anyway?