A very exciting thing happened today. My brother, Bil got engaged to Hannah, who will make a perfect addition to the Blanchette Fambly. In fact, this engagment marks the eighth(?) couple I know that has gotten engaged this summer. Apparently love is in the air for everyone around me. Needless to say, I\’ve been thinking a lot more about weddings recently and the marriage that follows such an occasion which has led inevitably to thinking about commitment (dun dun duuun).
I\’m going to level with you right now, and if you know me well, I\’m sure you know that I am both 1) a very committed and loyal person to those who are dear to me and 2) a complete commit-a-phobe. These two attributes don\’t seem like they can exist simultaneously and only really make sense when my sixness personality is taken into account. I both need the commitment and social structures in my life to help me feel secure while at the same time I feel totally terrified at the idea that I could potentially put my faith in the wrong person and end up abandoned by the very same person that I trusted in the first place. Previous failed relationships don\’t help this fear either, when there are plenty of examples when my fear has been realized. Fundamentally, it really comes down to a lack of trust. I don\’t trust that I will make the best decisions for myself and constantly look to external sources for approval, not so much in a I-need-you-to-like-me way but more in a I-need-you-to-tell-me-if-this-is-right-for-me way.
Needless to say, this constant and internal struggle really comes out in my romantic relationships because it is the epitome of an important decision that I need to make all by myself and there are huge ramifications if I pick wrong. That\’s a lot of pressure for someone who can\’t decide from one moment to another if I even really like something or I want to just up and leave. It\’s this debilitating feeling that I might be wrong. The feeling that I haven\’t found \”the one\” and maybe all my feelings of affection are born out of a need for security. If that isn\’t enough, I often think that if I even have this feeling, than it must not be right because when I\’m with the person for me I\’ll know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is my forever person. The issue with this line of thinking, is that I believe that they are products not so much of a bad relationship and more a product of the fear that both fuels my life and poisons it.
So, I end up in a situation where I am constantly going back and forth on what I want. One minute I\’m looking at engagement rings and the next minute I\’m planning my escape. This leads to a very ambivalent Karen….or just Karen. I\’m pretty much always this way. In every relationship I\’ve ever been in. Ever. To make things worse, I have a really bad habit of looking towards others as a way to affirm what I\’m doing is right. I look at the myriad of relationships around me and judge mine based on those, which simply shouldn\’t be done because, newsflash, my relationship is not like everyone else\’s, because I am not like everyone else. I know this with my head, but my heart still looks for that affirmation. So, seeing so many people around me be so confident in their relationships, seeing them so in love, seeing them make bold expressions of love and commitment totally psychs me out. It totally taps into the internal insecurity I\’ve been feeling the whole time. If they can do it, why then, oh, why can\’t I?
However, despite the many insecurities I have racing through my head, there are moments of hope as well. My boyfriend of almost two years understands this about me and does his best to work through my fears with me. I might be afraid of commitment, but he is very committed to me which I am hugely grateful for. Meanwhile, I think of the fact that everyone has to make huge decisions and that there is no predicting whether they will ultimately pan out or not. So, I leave you with the lyric I think about to calm me down when the pressure of a big decision is getting to me.
\”Your choices are half-chance. So are everybody else\’s.\” – Baz Luhrman The Sunscreen Song