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    Deal-Breakers, High Standards, or Just a Fear of Commitment?

    By Dr. Frankie Bashan–

    When you look around, does it seem like everyone has a “plus one” except you? Do your friends all comment, “You’re such a catch. I can’t believe you are single.” Or do you long to love another and to have someone to do things with, yet day after day you find yourself alone and slowly starting to lose hope?

    It could be more than just bad dates. As you think back to your recent dating experiences, perhaps you’ve met quite a few people, but there’s always some reason as to why they aren’t worth pursuing.

    Maybe you were not initially attracted to them. It could be that, based on your past experiences, when you tried to date someone, hoping the connection would just happen, it didn’t, and then you immediately counted them out. Or perhaps you had several second dates—with your list of deal-breakers in hand, those items that you absolutely promised yourself you would not compromise on. Even though you tried to overlook some of these, when you did, you felt so hurt that you promised yourself that there was no way you were ever going to be with someone who had even just one of those.

    Sound familiar? Perhaps your standards are too high. Or maybe you’ve been hurt so harshly in the past that you just can’t open up because you refuse to be hurt again. You believe that if you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone, you shouldn’t have to compromise.   

    Herein lies the struggle. When does a list of deal-breakers and adherence to high standards go from being a healthy set of guidelines to becoming an excuse to keeping yourself from having to commit?

    Although many single people adamantly profess their desire to be in a loving, committed relationship, when it ultimately comes down to it, those same individuals are also often perpetually alone. It may have nothing to do with them being so unlucky in love. It likely has more to do with their own fear of commitment.

    Commitment-phobia is a social term used to describe a pattern of avoiding emotionally intimate relationships. Commitment-phobes believe that every relationship will end negatively. They believe that the people they get close to will ultimately hurt them and they will therefore end the relationship before allowing that to happen. Generally, a commitment-phobe will engage in a constant “push and pull” of attention and silence, using patterns of seduction to engage their partner without truly being vulnerable and allowing her to emotionally connect.

    A commitment-phobe will believe that she is just never meeting “the one” or connecting. She may even feel sorry for herself that she just can’t seem to “click” with others like everyone else seemingly is. But, if she is really honest with herself: Is it possible that nobody will ever meet her high standards?

    Working with clients who cannot seem to maintain a relationship past a few months reveals the commonality of crazy chemistry—once the initial honeymoon period wanes, they believe the relationship is over and want to break up. This is unfortunate, because chemistry calms down for all couples and it reveals nothing about the future longevity of the pair. In fact, relationships have many phases. It is those couples that understand, and are willing to work through, these phases who stick together and have strong, healthy relationships. 

    So, what does this all mean for you?  If you find that you have not been successful in dating and that you really can’t seem to find anyone who remotely meets what you are looking for, perhaps it is time to take a step back and consider if the reason why is more than just “bad luck,” or that there are just no good people out there to date. 

    There are a lot of individuals who struggle with commitment. Seeking help from a trained therapist can help you to decipher why and how you are like this. He/she can help to identify some possible faulty beliefs, patterns and behaviors that could be contributing to your troubles with relationships. Or, if nothing else, therapy could help you to understand if you might be afraid to commit, and if so, why. 

    For more healthy lesbian dating tips, visit my blog ( https://www.littlegaybook.com/category/blog/ ). If you’d like to date a person and not an app, check out my lesbian/bi events all over the U.S. ( https://www.littlegaybook.com/lesbian-events ). And finally, if you’d like to receive individualized therapy or coaching, please reach out to me directly: drfrankie@littlegaybook.com

    Dr. Frankie Bashan is a psychologist, matchmaker and relationship guru who has been using her psychology background combined with technology and personalized algorithms to successfully match lesbian couples nationwide. As the founder of Little Gay Book, the only exclusively lesbian/bi matchmaking agency in the U.S., she helps women in every state to find authentic, healthy, righteous, full-blown love and she knows what makes relationships tick. For more info: https://www.littlegaybook.com/