Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

2 Questions to Ask when you Are Afraid to Commit

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You know you should, but you just can’t bring yourself to do it. You know that it would a good idea, maybe even a great idea, but you can’t get yourself to say yes.

So you just walk away. Afraid.

This old, tired story that gets told too many times in our lives.

photo by Memphis CVB (Creative Commons)

The Love Story

The story is familiar. A boy and a girl in love. They smile. They laugh. When they are together, time stands still.

Sometimes they cry, but this time the tears fall on someone else’s shoulders.

Together they are better than they are alone. They are young and in love and nothing matters more to them than each other.

For the first time the rest of the world fades away. Yesterday is forgotten. Tomorrow is of no concern. All that matters is now.

But the time comes when they both know something else has to happen. Something more. When he looks in her eyes, he can see it.

Her eyes tell him the truth he already knows. It is time to kneel in the snow. To take her hand. To look even deeper into those eyes. So deep he can see her soul.

And then to give her the greatest gift he can. To give her his life.

He knows it is time to commit. For forever.

But the old story is told again. He quits calling. He finds other ways to spend his time. He avoids. Her tears fall on the ground once more.

He stops looking into those incriminating, beautiful big blue eyes.

What holds him back? What keeps him from asking the big question?

If you ask, he might say that he is afraid of commitment.

Merely an Excuse

If this isn’t your story, you know someone who has told it. And you have lived it out in some form in your life.

  • Writing your book.
  • Giving your 2 week notice.
  • Calling the adoption agency.
  • Submitting the application for the mission trip.
  • Applying for the business loan.
  • Asking the girl out.
  • Making the big decision.

Even though you know what you should do, and what you need to do, you wait. You stall. You avoid.

Afraid to commit.

Except that you commit to numerous other things in your life.

That same guy who can’t commit to the girl, has endless paraphernalia dedicated to his favorite sports team.

That same guy is able to show up to work every day.

That same guy will eat pizza three days a week.

That same guy has a tattoo on his arm. A decision that will never go away.

He is committed.

What he is really afraid of, is committing to something that will be difficult. Committing to something that is demanding. He is afraid of giving up control. Of handing his life over to someone else.

All of us have commitments. All of us are passionate.

We are committed to staying safe. We are committed to what we are used to. We are committed to the things that let us hide who we really are.

Commit to Something Better

The way we convince ourselves to commit to these harder ideals in life is to make the commitment to something bigger and better.

With every decision ask two questions.

1. Will this help me write a better story with my life?

2. Is this commitment for the good of others?

If you answer yes to both, then the commitment is most likely one of the most important things you can be doing with your life.

We must stop living the tired story of fear of commitment and step in to a story of purpose for our lives. A purpose of hard work. A purpose of living through something hard but good. A purpose of service. A purpose of generosity.

A purpose of love.

And if we choose to tell these stories. If we sense that we have been made to live something more than what we are. We will have to make a commitment to something impossible.

We will have to believe something possible. We will have to take a leap of faith.

Stop being so committed to a life that makes you happy. Start committing to using your life to make others happy.

Are you afraid of commitment? Are you afraid of committing to something difficult?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.


About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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28 Replies

  1. Mike Zserdin

    Great questions Jeremy. A good way to look at commitment…committing doesn’t necessarily make my story easier but it can make it better. There are times when I hide selfishness behind fear. Both hurt me and those around me.  Great thoughts.

    Best regards,


  2. Committing to the right things will make your story harder. Guaranteed. the first step is acknowledging this fact. The second is accepting it and then committing despite the hardness.

    The third, and this doesn’t happen often enough, is not caring about how hard it is and enjoying the benefits of having committed to something great.

    Another word for all of this is having passion.

  3. Love the direction you went with this, Jeremy.  You’re right, fear of commitment is an excuse and a  lie that we tell ourselves.  Instead, we are afraid of the work that might be involved or how it will stretch us and take us out of our comfort zones.  

  4. Jeremy,

    This post is so good! I’m not afraid of commitment. As a matter of fact when I’m in, I’m *all* in. Your story about the boy & girl resonated with me because I’ve found myself on the receiving end of ‘nothing.’  The last guy I talked to was afraid of commitment and when you said, “Committing to something that will be difficult” it touched an emotional nerve.You’re exactly right.I will say though that I am afraid of committing to myself.  I’m afraid of really digging into the depths of who I am and surfacing things that I’ve quietly pushed under the rug for a majority of my life. Because the reality of it is paralyzing. I’m beginning to see the areas in my life where it’s been paralyzing this most.This post is definitely a sweet taste of conviction.Great post and insight.

  5. I like your words Jeremy: “Stop being so committed to a life that makes you happy. Start committing to using your life to make others happy.”  When I get to thinking of things I really want to do in the next year, I get downright scared and then of course that leads to procrastination. I am committing to using my life to make others happy and letting go of the fear.  Needed this post today…thanks :-)

  6. Yep, this is my story exactly. I even have trouble committing to plans with friends. When I had my interview with the non-profit in Nashville, I wasn’t going to take the job. I had convinced myself that it wasn’t for me. And then I had three people – all separately – tell me that it sounded more like my fear of commitment than anything being wrong with the job.

    This deep-seated fear has shown up in all areas of my life, and I’ve missed out on a lot because of it. In leaving myself open to other options, I’ve hurt feelings, and that was never my purpose. I’m going to be asking myself those two questions a lot in the next few months as my life changes drastically. Thanks for this wisdom, Jeremy.

  7. I like this perspective Jeremy. It’s not that we are afraid to commit (cos we already commit to other things)…we are just afraid of the inconveniences, difficulty, less-comfort e.t.c some commitments bring. 

    I sometimes ‘count the cost’ too much. I know weighing up matters in the mind is good..but delayed obedience isn’t always the best way to go. Great food for thought today.

    Thank you for sharing.

  8. Maybe it’s better to count the cost of not committing?

  9. That’s very interesting, this committing to yourself. Are there specific things you want to do or is it more of a sense that you have to be more honest with yourself?

  10. The work is so good once we get over this fear, but it can be really tough to get over.

  11. Sounds like you have some really good friends. I’m really excited about your move to Nashville and the new job. Keep me updated.

  12. better way of  ‘counting the cost’ ! 

  13. Jeremy,

    It’s a mixture of both.  

    I’m probably the most transparent person I know so I can admit the areas in my life where I fall short and am the weakest.

    I’m scared.

    I want to be a better person.  I want to love better, move on from my past (finally), be more serving of others, help people in need, have my own ministry, get married & start a family, have a better career, etc etc.

    What’s stopping me? Fear of failure.

    Can you relate to this?

  14. I know this–this commitment to safety. There’s fear, and pressure, when one has a family, but feels called to something more. So I hedge, hold onto safety, and don’t venture much beyond the harbor.

  15. We are all desperately committed to our safety. Committing to our work and our art, requires a different sort of commitment.

  16. lauzza

    if you are afraid to commit to someone…when do you know you have found the one?

  17. Peter McKay

    For the past few years I’ve been feeling something holding me on things that I’ve been constantly thinking of. Things like, “Should I ask her? Should I go there? Should I try this? Is this what I want?”.
    I know that life is filled with struggles and we are meant to cross them, I know it is not the destination but the journey that life is about, I know that I will fail in life many times and that I have to get back up.
    And yet despite knowing this I just can’t do it. I can’t bring myself forward. I haven’t gotten the urge to write my story in over a year, I haven’t dated anyone since middle school, and I can’t even bring up the courage to look for a summer job. I know that it is me standing in my way, that I’m the only one stopping me from going forward and I’ve accepted as fact about the struggles in life. I’m rambling on and on I know, but I just feel so frustrated and hopeless. I fear that I can’t see what I need to see about myself, that I may hate it and that I may not be able to change it.

    Sorry I just….I just needed to say something.

  18. Carolina Woman

    Jeremy—Thanks for the great blog post! I stumbled across it while searching for “every time I commit to someone I want to be with someone else” (a very specific google search, I know). I just turned 30 and I feel like I’m still 20 when it comes to the degree of difficulty I have to committing to a man. Several months ago I met my current boyfriend and I have never been treated so well. Still…he’s started talking about marriage and I’ve found myself feeling like a caged tiger. At first I was excited about the prospect of settling down with such a wonderful man. We are both successful business owners, have similar long term goals, and enjoy many of the same hobbies……but I’m afraid I can’t sustain my feelings of devotion. He lives two hours away from me and he’s talking about moving here to live with me. I’m not ready! I realize that I kind of love the fact that he lives so far away and I’m worried about getting “stuck”. I don’t want to be this way!

  19. Carolina Woman

    Wow…I can’t thank you enough for writing this blog- It’s exactly what I needed.

  20. .Alberto Gilles

    All my respect and love to Priest Andrew who literally changed my life with his spell and kindness, you have done wonders in my life and i appreciate you for that. is his email address if any one ever needs his help, feel free to contact him as he is a very nice and understanding person…..Alberto Gilles – Italy

  21. Bianca

    Prophet Mike gave me the possibility to start my new and happy life with Jay. The commitment and Marriage spells worked beyond my imagination. I am now happily married to Jay after a terrible heartbreak with my ex-boyfriend. You can reach him on if you need help.

  22. Silvia

    I want to let you all know about how helped me, my name is Silvia from Canada and in short Dr. Stanley is fab!! I did have to wait ages, and ages, for my partner to finally realize it was me he wanted, not the other woman but I did have faith in all the spell work Dr. Stanley did for me and when he kept saying ‘hang on in there’ I did find it hard, but I did know in my heart that he would be back. Thank you Dr. Stanley for bring back my partner to me with the help of your spell.

  23. Deborah Wilson

    i have been married for 4years and i have a break up with my husband 3months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Laco and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email Address i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness,

  24. Ericka

    Thank you so much! I’m in a 4 year relationship with a VERY patient man. I’m a single, 40 plus year old woman (never married) and today I cried because I couldn’t stand the thought of an unhappy marriage ending up in divorce. I’ve been the one running away and hiding out at the mention of marriage. I am just outright afraid to commit to something difficult because I am committed to an easy, happy life, instead of something bigger and better, but harder. Thank you for showing me my true issue.

  25. Bec

    Indecision and fear of commitment for me is something I can’t surmount. I just can’t. Perhaps it is because I have been in this state now for 7 years. I feel so stubborn. The impacts it is having on my life are huge. I will probably miss out on having children too as I’m 35. My partner is so patient, but sometimes I wish he’d given me an ultimatum a long time ago (if that would have helped me make up my mind). He’s a gem, but the fear that I’m somehow with the wrong person is too strong. But I can’t let him go as I do love him. Stuck.

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