DUB Speak

Commitment Phobia in Young Adults

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Our generation is accused of being fickle minded and afraid to commit. Is there any truth to these stereotypes, and if yes, why is that a problem? Read on to find out more.

Our generation gets a fair amount of backlash for having a dicey stance on commitment. Making generalisations regarding a number of people would be problematic but most of us experience some kind of commitment issues, especially in school and college. We are accused of hopping from one partner to another, while not making the effort to stick to one. However, we are not the most commitment phobic generation to date; we are just the ones who have the luxury to be most vocal about our commitment issues. Greater social acceptance of casual dating and exploring our options has given us a sense of liberation that our predecessors did not have. With greater permeability of the media, we can see how even the most seemingly perfect relationships can fall apart.

A greater understanding of the world and its mechanisms gives us the privilege of speaking out loud about our issues. The idea of love and its universality are not thrust on as vigorously as they were on our parents and grandparents. We are free to fall in love with someone, but equally free to fall out of it; we are free to be drawn to someone but equally free to not be chained to them. The kind of liberation that comes with this knowledge, allows us to question narratives that have been forced on people through religious doctrine and social norms.  The idea of “forever”, “soul mate”, and “sacrifice” are actively questioned and challenged today.

Therefore, what some have tried to describe as commitment phobia is actually a greater understanding of human behaviour and the emotional needs that come with it. The hesitation towards being tied down to one person is aggressively portrayed as undesirable. It adds to the narrative that projects this generation as fickle minded. It makes us shy of getting attached to one person.

All in all, millennials are not people who are more commitment phobic per se; they are simply more self-aware. We have seen things like public breakdowns of the most seemingly stable celebrity marriages, and with access to resources like the internet, makes us question anything and everything; the idea of “forever” is another notion that is effectively challenged.

The fear of commitment comes from the knowledge of understanding what commitment takes. This generation does not tend to make life decisions based on glorified ideas written in scriptures, but, by using rationality and logic; we try to find what suits us best and work along with it.


Feature Image Credits: Optimum Performance Institute

Kinjal Pandey

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I was feminist before I knew what the word meant.

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