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Overcoming Fear of Commitment

Op-Ed: After finally overcoming his "fear of commitment," a recently married Lubavitch man shares tips on how he overcame his fear and finally proposed. Full Story

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hamshochas halev
March 4, 2013 10:20 pm

It’s difficult to know exactly what is “hamshochas halev”. The Rebbe answered someone that it is enough if he feels that hamshochas halev will come, it’s enought if he feels only the beginning of hamshochas halev.
you do not need to be in love – true love comes with time as you are building a life together. attraction is superficial-comes and goes.
It needs to be ‘Hasechel Shoilet Al Halev’.

to number 50
March 4, 2013 6:15 pm

My grandmother used to say ” if you don’t know after the 9th you won’t know after the 90th” . She was a very clever woman. A relationship of two frum kids dating can only go so far. When it shleps, it turns sour.there is only so much you can talk about unless you are progressing to the next level- co mmitment.There needs to be seen the potential to love- not love itself. It seems to me that you. are possibly showing signs of someone who has a commitment issues and uses it as an excuse. As the article says… Read more »

different question
March 4, 2013 5:30 pm

what about people who have a hard time saying no?

#50
March 4, 2013 12:13 pm

“Not Knowing after 12 times is absurd” Sorry, #50, not knowing after 12 times may sound absurd in the secular world. In the secular world however, the divorce rate is over 50%. So, I would put more trust in the Torah perspective than a secular one. It seems to me that you would be much better off if you would do the same.

to 19
March 3, 2013 1:35 pm

the problem with not having a strong yiras shamayim comes into play mainly in one of the three mitzvos of the women… please figure out which…

to # 19
February 28, 2013 5:02 pm

As others commented, I would absolutely listen to my Mashpia. When a bochur has the right Hashkafa and Yiras Shamayim from the start, you don’t have to worry so much about him losing more and more of the most important values in a stable Jewish home. Good Luck!

Amazing article!
February 28, 2013 1:42 pm

Thank you to the author for shedding some light on such a prevalent and difficult issue. You give great advice. I’m sure it will help a lot go people.

To 53
February 28, 2013 10:21 am

Yes that is actually a very good point. But the problem is when you actually go out many times and you think that it’s going to work and then the guy just turns you down…. That hurts. Im not talking about the first few times but when you actually went out several times an you’re starting to actually think about a future with this person. Yes of course you dont have to accept just not to hurt her but dont let it go on for too long if then all that time is going o the garbage. Im sorry of… Read more »

to all girls being hurt emotionally
February 28, 2013 3:36 am

I’m sorry that it hurts u when a guy turns u down; (be it after 1 date, or after 25). But do u expect a guy to have every single detail of every single character trait, and every detail of every value he has, and every thing he expects in a wife….down on paper before he meets you?!? Life is a live-and-learn situation. And so is the dating process…could be the guy never thought of a certain thing to be a necessary quality…we all apologize for all the discomfort it may cause u girls in the process, but trust me,… Read more »

to no. 19
February 28, 2013 12:30 am

aren’t most guys very nice, kind and loving while dating? i also agree with your mashpia. Hashem should give you the strength and clarity, hatzlocho!! you are a strong girl for not running into something blinded, good for you!!
to everyone else here
, why the harsh words, no one is selfish for being afraid to get married and no one is crazy to think lubavitch doesn’t propose, some are just clueless, so just explain. c’mon

irony
February 28, 2013 12:14 am

It seems that the reason why there is a shidduch crisis is that peeople spend too much time commenting nonsense on these articles. The article was great! but guys and gals, if you want advice on marriage or dating, talk to the person your dating or a mashpia.. That, in itself,is the soundest advice.

LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE ISSUE IS
February 28, 2013 12:01 am

its very simple …some boys/girls have this issue of commitment and the fear can be a combination of many fears not just commitment ..it can be a fear of having children…a fear of locking themselves into a certain lifestyle not necessarily with the person…fear of being a mother..an example to children… responsibility…fear of being close to someone both physically and emotionally….etc… Now what can happen is a few things 1. person goes on dates and dumps everyone because he / she is afraid 2 dumps everyone even the good ones bec of the fear 3 may actually be able to… Read more »

to 19
February 27, 2013 9:05 pm

why don’t you ask for a break for a week or two to think it through? Don’t speak, don’t text. If you still want to go through with it, then do, but remember it was you’re choice to marry him – and he was honest with you where he’s holding – so don’t criticize him and don’t try to change him. And also base your decision on- am I ok with him being the father of my future children IY”H. p.s. if your gut tells you this is not for you, don’t worry – there are other nice boys out… Read more »

To # 45
February 27, 2013 8:18 pm

You claim that Feat of committment is selfish. Fears are weaknesses that all human beings have in some area. It is not selfish at all to be faced with a fear. It is a challenge that people need to deal with and overcome. In the case of fear of committment in particular; it is hard for the one who has it to become aware of it. He or she may keep going out many times with the hope that those feelings you speak about do finally come. The problem is, that the fear can numb the emotions so that the… Read more »

TO NUMBER 6
February 27, 2013 7:34 pm

I HAVE SIX WORDS TO SAY TO YOU; Y O U A R E O U T O F Y O U R M I N D!!! (for that matter, do you have one?) people NEVER wrote to the Rebbe for a bracha for their shidduch until AFTER he proposed and she accepted. and the same is done now. AFTER the proposal the couple goes to the ohel for the Rebbe’s brocha. Refuah Shlaima

To #6
February 27, 2013 7:31 pm

When you grow older you’ll understand

DON'[T BE MEAN
February 27, 2013 7:24 pm

For a bochur to go out with a girl 8 or 10 times for hours and hours each time, by which time the girl is convinced he is for her and obviously feels the same way, otherwise why would he keep going with her, and then calls it quits because HE’S AFRAID TO COMMIT is downright cruel!!! MAKE UP YOUR MIND BEFORE you drive a grl nuts and then ditch her for your own selfish reasons. A bochur once wrote to the Rebbe asking how will he know which is the right girl for him, since every girl he met… Read more »

huh
February 27, 2013 5:40 pm

to number 6, ur comment is so out, it s ad. if u wanna do things that away, good for u. its disturbing to read all the comments, here someone is doing service to the communinty, writeing an articel abt a very real issue in our circels and u choose to focus on the stupid litte;ll details.
i personaly think that this articel was very informative and respectful, while practical. yasher koach tothe guy who wrote it

Great article
February 27, 2013 4:41 pm

Half the solution of the problem is realizing that you have a problem! It is important for people who are having trouble getting married to sit down and really think that maybe they could really be afraid of commitment and not blame it on a different excuse each time. You could be missing out on the best years of your life just because your in denial. If you think your suffering from this, get the help you need. There is nothing to be ashamed of!

thanks 23!
February 27, 2013 4:39 pm

that series is amazing!

To # 19
February 27, 2013 4:31 pm

The Rebbe says to talk to a mashpiah, and it looks like you did. I happen to agree with her (as well as 25 and 28). The pros you list are all emotional ones. He’s nice, loving attractive – these are things that are necessary i.e. the hamshachas halev part, but they are not sufficient – it’s lacking the logical, hashkafic compatibility. In the secular world, every boyfriend and girlfriend feels this way about the other for the same reasons, but they don’t last long term because there’s no logical compatibility. So, when the initial feelings of excitement wear off,… Read more »

Kudos and Mazel Tov!!!!!
February 27, 2013 1:17 pm

I hope your article will help others to gain the strength they need to overcome their fears. Who knows how many men and women your article will benefit. It is so inspiring to see people caring and sharing!!!!

To #35
February 27, 2013 1:11 pm

Of course they will, but hurting someone is still hurting someone. We still have to treat people especially bnos yisrael with respect. Not string them along and make them think they’re marrying you only to find out you’re findin yourselves

TO #6
February 27, 2013 11:31 am

Excuse me but OF COURSE chabad propose then how r u supposed to know you’re actually going to get married?
Obviously then you go to the ohel.
Sorry your comment didn’t really make sense 🙂

Thanks for all your help
February 27, 2013 10:33 am

I do have a mashpia …she says not to go through with it ….but I have other married friends that say to go for it as long as we establish what works for each other…..and from what they were saying they know a lot of girls and boys who feel the same way about yiddishkiet ….we all do our best to make sense of this world….especially after gimul tamuz…..

Thanks again

to the author
February 27, 2013 10:32 am

Mazel tov. You write really well and with honesty. Please please ignore all the negative feedback, it is below you to even read it. I think it was very giving of you to address this issue here, so all can benefit. Thank you. I heard of a book, I think its called ‘ why cant men love’, about this issue. I hope I find someone like your guy, 19. Good middos is most important in my book. instead of running to a mashpia, how about trying a professional- a good one who wants your good and is not talking out… Read more »

To#33
February 27, 2013 10:10 am

It’s his life and the girls will get over it.

to 19
February 27, 2013 10:09 am

marriage is a big descision. speak to a mashpia or rav…NOT commenters on collive

This is so wrong
February 27, 2013 8:38 am

Throughout this article you write about your so called “fears”. You made this whole story about you. Just think about all the girls you wounded, who sat crying and wounded. I would find it a lot more harrowing than your overcome so called “fears”. You didn’t overcome a fear of heights or driving. This was a commitment fear where you hurt many. Good luck picking up those pieces. This is exactly why we have this “shidduch crisis” because the perspective you gained and the faith in Hashem you acquired should’ve been what you started off with. So glad your tipping… Read more »

to#22
February 27, 2013 8:24 am

Was that English?

To #19
February 27, 2013 6:23 am

Run, don’t walk to a Mashpia! Rabbi Z. Markowitz in Monsey is very experienced with things like this. Call him up for advice. Marriage is too important…you owe it to your self.

If he is starting to do less now in Yiddishkeit…what is going to be after. On the other hand, sometimes husband do do more, because of the right atmosphere and because of their wife.

LOL
February 27, 2013 6:15 am

Anyone going through our dating system would have those worries. It is a huge step to take, asking someone to marry you, so obviously you will have to think long and hard about it.

Anyone who didn’t has a problem, NOT those who did.

I hope you enjoyed your 15 minutes of ‘fame’ though, good try.

Well, my dear number 25:
February 27, 2013 5:14 am

If she, Miss Number 19, is in fact that desperate to be posting thoughts of that caliber online like this, then good for number 21 for at least giving some feedback of sorts. My question to you, however, is why does this disturb you so much? People are fragile beings, and to have someone with enough interest/compassion to try to help them, whatever the form or manner in which it’s taking place, is a very beautiful thing. Don’t make fun of that.

well done
February 27, 2013 4:22 am

Author, kudos to you for using a challenge Hashem gave you and that you apparently overcame to enlighten and help others. I am a girl who BH does not suffer from this, but I can imagine those who do and how hard it must be for them. Your wife is lucky to have such an honest and humble husband, and one who seems to have a real relationship with the Aibeshter. TO NUMBER 19- I am with 25 on this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!! speak to a mashpia or rav, this is the biggest decision you will ever make in your life!! ahava… Read more »

What if you don't know if you have hamshachas halev?
February 27, 2013 2:32 am

Keep meeting until you ARE really sure, if everything else is good! Many times, the Rebbe would tell people: “lehamshich” – to continue. Just keep going until you know. If you enjoyed meeting him/her, met for many hours, appreciate his/her fine qualities, and just are not sure about hamshachas halev,make sure to give it enough time- you need it! Eventually it will become clear one way or another. Sometimes the Rebbe recommended a pause to ascertain if there was hamshachas halev. (Obviously, if you are absolutely sure after a while that there is no hamshachas halev, it’s not for you.)… Read more »

to number 19:
February 27, 2013 2:01 am

what qualities are you looking for exactly?? a nicelooking, kind and loving husband? you dont think a bit of yiras shamayim is top priority? think about it: if hes keeping yidishkeit for the structure then the second things get a bit tough and it gets inconvenient the whole thing gets thrown out of the window!! and would you want your children growing up with such an attitude.. that were frum just for the structure and nice parts of yiddishket but when things get a little challenging and not so easy to keep we just dont keep it anymore? your not… Read more »

Whaattt?? Number 19!!
February 27, 2013 1:34 am

Don’t start asking for advice on this!!! Speak to a mashpia or someone. Anyone. Not a computer!!! Are u crazyyy??? And 21 why would u say that!!! Eww. You have no clue. Are you absolutely stupid??

thank you
February 27, 2013 1:16 am

this was very insightful! as i read this i thought about myself (as a girl) and a certain situation and now i feel enlightened. thank you again!

to number three, i think you missed the point
February 27, 2013 12:18 am

he wasn’t discrediting the concept of bashert, he was, in my opinion, simply stating two points. A- if you have the right attitude you can theoretically marry anyone. since a successful marriage is all about giving, its about living life in a 100% completely selfless way, it doesn’t really matter if you and your spouse like different music or whatever. once you have the right attitude, you come to realize that marriage isn’t about what can i do to be happy, it’s all about what can i do to make this marriage peaceful and loving. there is no me anymore.… Read more »

to all woman.
February 27, 2013 12:15 am

as i lie in bed rdading all these comenents. i think to myself. just take a chill all girls. go to the beach. take a flight to isreal. why do all the girls think that tha guys the guys are out to get u.? enough!

To number 19
February 27, 2013 12:15 am

It looks like your mind is made up and therefore don’t need any advice… However , my personal first impression of this is to tell you, yes go for it… He sounds like a very special kind person… And someone you will be able to rationalize with after you’re married.. Who knows maybe if he is soo kind he will end up not trimming ,and get closer to yiddishkeit ,because of his genuine interest in your wants and desires Even though you dont get married with thoughts of changing anyone ( but yourself , maybe ),don’t underestimate the power of… Read more »

to 8 and 16
February 26, 2013 11:29 pm

the sad thing is that theboys don’t realize they have this fear so how can they get their act together before dating. I feel bad for them and of course for the girls they date but really not their fault if they don’t identify it as an issue within themselves. and to # 18, take things a bit less serious, no?

dating a guy who wants to trim his beard need help!
February 26, 2013 11:25 pm

I need some advice I am presently dating a guy who is a really special person with qualities not really found so often…maybe I can say 1 in a 100,000 literally ….he is so kind loving extremely good looking very talented deep caring the list goes on… as we entered into our 9th date he starts to tell me that he would like to trim his beard and is open to some things I didnt think he was open to before …..to be honest I really want to marry him but I didnt have this in mind….I am deciding to… Read more »

that was not nice
February 26, 2013 10:58 pm

to number 17 ” I will never live in crown heights {smart boy} ” as a crown heightser born and bred I think you don’t know what your missing out on. even if that wasn’t the point of your comment I think it was downright nasty.

Change the Order
February 26, 2013 10:34 pm

I have a bunch of quibbles with the process here and the flow. Firstly know thyself, this is the most important piece of all parts of the dating process. Take your piece of paper and write down FIVE points that are not negotiable i.e. I will never live in Crown Heights (smart boy) or I want to be on shilchus BEFORE dating. Then write down five points that are preferred. I want a spouse who has a degree or a husband who never trims his beard. This has now allowed you to define what are the values that make you… Read more »

From a girls perspective
February 26, 2013 10:02 pm

It is very painful when a guy strings you along, talks about marriage/ possible proposal and then suddenly gets scared and changes direction at the last second. Guys- get yourselves together BEFORE you date so you avoid hurting others in the process.

the author is 100% right
February 26, 2013 9:44 pm

He does not need to footnote or site psychiatric journals, #10. He is telling you from experience that the mind will rationalize the fears until they take over. Lots and lots of men and women have fear of commitment. It is not limited to men. Many women serial date and find fault with every guy that they go out with. To #10, this author is very qualified to make all the statements that he made because he lived it. Fear does not show up on a blood test. There is no way to qualify it except subjectively. You need to… Read more »

Important article
February 26, 2013 9:43 pm

So glad you posted this. I hope it helps many people.

# 9
February 26, 2013 9:41 pm

Everyone should read ur advice!!! boys and girls! it is not about who is a bigger hooha! it is about being a mentch! kind, loving and most important HELPFUL to ur wife! and especially if she is working outside of the home as well!! Hatzlocha to all !

I agree and there may be more
February 26, 2013 9:37 pm

This was a very well written article and very true and clear points portrayed. Fear to this extent is a problem that requires more than this insightful article. Besides for the spiritual insights there is lot to be gained in the growth that will come from therapy, becoming more calm & happy with who you are as a person in general and may prevent the same issue rearing its head as life moves forward.

To number three
February 26, 2013 9:08 pm

That’s not really the point he was trying to make. Obviously not anybody should marry anybody in the sense that if it is random and there are no particular characteristics in common between them. The point was that this particular girl in question who he was dating could be great, but if he so chooses, he has the liberty not to go out again, and to move on to someone else, with whom he could likewise experience a good time. So unless there is that eventual leap of commitment on your part, which was the whole crux of the article,… Read more »

Please cite.
February 26, 2013 9:01 pm

I really enjoyed your well written article.
However, you speak about the mind playing tricks on you. This is a psychological issue. Are you qualified in any way to state these facts?
I’m sure you have your sources, besides for personal experience (which isn’t enough for us).
This is something that if true will be very helpful to know going into the dating scene, and I would love to know for sure that it’s true.
Please cite sources in the comments. This way we can take to heart the things you say.

Thanks for the article.

Just saying
February 26, 2013 8:46 pm

People are clueless when it comes to the specific characteristics that they look for in a future spouse. Life is difficult and complicated. An attractive spouse, a CV, and/or popularity does not necessarily go along with the characteristics of wisdom, maturity, intelligence, openness, emotional strength, and compassion that is often needed when facing marriage and raising children. You should evaluate the above criteria when considering who you want to travel with on this complex but amazing journey we call life

Bochurim should make sure they reach this level
February 26, 2013 8:40 pm

BEFORE THEY START GOING OUT WITH A GIRL! (Not after fifteen times meeting with her which is after basically 80 hours together. BOCHURIM OUT THERE MAKE SURE YOU ARE READY TO GET MARRIED AND WANT TO TAKE THE LEAP BEFORE YOU SEE A GIRL! If you are not-take the proper steps to ensure that when you start going out with a girl all that is necessary is to see if you are compatible with each other and want to start your new life together. Remember all the basics were found out through the reference checking.Please do not continue doing this… Read more »

you say
February 26, 2013 8:36 pm

“All you need to make sure is that your not unattracted to eachother”, the rebbe says the has to be hamsachas halav ( I.e an attraction ) to begin with he didnt say marry the person even if u dont have it and it will grow with time…

proposing?
February 26, 2013 8:29 pm

what do u mean proposing?
us lubavitchers go to the ohel

to #3
February 26, 2013 8:21 pm

I think the point being made is that, there is a right one, but only G-d knows who it is, as far as us limited humans, there is no way of knowing the “right one”. just a thought..

Mazal tov!
February 26, 2013 8:20 pm

I am so happy for you!

agree with everything except negative point 3
February 26, 2013 8:05 pm

There is no right one? So anyone can marry anyone? is that how hashem makes shidduchim? The examples given in the torah shows that shidduchim are very specific to the person.

thanks
February 26, 2013 8:02 pm

for an important, great article that I am sure will be very helpful!

i had the same problem!
February 26, 2013 7:28 pm

thank you for posting

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