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         A recent article written by a bochur who was challenged by "Fear of Commitment" appeared as an Op-Ed on the site , February 28.  It's revealing to review his difficulties with this issue and his method of overcoming it.  Let's examine some of his challenges and experiences-  

The person with "fear of commitment" to marriage will often question whether their reason for not committing is their "own fear" or perhaps they really have an issue about the one they're dating.  This is the most difficult step to deal with in determining the source of repeatedly turning down potentially good shidduchim.
One of the best ways to determine if the issue is fear of commitment or not, is to start with a list after the first few dates.  On the left side of a page he suggests writing all the positive things about the one you are dating, all the reasons why you  have spent so many hours together and kept agreeing to go out again and again and again.  On the right side of the page he suggests writing all the cons; the reasons why you're not sure about continuing the dating process.  After writing the negative things, indicate which of them are connected to "fear".-As the thought of getting engaged gets more real in your mind, you may have some doubts and question legitimately, " What if he/she isn't the right one, or, how can I know that I won't meet someone  better in the future? "  What will determine the outcome of these doubts?  How will you conquer the fear?

The well known and time tested approach to a successful dating process, he writes, is to ensure that the most important elements are  in place.  Do you have the same goals in life?  Are your spiritual levels compatible? Do your personalities match?  Are you attracted to each other?  Once you have these points checked off, you've done your part... the rest is in the hands of HaShem.  You need to trust that HaShem wouldn't "watch you walk yourself into a disaster" and will guide you to decide what's best for you and help you make a decision that you truly feel is right". 

There's nothing to fear but fear itself.  The next step to take is the leap of faith to jump into the best stage of your life.  He adds that if you choose to give in to your fears, they will be there again the next time, and the next, and the next...If you take the jump, suddenly the fears disappear and the irony of commiting to this wonderful person is that it's deeply "liberating".  The act of committing to marry frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the "fear" that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation.  To commit to marriage is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.  When you decide to conquer the fears, HaShem helps to lead you in the right way. 

Baruch HaShem, he proposed to his designated soulmate and is "free at last".  Mazal tov!

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