My current objections to complete physical and emotional commitment to one person follow. I didn’t always feel this way, and I may not always feel like this. But currently, this is where my head and heart are.
In fact, these points really started resonating when I reached the age of 43. Before then though, I was all about monogamy; convinced that there was but one dream girl who could meet all my physical and emotional needs forever. But alas, I’ve been unable to find such a goddess and after contacting well over 14,000 women as I quested for the perfect lover, I’m convinced that such an all-encompassing person does not exist. So I seek no longer to find Her entirely in one person.
However, She is out there. But She resides in several women; not just one. Some women are great friends. Some are great lovers. Others are good house keepers and cooks, and some I could watch all day as they parade about in frilly bikinis. I’ve found that no one woman has it all; one reason why I’m leery of committing all of my self to a single lady. The heart is quite the empty place that takes more than one person to completely fill up.
Commitment can be a hard and costly arrangement to break if you learn later that you don’t like it. You must jilt your lover to remove yourself, and the pain of jilt is horrible for both the perpetrator and the victim. It weakens and sickens for long periods too. I know, because I’ve been jilted many a time and jilted lovers many times myself. Believe me. Neither scenario is very pleasant. Really, I don’t know which role is less enviable; doing the leaving, or being left.
I’ve never been very good at ending foiled relationships. In fact, several times, I’ve had to seek a therapists’ help to do it. The deeper the commitment, the more painful is the beloved’s rejection, and the more difficult it is to leave if you decide that you must. So these days, I’d just as soon avoid all that and keep things light and free, with no strings beyond the next few dates.
Further, to me variety really is the spice of life, and I love it. Without it, life is bland and lacks excitement and adventure. So I fear limiting my variety by committing to one woman who would meet my every physical as well as emotional need. This scares me because for among other reasons, it would keep me from exploring females of different backgrounds, races, religions, ways of life, temperaments, and values. I savor the novelty of firsts; the first black woman ever dated, the first model, the first doctor, the first ballerina, the first bisexual, the first woman young enough to be my daughter or old enough to be my grandmother, the first cowgirl, the first foot whore, the first stripper, the first lady with 41-inch legs, and so on. You get the idea. It’s nearly impossible for me to ignore a “first lady” even with a girlfriend on my arm that I love. The intrigue overwhelms me, so that I just have to check out the first. If I can’t, then I feel trapped and soon resent my “jailer.”
Yes, firsts are great. But “lasts” usually bore me as in the last black woman I dated, the last stripper, the last model, and so on. When a first becomes a last, as it must once its explored fully, her freshness fades away along with the eroticism that goes with it. When the first is not a first anymore, curiosity has been satisfied. So there’s less intrigue and less sexual interest. To keep my passions alive, I must keep a steady stream of first ladies flowing past me; something I cannot do if I’m committed fully to one woman.
I’ve also observed that pushing for commitment made most of my beloveds bolt; quite the painful situation to be sure. I loved my time with each of them, and so I keenly felt the loss when they left. It hurt intensely, and this emptiness could take many months to get past. Read my stories of [Emeebee] in 1993 through 2001, and you’ll see what I mean.
Needless to say because of all that, I have strong associations between wanting commitment and getting hurt. The two seem to go hand-in-hand because they’re almost always found together. That is: Where there’s a desire for exclusivity, there too is the pain of not getting it. Indeed, I ruined many more relationships than I helped by espousing monogamy. To quote a popular oldie, “You lose your love when you say the word MINE!” That’s certainly, and quite painfully, been true for me.
I know women say they want commitment all the time. But my experience is that the ones I really desired did not want it; at least, not from me. They accused me of assaulting their rights to be independent when I asked them to date only me, and they left my bed when I spoke of marriage, never to return. In my experience, promoting commitment does more harm than good to an otherwise healthy, more casual relationship. Ironically, I’ve learned that I get more when I seek less. So why seek more? Why seek commitment? If it’s good the way it is, then why push for more?
Since I love lustful relationships, and since historically lust doesn’t last beyond the first few months, I avoid long-term physical commitments because when the commitment outlasts the lust as it usually does, I’ll eventually be stuck where I no longer wish to be quite probably forever, and I won’t do that. Unfortunately, commitment guarantees not, a forever supply of fun sex. In fact, it may discourage it. Total commitment to one can be a death kiss in the bedroom. So again, this is another reason why I’m skeptical that commitment is the happiness panacea that its supporters claim it to be.
Finally, life-long commitment today means a lot more than it did say, two-thousand years ago. Back then, couples were lucky if they survived past the age of 30. Now, they live to 80 and beyond. So the length of a life-long promise of fidelity has more than doubled in modern times, and this reason alone gives me pause when considering whether this is something I really want to get into.
Then there’s the idea that the longer a commitment runs, the more likely it is that one of the partners will decide to end it. This can occur not only because there’s more time for unhappiness to grow. But nowadays, people are exposed to many more opportunities to heighten their happiness; opportunities outside monogamous relationships. They’re tempted more because they’re exposed to more people. Obviously, with this comes the risk that they’ll meet someone more intriguing than their current mate. It happens all the time. With people traveling around so much for jobs as well as pleasure, they’re constantly exposed to a steady stream of new and beautiful strangers; any one of which could easily spell the end of their current commitment. Long-term commitments these days are just too risky therefore. They’re not natural and the sense of security they create is just an illusion. So I don’t need it.
People often seek commitment, wrongly believing that the marriage license will guarantee their beloveds loyalty. But it just doesn’t work out that way too often. If a person wants to cheat without being officially committed, then he’ll surely want to do it when he is. Whether or not he promises fidelity with hundreds of witnesses watching, if sleeping around is in his blood, the wedding won’t rid him of that. So it’s irrational to think that repeatedly campaigning for someone to commit will actually make them want to commit. You might get them to agree to it just to shut you up. But would they really want it? These days, I wish not to take the chance that they won’t.
Commitment, even one without a marriage to substantiate it, can put people at great financial risk. I’m sure we’ve all heard the many stories of folks literally losing their shirts to a jilted partner. Commitment might be a good thing for the young, where there are few separate resources to worry about. But us middle-aged folks should be careful, especially if we’ve accumulated any sort of fortune; money or otherwise. We could lose half of it or more if we fully commit ourselves in public to the wrong person.
Besides, commitments very often don’t account for the changeable nature of the participating humans. People change, more so today than ever before because, through computers and the Internet, they have more knowledge at the ready than they did in, say, the tenth century, before the word telecommunication was even invented. With more knowledge comes greater enlightenment, and with greater enlightenment, comes more extensive and rapid change. So presumably, we change more in a given year nowadays than ever before, because we receive more enlightenment, which happens due to our ever-increasing ease of access to pertinent and valuable information.
But the requirements of traditional commitments such as marriage do not change as quickly. Marriage means marriage basically, whether you’re one, five, or fifty years into it. This traditional institution does not bend easily to accommodate open relationships for example, should a couple’s libido go away. Society feels that they should remain monogamous even when neither partner is fulfilled sexually. It encourages couples to take harmful drugs to artificially amplify the sex drive rather than to just find a more desirable partner who could elevate the libido in more healthful ways. This is wrong. We shouldn’t be binding people so with this outdated practice of marriage. Nor should we provide these noxious potions to get people to fit into the marriage framework for which they simply were not designed.
Also consider that the ideal of long-term commitment makes people overly critical and judgmental of each other. This encourages inequality and bitterness in society, and we certainly have enough of those already.
But think about it though. Let’s say that you’re interviewing for two jobs. For the first, you want someone to cut your grass, one time only because you’re going on a business trip, and you won’t be back in time to cut it yourself before it gets too long. For the second, you want to find someone to help you take care of your ailing mother, on an on-going basis. Obviously, you’d use much greater care in choosing for the second position than you would the first. You would ask more questions, check more references, be more sensitive to cleanliness and attention to details, and generally you’d apply a much higher quality standard to the second person than the first. So it would be harder for someone to be hired for the second job.
The process of finding suitable lovers works the same way. We’re way choosier when seeking a life partner than when hunting a one night stand or other casual relationship. This sounds reasonable. But the problem is that with so many believing that marriage is the ideal and that anything less is worth nothing, we tend to be ultra critical of our suitors, perhaps to our own detriment. We rule people out too soon, refusing to have future interactions with them because we deem them ineligible long-term, futuristic mating stock. As a man who’s received over 14,000 rejections throughout his love quest, I can tell you that it doesn’t feel very good when a lady says to me, “Nope. I won’t hold your hand tonight because you’re not someone I’d want to spend the rest of my life with.” “Well, so what?” I say. “Would you hold my hand if I was someone you’d like to spend just the next few hours with?”
The point is this: Perhaps if we stopped expecting so much of people, we might be less judgmental. If we ceased squeezing suitors into our molds of the distant future (which we can’t really predict anyway), we might be slower to think them beneath us. In fact, we might not even care that they’re beneath us, if all we seek is a few weeks of fun as opposed to a lifetime of commitment. We might find real enjoyment in the moment, delight that is not predicated on our estimation of the future someone could provide us. So we could find true love where we never thought we would.
In my view, religion and other traditional institutions have oversold the virtues of commitment, offering it up as THE way to live. But they’re wrong. When I see all the unhappiness that one person being tied to another causes, especially when the other does not want it, I’m even more convinced that a long-term monogamous commitment is certainly not how I want to spend the remainder of my life. Now, if I met a right woman? Who knows?