Murphy’s Law of Commitment:
If HE is ready to get hitched and start a family, you’re not.
If YOU are ready to move your relationship to the next level, he’s not.
Laws are laws for a reason. Because they’re true now, they were true back then, and they’ll be true as long as people exist.
Back in our grandmothers’ grandmothers’ day, women plotted to get men to propose. There’s nothing new about commitment-phobic men.
What IS different is what we women do about it.
Our mothers’ mothers probably wouldn’t have thought twice about using a few tricks of the trade to wind men around their little fingers. “He’s got to marry some woman,” the thinking went, “so it might as well be me.”
But what do YOU do?
It’s the 21st century. We’re not Machiavellian in our pursuit of marriage. We’ve got options. We don’t have to psychologically manipulate a guy into commitment, because we don’t NEED men. Like, who needs marriage anyway? Look at Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell!
Except that denying our yearning for commitment often means we’re not being true to ourselves.
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone else like Goldie and Kurt. They represent the only fabulous marriage-free lifetime commitment most of us can think of. And if you claim they’re some kind of postmodern couple, blazing a trail for the rest of us to follow, I’ll point out a very ancient logical fallacy called hasty generalization.
We’re trapped in a double bind.
We’re supposed to be independent modern women who create our own happiness, but we’re also supposed to feed a massive wedding industry that would collapse and devastate the economy if we renounced men and the idiocy of shelling out a year’s salary on a lavish, expensive celebration that will just have to be repeated ten years down the road once the marriage falls apart.
You must realize the WEIGHT on your shoulders:
Your belief in eternal love and happiness-ever-after props up the entire economy.
Imagine the jewelers that would go out of business. The Hollywood rom-coms that wouldn’t get made. And let’s not talk about the impact on Vera Wang.
You HAVE to want commitment. You HAVE to push for it. You have to damn Murphy’s Law and do it anyway.
Because the consequences are worse than a world without Vera Wang bridal gowns.
If you don’t stay single-minded in your determination to get commitment from a wishy-washy, free-spirited, can’t-be-pinned-down kind of guy, then what will the mortgage companies do? To whom will real estate agents sell houses?
Because buying a house and settling down is a form of COMMITMENT. It’s a form of commitment commonly practiced by newly-married couples. Sure, there will always be the single professional who earns enough to put down a down payment, but dual incomes make mortgage companies happier.
And can we talk about the kids?
Having kids is a pretty serious form of commitment. Eighteen years’ worth, minimum, and no possibility of divorce if you can’t take it anymore.
Marriage is small change in comparison. Training wheels, if you like.
Because no matter how hard marriage is, it doesn’t compare with life with a toddler. Or a teenager. Dealing with a reasonable adult is a blessing.
It just doesn’t work:
Trying to be hip, trying to be cool, trying to pretend you’re down with new paradigms and shifting relationship roles, and of course SO over that old-fashioned symbol of subjugation, the wedding ring, that’s—let’s face it—basically a manacle in a more golden glittery gasp-worthy form.
Men’s movement leader Warren Farrell wrote:
When women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.”
I think that’s unfair.
When women hold off from marrying men, it’s because they’re being patient. They’re trying. They’re trying not to pressure him, trying to be open to the idea that a relationship doesn’t need commitment to be loving. They’re trying not to be too serious too fast, trying not to scare him off, trying to give him the space he needs.
Because this is what men don’t get about a woman’s love:
When a woman loves a man, she can’t imagine it not being for forever.
We give our love for eternity. Naturally. Without needing or asking anything from him.
If it’s true love, it comes with the knowledge that this is the man we want to be with for the rest of our lives.
So a woman who wants commitment?
Well, guys, she’s someone who loves you.
And if she doesn’t want commitment?
Then she’s probably on the fence.
If there happens to be a guy reading this, can I just wave a white flag and ask, What’s your problem with commitment anyway?
Is there anything nobler than merging your heart with another?
Is your ability to sleep with ANY woman really worth sacrificing the warmth and comfort and solidity of watching the same woman sleep night after night?
Or is your whole male phobia of commitment just part of your cultural programming, something you haven’t chosen, something you were told you must stand for as a man, because only wusses cave and admit they want to spend the rest of their life with the same woman?
The economy of the world is depending on you, too.