My experiences – and K’s – over the past few weeks have truly challenged the steadfast cultural stereotype: all women want long-term commitment NOW. But perhaps our situations are unique.
Let’s see. K and Paris Boy have been dating (officially) for a little over a month and there is already wedding talk. We had a hushed conversation on my bed last night as she anxiously told me that he’d (generously) wait until she’s 26. 26! My goodness. I realize that a century ago being married at our age was normal, but so much has changed. Women vote. They go to university. They have businesses. They are successful outside the domestic sphere. It seems like a shame for all that to come to a halt. Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage is wonderful, but why is it that women hit the pause button on their lives when they wed? Why do we not think of men’s lives like this?
I’d like to believe that I am not idly waiting around to be married. I have plenty of goals that I pursue, and would continue to pursue, if there was someone else. I believe that in any relationship, you must try to strike a balance of nurturing that relationship with another person as well as maintaining the one you have with yourself. It’s challenging. It’s very easy – even when dating – to let things fall by the wayside. This time around I’m considering a revision of past woes. But I’m getting off point.
What perplexes me to some extent is that odd stereotype that women want, need, commitment. In thinking about this, I realize that there are two things that drive a person to commitment. First, that you are afraid of being alone. Second, you have worked things out with yourself and are ready to incorporate another individual. Naturally, the later is the ideal situation. Within it is the implication that you have given yourself direction. I think that is the most important thing of all. So why is it easily sacrificed in the name of love?
Truth be told, I have no answers (as usual). I often sacrifice bits of my life in the name a relationship. Maybe it’s the natural inclination of all humans, not just women. We want to belong. Perhaps this is the true cost of fulfilling a basic desire of human nature. If that’s the case, the problem may be culture’s framing of gender relations, which prevents us from simply accepting a truth. Lately, I’ve found that culture is cause of most prevalent problems. It is what conjures up these ideas. Then again, where would we be without its structure?