“She took everything. The Chairs. The bed and the pans. The kitchen table and three of the chairs that went with it. She even made off with the wooden toilet seat. Everything”. My buddy ranted off as he sat on the only chair his ex left behind, staring pointlessly at the torn-up photographs scattered down the floor of his empty apartment, I tried to soothe him. But somehow, words seemed so insufficient.
There was nothing I could say to change the fact that she had left him, packed up and moved out for no obvious reason, just because she wasn’t happy and felt like he didn’t understand her. There was nothing I could say to change the fact that he would now have to pick up the pieces of his life and start over. He knew that many of his bachelor buddies had warned him from the very beginning that falling in love was the biggest mistake he could make.
Regardless of all inventions of astronomical proportions by man, he has failed to find a formula to memorize, and a map to follow when it comes to commitment issues. Although it seemed like we were well on our way generations ago when our forefathers set the standard with fruitful, lifelong relationships, even through the most adverse circumstances, lately it seems like take pride in being senior bachelors.
Don’t get me wrong. This fear is not a paralyzing, all-consuming kind of fear. We’re still the hot-shots for a good chase. Still, men experience an anxious kind of fear brought on by a feeling of exposure, more like the feeling you get when walking home alone not knowing what’s around the corner.
It’s that ambiguity, that vagueness, which attracts us to women, but also makes us drained of becoming too close to them. We hate what we don’t know, and don’t like much of what we think we do know about committed relationships. We’ve heard enough stories, consoled enough heartbroken buddies to know that when a man becomes deeply involved with a woman, uncertainties abound.
For example; she might try to change you, control you, turn into a nag, and stay mad. She might stay sad or mad and sad. Maybe she will start using intimacy as a bargaining chip to get the things she wants. Or even be around while times are good, but split with your first stumble. Don’t be shocked if she stops wearing the perfume you like, stops applying makeup, or styling herself up for you.
There are even better chances that she could start behaving like a psycho and start throwing un-necessary tantrums in public in a bid to gain public sympathy. All these can throw away a man.
On the onset, these are some of the things that men fear about relationships with ladies. And while the odds are slim that these fears would ever come to pass, who can really blame us for having them, especially when we witness scenes like the one at my friend’s apartment, and when stories of other men like him are discussed about when men get together It’s enough to make many men run for cover.
And while the topic of commitment sometimes makes for good laughs, there is a much more serious side. While more men are becoming noncommittal, it has resulted in a deep-seated distrust between men and women and it has reached unimaginable proportions. The fear of the natural attraction to a woman; the kind that leads to a committed relationship, marriage, and a faithful life together has subdued the growth of our families, communities and our futures by producing a generation of single mothers, absent fathers, lonely souls and yearning hearts.
Being in a relationship is not as scary as some make it sound but an innate need that we all share. Engaging in a relationship will indisputably mean allowing yourself to the option of getting hurt, to the option of you being the one parked on the wooden chair in an empty apartment trying to figure out how to start over. And yes, if it doesn’t work out, you could possibly become the latest laughing stock for the commitment-dodging men in the neighborhood.
But isn’t the chance to find a hue, committed, lifelong partner worth the risk?