Commitment is not a dirty word. Commitment is not a dirty word. Commitment is not a dirty word.
I have to keep reminding myself this every day. Why? Academic research, marriage statistics and simple observation remind me that men suck at committing—especially us gays.
One of my professors told the class last week that when she came to the US from her home country she was shocked to find that our divorce rate is over 50 percent. She then asked the class why we think this is happening, and I simply replied, along with other agreeing students, that we’re just a lazy society who has a hard time waiting and committing. Don’t worry; I’m guilty of this too!
Think about it—Our world is literally at our fingertips with phones that can instantly connect us with the world around us. We have restaurants at which we can conveniently get our meal in less than 3 minutes, and if we have to wait any longer we’re throwing tantrums like a 3-year-old missing her beloved pacifier. People are melting in joy over the idea of shakes, pills and diets where they don’t have to exercise or change the way they eat. And we now have the convenience of online dating and social media, which serve as a personal synopsis page for anyone we’re interested in meeting face-to-face. There’s certainly no such thing any longer as a “blind date.”
Don’t take me wrong; I’m not bashing any of these things. I think all of it has made life a whole heck of a lot easier—especially online dating (can I get a “whoop-whoop” from my gays?) But it certainly has made committing a whole heck of a lot harder!
We’re not used to waiting for anything any more—I literally almost cried the other day when my Facebook page stopped working.
So why is it some shock that marriages are failing and partnerships are disintegrating? A relationship is something that takes hard time and even harder commitment. That’s probably why people our age think it’s so hard to maintain such a bond— It’s foreign for us to work that hard on something unless it’s a 10- page paper due on Monday.
Though there a few lucky people our age who seem to have romantic commitment figured out, a lot of us still compare the idea to getting castrated in front of a room of 1000 staring eyes. Sure it’s natural to want to have fun and explore your options when you’re young. We’re still holding on to our adventurous spirits and not-so-reasonable justifications, but have you noticed that it’s getting harder and harder to pin a guy or gal down? Well… at least keep them there?
I don’t have the answer, but I do know that the longer I wait to commit, the more ridiculous my standards become. And why are my standards getting so high? Because I live in a society where I’m used to getting what I want, when I want it. It’s a cyclical monster that is out to get us, and sorry boys, Lady Gaga does not control it.
Sex columnist, author and speaker Dan Savage has written a wonderful book called “The Commitment” that I highly recommend for leisure read if you’re gay and dealing with commitment issues. Who’s gay, anyway, and NOT dealing with commitment issues?
Savage showcases his and his life-partner’s struggle to get married after years of commitment and pressure from the outside world. It’s a witty, dramatic and sometimes frightfully eye-opening read; so don’t hesitate to have a glass of your favorite wine on stand-by.
Until next time…