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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Commitment issues

Recently I was asked to read a Dutch newspaper article as she thought that it would interest me. In fact, it did. The writer, Daan Heerma van Voss (1986), describes the roles that he assumed in his long-term relationships with women. He concludes that one element in all these five roles was the same: fear of commitment.

Perhaps I should wonder why she asked me to read it. And I will, but later. I am certainly no stranger to commitment fears. I know that I don't commit easily but I doubt that it's driven by fear. To use a heading from another article: “I am not afraid of commitment - I just need to be sure". More importantly, my head, heart and intuition need to be in sync with each other. Commitment "fear" only comes up when either head, heart or intuition tells a different tale.

Given the abundance of articles on this issue - either from a female or male perspective - male commitment fears must be universal. PsychologyToday states the following reasons for this fear: (1) No more freedom, (2) Loss of space, (3) One sex partner - forever, (4) Being burned again, and (5) Lack of compromise.

I doubt this list is complete as I miss perhaps the most important one: The Next Best Thing (IMDb). The Next Best Thing is about "risk management": the chance of making a big mistake now versus waiting a little longer for Mrs Right. Young people are more likely to delay deciding to commit in comparison with older people, partly based on (in)experience and partly based on remaining lifespan. Older people know that the grass is not always greener at the other side of the fence.

To me it's curious how women can be so convinced of making the right choice while men generally lack that ability. Obviously there are exceptions in which women prefer not to commit. Perhaps the real question is: Do women also have commitment issues?

HealthGuidance: "Commitment issues have always been associated with men, while women were assumed to be hugely loyal in this department. However, there is a twist in the tale today. Formally assumed to be "commitment crazy", most women seem to have taken every liberty to break the age-old notion associated with their fragile gender. Today’s fast paced lifestyle coupled with other demands and social carvings have overpowered most women’s commitment stand. After all, not every woman out there is able to cope up with the career and lifestyle changes".

HuffingtonPost - Confessions of a Commitment-Phobic Woman: "But, my first thought was, women can't be commitment-phobic. It's a male trait. Surprisingly, it affects women more than anyone talks about and it is becoming more common as women attain more financial independence".

Today, female independence is already causing female commitment issues. Equality has now also entered this area. The predictability of male and female behaviour will be affected by this but I wonder whether that is a bad development at all.

Bryan Ferry - The Price Of Love (1976) - artist, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Kiss one girl, kiss another
Kiss them all, but you won't recover

And that's the price of love, the price of love
A debt you pay with tears and pain
The price of love, the price of love
It costs you more when you're to blame

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