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His Perspective: Love Without Commitment

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Who says that love and commitment have to lead to marriage? Not men, says Jason Weaver…

“My boyfriend won’t commit,” a platonic female friend says to me. “We’ve been living together for two years now. He’s not seeing anybody else. When I’ve threatened to leave, he begs me to stay. But when I bring up engagement and real commitment, he shies away from it. I don’t understand.”

What she didn’t understand was a fundamental difference between men and women. Women put men into two categories: (1) Definite marriage and baby-making potential (if that’s what you’re looking for, of course), or (2) No way. No chance. Men, on the other hand, have an additional category: (3) Good Enough to be Exclusive With and Get Regular Attention From, but Not at the Expense of Never Dating, Sleeping With, or Being With Another Woman Ever Again. Most women find it totally perplexing that we would be exclusive with you while still clinging to our juvenile desires to act like the guys from ‘Swingers.’ And it is.

Most women find it totally perplexing that we would be exclusive with you while still clinging to our juvenile desires to act like the guys from “Swingers.” And it is. More perplexing is that a majority of men with relationships that fall in this third category are decent guys – not picking up strangers, not calling your sister for a date, not drawing any attention from women on the street. In other words, these aren’t gigolos whom you’ve forced to give up “the singles lifestyle.” Yet they make commitments that they won’t see through in the long run. Why? Security, comfort, companionship, sex, you name it. Certain women undoubtedly do this as well, but not to the same extent as us guys. For this, I’m sorry. It makes no sense. But we’re guys, and 98% of everything we do makes no sense. Which is why I’m gonna try to make sense of it for you here.

The three main reasons that men commit without committing are as follows:

You’re easy – It’s great to have someone to do stuff with. Someone who’s available, someone who’s fun, someone who doesn’t mind when we leave our socks out. And if my choice is being single and not having companionship or being with you and having companionship, why would I give you up?

You’re a great girlfriend – Generous, thoughtful, sweet, giving… It’s hard to leave a woman who treats me right. But sometimes it’s even harder to promise to never leave, especially if the overriding sentiment is, “I’m supposed to really want this, aren’t I?”

You’re what we’re told we’re supposed to want. Mom likes you. You’re Jewish. You come from an amazing family. You’d be an awesome mother. You don’t hassle me when I want to hang with the guys. These are all great things to have in a partner. But they are not the sole reasons to stay together forever.

You may remember the line in “When Harry Met Sally” where Meg Ryan laments to Billy Crystal that her ex-boyfriend, after not being able to commit to her, is engaged to another woman. “All this time, I thought he didn’t want to get married,” she says, “But, the truth is, he didn’t want to marry me.” Meg’s guy put her in that third category. The guys who do that will treat you well, won’t cheat and will always commit – to a point. You have to get better at finding that point; the point at which you cut him loose, the point at which time invested turns into time wasted. All too often, you learn the lesson that Meg did – the hard way. You have to get better at finding that point; the point at which you cut him loose, the point at which time invested turns into time wasted.

Now take this advice and go out to find a guy who puts you into the category of Can’t Live Without Her, Don’t Wanna Be With Anyone Else – Ever!

We do have that category, you know…

Jason Weaver is a practicing family law attorney and adjunct professor in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He enjoys playing his guitar, basketball, observing the human condition, and writing about it.
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  • Asha says:

    Why buy the cow when you can get milk for free?
    If you wanna get married and want someone to commit living together for years as boyfriend and girlfriend can only be detrimental… Just saying.

  • Babs says:

    Too bad the author has not attempted to respond to the above comments, both of which pose some very good questions. What is the point of being able to make comments if there will be no response. It would be a mitzvah if someone who feels they have some “expert” advice would respond with some answers, opinions, or insights regarding how to know if you have reached “the point” where you may want to cut the other loose, especially when it comes to boomer age daters. How long should it take to figure out; how to you tactfully broach the subject?

  • JLK68 says:

    Wow, this is identical to my situation. I often feel I’m the good girlfriend who’s just easy to get along with. He doesn’t cheat or even flirt with other girls but I asked recently if he saw me in his future and he said he didn’t know. I don’t want to push him but I do want to know where he sees this going. How do I know we’ve reached “the point” where I need to cut him loose? Is it a gut feeling or is there something I can say to get an honest answer out if him?

  • anonymous says:

    Well I’ve got the oppossite problem. After 3 years its her not me who isn’t interested in making a lifelong commitment to marriage. Why? Because, she says, we’re well past having children so whats the point.

    Maybe I’m wasting my time in this relationshiop and I should be finding a woman who really does want to be married.

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