Commitment is Scary for Women, Too
Forget what you’ve been told or lead to believe. Not every woman aspires to be a wife and a mother. Of those that do, these items may or may not be at the top of her priority list. There is no rightful place for a woman’s romantic commitment to be in terms of urgency. There is no requirement that it has a place at all.
There’s a general idea that the desire to settle down is more natural for women than men.
That’s why wives are labeled a “ball and chain.” As though we’re keeping our husbands bound from their natural tendency to explore and enjoy life. For many men, this notion evokes a fear of missing out on something amazing once the decision to commit occurs. But, some women have career goals, unrelated life ambitions, and even travel destinations ranked above marriage. Many of us also enjoy freedom, non-attachment, dating, and exploring. For these ladies, the risk of losing autonomy and being held back from things currently important to us is just as scary.
Women can feel equally pressured by significant others to take companionship to the next level.
We can be just as apprehensive and unsure. Sometimes it’s because we don’t care for our partners as deeply as they care for us. The perception that we’ll tie the knot with the first person willing is a farce. A “Marriage or Bust” outlook is not the female consensus. Many of us need to feel supported, secure, and fulfilled before devoting ourselves to someone. Especially when we know that “happily ever after” sometimes isn’t.
Other times, uncertainty stems from the knowledge that we’ll have to adjust aspects of our routine to accommodate someone else. When you’re a woman who has diverse personal interests, this isn’t always easy. There is an invasion of privacy and space that will inevitably ensue. Though if we’re with the right person, it may be one that is welcome. Regardless, we have to be OK with someone cutting into our agenda and decide if we want a relationship with the individual badly enough to save a place for it.
Pledging to make indefinite room for someone in our lives is a substantial gesture. It shouldn’t be taken or offered lightly. Thus, I believe some level of anxiety is to be expected. A lifestyle change, even if slight, is inescapable. No matter how cooperative and supportive a partner may be, with commitment we’ll have to make some concessions.
We may not be able to consistently hide out in our home office every waking moment of the day working on a project anymore. It would probably be inconsiderate to wake up one Saturday morning and take an impromptu road trip without telling anyone. After becoming half of a pair, many things that we’ve grown accustomed to doing, and decisions we’ve previously made without external interference will have to be discussed.
Significant relationships come with expectations of time, effort, and behavior.
Demands are placed upon us, even if subtle. This is not something to which every woman is eager, ready, or even willing to relent. Sometimes we believe that we still have too much living to do, and are fearful that such a sense of obligation to another human being could diminish the attention that our own needs receive. Sometimes, we’re the ones nervous that commitment will drastically alter the existence that we know and love.
Many women are content as-is. Having a partner is considered an enjoyable experience, but there is no yearning. We’re too focused on ourselves, our passions, and our plans to pine. A potential significant other is viewed as a bonus, not a necessity. Nonetheless, we get weird looks and unflattering labels when we don’t jump at the opportunity to belong to someone.
Women can feel whole in their aloneness.
We have legitimate concerns and things we stand to lose in giving of ourselves. Though I believe there is also much to gain. We have hopes and dreams independent of our relationship status that matter. So, let it not be assumed that a romantic partnership and marriage is our be-all and end-all. We have every right and as much cause as our male counterparts to exercise caution.