Sunday, March 4, 2012


I have been accused, at different times, of being a commitment phobe, and of being very into commitment. Neither is exactly true, but both have a ton of truth to them.

I hate the idea of commitment for the sake of commitment, of being in a "relationship" so you won't be single. I hate the idea that being single is something to dread. But, I love being in a committed relationship. I love my boyfriend, and knowing we're faithful to each other brings me... joy, really.

I've had people think my casual attitude towards people having sex outside of relationships means that I don't value commitment. I think that instead, its a sign of how much I do value commitment. I definitely don't look down on friends who sleep around or engage in "slutty" behavior, because I don't think that sex, in itself, deserves to be put on the pedestal that society puts it on. I think that as long as people are being safe and consenting, what they do with their bodies shouldn't be the concern of anyone who isn't involved. If people want to have sex to express their love, to feel good about themselves, to have fun, or because they're bored, I really don't care. I know that sex can influence emotions-- oxytocin, anyone? But I think that, as long as we know the happiness of the afterglow is at least partly chemically derived, we should be able to keep from putting too much value on it.

Putting so much importance on sex and having it only inside a committed relationship makes me wonder if some people rush into relationships only so that they'll feel less shamed about the sex they're having. If, instead of basing their commitment on the idea that they're a person they respect and enjoy and appreciate and care about, they base their commitment on the idea that this is their best balance for regular sex and fun right now. Part of why I wonder this is because of the length of relationships I see-- and the length of the time they date before they commit. I know a lot of people who have had a "committed relationship" that has only lasted a few weeks, or a few months. It also seems like a lot of people don't really date very long before labelling themselves as "in a relationship"-- a few times hooking up, and bam, they either stop seeing each other, or make it official-- or, equally often, continue discretely and secretly hooking up. Secret hook-ups do make sense to me, though, as long as the gossip and awkwardness of friend groups is the concern-- but it sometimes seems that the sex itself is the reason people hide.

I'm not a fan of hiding. I'm also not a fan of rushing into things. What I am a fan of is knowing someone well before you commit to them, of being sure you want them, and not just the sex. Of figuring out what their big flaws are, and whether they're overpowered by everything else. I'm a fan of being patient, and cautious, and sure. How can you trust someone, if the only time you spend together is in bed?

To me, being in love and being in a committed relationship is one of the greatest things in the world. I absolutely adore JD, and I know that I don't want anyone but him, in any way. He's my best friend, my confidant, my partner. Sometime to love, play with, support, and trust. As fun as it can be to be single and dating, I wouldn't have that life for anything now. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him smile at me hearing his voice. And because I didn't rush into this relationship-- because we were involved for months before committing-- I can be certain my choice is based on who we are, and not based on the opinions of anyone else.

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