Commitment In A World Of Options

I’m addicted to variety, and I have modern America to thank for that.  My roommate knows all too well how many Mountain Dew flavors are available, because I have all of them at my disposal, and I like to have one of each in the fridge so I have the maximum amount of options ready to go.  And I know all too well how much he’d rather use that space in the fridge for other things, like food.

Anyone has been to restaurants that seem to have a hundred things on the menu and yet not much of anything is worth eating.  And yet there probably are a few worthwhile things on the menu, but with so many other options, how many times are they overlooked in favor of a lesser plate, because of the number of other options?  I wish all menus would have one page for the stuff that actually tastes good, and the rest under headings like “for the sake of variety.”

Because, of course, variety comes at a cost.  Most things in life that are really good are rare, and really good things can only be enjoyed when they don’t have to share time with lesser things.  None of this is revolutionary info, but why is it so hard sometimes for us to apply the same simple logic to our relationships?  Why are we (myself included) seemingly obsessed with keeping our “options” open, when the right person might be staring us right in the face?

CommitmentCommitment.  It’s scary.  And there are all sorts of reasons for this.  I’ll be the first to admit it scares the crap out of me.  So I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince anyone that commitment is easy or whatever.  Instead, let’s focus on the rewards of committing to someone, which, if you’re anything like me, is the only way I’m willing to do anything scary willingly.

But let’s clarify what we’re talking about here.  I’m not saying we should marry the first thing that walks by.  Obviously, there’s plenty to think about when deciding with whom to spend the rest of your life.  But here’s the thing: you can’t really know someone, romantically at least, unless you’re exclusive with them, and vice versa.

Because let’s be honest, we’re always trying to impress each other, and often times that leads to acting in ways that might not be who we really are.  It’s commitment that allows you to let your guard down a little bit and really be yourself in a relationship.  Until there’s a real commitment, there’s no guarantee you know someone beyond how they want you to think of them.

Ah, but there’s the risk: what if you don’t like who they really are?  Well, then you have to break up, and that might hurt.  But what if you like them even better?  You would have never known.  And here’s the other thing: it’s possible you might not know what it’s like to be able to be yourself, as opposed to just trying to put up a front.

If what we’re looking for is true love, we need to be exactly that: true.  True to our significant others, and true to ourselves.

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