I once met a guy, whom we’ll call Adam. Adam had just graduated from college and moved in with his girlfriend in a loft apartment in downtown Cincinnati.
On the outside, Adam and Hannah were great together. And Adam said that he loved Hannah, and could see himself marrying her someday.
But, he said, he was haunted by the idea that maybe there was somebody better out there.
“There’s so many other fish in the sea, there’s so many other people out there,” he said. “Do I really want to dedicate all of my time, energy, money, possessions to this one person?”
I asked him for his thoughts about why many men his age are similarly afraid of commitment.
“I feel like men are faced with this sort of sexual temptation more so than ever before,” he said. “Like Playboy or Internet porn … just the vastness of it now and the availability.”
“So we’re marketed to sort of not want [commitment],” he said. “You’re kind of taught that nice guys finish last and the asshole gets the girl. . . . We’re taught to kind of just want sex, or just to look at a girl as a body, not as a person.”
While Adam feels the pull of these messages, he knows better. Because at the end of the day, that’s not what he really wants. What men really want is the love and commitment and stability that can only be found in marriage. And Adam is no different.
“I used to think I was like too cool for [marriage], but now I’m like, yeah, I’m probably gonna get married.”
Adam says he has a lot of stoner friends who just want to hang out or go to the bar. “And that sounds fun, and that will be fun that day. But, I don’t want to wake up and be like thirty, and not married, and be like that guy still. You know what I mean?”
Contrary to stereotype, men, like women, are looking for commitment. In fact, 82 percent of 18 to 26 year-old guys say that marriage is important to their life plan. And more men are speaking out about their desire for lifelong love: Just read the story of this single musician, who says he is tired of the no-commitment dating scene.
I think Adam is on to something. It might sometimes seem that assholes finish first—but in reality, they’re the ones that end up alone in a bar at fifty years old.
Have you ever felt the pull between following your own desires and making a commitment to a person you love? Why do you think it’s hard for young people today to make commitments?