Reading the tell tale signs of commitment phobia in women was no epiphany for me. I have almost all of them and generally suspected that I have a great fear of getting into a bad situation – once bitten, twice shy and all that. Of the ten on the list, I identify most strongly with 4,5,8 and to some extent with 3.
1. You have a long and elaborate list of requirements for your ideal mate.
2. You go from one short-lived relationship to the next.
3. You have a habit of dating “unavailable” men.
4. You consider your married friends’ lives boring and think they settled for less.
5. You stay in relationships that are rocky and offer little hope of commitment.
6. You back out of plans at the last minute and have trouble setting a time for dates.
7. You cultivate large networks of friends at the expense of a single romantic relationship.
8. You have a lot of relationship trauma in your past.
9. Your career is very important to you and you often choose work over relationships.
10.You are constantly blowing “hot” and “cold” in your relationships.
Several of my girlfriends who are single moms in their 30s, do not really intend to remarry or even want to be in a long term committed relationship. Interestingly enough these seem to be goals they appear to be pursuing with some zeal or so they tell themselves. After much talk about commitment, engagement and the like, there is almost always a compelling reason not to take the final plunge.
Their twelve year old would get all confused with two dads competing for turf and attention, they are not emotionally ready to start a new family complete with another child plus thirty seven is too late for motherhood anyways. They can’t deal with another bunch of in-laws. His ex is shrew and he’s not fully over her yet. Finally status quo is safer more certain territory – why fix something that is not broke ?
It is common for these women to be surrounded by a bunch of likeminded girlfriends. They hang out with the gang making it difficult for the interested man to break into the clique, test the waters of the dating market tentatively at best, fully prepared to withdraw if it gets too complicated. Marriage no longer has any special significance to them mainly because their desire for motherhood is fulfilled.
It would seem like a man is useful only for purposes of procreation and quite disposable thereafter. This is not to minimize the pain that these women have been through in their marriage and relationships but it does seem that attaining motherhood acts as the deal breaker for a relationship already on the rocks.
Having achieved a new lease of life and a second shot at being single (and this time in no rush to marry) they no longer find it conceivable to settle for less, to cut corners or compromise in marriage. The dread biological clock factor no longer forces precipitate decisions. It also helps that men are so abundantly and readily available for short term flings.
The attitudes I speak of are more commonly seen in the west though the women in question can very well be from the east. I am sure as divorces become more common back home, women there will feel a lot like their sisters in the west. In a society that accepts their marital status (or the lack of it) so effortlessly, they are able to discover the distinct advantages of their circumstances and make the most of it. The combination of motherhood, unbridled freedom and not needing to adjust and compromise at every turn outweighs the value of the “married” tag for women who have had to pay a high price to come out of one.