The Paradox of Commitment

Courtesy of Post Secret this week.

The concept of commitment is a fantastic utility for women. Men can be simultaneously shamed for not sticking to a commitment that benefits them and still be shamed for steadfastly adhering to a commitment that doesn’t. The social convention is so developed there’s even a cute term for it – “commitment-phobic” or “commit-o-phobe”.

There’s an interesting control of the message here; the principle of commitment is cast in feminine-centric perfection. The idea is that commitment should only have meaning in a feminine defined reality. Ironically, it’s Men who commit far more readily to ideals, family, military, business ventures or partnerships, and servitude than women have the capacity to appreciate, because recognizing this doesn’t serve their imperative. In other words, a commitment to anything that doesn’t directly benefit the feminine isn’t commitment; answer? Redefine commitment to reflect feminine interests.

Whenever I  get into these debates about infidelity (albeit usually from the male perspective), and it becomes an immoral / amoral / moralist ménage à trois, I wonder, what is the greater “moral” imperative; to remain faithful to your morally obligated commitment with your spouse in spite of a loveless, passionless, sexless partner, or to break that commitment in order to pursue the obligation and commitment you owe yourself as a “superior” Man deserving of a better “quality” partner?

What has moral priority, a commitment to yourself or a commitment to marriage? You see it’s easy to wave the flag of self-righteousness when the issue is a right vs. wrong issue. It’s much more difficult when the question is right vs. right. I have no doubt that all the answers to this will be entirely circumstantial, rationalized twisting in the wind, and maybe that’s what decides for you, but think about it for a moment in the terms of what one must sacrifice for the other.

Whatever you cannot say No to is your master and makes you it’s slave.

This is a favorite go-to trope for moral arguments where there’s a clearly defined right and wrong, however, by this definition then, does not commitment make you a ‘slave’ by default? If by the circumstances of a commitment you cannot, figuratively, say “no” to the that (or due to that) commitment, are you not then a slave?

You can even take marriage out of the equation; if I’m in a committed LTR with a GF and over the course of that relationship I realize that she’s not what I’m looking for (for any number of reasons, not just sex), even though she’s 100% faithfully committed to me and the LTR, should I then break that commitment? If I do, am I then being unethical for having broken that commitment irrespective of how I break it? Should the commitment to my own personal well being and future happiness be compromised by another commitment?

What’s my obligation; neglect myself in favor of a bad commitment or to the principle of commitment itself?

It’s my take that commitment ‘should’ be a function of genuine desire. Ideally, commitment should be to something one is so passionate about that the limiting of one’s own future opportunities that come from that commitment is an equitable, and mutually appreciated trade. This is unfortunately rarely the case for most people in any form of commitment because people, circumstance, opportunity and conditions are always in flux. A commitment that had been seen as equitable sacrifice at one time can become debilitating 5 years after depending upon circumstance.

So what I’m getting at is where do you draw the line? People go all kinds of crazy when I suggest a guy NEXT some girl that’s obviously showing all of the indications that she’s using him (or has proven so) and then two comments down suggest that it’s Men’s obligation to vet women by “walking away.” If I have one life to live and one precious lifetime to do it in, what is more important; a commitment to oneself in learning and securing the best options for a lifetime or being committed to the principle of self-sacrificing commitment?

In the community we brazenly tell freshmen chumps to dedicate themselves to self-improvement; to seek out and accomplish what’s best for them – in other words, to uncompromisingly commit themselves to their own cause in as positive a manner as possible. I’d argue that genuine desire is a necessary precursor to this, but in advocating this self-concerned improvement, are we not then doing them a disservice if their duty ought to be focused on the principle of commitment, even when that commitment is (or becomes) deleterious to their commitment to a positive self? What holds more water, being a martyr to chivalrous commitment, or a steadfast dedication to ourselves?  Should we not then hold AFCs in the highest respect when they selflessly sacrifice their futures due to their devoted commitment to a ONEitis girl who’ll never reciprocate on, much less appreciate, that commitment? We’d call them chumps, but in contrast to their devotion to the principle of commitment, maybe they’ve got it right? You can’t doubt their (albeit misguided) dedication to their convictions.


19 responses to “The Paradox of Commitment

  • A.B. Dada

    Around the 18 month mark in ALL of my relationships with dames, they always start pushing a bit more for additional “signs” of commitment — even though 100% of them know I had, have, or will have other women in my life.

    I ask them all the same question when they start pushing for an extra night a week, or when they ask me if I will ever ‘settle down for just one gal’ — “What do I do if she or I gets bored or meets someone fantastic?”

    Their answer is “Who could be better than you?”

    The reality about commitment is that it only matters in the NOW, not the yesterday or the tomorrow. Commitment to anything (job, family, friends, lover(s), favorite restaurant or bar) isn’t set in stone. The word commitment is full of problems.

    I’ve been trying to come up with a better term to use, one that focuses more on the “I’m with you today because we have fun together and you take care of my current needs” versus the “you’re the one and only forever and forever!!!!!!!” ideology of commitment.

    Any thoughts?

  • YOHAMI

    Commitment used to mean both partners sacrificed themselves / stuck together for a greater goal, the family, the kids, the team, the relationship.

    Today, that goal is simply the woman.

    Commitment for the man means he sacrifices his own interests in order to meet the needs / happiness of the woman. He sticks there doing the right thing, past the point where he´s unhappy. If his hearts breaks and he cant take it anymore, he mans up and does it again. For her. Because its right.

    Commitment for the woman means she keeps the man in check and lets him know when he´s not quite meeting her demands. And having courage to stick to her own true happiness meter so if she´s not feeling it, she dumps the loser and finds another male, female or institution who can better fit her demands.

  • YOHAMI

    If you say “I´ll be here forever” then they feel secure you´ll be around to protect the incoming kids. So they can relax and fuck and have kids and you´ll be there. If you say you´re only going to be here in the NOW, they wonder about tomorrow, what will happen when a big gorilla comes after their kids? so much stress.

    Women need the forever. Not that they value it. But that they need it.

  • Good Luck Chuck

    This blind adherence to commitment is also an extension of the white knight mentality.

    When I was “green” I would always hesitate to pull the trigger to dump a chick even if I was tired of her and I knew it was the right thing to do, and a big part of the reason for this was that I was that I wanted to avoid inflicting pain. Of course I later came to realize a few things such as:

    1) Not all of a woman’s tears are genuine

    2) A woman’s “love” is only as strong as what you can do for her and how you make her feel

    2) She wouldn’t hesitate for half a second to do it to me if the circumstances were reversed

    3) Women get over breakups WAY faster than men do

    It is ingrained in us men (I assume at least partially by nature and partially by social conditioning) to want to avoid seeing a woman in distress, especially one we care about, but unfortunately this “care” is usually a liability.

  • Sasha

    I feel that one can’t truly commit to anything earthy, to anything physical for it’s bound to change. One can only truly commit to some higher ideals -truth, love, freedom and let those guide earthy decisions. Whenever stuck choosing between two competing commitments (on the same level), commit to something higher instead.

  • MNL

    It’s my take that commitment ’should’ be a function of genuine desire. Ideally, commitment should be to something one is so passionate about that the limiting of one’s own future opportunities that come from that commitment is an equitable, and mutually appreciated trade. This is unfortunately rarely the case for most people in any form of commitment because people, circumstance, opportunity and conditions are always in flux.

    I’m not sure what word to attach to the above, but it’s not “commitment” in its typical definition. Commitment isn’t as transient or conditional as “desire” or feeling “passionate” about something. While one might consider committing to a cause or person because of those feelings (in part), the further step of commitment means something more. Therefore, there’s no inherent paradox in the word or principle of “commitment”.

    Rather, the paradox is in society’s changed expectations for commitment on the part of men vs. women. Women today are now given society’s permission to follow their hypergamous instincts and ride the carousel while men aren’t yet given equal permission to follow their instinct to avoid marrying or financially supporting such women. Instead mean are simply told to “man up” and ignore the clear, biological cuckoldry threat.

  • Sasha

    And what are your feelings about the current system the way you described it? I have seen my mother commit to things other than her emotions/well-being (such as marriage or me) and the results weren’t pretty. Her commitment to marriage/marital duties allowed my dad to not grow up ane actually learn how to make her happy. Her commitment to my well-being over her own significantly worsened my well-being because of inherent energetic connectio with one’s mother – I felt her unhappiness sharply and even felt responsible for it.

    I came to conclusion that women should align with their emotions almost always – otherwise life-flow gets twisted. There is also wisdom in that alignment specifics of whi h often lie beyond my (and many men’s) immediate understanding.

    That’s why men shoukd pick wives in their own “weight-class” so to say. I would pick a wife whose heart I can fill with love for 25 or so years; yet I want that process to be challenging in ways that will stretch me to grow deeper.

  • Johnycomelately

    It has been my personal observation that men who do not commit to themselves first always end up getting screwed over.

    White knighting, commitment, self sacrifice etc. are what the little people do because they were born slaves and they’ll die slaves.

  • YOHAMI

    My feelings about the current order of things is that everyone is lost.

    I think women are just wired to be self centered and build a garden around of them, while the man is wired to kill monsters and produce solutions and make hierarchies that are external to them.

    No beef with women being self centered. Its not a bit worse than being externally centered. But without character or long term planning or empathy, whatever trait you throw in rapidly becomes a monster. The current order of things doesnt work for anyone.

  • Sasha

    I only recently observed and experienced the depth of immature female narcissism first hand and frankly speaking it deeply shocked me. It came out the most at the moments when I was weakest, lowest energy and when my frame is most fragile.

    I started reading up on it and the idea that stroke closest is that female narcissism is necessary to balance out feminine masochism. It surely confirms my experience – the most narcissistic women were the most masochistic.

    I disagree that the current order of things doesn’t work for anyone. It works – per usual – for those who can discipline their base drives and stay focused on what matters most to them. In fact noise and chaos of “sexual market” makes those living outside of it stand out way more and allows for quicker connections. In other words – it’s easier than ever to get lost but those who find themselves reap previously unheard benefits. It’s similar to the growing wealth of the haves and have-nots.

  • Issac Jordan

    Thank you, Rollo, for taking the time to put ideas like these out in the world.

    Life after the red pill is tough, and made all the more difficult when one is a shepherd surrounded by sheep. I find myself constantly wanting to discuss my newfound knowledge of game/evo-psych/biomechanics, yet nearly every guy I know insists on maintaining his white knight worldview.

    A good friend of mine is two years deep into a relationship with a girl who refuses to sex him up. Yet he continues to spend time/money/energy on the chick, insisting that if he “shows the strength of his commitment” maybe one day she’ll put out. It’s hard watching him throw away the best years of his life, yet every time I attempt to direct him to blogs such as these he just insists that I “don’t understand how love works” and blows me off.

    Whatever. At least I’m getting laid.

  • Javier

    I use to do the same with my friends and get constantly clowned for the things I said in this blog and numerous others. They’re still taking the blue pill, so I just say whatever’s. I made a commitment to myself and I’m bettter for it.

    And I continuously shake my head and laugh at friends because they are wondering “why they can’t get into and/or maintain loving relationship with girls?”.

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  • deadliftman

    I concur with his views. Obviously no commitment is limitless. There are always rules and boundaries. But, the idea of ditching a commitment because you don’t feel the passion any more is a sign of a weakness.

  • Kristina Marchant

    Whenever I get into these debates about infidelity (albeit usually from the male perspective), and it becomes an immoral / amoral / moralist ménage à trois, I wonder, what is the greater “moral” imperative; to remain faithful to your morally obligated commitment with your spouse in spite of a loveless, passionless, sexless partner, or to break that commitment in order to pursue the obligation and commitment you owe yourself as a “superior” Man deserving of a better “quality” partner?”
    What a bunch of crap! A lot of men just want to stick it in something different, not better quality. As a once heard a man explain it: “if I got thin and tall at home, sometimes I want short and chubby just to switch it up.” And most of these men claim they are happily married and have a healthy sex life with their wife. I don’t think wanting the cake and eating it too has anything to do with becoming more superior. Maybe more greedy, selfish and hurtful.

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    […] advantage of her assistance and how that assistance was rendered, I would determine the level of my commitment to her.  When it became evident I was not going to live for her and her desires or marry her, and […]

  • Frank Squisher

    I see this simply. If you make a commitment, honor that. For yourself; regardless of what they would do having the circumstances reverse.

    The key though is making the RIGHT commitment. You start off with few terms and sit down to re-evaulate potentially add terms so long as the relationship is going well. Only move forwards never backwards.

    eg.

    Meet a girl. Get together once a week while still seeing other people…TIme passes, become exclusive. So long as needs are met and fun is being had, remain exclusive. If you begin to become emotionally involved, consider it a relationship, perhaps spend more time together. Other than that terms stay the same. Continue with this, always live in the moment with respect to your relationship to ensure your making the most of your time with woman. Never compromise or make sacrifices to accommodate her. Never commit to anything long term besides a friendship. Make HER make the commitments to you. Make HER adjust to your life. The worthy mate and potential LTR woman will adjust to you. And if you know what you’re doing you’ll do the right thing for yourself and keep her happiness in mind aswell.

    A

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