Why you shouldn’t keep investing in men who claim that commitment isn’t cool

When traveling by bus or train in India very often you will encounter people trying to sell you all manner of things. One of the common characters that you will encounter on your trips is a man trying to sell you a juicer. In his demonstration, this amazing juicer will be able to squeeze 8 to 10 glasses of juice from a couple of oranges. You will be impressed and buy this juicer. At home when you try to replicate this feat you will only get a half a glass at most. This will likely confuse you.

When you go out into the dating world you will encounter such people — larger than life, flamboyant. They will try to sell you on all sorts of things about why commitment is a bad idea. ‘I don’t believe in defining the end of relationship’, ‘definitions are limiting’, and my favorite, ‘I don’t buy into societal norms’. He will say that he is misunderstood by most people — they are too ordinary to understand just how cool and alternative his lifestyle is.

Trust me I get the allure. Who doesn’t want to be cool and alternate? Of course, you don’t want to fall into the category of ordinary unenlightened folk who seek security in definitions. Initially, a relationship with this person will be thrilling and intense. You will feel special, somehow chosen. Yes, there will be times he doesn’t show up when you need help with something — ‘oh I just lost myself creating’ or when he will not get in touch for weeks with the excuse ‘I don’t believe in responding to messages’ this is who I am. There will be alarm bells that ring in your head. Something won’t seem right. Somehow you will quell those urges by telling yourself — this acceptable because you don’t fall into the category of people who need validation. You are a ‘cool girl’, independent, and self-reliant.

Slowly when in this relationship you will realize that things don’t add up. If your person says they are spiritual you will see that they don’t live by the ideals they talk so much about. If they say they are devoted to their work you will notice that although they talk a good game, they rarely finish what the start. If they say they are creative, it will be months before you see them seriously invest in creating something. Their excuses for not showing up for you and the other people in their lives will be revealed as just that, excuses.

So, what do you do? Well of course you double down on the effort. You overcompensate. You love harder. Maybe because you enjoy the challenge. Possibly because in some ways you are unavailable yourself. Suddenly you find that you are constantly tired. Constantly drained.

To return to our juicer. You will continue to use your sub-optimal juicer. You will get frustrated. When you travel again, you will encounter another man selling another juicer. You will buy this again. And again, there will be little or no juice. Again, you will be confused and wonder what you’re doing wrong. This is because instead of recognizing that there is something wrong with the damn juicer, you will think that the issue lies within yourself.

Sure, there are all formats of relationships. You might not want to put on a label on your relationship. You might decide never to live together, and you might not ever get married, but you are deserving of effort, time, and kindness. Some men are just overgrown boys — they walk around the world as if they own it, but really, they are wounded children who never felt loved growing up so are in truth incapable of loving anyone in turn. In such cases, unconditional love is all very good, but you can feel compassion for someone and decide to love them from a distance as well.

In effect, we all talk about being ambitious in our careers but really women — be ambitious in your relationships too. Be ambitious about how you want to be treated. About how you want your partner to show up for you.

To my friends struggling to squeeze emotional satisfaction out of juicer — just dump the damn thing already. You will thank yourself for it later.