I Love You?Let’s Just Be Friends
“I think we should just be friends.” This famous line, expressed by millions of men during all-too-familiar break-up sessions, breaks girls’ hearts repeatedly. The feeling of rejection permeates the female body entirely when this phrase enters the conversation. Why does this line come up so often right before the relationship starts getting serious? Questions like this run through the minds of women everywhere, especially those around the “marrying” age. What is it about men and commitment and why are they so afraid of it?
The Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary defines commitment as an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled. According to this definition, commitment is a serious step taken in a relationship. Guys look at commitment as a burden, rather than a blessing. Women, on the other hand, see it as an indication of a man’s care and desire to be with them. For example, in the television show Friends, Chandler Bing is deathly afraid of commitment. In one episode he is depressed about his luck with women. He is telling his two female friends, Rachel and Phoebe, that he wants find a woman to wake up to the next morning, to spend time with that special person, get to know her family, go to special events with her and so on. The girls tell him how great a guy he is, that he does not repulse women, and they come to the conclusion that he is ready for commitment. The minute they say the word “commitment” his facial expression changes from relief to shock. He is turn denies it by saying, “Who said anything about commitment?” Many men view commitment the same way that Chandler does, and that makes women wonder.
One reason why men may have commitment issues is the fact that they want to stay single as long as possible. Men take pride in the “brotherhood,” and a crude saying by a certain wing on Taylor’s Upland campus is “bros before hoes.” As insolent as this may sound, it is all too common a concept, especially on Taylor’s campus. Men like to have fun, and women would not appreciate the kind of fun they like to have “with the guys.” Men may also feel that the male-to-male relationship is easier and more fun to maintain than a male-female relationship. It allows them to be masculine and use the testosterone that God gave them.
According to Matt Mahan, a senior at Taylor, “guys like to keep their options open.” Rather than be satisfied with one woman, men like to make sure they are not missing out on something better, according to one male student at Western Oregon University. The student explains the dilemma: He and his girlfriend have been dating for a year and she wants to get engaged, but he does not. He loves her, but still wants to play the field and make sure that there is not someone more suitable. Maybe the problem is not men being afraid of commitment; maybe they are just being careful. Mahan also added that some men might not be ready for a commitment at this time.
The same thought came from another Taylor student, freshman Steve Mellema. He stated that he as well as other guys have plenty of time for relationships, but at this time do not have the time or the money to invest in a committed relationship. This theory is plausible. With all the commitments that come with college, who has time for another one? “Relationships are hard to maintain,” Mellema says, “and they are a lot of work and time commitments.” Women understand this, but feel by the time they are ready for a commitment; the relationship should be at a point where it is a priority.
Men and women see relationships and commitments from different points of view. Women have issues involving insecurity, and this may factor in the differences in relationships. A woman sees a commitment as confirmation of a man’s care for her. A relationship without some type of commitment leaves many women feeling insecure and vulnerable. Men do not feel the same way. That is why commitment does not mean the same to them as it does to women.
Men and women will always differ in reasoning concerning relationships. The male tendency to be free will always conflict with desire for a commitment. Psychological differences in men and women will also play a factor. For the time being, women must be patient with men concerning commitment because men like their freedom and to give it up is a serious step for them.