Relationships are great. They make you feel happy and sad, anxious and calm, elated and deflated, all the ingredients that make life worth living, up and down. But there is a very big mistake a lot of people make in their relationships which modern society is starting to have less and less support for. Marriage. This is an opinion piece inspired by recent happenings in my life, and years of thought and Louis C.K.
But first a crash course on my view of the modern brain
Evolution is a painfully slow process, whereas technology and the subsequent development of social constructs is rapid. Evolution needs to wait for the inherently slow natural process for mutations to form and adaptations to become constant. Technology can take leaps and bounds due to fortunate accidents, strokes of genius, etc. Completely new technologies never previously thought of can appear and disappear from one generation to the next, whereas evolution is so gradual it can't even be measured in terms of generations. The human brain is still evolving from cro-magnon man, and therefore we still have basic behaviours that are immediately recognisable as that of primitive pack animals. It's a fun past time of mine to observe peoples reactions to social situations and realise how much they relate to that of a dog, or another pack animal. Things like how men will trade blows over a woman in a heartbeat, but happily share a beer afterwards when she has left the scene.
Modern society is a product of the technology that exists, and the situations it imposes on humans as a result. Since the technology, and therefore the society, changes so rapidly, the unevolved caveman brain can't keep up.
Cavemen love sex
The meaning of life is purely to ensure the propagation of more yous. The continuation of your species. To this end, you have a little system in your body called the pancreatic system. Among many other things, it regulates the flow of "feel good juice", hormones, enzymes and shit like that, that make you feel good or bad depending on situations you are exposed to. A large part of this feel good juice is administered on sexual contact with the opposite sex. Your pancreas wants you to continue your species, so it makes you feel good when you are performing activities conducive to that goal. Ie, impregnating (or becoming pregnant). Since your caveperson brain hasn't heard about condoms, sex feels good. This system is more commonly known as "the power of the pussy".
Girls love commitment
because they are still cavewomen. If they have found a man they presume to be able to protect and provide for them and their babies, they want to know that he is going to be around for long enough to see his service to the end. Here is a point where caveman brain and rapid society collide. Cavewoman brain wants to ensure that their man will stick around, and housewoman brain sees that marriage creates a social, emotional and legal requirement for it to be so. The two convene and the connection is made. To this end, girls dream about their weddings and long for some dude to marry them, or at least to commit (they may not logically call it marriage, but they long for what I call "continuity of service").
To continue, we need a crash course on my view of love
My favourite line to say when this subject comes up (which it does all too rarely) is this: "Love is an outdated construct of a primal pancreatic system that must force man and woman together in order to ensure the continuation of the species". In short: love is chemicals that make you want to protect and coddle the woman you have the most to do with. The same thing happens to the girls. The good thing about these chemicals? They are just chemicals, and they are processed through the pancreatic system, kidneys and liver and leave the body just like any other toxin. This is why people "fall out of love" and why it is possible to "reinvigorate a relationship" (with accurate stimulus). These chemicals are incredibly addictive though, and without them your body will turn against you. Your pancreatic system allows you your hit of feel good juice when you see the ladyfriend you are supposed to be servicing (in the least innuenduous way) and takes it away when you don't. You'll do anything for that hit of feel good juice. Even offer to marry her.
Meanwhile, in cavewoman brain...
She has spent the last 18 years (at least, hopefully, you criminal) fantasising about the one man who will provide his service to her indefinitely. Planning her wedding and relishing every perceived moment of it. Once she has an inkling that she has found "the one", her pancreas gives her a little taste of her version of feel good juice. It's like giving a hungry wolf pup a lick of blood from your wrist. Goodbye arm.
Welcome to your relationship
In the morning you wake up next to a person, you may have some sex, which is usually good (the meaning of life, actually), then you have breakfast, do some stuff, usually interact with your partner, then go to bed (more sex, if you're lucky) and drift off to sleep. The day provides enough variety to allow you not to notice the real monotony, and your pancreas provides some ups and downs to stimulate you. It's generally a good gig.
People spend a lot of time fighting for everything in their lives, to varying degrees. You have to work to get money to get food and entertainment, you have to fight to get a job sometimes, and so on. Have you ever wanted something really bad only to find, on purchase, that it was pretty much the same as something you already had? I'm sure most of us can relate to that.
Here's where all this is leading to
Picture that purchase times a bajillion. Something you want and need so bad you would piss into a cyclonic wind to have, on purchase turns out to be exactly what you already had. Now picture that disappointment. That's the wedding, and the subsequent decline in interest. Sure, it isn't immediately manifested, it may take months, years sometimes, but eventually you realise that your pancreas isn't giving you those shots of feel good juice. You have just given your woman the ultimate gift. The thing she has been pining for and fighting for her whole life, and she now has it. So her pancreas takes a break. It no longer needs to provide feel good juice to motivate her towards its goals. She starts getting withdrawals. Where's my hit, pancreas? All this shit I went through to get you what you wanted and now you're cutting me off? I need this shit, man!
You'll do anything for your hit of feel good juice. Your current partner is no longer providing for your addiction. Sometimes (a lot of the time, evidently) the pancreas will be a real dick, and give you your hit without your partner present (the one you have socially, emotionally and legally bound yourself to). Then caveman (or woman, you bitches ain't no weeble wobble) brain is back on track for that hit. And that's when bridges are burnt and shit goes downhill. "I just don't love you like I used to" = "I've got a new dealer". It's heartbreaking shit, thanks again to your pancreas.
Did I just ruin your chances of ever loving again?
I don't think so. There is no greater high than the high you get from love. It is natural, beautiful, powerful and all consuming. There is no greater purpose in life than to expose yourself to that high, so you should commit yourself to finding it and diving in headfirst. Life exists for love. But love, like the chemical family it fits into, fades. Committing yourself to one dealer is the mistake, because eventually they stop providing the high, and then panky goes on a wrecking mission. Caveman is polygamous. Pancreas wants to ensure your species, so the best way is to hedge its bets. Get a seed in every pot, so to speak.
Just so we're clear, this doesn't mean that women exist purely for their vaginas. That's how you brand yourself an asshole. Women are exactly like you, just without the constant need for sex. They are way easier to talk to because they don't need to pass your judgement about whether or not sex is an outcome. That all happens in the male brain. They are far more interesting because they aren't on a conquest for sex, they honestly want to talk about things and stuff. They are funny and sometimes a bit idiotic because their brains aren't on a constant vigil to ensure they are the most appropriate suitor for you (which is the exact case for the visa versa). They are great people to talk to because they are far more genuine in general. And your pancreas makes you feel good when you successfully interact with them.
My final allusion to the titular subject
On marrying a woman you commit three cardinal sins. Firstly, you remove any uncertainty either parties have about their relationship. This stops you both from fighting for it and eventually leads to boredom, and possible pancreatic mutiny. Secondly, You show to her that the thing she has wanted all along, she already has, sans a piece of paper. Rather than that being a wonderful revelation, it's more like a slap in the face. Finally, you remove your final bargaining chip. Selfish, I know, but it's a biggie. It's like pulling a gun in a knife fight, only to have it fire a little red flag that unrolls and says "bang!". You no longer have that thing that she wants so bad from you.
Ladies, commitment exists without marriage, and marriage ruins otherwise perfect relationships. The marriage itself is the catalyst to its own collapse. And that's why we're "scared of commitment".