Okay, here’s a bitch session on behalf of my single girlfriends.
Why do people, and by people I mean, men predominantly; think of a wife and kids as the ball and chains that will put an end to their freedom? They don’t want to live by someone else’s rules, or have to sacrifice or compromise.
But, since when does freedom equate to a lack of commitment, an absence of intimacy and no responsibility? Since when does freedom mean there are no rules and no compromise? How is selfishness liberating?
They say they don’t want to get married and have a family because then they are not free to do whatever they want, whenever they want. In other words they want to spend their money on beer and toys and retain the option to stick their dicks into the most appealing hole that presents itself. But how in the hell is personal caprice and instant gratification the same thing as freedom? (Unless you're like 2-years old, or something; and aren't the "terrible two's" the result of toddlers realizing they can't have their way all the time? Sheeessh!)
Okay, say you are a single guy. Congratulations, you’re free to corrupt yourself and contract all manner of diseases in through meaningless, random uncommitted sex! Woohoo! Way to go with that freedom. You’re well on your way to becoming a dirty old man that children will make fun of and pretty young women will shun with disgust. But hey, you’ll be free.
Here the low down. If you have no rules, no compromise and no self-sacrifice you are not free. You have only chaos, strife and suffering. If you do not have responsibility, commitment and intimacy, you are not free. You are empty, aimless and lonely. Even if you have a girlfriend that you love, but you can’t commit to. You are trapped. You’ll remain trapped until you make a commitment to something.
You don’t have to get married to be free but you damn well better make a commitment to being single. And then have the courage to say so and let her make her own decisions. I hate when guys are slaves to their own misguided sense of freedom and then selfishly trap their girlfriends in a delusion of hope. That’s just plain weak.
You want to be free? Give in. That is freedom. It is a conscious, deliberate, intentional abandoning of the self to love. Love is the only truth. And we all know what the truth does. But it’s not a mindless surrender. Freedom is “giving in” not “giving up.”
When you love deeply you say to yourself “I love her totally as she loves me. My heart is at her mercy and hers is at mine. I know that because she’s not perfect one day she may hurt me or let me down. And I will almost certainly do the same. But I know that my love for her and hers for me is strong enough to overcome it.”
That is giving in to love. It becomes a truth you live by. And from that comes freedom. Think about it. Half the time we don’t try the things that we really want to do in life because we are afraid of failing so badly that people will mock us or abandon us. We don’t want to look like fools. But to give yourself over to love you are taking a courageous step. You can pursue your dreams knowing that you will always have that one person who is rooting for you win or lose. And you are proud to be the one person who is always in her audience cheering for her rain or shine. My God, doesn’t anyone see the beauty in that? Why is it so fucking hard to see?
Maybe it’s because we don’t really know what love itself is. We think we know. We think it has something to do with affection, with desire and with the pleasure we feel from the object of our love. But that’s not love.
Real love is desiring above all the things the happiness of the other. It’s that simple. That doesn’t mean your sweetheart has to be a giddy, giggling fool you have to entertain 24-7. It means that when she is broken hearted you are there to wrap your arms around her and comfort her. Not to make her forget her grief and fear but to stand by her as she faces them. Not to lavish her with gifts that sparkle, but to offer her the treasures of your deepest heart and to cherish those secrets she gives to you with a trembling voice and burning tears.
To desire her happiness above all things is cheer her on when she doubts herself. To challenge her when she’s tempted do something half-assed. To pick a fight with her when she tries to hide from a truth she needs to face. To confront her with your pain when she lets you down and be willing to forgive her even when it still stings. To bear witness to and encourage her in her struggle to become the best version of herself. And it means you must be vulnerable enough to let her into you completely so that she can do all those things for you.
The best human example of this kind of true love is parental love. Think about your parents, or your kids if you have them and read over the last two paragraphs, you’ll see what I mean. That’s why children make giving in to love so easy. Because until we have children we are never more aware of the weight of the transaction. How impossible is it for any man to hold his child for the first time and not fall hopelessly, madly in love? Every father who’s ever held his child for the first time has felt it; physically in his body something strong and rigid suddenly lets go. Something deep in his soul exhales, releases. The strong and rigid is replaced with the powerful and fluid. You can see the vow form in his eyes. “I will always protect you. I live for your happiness.” That is love.
Parental love and freedom have taxes and rewards. The screaming toddler who must be carried to the car from the department store by a red faced father, is same one who will an hour later discover the existence of butterflies with a shout of delight and awe that daddy knew exactly what that wondrous flying creature was called. It the same for married love. The wife who complains about you not helping her around the house is the same beauty who dances with you in the kitchen after the kids are asleep and later curls up next to you in bed as you share the stories of your day.
When a woman asks if you love her and if you want to be with her, that is what she wants to know. Love is the security of knowing that you both live for the happiness of each other. When you are safe and secure in that kind of love you are free indeed.