Do you know a man in his late 20's or early 30's who shows no propensity to settle down? Is this man very much like an adolescent in that he plays videogames, hangs out with his friends and generally acts like a teenager? Does he spend a large amount of time at the gym and drinks creatinine powder?
I can't believe I'm saying it- but this morning as I drank my protein shake I realized that I am that man.
Let me explain. Facebook is full of babies and narcissists. We are all one or the other. Most of the time we're both. Facebook is full of babies- and they're beautiful and restore my faith in humanity. But no matter how bright and kind the child is- if you are the parent of said child you have to make some sacrifices. I applaud parents who give their heart and soul to their children. But the stress you feel everyday at being a parent, the fact that you give every part of you to this one tiny human, the fact that being a good parent is hard work- well that all sounds difficult. And for that reason I don't want any of it.
Maybe not forever, maybe tomorrow I'll want kids and to settle down- but for now it just seems like a hard sell. You mean I could do whatever I want on one hand- or I could create a life and struggle for that life to grow and become well-adjusted? Yeah I think I'll just fire up the Xbox. And then maybe go out to dinner.
Similarly it seems as I age that more and more people choose to be in committed relationships. And that's amazing. I've been in many in my lifetime and they can be beautiful affairs when you're with your best friend and things are great. But then there are times when a committed relationship is the definition of Dante's Inferno- when it's all just fighting and insecurities and blah blah blah. So much talking. So much reassuring. So much work. So little sex.
There I said it- sometimes committed relationships feel like work. And yes, even the best one eventually feels like work at sometime, but shouldn't feel like it all the time. As I get older I appreciate the presence of peace in my life. I like peace and peacefulness. I like a life without drama and labile emotional ups and downs. I like chilling out and having a good time.
That doesn't mean that teenage men don't enjoy dating and establishing emotional intimacy with someone- of course we do. We have that need the same as women but are scared of the trade-offs. We don't want to inherit someone else's problems.
Now don't get me wrong. There's something totally mutant about some teenage men. Like it's all one way or the other. They're either wet noodles or they're mass texting pictures of their junk. Even some of the normal ones have a paranoid fear of commitment that borders on pathological.
When did that happen? When did men alternate between weak and sleazy? When did dating become so awkward and disconnected? When did this whole thing- which is supposed to be about two people talking and having a great time- when did that become essentially not fun anymore?
I want to be free to love my life and lead it with vigour and joy. I want it to be full of fun and whimsy. I want to be childlike and not made to feel guilty about it. I just don't want any drama or headache anymore. I don't want someone in my life that's going to make my life harder. I don't want to go on couple dates- I hate feeling like I'm on a grown-up play date. I'm not a status symbol to be paraded around like a trained dog. I don't want to be dragged to boring functions all the time. I don't want to make freaking small talk or go shopping.
So if you're wondering why we're all teenage boys now, playing videogames, and hanging out with our Neanderthal friends - the answer is because it's low maintenance fun. This existence is the most fun I've ever had in my life. The reason why we're all manchildren now is because: we are finally old enough to realize what it is we like and enjoy, we're secure enough to do things by ourselves, and we're no longer afraid to say 'No'.
And shouldn't that apply to all of us? Shouldn't that be the case for both women and men? Shouldn't we all be having fun?
Fun is wonderful. Fun when enjoyed without guilt, when enjoyed with a pure spirit approaches love in its grandeur. I'm not saying fun is the equal to love- because it's not. Love wins every time. I'm just saying that childlike fun wins over grown-up misery any day.
With humour and warm wishes