BEING THE INFIDEL
From mid-teens to mid-forties I was always coupled one way or another. They were turbulent romances, the most contentious aspect being my apparent commitment-phobia. I didn’t like that designation implying that I was a standard bloke afraid to commit. I was far from standard in masculinity, often to my detriment, and I took commitment seriously.
Yet I was prone to promiscuity, seemingly never wanting to settle. There are a few reasons for that, the most obvious one being that I was never with the right woman at the right time. That none of my partners felt sufficiently compatible would've resulted in miserable marriages with messy dissolutions. My phobia doubtless did them a favour.
Neither did I like the possessiveness associated with couple culture. I saw how ruthless people could be getting their partner. And although the women were more for monogamy than I was they could ignore the rules too when they wanted to. Just for sex would’ve been one thing but they were invariably in it for more than that which meant putting the boot into another woman’s agenda. Together with my infidelities it was ruthless behaviour all round and paints a picture that would shock the faint-hearted.
Although I can offer explanations for being non-committal I think that had I been lucky in finding “the right person” then the arch infidel in me might have atrophied for the sake of that one quality connection. Despite the affairs, that was my holy grail for a long time: the search for a soulmate.
No longer of course. I’m too old and cynical now and anyway it was probably no more than a fantasy. Perhaps I would’ve been just as indulgent in my behaviour even with the romantic ideal. Perhaps my perfect partner would’ve been having secret liaisons with someone else, some other guy like me. They’re like that men and women, not innately monogamous. For every male who’s unfaithful there’s a female who’s complicit.
I never liked the possessiveness
associated with being coupled