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for every male who’s unfaithful there’s a female who’s complicit



personal • 01.09.06     

From mid-teens to mid-forties I was invariably coupled. These were usually turbulent romances, the most contentious aspect being my apparent fear of commitment. I didn’t like that designation implying that I was a standard bloke reluctant. I was far from standard in masculinity, often to my detriment, and I took commitment seriously.

I was prone to promiscuity however, seemingly never wanting to settle. I suggest many 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 I think would've resulted in miserable marriages with messy dissolutions. My so called phobia ultimately did a favour to all concerned.

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 most were looking for more than that even if it meant putting the boot into another woman’s agenda. It was ruthless behaviour all round and paints a picture that could trouble the faint-hearted.

Although I offer explanations for being non-committal I imagine 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 actually 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 always 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.