This week, I penned an article for UPTOWN magazine on the relevance and likelihood of monogamy for millennials. It focused on whether or not fidelity is an attainable goal for couples in the digital love age.
I rationalized that our culture has been so jaded by the coverage of cheating in the media that we’re willing to accept a cheating spouse; it is much more appealing to have 78 percent of a man than spend our lives without one. I used Love & Hip-Hop New York and Atlanta, the Lozada-Ochocinco disaster and other examples as evidence for that argument.
Here was some of the premise of the piece:
“Most experts think exclusive marriages were buried with the cancellation of “Leave it to Beaver.”
In fact, French author Jacques Attali wrote: “Monogamy, which is really no more than a useful social convention, will not survive. It has rarely been honored in practice; soon, it will vanish even as an ideal.”
Statistics support Attali’s opinion. In February, the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy reported that 41 percent of marriages suffer through emotional or physical infidelity while 22 percent of men admitted to cheating at least once during their married lives compared to 14 percent of women. That doesn’t begin to account for the 74 percent of men who would philander if their wives never found out.”*
Though all statistics indicate that monogamy is a near extinct concept, I ended the piece with this:
“But I refuse to relinquish hope. I know that a prosperous marriage is possible. I am the product of one. My parents were raised in the same neighborhood, with my father often explaining that he felt the need to protect my mother from the time she was a child. They’ve been married since my mom was 19 and the pops was 28 and have been living in wedded bliss for almost 24 years. I’ve witnessed their marriage flourishing. It’s required sacrifice and lots of uphill battles. But watching them bond over TV Land series and traveling for reunions with their closest friends encourages me to keep seeking a soul mate.
Stevie J, Ochocinco, and the other fellas unwilling to step up to the plate and be responsible life partners are exceptions to the standard. I can’t speak for all 20-something millennials, but this gal believes monogamy is far from needing a respirator. It’s breathing and thriving on its own.”
Because that’s what I believe about commitment. Being faithful is a choice that requires willpower and lots of compromise.
But that’s not the reason for this follow-up blog post. Writing about long-term coupledom made me ponder the future. What I want, who I want to be with, when I want to settle and have children, and mostly importantly, why I value a husband and children as much as I cherish a viable career has been running through my mind for the past 24 hours.
I’ve thought about it before, but never this extensively. I’m 22 without a life-partner prospect in sight. These questions were bound to arise, especially as I witness close friends and relatives jumping the broom and popping out blessings via Facebook and other social networking sites.
Witnessing their bliss has me thinking about what the future holds for me, outside of writing and entrepreneurial ventures. I don’t want to head home after a long week of traveling and conducting business, kick off my chic wedges at the door of my huge Brooklyn brownstone with a veranda, and cook a dinner for one. I want to share this experience with someone, but not at the expense of my career.
I’ve never bought into the patriarchal concept of the “biological clock.” In fact, I’ve regarded it as an emotional shackle used to reign in women’s ambition.
Listen, I’m not June Cleaver. I never have been and I never will be. But as I see my stock rise in the writing world, I often wonder if I will ever find someone to share this world with.
I think it’s normal for me to want an axial family. I grew up admiring the Huxtables and my own parents. As a kid, I assumed that it would be natural for me to find a life mate who I could create memories and spawn with. My expectations were high for the marital future.
But I’m 22 and it hasn’t happened. Not that I haven’t tried. I’ve been in and out of relationships, both progressive and traumatic. I’ve dated college-educated dudes, thugs, and even a hipster or two.
But none of them have captivated me long enough to consider a lifetime as their spouse. Now that I’m invested in building this brand, I’m wondering when I will find the time to fall in love.
I’m on a perpetual deadline that never ends. When I will make time for that special someone? Between studying and analyzing for grad school courses? Or between freelancing, editing gigs, and scouring for jobs in the Ratchet Apple? Or maybe between scheduled Skype conference calls, vacations, and holiday visits home? At this point, it seems hopeless.
I haven’t counted Tbj** out. Truth is I love him. He makes my heart beat faster and slower at the same time. But if our perspectives on a future together aren’t aligned, hope is lost there as well.
I want to take over the world with someone. I don’t want to be alone forever. Alicia Keys crooned it best:
“Hand me the world on a silver platter
And what good would it be
With no one to share
With no one who truly cares for me.”
Ambition is amazing. It sustains and drives me. There’s so much to accomplish and aspire toward. But dreams and no one to share them with is lonesome. And I never want to be that spinster. I want to be in love.
*The feedback has been awesome from readers. Thanks so much for reading and dialoguing.
**Tbj stands for The boo joint