When I was a little girl, I had a recurring daydream. I’d meet my soulmate when I turn 16. He becomes my best friend, we go to the same college together, move to the same city, fall in love and get married, have kids and live happily ever after. There was no space for dating other guys, having my heart broken or breaking other hearts, people hitting on me only for a particular reason—none of that. It was the perfect love story; one that couldn’t be made into a movie since there were no twists or turns.
I grew up and expectedly, my daydream was shattered into a millions shards. Many came and went; I broke some hearts and my heart was broken a few times. But nonetheless, I still believe in love, commitment, marriage, fidelity and the likes. Which is odd, because the concept of marriage scared the bejesus out of me for the longest time—not because I wanted to sound cool and say that I don’t want to be tied down or whatever excuse people use, but because my first-hand experience of marriage in my formative years was less than perfect.
Today I see fidelity has become a scarce commodity, a point of discussion with people actually debating whether or not it is possible. People I know fall in love, spend heaps of time together, fight, share, laugh, and then get married. I’m presuming that when they are getting married it’s not just for the party (as fun as that idea may be). You are taking a vow to love, cherish and respect each other, no matter what. Yes, there will be ups and downs, sometimes the road will look barren for long periods of time, sometimes you will want to either kill yourself or your spouse, or both. But in the end, you promise at that altar, in front of a fire or a cross or a courthouse, that you will stick it out. So why the question of whether or not fidelity is possible? Isn’t that the premise of most relationships, especially that of marriage?
When people tell me they think fidelity is overrated and not a practical expectation, I look at it this way—I love my mom. Now if I meet my friend’s mom who may be prettier, or more fun, or just cooks better, does that mean I...switch or move on to the other mother? Not really.
So why is it so difficult for people to stay committed in a marriage and uphold those vows? I’ve heard people say that yes, I’ve cheated, but I love her/him, so I shouldn’t lose her/him. Huh? If you do love the person, how could you allow your body to make love to anyone else? Isn’t it repulsive? I know love and lust are two different things, but isn’t lust a part of love? If you are truly in love with someone, aren’t you also attracted to that person, and hence won’t feel the need to satiate any physical needs elsewhere?
I’ve heard people say, “I love XX, but so-and-so is so cute, I just can’t resist!” I could understand that if you’re in a relationship where you’re not entirely happy or sure about the person. But if you’re married (and I don’t mean those weddings where you are forced down the aisle)... how?
I may sound old-fashioned, close-minded or just plain stupid. But it makes me thinks, in this day and age, when we have so many options for just about everything, from detergent to investment plans and cars, are we also beginning to look at options for our love and commitment? Is it really becoming that difficult in today’s urbanscape to stay loyal to one person, where you can have up to five people at a time?
I try not to judge but sometimes I can’t help it. Forgive the righteousness of this post, it’s not the intention. I’m just old-school. Despite seeing lots of infidelity all my life, I am a complete champion for faithfulness, loyalty, chivalry and old-fashioned, one-person, head-over-heels, going-down-on-one-knee, sweeping-you-off-your-feet kinda love. Is that too much to ask for?