Just a thought: All the conversation has been why men won't commit. Which is all fine and true. . . . The question I have is why do women want a long-term relationship? I'm not for or against either issue (although I'm currently in an LTR), just wondering why, as a generalization, women want to stick with someone for long periods of time.
You're far from the only one who wrote in wanting to know the answer to that question, but you were the most succinct, so you win. I've been thinking about this for days, and while I normally consult a bevy of nonexperts for queries such as yours, I feel qualified to answer this one on my own. So here I gospeaking on behalf of all women.
Women want to commit to one man for one reason: We're smarter than you. We know that the majority of men out there are going to get on our nerves. So when we meet a guy who doesn't bug the crap out of us, we want to get to know him better. Why? Because we are clever enough to realize that a nonirritating man is a rare thing. Finding a cute, employed guy who doesn't make us want to jam thumbtacks into our ears is like stumbling upon the Holy Grail, and we behave accordingly: We get a little overexcited. We don't want to go out with other assholes in the hopes that we might maybe someday perhaps find someone with more hair on their head or a bigger bank account. We don't care about what we might findwe want youthe guy standing in front of us.
Now I'm not saying that the majority of women out there aren't vexatious twitsthey are. But no matter how awesome a girl they're hanging out with, men always worry that they can do better. This is why any girl I know who's been dumped has had to suffer listening to the inevitable remorseful post-break-up phone call months or years after the fact. "I should've never dumped you for that model. . . . She turned out to be such a bitchfirst she gave me herpes, and then she ran off with my dad." Sigh. Click.
The reasons cited above are also why taken men lose every ounce of common sense they might've once had in the presence of flirtatious ladies. All puffy-chested in their newfound (albeit illusory) hotitude, these idjits ditch their significant others in order to mine this exciting new territory, only to find themselves once again suddenly invisible to the opposite sex. Duh. Most (OK, not all) girls only flirt with otherwise-involved men because they're safe. Plus, these guys are getting laid regularly and so don't have that unattractive air of desperation that suddenly reappears upon losing their source of regular sex (i.e., girlfriend or wife).
One of the few advantages a straight woman possesses is knowing that we can always get laid. (Without paying for it.) It doesn't matter what a broad looks like or how she smells, she can rest easy knowing she can always find some mook to put it to her. Sure, he might not be the cutest, or the smartest, or the cleanestbut someone will fuck her. This takes a lot of pressure off.
Men don't have this luxury. Unless they're banging other men or look like Colin Farrell, getting fucked is rarely a sure thing. It's always mysterious and exciting"Will I or won't I?" he thinks on his way into the bar. "Should I or shouldn't I?" is her big question.
So when the cute girl he's loved since ninth-grade algebrathe one he never thought he had a chance withfucks him, he immediately believes that since that previously unattainable woman had sex with him, Christina Ricci might possibly toss him a tumble as well. And so he behaves accordingly: The once-nice guy gets all cocky. I've watched some of my dearest friends go through this retarded metamorphosis, and it's all I can do to keep from boxing their deluded ears. Luckily, about the time they start getting super annoying, they also quit getting laid and revert to normal. Until the next time.
Should you or shouldn't you? Write Dategirl at firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.