Thin Love

Thin Love


Recently I read about a couple that doesn’t believe in monogamy. A relationship without commitment projected as a choice made by a ‘strong independent’ woman, probably, as an assertion of her strength and independence.

Such relationships, it appears, are built on the foundation of ‘having no expectations’. The people involved feel ‘free’ and ‘unburdened’. The article reported that the rules of such relationships included not being allowed to ‘long for’ or ‘miss’ each other. This freed them from any guilt stemming out of their inability to fulfill the other’s romantic (or other) expectations..

It made me reach out to look up the meaning of the word ‘commitment’. I was surprised at the contradiction the word threw up. ‘Commitment’ means both:

the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.’; and

an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action’.

It is quite interesting to observe that the same word can refer to both ‘dedication’ and ‘obligation’!!

The words ‘love’, ‘relationship’, ‘dedication’, and ‘obligation’ seem to get intertwined quite often.

Obligation enters a relationship, probably, when the love that there was, is now gone. A relationship run on obligation loses steam pretty soon and can’t travel far. The burden of obligation on even the strongest of shoulders, eventually makes them sag and long for newer/easier alternatives.

That is why perhaps, most independent modernists are reluctant to give up their freedom of choice, even when in a relationship. The people involved make a choice, every instance, to be or not to be together. There is zero obligation, coupled with zero dedication.

And love? It’s difficult to fathom where love fits into the ‘no commitment’ model. ‘Love’, it appears, has been snipped and trimmed to fit into the modernist’s closet. “I will love you at all times”, has been appended with, “I will love you at all times, when it’s convenient for me to do so”!!!

Although, I consider myself a modernistic soul, when it comes to love and relationships I still seem to be holding on to the age old diktats of being completely dedicated in love.

To me, a relationship without commitment reeks of selfishness. A non-committed lover defines cowardice and not strength or independence. It often appears that people in non-committal open relationships are just using each other to escape the monotony of routine lives for sometime – till something better comes along. I think that it might work for some – for sometime. But, ultimately relationships of convenience end leaving behind a sour taste in the mouth; and more often than not, at least one broken heart.

A relationship in which a partner is not dedicated to the other one hundred percent is not based on ‘love’ at all. Dig deeper and you will find ‘low self confidence’, ‘fear’, ‘greed’ or ‘egoism’ buried at the foundations.

So even at the risk of being labelled ‘old fashioned’ and ‘soft’, I choose to sum up my feelings for ‘love’ and ‘relationships’ using Ms. Morrison’s words:

Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”
― Toni MorrisonBeloved