Why Being Committed Can Bring You Freedom

In any commitment, we are making a choice not to make a bunch of other choices. That is, we are embracing a particular set of limitations. In a relational context this will seem entrapping to the immature, but not to the mature.

For example, being confined to one woman may seem narrowing or entrapping to a man who’s done no deep work on himself, once his honeymoon with her has receded in the distance. With little novelty left (other than perhaps that generated through pornographic proclivity), and with little capacity to take the relationship deeper, he almost inevitably loses interest in her. (Although, ironically, he was never really that interested in HER.)

By contrast, being confined to one woman is far from narrowing or entrapping to a man who’s done — and continues to do — deep work on himself (assuming that he and she are compatible peers). He finds, and keeps finding, her remarkably interesting; his familiarity with her only affirms and deepens the Mystery of her for him.

His being limited to her deepens his freedom, for through his ever-closer intimacy with her, he touches far more than just another human being. Some might say that he has sacrificed breadth for depth, and they are right, but only partially right.

Initially, there’s little breadth but considerable depth; later on, as more depth is accessed, and he starts to experience archetypal dimensions of femaleness through his partner, there is more breadth, and therefore a wider embrace of Woman.

And still later on, as dimensionless depths of being are more fully accessed, there’s much more breadth, more of a vastly encompassing yet still deeply individuated sense of her, until he is — however fleetingly or subtly — in intimate contact with both the One and the Many, at which point relationship is being-centered communion, a sanctuary/crucible for a radically deep, exceptionally functional Life. Here she is his portal, and he is hers...

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