The Lusty Vegan: Forever Evading “the Future”

This post was originally published in my Lusty Vegan column on iEatGrass.

As soon as you start doing adult things like paying your own rent and washing your sheets more than twice annually, everyone expects your relationships to grow along with your credit card debt. At a certain point, having a weekends-only relationship makes people raise their eyebrows, as if checking single on your income taxes is a condition you should take antibiotics to cure.

While being in a relationship is one of my favorite states of being (the others are full, and naked), that doesn’t mean that I am void of emotional insecurities and commitment issues. I like to point fingers at the fact that I am a product of divorce.

Beneath my neatly made bed of monogamy lurks my snarling commitment phobia, jumping out at inopportune moments and making me look like an asshole.

Mainly, I get really freaked out when making plans for “the future,” be it next month, or next year. While I think it’s exciting, sorry for stealing this line, the future freaks me out! I have spent some time boiling down my neurosis, and what I have emerged with is this: I don’t believe in making promises you aren’t positive you can keep. Mainly, promises about “forever.”

Aside from a career and personal goals, when most people think about their future, they think about things that center around a commitment to a partner. And if you want things like a house and kids, well they usually come after a big commitment. I am all for commitment, and as happy as I am to make the same manwich night after night, promising someone you can love them forever, white wedding style, seems very unrealistic to me. It’s a nice idea, but you can’t promise how you will feel in the future. You can only, at best, promise to try. Because relationships are hard!

I am not the same person I was at 20. Heck, I am not even the same person I was this time last year. We change, we evolve, we grow up and sometimes we even regress! It seems so irrational to be confident you can pledge to love someone for the rest of your life. You can be hopeful, and you can promise to try, but you can’t promise the future. Call me a pessimist, but I just don’t see that being realistic.

Is this a generational thing? Is it because my generation—and, considering divorce rates, the generation above me—is used to an abundance of choices and quick fixes? I love bragging about how my grandparents spent exactly two weeks together before getting engaged. They worked hard to stay in love their entire lives. I want to think I can dedicate myself to another in that fashion, and work together toward something greater than anything we could ever create as two separate halves. But I can’t help thinking about all the times I have seen people change and contort until you have no idea who they are anymore—myself included.

Recently I watched the film The Future, a quirky indie flick by Miranda July. I thought it would be an ironic comedy. The box said it was about a young couple who realizes the impending seriousness of their commitment when they decide to adopt a cat from a shelter. Right up my alley, right? Wrong. Miranda July, you (brilliant) little bitch. The LA Weekly claimed the movie is “devastatingly sad and hilarious.” Or just devastating.

Before shit gets weird…

I watched with horror as the couple in the flick blunders forward. Seriously you guys, I spent a solid two hours after the movie sobbing. It was terrifying. Anyone who feels like it’s about time for a quarter life crisis should probably pop that baby in. I identified with bits of both the characters, and It’s been a while since I felt that way about a movie. Also the whole “cat from a shelter” catalyst was a completely unfair heartbreaker. UNFAIR I tell you. The entire film was really really weird, especially when Miranda July humps a couch.

Furniture fornication aside, in the duration of the movie you watch the couple change, as people, and relationships, do. It’s impossible to promise you will always feel the same.

If I do get married, my vows would probably read something like “I can’t promise to love you forever, but I can promise to try. But no guarantees and if you act like an asshat. And I can always change my mind.”

Who else gets freaked out about the future? And who has seen the movie The Future? Thoughts?

The Lusty Vegan is a lifestyle and sex column focusing on living and loving as a twenty-something year old vegan. More rants from Zoe Eisenberg can be found at www.sexytofu.com. Follow her on Twitter @Sexytofublog

About the author  ⁄ Zoe

Zoe writes about food and sex on SexyTofu.com.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012

    I think about the future a lot as that’s where you and I will be spending the rest of our lives…

    Seriously (and if you get that quote you get my vote for “Most Likely to Be My Latest Crush”) I’m a 30 year old unmarried guy who spent nine years in school and I’m STILL trying to find a place to settle down and be happy and the woman that I want to spend…as much of my life with as possible.

    The reason people get divorced so much these days has nothing to do with the “erosion of family values” (as some people may say) and more to do with the fact that our parents and grandparents were raised in an environment where marriage was, honestly, more a matter of convenience than it was of true love.

    This is why you hear stories of people being married after a few weeks (not speaking of your grandparents specifically as I won’t be so indulgent to assume I know a damn thing about them) because they’re both unmarried, seem to get along and hey, if they get married, their parents will combine their farm land into a massively powerful money making machine.

    Of course, there is still the “marriage of convenience” thing going on all over the world with arranged marriages and the like. Our culture was raised more on the idea of “romantic love” and it’s pervaded our mentalities due to movies, books, television shows and songs.

    Remember “Dharma and Greg”? They got married on the same day they met or something like that. Because they felt their souls were meant to be together. This is the kind of stuff we’re fed and while it’s really fun to watch it can also make a person think that this is exactly how love works.

    When it usually isn’t. Oh well. I’m still holding out for my Dharma.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2012

      Also, in the past, people got married and learned to love each other. They fought for it instead of assuming that they didn’t need to do anything to keep it going. THIS mistake (not fighting for love but simply assuming it will be there) is the number one mistake couples (especially men) make.

    • Reply
      October 12, 2012

      Charles kettering !!! But yes you’re very right, especially about not fighting for love and assuming it should just come easy

      • Reply
        Eric Benac
        October 12, 2012

        That’s the myth of “love at first sight.” People confuse “lust” with love. I’ve been in love probably…three times. I’ve been in lust three times this last hour. The difference is vital!

  • Reply
    October 12, 2012

    i recently went to an avant-garde couple’s 40th year anniversary party…a really nice intimate catered backyard affair under a tent at the couples CT country home with family and friends…First the woman told some funny stories about their courtship and then their marriage and successful careers criss-crossing the country with many moves and how they stuck it out despite some heavy issues with their children….Then the hubby spoke…more serious (he was a NYC psychologist) about the trials and tribulations of 30 years together…a very long pregnant pause before he announced “None of you know this about us, but on our wedding day, we also made vows to a third person.” What??? OMG! There was a threesome all these years and we didn’t know about it??? Who? “We made vows to a marriage therapist on that day 40 years ago to see her every two weeks till death do us part.” And they kept that vow, and their marriage intact. (Though they were on their 4th therapist) Good idea heh??? They always knew they had a unbiased trained professional ear to listen to their issues regularly, to help them vent constructively and untangle snarls before they came triple knotted pent up oh so messy knots, as they went thru their many changes of growth and development from young adult hood to retirement. I love the idea, and wonder how many marriages that could have saved (including my own). And I think the government should encourage it by offering some sort of tax rebate for marriage therapy:~))! Something needs to be rethunk, redone, or reframed to keep the American family healthy and happy and married….

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