Freundin author Maximilian Reich explains in our column what makes men tick. Today: Are Men Really Afraid of a Relationship?
There are many things that I am afraid of. These include monkeys, airplanes, cell phone radiation, nuns, and this black point on my shoulder that I urgently need to show a doctor. What doesn’t scare me, however, is the thought of a relationship. On the contrary. There is nothing I want more dearly. My sister has two children, my brother recently got married and I finally want to start a family. After all, I’m not the youngest anymore. And that’s exactly why I hesitate to get into a relationship. To some, this may seem like fear. But it is not.
At 20 I was a real relationship, bad girl. I had a partnership with every woman that was nice and attractive. Sometimes even if she was just attractive. And if after a few months I noticed: It just doesn’t work – then I just split up again. So what. For me, having a relationship was like shopping for shoes on Zalando. You just try it out – if it doesn’t fit, you can simply send it back. Hey, I didn’t say I was particularly personable back then.
But now I’m 36 years old and I feel like I can’t waste any more time. Even if I get to know the woman of my life tomorrow, we would probably be together for three or four years before we plan a child. That takes another nine months. So in the best-case scenario, I’ll be 40 when I become a father. That means I’ll be 60 when my child graduates from high school. At least if it inherits my academic genes. I can see myself going to his graduation ceremony with a cane. And as I said: this is still the best case. That’s why I can’t afford to waste any more time with a woman I can’t imagine a family with. I feel a bit like a football player in the fall of his career. He also thinks carefully about which club he will sign his last contract with.
I’ve been out with a woman a few times who was humorous and personable. We got on really well and had a great time. But she had this annoying habit of adding an “i” to the end of words. Like “super” and “Ciaoi” and I was pretty sure: I won’t be able to take this until the end of my life. So after four weeks with a heavy heart, I ended this business with us. I was sure I would find an even better woman to start a family on Tinder. And maybe it’s just a swipe of your thumb away. Perhaps this is a modern problem in our society: we always strive for the optimum. You want to get the best out of your vacation, the best cell phone – and the best wife too. Apart from the fact that I didn’t want my child’s first word to be “Supi”.
I was recently in a cafe with a friend and complained about my suffering. I prefer to talk to women about such topics because they listen better and are more empathetic. Women have the gift of putting themselves in their shoes and making me feel that I understand.
“Pff. I don’t even know what you’re actually complaining about,” said my friend and sipped her cappuccino. Okay, maybe not all women have this gift. “You men can still father children when you are 80.” Of course, that’s true. At least in theory. In practice, however, this applies more to famous Hollywood stars and wealthy businessmen – and not to penniless authors with a black dot on their shoulders. After all, I still need a young woman of childbearing age for this. And if I can’t find it by now, it won’t be any easier as a hunchbacked old man with the wrong teeth.
So we men are not afraid of a relationship from a certain age – we just think very carefully about who we enter into it with.