Why is commitment so inherently hard for men? What is it that makes committing to one woman forever so difficult and troublesome? With the divorce rate sitting abysmally around 40 percent (according to a Federal survey) and cohabitation on the rise, it’s time to consider where this utterly terrifying fear of commitment comes from and what it costs.

At the outset of adulthood, every individual seeks out opportunities. Chances to meet new people, try new food, go new places and sexually experience different partners. There are few things in life that can hinder opportunities like a committed relationship. And not just sexual dalliances, but the time to grow as an individual.

Within any relationship — whether it’s co-workers, spouses or business partners — compromise is a necessary component to keeping everyone happy. But within the confines of a romantic relationship compromise can at times become a one-way street where one person decides and the other falls in line. This type of dysfunction is not healthy for either individual. Even when compromise is alive and well in a relationship, it can leave some mad and resentful.

Finding someone to live with and not hate is in and of itself a serious achievement, nuptials on top of that is truly impressive. Every person wants a) to find happiness and b) to share their life with others. If happiness is complete autonomy and close to zero compromise, so be it, but it will always cost you something. If, on the other hand, happiness is finding someone perfect to spend every waking moment with, so be it, but once again it doesn’t come without sacrifice.

A serious committed relationship is a trade-off. You are exchanging time to do what you please for a partner to share your experiences with. It’s an enormously important decision that perhaps some of us simply don’t want to make. But, if you’re equal to the task, finding someone to grow old with can be the most rewarding challenge there is.