I have been conatantly fascinated by Simone de Beauvoir, not just for her “The Second Sex”, but also her relationship with both Jean-Paul Sartre and Nelson Algren.
To the eyes of many, the relationship between de Beauvoir and Sartre was a very weird arrangement. Whilst they remain together as a couple, they allowed each other to have affairs – honesty between each other was their only condition.
Whilst being with Nelson Algren, despite being very much in love, de Beauvoir eventually left him and stayed with Sartre.
From my perspective however, the relationship and possibly her decision can be interpreted this way: Nelson Algren = the normality, as he asked de Beauvoir to go with him to USA & be his wife, which in a way is conforming to traditional ideals on them. Sartre however seemed give de Beauvoir the freedom to “be herself” – which included her writing and free from traditional duties that were given to them by society.
As a result, she might’ve calculated that being herself was much happier than being a wife, therefore she had to leave Algren as he was asking for her commitment.