Sunday, June 06, 2010

Symbolically It's Total Crap

Recently, I was talking with a friend of mine who had decided to delve into the online dating scene...specifically with eHarmony.

Sound familiar?

And then this and then this happened?

The conversation was short - we were interrupted - but it started the old brain cogs a turning in my head about, what else? Relationships.

I understand that relationships - especially new relationships - change our brain chemistry and give us fuzzy feelings. And I do understand the desire for companionship.

But, after the conversation took place, and after having observed the raw sexual energy building up at one of the local goth clubs where territory was getting staked out and boundaries were blurred...

I now believe many people view relationship status as some kind of status symbol of self-worth.

There is a sense of pride when couples introduce each other to new friends. You can hear the pride in their voices in the emphasis on the word "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" or "partner". The individual's name is not nearly so important as the title.

Rather than an introduction, this is more of a validation statement. As in, "This is a person who is clearly good looking who, more importantly, finds ME good looking and wants to be entwined in coupledom and possible shared drawer space with me. So see? I must be someone of worth."

Beyond that though, there is also some kind of odd sympathy doled out to those of us who are relatively there is something wrong with singlehood. We are subjected to offers of fix ups with husband's co-worker's cousin's best friend who just got out of prison but, you know, he was framed and is really a very good guy but you'll have to drive because he doesn't have a car yet and you'll have to have him back to the halfway house by 10 or he'll lose his parole.

And there are lots of singletons who would likely jump at the chance to go out on this blind date because hey! Anything's better than nothing...right? Right?!

But those singletons are buying into the status of a relationship too and allowing their self-worth to be defined by whether or not someone likes them IN THAT WAY.

Relationships are not merit badges1.

There is no rule that says societally one is better if they have managed to land themselves THE ONE2.

Relationships are just...something to do. They don't define us...if we don't let them define us.

And I am, once again, grateful for the life I lead, for my single status, my options, my freedom, my independence.

Not worrying about buying into the rat relationship race frees up a lot of time for other, much more pleasurable kisses with relative strangers3, cocktails, cakes, "Church", and whatever else I feel like doing.

And there is nothing lonely, sad, or particularly self-worth lowering about it.

1: Well OK, the BAD relationships we manage to extract ourselves from are absolutely merit badge worthy and hey! I think I just invented merit badges for bad relationships. TRADEMARK! COPYRIGHT! MINE!

2: Or one of many.

3: What happens at Milk, stays at Milk.

No comments: