April 1, 2009

Boy Meets Girl, Trouble

I had a fight with my boyfriend this weekend. A friend is having problems with her boyfriend. Another friend can't meet boys. My mom broke up with her boyfriend. Again. My sister is pro-boy but anti-boyfriend. A friend isn't kissing her boyfriend until they're at the altar. Another friend is taking a break from boys altogether.

My understanding is there are two schools of thought on relationships: one is the right relationship is easy to be in, and the other is any relationship worth being in is going to be difficult. This is why I don't like black and white. Life is made of gray.

The happy couple.

Relationships take a lot of work to function properly. Relationships are the basis upon which the vast, vast majority of songs, movies, novels, self-help books, and TV shows are built, making money for the people who can capitalize on them. Unfortunately, it's from these songs, movies, books, and shows that we get the wrong impressions about what a relationship is. In Scrubs, an agitated Turk consults with a patient:
Turk: So you're my gastric bypass. You got any questions?
Patient: Nope. See you in the O.R. tomorrow.
Turk: I'll be the one with the mask on. (To J.D.) That's how easy marriage should be.

Turk was upset that Carla wanted to send Rowdy to a farm.
Some people believe that if you're truly right for each other you won't fight, you won't need to compromise and you won't ever have a problem. These people are more likely to get married while still in the honeymoon stage of the relationship. They're also more likely to get divorced, believing the first partner "wasn't meant to be" and it was a mistake that delayed them from finding their true love. 

Sure there are plenty of other fish in the sea; but you're not anywhere near the sea. You're in the desert. Alone.

I remember the first year with my boyfriend and being so proud that we hadn't fought. When the first fight came, it was a little devastating. "We don't fight," I thought. "We aren't like other couples." It's been five years now, and it hasn't been perfect. We had a pretty nasty year of trying to make long distance work when I moved to San Diego and we gave up twice, but eventually we did get through it (after he finally moved here). We've seen several friends in long term relationships go through nasty break ups and have seen our parents go through bad divorces. 

A British article suggests unmarried adults will soon be more common than married adults. The article discusses how the number of marriages are declining and more adults are either cohabiting or living alone, and never marrying. What I don't understand is the choice of photo for the article:

The only way to happiness is marriage. Duh.
The article details the benefits of a single or cohabiting life, and then springs this line:
"The fall of marriage will go alongside a continuing large increase in numbers of people who do not have a live-in partnership - a forecast that means millions of young people are heading for a life of middle-aged loneliness."
Because, obviously, once you've hit 40 you're basically dead and no one wants you. The people who choose to remain single won't be lonely if there will be so many other single people around. Single people are lonely when they lose their single friends to marriages, but if, like the article says, there will be more single people than married people, who's gonna be lonely? I bet a bunch of 40+ bars will spring up to cater to this new bunch.

On a more or less related note, in Germany there was a story of a man who was sterile and could not start a family with his wife. He paid his neighbor (a married father of two) to have sex with his wife. After six months and no baby the neighbor was found to be sterile, forcing his wife to admit his two children weren't really his. Oops. The story centered around the first man suing for his money back, but I want to know how the neighbor responded to his wife sleeping with someone else! It sounds like the neighbor needs that money, so the first man might just want to let it go. Not like the neighbor agreed knowing he was sterile.


  1. Nothing worth it in life is easy. Also most people in their life will be married at some point it is just that they don't stay married. I tell people that all the time you shouldn't look for the perfect relationship. You won't always like everything about your partner. It is whether you always love them. I though would rather be alone than completely unhappy with the wrong person. That can be a miserable life.

  2. There's a book I forgot about until now: Boy Meets Girl, by Joshua Harris. The friend who is not kissing until she's at the altar gave it to me some years back, and it had the opposite effect on me. Oops. The Christian concept of "dating" is we are human and as such cannot control our feelings/urges/thoughts/actions, so to be good and pure we must stick our heads in the sand until it's all over (and we're married). Then we have to spend the rest of our lives trying to figure out how to not be miserable, and hope/pray the person you married at 19 or 20 is the person you want to be with at 50 and 60. Wouldn't it be better to date when you're in your teens and twenties and learn how to find the person you can live with for a lifetime rather than marrying the first person you date and hoping it will work if you pray enough? These people may not get divorced, but that doesn't mean they're happy.

  3. I think there are people out there who can find true love at 19 or 20 and awesome for them. For me that is obviously not going to happen thus I am definitely and obviously not waiting for marriage to be kissed. I am sure there are people who are not miserable in their marriage who live like this and there are those who are. Its also like a culture to be raised into. One that I was not raised into and therefore I didn't find this person at 19 or 20 to be married too thus I am not waiting for that. I get that there is the temptation to go further if you have kissed but courtships were not designed to be years long as they are now and we weren't designed to get married at 30. I think it also changes the intimacy factor in your relationship and its hard to form that non-friendship relationship once you are thrust into a sexual relationship from moment one of sexuality.

  4. Dude...that German story is so effed up...and yeah, relationships are hard and people who don't think compromise is part of it are delusional.