Calm down now. It's okay. Everthing will be fine.
Part 3: Relationships
This is a continuation of my previous rant(s?), Part 1: Eductation, and Part 2: Children. This section is about...Relationships.
Dictionary.com defines a relationship as:
1. a connection, association, or involvement.
2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.
3. an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students.
4. a sexual involvement; affair.
But my opinion is that society views it as so much more. Allow me to present my interpretation of the modern definition.
1. a public connection, association, or involvement.
2. connection between persons by blood or marriage, by which we compare ourselves to all others.
3. an emotional or other connection between people: the relationship between teachers and students, that is monitored and judged by peers and strangers.
4. a sexual involvement; affair, that you must judge your worth and value upon.
5. a goal that must be achieved. Must be.
Obviously this doesn't apply to every person on the face of the planet, but this is a lot of what I see. And even moreso, what I've lived.
When I was in elementary school (around grade 6... 12 years old) boys and girls began pairing off into 'couples'. They would one day announce that they were Boyfriend and Girlfriend, then they would beging holding hands and cuddling on the playground at recess. Perhaps they would do similar activities if they could organize a group date to the movies, or even better, a double/triple/quadruple date.
Although the activities involved with being in a couple were still quite juvenille, it became apparent early on that you either were in a couple, or were deemed unfit.
Oh God I wanted to fit in so badly.
Now don't get me wrong, I had feelings for almost all of the boys that I was Girlfriended to, but looking back now it seems sad/funny/ridiculous to have been with so many people. I got into the habit of asking girls if they had a boyfriend, and then as my awareness of different sexualities increased I changed the question to an all encompassing: "How's your love life?"
I became a bit of a joke in highschool. Having so many boyfriends led to people asking me "Do you have a new boyfriend?" The way one would ask if that was a new haircut. The saddest part is that a good portion of the time I would have to answer yes.
Even now, when I talk to a person whom I haven't spoken to in a while, they feel the need to volunteer the current status of their love life...even though I no longer ask. I don't know if it is something that my old friends had come to expect from me, or if more likely it is something that everyone has come to believe is must-know information.
I met up recently with a friend I haven't seen in five or more years. When I asked her what was 'new with her', the first sentence out of her mouth was: "Well, I still don't have a boyfriend."
Another friend and I were catching up late one night when she chose to volunteer her "not-boyfriend, but, oh I don't know, it's tough," which I don't mind hearing about (DEAR FRIENDS, PLEASE DON'T STOP TELLING ME STUFF ABOUT YOUR LIVES. I REALLY DO CARE!!!) but I was concerned with the "mirroring" that she was doing throughout the story. Almost as if she were judging whether or not she was worth the trouble a relationship might potentially put on this boy.
A third friend: took her self-esteem and flushed it down the toilet due to some crap luck with boys, even though she knows that relationships are all just potluck.
A family member: negativity oozes out of every pore. She remarks all the time about the boy she can't wait to have, but then ends every sentence with how unmatchable she would be due to being weird/unattractive/naive.
Another family member: is waiting for boys to stop breaking her heart, pouring out her pain and emotion every time another one hurts her.
A third: swearing off men...again, because of how much pain it causes when a relationship falls through.
And it hurts. It hurts like the devil.
And it makes us all feel like shit.
It shouldn't. But it does.
I have a desperate, crushing fear of being alone.
[I would like to stop for a second and say that even though all of my examples were female, my rant applies to both genders and whichever gender they choose to pursue. Being in love, and then finding out it's not meant to be, SUCKS.]
I had boyfriend after boyfriend in highschool because I was looking for Mr. Right. Mr. Right didn't go to my highschool apparently... but there was no possible way for me to know that. It turns out, Mr. Right wasn't a lot of people, and that means that I got hurt a lot. And that a lot of Mr. Potentials got hurt too.
"You should just be single for a while and figure yourself out."
In highschool, after breaking up with another boyfriend, I began to believe this sentiment. After all, I was one half of every failed relationship that I had been in right? Therefore, I was the common factor in every failure. So it must have been me.
If you ever ever ever think about saying this to someone, don't. I don't even care if you truly believe it. It is a hurtful statement that we are programmed to say as an automatic response to another relationship failing. Instead of being comforting, which is what our programs have this listed under, it is a destructive sentence. In saying this, or accepting this as a personal truth, you are taking the blame off of the circumstance, off of the situation, off of poor compatability, off of Mrs. Wrong, and putting it on your friend/self.
Figure yourself out? Ridiculous. Every person on the face of planet needs to figure themselves out. We all grow and develope each and every day of our lives. Perhaps this failed relationship will lead you to discover something about yourself, or about other people, but that is not a requirement of ending a relationship. This isn't a community service punishment doled out to those incapable of maintaining a healthy and stable relationship. This is ridiculous, and this is what we force onto ourselves.
Try to be loving and understanding instead. This person who was just halved is hurting. They had love and now it is gone. GIVE THEM LOVE AGAIN. Everyone deserves to be loved, and one day everyone will find it. It won't come from a parent, a sibling, or a best friend because that is not the type of love that is desired, but in the meantime you can assure this person (or yourself) that it will happen.
You are capable of finding love.
You deserve someone who will love you for who you are because, let's be honest, you're a really freaking awesome person.
You deserve someone who won't compromise themselves or ask you to compromise yourself to be with you.
You will find someone who will grow with you and celebrate in your successes, as you will find true happiness in theirs.
You are not defined as a 'half', but when your true love finds you, the two of you will multiply each other's greatness exponentially.
*phew* This tangent is wearing me out.
I know it must seem easy for me to rant and ramble about this since I'm not currently single, and if I was single I don't know if I would be able to write this. I believe so wholly that this is truth, that if I was placed back in the situation in which I believed myself to be undesirable, worthless and permanently alone I don't know if I could conquer my fears and depression to be able to face these truths head on.
Instead, I write for the me of the past. I write for a potentially angry and humiliated me of the future. I write for my children, your children, my friends, and strangers. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IT IS NOT STUPID TO HAVE THOUGHT LESS OF YOURSELF BECAUSE OF HOW YOU WERE TREATED BASED ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP STATUS. YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL, DESIRABLE PERSON WHO WILL FIND HAPPINESS.
Because I said so.
And because it's what I truly believe.