Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Single.

Wow. First of all, I want to say a huge THANK YOU! to everyone who contributed to this discussion; clearly it is one that needs to be had more often! And that’s my second point I suppose: have this discussion, more often. There are some pretty obvious rifts in the way we as men and women are currently communicating, and there are some pretty significant implications and assumptions that are made in the process. Which brings me to point number three: I was right.

I mentioned in my “sidenote” in the previous post (in other words, of course) that I like to stir the pot once in awhile. I don’t do well with stifled conversation or empty communication. I also don’t agree that there are “taboo” subjects – political correctness is more often an annoyance than it is constructive. So, I like to bring up controversial subjects every now and then, pick a neutral point, and see what people do with it (all the while standing on the sidelines, popcorn in hand, marvelling at how great it feels to be spot on). This latest venture into the world of “M&B” was no different – maybe some of you guessed it, but I wrote that post as a way to prove that my current theories about men and women are accurate.

Before I get into my theories (and the ways in which they were so recently proven), I want to give you a bit of a preamble (necessary though, no small print here). I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a relational wizard. I am not saying that I have all the answers, or even all of the questions. And I am certainly not saying that my theories are unchangeable – these thoughts, like any other, are constantly being re-evaluated – I make a point of being diplomatic in my approach to theory-making by constantly asking others what they think about point X Y or Z. The only thing more annoying than a theory-maker is one who refuses to listen. Also I want to say that many of the comments were encouraging and constructive, challenging, and each one had it's own form of intelligence. While my "theories" won't touch on each person's reaction, I can’t stress enough how awesome it is that each and every one of you were so honest in your responses and were so willing to venture out onto this ledge with me. Now let’s get on with it.

Theory #1: regardless of how they approach the subject of relationships, women are viewed as desperate.

This theory was pretty simple to prove. The blog was written fairly objectively, however: Not only have I had more offers to be set up in the past two days than I have in the past two years, but one commenter even typed the words right onto his screen: you are desperate. His reason? I brought up a subject that is normally taboo. The exact quote was “If you are afraid to say something because you think it will sound desperate, I've got news for you: You are desperate.” I’ll be honest Makana, your comment gave me the most to think about. Especially that last sentence.

Am I really desperate? I’ve spent the whole of the past year (plus) feeling inexplicably free from the oppressive feeling of wanting to date someone – happy single? That’s me. It's a great feeling- realizing there's more to my life than one common answer. It's like being given permission to dream big. I realized recently that, even if it’s only for a time, I’ve been given the ‘gift of singleness’, I don’t even know if I could explain it fully to you…and could not be more at peace and elated about it! So your bold statement that I must be desperate because I brought up the subject with hesitation stopped me and caused me to re-evaluate where I stand on this (..which I don’t mind, like I mentioned earlier).

I recognize that assumptions will be made about women who talk about babies or marriage (in any fashion), and so yes, I do hesitate to bring up the subject. But this is where you’re mistaken: I hesitate to bring it up because I know what it looks like (…that annoys me to no end, by the way) and not at all because of where I’m at with it personally. Please know that while I can not speak for all women (because there are some who would really like to be wives and moms and presently), I can speak for quite a few. Hesitation has more than one source. And sometimes, hesitation is just....hesitation.

The debater in me would also like to write a paragraph about how, often, the most desperate women will speak and act with far less tact or hesitation than those who are comfortable with where they’re at. But I think that sentence will do.

Theory #2: it’s easy to be extreme, if it gets your sex off the hook.

Okay okay, I’m smiling as I write this one. Did I not just say that I like to stir the pot by being blatantly outspoken? Yes, I suppose that I did. This theory is pretty quickly explained: generalizations are a great way to get people talking, but (Makana! You were right!) it certainly isn’t healthy to stick to them. I feel bad for picking on Makana in the first theory, so I’ll be nice in the second one and say that this part of his comment had me nodding along in agreement – YES! Thank you! Not all men are the same...and not all women are the same either! Just because 90% of the encounters that I have had with “men” have been negatively charged, doesn’t mean that all men are idiots, it just means this has been my experience. And men: just because you’ve met one “desperate” woman who lied or hesitated to talk about her own desperation to be a ________, doesn’t mean that all women who hesitate to bring up a subject are desperate. (do you see what I did there? I’m bad I know).

Theory #3: the theory about expectations: we’re all forced to deal with them.

Whether we like it or not, we are still defined by our relational status. Words like “yet” have permeated the single marketplace – there is an air of expectation here. BUT (and I could go on for days about this) : The only way you’ll fit into a box is if you let someone put you there. In other words? False expectations shouldn’t define you. Culture is on the move people, things are happening FAR differently than they used to – timelines for marriage/relationships included. Find your own life, secure yourself in the ONE who IS our security. Define yourself in Him and Him alone…you’ll be much better off. Pressure?....what pressure? I’m happy single :)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Starting something is always hard, especially if its starting from nothing. No matter whether it's a relationship, a business, a creative project... those first few steps are awkward and difficult. The greater the penalty for failure, the greater the awkwardness.

The penalty for failure in dating has, in some circles, been seen as extreme. Dating is treated as a serious affair, one with consequences if not done right.

What if the consequences in dating were less? What if dating had a more casual side before getting serious - getting to know you, first? I think if the consequences were less, the pain and awkwardness of attraction and relationship would also be less. That takes talking about it...