Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A question

I have a question.  I want to clarify before I begin that this isn’t stemming from some sort of personal vendetta against love or men; I just want to understand where my ideals are coming from.  According to Every Chick Flick Ever, the path to happiness involves a guy.  Sometimes the story ends in a wedding, sometimes a kiss.  Either way, you know that that girl and that guy are going to be together for quite a while.  They’re made for each other after all, right?

What I want to know is, what is the point of relationships?

Is there a reason that people want boyfriends and girlfriends?  

There’s one school of thought that goes along the lines of thinking that a boyfriend is the stage before husband, that the point of dating is to practice for marriage.  Well, I don’t really want to think about getting married right now, so that theory’s out.  (My thoughts on marriage are another matter to contend with).  

Another theory that I like better is that a boyfriend is someone that you want to spend time with, that you enjoy being around, and trust.  So other than physicality, what then differentiates a boyfriend from a very good friend?  

Is it love?  Because a majority of my friends want boys that they like to be their boyfriends, not boys that they love.  Love takes time to develop.  But what if you only ever like said boy?  What if love just never happens?  Then was all that time spent together wasted?  I suppose the answer to that depends on what you see the purpose of the relationship to be, which takes us back to the original question.  

Is the whole point of being in a relationship with someone only for social purposes?  Calling someone your boyfriend puts them in a box where they’re untouchable by other people, which implies that you don’t trust them enough on their own, that you need to be able to claim them to feel secure in the relationship. 

Taking another detour, what is a relationship other than a series of interactions?  Technically I have a relationship with every person that I come in contact with.  Some relationships are just more valuable to me than others.  So is the purpose of romantic relationships to give order to the other relationships in life?  To create a hierarchy of importance?  Maybe I don’t want to have to proclaim to the world who I enjoy spending time with.  Maybe I just want to be with the people that I like, and let things happen as they will.

I really wish I could end this with a definite answer, but I don’t have one.  I’ve been thinking about this for months, and the answers aren’t coming any clearer.  I suppose I should confess that this is motivated by more than just curiosity.  There exists a boy whose company I have been enjoying a lot of late.  My friends are pressuring me to confront him about the state of our relationship.  But how can I ask him for an answer when I don’t understand what the question is?

Does anyone have any thoughts to contribute?  


  1. The point of relationships is to share your life with someone. I'm not too fussed about marriage, or monogamy so I disagree with the whole relations are a booking system for future spouses ideology. People can be monogamous without marriage and married without monogamy. The point is to share your ups and downs with the person you most enjoy being with. Yes, it makes social events easier-one of you can get smashed and the other can drive etc, it also makes financial sense-but in the end, to me, it's about coming home to someone awesome that gives you hug at the end of a bad day and dances around with you/ puts up with your dancing at the end of a good one. Mutual respect is a pre-requisite, bonus points for being good in the sack XD. What you do with your male friend (within or outside of the socially marked 'bounds' of a relationship) is no one's business but yours. The last thing you want is to end up having pity sex with someone you don't find attractive XD If you're really wondering (because you care, not because your friends do-just ask the guy). Either he'll be uninterested and you'll be no worse off than now, or he's just waiting to see how you respond/ whether you show interest, in which case awesome things could happen. This is only tangentially related but I'd suggest reading Savage Love (syndicated on both The Stranger and The AVclub online). Dan Savage has pretty well defined ideas on modern relationships (love or not) and sexual (or not) interactions.

    1. I'll look in to that book. Thanks for the input!

  2. Also, discuss don't confront. Discussions are for reasonable adults. Confrontations are for militias and drug addicts XD

  3. This is such an interesting question! I don't presume to have all the answers even though I am married now...

    But when I was single, I never viewed dating as practice for marriage.

    To be frank and honest, I have always prefered the friendship of males over females and have a tendency to get along with guys better. (I'm assuming it's my easy going, relaxed, no-nonsense/non-drama personality.) Guys were always *easier* to hang out with. And during this time, it felt more natural to be friends and fall into something more, unless I really clicked with someone right away and then dated straight away. But I digress....

    I dated guys because I liked their company and it was fun. I did the same thing with my husband. I liked him and I naturally wanted to spend more time with him. I was very hesitant to label him as my "boyfriend" since to me it implied that we were in that "stage" and it was beginning to be serious.

    Dating a variety of people has ultimately helped shape who I am and it has also helped me to figure out who I am compatible with and most importantly it has helped me figure out what I want in life (and in a relationship). In retrospect: Having boyfriends & friends has really ended up teaching me about myself the most.

    I think all relationships are different and hanging out with a variety of people and at varring levels of friendliness is important. I believe these enriching relationships help shape who we are.

    As far as your friends having you put a label on something you're not sure about.... I think you should just let it be. If this person likes you, he'll let you know by kissing you or something. Guys can be quite simple sometimes in this respect. I believe that if he wants you for a girlfriend you'll KNOW. (He could be still unsure of what he wants also.)

    Good luck with all of this and always trust your gut! Your gut is never wrong. :)

    1. I agree with what you said about the label making things seem serious. I remember talking with my grandma about how they would be going out with several people at once, and that it was normal. That just doesn't happen in today's dating culture. I wonder what caused that flip. If you go out with a different guy every week you're looked down on! So where is this pressure to have "a boyfriend" coming from? I just want to understand why things are this way.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!