I am a pretty straight forward sort of person. When I like someone I simply like them. I am there without reservation or discourse. I don’t play games or hard to get. I don’t play by ‘the rules’ as such and I don’t tease or act like I am not interested if I am just to make a man ‘want’ me more.
I have watched movies like ‘He’s just not that into you’ and have heard of books like, ‘The Rules’ but I’m sorry but a lot of that stuff just sticks in my throat.
What those sorts of pseudo psychological narratives imply is that men are basically stupid and that human relationships can be reduced to a set of simplistic rules or do’s and don’ts that if followed, will lead to every woman’s ultimate goal… the entrapment of their ‘ideal man’. Excuse me but what a crock of shite!
Firstly, the implication that a woman is innately desperate for a man to ‘complete’ her is simply untrue. And what a lot of these sorts of books, and films do is imply that a woman without a man is somehow lacking. That to be a ‘single’ woman is to be less than whole. That all women want to be in a relationship with the first available, financially stable man they can stand the thought of having sex with.
That women all desperately want commitment, marriage, children, and they want it all straight away. And that women have, as their highest priority, the desire to trap a man, mate for life and live the rest of their lives with said man in domestic, blinkered bliss.
While, there is truth to the notion that we all need and want love and to be loved by another human being. That the desire for physical and emotional intimacy is inherent in our biology and psychology. As is the need for acceptance, understanding and acknowledgement. But relationships, and love between two individuals is not something that can be easily reduced to a formula. If it were, then we’d all be living happily ever after with our perfect matches and no-one would ever break up and there would be no such thing as divorce or broken hearts anymore.
The reality is these days, human relationships are far from simple. The days of marriages lasting ‘til death of either spouse are from a time and galaxy far, far away. And even when they were it was hardly ever a ‘happy ever after scenario’. Nowadays, divorce today is as common as… the common cold. Both men and women are becoming more and more cynical about love and relationships and are staying single longer, not through necessity it seems, but by choice.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics states that the fastest growing household type is single person households. This is projected to grow an average of 2.2% per year from 1.9 million in 2006 to a projected 3.2 million in 2031. That’s a lot of Lean Cuisines.
It’s actually easier to be single. There are a lot of social reasons why staying single longer is now a viable option for many people. Marriage is becoming more of an option then a necessity, people are getting married later, if at all, and relaxed moral codes mean that sex without strings, or attachment – let alone commitment, is seen as normal, and even expected.
There is no reason to get hooked up or shack up with someone in a hurry these days, none at all. ‘Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free’, is a mantra I’ve heard repeated often, vulgar as it is. Both men, and women, can get a lot of the benefits of marriage and relationships it seems, without the responsibility, commitment or drama. But it all seems rather shallow and…somewhat hollow to me.
Maybe I’m just a hopeless romantic, holding on to some ideal that no longer exists, trying to wedge my mixed tape into the cd drive of my laptop. Maybe love is just an outdated technology?
Does it have to be that way…do we either have to be single or attached? Relationships between men and women (or same sex couples for that matter) relationships that involve love, friendship, attachment and sexual chemistry are in a state of flux such as the world has never seen before. The “Rules” just don’t really apply anymore. But, in their absence we are left floundering and anxiously trying to negotiate our way through a virtual mind-field of connections and misfires blindfolded. In-fact, we are all breaking new ground, hatching our way through uncharted territory when it comes to human relationships and yes, the future belongs to us…So what will we make of it?
Lana Del Ray says it so poignantly and beautifully perhaps expressing the sentiment of our age when she sings the words, In the name of higher consciousness I let the best man I knew go,
Coz it’s nice to love and be loved but it’s better to know all you can know. But are we choosing higher consciousness over intimacy? Or are we giving in to our (justifiable) fears and limitations?