Pop-Culture | Posted by Iman S on 03/2/2011

Love Cocoon

Recently, whilst speaking to my best friend, I couldn’t help but wonder about the level of seriousness in her relationship. It really made me think about how mature a relationship should be at the age of 21. We are at two very different ends of the relationship spectrum; I, at 20 years old, have never been in a serious relationship, whereas she has been with the same person for roughly 3 years. As of late, I sense that there is a lot less fervor in the way that she talks about her relationship.

So I say that to say this: How young is too young to be in a relationship for multiple years? Hell, should it even matter when you find love? Obviously, my perspective is always going to come from that of a single person, but I often believe many young women my age are stunting their growth (by which I mean personally, emotionally and socially, amongst over things) by being in relationships.

At 21 years old, there should be this insatiable thirst to experience all things new in all aspects of your life. Let’s be honest here. At 17 or 18 you want nothing more than to be romantically involved with someone that you can go to the movies with, take juvenile pictures of you two doing kissy faces, and all the other things teenagers do in their formative years.

Fast forward to now (3 years later), in the space between teen and adult, and more likely than not a great deal of growth has occurred. Are you two still at the same place emotionally? Do you both still have the same life goals? Career goals? Shit, are you guys together due to comfort? Is that same adhesive that held you guys firmly together still intact or has time worn it away? I guess what I really want to know is if a relationship is like a cocoon or second skin that you shed and outgrow once you’ve reached a new plateau in your life. Are they malleable things that you have to shape, prod, and mold into what you ultimately want them to be? Should you have to endure, or should you walk away once you’ve realized that you’ve surpassed your partner (be it emotional or otherwise)? What do you do when you feel a sense of stagnation and lack of development?

These were just questions that weighed on my mind a bit, I guess. I obviously have no clue how to answer the aforementioned questions, so they’ll just be there to linger. Perhaps they will be things to consider once I find someone worth spending time with.

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  • Zoe @ at 1:39 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    I can only speak from personal experience here. When I was 16, I’d been dating a guy for a year and a half (longest relationship yet to date). My parents forced me to break up with him because he was lying to me about some pretty big things and I couldn’t see it. I shudder to think if they hadn’t done that and I continued to date him. We were in love and I know we probably would’ve stayed together longer if my parents hadn’t done something. I could have stayed in my hometown, attached to this guy whom I could do better than.

    So, in some ways, yes, I think staying in one relationship for too long when you are young can keep you from some good experiences. But I really can’t say who that applies too.

  • Rebecca @ at 3:04 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    I find it problematic to start debating what young adults “should” do or what types of relationships they “should” be in. Regardless of your opinion on how serious relationships affect personal growth, it’s no one’s prerogative to assume what is the right way to develop socially and emotionally in young adulthood. There are many people around that age in serious, committed relationships that have no problem growing independently as well as maintaining a healthy partnership. Maybe they are bringing their unique perspectives and learning experiences together and helping each other grow, maybe they are in a cocoon, sheltered from valuable life experiences; either way, who are you to make those judgments for them (not “you” personally, “you” in general)?

    I also think it’s incredibly presumptuous to assume your friends are “stunting their growth” by being in relationships. It’s pretty condescending to use your personal experiences as a scale on which to judge the experiences of others.

  • NWOslave @ at 3:47 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    Loyalty. Fidelity. Honor. Lifelong commitment. Toughing it out together through the thick and the thin. I guess these are just old timey value’s that have no place in today’s society. Much like this article extolling the “virtue” of movin on to bigger and better thing’s.

    Toss in Zoe’s comment…”I could have stayed in my hometown, attached to this guy whom I could do better than.” Women can always do better than the frightfully dull, mundane, directionless loser they’re presently with. Yes ladies, go out there and screw as many men for fun as you can. Fun, fun, fun is all that matters, cause you can always do better.

    Well guess what? After ten of so years of fun, you’ll probably want to settle down a bit. Of course since the old look’s are fading a bit and the younger girl’s are now getting all the attention, your prospects have faded with your looks.

    The same loser who you could do better than, won’t even glance your way. He’s done the math. If you had 2 different lover’s a year for 12 years that’s 24. Whom you no doubt pledged your loyalty to also. Imagine going to a job interview and saying you’ve had 24 job’s in 12 years. I doubt they’re going to hire you if you say your ready to settle down and be loyal to that company. Do you?

    So as you step into the realm of the real world and you wonder why men treat women like nothing but sex objects. Ask yourselves, what else are you offering? Loyalty, Fidelity, Honor, Lifelong commitment? I’m afraid as this article states quite clearly, the only thing you offer is sex.

  • Marie B @ at 4:35 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    @NWOslave I dont think Iman S is saying you shouldnt stay in long term relationships so you can fuck around. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems like she is talking about using the lack of a long term relationship to become your own independent person and not one half of a set.

  • Jem @ at 4:51 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    NWOslave, I don’t think you quite understood what the article was about nor what Zoe commented on. You write, “yes ladies, go out there and screw as many men for fun as you can. Fun, fun, fun is all that matters, cause you can always do better.” A relationship just doesn’t have to be about sex. Also I love how you think that the majority of women are screwing as many men as possible when in reality I think most women just want a great relationship with a trusting guy. Besides, how is it any different then a guy having several different partners, how come we don’t judge them but we judge girls? It’s because of the patriarchal society we live in.
    Zoe’s parents were probably right in asking her to end her relationship with her ex. He was lying to her. It should NEVER be okay to stay with someone like that. Besides, she CAN do better then him!
    I have never been in a serious relationship, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but I do think that some people can be in a serious relationship at a young age (maybe starting around age 16/17). It really depends on how mature both people are. If they are, they I don’t see why not. This was a great and insightful article. :)

  • Baby Jane @ at 4:54 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    I didn’t know that just because you’ve been single your entire life that, that was the equivalent of being loose or “only being able to offer sex”. Last I checked this was a feminist blog and a large part of that movement has a lot to do with liberation. Some people would prefer to be single and/or haven’t found the person they think is worth settling down with. Don’t be an old maid @nwoslave.

  • Kristen @ at 5:49 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    Jem, don’t bother to reply to him. He has nothing better to do with his time than troll on this blog.

    John, you seem to have lots of stories for parties bro. You mad?

  • JustGirl @ at 6:10 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    I’m 23 now, and have been dating my boyfriend since I was 19. That’s a year or two older than it sounds like your friend was when she began dating her current boyfriend, but I think my experience might still be relevant. What Zoe mentions, about staying in the same small town with the same small-town man, is definitely valid, but I think there can be positive aspects to that situation as well. Before Boyfriend, I had no steady job and spent all the money I did have on partying. After we got together, I suddenly found myself flying straight, getting a good job with benefits, renting an apartment… it was a swift transition to adult life, with both positives and negatives. I do find myself feeling restless, four years down the line, but it is not a restlessness in my relationship. I love him more now than before because we have had time to grow together as a couple as we navigate young adulthood, but there is still a small part of me that wonders who I would become if I threw my life away while I still have time to rebuild it later with another man, and just take off into the wild yonder.

    Reba McEntire has a great song about this called “Is There Life Out There?” that sums up my feelings on this subject quite well.

    First verse and chorus lyrics:
    She married when she was 20
    She thought she was ready
    Now she’s not so sure
    She thought she’d done some living
    Now she’s just wondering what she’s living for
    Now she’s feeling like there’s something more

    Is there life out there?
    So much she hasn’t done
    Is there life beyond her family and her home
    She’s done what she should
    Should she do what she dares?
    She doesn’t want to leave
    She’s just wondering is there life out there

  • NWOslave @ at 7:50 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    @Jem…First of all, when someone says, “I can do better.” You can imagine a statement like that might ruffle a few feathers. In that one statement she has proclaimed her superiority, there no other way to put it.

    Men aren’t judged? Really? Tell then how it is Julian Assange is up on rape charges? Is it normal fare for women to cook breakfast, buy train rides and text girlfriend’s about the sweetness of sleeping with your rapist? It seems men are judged by law for betrayal. That must be the patriarchy at work.

    You said…” He was lying to her. It should NEVER be okay to stay with someone like that. Besides, she CAN do better then him!” I’m sure Zoe appreciate’s your support. I wonder if she ever said, “I’ll love you forever.” Or was that just a fib?

    Jem you also said…”A relationship just doesn’t have to be about sex.” Your are correct, however having sex with a man, (and plenty of it) is one of the thing’s that you as a woman do to meet his emotional needs. If he fails to meet you emotional needs I’m sure you’ll tell him all about it. Tell me do you hold this need of his for ransom? Perhaps a little yard work of a night out? If a man would say, “I’ll snuggle if you wash the dishes.” Wouldn’t you consider that to be vile?

    @Kristen…Tell me, have you been able to squeeze watching, “the money masters” into your busy schedule. Ya know, so we might have a little common ground to speak on. I really do ask so little and it will benefit you.

    I’m not trolling by the way. Really read my comment’s and see if they don’t make sense. I’m promoting loyalty, honor and integrity for men and women. Look around you at society, is it getting better or worse? When there’s a 100% causation as can be seen throughout history, why make the same mistakes?

    @JustGirl, You say…”there is still a small part of me that wonders who I would become if I threw my life away while I still have time to rebuild it later with another man, and just take off into the wild yonder.” Do you think, “boyfriend” as you put it wakes up in the morning screaming woohoo another day in a dead end backbreaking job. Maybe he’s had those same thoughts. However if he left you he’d be a lout, cheat, worthless. Tell me honestly, if you left him would all your girlfriends say, “you can do better.” I’m sure all the girl’s on this blog would join in sisterly solidarity at how he wasn’t meeting your needs.

    As far as the evil patriarchy goes…I was a machinist and those jobs were shipped oversea’s, then an assembler, then a wireman, then a machine designer. Now all oversea’s. Now I install conveying systems where I work in 40/50 feet in the air and face the very real possibilty of death. I generally work 14 hour days for about 30 day stretches just to keep my head above water. Apparently this is the privilege I enjoy for my white male skin.

    You see the people at the top of the pyramid are one in a million, the rest of us men are below the glass floor. We’re the ones you can do better than. We are 97% of workplace caualties, 98.5% military dead, 85% of homeless, 80% of suicides. For every $2.00 spent on womens health $1.00 is spent on mens, we die 7 years earlier and the gap is widening. Ect. Ect. Ect.

    So unless this patriarchy which you speak of dispropotionally benefits women, I don’t understand your complaint. As Aristotle once said, “women do quite well under a tyranny.”

    If you think I’m trying to harm you with my words, nothing is farther from the truth. I’m trying to help. When you stand up for some oppression for some trisexed, transformed, bi man women freakshow on the other side of the world while kicking the very men who sacrifice in this country, this is a breeding ground for disaster. Surely you don’t want all those false stats women’s groups love to post on DV and rape to come true.

    Here’s a link from a 100 years ago. If there was privilege back then imagine how much there is now.
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/bax/1909/09/women.htm

  • Kristen @ at 8:33 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    John, if this was a real life conversation, I wouldn’t expect you to whip out documentation for your statistics, but at least do so online. And no, I haven’t had time to watch anything, considering I’m a full time neuroscience student filling out my graduate school applications and working two jobs.

    And yes, you are trolling. Your comments are clearly designed to incite others, which they unfortunately succeed in doing at times.

  • NWOslave @ at 8:48 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    @Kristen…Seriously, the video is a little over 1 hour long. I am trying to help. I’m so certain you will thank me for recommending it I’ll make you a deal. I give you my word, (I’m old school so my word is better than any signed document) if you aren’t completely impressed with the documentary and have an entire new outlook on why things are in there present state, I’ll never post here again.

    Here’s your chance to get rid of what you call a troll. I’m throwing everything into the kitty. What do you have to lose? John W. Halaway will never post here again at your discretion. All I ask is your honesty, (your word) that you watched the film and you evalution of the film. You can reply here or email me at havocthe1st@comcast.net

    As you can see I lay it all on the line.

  • NWOslave @ at 8:53 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    An Ammendment to the above, I will never post here under any other name, either, just to clarify. No posting what-so-ever if you can honestly say the documentary doesn’t has changed your entire attitude about our financial system and who is really running the show.

  • Prax @ at 11:10 pm, March 2nd, 2011

    People, regardless of whether NWOslave is doing it intentionally or not, he is a serial derailer and really ought not be responded to.

  • Natalia @ at 12:42 am, March 3rd, 2011

    People are constantly changing, so it’s inevitable to hit a wall in the relationship at some point. However, you can’t blame someone who is in a 3 year relationship who should be hungry for “experiences”. I’m on the same boat as your friend and it’s been really great with my boyfriend. Yes I’ve changed a lot since high school but my boyfriend and I have changed together. And honestly, he’s very mature for his age and that’s priceless to me. I became an “official” feminist while dating him and he took it extremely well since he was raised that way to begin with. Whereas most guys who have freaked. I’m not saying he’s the “one” cause who knows? But if you’re in love and things are working, why break up just for the sake of doing “young” stuff? And as I said earlier, it can’t be like this forever, at some point I’m sure I’ll hit walls of conflict with my boyfriend. It happens to everyone. Some couples find that out after six months, two years, or maybe even ten years.

    Maybe I was ever eager to be in a relationship in high school but I’m not staying in the relationship for that reason anymore. It’s simply because of love and happiness. But the most important thing for me is the happiness I have with myself, and if my partner is no longer making me happy, then I’m not afraid to move on.

  • Natalia @ at 12:50 am, March 3rd, 2011

    @Just Girl

    You bring an excellent point about wondering “what if”. I think that’s totally inevitable and I’m still wondering about how to approach it. I guess that happens with every decision you make in life.

  • Kristen @ at 8:15 am, March 3rd, 2011

    I may be a bit older than your intended audience, but I met my boyfriend when I was 19 in my first year of community college. At that time I was focused on earning my Bachelor’s degree and I hoped to find a teaching position in the same city we both grew up in. As I approached the end of my 4 year degree I suddenly realized I wanted to earn a Master’s and that I wanted to go to a school out of state for it – actually not just out of state but at a program halfway across the United States (moving from Oregon to Texas). I was lucky in that my boyfriend understood my need and desire to do this and didn’t hold me back one bit. In fact he moved with me and actually helped support me while I went to school full-time and worked part-time. Overall, we’ve been together for 9 years and as someone else mentioned above – we’ve been able to grow together. I don’t think being in a long-term relationship at a young age necessarily means that a girl will compromise on her goals and ambitions – it’s all about being honest with yourself and your partner about what you want – out of the relationship, but also out of life.

  • Katherine C. @ at 12:17 pm, March 3rd, 2011

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, okay, I’m sorry if this qualifies as “feeding the troll” (which I really do try not to do) but “some trisexed, transformed, bi man women freakshow on the other side of the world” was seriously homophobic and just plain nasty. It’s one thing if you’re just airing your opinions in an inaproppriate forum. But this is one of the only places I can go on the Internet without seeing LGTBQ people being called “faggot” or “freakshow,” as it were. Can that comment please be deleted? And if so, feel free to delete this one too, since it will no longer be relevant.

  • Kristen A @ at 12:01 am, March 4th, 2011

    Please note I’m a different Kristen than the Kristen who got her master’s in Texas, there are two of us on here so from now on I’ll denote myself with my middle initial as well.

    And Katherine, I completely agree with you, but the majority of what John says is just plain nasty, even when he tries to come back and sound calm and logical. Just ignore everything he says, most of it has absolutely nothing to do with the posts on fbomb anyway.

  • Quinc @ at 5:55 am, March 4th, 2011

    As it turns out NWOslave, that freakshow has the same fundamental rights as you, so tone down the pointless hate. The issues that seem to affect you the most are about socioeconomic class, and the economics of globalization, and it’s rich white men who control these international corporations who love to outsource. Feminists are sympathetic to class struggle, but focus on gender related issues and women’s issues. Women earn less than men, even with the same job and qualifications, so it’s not greener on the other side of the gender hill. And no, a return to old fashioned values won’t stop globalization let alone classism. Go read a blog about class issues.

  • Lauren Flowers @ at 6:29 am, March 4th, 2011

    I’m sorry, I realise that you’re convinced that feminisium is a big issue – but surely you are starting to realise that there are more importannt things to be doing with your free time then complaining about being ‘down trodden’ in society, when in general you are NOT. I like to think that at some point in you’re lives you will notice that there are far more serious matter – like poverty and child abuse.
    Honestly – it’s just plain stupid what a fuss you’re making.

  • NWOslave @ at 2:06 pm, March 4th, 2011

    @Quinc…True what you say that “freakshow” does indeed have the same fundamental right’s as I. What I object to is a government that instruct’s children in the public education system to embrace the LGBT “cause” as morally acceptable. Yet any moral opinion that differ’s is forbidden. Here is a link to the promotion of LGBT in school’s…http://www.massresistance.org/media/video/brainwashing.html

    LGBT is merely how you prefer sex and an athiest or a person of any religious faith might find this behavior objectionable. So when the “state,” at gunpoint, (because they’ll gun me down in a hail of bullet’s if I don’t pay my taxes) uses my taxes to say moral “x” is good and there can be no differing opinion, that’s indoctrination.

    My correct assesment is that NO social issue’s should be taught in the public education system. A child’s innocense is far more important than any social issue. They should be allowed to mature without any “moral” interference from the state.

    As far as “rich white men who control these international corporations” Here is a list of the people who control all the Guv bank’s of the world, the IMF, world bank, ect. The Rothchild family, The Rockefeller corporation, Warburg, Moan, Loeb, Soros, Morgan… They are all of Middle Eastern descent. No one of European descent controls any bank’s in the world. These corporation’s also give 100% of the funding for the LGBT, PP, AA and feminism. Please get your facts straight.

    You say…”Feminists are sympathetic to class struggle” Feminist’s are NOT sympathetic to class struggle. I, like everyone of my wretched white fellow men I know work 60 to 70 hours a week in dangerous job’s just to keep above the poverty line. Shall I pray each night that my wicked inherently evil white skin slough’s off my body? You know when I plan to retire? The day I die. Oh the privileges we white men enjoy!

    These rich elite that you erroneously called white men are one in a million, the other 999,999 have NO POWER. Have you no sympathy left for us? Or is all your mercy used up on the poor oppressed LGBT and what I, in my homophobic bigotry call a freakshow?

    How many times does the wage myth have to be debuked?
    link from the WHITEHOUSE…http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/03/03/white_house_womens_wages_myths_98895.html

    Here’s an excerpt or two…Since full time means 35 or more hours a week, the table compares men who work 50 hours with women who work 37.

    In addition, “on the days that they worked, employed married women age 25-54 spent less time in labor market work and work related activities than did employed married men in the same age group-7 hours and 40 minutes, compared to about 8 hours and 50 minutes.”

    “That’s about 5 hours fewer per week, or, in a 40-hour week, 11 percent. So, just on the basis of hours worked, women should earn 89 percent of what men earn.
    Turning to page 32, we find that-surprise!-young women actually do earn 89 percent of what men earn, without accounting for education or vocation.”

    So you see when you work less you get paid less. So yes, continue to kick us evil straight men and especially white straight men in the teeth. As the western economy continue’s it’s freefall collapse be sure to lobby to have ever more stringent and oppressive “laws” placed on evil mens inherently violent behavior, paid for by men’s taxes.

    Reproductive rights, they’re for women not men we have none. Title IX in STEM, of course, kick all men out of college, they’re dangerous. Quota’s in high paying job’s, you betcha, cause women are underpaid. Besides, men can always do the dangerous job’s and either die there or in a war to keep women all safe and snuggly under the umbrella of Big Daddy Guv. And let’s not forget the best part, men are forced to pay for all this by the guns of Big Daddy.

    I wonder who could predict the outcome of this little social experiment.

  • Christina @ at 2:58 pm, March 4th, 2011

    Well, I sorta see both sides of the fence. We aren’t THAT young when we are 20, we are grown people out of high school, maybe have a job, and go to school perhaps. I think the only way to stunt someone’s growth is if they are abusive in anyway, emotionally, physically, etc. Other than that, someone you have been with for a really long time, there is a strong trust there, more so than you can with a friend perhaps. But I do believe when people are together for a really long time, the harder it is to leave them if it is necessary. Whenever I’m in a long term, after a year and a half I start wanting to date other people just to make sure I want to continue on. I think that’s fair when we are young and committed.

  • sfgirl @ at 7:22 pm, March 4th, 2011

    I am a 24 year old female who has been in the same relationship for almost 5 years. Before that, hadn’t ever really dated at all. While I’ve certainly thought before about what I may or may not be “giving up”, I think ultimately I am really lucky because my boyfriend is a great guy, feminist, social justice oriented, smart, etc. etc. I think also what has helped but also been a challenge i s that a lot of our relationship has been (and currently is) long distance- we’ve both studied abroad, lived in different states and cities, and now different grad. schools, while together. While long distance sucks in a lot of ways, in others it can be “the best of both worlds” in terms of having someone special and the joys of a committed relatoinship, while also having the freedom to “discover yoruself” in the world.

  • Clara @ at 4:22 pm, March 5th, 2011

    I find this entire post quite ageist.

  • Katherine C. @ at 2:20 am, March 6th, 2011

    @ Lauren Flowers: I’m pretty sure that your comment was directed at feminists in general, and if so, yours in an attitude I come across often enough that I feel I should respnd to it.
    The reason am a feminist is because gender issues and gender bias permeate every major social issue- especially and including “poverty and child abuse”. Gender bias against women is the single common denominator; feminism is by no means an isolated thing, and your statement seems to imply that women are somehow some sort of special interest group with inferior problems. WOMEN=HALF THE WORLD. Please don’t even try to tell me that women are not devastatingly oppressed consistently all over the world. This is not me “complaining” about how “dowtrodden” I am- this is me being outraged (and doing something real about it) over the injustice faced by billions of women- and, yes, that includes me.
    The feminist activism that I participate in has mostly to do with gay rights (trivial? I think not- people die because of homophobia), access to reproductive medicine (trivial? I think not- women’s lives are ruined, by death or otherwise, by lack of control over their bodies), and, yes, poverty. Did you know that poverty affects women on a staggeringly greater scale than men? http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/10/women_poverty.html
    That’s not what I would call a trivial thing. Feminist issues- which I take to refer to the core of all social issues- are a matter of life and death, not something “we” are being “stupid” about, or making a “fuss” over.
    Allow me to give an example of how feminism and your examples of “superior issues”- poverty and child abuse- are intertwined. My father was physically abused by his mother as a child, and later emotionally abused as young adult. It was a terrible ordeal and affected him very negatively for life. His mother became pregnant with him while in college and was forced by her family to marry my grandfather. GENDER ISSUE ALERT! Shotgun-marriage is a woman-controlling phenomenon that began only with the dawn of patriarchal rule. She deeply resented the cutoff of her education for the rest of her life, leading to her taking out her frustrations on her child. And, by the way, she, my grandfather, and their children lived in serious poverty for my father’s entire childhood.
    Next time you’re about to call a social movement billions of women and men, many of them more intelligent that you or I will ever be, have worked for since the fifteenth century “stupid,” please consider the depth of your own knowledge on the subject- which is obviously not very great. And, Lauren, “I like to think that at some point in *your* life you will notice” that, in the words of John Donne, no (wo)man is an island. You will do the human race a much better service to realize the interconnected struggles of all people.

  • Iman S @ at 10:58 am, March 6th, 2011

    Look at all of these wonderful comments. :)

  • Simim @ at 12:57 am, March 23rd, 2011

    I’ve been with my boyfriend since I was 16. I’m 22 now.

    If anything, I think it helped me out. I love him with all my heart and he loves me. I have complete trust in this.

    So while other women/girls/young ladies/what have you I know were busy trying to juggle a social life, classes, and searching for a relationship, I had my relationship.

    I focused all my time into grades and studying and getting a job and going to school. Anything I’ve failed at has nothing to do with the relationship I’m in.

    If anything, I’d like to think it’s helped me a bit. My boyfriend’s always been… well, awesome. He understands that I need to fight my own fights. He doesn’t try to “intervene” when I’m struggling, but he’s always told me he’s there for me if I need him.

    He’s kinda like my rock, really. Jon had been my best friend before we even started dating, so hooking up romantically, and years down the line, intimately, seemed to flow.

    He’s never been a dick. He’s never stopped me from speaking my mind. He doesn’t put up with crap, but he doesn’t dish it out himself.

    So, I personally think my relationship, basically having that niche filled, let me focus on other things. It wasn’t a niche that “needed” to be filled. It was a niche I wanted to be filled. I got what I wanted. ^_^

    At the same time, I ultimately think that if he wasn’t the kind of man he is, it would have never happened.

    We don’t want kids. We aren’t getting married until I’ve got my finances under wraps. I think I’ll keep my last name. Sounds cooler. XD

    Right now we’ve been working on having each other with power of attorney. For all we care, if we can obtain the same legal rights we may never get “married.”

    Just for me, personally, it helped me out, knowing that even if my world turned to crap, I’ve still got him. It’s never put me at a handicap to the world. I’m still an independent, free-thinking woman.

    I’m also in love with an independent, free-thinking man who sees me as his equal and nothing less. And vice versa.

  • Kelly @ at 7:51 pm, April 17th, 2011

    Wow, I feel very sad for the writer and for others who think like she does. If you are in a relationship where there is openness, equal giving and taking, and you allow yourselves time away from each other as well as time together, then being in that relationship will NOT stunt your growth. In fact, being with the right person can actually help you grow as a person. That is why we tend to gravitate toward people who are our opposites… they complement us in ways that we never thought possible.

    But it is not ALL just about you, you, you. If you are selfish and only care about your own needs, then you should not be in a relationship or get married. You must make compromises in a relationship while also maintaining who you are as a person. If you think about breaking up every time there is a hardship or something changes in your relationship or there is something exciting you want to explore that you can’t then you are incapable of real love. This is why the divorce rate is so high, is because people just give up when things change or the going gets tough.

    Enough of my rant. I’ve been with the same man for 7 years (since I was 20) and we’ve grown together, laughed together, fought together. And sure, some things have changed between us but you learn to adjust and accept it because we are in it for the long haul. That’s what love is, for better or for worse.

  • Danielle Calder @ at 11:48 pm, September 24th, 2011

    Your comment “At 17 or 18 you want nothing more than to be romantically involved with someone that you can go to the movies with, take juvenile pictures of you two doing kissy faces, and all the other things teenagers do in their formative years” is quite demeaning, don’t you think? I’m 18 and in a relationship and we are definitely not that childish. We’re moving in together next year and I’d say that it’s a long term thing. So by lumping all teens in the box of “silly” in terms of their relationships isn’t correct and quite judgemental.

  • rain @ at 9:02 pm, May 9th, 2012

    My best guy friend and I talk a lot because I was in a relationship with his best friend. The relationship did not work out, and left me with a bitter opinion of his friend. When I talk to my friend about this, he says “not all guys are like that”, meaning the expectations his friend had are not the same as other guys. It’s true that in MY experience, I’ve thought guys to be just as shallow as any human can be, but I think my friend has a point. If you’re a good person, it doesn’t really matter what gender you are. If you’re going to be good at being in a relationship, it will be because you know how to compromise and talk to people, not because you are filling expectations.

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