Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Last Word On..., No. 1: Relationships

Before I start, an introduction to this series: These posts will be my last--yes, that means final--ones on topics that I've been going on and on about pretty much since I joined social networking, and, to a degree, before that; just not publicly online.  I also will limit myself to no more than four paragraphs, as I was recently challenged to do by a friend.  Since this is just an opening, it doesn't count; still, these will not be the long ramblings you're used to seeing.  My intent is to just say what I need to say and move on; unless something big changes on one of these fronts, I won't say anything more about them.  That may mean that, after I finish these, my blogging days are over...but, that's fine with me.  Still with me? Then, here we go.

Most of you reading this are likely in serious relationships, and probably have been for a while.  While that's great for you--that is, as long as your relationship is a happy one; we all know plenty are not!--I can't fight the feeling that one just isn't for me.  Yes, I've said that for quite a while; still, there are three very important reasons why I hold that belief, and they just can't be ignored.

First off: Do I even know what a relationship is? I'm not sure I do!  You probably remember these oft-quoted words from a former friend of mine: "I believe you have some unrealistic expectations of how relationships develop and function. They are not instantaneous, and ones that last are not easy. Whether romantic or platonic, relationships are a lot of work. They require mutual respect and consideration. [...] When you’ve talked about marriage, it’s always been about the ways you would benefit. What will you bring to a marriage? This is not about income. You’ll need to be her friend, her shoulder to cry on, and her sounding board. She’s not always going to agree with you. Will she just always be wrong (Because you know you’re not going to marry a woman who is always picking on you.)?" Seriously, a relationship isn't a hopeless crush on your fresh-out-of-college homeroom teacher; it isn't plastering pictures of a Disney Channel actress all over your walls and your binder; it isn't hunting online for every tidbit of information you can find about a high school classmate, down to an Amazon wishlist she made ages ago.  Despite what romance movies will tell you, things like that take time and work...and I seriously doubt I have what it takes to keep one going.  Just like when you welcome a new child into your house, when you get into a serious relationship, everything changes; it's not life as normal anymore.  However, I like my normal life; if I were to have to constantly worry about keeping my girlfriend or wife happy, I'd go crazy.  Our household pets--a chihuahua and elderly tabby cat--only have basic needs, and they still drive me insane with their constant reliance on me to feed them, water them, etc.  You know the old saying, "If it's not broke, don't fix it"? Well, my life is not broken...so, don't mess with it!

Second off: How could any woman expect to compete with my loves? No, I'm not talking about my celebrity crushes; we all know that's a thing of the past.  I'm not even talking about my friends, most of whom are female, though I do love them; after all, doesn't the Bible say, "A friend loves at all times"? What I'm talking about are my favorite activities.  You know what they are: Disney Channel, bargain hunting, Christian music, reading, etc.  For me, they're not just hobbies; they're passions.  You probably know from my Facebook posts how important they are to me; now, do you think any single woman would want to compete with that? Some weeks ago, I saw a Facebook post from a recently divorced friend who was using a viral image to lament about how her ex put his job and his hobbies before her, and she hated it.  Well, honestly, I can't say that I wouldn't do the same thing; to me, a life without my interests simply isn't worth living.  I take my dislikes just as seriously; you all know I was none too happy back in 2002 when my mom decided to bring a dog home.  To me, he wasn't a pet; he was an attack on all I held dear...and I still feel that way about our current dog; he just complicates everything further, and I can't help but think our lives would be easier sans any pets.  Maybe someday I'll get my wish and have a pet-free home; at this point, I can only hope.

Third off: One of my biggest fears is getting romantically involved with the wrong person...and it seems all too likely! You probably know I'm a child of divorce, so, I learned at a young age how relationships--including marriages--can go wrong.  Here's something you may not know: When it comes to people I personally know or am regularly in contact with, there are some I respect...and some I don't.  Whether or not I respect them depends solely on their actions towards me: If they're nice and kind to me, I can respect that...but, if they treat me like dirt, I can't respect them.  Unfortunately, too many people I've known--classmates, teachers, even fellow church members--have fallen into the latter category; they act like a jerk, and show no remorse for their unthinkable actions.  What makes it worse is that, when trying to get others--including authority figures--to intervene, they refuse to do anything, and instead pin the blame on me, as if the offending party is in no way responsible for their actions.  You wouldn't believe the laudatory terms people have used to describe thorns in my side: "They're the best friends you've ever had!" "He likes you and you don't even know it!" "She is your biggest advocate!" It's all nonsense to me; I'm the kind of person who will call a spade a spade...and a jerk a jerk.  My fear with marriage is that I'll end up wed to yet another thorn, who will do like the others did and treat me like dirt...and nobody will listen when I try to tell them what that woman is doing to me.  I'm not going to list names, but, you'd be surprised just who the thorns in my side have been.

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