I've been reading a lot of Kimchi Cuddles lately. Loving it so much I can't actually express. It's like at least every third panel I'm going 'Yes! Yes that makes so much sense, I love you Tikva, can I marry you and have your babies?'. Well, maybe not, but can I love you forevermore?
Which brings me to the point of this post. Can I marry you and have your babies. Kimchi talks about the Relationship Escalator. We're trained from quite young that the way relationships go is you're monogamous, and there's a progression. Meet, date, date exclusively, move in, marry, children. Happily ever after. (That's the training, not the reality.) Depending on what you're taught, sex happens around the date exclusively mark. For some, they're taught that sex does not happen until you're married. That is one I've been trying to wrap my head around. It's the biggest load of bollocks I can imagine. It's so absurd to me that, when recently pressed, I couldn't even bother to argue why it's bollocks. I just tried to elucidate it for this blog but frankly I can't be arsed. If you actually think that marriage is some kind of magic point at which sex becomes sacred or the relationship is somehow exempt from ever ending, or, worst of worst, that women who are not 'virginal' are somehow not valuable enough to make a marriage-style commitment to... Ugh. That makes me puke in my mouth a little. And don't even get me started on how 'virginity' is defined in that setup. If you think that penis in vagina sex defines virginity, or defines sex, or the bit I got sidetracked from when I said 'if you actually think' before, then you probably shouldn't be reading this blog, because I'm sure to offend you.
Why, why, why? What is that shit? Why do we ask 'where is this going?' Why would someone who's been sort of long-distance dating one of my partners for roughly three months, and actually been in the same space with him about four times in that period, ask him if he would consider ever actually getting married (subtext: to her) and why oh why would that be a dealbreaker, especially so early in the relationship? Ok, to be fair to her, the ultimate dealbreaker was this poly business. It's pretty tough, when your end goal is get married, have sex, make babies, to build that relationship while one partner is having a happily sexual relationship with someone else. If I was trying on celibacy for a bit, I'd find it super-difficult to have one of my partners doing the naughty with someone else. Mainly because I'd keep imagining it and getting all hot and horny and that makes it hard to stay celibate. I'm digressing, again.
But ffs. It makes me cringe that there are people for whom this is the actual relationship model. I mean, I have absolutely no problem with two (or three or four...) people waking up one day and going 'you know what, I love you and this shit is totally working between us. Let's have a big-ass party and get presents and tell the whole world we want to be together all the time. While we're at it, let's do it legally too, cause that solves a whole bunch of practical issues.' But people who enter into a relationship with 'it's either marriage potential or it isn't, and if it isn't, I'm out'? Wow. How many awesome awesome relationships are they missing out on? How much chance to learn so much about themselves and who they are in a relationship and how to do this dance we call romance? How much heartbreak and heartmend do they miss, and how much do they cause?
To be clear (yeah, because that rant above was super-clear): it's a great idea to examine your relationships and how they make you feel and whether the space they're in is a healthy one for everyone, etc. It's a great idea to allow relationships to grow and evolve and change. It's just a really really stupid idea to expect them to evolve in a particular direction. They won't. They'll do their own thing, as they should. And if you're focused on that one direction, you're going to miss the total amazingness that is the multiple other directions they might or do go in. And I'm not all that and a snackwich.... I sometimes miss those bits, and I sometimes fall prey to the old narrative and wonder where a relationship is going. And I'm perfectly aware that I've lived that narrative.. I've been married and had kids and I speak from a place of knowing just what a big fat lie that narrative is, and for someone much younger and more hopeful my knowledge is just sad cynicism.
Grab the rainbow, kittens.... Stay off the escalator and just live the relationship. There ain't nothing wrong with commitment, but there ain't nothing wrong with living in the day either. In the immortal words of my beloved bestie: Life is too short to worry about it. Life is long, all things will come around.