Let’s Gripe About Relationships

Warning: If you’re either sick to death of my perpetual cynicism concerning relationships, or you’re a hopeless romantic not actively seeking a pin to pop your bubble of pink fluffy dreams, you may want to give this one a pass.

It’s no secret amongst my friends and maybe even my enemies that I’m not a fan of relationships. I’m a hard-boiled, galvanized-steel cynic when it comes to things like love and romance. You’re probably thinking that I’m most likely jaded from a bad relationship history. And you’d be right. I’m not a stranger to love, or what it feels like. Like so many others, I’ve been in love, and I’ve been hurt. And while this is going to sound like emo-whining of the highest caliber, my biggest problem isn’t so much that I don’t know what it’s like to romantically love someone else; it’s that I don’t know what it’s like to be romantically loved by someone else.

Apart from the fact that I was raised to think that relationships need to be handled more like a business deal, the fact that I have very little experience in the relationship department other than a seven-year disaster in which I allowed myself to be subjected to various forms of emotional abuse really reinforces my tendency to look at all situations logically instead of emotionally. And that’s great, in theory, but it also makes me a horrible person to ask for relationship advice from. My philosophy is that if you’re not happy, fix it. Don’t give me excuses for it, because your excuses make no sense to me. Fix it or ditch it. It’s so elegantly simple, but it certainly does get me a lot of dirty looks. When people complain to me about how they feel like they’re not getting enough from their partner, whether it’s emotional support, sex, or contribution, they always end their tirades with “oh well, I’ll just learn to deal with it,” while I’m thinking “but why would you settle for less?”

It’s also kind of important to note that I’m a selfish person. I admit it. I’m not even remotely ashamed of it. I like doing things for myself. I like spending money on myself. I like being able to do what I want with my time, when I want, and where. I don’t want to have to give it to anyone, be that a partner or a child. And that’s okay when you’re in your early twenties, but honestly, I thought that notion would start to go away the older I got. I used to have all of the same fantasies of eventually getting married and having children, but those dreams are what started to fade away, and my desire to stay single and childless only grew. I just couldn’t see what was so much more important about romantic love than other kinds. It does not help to be raised in a world where romantic love is something that is constantly shoved into your face, like the best thing you can ever accomplish with your life is finding a romantic partner, getting married, and sacrificing your wants and desires for the wants and desires of another. Thankfully, movies like “Frozen” and “Maleficent” are starting to eschew the importance of romantic love and focus more on love that has a certain kind of substance – the love between siblings, between family members, between friends. And that’s been pretty great for me, because now I feel like people are starting to understand where I’m coming from, in that there are more important things in life than romance. I’m sure that romance is a very nice sentiment, but again, I have no idea what it feels like, so maybe I’m the worst judge of that sort of thing.

But now I’m starting to wonder, and I’m starting to worry, that maybe I am just jaded. I’ve had a few casual relationships over the course of my twenties, but I’m really starting to understand why I have a tendency to ruin them. It should be easy for me to keep things simple if I don’t really want to have a relationship, right? But I’m realizing that when I leave the house of whomever it is I’m sleeping with, I find myself missing them, and not just for sex…I miss the comfort of arms around me, the feel of a good, deep kiss, the warmth and tenderness of another person…even if it’s just for a little while.

Goddamnit. I have an addiction to the comfort of other people. That SUCKS.

When you’re sick to death of the prospect of relationships and horrified by the idea of self-sacrifice and risking the best years of your life for heartbreak and misery, the idea of being addicted to closeness to people is just pathetic. Being in the grey area between “single” and “in a relationship” is sometimes the best place in the world to be, but I’m starting to realize that it might also be the worst.

I know this post is horribly ranty and lacking in a lot of cohesion, but I’m seriously starting to feel lost here. I don’t want a relationship, but I don’t want a life of celibacy. I like people, I just don’t want to give them the ability to dictate any aspect of my life. It’s a huge conundrum, and I don’t know what to do. I guess I’m asking for advice, for a change. Maybe an emotional choice, in this case, would be better than a logical one. Maybe.

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