I meant to title this post 'bowling alley floors', which while equally nonsensical was slightly less amusing than my typo, so I left it as is. One of my dear friends is a girl who happens to date girls. She's going through a rough patch right now, and I'm trying to be an ear/shoulder/confidante/bitchbuddy (which is TOTALLY a word I just made up and will now use with regularity).
Without getting overly specific, one of the issues she's running up against with her current girlfriend (let's call her B) is that B has some personal issues that she feels she needs to work through before she can be a good girlfriend to my friend. Can you work through that sentence? Let me break it down: B is basically subscribing to the 'I need to be a complete happy person before I can be in a relationship' school of thought.
I call bullshit. Not just on B, but on every single person who has ever perpetuated that stupid, stupid idea.
- I've heard it when I've been dumped from my friends: "it's ok, now you can focus on yourself, on finding out who YOU are without someone else".
- I've heard it from single friends who desperately want to be in a relationship but aren't finding anyone: "I'm really just working on myself right now - you know you can't be with someone else until you've got yourself figured out".
- I've heard it from cuntychops who think it's a kinder-by-virtue-of-being-more-complicated version of 'it's not you, it's me'.
- Finally, I've heard it from otherwise intelligent people who truly believe that they need to get all of their issues under control before they can be with someone else.
My response to the first two is slightly different than my response to the others, but they can all be rolled up into one simple concept.
If you refuse to date until you're perfect, you will die alone. And imperfect.
There ya go. Wisdom from the mouth of a girl who has never said no to a first date in her life.
1 & 2) I respect what my friends are trying to do for me and themselves when they say that being single gives you time to focus on yourself. It is, in fact, an irritating way of saying 'don't sit around and mope until you find a new partner. Do things, have a life, enjoy yourself - you can be a person without being part of a pair.' Totally completely true, but also an inversion of the 'you can't be in a relationship until you've figured yourself out' concept. When you're not in a relationship, have fun with yourself! Do things that make you happy! When you are in a relationship, do the exact same thing but sometimes with someone else! See how easy that is?
3) To the cuntychops I say 'get a life and leave me and my friends alone'. See how easy that is?
4) And the final group: those individuals who have issues - they have debt, they hate their jobs, they want to be thinner or stronger or prettier or finish school or own a home or.... - and think that they can't be in relationships until that magic day when they have dealt with all that.
I feel for you, if you're one of those people. I do. Because unlike the sweeties in group 2, you will actively avoid people who are in fact fun to be around/make out with/go on dates with/marry because you truly believe you aren't ready. In my not-so-limited experience, this is because you think that when you're in a relationship you will need to take care of your partner, and you can't do that if you're worried about taking care of yourself.
To that all I can say is please, grow up a little bit. If you're a man and you were raised in a family with traditional gender roles, and you want to perpetuate those, then I can't really talk you out of that. If you're anyone else, please trust that I'm using the word 'partner' for a reason. Yes, sometimes your partner will need you to be strong. And sometimes he or she will be strong for you. If you love each other, it will be ok. It will balance out. I promise. You, number 4's of the world, do not need to take care of your significant other all the time. If you realize that, maybe you can just relax and enjoy having one.
Off my high horse now.