As modern, educated, ambitious young women, we should never let a romantic relationship take over our lives. We are independent women and the men we allow into our lives are only there to enrich it, not determine it, and if they leave, so be it…on to the next one!
The previous paragraph, I believe, is the product of wishful thinking and what every well adjusted woman wants to act on. But, can we ever really keep only one foot in our relationships and bounce back after heartbreak and disappointment with the confidence that everything else is going well?
Time and time again I see my friends rest their entire happiness on the status of their romantic relationships, or lack thereof. I am victim to this cycle myself, often determining the state of my well-being on my love life. It is bigger than typical heartache or the thrill of falling in love-it’s a hige imbalance between genders and the rank of our priorities.
It is no mystery that twenty-something girls practice this draining lifestyle, but when is reason going to replace romance? I doubt that the average guy mourns the loss of a short term relationship with hours of analyzing and days of starvation followed by days of ice cream.
How much do you think this imbalance affects our professional lives and general happiness? Do men always have the upper hand outside of the relationship due to less emotional involvement?
These questions are as old as time, but as women become more equal will this kryponite of romantic obsession ever fail to get in our way?
Not lost, Cinderella just took them off
It may be a result of the overly casual dating world in which I exist where formal dates are as rare as marriage proposals, but generally I cannot physically stand a first date. The combination of forced conversation over a meal wrapped in usually conflicting manners and expectations is worth avoiding. There is no fairy godmother and the ball is usually a trying to be fancy Italian restaurant where you order the cheapest thing on the menu because you feel bad that you won’t be paying (the only thing worse is if you do end up paying for your shitty choice of a meal.)
This is all very pessimistic and Oprah would say that I am coming from “a place of no,” but the anxiety I feel before a first date is rarely worth it in the end. I have found myself nervous to get into the position in which a first date would occur…I know, wishful thinking…but, the more you hype it up, the greater the disappointment.
Maybe I should be cool with a free bowl of pasta with marinara sauce (no meatball, he’s only a college student!) and the fact that someone is willing to put themselves through the theatrics of the overrated event.
Still, my favorite “first date” is the one that comes after several encounters within group settings, or chance run ins when you know you like each other and the formality of the date is just putting things in motion.
Now I want to go on a date.
We all have the friend who has gone through more style changes than Lady Gaga and switches music tastes faster than an a Girl Talk song. She is not a naturally confused person, or unsure of herself, she is sure of what her boyfriend likes.
She begins to date a hipster living in Allston who inspires her to indulge in Indie music and consignment shops. Her jeans get tighter, she exchanges stilettos for converse and you will occasionally find a cigarette in her hand. She stubbornly insists that she has ben awakened and this is her true self, the boyfriend was simply the gatekeeper of this wonderful world we are all missing out on that lies beyond Packard’s Corner.
Allston gets old and the boyfriend gets distant and moody; it is time for a change. She begins to see a lacrosse player at Harvard. She pulls out her old boat shoes and headbands because it is time to be mature and adult. Dave Matthews is so awesome and she talks about switching her major to econ because that’s where the money is.
Since Harvard/BU relationships have a short shelf life, she will cross back over the bridge soon and return to a state of normalcy until she meets a bro-ish frat guy and is suddenly an active member of her sorority again.
I think you get the point.
We are all victim of of this cycle to a certain extent and it is not always a negative, identity highjacking problem. Relationships and compromise and we should influence one another, but when does it go too far? When does it go from a blending and sharing of tastes to a transformation to please your partner? Please share!