Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Single in a Relationship

Your entire family's in a dilemma, and so are you. They're wondering whether you're seeing someone, whether you should be seeing someone, or whether they should be finding someone for you. You're wondering whether you're the marrying kind or not. From "confirmed bachelors" having been a byword, the world seems to have moved to a new Sex-and-the-City-empowered generation of women, who seem to have realised that you can't have it all, and you might as well retain your marital (or unmarital) status.

This does not mean we're all feminists...oh, no - far be it from me to claim that I can live without men flitting in and out of my life - or that I cannot take one (or more) constant presence(s) in my life. I've always been a champion for anti-feminism. (Honestly, burn your bras and you're left with out-of-shape breasts; to whom have they been of any use???) But what I've often come across is a sense of claustrophobia, of too many shared spaces.  Couples who do everything 
together, share each other's email passwords and know each other's histories...well,
 that's a little too close for someone who believes each member of a couple should have a room of his or her own.

I've often spoken to some of my like-minded, equally emotionally claustrophobic friends about whether we're designed to be single or part of a couple. Most of the conversations ended with
the conclusion that long-distance relationships were the best. You had someone to fantasise about, and you had your own space to go to movies alone, eat alone, take vacations alone and indulge in some harmless flirting when you had the mind to. There are times when we want no
strings attached, and times when we find the pull of the string comforting.

And then I realised that it was all about one thing - being single in a relationship. It was about retaining all the freedom you had while being single, while moving into the comfortable camaraderie of a relationship. And since this is 2007, I'm not talking about being 
tied up in chains (unless, of course, you're into that sort of thing!) But, in all seriousness, how 
often is it that women nag at their partners and ask them who that was on the phone, when 
they will be back, where they are headed to, how long it's been since they had some alone
 time together...and men nag their  partners about the same issues? Perhaps some of us
need to resign ourselves to not being the committing kind...or at least, the marrying kind. Perhaps some of us need to realise that we will only be happy with partners as neurotic as we are. And - perhaps - we all need to be open to the fact that a marriage, or any long-term relationship can work as long as we can all accommodate each other's singledom within it.  


avronea said...

``partners as neurotic as we are''...that's got me written all over it!!! and yeah i agree. except i think you ought to read up a lil more abt feminism. tis not all abt bra burning and staying single!

Nandini Krishnan said...

oh, i've read too much of it...although i've tried to block out my undergrad years from my mind, the aftertaste remains...the bra burning is just the most repulsive, mock-worthy aspect of it all! :-)

avronea said...




``bra-burning'' is a media creation woman! didn't happen!

Nandini Krishnan said...

Feminists, feminists...(sigh)...you people always lose sight of the issue at hand! anyway, not going to all those sites, but i was joking about the metaphorical remark about burning bras that one of those feminists i was forced to read made...not to be taken literally.

Lizzie Borden said...

you are my kula devam di! I so agree with the being single in a relationship thing, I for one am scard SHITLESS of sharing my dresser, my bathroom cupboard, my bed, my life!, my movie time, my alone time, my binge on chocolate time, my aimless daydreaming time, my vetti time.. AIYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO....
its so damn scary di... there is probably a reason why my mum and dad live the way they do... keeps the relationship sane!!

Umesh said...

I have always been a person who gets uncomfortable when someone gets so very close to me. I always wanted my own space. I always wanted to be left alone atleast for some time in a day and thats why i chose to live alone too. I'm very close to my friends and i love them, but after a point i like to leave them alone and let myself be left alone too. If someone calls me and asks me why i didnt calling him/her for the last two days i get angry.

Recently i got engaged (arranged) to a girl who lives in Bombay; I live in Bangalore. We dont call daily but we exchange one or two messages daily. We call up some time and sweet talk/flirt for a long time but i always made sure that we didnt creep into each others space too much.

Some days back i asked her if she finds it ok by me not bombarding her with messages and me not calling her every now and then to know what she was doing and where she was etc. She said she is super happy about how we are now and thats why she likes me. Even i told her that i liked the same in her being not a chipkoo. :-)

I was so glad to read this on your blog (I'm a regular here)coz you said exactly the stuff that was there in my mind all these days.

Accidental Fame Junkie said...

There are two issues I see here. I agree with one - having space within a relationship. But I disagree with the other - feminists are not man haters (add eaters and beaters as well to that list). At the risk of splitting hairs and taking away from the focus of the post, which btw, I agree with, I'd like to say one thing. I have seen women disassociate themselves from feminism as though it was taken from the sewers. It is the classic case of women perceiving women through the "male gaze." Laura Mulvey first came up with that phrase and I think it's so accurate. I don't think the women can be blamed either - it's sort of all pervading and around us that it's difficult to differentiate. The bra-burning is such a stereotype! What I am saying is don't hate other woman for championing the cause of women. I am a feminist but I don't hate men but love them in the flawed way that only humans can. In the end, that's what we are - humans.

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