Waaah? No relationship? Been there, done that. That’s when I realized that the word relationship is just that, a word, it means nothing until actions give it life. Single and ready to mingle? Sure! Single and want to be in a meaningless relationship? No thanks. What I want is something more than a label. What I want is to share life. Not making sense? Let me explain. So many people are looking for their “happily ever after”, their fairy tale. They have, in their head, an ideal about what a relationship should be. They want to be a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a wife, a husband, but, relationships aren’t defined the same way anymore. Relationships are much more diverse … you’ve got conventional relationships, open relationships, polyamorous relationships, swingers and the list goes on and on. A while back I discussed why it’s important to define a relationship, it’s important because you need to know where you stand with someone, but as long as you’re on the same page, whatever that is that you are is fine. Now, why I don’t want a relationship … because, to me, it’s not the label that matters, it’s the glue under the label that makes it stick.
Why I Don’t Want a Relationship
I don’t want a relationship because I don’t care about the labels. After a divorce, after many disappointing years of dating and being with some very unsavory characters, I have realized what’s really important and the label isn’t where it’s at. I was a girlfriend, I was a wife, heck I was even someone’s dirty little secret, so I had the labels, I was even looking for that label again after my divorce, but, as time went on, I realized what was really important. The label meant absolutely nothing because the substance wasn’t there there wasn’t any glue to make it stick. The label was the pretty wrapping paper but the stuff inside was crap. I had the label but I didn’t have something real or concrete. I didn’t have something good.
So that’s why I don’t want a relationship … I want a companionship. I want a partnership. I want someone to walk with me in the same direction. I want someone to share and enjoy my life with. Someone who can handle the ups and downs, the good and the bad who doesn’t run at the first sign of trouble. Someone who will treat me well and whom I will treat even better. Someone who will take care of me emotionally, physically and mentally, sharing with me all the great things life has to offer. I don’t need to be called a girlfriend, I don’t need to be called a wife – I need to enjoy my life and have someone to enjoy it with.
When the graphic posted above appeared recently in my news feed I was like YES! That’s EXACTLY it!! Relationships do hold you back because it’s not the relationship it’s the word, when you think relationships you think expectations and you have assumptions. But when you think of someone as your companion and partner it’s completely a different story because you see them differently. Is it semantics? Maybe. Perhaps you’re thinking “she’s just bitter” or “she’s just saying that but she really does want a relationship and can’t get one“, but nope that’s not true at all. It took me a long time to get here but I’m glad this is where I ended up. I’m not saying this way of thinking is for everyone, but for me it’s the right choice and the right path. Am I saying I will never get married again, no, you never know, never say never (I always said I would never get divorced!), but I’m certainly not looking for it. When I meet someone I first assess if they are a good fit for my life and then see if I enjoy their company, I see how they treat me and how I want to treat them. Then and only then do I decide to move forward.
Are all relationships bad? Not at all. But if you take anything out of this today it’s that it’s not the relationship that matters, remember that, it’s not the label that’s important, it’s what’s underneath that makes it stick. You could have the label, any label, and it could mean absolutely nothing, remember that. You need to enjoy the process and let the cards fall where they may. I’ve said before that people focus too much on the outcome and end up in less than ideal situations, including with the wrong people. Learn from my mistake and find the missing puzzle piece that fits perfectly in your life and forget about what that puzzle piece is called or what it looks like, what matters is that it fits … everything else is secondary.
READERS: What do you think about labels? Are they necessary? Do you need them? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Copyright Single Dating Diva
Yes, I think labels are necessary. 1) It’s setting a bad example for our children, 2) legally it’s more beneficial to be a wife than nothing at all, 3) it’s how we describe who we are – what if this applied to our job titles?
Such good points! I never understand why people are in relationships for the sake of it!
Wonderful perspective! 🙂
Respectfully, this post and the accompanying graphic don’t make a lot of sense. “I don’t want a relationship, they hold you back.” but then the rest of the graphic describes……….. a relationship. A companionship/partnership is a relationship. Perhaps I’m arguing semantics because your overall point that a “coupling” or whatever term you want to use is about the understanding between the people involved, not the label they attach to it is valid. But make no mistake, you do have expectations: “Someone who can handle the ups and downs, the good and the bad who doesn’t run at the first sign of trouble. Someone who will treat me well and whom I will treat even better. Someone who will take care of me emotionally, physically and mentally, sharing with me all the great things life has to offer.” are all expectations. And you SHOULD have expectations for how you are treated and how you treat others. As for me, the label doesn’t make a good relationship, but it can feel invalidating to attach yourself to someone in all senses of the word and then have him refer to you as a “friend”, or some other label that has a universally understood definition (and is NOT in fact, how you see your relationship).
I am the same way. Divorced. Been there, done that. My man M.C. Nugget and I didn’t even use the BF or GF terms until we’d been dating for about 9 months… just wasn’t important to us. It also takes all the pressure off! No sweating it out wondering if you are “dating” or “exclusive” or whatever. …
As someone who hates labels of any kind in all situations, I can see both sides of this. While there are plenty of people who rush for a label, any label, and ignore the substance, there are also times when labels are necessary. I’ve been with Mr. Sports Fan for almost 2 years now (OMG!) and we rarely use the BF/GF labels because we are so much more than a label. We are a team of people, a partnership. But there are times when we have to use a label, such as introductions to someone new. Great post! It’s not about the shiny packaging, it’s about what’s inside!
Personally I’d love to be in or have a “relationship” or whatever else people decide to call it, it’s the dating hell to find someone to be in a relationship with that I hate.
Really good point – I’ve thought about this as well. We have a very conventional idea of relationships – I will agree an idealized image (anybody see Gone Girl??) that should be more diverse. People grow, people change, and ideally, you want the relationship to grow too and not be this idea you had of it at the very start. I think some people are successful at growing their relationships, but we need to be more honest about what we really want – and many times it’s not the white dress, kids and picket fence. Great post!!
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