How Single is Single Really?

I was trying to explain to my mom the other day what my current “situation” is when she asked about my personal life. I told her that “I’m dating, but not in a relationship.” She said that was the dumbest thing she had ever heard of and it doesn’t make any sense. She then asked that what my status would be if I were in a relationship but not yet married. I told her that “I’d be…….dating?” In her 52-year old mind, dating means you’re seeing just one guy, and the two of you have made an agreement to only see each other, otherwise known as a relationship. Then I got to thinking, what does it really mean to be dating and single? I have a friend who has been in a committed consistent relationship for a few years now who always hits on me when he’s been drinking. Every time that I remind him he has a girlfriend, he reminds me that his tax return says single, and he is thus….single. The first time he said that, I almost fell out of my seat. Once I thought about it, he made perfect sense.

In my 25-year old mind, there are four stages you go through before you marry someone. First, you’re friends. Friendship is probably the most simplistic and comprehendable stage. Nothing serious, no obligations, no hard feelings if it doesn’t go any further. The next stage is what I like to call a datingship. A datingship is when two people are more than friends, but haven’t made a formal commitment. There are still no obligations or promises made, but there’s usually an understanding of exclusivity. This is probably the most dangerous of the stages, as both parties are more vulnerable and can easily be hurt. No rules in a datingship. The third stage is a relationship. A mutually exclusive understanding that each person is only to do, say, and feel romantic things with the other person who has made the same commitment. If all three stages are successful, then comes marriage. No explanation necessary.

This brings me back to the conversation about taxes. If you’ve yet to be married, you are legally single, regardless of the “dating stage” you may claim to be in. So if you’re purely single before you’re married, why do we even bother with a datingship or relationship? Why not just go from being friends to being engaged? My grandparents were never in a relationship. They were engaged for 7 days, and then were married for 52 years before my Granddaddy passed this June. As I’m reading this back to myself, it sounds pretty complicated. But what can I say, I’m a woman. I over-analyze matters of romance. I guess the question I’m asking is how wrong was my taxpaying friend for completely disregarding his girlfriend for a chance to have the best sex of his life with me if he hasn’t made the ultimate commitment to her? Does it matter if it’s not legal? Does it matter if it’s not before God? Can you cheat on someone if he/she isn’t your spouse? Surely, he already has these questions answered if he was still so persistent with me. I’d be a fool to say to generalize his thoughts and actions to say that most if not all men think this way, but I can’t help but think that most women would probably disagree with his rationale. I also can’t help but think that most would tell this guy he has no business being in a relationship if he doesn’t know how to be faithful.

I have an opinion developed, but I thought my mother’s question paired with my taxpaying friend’s statement would make for an interesting conversation.

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  1. Now I’ve known you for some years now. And I love you like a sister. I will not comment on your blog. That’s a conversation that we will have either on the phone or in person.

  2. If you skip step 2 and 3, how do you know that you are compatible to go to step 4. I don’t want to marry all of my friends… 🙂

    About the single thing… I tend to reason a bit alike, but no in the way that I’m hitting on other guys. But I consider marriage a bit as ‘closing the deal’, making the whole thing official. Not only emotionally, but also legally.
    I mean, if he wants me to pay half of the bills and take a mortgage together, than hey, put a ring on me and bind yourself to me legally, so that I not only have to carry the burden, but I also get the advantages and be protected. In Belgium, if you buy a house together, but you are not legally a couple, than if one dies, the other one does not get the house…

    If you want me to be the mother of your children, than make it official, because otherwise you’re only the biological father, not the legal father. Again, in Belgium, if you’re not married, than the mother has to give her explicit permission for a man to be recognized legally as the father.

      • b1tch please
      • September 28th, 2010

      Official = text on a piece of paper, not a 10K diamond ring. Nice of you though trying to slip that lazy piece of female rational past the rest of us..

      Love isn’t a legality.

      Thank Christ Grandma knew this.

  3. Sometimes I think it’s a matter of labeling. My dad is old school and if I tell him I’m just talking to someone he would call it dating. Whereas someone could see the term dating as 2 people being in a committed relationship.

    I’ve definitely had some guys try to hit on me and ask if I’m single and when I tell them I have a bf, they look at my hand and say that: if I don’t have a ring on my finger, I’m single…lol. Clearly I don’t agree with that.

    And for the friend that hits on you, I wonder what his girl would say if he told her what his status with her is based off of a tax return…lol.

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