the lawyer writer

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

On Couplehood

As my fanatical reader base (is it three people? four?)knows, I talk about all sorts of things on this blog, but not much about my lovelife. This is for the basic reason of good manners--I think that there are many things a man in my life would appreciate, but airing dirty laundry on the blog clothesline would probably not be one of them. I am a pretty personal writer, but I am miles away from being a Henry Miller or Anais Nin--let alone an Amy Sohn and Candace Bushnell.

Still, last night we were at a very cool bar called the Music Box and ruminating, as you do, on the strangeness of love, relationships and couplehood. There has been much to say about all this by people far more experienced (as writers. What did you think I meant, you dirty people?) than myself. But even at my ripe old age, I still have questions.

For example, why are couples always the first to leave a party or a bar? Not the "just dating couples" but the "committed relationship couples." It's hard enough to get them out of the house, but when they leave at 10:30, one can only hope that they're going home to try page 43 of their well-worn copy of The Kama Sutra. That, however, is rare. Most of the time they're going home because they have to get up early in the morning to jointly buy a shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond. This, to me, is depressing.

Married people seem to sink into their own little sinkhole of a relationship. It's hard to get them out separately--unless for a "boy's night" (football, pub, 3 calls to wife as to ETA of return home) or "girl's night" (wine, gossip, contemplations of having a baby). There is the instant feeling of being a "third wheel" once the couple gets serious--even if you've known them both forever. Suddenly, as a friend, your importance and influence lessens. This feels weird, to say the least, but you get used to it as more of your friends start pairing off.

Of course, there are exceptions--my friends Ali and Griff, for example, who, though married, party harder than any single people I know. But they are British, and I think the Europeans are more practical about couplehood. It's less...isolationist, more about going to the cafe together. The problem is, as much as I rail against the Incredible Disappearing Committed Couple, the stereotype exists because it works. When you're that into someone, the world is supposed to disappear, and you're supposed to get googly-eyed and leave lunch notes in each other's briefcase and things like that.

I'm all for passionate couplehood, but the idea of my world shrinking down to one person is just bloody scary. Most of my boyfriends have been social types like me--our early dates were quiet dinners, then meeting friends in bars until we felt, um...eager to retire, let's say. But can a truly committed, to-be-engaged/shacked-up/married couple carry on like that? Or eventually, does the gravitational pull of the relationship black hole suck you in, until you can't quite remember a night when you drank too much, stayed out too late, and passed out on the cab ride home? Am I the only one who things that those nights should not be left on the shelf once you find Mr. or Mrs. Right? Or is it fundamentally impossible to be madly in love and still want to party? To start a family without moving to the suburbs and joining the PTA? Maybe this is yet another sign that while I look for love, marriage might not be around the corner. Because I don't dream of a husband who brings home the bacon; I dream of a partner in crime, a Ricky to my Lucy.

Hmmm. This, probably, is why I don't write about relationships: I have more questions than answers, and not much pithy wisdom to share. Like most people, I guess, except that doesn't stop some writers from trying. (Seriously, if anyone knows how to get Amy Sohn stop writing, please let me know). (I post the link purely for scientific investigation)

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Anonymous Michelle said...


relationship advice 101 Ways to Build Happy, Lasting Relationships.

Multilingual : English - Chinese Simplified - Chinese Traditional - Dutch - French - German - Greek - Italian - Japanese - Korean - Portuguese - Russian - Spanish

Start Over : When couples first get together, everything is new and exciting.

Lighten Up : Often when couples have gone through or are going through some bumpy spots in their relationship, things tend to get serious.

Night of Passion : Intimacy and passion in relationships is not only important but also healthy.

Cuddle Time : When couples first start dating, cuddling is usually a part of their everyday existence.

Make the Women Feel Good : Just like men, woman love feeling good about themselves.

Showing Love : Although hearing the words, I love you is special and important.

Realistic Expectations : No matter how wonderful and flawless your mate seems, no one is perfect.

Go on a Date : Especially for married couples, but even for some dating couples, start dating.

Control Your Anger : Every relationship has difficulties, and sometimes, there can be some intense arguments.

I Forgive You : If something has happened in your relationship causing the trust to waiver, you will have many things to work through.

Day at the Movies : Have a movie marathon some rainy or cold Saturday.

Dinner by the Fire : Order in some of your favorite food, open a bottle of fine wine, light some candles.

A Day at the Spa : Show your appreciation for the hard work that takes.

Keep in Touch : It is important that you keep in touch with each other often.

Motivate Each Other : Find a mutual incentive that will motivate both of you.

Adore your Mate : Appreciate and love them for the person they are.

Make Eye Contact : Think back to the first time you saw your now mate.

Respect Privacy : When two people come together in a relationship, each person has their own set of history.

Be Flexible : There will be times when your mate is right and times when you are right.

Encourage Friendships : Men, unlike women, have a more difficult time in developing close friendships with other men.

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