Relationship Status

February 18, 2010

People’s primary relationship will, by default, always be with themselves – but most status options on forms and websites do not include or care about variations in “quality” or experience – merely the structure. To be “in” a relationship (or marriage) does not really say much about the relationship itself.

Instead of “single”, “married”, “separated”, “divorced”, “widowed”, perhaps (marital) relationship status options would be more informative if changed to: “involved” or “not involved”, “available” or “not available”, “happy” or “unhappy”, “interested” or “not interested”, “willing” or “not willing”, “able” or not “able”, “stable” or “shaky”, “open” or “closed”, “casual” or “committed”, “codependent”, “lonely”, “bored”, “extremely picky”, “just waiting for something better to come along”, “high-maintenance” or “low maintenance” or something else that might indicate how they actually think and feel about their (personal/marital) relationship/status – and partner(s). Is their relationship “short-term” or long-term” – with or without “benefits”, conditions, “rules”, “strings”, or “attachments”?

Perceived “benefits” can come in many forms. Many people work more for “benefits” than for money. An attractive San Diego woman recently posted a nation-wide ad stating that she had multiple medical issues and could no longer afford the cost of health care and that she would marry anyone willing to cover her expenses. She received thousands of offers – including one for her own “reality” television show. She realized that she had a lot more options than she realized and told everyone that she could now “afford” to be highly selective in who she would even go out with, let alone marry (in order to pay her bills).

Humans are very concerned about their own and other people’s “status” (socially, professionally. financially, and especially relationally). Status is usually more important and influential than money. Most gossip is about who is “interested in”, “sleeping” with (or without), or otherwise compared with someone else. Marital status implies that the pairing (and “mating”) of individuals is expected – and it is important to know where they (currently) may be in regards to this expectation. Oddly, society seldom asks about “wanted” or unwanted”, “appreciated” or “neglected”, “abandoned”, “abused”, “orphaned”, “adopted” or most other aspects of life other than “legal status” – such as “emancipated”, under or over the age of “majority”, or various labels associated with (prior) “criminal convictions”.

“He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother”. People are not “burdens”, “baggage”, or “encumbrances”. In many ways, we do not even exist outside of (some kind of) “relationship” (context). While most things are relatives, and if you go back far enough, so are most people. Consider all your relations. You have more in common with non-humans and other “Earthlings” and even elements not found on this planet than you might think.

Where you are is sometimes not as important as when you are. Relationships with time and money can be as important and influential as the one(s) we have with our “mate” or other loved ones. Looking for love or friends? “I am” (and the related “s/he or it is”) are very powerful words – and what comes after them may be more significant than many people realize. “Abra-ca-dabra” is associated with “magic” because it means “I create as I speak“. While being present (in time and space) is almost always highly desirable, status subject to change is probably best expressed without the present tense of the verb “to be” (am, is, are) – especially in English, which has the tendency to make everything a noun and thus static and essentially unchanging.

That’s my perspective. What’s YOURS?

© 2010 – 2015, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

Oren Pardes

Oren Pardes has written 48 post in this blog.

One Response to “Relationship Status”

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