Back on Tuesday, (April 26, 2004) I was talking to a Female friend of mine who was going through somewhat of a low point in her life with the disintegration of her relationship of 5 years. She was living in a state of cohabitation and was childless. She had plans and great expectations for the future and when all this ended she felt this was the end of world and nothing could turn back time that she had lost.
She saw no light at the end of tunnel. Her frustration and emotions because of this were very painful to listen to. I think for the most part, we all have or will be, in the same boat.
At 36, she is just in the final stages of graduation in her degree in Law at UBC and is getting nibbles in her new carrier from prospective employers. She is a very high energy person who is level headed and carries herself very well. She has gain the respect of those whom she has associated with. Her relationship is well known in our little circle of friends, and probably because of being a ”highly public” couple, this might have cause towards her situation.
So, I sat with her and listened, I noticed that a common thread spun through her story. This popped up in my mind from other stories that I have read of others who fall into that 30 something category and mirror that same melody. She wanted more, she wanted less. He wanted more and he wanted less. I noticed that in her tone, there was a seam of truth that echoed in every statement she made and I do mean echoed! She was no longer satisfied and wanted out. It almost sounded like this was a mutual agreement between them. The weight of 5 years of togetherness, I’m sure shared by both, had to be taken into account because of the investment and cost, not just in dollars, but in human value.
Yesterday, I was doing the afternoon serf on the World Wide Web and started looking at some of the weblogs that I follow. The last link that I visited was from a site called ”This Chicks Life” or aka Net Chick as she likes to be called. It stunned me when I read it, and I laughed out loud at the tittle of the header so tastefully made, called ”The Dating Game.” Here, she talks about the very same thing but from the point of view that she always find men who do not make the standard that she measures in a hopeful mate.
I wanted my friend to read Net Chick’s article because it sets the stage of our culture here in the Western world, or Canada at least. This sort of emulates the many differences and emotions that evolve within a person, inside a relationship, over any period of time. For my friend, she states that her faults, and expectations, are universal. Unfortunately, her boyfriend of 5 years, no longer agrees with the assumption that all men and women are homogeneous and in this sense, because culture plays so much on what constitutes the value of a relationship, cultures may clash. My friend believes otherwise.
Perhaps the true value of the Dating Game as set out by Net Chick, is relevant because unlike ”arraigned marriages” and ”chaperoned” relationships, mechanisms must be in place before the biggest investment can take place: the family.
So please, before you accuse me of taking side in your’s or anyone else’s relationship of who’s right and who’s wrong whether based on gender or culture, listen to yourself and understand that a relationship is a partnership. Our culture does play a huge factor in it and not too many social scientist will argue otherwise. As some go on to say that culture is defined by the relationship of the couple from the humanitarian perspective, others believe that every relationship play it’s own individual role outside the mainstream culture. As our society changes, so does that definition of the union between man and woman, and change occurs always.