01 December 2007

Relationships and the expectations of others

It's a compound type of pressure. It is more than peer pressure. The person is not married and not involved romantically with anyone. Then the phone rings and during the course of the conversation, the person on the other end asks how their love life is. When the response is, "I'm not seeing anyone right now," then the concerned person begins to voice the concern.

If it's not a phone call it's someone at a place of worship or a reunion of some sort or, and this is my personal favorite, the "concerned" coworker.

So here I am going to work, putting in my forty hours, coming home and trying to catch up on something or other over the weekend and I am from time to time besieged by friends, family and associates all grimly determined to fix something they see as wrong with me. Now most people are nice about it. Then there is that half percent who question my mental stability or sexual orientation or something/anything else that they can come up with that might be wrong with me. All the time, no one is asking whether a relationship is something I want right now or at all.

This unsolicited, unwanted concern can get a bit annoying at times. Instead of just letting someone find their own way through the world of relationships, dating, sex and so forth, people act like they don't want to die without seeing you paired up with someone and also act as though that should be a concern of yours.

Pressuring someone into pursuing something without first asking them how they feel about it is not an act of friendship. It is not useful to tell them God wants them paired up and quoting bible phrases at them. Offering unwelcome advice and arm-chair psychoanalysis is a waste of time for all concerned. There is never an offer to date, sleep with, or marry the person. Sometimes there is an attempt to set them up with a disaffected relative or friend but again no one ever asks the person what they want.

No one likes to be made to feel guilty about their life. On the surface the intentions are noble but the delivery is so incredibly bad it eclipses everything else. If the person is not ready, they're not ready. They need to be allowed to get to know themselves and why life has them where they are and they'll work out their own solution. They may need professional help in doing that but they certainly do not need to be prodded along by people in their lives, many of whom are coming from and/or involved in dysfunctional relationships themselves.

1 comment:

SJ said...

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