Sunday, December 13, 2009

Relation[ship] Equation

Relationships—particularly romantic ones—are unarguably complicated. From start to finish, no two relationships are the same, and therefore it is close to impossible to draw any sweeping conclusions about the “general” nature of relationships or how any one person would react in a given situation.

However, in spite of all this, we still make some global assumptions, particularly concerning gender roles. For instance, it is typically (although not always!) assumed that, whether or not he is in a serious relationship, a guy will be willing to have sex with a girl he finds attractive. Whether you want to use evolution or personal experience to argue this case, guys simply say “yes” more often than not.

Another common assumption is that the girl will wait for the guy to make the advance (to talk to her, ask her out on a date, etc.). Again, this could be chalked up to our biological programming, or we could count on anecdotal data to provide evidence. Either way, these assumptions have to come from somewhere, whether or not they are accurate in 100% of all cases.

Still, with all of these assumptions we can make concerning gender and romance, what I would like to know is this: what determines a capital-R Relationship? That is, what are the deciding factors for a guy? Because the deciding factors for a girl a extremely obvious:

Physical Intimacy + Emotional Intimacy = Relationship

If you have these two components, you are undeniably on your way into a relationship. (And if that’s not what you want, you’d better start working in a subtraction clause!)

Guys, on the other hand, are a lot trickier. They don’t add physical and emotional intimacy together the way girls do, because even though they may be hooking up with a girl and trading innermost secrets, they don’t necessarily put two and two together. Still, it would seem that both components are indeed required for a relationship; yet, other components are necessary as well. The question is, what else is there?

One would think that with all of the male friends I have had over my lifetime, (and with all of the girls they have dated!), I would have figured this out by now. But the advent of their Relationships is never clear-cut enough for me to identify, “So that is what happened to make them date that girl!”

And, of course, the ambiguity of “official titles” never helps these matters. What is a Relationship anyway? When does one realize he or she has Feelings, and then how is he or she supposed to Act on them? Frankly, I cannot imagine how silly someone must feel asking, “Would you like to be my “girl/boyfriend?” Yet how many other ways can this title obtained? Perhaps in some cases it can just be assumed. Ah, how I reveal my ignorance in these matters….


rome said...

I wish it was simple addition. That would make things so easy.

Daniel said...

"i'm not planning on being with anyone else" + "neither am I" = bf/gf

Miss Arianna said...

most recent convo to that effect: "hey, are you my boyfriend?"-me
"Yeah, i guess so."-him
"alright, cool."-me
"good talk."-him

the end.