I was talking to someone not too long ago about texting rules and the role that texting plays in relationships. Like many millennials, I tend to prefer texting over talking on the phone unless its for an interview of some sort. I know someone who has a rule that her significant other is never allowed to text her and must always call in order to speak to her. Probably not a bad rule. Texting is a great way to be misunderstood and become (unnecessarily) offended. It’s an easy way to communicate that doesn’t require much effort and to be honest, I think that it’s made a lot of people lazy communicators. You don’t even have to type anything anymore as you can have a whole conversation with emojis. Needless to say, I know I’m not the only one who gets annoyed when you don’t get a response within a reasonable amount of time (between 1 and 3 hours). I recognize that there are people who don’t live by their phone and don’t have time to answer immediately. I remember meeting a cute guy at an event. Gave him my number, blah, blah, blah. He texted me and I texted back within a reasonable time period (about 20 minutes). However, it soon became apparent that he had a lot going on as his subsequent replies took about 6 hours or more. Any attempts at an actual conversation were futile. I can be a fairly patient person but this was a little excessive and definitely wasn’t reasonable. We ended up going out and it was interesting to see how attached he was to his phone. Often stopping in mid-sentence to respond to text messages. I wasn’t too happy. In addition to the fact that he was 20 minutes late and (literally) lived right around the corner and I drove 40 minutes and was early. Not cool.
Someone posted this article on Facebook and I thought it was pretty funny. The author takes it upon him or herself to post several professions that women should avoid as they look for a significant other or husband. Now, some of these made sense to me. Like a life coach. I could see how that could be a cause of conflict in a relationship and could translate to being very annoying. This is probably a very biased opinion based on the fact that I’ve never met a life coach that I’ve liked. I can also see how marrying a therapist could be annoying but I think if both individuals were therapists it might be a pretty good fit. To be honest, none of the reasons given made sense to me. I don’t know of many jobs that don’t have any stress involved. The truth is that regardless of the occupation, relationships require time and actual effort in order to be successful.
Independence and doing your own thing is something that is valued in many different circles. Single people are told and advised to stay single for as long as humanly possible and enjoy their “season of freedom.” Not too long ago I went on a date where the guy told me numerous times how I was weird and how badly he wanted my life because I travel a lot. Not the greatest thing but I digress. The world is still geared towards couples. From tax breaks to more respect and credibility for others, it’s a good time to be in a relationship. Even travel packages cost you almost twice as much when you travel by yourself. It’s an inconvenient expense that could easily be remedied. Millions of dollars worth of books, CD’s, and DVD’s have been bought giving remedies and steps on how to be a happy and whole single person. The mantra that you have to be ok with yourself before being with someone else is debate-able. I’m not against working out personal issues but it can also be done within a relationship. It’s going to be hard either way. I’m not downing the single life because it definitely has it’s perks at times but there’s something to be said about being able to take advantage of the tax breaks, two for one deals and travel packages that comes along with having a significant other. While these things can be done with friends, it’s still a different dynamic. Must I carry all my groceries up three flights of stairs all the time? Small insignificant but also significant details make you realize how life experiences could change with the presence of a consistent significant other.
During a conversation that I had earlier this week, someone said to me that there’s a fine line between strategy and manipulation and we cross that line all the time. It really made me think about all the times that we do things that would normally be characterized as manipulative but are actually strategic. Therapists do this all the time with clients. The thing is that the difference between being manipulative and being strategic is that when you’re strategic you have the other person’s well being as a priority. Being manipulative is more self serving. This automatically made me think of all the times that people have manipulated situations or people for the sake of getting or appearing good to a potential significant other. Some might argue that these actions are more strategic than manipulative. I think that they can go either way. If you’re sincerely convinced that your presence in the daily life of your potential significant other will enhance or benefit them in some way, you’re more on the strategic end of the fine line. In no way am I advocating for stalking and not taking “no” for an answer, but we have to realize that there are times we have to strategize in order to get an actual chance. Sometimes you just have to know what end result you want and strategize backwards in order to get it because it’s the only plausible option. Because the line between manipulation and strategy can be so blurred, examining your motives can be one of the only ways you can know what side of the fence you’re on.