Living in Sin
I'm moving in with my gal this fall. We found a great place to rent, not buy--what a relief to have made that decision! We told a couple of friends, but don’t have enough time to tell all of them personally, life happens, work happens and really, they all knew we were considering it, looking at apartments and would eventually cohabitate.
So, I posted a note on Facebook with an ironic message intended to disarm those folks who’s not-so-sunny disposition inevitably leads them to spill their personal issues all over me and my girlfriend. “Yes, you found out abt it on Facebook,” I posted, because in 2010 it seems Facebook is an acceptable venue to announce, well, just about anything.
And, while I used to think it’s a bit tacky to announce engagements, pregnancies and such on The Facebook, I see now the value of mass communication on social networking utilities. The reaction was as I expected: those genuinely happy for us were genuinely happy. The disgruntled folks with relationship “issues” were peeved. But, they didn’t say they were peeved to find out on Facebook, the simply intoned it.
But, really the outpouring of support for our soon-to-be-cohabitation has become deeply disturbing to me (and her, too). I mean, who was there for me with moving assistance, housewarming gifts, vocal and written support and shows of strength, solidarity and stress-relief when I moved into this apartment? Alone.
This bullshit about coupledom being the be-all, end-all of a woman’s life is just that, bullshit. And as much as I like and love my girlfriend (and she reciprocates), we are still separate individuals with separate lives, careers and passions, dreams who need separate love, support and solidarity.
Some of the unhappiness people experience when single is really unhappiness about the onus society puts on single people and the stigma of singleness, and not because they are actually unhappy about being single. Our (meaning American) attitudes about both singleness and coupledom are blame-the-victim routines. So, of course it’s no walk in the park to be single even if you want to be single—for now or forever—because American society screams at and punishes singles. When people keep raining on your parade you are eventually going to get wet. It’s a drag to have a single life surrounded by negativity while watching your coupled friends being cooed over, receiving material possessions as well as concrete emotional and psychological support.
I often think people get into relationships for societal approval. I know I’ve done that before. My girlfriend says being in a relationship with me, she experiences the good things about family without the unresolved, negative parts stemming from her family of origin.
We are planning our official “living in sin” party since even in the lesbian community proper coupledom is acceptable only if the couple in question wants their relationship to lead them down the aisle. We won’t be inviting to our party anyone but our supportive friends who know it’s simply a bonus to visit us in the same apartment because it will double their fun!
Blogger Bio: Stephanie Schroeder is a dreamer, wanderer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She likes to exchange apartments with artists and other interesting folks from around the globe and travel in search of new friends and singular experiences. She makes purple a way of life and also fancies green, purple’s complementary color on the color wheel. (stephanieschroeder.com)