“Is your little brother still with his girlfriend?” my friend Sue inquired during a little cookout I hosted this weekend, her mouth twisted into a snarl.
“Ugh. Yes.” I replied, not because I didn’t like the girlfriend – she’s actually very sweet – but just because I’m perpetually the sibling that can’t sustain a healthy romantic relationship.
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“Jeez. What has it been, three years? When are they going to give it a rest already?”
“Shut up, you ass monkey,” I poked her side. “You’re the biggest hypocrite ever. It’s been like four for you and yours.”
It’s just so easy to make fun of young’uns in long-term relationships. In our mid-twenties, my friends (and I) still love to harass the goodie-goodie, disciplined, got-it-together couples that can successfully nurse a long-term relationship. Even if some of them are in these elusive relationships themselves.
In the hip hop world, these people are known as “haters”, i.e. someone who is unamused by their own shortcomings, therefore projecting their displeasure upon those who succeed in the field, which in this case is a love life.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a love life. Some days, it’s more eventful than others, but it exists. But the traditional, conventional definition of what it’s supposed to be for a woman my age? No.
My brother, who’s three years younger, and I have somewhat of a functional, estranged relationship. We love each other dearly as long as we’re safe distances apart (at least one state borderline). Our values, preferences and beliefs are just too different; we usually try and kill each other painfully if we spend too much time in the same house. Hence, our ‘opposite ends of the spectrum’ relationship theories.
He’s a one-woman man who found love in his best friend from high school, an intelligent, charming and precious moments-looking girl that is very much like him in as many ways as I can see. They do the long distance thing, since they go to college in difference states, and do it quite well in my opinion. Their relationship, as far as I can tell, is drama-free: all about laughing, watching movies, and just being around each other when they can.
This perplexes me to my very core. A relationship without lively political debates? Without battling ‘til tears about why Jay-z’s American Gangster album is just as relevant is his debut? Without the thrill of the fight? The eye of tiger?
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Okay, too far. I’m sure all couples fight. Maybe I just like to make it harder for myself. Lately, I’ve been on and off with a guy I really like, and he's just so incredibly different than I am. We have opposing views on so many things – the mechanics of a close relationship, our friends, work. It draws me blissfully close sometimes, and other times just makes me feel like crap. I just stand so rigid in my belief that anything worth having is worth fighting for.
But when the fighting gets too exhausting, is it a sign that the potential relationship will tire me out rather than invigorate?