I went home this weekend, and it was very love themed. I attended a wedding, and spent lots of time with my parents, who are approaching their TWENTY NINTH wedding anniversary. Sweet god. (Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a rant about marriage, although the actual ceremony in the church was kinda rough. But I digress.)
I have been considering lately how relationships work, or rather, why some work and some don’t. Some of it seems to be magic or unknowable, but this is a seriously unsatisfying conclusion (I’m a Scorpio after all, we like to get to the bottom of things.) On the way back from IKEA (had to buy a new bed because I just moved. It’s been a busy/stressful/exciting few weeks) I was talking to Mommy and Daddy about relationship stuff, because I mean shit, they managed to do it successfully. They both agreed that they were very naive when they met, and in fact ‘didn’t know what we didn’t know.’ They said they figured it out together, grew together, and learned together.
I sat there thinking how nice that sounded, to learn along with someone about myself and about each other. And I ended up saying something that I think is really important, that I’m going to have to keep in mind. I said, “My idea of an ideal relationship is basically a friendship, that functions with a romantic twist.” Ken agreed with me, and Patricia seemed to concur.
So now, lets clarify. I think that relationships are given this super privileged status, and we all freak out about them and do weird things and treat lovers/significant others/ect. differently than our friends. But I think this is silly. First of all, you should never put your friends on the back burner because that is just lame and also dangerous. Bros before hoes, as the saying goes (rhyme swag.) But even more than that, you should treat romantic relationships with the same consideration, honesty, and trust as your other friendships. Everyone you love deserves equal time, so don’t be up your crushes ass all the time. Communicate with them the same way you communicate with your friends, be honest (brutal when called for, gentle when necessary.) Do things you both like, compromise with who travels and who goes out of their way. Have fun together, do silly things, take time apart when you need a minute. It doesn’t have to feel so serious. It doesn’t have to be so complicated.
I mean listen, maybe this sounds crazy. But basically, with everyone I like, I want to walk around the Alphabet and listen to bands we like and drink iced coffee and talk about Sparkle Pony and cook in the apartment and go to mexican food happy hour and lay on the roof and go to Sunday brunch and wade in the Washington Square Park fountain and dance/yoga and have late night chit chats. You should always tell the people you love that you love them, remind them how great they are, support one another’s endeavors, and challenge them when you think they need a wake up call. I hope that all my relationships function like this. The only thing is, with lovers, you have romantic moments. You see each other naked, wake up together, kiss hello and goodbye. And I think, maybe, that my official ruling is that the only difference between loving your friends and being in love is that being physically affectionate with someone adds that drop of magic that changes chemistry to alchemy and creates a bond that’s hard to break.
So maybe, the reason we are having such a hard time finding the line between friends/lovers/significant others these days is because the lines shouldn’t be so defined. We should stop treating relationships as different, or sacred, or scary. We have to be who we really are with the people we crush on, not make someone up so they’ll like us. And we have to talk to these people like they’re people, not weird romantic partners that need to be lied to or protected or kept in the dark. Doesn’t a friend that you can chill out with, see just often enough, and be relaxed around all while getting the added perks of sex and romance, sound fairly excellent? Knowing the bride pretty well, I do think that the union I witnessed this weekend has a good shot. I know they don’t put on airs for one another, and I know they are each other’s best friend. While I don’t see myself walking down an aisle anytime soon, I do like the idea of a best friend, with benefits.