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Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm so glad I'm not . . .

If there's one phrase I cannot stand, it's "I'm so glad I'm not single anymore." I didn't like it for the many years I was single, and I still didn't like it when I was in a serious relationship.

There is no failure in being single -- remaining in a bad relationship is much worse. Alas, not being in a relationship is more transparent than being in any kind of relationship. It's sadder to go stag to a party than to show up with someone you fought with during the whole drive over, right?

Wrong.

I know plenty of people who are single and I know many people who are in great relationships. Those are the people I like to spend time with. I've known people in terrible relationships in the past and I've taken plenty of mental notes on what not to do.

Recently at a show, I ran into a friend of a friend I have not seen in a handful of years. He's a great guy and I enjoyed catching up with him. He showed up with his girlfriend, who had complained the entire time about the venue and wanted to go home as soon as possible. When they found out the band wasn't going on until 11:30, the girlfriend complained even more.

Since the band playing was a band he had never seen before (and the band rarely plays together), I offered a truce. The girlfriend could drive home now while I could drive my friend home, no matter how late in the night. And it didn't bother me that he lives a good 30 minutes away. I wanted this guy to see this band because he's a big fan. And I didn't want him to worry about a proverbial ball and chain. At least on this night.

I hope I never find myself in a relationship like my friend's. As in, one person can do anything while the other is restricted and pressured to abandon many joys. If the enjoyment of sex together supposedly balances all of that relationship's imbalance, then the relationship is doomed.

On the other side of things, I've recently spent some time hanging out with a newlywed couple in my hometown. I've known the wife since high school and she wanted me to meet her husband, thinking we'd hit things off. We did, and I truly enjoy spending time with them. They're great people who respect and love each other. A positive influence like that goes much farther than a negative one.

And I've never heard either one of them say, "I'm so glad I'm not single anymore."

I'm not against being in a relationship; I'm against being in a bad relationship. We all bring baggage to a relationship, but it's important to live with what you have now instead of what brought you here.

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