August 2, 2006

With someone I know going through divorce, after barely five years of marriage, I’ve started thinking about relationships in general. More specifically, why certain relationships among people are preferable to other types of relationships. For instance, I caught a glimpse of a documentary on CBC Newsworld about relationships that involve virgins of an unusual age (30-60 years old), and one of the women being profiled started her relationship online. But she was embarrassed to admit that the relationship started
online – not embarrassed to say she was a virgin when she was in her 30s. I thought, “How odd. It’s better to be a virgin at 30 than to have a relationship start online.”

Now, I don’t want to say I’m an expert at relationships, especially since I’ve been mainly single, but to me any relationship should be considered a good one. As long as it’s consensual, and no one is being harmed in the process (ie no one is being abused), then what should it matter if the relationship started online or not? Or for that matter, why should we care as to what type of a relationship it is? If two people really want to be in a relationship where they pretend to be a horse and horse master,
than so be it (to use an extreme example).

The only thing, and I mean the only thing, that should matter is whether these two or three or more people are happy.

I bring this up because several of my friends are having these mini-breakdowns over their current relationships/crushes/possible-relationships. If a relationship is purely sexual, but those people are enjoying the heck out of themselves while doing it, then no one should be saying it’s wrong. Since when is having fun wrong? The only thing wrong about this sort of thing is when you, the person outside of the relationship, demonize the actions these people are undertaken. People share these kinds of secrets to
have their actions affirmed in a positive light. We need to be grateful that they trust enough to share these thoughts with us and respond appropriately.

Criticism should be mentioned in a helpful manner that still allows for a friendship to exist. For example, the right way to respond is, “Though I don’t totally agree with your actions, I’ll be supportive if the road gets bumpy.” Not, “My God, I can’t be friends with you anymore because you’re a total freak with that even freakier guy.”

Why do people enjoy conflict so much and like to put themselves into positions of being better than someone else?

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