Friday, October 16, 2009

The Couple Syndrome

I know a couple of very cool females in my life who, for as long as I've known them have always had a man in their lives. And by that I mean a significant other always by their sides. Now, as a person who is not always coupled up, this is a foreign concept.

I mean, seriously -- I'm 27, and still trying out my wings. The simple fact is that I do believe a person should be single for a while ESPECIALLY in their 20s. It's a way to really get into your own skin and play the field. If you find your soul mate during that time, that's great. But for the people not so lucky, there's no need to rush into it.

Now, many of my posts are event or action driven, and this one is, too. I got a text from a very old friend complaining that since breaking up with her umpteenth boyfriend all of a few weeks ago, she's ready for a new "relationship" - yet again. I write her back and it goes something like this.

Me: Try single. Is that so bad?

Her: WHY? I need a man. I like to date and have regular sex.

Me: Um, most people do. Myself included. Your point?!

Her: I dunno. It's better for me. I'm a Boyfriend Girl.

Me: No Comment. We WILL talk later.

When it's all said and done, she's conditioned herself to believe she needs a boyfriend for the comfort and stability. And I won't lie: for a moment in my early 20s, I thought that having a boyfriend meant I was dating, having regular sex and being happy. So when I did get one at 24, that's exactly what I expected. But between our jobs and our social lives outside of each other, sometimes we needed a break from "us". There was no two ways about that.

Since breaking up (and that will SO be another post) I've totally missed him. We had a GREAT physical chemistry, we clicked intellectually, shared lots of the same goals and he's one of the few men that had patience with the fact that I have a career and went out often without him. He also had a demanding work life and loved to be with his boys. And did I mention the physical chemistry?

In hindsight (which is always 20/20), now that it's over I kind of like the idea of flying solo and doing my thing until that person comes along, likely when I least expect it. And it gives me a chance to grow into my skin at my own time. Yes, I crave that steady companionship at times. But when push comes to shove, I'd rather take my time to get there. Plus, something tells me that many guys feel the same way.

Maybe this urge (or overwhelming desire, depending on what side of the spectrum you fall under) is part of our genetic DNA, or part of our social conditioning - this need of being with someone. Not too sure. But in the meantime, I'll continue my serial dating approach until I get that feeling when I meet the one. Whenever that is.


  1. I agree that every woman should take some time and be "man-free." A year at least. A woman will never truly know herself and what she's capable of unless she's untethered long enough to see those things. I took my year of manfreeness. It was wonderfully liberating.

  2. True. I think you take as long as you need to, if nothing else to make sure you're making the best choice possible.