Couples

Remembering Single Life

Yesterday I came home from work to an empty house.

Emily was away on a business trip, and I had asked my parents to dogsit for us while she’s gone.

It was definitely a bit odd arriving to a silent home. Originally, I thought that I was going to enjoy having the house to myself. Everyone needs their alone time, after all, and this would be a brief moment to soak in the joys of solitude.

We’ve all heard it before – the grass is greener on the other side. When we’re single, we look at couples in love with equal parts of wonder, contempt, pity, and envy. We may think, How pathetic, they depend on each other for happiness. Why can’t they just be happy on their own? Losers. Or, Get a room you assholes. But deep down, perhaps we feel jealousy creeping up our spinal cords, longing to be with that someone to experience life with, who can tolerate us just enough and not fill us with shame when they see how ridiculous our naked bodies look in bed.

When we’re in a relationship, we look at single people in the same way, don’t we? We almost resent them for being so different, yet we envy their seemingly independent lifestyles. Our single friends can fly off to Rome on a moment’s notice without any permission, we think. They have all the time to sit around and do what they want.

Despite everyone being gone and my having the house to myself, I really didn’t do anything different. I didn’t have a massive freakout session a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. All I did was eat some leftovers and watch a movie on Netflix – I ended up watching Electrick Children; kind of an odd movie, I think I enjoyed it, but am not completely sure.

This blog is called A Couple Talks. Emily and I started this whole thing because we thought we’d enjoy doing this together. That was the point and still is – together.

Thinking about last night though, I wonder, where the hell would I be if I was single? Would my life be that much different? I mean, I’d be eating out a lot more and the interior design of my home would be a lot worse – I never gave a shit about that before Emily moved in – but what about me? What kind of person would I be right now?

The core of who I am is the same, and I think that’s a good thing. I don’t believe anyone should completely change who they are on account of someone else. It’s like a meat lover giving up beef to be with a vegan – why would anyone do that?

However, I must say that I’ve improved in many ways being with Emily. I read a lot more, have experienced new things, and have become more open to new possibilities about the future. In a way, it’s like I’ve stayed the same person but in a more enlightened state. And isn’t that what we all want from a relationship?

Don’t get me wrong, being single is great. There’s so much personal growth that can happen being single. I know a lot of people are sick of dating, viewing it as a waste of time to spend an evening with a stranger which will most likely end up nowhere. And I know a lot of people also feel like they are doomed to be single forever, feeling like there is absolutely no way that they will meet anyone compatible enough to be in a lasting committed relationship with.

If this is you, the truth is, I have no idea if you’ll ever find that person you can spend the rest of your life with. It would be bullshit for me to be like, There there, you’ll meet the one eventually, everyone does. I have no fucking clue.

What I believe is this – life can appear to be completely random, and most of it is, but it’s really up to us to make of it what we want. Whether we’re single or in a relationship, we should always be evaluating the state of our lives – Is this how we want our lives to be? Are we in a good place? Are we headed in the right direction? What can we do to improve ourselves and our situation?

Our fates are not sealed. We have the pen and paper, so let’s be the ones writing our life story rather than having someone else write it for us.

– Chris.

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“How Many Kids Do You Want?”

Shudder. I hate that question. I am fielding that question a lot these days, and it’s been literally a decade since I was first asked the question. When I was a senior in high school, I remember talking to my girlfriends about it. “I’m going to go to college, graduate, go to law school, get married by 27, pop out a baby when I’m 29, and still become a hot shot lawyer.” I said it so matter-of-fact, as if they were just the logical steps every woman would take after obtaining a high school diploma. The type-A in me was so programmed.

Today, I am 28. I did go to college (and graduated, phew). But after working 2 years at a law firm with disgruntled attorneys, I decided law school wasn’t for me. I ended up being recruited by a head hunter and was introduced to the wonderful (and crazy) world of recruiting. I started dating my now boyfriend at 27. 29 is only one year away. I have a general sense of where, what and who I want to be by then… and it definitely does not include being a 29 year-old mother. When I was asked the question again for the first time in nearly a decade I was caught off guard.

Shit. I have not even thought about it. “Uhhhh…. two. Twins, preferably. Two for one pregnancy. Yes, BOGO. That sounds like a deal.” The truth is, the deeper I think about it, and really start to visualize what having a kid is about, I’m not entirely sure I want one. I am definitely not prepared to raise one. Two years ago, I asked a best friend how many times she dropped her daughter. She gave me an eyebrow raise and said, “Never.” I was amazed. She was mortified. It’s no wonder she hasn’t asked me to babysit.

Credit: Mic.com

As millennials, we are often described as “spoiled, entitled, instant gratification seekers” by our previous generation. Studies show there is a 54% decline in marriages compared to our parents’ generation. This makes sense: we have so many options available at our fingertips (literally). I can’t say what it was like to grow up before Tinder, POF, Match, etc., but I can imagine when you met someone, you really knew they were special.  And when you met that person, I can see how having kids would be the next logical step to take. Our parents didn’t grow up with PS4, Reddit, Netflix, Expedia, World of Warcraft — you know, timeless activities. Perhaps I contribute to our Gen-Y stereotype of being the selfish generation. Sarah Silverman summarizes it quite nicely below.

Credit: Mic.com

So, “How many kids do you want?” I think the more common question to ask our generation is, “Do you want to have kids?” Subconsciously, I have always been conditioned to think having kids is for everyone but I’m starting to realize maybe it’s not.  Life is filled with surprises and I’ve realized there is no such thing a life road map. Yes, you can make general plans but there will always be detours thrown at you, because, life. Better double up on protection.
Why haven't you had kids yet?
Signed,
Emily

#SocialMediaPDA – When is it Too Much?

Emily: As I hit my late 20’s, it’s bad enough that I have my mother breathing down my neck asking, “When are you going to get married?” Now I am constantly being reminded (what seems to be on a weekly basis) that everyone around me is either getting married, getting engaged or getting preggers. It’s really difficult missing that big block in your Newsfeed when it’s bolded and centered every time a friend adds a life event and the standard congratulations flood the page.

While I understand the significance of these life events and am happy for them (as evidenced by my Like), what I don’t understand is all of the other general social media PDA. I guess it’s sweet to see John loves Rachel and got her just because flowers and a new pair of Jimmy Choo’s. John also wants me to know that he thinks his girlfriend is the most beautiful girl in the world. I can’t help but wonder if John tells her this in person, too, and if so, before or after the status update? It just makes me wonder, is there such a thing as too much social media PDA?

Chris: Whether we admit it or not, there exists a troll inside all of us, hungry and waiting to be fed. Social media PDA is the bacon cheeseburger for our inner troll. It’s like watching The Bachelor – on one hand you wonder how a show like this could exist only to realize you’ve watched every group date and rose ceremony. To me, I find it interesting what social media PDA reveals about us as people. There are many factors in play – from people wanting to uphold an image of a perfect relationship to viewers trolling every egregiously romantic post. I’ve noticed that women in particular have a distaste for social media PDA, because, as we all know, women love hating other women.

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Emily: Women call other women bitches, sluts and whores as men call other men dicks, douchebags, and sons of bitches. These nicknames are often warranted out of jealousy – for women it’s based on insecurity surrounding physical looks, for men it’s based on insecurity surrounding the alpha desire to make more money or drive a flashier car. I can’t speak for men but I would say women are competitive and agree woman on woman hate is rampant. So if your question above is asking whether or not social media PDA is stemmed from the desire to make others jealous, I think very much so. I can’t see anyone really wanting to tweet or Instagram themselves kissing because they genuinely think people see this as a measurement of their true love. And if they do think others are dying to see their newest love status, it goes back to my original question, when is it too much? Do we have societal pressures to put on a happy face for the web all the time? Is this the modern way of demonstrating true love?

Chris: I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s never too much. Social media PDA always serves a purpose, whether it’s for John to show everyone how awesome he is for having someone like Rachel, or for people to troll on him for his over-the-top gushing. I don’t mind it at all. It’s like gratuitous nudity in Game of Thrones  – are you really that upset about it? I’m not.

But does this mean someone loves someone less because there’s a lack of social media PDA? Of course not. Girls should think about fighting the urge to find these hidden underlying meanings behind their man’s social media activity, because usually there isn’t one. It’s fairly simple – everyone has their own level of privacy they’d like to keep – just because I don’t tell my Facebook friends how great you are doesn’t mean I think it any less. As long as I tell you how much I appreciate you face to face, the social media stuff is irrelevant.

Emily: You mean after all this debate you’re not going to tell me you love me on the web? Because I love you!!! ^____^ ❤ ❤ ❤ Did that gross out any readers out there? Get used to it. #socialmediaPDA is going viral!

Do We Like Sharing Food?

She literally just told me that she’s not hungry. So why is she eating my food then?

Taco Bell had a commercial that came out in 2014 for their Loaded Griller. The guy is eating his food, only to have his girlfriend swoop in for a big bite every time he ate. Here’s the ad:

The commercial didn’t create any headlines, but it poses a question that should be answered: Do guys like sharing food with their girl?

Chris: Some people just don’t like to share, period. But what gets to guys about this scenario is a false pretense. She says she’s not hungry, but yet she eats my food. And yes, you have done this before.

Emily: [Insert eye roll]. You act as if you’ve never done the same. There is a difference in our cases, though. When I say, “No thank you, I’m not hungry,” I do mean it, as I’m sure you do, too. However, like any sane person with senses, when you see and smell a juicy, bacon cheeseburger or a piping hot quesadilla oozing with cheese, sometimes it is hard to resist. Therefore, I will take a bite and sample it. The difference here lies in the bite. My bite is described more as a nibble versus your (ginormous) chomp. Why else do you think I allow you the first bite into a burger or burrito every time we do agree to share? I let you do the groundwork to get to the center of the good stuff. Oh, and I’m just polite and sweet like that.

Chris: Taking bites is all good. People do that all the time. But I’ve never said I’m not hungry only to take some of your food. It’s like women want to either A) be good with their dietary habits only to cave in at the sight of food, or B) put up the front of not having a strong appetite.

Emily: I never put up a front of eating modestly so I guess in my case, it’s really choice A. Maybe I subconsciously tell myself that I don’t need to eat but my willpower isn’t strong enough once it’s accessible and in front of me. Piece of advice: next time you order, you better Supersize it.

Chris: I think we can conclude by saying this: Guys, when buying something to eat, think of your significant other. She may not say she’s hungry, but that doesn’t mean she won’t want a bite of your food. So be prepared to share either way, like the Taco Bell guy.