Hana Shafi Are Relationships Overrated?

It’s a boring weeknight and, as usual, I am procrastinating. Scrolling through my newsfeed, I like people’s pictures of their nights out or their new puppy (awww), and then there’s the real juicy stuff: so and so just went from “single” to “in a relationship.” Well, isn’t that interesting?

But it gets me thinking about all the in-betweens. Because the truth is, life just isn’t as simple as single, in a relationship, “it’s complicated”, and marriage. But maybe all those people hovering in the strange limbo between total singledom and a relationship have got it right. Are relationships really as amazing and fulfilling as they’re hyped out to be?

On one hand, there is a certain sense of security in the boyfriend/girlfriend label. It’s official, it’s known, and it automatically implies a certain degree of dedication. The traditional monogamous relationship is a safe haven for many. And naturally so; for most people, an exclusive long-term relationship is what seems most familiar and non-threatening to them. 

But then again, that exclusive long-term relationship rarely pans out as securely and safely as one might hope. There’s the fights and the jealousy, and the long-distance stuff (which requires some really serious commitment and self-control). Here’s where the advocates of friends with benefits and casual flirty type unidentified things come in. You get the sex, a certain degree of companionship (albeit without the loving intimacy), the emotional self-fulfillment that you’ve got something or the other going on without the stress, effort, and dedication of a “proper” relationship.

But from that, a new dilemma occurs. What happens when one person in this arrangement starts really having strong romantic-type feelings. All of a sudden, this casual “no strings attached” situation gets into the murky water of “can this be more?” resulting in friend-zoning, cutting ties, or all that other kind of messy shit when two people just ain’t on the same wavelength. 

It basically comes down to this: there is no foolproof set-up. The big move to “in a relationship” on Facebook doesn’t automatically guarantee an endless stream of happiness, love, and mind-blowing sex. Having the “official” title cannot compensate for any pre-existing insecurities or trust issues. And at the same time, a “no strings attached” lifestyle can’t protect you from the hurt of all that romantic bullshit either. 

As pointless as this sounds, in the end, it is what it is and you just go with it. Damn, things just got really philosophical all of a sudden, didn’t they? Well, that’s the fact of the matter, it is what it fucking is and obsessively pushing towards all kind of stable concrete labels isn’t going to get much done. As the age-old saying goes, just go with the flow, ya dig? 

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