Hot on the heels of a TMI post from a couple of weeks back I had a conversation with a prospective play partner who I will refer to as “Army Guy” in this and future posts. I hope things pan out with this one (unlike some others in recent times) but I digress. Army Guy is in his own words “single and loving it” and “Couldn’t think of anything worse” than being married. Once I met him in person he went on to explain that his job requires him to deal with relationship issues of the people around him and that he had certain ambitions he wanted to fulfil in life. In his opinion having a relationship is simply going to hinder him achieving his goals.
I was a little saddened by his attitude and found it a bit a confronting. Afterwards I reflected on his words and I realised that he was, in some ways at least, right. I wouldn’t be lying to say that being married and having children certainly prevented me from achieving certain ambitions that I had earlier in my life. But failing to reach these ambitions has opened the door to a whole other range of possibilities that I would not have considered as a young single person.
Some of these possibilities are things that I probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve as a single person. Between 2008 and now I have explored some of the most iconic parts of Australia with my family. I had experiences that will live with me forever and I learned through experience and first hand observation a lot of things that I find sharing with my students now.
Other achievements include amassing an investment portfolio that is not hugely impressive but certainly will allow Mr Jones and I to live comfortably for many years into our retirement. This is not something I would ever had a hope of achieving as a single person. It is also something that Mr Jones would not have been able to achieve as a single person either. Building our life together has been one of the great achievements of my life.
Of course my prospective fuckbuddy is a very independent kind of person. For him the idea of being reliant on someone else for his success is possibly quite foreign if not a little frightening. And of course that is fine for him. The thing that I find unacceptable is when people insist on achieving their goals their own way and still being in a marriage. In our world today people seem to forget that marraige is not the White wedding, perfect house and 2.3 perfectly behaved children. For me marriage is two people building their lives together. In the process they hold each other up and work as a team so that in the end the sum becomes much greater than any of the individual parts could ever be.
I think we don’t celebrate that enough in our culture. We have become so obsessed with self that we have forgotten that we are part of the world. One of the great strengths of the human race is the ability to network and form relationships. But the true value of these relationships is only realised when we forget what we can get out of the relationship but instead focus on what we can give to the other person.