I’m not sure who thought it was a good idea to start putting names together in Hollywood. Suddenly, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have ceased to exist on their own. Instead of two separate people, they are now considered to be a single unit: Brangelina.
I have found this latest obsession nauseating. It isn’t just the rich and famous who lose their identity when they enter a relationship. It happens to the rest of us too.
Everyone knows that when a single becomes a pair there are changes in the dynamic but that doesn’t mean that the person stops being who they were before; they’ve just become something else as well.
When I was a single gal, I was the “fun girl”. The girl with a circle of friends made up almost entirely of guys. I was their drinking buddy, their confidante, their advisor on all things female. I warned them when their girls were getting too big for their britches and when the psycho gene was started to surface. I’d help them figure out what to wear and laugh when they got all dolled up for a date but I was still able to appreciate the fart jokes. I was seriously good with the advice while being able to kick back with them for some major Capture The Flag antics.
After my partner and I started our relationship, it was amazing to see how fast “I” became “we”. I seemed to enter the realm of The “We” People without realizing it. Who I was got lost along the way and I had to fight to be seen as a person with my own ideals, not in my relationship, but to outsiders.
Watching the rest of the world strip the famous of their accomplishments due to the celebrity of their relationships made me see that we do it, not just to the acting elite, but to each other.
When my buddy starts dating a new girl, I suddenly have to invite her along whenever I want to hang out. Just like my friends have to designate that I’m the only one they want to spend time with by saying its “girl time”. I think that everyone does this though. We immediately assume that because someone we know has entered into a relationship (or, god forbid, a marriage) then they are somehow off the market for good times. Perhaps it is time for us to see that our social selves do not die a sudden death when we decide to be with someone and neither does anyone else’s.
Now I admit to losing my temper when I see that a woman has stopped thinking for herself. There are too many housewives who let their husbands make all the decisions for them. They are the chicks that adopt the political, religious, moral, or ethical principles employed by their spouse instead of determining, for themselves, what they believe. I see men do it too. They give up control because it is easier to let someone else think for them. But, I ask this of you, my readers, please do not think that everyone is like this.
While some people may willingly give up their former ways when they join The “We” People, not everyone does. In fact, most people don’t. I know that I find that assumption infuriating. There have been times when people referred to me as “Ken’s Partner” instead of by my name and I was quick to correct them. I didn’t stop drinking beer or watching Longhorns football when my relationship started. I didn’t have to stop going dancing or give up reading comic books because I was with someone. My goals and options may have changed but who I was didn’t.
Maybe I’m one of the lucky ones. My partner doesn’t “let” me out of the house. That gives the impression that I am “allowed” to do things. Instead, I consult with him out of courtesy and respect. I inform him of when I have plans, I don’t ask permission. And that often includes a night on the town without him but he’s okay with that too.
So those of you who are single, stop ignoring your friends who are with someone. Extend the invitation, they aren’t off limits. They get enough time with their significant other that I’m sure they’ll relish the idea of going to a party alone. Don’t hate them for not being available as much and learn to like who they’ve chosen to date (if possible). Realize that being in a relationship doesn’t mean that your friend has disappeared; they are the same person. They have the same job and the same sense of humor. There’s just another person that comes along with all of that too.
And to those of you who are attached. Do not give up the right to think for yourself and make decisions about what is best for you. If a person truly loves you, they want you to have friends of your own. They will want you to enjoy time away to cut loose and go crazy. They’ll want you to maintain who you were before and not forget your identity. If the person you are with can’t relinquish a few hours of your time or encourage you to keep doing what has always been important to you, then they probably aren’t the person for you.
Just because you want to be with someone, doesn’t mean you always have to be with them. And just because your friend is with someone, doesn’t mean they can’t be the same friend they’ve always been.
Trust me, I speak from experience, as one of The “We” People.
Picture Source: recovery101.today.com/…/arguing-family/