At first, I thought an equally appropriate title for this post was, “Big Ol’ Can of Worms”. I’m spending my lunch break from teaching eighth graders to respond to this.
I read it once and totally missed the point on which you hinge your quandry. But then I read it a second time:
“ If the goal, I’m guessing for many of us, is to get married, have kids and die holding hands, what exactly do we mean by this?”
Boom. The Missing Piece.
And that’s a really good fucking question. When I say, “I’m not looking for a relationship”, it’s because none of the above mentioned eventualities is in my 50 year plan. I have no #relationshipgoals. I was functioning under the assumption that most people who said this felt the same way. Sounds like I’m wrong. Or maybe they’re, like me, truly not “looking” and other people, who are looking, think it’s some sort of game. I’ve come across my share of those. “Wait…you were serious about that whole ‘not looking for a realtionship thing? I thought you were just trying to play it cool” and my all-time favorite, “That’s okay. I’m patient.” SMDH.
I have my kids…that factory has been shut down for awhile. BTDT marriage…not a fan. “Dying alone” is a certainty and the world is an abundent place with no shortage of people to hold hands with. What do I want from others? Connection. Interdependence, but in the context of being emotionally independent of the outcome. Love. Sex. Personal growth. All of those things are available without the constraints of a traditional relationship.
It’s also about managing expectations, so that no one gets hurt. So many people are looking for something that being upfront is the most efficient way I have found to limit those expectations from the onset. And if I get to know someone and decide to be monogamous or determine that their need for monogamy works for me, I’ll make that decision in that moment. But, for me, “looking for a relationship” is putting the cart before the horse.
Now, I can only speak for myself and maybe some other like-minded peeps who literally aren’t looking for a relationship.
If there are people out there who say that they are not looking, but actually are, that’s a whole different ball of wax. That would confound the shit out of me, too. Sounds like insecure protest behavior, which can signal unhealthy attachment patterns. They might be doing their dates a favor by hanging a “I struggle to manage my own emotions” sign around their neck. That’s also something that can be good to know from the onset.