Your SO is not your playmate, and they’re sure as fuck not your nanny.
They are not here to be your distraction from everyday life, and they cannot be a built-in BFF bot.
To a partner who fucking loves doing shit:
We know part of what you want from us is a day to day companion; someone to do shit with. And we care about you, so we’re happy to humor you most of the time.
And that’s what we’re reminded of when we wake up every weekend to you in our face like:
“So. Whadya wanna do today?!?!”
And, like jeezuz. Alright, mothafucker.
I mean, who could say no to that face??!
Only because you are obvs adorbs. That, and we care. And, sure, we’ll probably have fun.
But, like, we don’t actually live life like this. Like, IRL.
We don’t share the constant compulsion to “get out of the house” and “do something”
My mom did this to us growing up. Every weekend she’d wail against the walls about how much she hated “sitting around.” (Because god forbid the “sit-around.”)
She would finally coerce loudly enough that one or more of us would go with her — only to find ourselves at the mall. Or the movies. Or touring model homes she didn’t intend to buy.
And why any of that was better than what we might have been doing at home — studying, reading, watching TV, planning our takeover of the world, whatever the fuck — is beyond me. It was her anxiety and her anxiety alone, but she made it out to be universal and everyone’s problem.
“Entertainment” is in the eye of the beholder
When my mom and baby sister came to visit me in the south, I took them on a drive that swung by a natural waterslide. It was too cold to go down, but we all piled out of the car anyway, to stand and stare at it.
After a moment of silence, my mom goes, “that looks fun!”
My sister shook her head a little, then quietly said, “it looks scary…”
I started laughing.
They both looked over at me and I said: “I think it looks boring as fuck.”
Different definitions of “fun”
Part of the problem is that we have different ideas of “doing shit”
Some people “doing something fun” as shit that’s:
- Discrete / easy to point to (“we went: rock-climbing”)
- Time-boxed, because it’s about “filling time.” Weekday evenings, half days, weekends, hour-long classes 3 times a week.
- Physical / involves movement
- Easy to include others
Other people are more excited by shit like:
Quitting your job. Moving states. Moving continents. Riding a motorcycle halfway across the country in a day. Breaking up with a boyfriend. Starting a company.
For people like this, the stimulation in “arts and fucking crafts” might be a little lukewarm when their real excitement is for shit like “market growth.”
So perhaps you might understand how the suggestion of “lez go get cupcakez!” is a vapid little distraction at best.
Perhaps you might even forgive them this.
But in the very least, perhaps you might see how telling them “any woman who doesn’t do aerial yoga must feel like a total loser” is pretty much a total fuck-twat statement.
Because you and I have a Venn diagram of what we see as “fun.”
“It’s not my favorite but I’ll do it for you”
Look. Just like I’ll do shit like the waterfalls for my mom or sister if that’s what they want, because I care about them, we’ll go go-karting and racing and trivia’ing because we care about you.
But meet us halfway…
(1.) This is the extent of our amusement
“See?!” You nudge us, beaming, after we do whatever the fuck it was you wanted to do. “You did have fun! Wasn’t it fun!?! You had fun.”
Yehhhhhp. Sure did. Just like anything can be fun — fucking once.
But just because we’re a good sport and care about you doesn’t mean we want to sign up for a 10-class pack or buy gear. We do this for you. Just let it be for you, and stop trying to make fetch happen.
(2.) Don’t demand we decide
Because you’re not actually inviting us to decide what we do, you fucking bullshitter. You’re just being lazy and wanting us to guess what you want to do, or putting on airs of “letting” us be the one to say it out loud.
You don’t want to do what we want to do.
You want us to want to do what you want to do.
You want me to decide? Fine — we’re staying in with a beer and a book. Here’s my copy of Being and Nothingness. Cozy up and get to readin, mothafucker.
Or, if you wanna get out, no problem. Then we’re going to one of the same two breweries I always choose, because I am 100% content with them.
Because if we’re just talking pure leisure, my preference has far less to do with external stimuli, and more to do with spending time with — and focusing on — you.
(3.) Do what we want sometimes
Like going to shows for artists we like even if you fucking loathe them because, wake up call, we go to punk shows for you, punk, and this is how partnerships go.
But this also includes sometimes staying home, or going to the boring brewery two blocks from home. Deal with it.
(4.) But you should also know what we *really* want
Not just what we “want to do.”
We don’t need you to entertain us. I’ll never complain of boredom with you. If you don’t believe me, bore me a little. Try me. I’m only going to like you more. I want emotional stability from you and will happily take “boredom” to get it.
We don’t need this much playtime. It’s “fun,” sure, but it’s empty, mindless distraction fun. It is blowing bubbles in the back yard when we’d rather be building the house, and it gets me farther away from, not closer to, the things I want most. That’s my core issue with it.
We don’t need you to like what we like. I’m not going to make you read what I read. I won’t drag you to my networking events — or the events I host again, if I do. I won’t make you drink the whisky you don’t want. I won’t coerce you into a motorcycle, even though going on rides is one of my favorite things, and I won’t make you work on mine with (for) me. I won’t talk shop with you if you don’t want — we can pretend we don’t both own a business. I won’t mention philosophy anymore, because you hate it.
We do want you to do what you want
And if you want to run around, go run around. We’ll be here, not stopping you. You do you, boo boo.