Why Other People’s Relationships Aren’t Your Business
Recently, my girlfriend introduced me to the genius of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None. Ansari plays Dev, a 30-year-old living in the big city who’s working toward the next phase of his life. Master of None overflows with hilarious, real-life, happenings but there’s a couple of scenes from Season 1 which served as inspiration for this post.
On Episode 10: ‘Finale’, Dev and his girlfriend Rachel attended a wedding. As the husband-to-be read his vows, he told his almost-wife he’s never doubted, regretted, or second-guessed their union.
During the speech there’s hilarious cutaways to three other couples, including Dev and Rachel, sharing quick, uncomfortable glances with one another. Their faces are twisted with envy and confusion as they seem to be wordlessly asking, “how the fuck does he feel like that about her and how come we don’t feel like that about each other?”
Dev and Rachel left the wedding with questions about their relationship. After a rough couple of days, Dev, in the middle of a heated argument, asked Rachel a question only someone trying to break up with their girlfriend would ask. His idea was for he and Rachel to write down a percentage of how confident they feel about their relationship’s future success.
Dev wrote 80 percent.
Rachel wrote 70 percent.
Dev was upset, questioned why it wasn’t 100 percent for both, and took it as a sign they shouldn’t be together. Rachel agreed with his assessment and solidified that decision by moving to Tokyo. It was her last ditch attempt to live her “best life” before she’s stuck with a marriage and kid, like her sister who wanted to move to Paris before she was “burdened” with the responsibilities of being a wife and mother.
Although I found the discourse between Dev and Rachel an odd one, I have to admit the wedding segment is what a homie of mine would refer to as “real fucking life.”
For starters, men bringing their girlfriends to weddings can be a recipe for disaster if 1) they’re not on the best terms or 2) marriage is not a goal for the relationship.
Secondly, there’s something romantic about the idea of a couple who never hesitated in their relationship. It checks every box for what people think about love and I’d assume it’s what many are looking for in their own #RelationshipGoals.
But, I find the fairy tale ideal of never having a tinge of uncertainty to be unrealistic, at best, and at worst, kinda-sorta-maybe-a-tad-bit absurd.
If someone told me they found a complete match to every desire, which I’d assume you’d need to never feel apprehension, it’s not something I’m willing to believe. That doesn’t make my opinion right, I’m just saying I’m far too grown to let people lie to my face.
Now, I’m not callous enough to expect someone to express uncertainty in their wedding vows. If there was ever a time to boost a partner’s self-esteem with a hurricane of uplifting words, wedding vows seems as good a moment as any.
I, however, disagree with questioning the love and security of my relationship based on someone else. Especially when I’m not privy to the intimate details of another couples’ relationship.
Why can’t I comprehend the idea of people never doubting their significant other?
Because relationships are messy. Sometimes complicated. Occasionally difficult. And, often, not worth the “investment.” Even the times when they are beautifully crafted, filled with love, support, and have the potential for everlasting happiness, that comes by way of hard work and dedication.
I also know people lie. A lot. And they should, because the day-to-day happenings of a relationship isn’t anybody’s business.
On the other hand, telling other folks the real reality (that was intentional) of what you and your significant other went through before y’all got married isn’t anybody’s idea of romance, either.
If more people talked about the shit that transpired outside of Instagram photos, Snapchat videos, and Facebook vacation statuses, I’m sure most would opt for being single as the institution of marriage would crumble underneath a mountain of unearthed truths.
Managing and balancing two (or more if you’re into that sort of thing) people’s hopes, wants, needs, and desires can be an onerous task in even the best relationships. Someone vacillating on whether the effort is worth the end result doesn’t make them terrible: I’d argue it makes them human.
I wouldn’t be offended if my lady told me she was scared about getting married. Fear is a necessary part of life. It’s what helps create parameters for good decisions. And, I do believe marrying the wrong person would fall into the category of a bad decision.
With that said, I’m of the mind that strong relationships aren’t built on the absence of conflict but in how both people deal with it. It’s “cool” to never have doubts but I’d rather know someone is willing to talk through their uncertainty with me.
Relationships aren’t about getting through the easy shit, it’s about what happens when the going gets tough.
I need to know that the person I’m spending the rest of my life with is going to turn into a diamond when the pressure is on.