When LOVE (and Sex) Isn’t THE Priority

priorities.jpg

Sometimes it seems the world revolves around love and romance. I’m not exaggerating. Just think about it. Almost every novel we read has some element of romance in it (hence why we have so much to review). And the same goes for series, movies, soapies, etc. Try name me a song (other than perhaps Bohemian Rhapsody) that isn’t something to do with love, relationships, heartbreak, etc? I think you’ll find it difficult.  So if we are bombarded with all things lovey dovey the whole time you can’t blame a girl for believing that love (albeit warped forms of it some cases) is what makes everyone tick. And subsequently, that everyone is (not so) secretly on a mission to find their #happilyeverafter in this world. But actually when you start looking at the world around you, you’ll soon see that this isn’t really the case, even though the mass media may trick us into believing so. Let me elaborate.

Why LOVE is never really going to be convenient….

Seeing as I grew up consuming all thing Disney, I suppose it’s understandable that I’d throw caution to the wind and relocate to the other side of the world for the first bloke to show any interest in me. And to this day, I still haven’t learnt my lesson as I’d still consider turning my world upside down for a potential unicorn. Of course, I’m not completely idiotic about it either. Naturally, I’ve matured over the last decade or so and I’m not going to waste my time striking up an online conversation with a guy in Australia (or even Jo’burg) because he could potentially be my Prince Charming. That said, I’ve never expected love to be something that is exactly convenient. I mean what are the chances of a guy with intelligence, wit, charm, big muscles and sparkling personality who is financially stable and free of mummy issues being handed to be on the day I’m sitting at home feeling pretty and confident while simultaneously lounging around in my active wear watching Netflix? Unlikely!

But even in more straightforward situations, if you want to find excuses as to why it is inconvenient time to fall in love, you’ll find them easily enough. Perhaps it’s not a good time career-wise because you are too busy at work, maybe there is a chance are just about to embark of a round-the-world trip of a lifetime as the Bumble Global Connector Bee, or maybe you’ve got the flu and just feel like staying home to hibernate? Like I said, it is rarely likely that love will find its way to you at a convenient time when you have all your ducks in a row. In fact, because the universe thinks of itself as the greatest comedian, I guarantee that you’ll only be presented with such opportunities at the most unsuitable of moments.

That is why if a fairytale ending is really important to you, you need to prioratise.

… But how it can still be a priority…

Because I can probably count the times I’ve felt real sparkles on one hand, I’m willing go the extra mile when it comes to finding my #happilyeverafter. And the way I see, the rest can all fall into place – the job, the friends, the family, the money, the holidays etc.

Of course, it you are somewhat pretty, witty and wise you’ll certainly be able to get some action to keep you occupied (and prevent you from regaining your virginity) in the form of a one-nighter, FWB arrangement or holiday romance but something with a bit more substance and added butterflies doesn’t come around all that often in my experience.  That’s why when you do find it you need to make a decision as to whether this thing is worth pursuing, bearing in mind the fact that it’ll most certainly cause some stress along the way and require you some compromise when it comes to other aspects of your life.

Perhaps you think like me. And it’s as simple as love conquering all. But I think if you look closely enough you’ll see that for many people, including those is seemingly ‘successful’ (read: long-term) relationships don’t always see love as a priority in the grand scheme of things.

… Except when it isn’t

So I’ve dated enough unemployed bums to know how important it is to be gainfully employed. Furthermore, considering that we all spend +/- 40 hours a week at work, it is important that your workplace isn’t a toxic environment that’ll have you trying to stick pins into your eyes. But there are some people, for whom their job is literally everything. For instance, the type of couples that have been together for like a decade but only ever actually meet face to face for two weeks once a year, because they are both pursuing phat careers and earning big bucks.

Sure, a long-distance stint may be temporary necessity in a relationship but I’ve always believed that long-distance can only really work when there is an end in sight. What happens when it is actually the norm?  I mean, of course it’s nice to be with someone who is passionate about their career but if you spend most of your lives happily residing on opposite sides of the globe and actively looking for opportunities which would limit your ability to seeing one another, do you really have much more than a textationship? And in that case wouldn’t it just be better to be single?

Is LOVE worth the risk? Or is it better off as a side-project?

Naturally, it depends who you ask. A hopeless romantic, like yours truly, would obviously say yes. If you ask me, there is less shame in having string of failed relationships to your name and knowing you gave it shot than forever thinking ‘what if?’, living with a bunch of regrets while still clutching your ever-precious V-Card well into your naughty 40s.  Obviously, there are plenty of people out there that’d tell me I’m sex-obsessed pest and that investing in one’s career offers one more security because your job isn’t going to wake up one morning and realise it doesn’t fancy you. True that. But I’ll just reply that your job won’t snuggle you at night or give you morning goodies. And we’ll sit here all day going around in circles.

So all in all, LOVE doesn’t occupy the same top slot on everyone’s list of priorities. But that doesn’t mean they can’t have a functioning relationship. While for some of us, the pursuit of happily ever after is a major mission in life for others a relationship is just side-project that needs to fit in (or f*ck off) around their other priorities. I think the key though is to find yourself someone who feels the same way about their priorities. I mean if you are both career-focused, sport-obsessed, or willing to limit real bedroom action to a handful of times a year, then that’s all good. But if one of you is busy jetting off or saving the world, while the other is sat at home twiddling their thumbs and wondering why they are stuck with nothing more than a textationship, then I think you’ve got a recipe for disaster on your hands.

Rinsers, tell me about the priorities in your life. Should we really prioritise love and relationships the way we do? Or is this just a symptom of having our minds bombarded with this BS through the media? And does a relationship have to really be that magical to last the long-haul? And what is a ‘successful’ relationship – if seeing less of each other, means you avoid the mundane little fights and last forever, could this actually be better than the traditional romantic notion of #happilyeverafter? Enlighten me in the comments. Purlease and Thankyou!

   

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Great post! It made me think of a few things.

    1) There’s this quote I really like: “It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” W. Somerset Maugham

    We all make certain things our priorities but it’s not impossible to have our subjective best, if we’re stubborn. This isn’t to say that people who have a long term long distance relationship always settle for less. I just think that for some of these people love may be a priority, they just have different needs and as long as they’re in a relationship with a person with whom they have a deep connection they don’t mind the distance.

    2) The perspective of a person looking is different than the perspective of a person who’s found

    I think we are brainwashed (especially women) to think that one should sacrifice everything for love. As much as I agree that a committed relationship with your partner should be a priority I don’t think a potential for a relationship should.
    The more a person focuses on scarcity (butterflies happen rarely etc) the less options that person sees and the less options a person sees the more they’re willing to sacrifice once something potentially interesting appears. I think to vast extent it’s all in our heads and depends on our perception of reality, which is informed b experience. The quote from up there helped me a lot when I was willing to sacrifice important values/promises to myself for something that looked potentially promising due to attraction.

    Now, that I’m a person who’s found what she’s been looking for in love, I guess I just look at things differently. I’m really happy in my relationship but I’m not professionally. My happiness from my relationship cannot just radiate on my professional life and makes shit look like not shit. In fact, professional unhappiness can affect a relationship because we do spend a lot of time at work and if you’re unhappy there, however excited you are to see your partner it seems tough to just “switch off” your misery. Other things don’t just fall into place once you find love. Maybe some people truly only want to be homemakers and for these people that can be everything but it’s not true for most of us. This is why it’s not only about having a job that you don’t hate but one that you are passionate about. It’d be great if the mainstream culture stopped telling women that the way to be happy is just by throwing themselves in relationships. We need both professional AND romantic success to be happy and the key is to find the right balance. Now that I look at my past I think I was obsessed with finding a partner for a long time as if it was going to fix all my issues. I wish I was paying more attention earlier on in my life to other things such as finding a fulfilling profession but given the culture I come from I can totally see why I felt “I wasn’t good enough” without a man.

    Like

  2. Hmm…Of course it is always going to be a case of different strokes for different folks. When I was looking for picture for this blog post I saw one of a staircase where each step was labelled – education, jobs, relationship, happily ever after. It had the caption : ‘don’t skip a step’. The thing is life isn’t always that linear. Sometimes love finds itself to you earlier than expected, the same with career satisfaction – some people may only find their niche in their 40s/50s. And then sometimes thing happen simultaneously and you have to juggle. There are also those great power couples too – where they both have phat jobs and a seemingly perfect relationship/family life too. So, maybe one can have it all.

    I guess it also depends on the way your wired. Perhaps its the only child in me, but I need constant attention. I mean of course its nice having your independent lives from a partner and I suppose that keeps you sane, but I also think being able to see each other and get regular snuggles (and sex) is important too. I mean an intellectual connection is nice but surely I can’t be the only one who enjoys cardio 😉

    Then there is the issue of trust. So not everyone is a necessarily a cheater (beyond Netflix that is :)) But if you prioratize career, travel, friend opportunities above romantic love especially for long periods of time you do run the risk of having someone potentially better coming along. And we are all human. But then again, if you want to cheat you can do it on your doorstep, so swings and roundabouts. Perhaps this is where the open relationship option comes in? Questions, questions….

    Like

    • I’ve heard from a lot of successful people that you can’t have it all (in their autobiographies and memoirs, lol, don’t know many). I think you have to be willing to sacrifice some things and decide on your non-negotiables. For instance, a lot of power couples get someone to help with children because they can afford it. Amazing, right? Well, not really, because they miss out on a lot of important moments with their children and just spending time with them. So if you define “having it all” as having kids, love and career some people have it but there are still negotiations to do within that framework.

      I don’t think I would be happy with such an arrangement but I meet more and more people and they all have their strong preferences, I often don’t understand. I used to just walk around and think I know better but it’s only better with my own preferences. Surely, if there are #englishrosiees and #zlotybabys in the world (= sexual and cuddle pest), there must be people who are just fine mostly without it.

      Well, yes, so I guess the point here is that both partners truly agree on their low sex and cuddle needs. Divorce among the military in the US, for instance, for certain age groups is the highest in the country. I’m sure for some people it’s just most difficult, if not impossible to upkeep long distance long term. I guess, it’s yet again about priorities and personal needs. Would be interesting to interview a person like this.

      Like

  3. There is more to life than walking around with your head in the clouds looking for someone to settle down with. Maybe people should shift their focus to helping others in society rather than looking for partners to procreate with and causing more problems for the world to handle.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.