Here’s what annoys me a great deal about talking to others about my personal life.
I tell my family what I do for a living, and they’re mildly interested, and then they move on.
I win an award and I get congratulated, and then they move on.
I tell my friends about interesting thoughts I have, and they respond, and then they move on.
I post pictures of trips I take and experiences I have, and people look at them, and then they move on.
I tell someone I’m going on a date, and then they”—Wait a minute, you’re going on a date?! Who is he? What does he do? How old is he? How did you meet? Does he have a job? Does he make a lot of money? Is he cute? Why are you dating him? Are you texting each other a lot? Have you met him before? Where are you going for your date? Did he ask you, or did you ask him? Are you nervous? Did you meet online? Was it Match.com? Did you tell your mom/sister/friend? Is he (religious affiliation)? Are you going to introduce him to us? Is he your boyfriend? Aren’t you (sexual orientation)? Are you going to have sex with him? Are you planning on getting married? Are you going to marry this guy? When’s the wedding? Babies?!”
And so on and so forth.
There’s this overwhelming assumption that having a date/boyfriend/significant other/husband is the most important aspect of my life, even though I’m more proud of my accomplishments, more excited about my travel and hobbies, and more interested in learning and new ideas.
There’s a term for this concept: amatonormativity (that’s a mouthful, I know). Amatonormativity is the idea of society treating sexual and romantic relationships as intrinsically more important, more valuable and more necessary than friendships or other platonic relationships.
When someone grows up being told that the ultimate happy ending is in the arms of a lover/significant other/spouse, it harms their self-worth and undermines accomplishments and relationships that are equally as important in their life. And we reinforce this idea when we show greater interest in someone’s love life than in who they are and what they do as individuals.
So, please remember that every person is a whole person with or without an “other half!”