Suzie and I sometimes have issues remembering whose emotions are whose. We get very tangled up in each other’s emotional well being, and sometimes we forget who is upset and why. She asks me why I’m stressed, and it takes me a minute… “I think I’m stressed because you kept snapping at me yesterday evening… but I understand why you were snapping at me. It’s finals, and you haven’t slept.”
“So you’re stressed… because… it’s MY finals?”
“Oh honey, I’m so sorry!” She kisses me on the forehead and promises to be careful with my emotions… because I’m stressed about HER finals.
We’re ridiculous. But, when you get right down to it, every emotional bond between two people has its own set of ridiculous. When you have a high maintenance person and a passive aggressive person, you have a certain dynamic. When you have a workaholic and a romantic, there’s a certain dynamic. When you have a well traveled adventurer and a homebody, there’s a certain dynamic there too.
And of course, no one is just one thing, and no one is just one thing all the time. Realistically, you would sometimes have a well traveled, high maintenance romantic (who is sometimes not high maintenance when they get enough alone time) with a homebody who is paranoid about having good dental hygiene who volunteers on weekends at a ropes course and is also a romantic, but mostly a romantic on Wednesday evenings after 7:00pm…
And they would have their own beautiful peculiarities in their relationship.
Just as every two people who connect have their own beautiful peculiarities. (And don’t even get me started on poly relationships! So beautiful! So many peculiarities! So many opportunities for passionate connection, for learning from each other…)
It’s interesting to me when people try to label certain relationships as similar to each other based upon the genitalia of the partners involved. It seems a bit arbitrary. Sure, there are lesbians who like to process. There are also lesbians who are commitment-phobic and don’t really want to talk about emotions. Yes, sometimes partners in a heterosexual couple have a difficult time understanding each other. Sometimes everyone has a difficult time understanding their partner!
Saying a relationship is “queer” and thus different from other relationships feels off to me. EVERY relationship is different from other relationships. The angst you had with one ex is completely different from what you experienced with another ex; there were different people involved. Those people had different personalities, different life stories, and different neuroses–even if they shared similar genitalia. Categorizing relationships as “the same” based upon gender or genitalia is a giant generalization, and I don’t think it accords people the respect for individuality they deserve.
A possible exception to this might be found in the shared history of oppression between queer-identified people, which can sometimes affect the way a couple feels when interacting in public spaces. However, there are other groups with a shared history of oppression–like Jews–and that can affect the ways they interact as well. And there are queer couples who might appear to be completely heteronormative to an undiscerning public–so oppression in the public eye is not actually a foolproof way to define a queer relationship.
(Note for all the people concerned about political ramifications of the above argument: I’m not going to set the GLBT movement back because of my beliefs. I can curtail my idealism for the sake of political gain. Of course I see “gay marriage” as a step in the right direction–because if “gays” were normalized in red states, maybe Matthew Shepard would still be alive. This post isn’t about politics; it’s about love.)
This is all to say, love is weird.
My love is weird, your love is weird, everyone’s love is weird. Hooray for love! Hooray for queerness! Hooray for celebration! Let’s go have a party.
Lag B Blog 25