I’ve been in complicated relationships since I was a teenager.
The reasons might be different now, but the fact still remains: I cannot think of a single relationship I’ve had that followed the stereotypically “normal” route. Hell, even when I’m not in a relationship, it’s still complicated.
That fact doesn’t bother me – I spent most of my time in the Army running into places where the rules and regulations didn’t apply, I’m used to it now – but it is still kind of vexing when we’re supposed to pigeonhole our relationship status.
Like on social networks.
The options vary, but they’re either limiting (married, single, other) or entirely too specific and more than I’d care to reveal to random people. They’re also heteronormative – where’s the “I’d be married except I’m homosexual and live in Ohio” option? And what about the poly folks out there? And really, MySpace, you don’t even allow “it’s complicated”, but allow “Swinger”? Please.
So screw it. Today, I’m changing all my relationship statuses to “It’s complicated”. Or hiding them. Or deleting them. They’re going to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Whatever the network in question will let me do. If you need (or want) to know, ask. I may or may not tell you. (Hint: Probably not, unless it’s actually relevant to you.)
And if you’re tired of having your relationships shoved into someone else’s definitions, why don’t you change yours to “It’s complicated” as well?
You can read more about changing or hiding your relationship status on this blog (though the advice doesn’t apply to the “new” MySpace). The author also wrote a nice bit about how publicly displaying that info really changes the relationship scene; the original is gone, but it’s at the Internet Archive.