One of the amusing things I've had the pleasure of observing during my projection towards adulthood is the coupledom of friends and, well, 'enemies' . . .
Aging is great.
We get older and some of the people around us are lucky enough to find someone to love, or like, or tolerate even. When said individuals are particularly fortunate the objection of their affection will love, or like or tolerate them with a sort of reciprocity.
This is all well and good, for the most part. That is, until, a couple (and let’s not presume this is solely referring to heterosexual pairings) begins to question the validity of their own relationship and starts comparing their courtship to that of others. That, in my turgid view can only lead to the obliteration of an otherwise sane and seamless kinship.
It leads to dialogue that is characterised by one-upsmanship and spite-driven competition. I present the following as an example:
Partner One: Hey, Esteban and Shaniqua are going to Minsk together.
Partner Two: Oh yeah?
Partner One: Yeah, they’ve been together for a year now and they’re celebrating by going on a spiritual cruise together.
Partner Two: Right . . .
Partner One: Y’know, we’ve been dating for 18 months, maybe we should go on, like, a pre-enagagement honeymoon together.
Try to keep your eyes from rolling out of your head; I am exaggerating, to some extent.
My question is: how does this come to pass? Is it something that has always happened? Probably, but I’m only 26, I can only hypothesize about the good old days.
I have postulated though, that the effect of competitive coupledom is amplified by social media.
Oh Facebook, you’re the best.
It seems evident to me that insecurity is at the helm of a relationship fuelled by competitive coupledom. And, for the casual social media viewer, insecurity is hilarious. I can’t complain, too much about the phenomenon, it’s keeping me heartily amused.
I think everyone knows at least one couple that they’d categorise as that couple. The ones that post pictures of themselves happily lying in bed partially dressed, with a caption like “lovers”, “bliss”, or something equally saccharine and nauseating.
Maybe I’m a resolute pessimist, but their lives just can’t be that blissful. I’m going to pitch ‘science’ as the main reason why that couple aren’t the love-besotted bunnies they would have you believe. Balance. Equilibrium. If that couple are so happy surely the pendulum swings, or the see-saw drops or whatever metaphor you have for stasis realigns itself and they’re bickering with one another like aggravated honey badgers.
In real life, when couples indulge in these sickly public displays of affection, they’re often told to (pardon the hackneyed phrase)“get a room.” Sometimes, fortunately, this happens on ol’ Facey too; but, sadly it doesn’t happen as regularly as I’d like it to.
On one occasion, I even encountered competitive coupledom from an external party on behalf of the lovebirds. “You know so-and-so are buying a puppy and a house and are still deeply in love, I’m sure you and your significant other aren’t that far along yet,” she said (in a less obnoxious and abbreviated way).
I told her to “shove it up her biscuit,” and I suggest you treat instances of competitive coupledom in roughly the same way. It’s not healthy and you probably don’t want villainous people like me laughing at your expense.