I'm sharing this because I think that readers of this blog know that when I talk about how happy I am in my current relationship, I do not intend in any way to belittle or diminish those who are NOT in relationships, or to refute anything I have ever said about how important it is to be comfortable with being single. Mostly, when I talk about how happy I am in my current relationship, I do so because this happiness is new, certainly a departure from relationships I have known in the past, and honestly, I'm still kind of incredulous about it. I think that people who care about me will be happy to know that I have found this happiness, as my friend said this morning. But Bella DePaulo has a couple of posts that have me feeling sort of defensive. Her first post was about people who post annoying Facebook status updates about their relationships; her follow-up post talks about how people with these sorts of updates must be insecure (that is, these folks must be insecure or else they wouldn't feel the need to "act" so affectionately in public). What bugs me about that is that lately, I have been one of those people and I know that my motivation is about as far from what she's saying as you can get. When I post something on Facebook about the amazing weekend I had my guy, I'm not bragging about my relationship; I'm letting my friends know that things are great and I'm happy (I should say that I am only friends on Facebook with people that I am actually friends with in real life). Without exception, my friends have responded with comments like "You deserve it!" or "I'm so happy for you!" My S.O. also happens to be a really affectionate person, which I love since I did not get ANY public affection in my last relationship (heck, I didn't get much private affection either). I am sure that to other people, we are probably annoyingly affectionate but a) we are still sort of new at this so maybe it will lessen over time and b) if it doesn't, well, I hold his hand and sneak a quick smooch because it makes me silly happy to do so, not because I want others to think anything in particular (and just to be clear, I'm not talking about making out in a restaurant here).
I get that there are plenty of people who buy into matrimania and who want everyone to know they are in a relationship because they think that they will be seen as a 'loser' if they aren't, and I get why DePaulo feels they should be mocked. I guess I just wish that DePaulo, and many who commented on her posts, wouldn't sound so much as if everyone with sappy Facebook updates must fall into that group. DePaulo talks a lot about 'singlism' which she defines as "the stereotyping and stigmatizing of people who are single"; maybe it's just me being defensive now that I am part of a couple, but sadly, I feel like the singles community is just as likely to engage in 'couplism'.