Category Archives: Marriage & Other Commitments

The New Post-Relationship World

There’s a couple that have been long prominent in Vancouver’s web community, and last night came the heart-breaking news that they’re ending their marriage.

How did the news reach us all?

They both changed their Facebook relationship status to “…from married to single” within moments of each other, and with one simple “Yes, it means what you think it means”, the cat was out of the bag and their entire friend/peer community knew.

Gone is the era in which they’d have to have uncomfortable dinners or stilted conversations with one friend after another after another, gently breaking the news that their friends are gonna take hard, making them feel even shittier for having a marriage fall apart.

Now, boom, everyone knows. Just like that.

It’s terrible, in a way, the idea we can all receive so quickly and casually such perspective-shifting news affecting people who have genuinely touched most of our lives.

There’s something disjointed about reading one small system-generated line of “X has changed their relationship status from married to single” among a newstream filled with political news and shared videos of a cat dancing.

These “small” tidbits about our changing lives float in “newsfeeds” now, as if they’re just another piece of fascinating trivia we’re supposed to digest while we absently surf the web in sneaky moments on the job, or distractedly click through those social sites where we just vicariously absorb the coolness of others’ lives.

Facebook isn’t just a revolving door of meaningless status changes. It really is a way to keep us all connected.

In all the nauseous sadness that came with the suspicion that, yes, those two relationship status updates really did mean what they looked to mean, I thought “Thank god they can tell everyone so easily now.”

Dissolving a marriage? Oh, my god. I can’t imagine the shattered illusions and sadness that comes from having to admit it’s over, the horror and fear that comes from making the first step to end the possibility of all those dreams you once made together, the feeling of perverse betrayal and anxiousness at telling friends and families the union is over.

It’s unquestionably going to be one of the worst weeks in the lives of both of those people. And here, bang, pow, all of a sudden they have everyone in the know, offering support, and just saying, “We’re so sorry, we understand, we’re here.”

As if any message could mean more to either of them today.

Say what you will about the flash coolness of the internet and how detached it makes us from each other — always plugged in via vicarious tidbits, thus able to stay comfortably at arms’ length while we busily carry on with our modern mad lives — but there are times like these the internet is like a lifeline thrown to troubled souls.

Never has it been easier to rally the support of those who love you, or to just put a desperate plea for understanding, help, or time out to those best able to deliver.

As a society, we need to learn to share more with each other, to use each other as crutches through hard times, and we have to learn how to react when our friends express themselves.

I’m sad for my peers today, for what they’ve lost, and for what I know they face in the coming year as they try to re-find their place in their newly-single worlds, but I’m very glad their choice of being plugged into an online community (that has really strong roots in real life, locally, too) will get them through this time with support and love.

That’s the power of the internet — it holds the ability to unite us, inform us, and keep us tuned into every passing minute… not just globally, but interpersonally.

It’s a good power. A life-changing, life-saving power.

Yes, I’m sad for my friends today, but I’m proud of them for having the courage to know when it’s time to change things. What a difficult, but important step. I’m happy to know they have friends who swear they’ll be there, I’m glad to know they have a place to ask for help.

It’s a strange new world, friends.

The Annual Anti-Valentine’s Posting: 2009 Edition

Ahh, Valentine’s Day. Sigh. Swoon. Won’t you be mine? Won’t you be my lover?

[RECORD SCRATCHES]

Let’s back that shit up.

Every year, without fail, I’m forced to write yet another posting saying pretty much all the same things. Like, if you can’t be romantic all year, you don’t deserve a lover. If you can’t remember to live with passion daily, then you’re wasting oxygen.

Sure, you can say, “Yeah, well, Valentine’s Day is good for young couples who are too busy — ”

[RECORD SCRATCHES]

Too busy? What, for each other? For knocking each other’s socks of with a quaking orgasm or two here and there? Too busy for head? Too busy for a stolen kiss in the corner of the kitchen? Too busy for a random, well-timed grope? Too busy for a lusty note snuck into a work lunch? Continue reading

Let Rick Warren Speak.

This will offend a lot of people’s sentiments, and I don’t care, I’m saying it anyhow.

I am absolutely pro-gay rights. I am completely for gay marriage and gay adoption rights. I loathe violence against gays, and think “hate crimes” prosecutions should be used not only more frequently, but more vehemently.

That said, it’s times like these when the gay rights movement really pisses me off. The childlike in-the-streets revolutions after the Prop 8 scandal were infuriating, but this outcry against Rick Warren being selected to speak at Obama’s inauguration just smacks of utter hypocrisy, and someone has to say it.

In a nutshell, gays want respect to live their lives as they see fit. They want to be respected for their differing viewpoints and lifestyle choices. They want inclusion. They want equality.

Yet they want to un-include a man who commands respect as one of America’s religious leaders who happens to oppose their viewpoint. They want him kicked out of the big flashy party, unable to speak, and they want him to lose validation in the eyes of the country’s leaders. Am I really the only one who doesn’t get it? Continue reading

eHarmony: The Battle for Gay Rights in a Nutshell

I’ll get to the changing-your-life follow-up on the weekend. News comes first.

Back in 2005, eHarmony got slapped with a lawsuit for discrimination because gays couldn’t use the service. Now, personally, considering their overpriced, weird cult-like dating service, I kinda thought eHarmony was doing gays a favour. But I agree with the spirit of the lawsuit, because it’s bullshit.

Well, now it’s three-plus years later, and eHarmony finally has a gay service available. Yay for progress!

Oh. Wait a second. Not so much?

See, gays still can’t use eHarmony. No, they get Compatible Partners. (Which is yet to be launched. Look to March 31st, 2009, for that.)

Did they even put a marketing team on this? Do they even give a fuck? “Compatible Partners”? What, “Ass-Pirates and Their Friends” was unavailable? Holy segregated fuck, Batman! Continue reading

Is it Possible?: Sex in the White House? Without Infidelity?

Something I absolutely love about the Obamas is the intensity of their attraction to each other. It’s so obvious. He lights up when he sees her. She totally adores him. But it’s bigger than that.

Probably the best footage I’ve ever seen that represents their relationship was this footage shot behind the scenes while they both were seated on stage during some other talking-head’s speech, and Barack and Michelle were holding hands. But it was different. He had this shy boyish smile, the kind teens will have when they’re ogling someone they’ve got a mad crush on, as he looked down at her hand and kept tracing his thumb over it, outlining her fingers, playing with her ring, and squeezing it here and there. And he just kept having this little shy grin as the moment stretched on and on, totally unaware the camera was on him, just having this seemingly private-yet-public endless moment with his wife in front of thousands of people, while someone else apparently had the camera and the limelight on ’em.

And I just thought, you know, you don’t see that in politics. You don’t see romantic gestures with intimacy and immediacy. There’s a reason so many political marriages are called marriages of convenience, or political unions. Passion doesn’t seem to have been their primary motivation, most of the time.

I mean, it’s awesome to see a 14-year marriage with passion, and in public. They’ve publically admitted they have a great sex life. They still have “date” nights, and regularly, even during the campaign. He’s religious about getting home for family Sundays, even during the heated campaign he’s been waging. Their two kids giggle and laugh, openly admitting that they love it when their parents cuddle and kiss in front of them, and they’re not ashamed at all about their parents’ romantic life.

Michelle Obama said it pretty great when asked if she was worried about fidelity in politics: “I never worry about things I can’t affect, and with fidelity … that is between Barack and me, and if somebody can come between us, we didn’t have much to begin with.” Continue reading

To Dabble or Not to Dabble

I’m all torn these days. The more I consider relationships, the more I realize I don’t really know what I want, nor what I can handle. I’ve accepted a date for sometime next week with a poly guy. I’m curious as to whether I can process such a relationship.

I’m not concerned about my ability to take more than one lover, if I’m open about it and don’t have to juggle or lie or anything. I can’t do the duplicity thing.

My concern is whether I’m too jealous or possessive, whether my insecurities will get the better of me, whether my competitive nature makes me unlikely to play well with others in the picture. I really don’t know. Am I built for the variety and openness of a poly relationship?

I got told I gotta get off the fence and figure it the fuck out. Hence the date.

I know I don’t have a “regular” relationship in me. I’d love a friends-with-benefits situation, but I know, inside, I’m kinda wanting to taste my way through a few male specimens. I want variety. I want to consume men instead of food. But I don’t want to go sleeping around. I figure 2-3 lovers could be fantastic.

But then can I deal with the flip of men having the same variety on the side?

Well, there’s really only one way to find out.