Monday, July 17, 2006

Silly Love Songs

"You'd think that people would have had enought of silly love songs.
But I look around me and I see it isnt so.
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs.
And whats wrong with that?
I'd like to know, cause here I go again"

Well, Mr. McCartney, here's what's wrong with that: what is this conception of love you're promoting? Certainly this particular song of yours doesn't promote that, but what about all those other ones? The "you're my one and only, forever and ever" sorts of songs?

Not that I can really hold pop musicians responsible for our culture of heteronormative love, a culture based on subsuming one's own identity in coupleness. We do it so mindlessly, too, so easily, because it's the story we've become accustomed to and learned to desire. A story based on the passivity of the female...

...which is a serious dilemma for lesbians. Either we feel that if we're active, we're not really feminine, not really women, or we sit around waiting for the other to act. This can get quite confusing. And frustrating, I might add.

If I refuse that narrative, the happily-ever-after, if-it's-work-it's-not-love story, then what? The best relationships I've witnessed have been based on honest communication. Note I say "witnessed," because I think I've been inattentative, if not downright lazy, about my own relationships. I've waited for things to work themselves out, or for the time to be "right" to discuss the hard stuff.

Has anyone out there managed to transform themselves, to create new patterns in their relationships? I'd love to hear from you.


Krista said...

1. Switch-hitters have it at least as bad, in my experience. I have never, ever been comfortable (or done well) with a guy who asked me out. It’s always better the other way around. This used to give my Southern mama fits, but I always figured that if they couldn’t handle a woman who asked them out, they weren’t going to be able to handle much else about me either. Asking women out, on the other hand, always turned out to be an invitation for them to place me in a dominant position, which was uncomfortable. I just wanted a partner, dammit!

(will leave 2 in another comment... doesn't Blogger cut off comments after X number of words?)

Krista said...

2. Yes, one can change one’s communicative habits within relationships. It’s painful and takes several years, but I’m proof that it can be done. If you want to talk more about that, email me.

Dr. Write said...

Yes! It is possible to change. Witness exhibit 1: Moi. I was frustrated that the men I dated were so, I don't know, into me in a way that was unhealthy. I'm with Krista. I had to choose a partner that was healthy for me. To do this, I did everything the opposite of what I did before: before I chose dates based on sexual attraction. So, I started dating men based on something else, like intellectual attraction and sense of humor and ability to quote poetry-- by women!
Let's just say it all worked out fine. (We just celebrated our 8th anniversary). I also went with some good advice from a friend: if you don't think you want a long term relationship with the person, it's okay to have sex on the first date. If you want it to last longer than one date, wait.
We didn't even kiss until our fourth date. Geez!!
And lastly, be bold. I asked Middlebrow out. I figured if he said no, I'd be in the same situation I was before. Luckily he said yes.
I had a great counselor at WWU, btw. I think she taught me most of these things.

susansinclair said...

Yes, has to keep reminding oneself of these things OVER AND OVER. Like, I thought I was doing ever so much better in my second relationship, but I stopped working at it and being brutally honest at some point. See today's post for more...