As much as I’m a love-addict, sometimes if I think about the seriousness behind marriage –I feel like I’m going to throw up.
Given, I haven’t met someone who I have sincerely thought I would spend the rest of my life with (without any reservations, at least), but when I think of happily-ever-after, until-death-do-we-part, when your balls and my boobs sag – I feel intense anxiety.
When you find that special someone or you enter into a long-term relationship –you ultimately have to change who you are somewhat. Not necessarily your personality or actions or day-to-day doings, but your lifestyle changes when you have to consider someone else into the mix. “I” becomes “we” and Friday night’s question isn’t “Where’s happy hour?” but rather “What are you in the mood to do, dear?” Yes, you have me-time or girl-time – but when you say “I do” or accept a relationship request on Facebook, you sign (or click) away a part of your life.
A friend of mine, B, recently wrote to me and said “I’m starting to think that maybe I’m not meant to be tamed. I’m not willing to change who I am for a man, and I shouldn’t have to. I love being able to do what I want, when I want. I don’t have to let anybody know where I am, or call somebody before I do something, and I don’t have to think about questions like ‘Will we spend this holiday with your family or mine?’”
Tamed? To be in a healthy, loving, and committed relationship, does that mean you’re tamed? Is the reason it’s called “settling down” is because you literally settle down? After receiving this message from B, I decided to poll readers and friends about being “tamed” and how it relates to being in a relationship. (And sorry, I didn’t ask Miley Cyrus).
Here are the responses I received:
“I feel like it should and it shouldn’t, ya know? Should because relationship is commitment, but shouldn’t because the reason someone wants a relationship with you is because you’re you.” –N
“No you’re only more tame in social situations because you don’t have to flirt, but in the bedroom, you must be super wild.” –S
“Once you’re in a long-term relationship, then you have someone else to consider so I suppose it does tame your behavior.” –S
“Being in a relationship doesn’t really have to mean that you are ‘tamed.’ I think a lot of it has to do with your personality and the personality of the person you are in a relationship with, as well as the dynamics of the relationship…Quite frankly, if you find the right person, you can do all the things you love and just simply have a partner in it.” -A
“No. I act just as I always do regardless if I’m in a relationship or not. If I’m not acting like myself, then I need to get out of the relationship.” –E
“I’ve found in most cases yes, but I’m waiting for a relationship where you still love and care about the other person (and vice versa) and they let you do whatever makes you happy.” -D
Taken (Married or in a relationship)
“Tamed? Did you need a trainer or tamer? No. Being in a stable relationship may make you more secure to embrace your wild side and explore more facets of yourself.” –P
“If ‘tamed’ means that you stop dancing on bars, then yes. But I’ve gone out more with my boyfriend than I ever would if I was alone. We go out every Monday and Wednesday for trivia night usually every Friday and Saturday for darts.” –A
“Well, you learn to do things differently. You do the things they want to do and how they want to do it. Just for the sake of keeping the peace.” –L
“It can. My boyfriend knows what my dreams are and what I want to accomplish, and he’s willing to let me run wild, as long as he can be part of it.” –S
“I do think you have to become tame in order for your relationship to work. I guess tamed is a strange word for it because you have to be yourself but you want to make the other person happy, so you don’t even think about that part of it, if it’s truly a relationship that you want.” –E
“I would say that I am a lot less reserved now that I’m in a serious and committed relationship because I feel like I can be as crazy as I can possibly be within moral bounds, and I don’t have to fear messing things up. I still have the freedom to do whatever I want, but what I want in a lot of aspects has changed.” -F
“Ohhhhhh no! Here’s my philosophy: I wanted to marry him, so I could REALLY go hog wild….but just with him.” -J
So, you do have to be tamed (or maybe not), but you still do all that you want (but do things their way to keep the peace), you don’t dance on tables, but you should be incredibly ridiculous in the bedroom, make your partner part of your adventures (but make sure they love you for who you are) – but all of it, of course, depends on the relationship and the person you’re in a relationship with.
Quite contradictory right?
B highlights what’s considered a perk of being single: the ability to be completely and totally selfish. And I’ll be the first (along with all of you other single ladies who are addicted to love or not, I’m sure) that sometimes, not having to answer to anyone or anything or shape my plans around someone else’s schedule or desires is wonderful. I almost always get to do exactly what I want, when I want to do it, and my money, for the most part, is for me.
A pro of being a single gal is being able to sincerely focus on yourself, to run untamed and free (regardless if you act wild or not) and explore all of the things your curiosity sparks. I truly, 100 percent agree that by being single for longer (as in not getting married super early), you allow yourself a lot of time to grow and develop without having to consider who is laying next to you.
But most of us do want someone to share our lives with –tamed or untamed –doing it their way or our way or a way you create together. Eventually, we will have discussions about what to do, where we want to do it, and how to go about it with our partner.
So really, it’s not necessarily about being tamed. It’s more about learning how to compromise and figuring out what it is we’re willing to change and what we’re not about our lives or ourselves for another person. Then, the task is making sure the person you’re in a relationship with is okay with that.
But until that day, until I finish clearing my head of self-hating and love-obsessing thoughts, I will relish, just like B, in being selfishly single. In eating cupcakes at midnight, taking up my entire bed, painting my toenails while eating pudding, spending an hour at the grocery store and leaving with nothing, taking random trips because I can, and walking around my apartment in heels, a face mask, and drinking red wine singing along to old Backstreet Boys songs.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be “tamed” by my own definition of the word (submissive and obedient, like a dog), but I may be willing to share my cupcake. And maybe a sip of my wine. And especially if he can somewhat sing “Shape of My Heart.”