Should I Change My Status to Domestic Partnership?

February 22, 2011 at 7:32 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 11 Comments
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I was out to dinner recently with a couple girlfriends, catching up. We talked like girls do about our boyfriends — each of us at different but overlapping points in our relationships.  One of the girls was saying how her and her boyfriend have been fighting a lot lately.  We started to comfort her, saying it’s probably just a phase. Couples fight.  We’ve all been there. To which she of course asks the question, “you guys still fight over stupid stuff? Like what?”

The other girl and I start ranting about how our boyfriends are messy, or clean, except for that one thing they do that doesn’t make any sense.  That they go to bed too late or wake up too early, and in both instances, we wake up with them.  We argue about who is going to take out the garbage, maybe we’ll argue about the bills or who is going to walk the dog.

And when we took a second to breathe we realized that nothing we argued about had anything to do with our relationships.  The difference between our relationships and our friend’s was that we lived with our boyfriends.  It’s a blessing, my friend said, because it makes things easier, which I agreed with, but it doesn’t make everything easier.

Because we are no longer just “in a relationship.”  We have unknowingly entered into a domestic partnership.

So when I saw in the news that Facebook was adding two new options to their relationship status, I was intrigued.  I know that this decision was made to accommodate our LGBTQ friends, but doesn’t this status pertain to me too?  Yes, I am straight, but I am living with my partner, just the same as a same-sex couple would.

But the problem with the phrase “domestic partnership” is that it takes away from the intimacy of the relationship.  A domestic partnership to me sounds more like two people getting together for convenience, like Hillary and Bill Clinton. You can’t tell me there’s love in that relationship.  And our LGBTQ friends have just as much love in their relationships. But right now they don’t have the same rights to declare their love as straight people do, so we gotta do what we can to help them describe their relationships while our country catches up to our social reality.

So what does this all mean for straight people?  It means we shouldn’t forget that we have the right to express our love the way we want to.  That we shouldn’t forsake our relationships once they reach the level of domestic partnership.  That we should continue to love and not mistake domestic disagreements for relationship problems.

And hopefully, in the lifetime of a 20 something, we will see that we don’t really need all of these classifications related to sexual orientation.  That love is love — not some box you check off on a form.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pushing Thirtyy, Pushing Thirtyy. Pushing Thirtyy said: Should I Change My Status to Domestic Partnership? http://wp.me/pSrOi-cv […]

  2. GREAT POST!

    As far as the “living together” stuff, I think that IS relationship stuff. Garbage, bills, pet care. When you live with someone, especially when you’re in a serious relationship, you have already set up expectations of the other person. Agreeing to the live together to share responsibilities. If one person decides to stop pulling their own weight, they can’t pretend to know it doesn’t affect their partner. So it’s purposly being neglectful and disrespectful.

    Sure, you may forget to take out the trash, or forgot stamps for the bills from time to time. But to consciously refuse to negotiate while living in a shared house is a huge slap in the face. Just assuming the other person will do it, cause you’re too lazy or careless about it? Which is a catalyst for other more serious problems in the relationship. Sex & Housecare are the two markers of how a relationship is REALLY going.

    • Interesting thought. I feel like relationship issues are still at the core about things like fighting over insecurities and misunderstandings and ensuring you are still on the same page. I wouldn’t break up with a boyfriend because he leaves his dirty socks on the floor, but if I can’t depend on him to pull his own weight as you say, or to be there for me when I need him, then that’s another story.

  3. Haha, I should change my status to domestic partnership with my roommate. When we first got this apartment 1.5 years ago, we joked about how we were like a married couple, arguing about which couch to get (the one I wanted, obvi) and whether or not we needed a potato masher (we did.) And since then it’s just been even more domestic partnership business. Lacking the sex, but hey, we’re in it for convenience, not chemistry.

  4. i never change my status on facebook, in fact, i never listed it. does it really matter? does anyone really care? the last time i lived with a bf, we never fought about who took the garbage out or who cooked, we were both financially stable, but i think there are always things that will come up that will make you ask yourself if this is something you can live without or can live with.

    • for certain! That is the basic question – “Can I deal with this or not?” And bravo to you for not being a slave to the ‘book!

  5. I hate the pressure of the relationship status and the commotion it causes when somebody changes it to “single” or it’s complicated. On the other hand it’s also a nice way of telling the world you’re in love 🙂

    • it certainly is! I don’t know why anyone would use the “complicated” option though. It’s like, why tell the world you are unsure of your relationship?

  6. “love is love and not some box you check off on a form” – oh I love that line! Great post… I had not idea that Facebook even had all those options for relationship status now!

    • they just added them last week! always evolving!


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