Being in a relationship is fucking great

Unless you’re one of the 7 people in the UK who saw it (and I know 4 of them), you’ve never heard of Arrested Development.

And that means you won’t know what the hell I’m talking about when I say any of the following:

  • I’ve made a huge mistake
  • I was the world’s first Analrapist
  • It’s a shemalé – I love it!

All of those things are incredibly funny jokes, but you don’t get any of them. Why? Because you’re on the outside. And being single is being permanently on the outside. You never get to learn the in-jokes. You’re permanently watching Keeping Up Appearances, and everybody else knows you’re an idiot.

Being in a relationship means you can get deeper. You can find out the truth about people. Maybe it’s not a truth you like, and it took you 5 years to discover that, and now you feel bitter that you wasted that time. But maybe it’s a wonderful truth, and being that deep means you’re warmer and safer and more comfortable than you’ve ever been before.

Isn’t it worth giving it a try? Isn’t it worth going that deep, and finding out if there’s something wonderful?

Isn’t it worth waking, and it’s early, and warm, and bright. And in my arms she lies, still, relaxed, pressed against me so closely that nothing is between us. She’s fast asleep, breathing softly, and yeah, she’s snoring a little, but God that’s nice. We’re naked, but not sexual. We’re just two soft, warm animals, clinging to each other through the night. But not from terror, not from fear, just from the ultimate comfort of knowing there isn’t any space between us.

She has long, wild hair, and it’s been pulled around her neck so I could lie behind and hold her close without it tickling my nose. She knew I liked that. She knew I liked my mouth against her naked shoulder, and our legs in a tangle. But here’s what makes it incredible: she didn’t have to wake to sweep her hair away. She knew it in her sleep. Is there anything more loving? Is there anything that speaks more perfectly of our oneness?

And of course, it’s reality. It’s not some romantic, passionate fantasy, full of movies and drinks and restaurants and sex. She knows what face I pull when I’m twisting my inflexible body so I can trim my toenails. I know her breasts aren’t all that perky really, because I’ve seen her sitting around in her sloppy clothes in the evening, braless and comfortable. She knows how furry my back is, because she’s scratched it for me when it itches, and has picked ingrowing hairs out of it for me. I know what colour her crap knickers are, the ones she likes, and she can’t bring herself to throw away even thought they’ve faded to thousand-wash beige, and lie limp and tattered on the radiator.

I’m not a ladies man, but yes, I’ve dated girls. I’ve had laughs, gone back to their place, had fabulous, original, clumsy sex, and cuddled up all night. But I’ve never known that girl’s favourite Womble, or whether she’s a bit weird about beans touching fried eggs. And she’s never discovered that I cry at Cyrano de Bergerac, or that for an atheist who hates Lloyd-Webber, I have an unexpected fondness for Jesus Christ Superstar. There’s always an element of pretence when you’re in the dating game. You don’t reveal that weird stuff. It’s like being on a constant job interview, showing your best side. But if you only show one side, you might as well be 2-dimensional.

And that’s why being in a relationship is fucking great: it’s in 3D. OK, the colours aren’t as bright as 2D Technicolor, and occasionally it gives you a headache. But it has depth, and you can move through it and get a fuller, richer experience. You can put your guard down in ways you never dream of when you’re on the dating game.

If you’re single, you are one person. Sometimes you meet another person, and you do some elementary maths: one plus one becomes two.

But in a relationship it’s safe to admit that you’re shit at maths, and never liked it, and need help with your tax return.

Because in a good, functioning relationship, maths breaks down anyway.

One plus one equals one. And being one is perfection.

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3 thoughts on “Being in a relationship is fucking great

  1. I hate you so much for this. But you’re right, when I cast my mind back to the ages ago that it was, I think being in a relationship was fucking spectacular sometimes.

    I remember a quite powerful realisation at a party, when I was telling a story he’d heard a thousand times before. He kept interjecting, but not in a bad way – he was escalating my punchlines, chipping in with extra jokes, adding twists and turns so that what was quite a short, reasonably amusing story became this epic anecdote about something we’d done together. Someone at the party said ‘you guys are a proper double act’ and I nearly died of happiness.

    Of course we’ve split up now, and he no doubt thinks I’m a cunt, but still. Quite nice.

    Here’s the other side: http://www.girlonthenet.com/2012/01/02/on-not-having-a-boyfriend/

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