I was thinking that you guys deserve a non-basketball post. Plus, I’ll be out too late tonight to have any chance of blogging about the game…
Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with This American Life. And, by “obsessed,” I mean that I’ve listen to approximately 20 one-hour long episodes during the past two weeks.
The premise of This American Life is that episode works around a theme. Within the episodes, there are a few “acts” with different perspectives on the theme. The episodes all vary in tone from serious and enlightening to lighthearted and fun — but there’s always a message.
One of the stories that has stuck out to me the most was “Best Laid Plans” from the recent “What I Did For Love” episode. (Listen to it here!)
The story is about a man and woman who started dating on their third day of college. Now in their early 30s, they lived together, had a great relationship and were considered by all of their friends to be the model couple. Yet, they were not married and hadn’t even put much thought to the matter.
One day, the guy — who is telling the story on the radio — nonchalantly asked his girlfriend if she’d like to get married, hypothetically, in the future.
Without much hesitation, the girl said, “Yes, but I think we should sleep with other people first.”
The guy acknowledges that most people would react more like, “Whaaaaat?!” Yet, to him, the proposition just seemed logical. So, the couple decided to set up an altered version of the Amish rumspringa, where they had 30 days to — well — sleep around.
There were a few rules: The guy moved out. They weren’t allowed to talk to each other. They weren’t allowed to get into other relationships. Beyond that, it was a free-for-all.
So, that’s what they did. Went all out and slept around.
All the while, the guy said he found it difficult not to develop an emotional attachment to the women he was sleeping with. Although he still loved his girlfriend, he found himself enjoying different aspects of different women.
At the end of 30 days, the couple mutually decide they didn’t have enough time to explore their thoughts, so they extend the term for another 30 days… Then another 30 days… And another 30 days.
Finally, he guy said that they met back up, went on their ritual Saturday-morning brunch and both concluded, “Yep, our relationship has run its course.” And they were done.
Now, it’s a few years later and the two still talk regularly. They both agree that they were probably subconsciously discontent with their relationship, but it was comfortable and they didn’t really have any reason to split up. It was only when they had an “out” that their feelings came to light and they were able to move on.
I know that was a long-winded anecdote to feed into my real point. But, as I mentioned, it really got me thinking — and, the truth is, I’m not sure what conclusion I’ve come to. A few of my thought…
- I would definitely be of the “Whaaaaat?!” persuasion. Regardless of the circumstances, I don’t think there is any room inside a relationship for sleeping around.
- I think it’s natural for relationships to get comfortable after a while. You know the person better and you share routines.
- But… I think there is a little bit of merit to their story. Again, I don’t think it was a good approach, but I do think it’s important for people in a relationship to be honest with themselves and with each other. If they both imagined the relationship going in different directions then, yes, it was time for it to end — no matter how much “history” they shared.
Now I’m interested to hear what you think! Do you have any more solid of an opinion than me?