We seem to start out in packs. Groups of same-gender children played together but never intermingling with the opposite gender. We sat in the same classrooms but were separated by gender for games and bathrooms.
Integration presented more diversity of color and cultural heritage, but not in the amalgamation of sexes.
Then about the time of middle school, the independent sexes started noticing each other*. (*Note: I will be using antiquated terminology so younger readers must bare with me. I may be referencing on historical emotional behavior but the same is true today for all the gender variations.)
It seems we wanted to be with the other gender. Instead of groups of boys or girls, we combined and became “couples”. This joining of two people as a couple was a highly acceptable form of becoming mature.
Couples would go to parties together, dances together, movies together, football games together and so on. The two became as one through an extended dating process that went from crush to chaperoned dates to going steady to becoming engaged and probable marriage. There is a whole ritual of sharing clothing and jewelry and making false wishes and dreams under the pressure of the parents to hurry the process and get you out of the house.
“So who are you seeing?” or “You going with anyone?” or “When are you going to start having babies?” were always the questions at family gatherings.
Giving two individuals the title of ‘husband and wife’ does not guarantee a romance or a guarantee they will be suitable a couple. The foundation of a relationship, whether romantic, sexual, emotional, financial or just out of convenience can change through the years and the two must decide to adjust and continue or try someone else.
Yet society expects, even anticipates everyone must be in a couple.
There is nothing better than sharing that special moment with someone else. That last glimpse of sunset after a long day at the beach, holding hands for a long walk in the forest, waking together on a chilly winter morning, laughing or crying at an emotional scene can bond two people, but the feeling is really just your own.
You have no complete conception of what the other individual is really relating the experience to. It may have been a reference before the two of you met or maybe some personal inter-psychological reaction and you are only reacting to their reaction.
Depending on another to give emotional strength or support only goes so far. The other person in the couple can’t help you with your employment conflicts or anxiety over some frivolous matter that only applies to you. Even the flat tire on the out-of-state highway has to be solved by you and you alone, no matter how many phone calls you make complaining about the situation.
You have to brush your own teeth, put on your own socks, clean yourself and a vast majority of your day will be spent alone.
Being alone is an acceptance of independence. One person can make self-determination or autonomy alone.
Taking out the trash is a self-assigned chore not reminded by another, making up the bed is a self-choice decision, carrying a heavy piece of lumber without assistance gives realization of the faith of accomplishment or the possibility of possible physical disaster and pain or the loneliness of no one to tell your strange dreams to.
With you alone are about waking up and not having to get up. A sort of vacation without another to deal with except you. At the same time, no one else is there to tend your wounds or call for help for you are all alone.
It is a personal decision like driving or procreating or wearing last year’s fashion. To be self-reliant could be a spiritual awakening not requiring a religion.
Enjoy the moon tonight. We will.