“We moan when we don’t have a boyfriend and we moan when we do”
Never has television nailed the modern female mindset so wonderfully. When Miranda rattled this great one liner off on Sex and the City (back when Sex and the City was capable of making accurate depictions of women and not showing them to be nagging money grubbers on the big screen) I, in the midst of my teenage years wondered ‘who the hell would complain about having a boyfriend? I’d sell my right foot for one, I’VE OFFERED TAILAND MY KIDNEY IN HOPES OF A MAIL ORDER BOYFRIEND!’
Years later, with one three year relationship behind me and a seven month one still ongoing, I feel like I understand the sentiment a lot better.
When we’re young and our only insight into relationships comes from media outlets such as Hilary Duff movies and the Twilight books, relationships seem like the Holy Grail. We picture ourselves finding ‘the one’ (the one usually looking a lot like Chad Michael Murray in A Cinderella Story) and upon finding the one we expect the whole ‘relationship’ side of the romance to just… be. If we’re honest, back in our school girl fantasies, the romance we pictured didn’t last much longer than the first kiss.
Maybe when you hit fifteen this progresses to the first shag, were said sexual fantasy would throw you on the bed and give you the best orgasm of your life – this orgasm being far superior to the ones you’ve been giving yourself late at night with your left hand and the atonement library scene set on repeat. We don’t think about how we would spend our time together for years and years on end. We don’t consider things like the sex getting monotonous, or what we’ll say when you get given a DVD for your anniversary when you were really hoping for that white-gold necklace in the shops. What we don’t consider, when we’re yelling at the TV, telling Miranda to bugger herself for complaining about having the oh-so-desired boyfriend, is how relationships actually work. Or more to the point, how it works in comparison to singlehood.
And let’s be honest, despite what movies like Bridget Jones tells us, being single isn’t all that bad.
|Case in point: LOOK AT HOW MUCH FUN SHE’S HAVING!|
There’s a lot to be said about being in a relationship. Humans are pack animals by nature, we like having company and being spooned just before we go to sleep. Having a relationship fulfils our basic need to be with someone – we don’t call them our other half for nothing. Yet relationships aren’t perfect. For a start they force us out of our other basic instinct which is to be selfish. We all like doing our own things, we like going places when we want to, we like watching things we want to watch. This selfishness is challenged when you enter a relationship. All of a sudden you have to ask ‘what do you fancy for dinner tonight’ and have to force lies such as ‘oh sure, I’d love to watch the football’.
Being in a relationship also makes life a little more predictable. When you go out with your friends for a night out, you know this isn’t going to be the night you meet your soul mate while dancing to Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal. You’re not going to enter into a wild romance and sprint off to France at the end of the night. What you WILL be doing is dancing poorly and spilling drinks down yourself saying ‘GOD I MISS BEING SINGLE’ as you spy your friend Sarah sticking her tongue down some boy’s throat who she perceived to look like George Clooney who fact looks more like Chris Moyles. And later on in the morning, when Sarah wakes up with Moyles (in a very literal way) she will wail ‘GOD WHY DON’T I HAVE A BOYFRIEND?’
This is what Miranda meant when she said: “We moan when we don’t have a boyfriend and we moan when we do”. Women are the biggest sufferers of chronic dissatisfaction. When we see what another woman has we start to question the value of our own shit. The minute we become a Miranda we want to be a Carrie, and the minute we become a Carrie we want to be a Charlotte (those of you who haven’t watched Sex and the City are probably feeling really left out right now), and so on and so forth.
When single we miss the companionship, when in a relationship we miss the freedom. Perhaps if women spent more time focusing on the positive elements of their situations, the things we lack wouldn’t matter so much.