A constant, incessant, persistent myth perpetuated by pop culture is that relationships are boring and the newness of dating around is exciting. I’d say the opposite is true. Granted, I’m a little biased this being my 8 year wedding anniversary (It’s the taxidermy squirrel anniversary. These modern anniversary gifts are getting very specific.) The excitement of dating a new person diminishes after repetitive experiences, while being in a relationship offers new, deeply profound experiences, new challenges and revelations about your self as much as the depth of another person.
How many “new” first dates can you go on? How many disastrous bridge trolls incapable of a decent human interaction can you endure a meal with before you throw up your hands and become celibate? Is that spark of newness, the excitement that someone is going to willingly allow you to see and explore their naked body really worth all of the sludge and drudgery of weeding out creeps and mentally unstable goblins who have read The Game? I don’t care how many layers of technology are added to allow the sexually voracious to satiate their prurient (not meant pejoratively) desires, single people will never get as much mutually agreed upon naked-slappy-times as people in committed relationships.
I get that there’s that spark, that charge of new experiences that people can get addicted to, but I think in the changing of a relationship, people who have gotten used to/addicted to the charge of a new sexual experience are overlooking all the other new things that come about as a result of becoming comfortable with another person. Opening yourself up to a person, exposing your vulnerabilities, being able to be completely honest is exciting and terrifying. But those new experiences aren’t as celebrated as the instability of dating. Not saying that marriage and relationships aren’t valued in society, to the point where they are almost fetishized, but I am saying that society–at least what I see in pop culture–doesn’t understand the excitement that is inherent in sharing your life with another person.
If it’s just sex, sure it can get boring, but if you put forward the least bit of effort, it can be really fun and surprising with a person you’re comfortable with. Even people who meet at an S&M club have to get bored with standard whipping after a while until one person feels comfortable enough to say, “Instead of leather and whips, how about we try latex and role play? You be Grape Ape, and I’ll be Magilla Gorilla.” You can’t pop something like that on the first date, you have to warm up to that after you’re both comfortable. That level of comfort is something only a long term relationship can provide.
What I’m trying to say is, in case you’re into brevity, is, dating is like going to a drive-thru, while a long-term relationship is like going to a Michelin Star rated restaurant. Appreciating subtlety, nuance and craftsmanship is what it takes to be in a relationship. If you just want to get full, go ahead and shout your desperation into a grainy microphone through the window of your Toyota Tercel, that’s Tindr and Grindr and Christian Mingle. If you want an experience crafted by a master who has trained on five different continents and includes ingredients you can’t even pronounce, that’s being in a relationship.