At least, not in a direct, “Are you seeing anyone? How is your relationship going?” kind of sense.
Mostly because I think it’s kind of rude. I’ll ask after people (crushes, boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever) I already know to exist, out of human interest rather than a request for the status of their relationship. But I figure that if people have started seeing someone, broken up, or are wrapped in the grips of infatuation, they will tell me of their own free will, without my having to poke around.
It’s not that I don’t care, on an individual, one to one, level. I just don’t want to be that annoying married chick who’s always asking, “So, are you seeing someone at the moment?”
And I’ve spent enough of my life single to know that while there are usually endless stories in that arena (humorous, triumphant, tragic), there can also be years when the answer to that dull question doesn’t change at all. I’ve also spent enough time in a relationship to know that when things are going well, there is no drama to dissect.
That didn’t used to be the case, though. I used to ask people about their love lives incessantly. Maybe not if they were seeing anyone, but once they volunteered that they were, how they met, how they got together, and what exactly s/he might have meant by that mysterious text message s/he sent on Wednesday. Not just my friends, but people I had just met. And I would tell them my own stories in return, hoping that if I shared them with enough people someone might shed light on the confusing mess that was my life at any particular moment.
I asked because the whole thing was such a mystery to me. I wanted to figure out how it worked.
Now I ask people about the cool projects they’re working on, like a good feminist. Or babies. Specifically: “Is it possible to have a baby and also have an interesting non-baby life? Like, at the same time?”
The anxiety-inducing women’s press tells me that it’s not. And they might be right. Although I guess they were wrong on the whole He’s Just Not That Into You thing. It’s hard to tell.
Anyway, there is a point to his story (ahem), and it’s that the stories we (or I, at least) tell and the questions we ask aren’t just a matter of perfunctory politeness, or even an interest in other people. They are a reflection of the shit that we want to work out. So as much as I don’t ask people about their love lives because I don’t want to make assumptions about either what their priorities are or what they should be, it’s also because romantic relationships – or finding them, at least – aren’t a big, all-consuming question in my life anymore.
Or maybe it’s just that my questions about relationships are different now. More on that at a later date.
Related: Occupy Valentines Day: in praise of being single
Wanting to be with someone you LIKE means you’ll be alone FOREVER
The Musings of an Inappropriate Woman Guide to Feminist Wedding Planning: Part 5: The Opposite of War Isn’t Peace, It’s Creation.