This past weekend I was in Oakland speaking on a panel discussion about love and relationships called Battle Of The Sexes. The main topic of discussion was how money influenced the way men and women date in our modern society, and because the audience was so diverse in age, the comments from the audience were extremely interesting. Now I’ve done MANY panel events since I began writing, and the one thing I’ve always found VERY interesting is how single people speak to the crowd when they get their turn on the mic, versus how married people talk. The truth is, as ignorant as some single people can come off, there’s NOTHING worse than the condescending comments of married folk who believe EVERYONE NEEDS to follow THEIR advice, simply because they are MARRIED.
During the event, the host asked the audience and us on the panel “do you think it’s possible for men to be happy while dating a woman who makes more money than him?” There were multiple answers from both genders, but after awhile an older, married woman took the mic and began to prattle off ALL the reasons why both sexes are DOOMED in today’s dating world, and how we don’t “know our roles”, essentially claiming that men and women today have RUINED the “great” concept of traditional gender roles. And to be honest, the entire time she was ranting, all I could think was “since when did getting married make you an EXPERT on the dating lives of everyone else?”
As she continued her endless rant, I then thought to myself “this is EXACTLY why I HATE talking to most married people about relationships”.
Honestly, I KNOW there are some cool married people out there who can dispense some meaningful ideals on relationships, but there’s FAR too many married folks who believe their marriage license actually doubles as a doctorate in clinical psychology. Look, if I come to your house to play a game of dominoes and watch the Heat game while I crack jokes about Bron’s hairline, the LAST thing I need to hear from my married friends is a dissertation on why my last relationship ended, followed by their insistence that I MUST listen to them because they’re not “single and frowsy” like me.
Here’s the reality of the situation: Being married doesn’t make you an expert on anything other than YOUR specific marriage. And that brings me to my NEXT point: You can miss me with your ADVICE, because I would prefer to hear your INSIGHT (some people believe these words are interchangeable, but they truly are not). See, ADVICE is telling me “your ass needs to do THIS, in order to get THAT”, while insight is merely “this is what I did to get THAT”. The latter recognizes that finding true love isn’t a “one size fits all” journey, and what worked for one person/one couple, could go terribly wrong for another person/couple. And that’s the crux of this entire issue – it’s PROBLEMATIC when anyone believes they definitely KNOW what’s best for you – especially without even ASKING you.
To all the married folks out there, most of us single people DO like hearing about the triumphs and tribulations that came after your nuptials, but PLEASE pump your brakes on talking DOWN to us – especially when your own marriage still needs a lot of work.
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