Bob & Lewis transition from the “marriage” label to pondering what “significant other” means & its role in a current relationship situation.
The fellow that just walked out, I met him and his significant other and they had been together for a long time and they didn’t get married. I almost feel like that’s more of a commitment than actually getting married and being together for that long.
I actually like the phrase “significant other” even though it was invented way, way into my life, and I tend to be hesitant about new language like that. I really like that because, when I think about people who I knew were married where there partner was not their significant other. Usually it was the man who simply didn’t treat his partner as if she was that significant.
And it’s gonna change, because now as we become more and more comfortable with same sex couples. The question is going to come up when guys or women live together and are asked, “Oh, are you guys married?” That’ll happen and eventually people are going to see that as very much part of the natural landscape.
Initially that didn’t strike me as odd, but even if you are straight and you’re living with another guy – “Are you guys together?”
Well I did in college, but it was different in college. If you live with a guy in college, everybody assumes — well, they assume what they assume. If you are like my friends who ran the library for the first fifteen years they were here, they were, for their time, pretty open about their relationship. I guess everybody in town did know, but people who didn’t know them always assumed they were a couple of middle-aged guys living together. Indeed they were, but they wouldn’t have had to have been. Everywhere you can think of, the landscape about love is changing.
The definition of family is an issue, especially in urban planning. When you talk about lending for houses, it depends on your definition of family.
Is that part of your profession?
That’s more of a federal issue, but it’s related to housing.
Okay. I’m not going to ask any questions about it – you go ahead with your questions.
We were on to something kind of good, but here’s something that’s more personal and recently came up for me. I have a female friend. We dated for a while, and then we were just friends afterwards, but I really started to like her a lot more.
You’re attracted to her.
She became this kind of surrogate girlfriend.
I’ve been through that.
It’s kind of weird, because it made me think about another girl who was kind of like a surrogate girlfriend, and then I ended up dating someone else and that relationship…
Yeah. Then, she said, “What’s up? Why aren’t we friends anymore?” It’s difficult. Now I’m on the other side of it, because I talked to her yesterday.
Now, this is the woman that you feel attracted to?
Yes. I think she’s dating someone, which is good, but its a little heartbreaking. I don’t know what to say about it, but I’m talking to her tonight on the phone, because she cut our last conversation short. She said, “I gotta go meet up with, uh … a friend.” I texted her, “You can tell me if you’re dating someone or if you’re going on a date.”
What did she say to that?
She just laughed and she said, “I know.”
So she didn’t really answer the question. She may or may not be seeing someone.
She said it was complicated, so who knows.
I’m glad that my coworker brought up the question. She had gotten dumped recently and brought up the idea of, “Is there at least someone you’re working towards, the focus of your affection?” I thought about that and said, “Yeah, there is.” If you’re single, it’s nice to have someone you’re focused on.
No kidding. I agree. I almost always have that, even if it was working well or not working at all. Even now – I mean, I’m getting old – I still feel better if I have somebody I can see regularly. That is a tough one.
Do you have several women friends? Is there also a good group of women that you are friends with, and that’s it?
I used to in Minneapolis, but I’ve live here for a year and a half. I have female friends, but they all have boyfriends. It’s a little disheartening. I think there are other options available. It just really struck me hard.