As promised and also requested by popular demand I would like to share some observations I made throughout the years, through observing some couples and also at times being part of a couple myself (not too much, of course, since one would not want to lose sense of identity).
So it has lately more acutely occurred to me that being a couple is not just a check box but rather a state of mind. In my glorious MBA management 101 course, we learnt the concept of groupthink. This refers normally to situations when decisions in a group are determined by the group dynamics and not necessarily by individual or standalone opinions of the members. Similarly, we have the couplethink. Couples seem to be everywhere around me later, so I see what couplethink causes.
Couple members become insecure about the silliest thing when left on their own. Every decision then needs to be vetted by the other party – for example, “should he buy white or gray socks?” or “should she get the 2% milk or the 1% only?”.
Every potential trip becomes a grand fiasco. Both need to coordinate vacations at work, agree on a place to go, and then spend a crazy amount of money because everything is doubled. I have observed some serious fights over such decision. At the end some choose then to avoid taking vacations altogether. Some always choose to go to the same place. Others choose the all-inclusive eat till we die option (at least if we are paying, we have to maximize).
Another thing that happens is that couple members lose their own identity. They generally move to the state of plural. Emily cannot just be Emily anymore. She becomes “Emily and John” or in best case a possession through the case of “John’s Emily”. This also causes problems in friendships. As couples of course prefer to hang out with other couples, choosing one’s friends becomes a complicated package deal. One cannot just befriend John standalone. He comes along with Emily who needs to get along with one’s spouse. But what if Emily is a raving bitch? John then needs to be either segregated somehow or crossed out. Normally the out case is chosen.
The best couple thing I found out about lately is what happens when a couple gets along too well with their other couple friends. Over a coffee, a married friend of mine was complaining about one of her girlfriends, Y , from the couple of X and Y. She was saying that Y was really annoying and always wanted to hang out. But my friend does not want to hang out with X and Y anymore. Why? Because X, seemed to liked hanging out with my friend and her X too much. So much that he has several times mentioned the idea of swapping (jokingly, according to him, but we know what every joke holds within…)!!
Well, these were just some observations. Entire day being locked in the house fearing to face the 40C (105F) degrees outside has not entirely contributed to my creativity and reflection abilities. I will have to do better next time. I did compensate in the evening by engaging in the national sport of Texas visits – shopping! I got two more dressed to be added to my infinite collection (still about 14,950 missing to catch up with empress Elizabeth of Russia).