This is the message I'm greeted by when I log into Facebook. Thank you Facebook, thank you very much. It's good that you know what you're doing. And you're actually right. I'd like to claim that I'm 87 % happy being single, but I don't think that's what Facebook are after. They just want me to make up my mind: "single" or "in a relationship". But you also got the choice of ticking "it's complicated" ...
The Relationship Norm
Most of the singles I stayed with during the Swenglish project really wanted to meet someone. People often take it for granted; when you're single you do want to meet someone. As if the normal status would be to be in a relationship. My normal status is single. I've had three more or less good relationships and I'm open for meeting someone again, but it's not one of my priorities or something that I'm looking for. If it happens it happens. One of the project participants, who lived with her parter, but sometimes had an open relationship, said something I found interesting:
”I'm critical to the relationship norm and what it does with peoples' lives, the way people adjust, the way your relationship becomes more important than anything else. Many couples who live together disappear into the distance and have stopped being close friends. I wish that people would question the ideals a bit more, instead of making those claims and giving up your independence./.../I think it depends, different relationships suit different people/.../each person needs to find out what's true for oneself."
Two of the twelve couples I stayed with had separate bedrooms. One couple in England and one couple in Sweden. Partly to avoid going on each other's nerves and partly because they had different working hours and didn't want to disturb each other. Me and my ex in England had the same arrangement and had to take a lot of abuse because of it, so I wrote a poem about it a few years ago. Click here to read Same roof - different ceiling.
This study is by no means scientific, the answers are based on interviewing 15 people in England and 15 people in Sweden, aged 22-59. Look out for the next question: What's your attitude towards marriage?