Travis Hensley" />
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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Life + Arts

COUGAR SUTRA: Mature couples need space

Spending all your time with someone can present a problem. A Siamese-twin relationship happens when two individuals start dating and somehow during the relationship become attached at the hip. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend every second of the day with someone. The problem comes when this want becomes an actuality.’

I have never had anyone attached to my hip – not even in high school, when being in a relationship entails super gluing a person to your hip.’ And in high school, my world revolved only around people who were my age and my parents.’

So, when I turned 18 and got a job waiting tables at a restaurant, I thought that all the problems that existed in relationships were because they existed in the parameters of high school.’ I could not be more wrong.

In high school, people were still living at home and would have forced separation when they had to spend time with their parents.’ There was also the ‘going to class’ bit. No matter how hard or how much time you spent planning your schedule with your significant other, there would always be a few classes that you had to spend apart, leaving your only hope for hand-holding in the halls.

This all led to an idealist vision of what I thought dating in my early 20s would be like. Of course, that idealism would be quickly destroyed. Before I started my job, I was trained by two people who lived together, worked the same schedule and hung out with the same people after work. This was so strange. How could – what should be – an adult relationship, seem so codependent?

The worse part about it was that this was not an isolated incident. I worked with several couples.’ Being surrounded by couples who are tethered together is exhausting work for their individual friends. The couples are always either fighting or cuddling up to each other. The worst part about that is that you can’t escape their couple-ness at work.’

In my case, while working in a restaurant, there was the added problem of weird hours that you have to deal with. That makes it harder to create a real relationship because it is hard to find a person with a schedule that resembles yours, except for that of your co-workers.

So at the end of the summer when it came time for me to leave for college, I was excited and had hope once again in seeing an adult relationship.’

Colleges seem to be the breeding ground for all things adult. College has all of the different forms of Siamese-twin relationships that I had seen, but also one I did not know existed.’

I would like to call him phone-attached-to-his-face guy. By all appearances, this guy seems to be dating his phone. He spends all of his day either text messaging or waiting for a phone call. And at night he tells his phone all about his day.’

It is one thing to be attached at the hip with someone who you have to see on regular basis, but if you’re in two different states, you should try to be a little bit more independent.’

The long-distance attachment should be the clearest example of where these relationships are headed. When phone guy gets into a fight and the person on the other end hangs up, you see the desperation that is involved with these relationships, as he quickly redials trying to save the attachment.

‘ No relationship can endure heavy codependency. If there is any hope for the relationship, it is that it evolves into something that can handle the independence of two people.’

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