why should it be different?

Miss Dana and I were sort of discussing (and I say sort of, because I was mostly blabbering) about the difference between having a same sex partner, and being married to someone of the same sex. Is it any different? Dana and I have become very attached (she will wink and say, "not at the hip, can you guess where?") and I think of her as my partner, but not as a marital spouse. I like the idea that she and I are able to come together as a unit, that we share most things in life, that we plan together for the future. But there's no pressure. If the brilliance of this relatively new relationship fades and neither of us is into it anymore, there's little to stop us from pursuiing something new. Just put your stuff in a box and you're out!

Ok so maybe it's not that easy for everyone but in theory. Ya know.

So I would be ok with saying she's my partner, at my next job, provided things are going well between us, I would like to have us both on my health insurance. But neither of us is ready for marriage. What's the difference here?

Is it just that one is a little more permanent, a little hard to get out of? Is it that there's a difference between what "marriage" is and what "partnership" is? I don't get it. I always thought of it as the same damn thing, but it doesn't feel like it, now that I'm in the middle of a partnership.

At work, just to get someone on as your "domestic partner" you just have to sign a paper that says you share the same domicile, you're both responsible for the bills and that you're in an "indefinite" relationship based on mutual love and care. Is that so hard? Lots of unmarried people do that! (By the way, my company will take this form for same- or different-sex couples.) Anyone in such a relationship would sign that document. But would they get married? Not necessarily.

So I have a partner of mutual love and care, we share a domicile, we are generally both responsible for what goes on with the money, we share decisions, and it's "indefinite" (which only means that it goes on until it ends, the end is not yet in sight but could be at any time right?). But I don't want to marry her.

Hmm. Food for thought.

By the way:

1. If I was being really honest, I would tell my boss that if he has to scold me for being one minute late when I am consistently over 97% in compliance, he's got bigger problems on his hands than that.

2. If I was being really honest with myself, I would admit that I'm a fleeting, fluttering soul who can't do the same thing for very much longer or else she might lose it. Whatever "it" is.


Zombie Cat said...

I miss thee.

Anonymous said...

i so agree! jake used to joke about us being married (because we were long-term, living together and all that stuff married people do). i never thought it was funny - that "forever" thing freaks me. and, as hard as that breakup was anyhow, i think it's quite likely we'd still be in that relationship that we couldn't get to work anymore if we'd been married - 'cause i, at least, do take that "forever" thing seriously (if i were to ever say such a silly thing).

anywho...i really like the point you make about "indefinite." that is a very comfortable way to describe a relationship, to me.


Anonymous said...

I hate when people "get married" everytime they are in a relationship. I mean, they aren't really getting married, for one. And for two-- what the fuck? Do you know that a lot of people who do that have "been married" like 5 times.. that is not average. That is not even okay in my book. Marriage is a stupid word that I don't agree with at all. I especially wouldn't believe it if someone were to "marry" me without it being official. I probably will never "offically" get married because "we don't need a piece of paper from the city hall keeping us strong and true" -- Joni Mitchell

Leo MacCool said...

i should probably just write my own post on this... yeah, marriage is really different. that goes for marriage-as-commitment-level and for marriage-as-legal-thing. both things changed my sense of who i am in the relationship, what my obligations are, what this crazy thing we have between us is. some of those changes were good, some not so good, a lot we're still figuring out honestly. i think there's a primal extension of family involved too: marriage means she's your next of kin, full stop. and then there's the whole crazy change-of-status thing, what marriage means in terms of your standing in the eyes of your family, your society, the state (the legal one is obviously big here)--it's a big old bag of chips, for lack of a better metaphor! much more so than i had imagined before taking the plunge(s). just in case you can't tell.. i'm definitely ambivalent about marriage. but indefinite love & commitment? that sounds just fine.