Thursday, November 28, 2013

Healthy competition

A bit ago, Questionable Content put up this comic.

Today Girls With Slingshots ran this.

Before we get into the meat of this entry, I'd like to just put a PSA out that both of these comics are totally awesome and you should check them out. I don't have any problem with either comic, I just noticed a recurring theme in these two particular strips, and it's something that's always struck me about more "traditional" relationships.

If you didn't catch it when you read the strips, the recurring premise is one person being somehow "better" in a relationship than anyone else. A character mentions is in the second panel of the QC strip: "I like you WAY more than I ever liked her." In the first panel of GWS: "You're a way better catch than Beatrice."

I asked some of my monogamous friends recently how they decide who is "worth" dating vs. who isn't. Is there like...a list of things that are specifically important in a mate and then they have to find that one other person that has exactly the same list? Is there a percentage of match up that is acceptable, or do you have to agree on 100% of the things? I joked with Now-hubby about compatibility and the Discovery Channel approach of people being on some sort of attractiveness scale from 1-10 and how, like, people who are under a 5 aren't compatible with those who are over 5. It's just not how the world works.

I've talked before about how I don't understand this ranking mindset when it comes to relationships and the people one's going to date. There's a quote from the first episode of Queer as Folk that goes, " might see him. The most beautiful man who ever lived. That is, until tomorrow night." It's like a person goes from one exclusive relationship to the next, and each one is supposedly "better" than the last. Unless the person's doing that thing where they're in a "worse" relationship that's supposed to make them realize how much "better" they had it in their previous relationship. That's another relationship trope I wish I could strangle.

Does one ever max out on the "good" relationship scale? It seems like there would be an incredible level of uncertainty on whether or not you were doing the absolute best you could. Every relationship becomes a competition on whether you're the winner or not.

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