By Nicolle

When I tell people I blog about relationships, they respond in one of two ways:

  1. They focus on the word “blog” and assume I’m a self-centered exhibitionist who employs texting language (OMG, LOL, both of which I recently tweeted that I abhore) and excessive punctuation (!?!!!!!) to complain to an audience of four (my parents, sister and brother).
  2. They focus on the word “relationship” and assume I bolster an online presence with small-minded advice, inane “How to Know Your Boyfriend Better” multiple-choice quizzes and sex tips to an audience of Seventeen Magazine-lovers.

Neither of those are true, which you know if you’ve read my writing with regularity (though I have recently become a sounding board for friends’ relationship woes – ex-boyfriends and their new girlfriends included).

What is true about the purpose of this blog is that it’s born out of fear, curiosity and a sense of responsibility.

Fear of marriage, which you learned about last week.

Curiosity about my generation’s different take on relationships.

A sense of responsibility to change, inform and reform the state of our long-term relationships.

All that said, what I most want out of the few hours it takes me to weekly write down my thoughts is for us to be more willing to engage in open discussion about our relationships. I want us to stop listening to culture, to our families, to our friends and to the media for our ideas about relationships. I want us to individually take the terrifying and tiring step to start examining why we act the way we do in relationships.

We have a responsibility to ourselves to stop relying on our innate (and often incorrect) assumptions about lifelong commitments, fairytale endings and expensive weddings. We are accountable for whether our relationships succeed or fail and we have to start acknowledging that we’re not going to end up in the “success” category without some self-sacrifice and a lot of self-examination.

While this post quickly turned into a soapbox, its intention was just to get us thinking. What do we want, how badly do we want it and are we willing to transform ourselves to get it? And, if you ask me, you won’t find those kinds of questions in a beauty magazine advice column.