Letter to the editor

Traditional relationships not for everyone

In Natalie Glover’s column in Tuesday’s Kernel, she argues that college students need to enter relationships with an emphasis on commitment. She encouraged readers to evaluate their relationships, arguing that those who do not intend to marry are wasting their time with “distractions.” By doing so she reinforces a traditional standard for intimate relationships that is overwhelmingly unrealistic for many people.

The assertion that marriage is the path to happiness for everyone is a blind submission to tradition. While committed relationships can be fulfilling, one should not assume that less traditional, non-heteronormative and non-monogamous relationships aren’t.

Ms. Glover’s arguments based on gender stereotypes and unrelated research on animal conditioning fall short of providing substantial evidence for why normative relationships are the ideal for all. If anything, her anecdotal evidence and reference to divorce rates prove the old “forever-and-ever story” doesn’t work for everyone.

Instead of seeing short-term and non-normative relationships as failures, why not celebrate the diverse ways people connect and engage with each other? Intimate relationships do not have to be built around possibly unrealistic philosophy of “forever and ever” to be happy, fun, exciting and fulfilling. Love and happiness isn’t one-size-fits-all. What defines love and ideal relationships differs from person to person, as does the ideal intimate relationship.

Accepting this will provide people with a variety of opportunities for happiness. One way to express this acceptance is to stop holding ourselves and others up against the normative standards of love expressed by Ms. Glover. We should celebrate love, happiness and togetherness no matter how untraditional or short-lived they may be.

Rhiannon Goad

Gender and women’s studies senior