Throughout my 19 trips around the sun, the question of pet peeves has come up in countless icebreakers and get-to-know-you games. Up until recently, I have not been able to name my biggest one. Of course little things bothered me, such as people leaving my door open after leaving my room or two different songs playing at once, but it was not until I had a boyfriend that something really earned the title of My Biggest Pet Peeve.
No, no. It is not something that my boyfriend does; it is actually quite the opposite.
As a college student/young adult, every single “full-fledged” adult wants to know what is next for my future. What boring professional career am I going to go into? I am smart. Will I being going to medical school or law school? Surely I will be going into business since that’s a promising field.
My response is generally that I would like to do mission work and travel for a couple years before settling down and adulting as society expects me to. I generally include that I hope to do a study abroad in college, if I can make that happen. I might as well explore the world while I am still debt-free and before I have a house, real bills, and a family to tend to. I also have no idea what I really want to do, so traveling after college seems like an adequate goal for now.
The response I get to my plan is one that I despise and have gotten way too often.
“What does your boyfriend think?” or “How does your boyfriend feel about that?” or “What about your boyfriend?”
Excuse me….what? These people seem to be suggesting that my boyfriend may have an issue with me following my dreams, which definitely is not the case.
I generally give an uncomfortable smile and tell them how he feels. I tell them that he respects me and my decisions and wants me to do whatever makes me happy. He wants me to learn and grow in myself. He knows that he is not my husband and he knows the level of commitment and loyalty our relationship holds. I am a whole person on my own, and he respects me as his equal.
He is supportive of everything that I do. He wants me to follow my dreams.
Now, understand that my relationship is kept quite private. Of course we share pictures of fun things we do and cool places that we go together on social media, but we have made a point from the beginning to keep to ourselves. We do not broadcast every feeling and argument and moment for the world to see.
It truly does annoy me how people are more interested in how my significant other views my future than how I feel about it or my specific goals or my plans to get there.
It also has occurred to me that had the roles been reversed, and he was going to be the one traveling, people may be more interested in his traveling than how his girlfriend feels about his life choices, simply because he is a guy. That is our society.
So there you have it. My Biggest Pet Peeve is when people jump to asking how my boyfriend feels about my non-traditional plans to transition into adult life rather than asking more about the plans themselves.
Thank you for listening to my heavily salted rant.