When I came across the prompt of the week at Friday Reflections Page — Do relationships need labels? — my brain went straight to a widespread rumor that was spread in one of my offices about my relationship status with my friend, who was also my teammate in that project. If you know me, then you would know that I do not have filters neither in my behavior nor my conversations. I say and act whatever comes naturally to me. Anyway, long story short, everyone in that office decided that I and my friend were dating. Since my appearance does not reflect my marital status, they were all pretty firm in that opinion; however, the moment they got to know that I am married, half of them were perplexed while the other half decided to do what comes to them naturally — they became quite judgemental, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, unless you confront me, I would never try and correct your flawless opinion. I am a 21st-century lady, and I would decide where I need to draw a line based on my own rational thinking. I would not change myself because a few people are too confined in their opinions and are behaving like a frog in the well. I have nothing against them. I pity them and their shallow thoughts.
While thoughts may not bruise me, they make me wonder our need for tags. We see a girl and a boy walking together, we have to decide whether they are siblings or in a relationship. And based on the label, we would decide whether they should be walking this close or should maintain an appropriate distance between them. Are we concerned or just filling our free hours with unnecessary intrusion, I pray ask? Labels are everywhere. The moment we decide to engage in a conversation with someone, we must put them in a box with a clear label in our head: friend, foe, acquaintance, blacklisted, etc. Not only do we need to decide for ourselves, but we must declare it in a plain language for everyone to know. Not only our relatives but even the relatives of their relatives must be aware of the label of the person we are laughing and walking with.
If I am clubbing with a boy too frequently, I am either having an affair with him or thinking of having an affair with him. Can there be any other reason for me to be hanging out with a boy so much all the time when I have a husband? Of course, not! (In case you didn’t notice, I was being sarcastic while answering the last two-three sentences.) Actually, there could be a simple case of different choices of a husband and a wife or two people in a committed relationship, for that matter. If I am an outgoing person and my boyfriend or husband relaxes in a cozy environment of the house, isn’t it better to go out with a friend rather than nag your poor partner to be miserable by accompanying you to a place where he is no way going to be comfortable? The delusional people would say then you need to come up with a compromise. What if me hanging out with my trusted friend is the solution that we came up with to keep our relationship healthy and moving? But, of course, people would find it easier to label you with a cheater and have their few minutes or hours or days (I hope it’s not going to be months or years because in that case these people desperately need a life) of fun gossip.
Labeling is one thing and then demeaning or judging people based on that is another thing. If labeling someone makes you feel comfortable, go ahead do that, but do not start looking at them differently based on that tag. I have been a lip color enthusiast for as far back as I can remember. I think I started applying lip color when I was in college. I like how bright my face looks with a lipstick on. Trust me, I have no intention of attracting anyone by applying it. I love it and so I use it. However, many students of the college assumed it was for the former reason, and they thought it appropriate to label with whatever they thought fit. I didn’t care and I didn’t stop doing what I loved 😉 Who cares? In fact, while we are on the subject, I remember even after joining office, there were a few of my “colleagues” who were finding it difficult to digest the sight of my bright lip colors. The funny thing is the moment I got married, it became okay to be all painted with as many bright colors as I craved. In fact, I think I remember someone asking me once whether I was married and when I nodded, she replied, “Oh, that’s why you apply dark lip colors.” I must have given her a witty reply, but, sadly, I do not remember my response. I wish I did.
As far as labels go, I believe very little in their value or need. I think the world would be a better place if we stopped putting our noses in other people’s business; we seem to do it very well when someone is being beaten up, molested, or shot in the middle of the street. Why don’t we try to live the one life that we have been blessed with? Why are we wasting away our precious moments in judging others?
I have come up with a philosophy of mine. Actually, it is not entirely mine; it’s made up of several concepts that I read (or heard) here and there. So, if you remember the sources, please mention as I have forgotten. I believe there are many souls and our creator keeps a few souls in set A, others in set B, others in C, and so on. The souls of set A are called soulmates. The soulmate is also a label but it sounds less judgmental and more alluring. These soulmates are meant to meet one another at one point or another at their lives. There are no other labels. They are kept together because they would guide, test, encourage, care for, and love one another. Our creator did not decide any other label. He only wanted soulmates to help improve one another and be a better version of what they were before being born. Of course, after being born, external factors and entities affect their thought process. They forget the simple purpose of meeting their soulmates and guiding them. Their brain has been choked with the allowed and prohibited labels. It tries to remember its purpose and falls into the pit of despair because nothing is making sense.
I do not know how right or wrong my hypothesis is. I only know that I believe there is more to life than labels: humanity. As humans, let’s just try to make each other’s journey tolerable — and if possible, delightful. After all, we are all in this together.
To me, if you ever brought a smile to my face, helped me, made my life better by just being there, you are my soulmate. I do not need any other label to describe my love for you or your value in my life.
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This resonates with me so much, Ankita. I’ve reached a stage where I too care a damn about what people think. ♥