Judging Couples

Yesterday evening I was at a concert, waiting to meet a friend whose ticket I had on me. As I waited for her to arrive, I sat on a rock outside the venue’s gates and was kept busy as I people-watched to my hearts delight. Hundreds of people were constantly pouring into the venue over the course of the half-hour I waited. I saw some cute concert outfits, some fashion faux pas, and also couple after couple, hand holding/walking side-by-side as they made their way in through the gates.

It was the couples that managed to catch my eye the most. I always fall prey to checking out couples, and seeing whether they match in physical attractiveness, in style and in look. Sometimes I see complete opposites and am shocked at the anti-Brangelina duo, yet other times I smile that these two people found each other. I am a mix of a hopeless romantic and a critical twentysomething like the rest of us. When I confessed this to my friend when she arrived, she joined me in the confessional admitting that she too does the same; and we rate the couples silently thinking ‘He’s with her?!’ or ‘She’s with him?!’.

So as I sat and observed these assumed couples going in (just as I must admit I do at restaurants, bars and walking down the street) I couldn’t help but wonder, what people think when I’m with another guy? We tend to automatically assume when a guy and girl are together, that they are an item, when I’m sure that often they are not.

Let’s take my brother for example (the image below is of him and I, his wife in the background):

We are close in age and we sometimes meet after work for drinks or a nice dinner. What makes him my brother and not my boyfriend in the eye of the person judging our couple hood? We so easily fall prey to assuming people are an item. Have you hung out with guy friends or a male family member and been asked how long you’ve been together or whether you’re an item?

I recently ran into a guy who was once interested in me at a bar, where I was at celebrating a friends birthday. Crush boy offered to buy me a drink. I politely declined and got my own drink. He then asked me why I showed up so late to my boyfriends 30th birthday. I nearly choked on my vodka-soda. And asked if he was referring to my friend whose birthday I was celebrating. “Yeah – haven’t you guys been going out since last summer?” he asked, confused by his own certainty. I couldn’t even imagine why he’d think that – this friend is like a brother to me, in fact I’ve grown up with him my whole life. Crush boy continued “But you have pictures with him on Facebook and you write on each others walls; I guess I just assumed.” I then pointed to my friend, dancing lovingly with his girl.

Which brings me to the next point: Facebook profile pictures. A male friend of mine keeps coming to me with his girl issues (which I love by the way.) He tells me his approach at messaging girls, yet says he never gets a positive response, if any. Which is too bad, because he’s a great guy. But then, I realized his downfall. His Facebook profile picture is of him and his another girl in couple-looking-bliss, when in fact, she isn’t his girlfriend. He gives the impression of a guy who isn’t fully happy at home, because us women are so quick to assume when people are couples. He is in fact happy and settled, he’s just looking for a woman to join him in that happiness. So what can us girls take from the anecdote? If you’re looking for love, start by looking at your Facebook profile picture. Perhaps you’re sending out the wrong message, especially when a male who isn’t your boyfriend/fiancee/hubby is by your side in that pic.

– Jenny Jen


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