What the All About That Bass chick reminded me about dating, relationships, and sex.
I’m just going to come right out with it: I have a slight musical obsession with Meghan Trainor. You may only know her from the All About That Bass song. I was introduced to her through a different song called “Title.” I was sitting at my desk with a random playlist going on Spotify when I heard the line, “Baby, don’t call me your friend. If I hear that word again you might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed” sang over the happiest ukelele based song I’d ever heard in my life. And there was rhythmic clapping.
Color me intrigued.
I restarted the song and played it through. Then I went and found her four song EP and listened to the whole thing. Multiple times. Here was a pop singer sampling 60’s songs, having key changes in the middle of a song, writing clever lyrics, and on top of all that, writing a song in 6/8.
Thus the obsession.
The more I listened to her, and the more I listened to Title, the more she reminded me a few things about dating, marriage, and sex.
1) Being in a relationship is not being tied down. It’s finding a partner to go on an adventure with.
In the first verse of the song, she sings, “I ain’t one of the boys. No, don’t be scared that I’m gonna tie you down.”
Somehow, and I don’t know how this happened, being in a relationship has gotten the perception of being chained to another person while confined to a 1-bedroom apartment with only a deck of cards to entertain you.
When you find the right partner, even going to pick up take out becomes an adventure. Yes, relationships are hard, but when they’re right, they’re amazing. The idea that you lose your individualism when you commit your life to another person is so incredibly stupid. A healthy committed relationship brings out the best in you while exposing the worst to make you a better person.
Unfortunately, finding the right relationship takes time, mistakes, and even heartbreak. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. You don’t run a marathon without first training for months and months. Training hurts. It’s hard. There are setbacks. In the end, all that is worth it. Don’t let the possibility of hurt keep you from the amazing adventure that marriage is.
2) Dating is dating regardless of what you call it. So why won’t you call it dating?
Title is a song all about defining the relationship. She’s saying that if the dude in question calls her his friend, she’s going to act like his friend. If he calls her his girlfriend, she’s going to act like his girlfriend.
At some point in the past ten years there was a memo sent out that said you couldn’t say you were dating someone unless you were going to marry them. You could hang out all the time, act like you were dating, and even fool around like you were married, but you couldn’t put the title on it. Somehow the title changes things and make the relationship more serious, even though everything about the relationship fits the definition of the title.
On the night I started dating my now wife, we were standing in her driveway before I headed back to school. We were both scared of distance and didn’t want to rush things. I knew I didn’t want to date anyone else and she knew she didn’t want to date anyone else. In that driveway, in the worst DTR of all time, I said, “Why don’t we call a spade a spade?” She had to ask me if I was asking her out because the question was so bad, but by the time I left her house that night, we knew where we stood.
Here’s a quick check list of if you’re dating or not:
Are you hanging out one-on-one routinely?
Do you go places together and look at yourself in the mirror more than once before leaving?
Is he paying for things?
Do you text each other first thing in the morning and last thing before bed?
Would you be upset if he/she hung out with someone else?
If you answered yes to at least three of those – you’re dating. Just call it what it is. Don’t be scared of it.
3) Titles are important. They define what you do.
The line that caught my attention was the one I quoted up in the intro: “Baby, don’t call me your friend. If I hear that word again you might never get a chance to see me naked in your bed.” Essentially, Trainor was saying if this dude ever wanted to have sex with her, he better call her his girlfriend.
She was right about the title determining whether he gets to have sex. She was just wrong about what title gets that benefit.
Somehow we live in a world where it makes sense to write a song about not letting a guy have sex with you unless he calls you his girlfriend. It used to be that we just assumed that.
I read an article a couple days ago about why it’s better to be single. In it, the author said, “It’s possible to have a good friendship and good sex together, without having a (deep/monogamous) commitment.” I would respond by saying if you can have sex with someone and feel no deep connection with them, your brain is already rewired from it’s original intention.
Sex was designed to be between one man and one woman for one life. That was the plan. Our brains are hardwired to respond to sex a certain way. When we have sex outside of marriage, our brains become rewired in ways that aren’t healthy and are different than they’re original intent.
Sex in marriage is worth the wait. If he’s not willing to call you his wife, he shouldn’t be allowed to get in your pants. If she’s not willing to wait until you’re her husband, she shouldn’t be naked in your bed.
I love Meghan Trainor’s music. It’s so nice to see a talented musician writing music that is fun, different, and clever. Unfortunately, like many artists, her message just barely misses the mark. Don’t be afraid to call a relationship what it really is. If we can become true to ourselves and start calling things what they are, we can start to see things more clearly.
And everyone knows that Clear Eyes and Full Hearts Can’t Lose.
Sorry, that was too easy.
Say your prayers and take your vitamins.
Have a nice day.