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Old 04-26-2013, 12:57 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 1,434

It's always difficult to come up with instances of your own privilege, as you mostly notice when you're treated badly, not when you are not, and I've been in a relationship or another for something like 10 years now. But here are a few I can think of:

- I can mention my relationship status and to this date nobody has implied that because of that relationship status, I must be unhappy, or that this status is caused by being a bad person.

- When people have met me recently and they invite me to something, what they add ("and your boyfriend/husband") actually matches my reality, so I do not have to correct them, nor do I feel like I'm somehow not good enough or different.

- People do not constantly try to introduce me to people I have never met and try to get me to date them, despite my lack of interest and my telling them I'm not interested.

- When I walk with my boyfriend, I do not get harassed, flirted with and then insulted due to refusing advances from complete strangers.

- I can adopt in many countries where I could not, were I single. I had already had a child, it would not be assumed that I am a lesser or worthless parent due to my relationship status.

- I can get tax benefits in many countries where I could not, were I single (requires a certain of time living together, and in the case of some countries, marriage).

- I can get medical benefits (varies based on country, usually requires marriage).

- I can get trust and opportunities based on being introduced as my partner's girlfriend. I can get invited to events based on being his girlfriend as he gets a +1. both of us can be invited to anything that someone organises for couples.

- I have someone to turn to when things go wrong.

- I have someone I can have sex with if I'm horny, without having to worry about danger as I already know and trust him.

- If I turn on a TV, read a book or even listen to a song, my relationship model (being in a relationship) is the most common model, I can be certain to see it everywhere. Furthermore, I do not see my current relationship status being portrayed as a phase to go past as soon as possible, or a terrible result of things going wrong.

- I have access to a fair number of deals on a variety of things that have a reduced price for couples (or sometimes for any number of people larger than just one).

- I can go to the restaurant with my boyfriend and not be stared at as the weird/poor/sad woman eating alone, even though when I did it as a single I always enjoyed myself. Instead, people who come up to me will be telling me I look happy, cute with my partner, or that I'm lucky. They will not tell me how terrible or sorry they feel for me. Same thing with going to the movies.

- If I have a bad day and get frustrated or angry, I won't have to hear people comment that it's because I'm single, or that it's the reason I'm single.

These are a few I can think of. I know there are many more, but as I said, it's hard to think when most of these are the way you would assume and want everyone to be treated.
Some of these privileges disappear when you're in a relationship with someone of your gender. Some of them disappear when you're in a relationship with more than one person (which can lead couples to try and hide additional partners in order to keep their privileges). All of them are things I have personally experienced/had to deal with or witnessed someone experience/have to deal with.

I don't feel guilty for any of these things, nor should I. But that certainly doesn't mean they don't exist. And it doesn't mean that now that I don't have to live with them all the time, everywhere, they're not a big deal anymore. It can still be hard to live with when everything around you constantly tells you that being single means specific things about yourself, that it's not "right", that it's something you should change, that you're sad or pathetic or less worthy, and so on.
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