A relationship should be between two people, but with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter it can go beyond the couple and branch into other people. But from there it can branch further and hitting other avenues like blogs, Tumbler, and other things. It can go beyond the couple and onto family and friends, or perhaps spread onto strangers. As each branch occurs more contact is happening, it becomes a game of telephone much like we played as a child and details begin to twist, and often enough soon comments are made that an individual has no idea about because of the impression they received beyond first hand experiences.
It would shock a few to realize that I am a tad shy of completing my sociology degree. That a year plus ago I was in the throws of having 15 minutes to run in between classes, a messenger bag full of books, and a few part time jobs to make ends meet. That for several years in the realm of sociology I studied humanistic behavior specializing in what society deems as deviant behavior.
Of course after a while you begin to question why one particular thing is considered deviant, who is in the society that dictates what is or is not deviant, and why do we live in a society with social norms when so many of it's individuals like to "step outside the lines' so to speak.
If you were to pull out the papers I have written for classes you would see a theme pattern, sexual deviance. But not just sexual deviance as nearly every sexual act can be deemed deviant depending upon who is
Yet here I am as an individual writing about relationships. Not relationships between any specific persons, so not defining labels between female-male, male-male, or female-female, just plain relationships. Let's just pretend for a moment we live in a society with no gender roles so we can approach the subject matter.
After reading a few things on Twitter, Facebook, and some blogs I was inspired to research a bit more on the subject matter. I saw mainly woman judging other women on relationships they saw. Not just to the women they were judging but to other women. And then to see a group of women gather together and judge at a whole. Upon further examination if one was to research further the women judging were completely wrong because of misconstrued facts.
A group of people of various age ranges, gender sexuality, etc were polled using Survey Monkey and Facebook. Using Survey Monkey I was limited to 10 questions using their free account. Opening the survey to 68 individuals allowed for a more unique range than in a college setting of traditional and nontraditional students. In this group there were people who were serving or had served in the Armed Forces, people who were/are in a relationship with someone in the military, and who by my own hypothesis were thought to participate in the survey. Of course it is assumed that by clicking the link provided in the event detail they were agreeing to participate and they were given the ability to skip questions if they did not feel comfortable answering. Proper sociological research technique was not used because this was not something I would write about in hopes of getting published. This was just for my own use.
Of the 68 people who were invited 26 decided to participate with 1 not fully completing the survey.
Eight questions were asked:
1. When it comes to someone else's relationship do you think it matters how long
they have been with that person to decide if they love each other or if
their relationship is real? If you think there is an appropriate time period
please list that (so if someone should be dating for 3 months or 3 weeks, etc)
2. Are you someone who has judged someone by their relationship for how long they
have been with a person?
3. Do you know of anyone who judges someone by how long they have been
in a relationship?
4. Have you ever called someone a 'tag chaser'?
5. Have you been called a 'tag chaser'?
If yes did it offend you and/or hurt your feelings
6. Have you dated multiple people that have been in the military?
i.e. you once dated someone in the Army and years later dated someone in the Navy
7. If someone were talking about a friend of yours relationship, would you defend the
friend or remain silent? (say these people do not know you are their friend)
8. Are you in the military?
The first page was a welcome: "Hello :) This is a survey about a few questions regarding relationships. I would appreciate honest and open answers. Please not your names will not be used. I am creating a blog about relationships."
And before the two 'tag chaser' questions: Tag chaser: a term that defines someone that
The questions along with responses:
|*3 people skipped this question*|
|If yes did it offend you and/or hurt your feelings|
3 responses, 1 of which had marked no
1. "it really bothered me because I have only been with my husband, and yes he is military
but I knew him before hand"
2. You're attracted to who you're attracted to, military shouldn't pay a part. Although
once you've been in a military relationship it's easier to begin another one because
you're used to it. It becomes a lifestyle. *this person had marked no*
3. yes it did
|*1 person skipped this question*|
|*1 person skipped this question*|
I was pleased to see the different responses for question 1. And that the general response of those polled were that it didn't matter to them how long a person had been with someone. As I pull out one of my textbooks making one of my sociology professors proud that I kept, Gender Roles: A Sociological Perspective by Linda L. Lindsey, I will quote a few things. "Americans are so accustomed to viewing love and marriage as inseparable..." and it was only in "the Puritan era in the United States ushered in the revolutionary idea that love and marriage should be tied together". I found those two thoughts important when thinking about this topic.
In the majority of military relationships (or any relationship for that matter) there are certain love myths around. A few from the book are love conquers all, love is blind, love at first sight, and one and only love forever. I'll give a few quotes found around the internet that people in military relationships tend to use (for the majority).
"When you feel alone, just look at the spaces between your fingers,
remembering that in those spaces you see my fingers locked with yours forever"
"Sometimes you just have to be with the one who makes you smile,
even if it means waiting."
"The thought of being with you tomorrow gives me the strength to go on today"
From what I have noticed women in military relationships are more likely to gather in groups in support of one thing, that the person they love is in the military. These groups can range in different things but they all look and hope for one thing: support. More often enough quotes and sayings are found to help through a deployment or long period apart. A military relationship can also fall into the category of long distance relationship so in ways they can go hand in hand. But if you were to sit down a handful of people in a military relationship (made of mostly women) there would be the majority in that group that think there is a difference between their military relationship and a "civilian relationship" (defined as neither of the couples is in the military). But there are the same problems in a civilian relationship as there are in a military one.
From what I can tell from previous research in the area of stepping outside a relationship, or cheating, it is more likely to happy when a person is distant from the relationship, or lacking something. When you have a long distance relationship there is a strain already present in the relationship. Add in that one of a person in the couple relationship is in the military in deployments cheating can happen. From the different talks to individuals who have gone on deployments and have admitted to cheating wants me to research this further but without being enrolled in school currently I am limited at what I can do. But what if research indicates that more than half of the military population have cheated. This group of individuals marks a sustainable amount of society so would the correlation equate to around 30% or higher.
Was it comforting to see an almost equal portion judged a person by their relationship? I would assume the statistical average I saw is similar in a larger group because of how easily it is to judge a person. People in a society have the habit of doing this every day. For instance you could see a homeless person in the streets begging for money and assume he is poor, but after his 'work' day is done he could walk over and step inside a BMW. Perception is everything. When an individual in a society portrays themselves as one way it is easy to judge. But then with the third question being if they knew of anyone who judged was more alarming than the second question. Hands down people knew others who judged. This is what started this whole blog in the first place. Me seeing others judge and cast judgment.
I purposefully defined 'tag chaser' because I am aware that people misuse the word. It is mostly used as a derogatory term like calling someone a bad name, and meant to attack and hurt their feelings. I especially liked the comment "...although once you've been in a military relationship. It's EASIER to begin another one because you're used to it. It becomes a lifestyle almost..." In my own personal experience I found that partially true. Shortly after I moved to Virginia I joined a dating website and had met a few individuals I dated or attempted to date and hands down a man in the military was looking for a woman who had previous dated someone in the military in hopes that she would understand and be more accepting of the lifestyle. And as I expected with the question 6 others had dated other people that were in the military like myself. Whether they purposefully went after those relationships or found those were the only people attracted to themselves. When the pool is small it's harder to find different variety of fish ;)
I am glad to see majority of those polled would speak up to defend their friend in question 7. And that no one polled would join in on the conversation. In several blogs posts around the Internet I have seen people I knew in real life joining in on the conversation and participating. If further blogs and other social media sites were investigated I wonder if there would be a low statistical representation of not joining in on the conversation. Or should I have (if given the opportunity) asked if it was easier to distance yourself on the Internet than in real life. I know several people who remain anonymous on the Internet so is it a safety net, can you be harsher to your friends than in real life. Of course the only way to figure this out would be to submit a poll to those anonymous individuals and hope they participate, of course without revealing their identity.
Are you still with me, or have I lost you? Did you wonder on to a different much shorter blog post of another blogger not expecting this from me? Did it shock any of my readers that I am a sociology major and in fact only have a handful of classes to finish my degree?
For those of you who quietly answered the questions I asked, did you follow along with majority? Were you shocked to really see what the term 'tag chaser' meant. I know I have seen it thrown around lately being misused, which I will assume is from miseducation. Were you alarmed at your answers? Remember it's never too late to change your attitude towards things.
I hope that I am given the opportunity to continue this study. Be able to ask the questions (and more) to a broader range of people and definatily on a larger scale. I was hoping a few people I had invited that I knew were serving would answer, but perhaps they could not.
Don't worry my next blog post will be much shorter :)