The other night when I was procrastinating, I re-watched my favorite episodes of Black Mirror. An episode I really love is 'Hang The DJ', written by Charlie Brooker and directed by Tim Van Patten. The episode follows the story of two young adults living in a dystopian world where people are required to use a dating app that matches people into relationships. They can check the expiration date of their relationship that the app gives.
This episode really stuck with me. I think the concept of checking the expiration date of your relationship is mind-boggling. The duration of a relationship, just like many things in life, can never be known until it actually ends (or takes a serious turn). I feel like the question of "how long is this going to last?" always lingers in our minds whether we're aware of it or not.
And who really wants to address this question every single time it pops into their head? The idea of a break-up isn't the most pleasant thing to talk about (unless the relationship has been struggling for a while). I don't dare to test this out, but I'm sure if I asked my boyfriend "how long do you think we're going to last?" every single time we hung out, it would drive him crazy.
But even though this question looms over my head sometimes, if there was a way to check how long my relationship would last, I don't know if I would check it. If I was told my relationship would last one more day, I would freak out. If you're happy in a relationship, how else is someone supposed to act when hearing this?
If the relationship was going to last a few more months, how would we treat each other? If we're going to be over in a matter of weeks, it seems as if there's nothing we could do to improve the relationship since it's ending in such a short amount of time. I guess we would just coast and enjoy the time we still have left with each other.
If you're happy in your relationship and find out that it was going to last for two or three more years, this would sound great. I mean, it's better than your relationship ending in a few hours. But, at the same time, wouldn't this sting? If you love someone, you're obviously going to cherish the time you have left with them, but it'll probably haunt you every morning when you wake up to know that each day gets closer and closer to your relationship ending.
Yet, even though this seems depressing, this is a reality for so many couples. Even though we may not know it, each day has the potential to bring us closer to a break-up. It's a beautiful thing when the person you love turns into your forever partner, being sealed by marriage and maybe even a family, but this isn't always a reality.
So, it would seem like finding out your relationship will last forever would be perfect if you're in love. But, it's worth point out that relationships can change; something that may bring you all the happiness in the world today may not be such a strong source of happiness in a year from now. This is scary, but it's true. Because of this, it may not always be a good thing to find out the person you're with now will be the one you end up with in the long run.
I think it's best to assume that it's probably a good thing that we can't check the expiration date of our relationships. Even though not knowing can drive us crazy, ignorance is bliss sometimes. Going with the flow and taking things one day at a time seems like the best course of action. I know it sounds cheesy, but my favorite saying has to be, "whatever is meant to be yours will find its way to you". This thought experiment also encourages us to cherish the time we have with our significant others each and every day.
If you could, would you check how long your relationship will last?