What is a significant other? They are someone you can dump all your problems on, talk about anything without the fear of being judged, and do all the silly things that you can’t ever imagine doing with anyone else.
Your significant other is your soulmate, your ride or die, and your best friend for life. To have such a strong bond with someone is the best feeling in the world, and you should consider yourself blessed if you share this connection with anyone.
What Does Significant Other Mean?
It means you have a partner-in-crime for life. There are so many things to do with your significant other, that even bucket lists don’t do them justice. You’ve found your soulmate for life.
You know when you’re down or low you have someone to talk to without feeling like a burden, or when you’re hungry you can just shoot them a text and the next thing you know, you’re having milkshakes together. Just say the word, and they’ll make it come true.
Why Is It Important To Have A Significant Other? (S.O)
At the beginning of a new relationship, we tend to divulge everything to our significant other. We go do yoga together, watch sappy rom-coms and we swallow every inhibition to cry out, “This is all made up. Why are we even watching this?” at the orchestrated WWE matches.
Romantic relationships make us do crazy stuff – stuff we never enjoyed, not even after doing it with our SO. And that is fine. With time, we get comfortable and refuse to do things – listening to your SO talk about the huge sale at Forever New or the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid. And that is okay as well.
Now that we know what is a significant other and their importance in our lives, but we need to address the requirement for another significant other. Our partners love us very much but limiting ourselves to talk to only them about things that excite us is foolish. Which is why we have the “Other Significant Other”, one who isn’t necessarily our romantic partner.
Related Reading: Why every girl needs a guy best friend
Who can be an OSO?
You may catch yourself saying, “I want a significant other”, but soon enough you’ll realize you need another person who’s just as crazy as you.
Your OSO could be your childhood friend, a cousin or a family member; someone who gets what interests you and shares your passion for soppy movies (something your SO does not like). With your OSO, there are no romantic or sexual feelings. Kind of like your BFF.
Your SO might not share your love for cricket; they might be into some other sports. Discussing sports with them and throwing a fit when they do not care about your interests is totally unfair. By doing that, you are trying to make them into someone that they don’t want to be. The differences in opinion make your relationship special.
Modern relationships are strained enough as it is. Pile more strain on it and the relationship might falter. So like a BFF to the rescue to most of your problems, your Other Significant Other is there to alleviate the pressure you might impose on your Significant One.
Every expectation is another hat
There is a very interesting metaphor proposed in a book, All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli Finkel. In his book he discovered that in our relationships, we expect our SOs to wear many hats. Hats which were earlier given to many other people before the relationship.
These hats start piling up and might eventually crash on account of the overflow. Get the idea? What does significant other mean? Is it just dumping all problems on one person? No! That’s not sustainable.
Expecting our SOs to fulfil all our needs puts a lot of pressure on the head wearing the innumerable hats. This is where our OSOs come in. Like the Iron Legion assists Iron Man to keep peace and order, think of your OSOs as your helping hand to fulfil all your needs, which for whatever reason your SO cannot; a peacekeeping system in your relationship.
So instead of ranting to your SO about which Avenger is going to die in the next movie (if your SO is more of a DC fan), try narrating your theories to your childhood friend who is as big a Marvel fanatic as you are.
Instead of narrating the step-by-step process of doing perfect smoky eyes makeup to your SO, blabber about it to your cousin who loves doing makeup, and isn’t going to get annoyed if you analyze every shade and texture of a product you love.
Related reading: When your spouse isn’t your best friend
Keep it spread out
Eli Finkel also mentions that these “hats”, when distributed about family members, friends, acquaintances and associates will build a “diversified social portfolio”. Having different people relate to you in different ways will keep the pressure of piling your needs on your significant other, and will help you meet your distinct needs.
But how will you incorporate OSOs in your life? It is pretty basic. There are roles that we assign our partners and expect them to live by. If you like spending endless hours rock climbing, or even expect them to attend business meetings with you, they might not be fond of it and it is okay for them to not want to do it.
Remember that just because SOs don’t always share your interests, it doesn’t make them a lousy partner. We often quarrel with our partners, trying to make them do things, be someone they are not. The things to do with your significant other don’t always depend on your interests.
Conflicts arise when you drag him to a mall during the winter sale or when you book tickets to a match knowing that watching a football match in the stadium is just not her thing. This is where our OSOs come in. We know now what is a significant other and their role, but now we also know the dire need for an OSO.
Resolve your conflicts with your SO because you have your OSO who loves to shop, loves talking about movie stars and how relationships work in real life. Chances are you will find a much better listener in this OSO than in your SO.
Not to be totally careless, but choose the roles (the hats) you want your SO to play. This is to keep them from feeling overloaded with everything going on with you and expecting them to fulfil every role you have in mind. This creates a strain which can be elevated when you have your OSO girl (or guy) to dish with.
It means someone has a partner in you. They feel comfortable sharing everything with you, and have someone to rely on when times get tough.
You can’t do everything alone! You need a partner to have fun with, go on trips with, experiment new looks with, and above all, you need someone to have your back when you need it the most.