The Convenient “Locationship”

Politico, a Washington based newspaper that covers all things politics, had an interesting piece on the “locationship”- which is a relationship in which both parties understand that the duration lasts only as long as the election season. McCarthy, the staff writer, interviewed several staffers who have had or considered having- a “locationship.” Their comments added up to an overall attitude that it helps them let off steam and get through the demanding cycle of a campaign.

I can’t help but wonder what happens to all those feelings once the election is won or lost- and life returns to a more normal rhythm. If we were to believe (as those interviewed suggest) that people can have sex without any emotional involvement, this question would have no relevance. However, I’m not buying it. Someone always ends up wanting more, having regrets, feeling used and/or abandoned- when a relationship ends. No matter what the “understanding” up front- we are not machines, who just go through motions and then move on.

As we approach the next “big” election, Washington is gearing up. New staffers are pouring in, positions are beng moved around in order to staff the all-important campaign- and the hours are long and demanding. It’s a perfect environment for anyone working in it to feel separate from the world around them- and especially connected to those who share this unique foxhole.

So, why can’t singles meet other like minded singles through this shared work and passion for politics- and make connections that have the potential to be strong and lasting? Is it that having a relationship is seen as less important than career? Perhaps focusing on a relationship is considered lame to those who see their work- (and maybe themselves?)- as too valuable to waste on seeking a relationship. Certainly Washington is known for is crazed work ethic- where anyone working 9-5 is seen as a deadbeat, and high value is placed on those who are working all the time.

I wonder what the lives of today’s young staffers will look like in 10 or 20 years. Will they still be single and married to their work? Will they have histories of short lived relationships that went nowhere- and led to thoughts of “what might have been?” Perhaps they will be seeking out therapists or dating/relationship coaches to help them figure out where they went wrong and why their lives have ended up so out of balance- and lacking a sense of true fulfillment?

There’s a lesson for all of us in this tale. Pay attention to your different needs and don’t neglect them or put them off- thinking that they will somehow get met on their own. Make choices that are right for you- regardless of the culture/attitudes around you. There really is no such thing as “having it all.” We give up something to get something. Sometimes the compromises are small- sometimes not. Just remember to keep your eye on the future, and avoid taking what is available to you now- for granted. The road of what might have been can be very lonely, and very long.

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