9 Better Applications Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Than To Military Personnel

Woo hoo! At exactly 12:01 a.m. this morning, the Pentagon repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the Clinton-era policy that said gays and lesbians could serve in the military as long as they kept their personal life a secret. Finally, the military has let go of this ridiculous policy—which led gay military personnel to have to weave intricate lies to cover up their sexuality and face discharge if they were outed—and adopted a zero tolerance policy toward anti-gay behavior. This morning, we got to read all sorts of heartwarming stories—like about Navy Lt. Gary Ross, who married his partner of 11 years at midnight as the policy was repealed. “This is Gary’s official coming out,” the justice of the peace said during the ceremony. [Slate, Newser]

We’re glad “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is no more. But there are certain circumstances in life where it is actually makes sense. After the jump, some places we plan to apply DADT in our daily lives.If You’re In A Relationship:

  • Revealing your number. It’s one of those conversations that often comes up in a new relationship—how many people each of you has slept with. But why? Because the number is unlikely to be the same, it inevitably leads to one of you feeling like a slut and the other worrying about being sexually inexperienced. Does either of you really need to know?
  • Disclosing you were once interested in a friend. Let’s say Alex is a guy/girl in your friend circle. You once hooked up, or went on a few dates, only to have things fizzle and go back to being friends. If you’re significant other knows, he or she will inevitably feel awkward around Alex and urge you not to hang out with him/her, even though there’s nothing to worry about. So do not tell. Similarly, if you suspect your significant other might have a defunct flirtation with a friend, you probably don’t want to know either, lest you turn crazy jealous for no reason.
  • Sharing your criticisms of their friends/family members. Maybe you love your significant other’s peeps. Or maybe you think their mom is overbearing, their dad is leering, or their best friend is a total tool. If this is the case, keep it to yourself. Even if your SO offers the criticism first, keep quiet, because you don’t want to be a wedge between him and the people he loves. It’s one thing to talk about your own mom—it’s another to hear someone else do it. Similarly, your significant other shouldn’t try to draw negative reads from you and put you in an awkward position.

If You’re Single:

  • Sharing that you are dating multiple people. There’s a period when you start dating someone where things are not exclusive. You’re getting to know said person and determining whether they’d be great for you in a relationship. Sometimes, it’s very illuminating to do this with multiple people and see who rises to the top of the pack. If you’re doing this, don’t disclose. Until you decide to lock things down with a person, it is your prerogative and you don’t want to send the message “I’m not that into you.” Similarly, you probably don’t want to know if this other person is dating other people, too. They may genuinely like you, but be testing the waters with others. It’s the whole not putting your eggs in one basket thing.
  • Telling your friends, family, or co-workers all about someone you’re dating. Sure, people might want to talk about it. And it might be really tempting to gush about the awesome person you’ve gone out with a few times because it’s new and they are constantly on your mind. But I am a big fan of withholding the urge for a while. If you share, they’ll inevitably ask next time they see you and who knows if this person will still be around then. Similarly, you don’t want their thoughts on what you say about said person to effect how you feel about them
  • Talking about sex with past partners with a new partner. Most people want to feel special to the person we’re with, even if it’s just for the night, a week, or a month. Talking about sex with someone else ultimately undercuts that. Though this does not exclude the STD talk of course. Do ask about that.

If You’re Human:

  • Disclosing how much you make. Years ago, some co-workers and I were at lunch talking about what a cheapskate our boss was. Somehow, we decided to all share how much we make. The range was wide, even between people in similar positions. Let’s just say that a lot of anger and dissatisfaction followed.
  • Explaining what meds you’re on. Some people are very open to the concept, while others can be judgmental and think something is wrong with you if you have a ‘scrip. So it’s probably best not to reveal it. Nor should anyone ask—even if you have to pop a pill in front of them, it’s your deal.
  • If you just farted or pooped. Enough said.
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