When I started dating at age 13, I approached relationships completely unaware that I could and would fall—and with faith that, if I did, the net below would catch me. I put all of my trust in the boys I gave my heart to, and was blindsided again and again when, despite my total devotion, they didn’t love me the way I deserved to be loved.
And it wasn’t just men. Fair-weather friends also disillusioned me. I didn’t truly understand that being a devoted friend or girlfriend didn’t guarantee that others would act in kind. Instead of becoming hip to the ways of people who would mistreat me and avoiding them accordingly, I retreated into myself and tried unsuccessfully to block out potential sources of pain. Read more on Your Tango…
Two years into our relationship, Rick* received a verbal offer that would send him 2,500 miles away.
I couldn’t fathom how we could possibly have a successful relationship living such a great distance apart — even though I was the woman who’d urged him to apply for the job. He had asked me months before the job was even a possibility how I would feel about him splitting his time between San Francisco and Brooklyn. I uttered something along the lines, “I’m okay with that — as long as I don’t have to move.” But, once becoming long-distance became a reality, I suddenly felt abandoned. Instead of, “I’m happy for you,” our talks generally ended with me stating, “I don’t see this relationship lasting beyond December.”
I said it more than once.
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Some time ago, Amelia and I were chatting over IM about snooping. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of a discussion about sharing passwords. Should you share your email password? Your Facebook password? Your debit card PIN number? Is it a big, serious relationship step to do those things or not super-serious at all and just a byproduct of our digitized lifestyle? I was very pro-sharing passwords, because I have nothing to hide. Go read my emails, I don’t care! The only reason I wanted to share passwords with my boyfriend was to make life easier: we share his laptop at home and I needed to be able to log in whenever I needed. My reason for wanting passwords was not at all motivated by wanting to sneak around in my boyfriend’s private business. I sincerely believed he had nothing to hide from me either.
But more importantly, snooping in someone’s email, or listening to their voice mails, or any of those other privacy-violating things, just seemed like a douchey thing to do. It implied a lack of trust. It implied suspicion. It implied an insecurity on my part. I am a huge, huge, HUGE believer in the Golden Rule and I would never snoop in someone’s private business, I thought, because that is not the way that I would want to be treated. “I just couldn’t go into someone’s emails like that,” I surely told Amelia. “You say that now when everything’s fine,” she replied, in words that have stuck in my head ever since. “But if you really thought something was up, you would do anything at your disposal to find out what he wasn’t telling you.” Keep reading »