I've been dealing with some icky feelings this week, those of betrayal. It is my hottest negative trigger. Lie to me in any way, betray me, go behind my back in a dishonest way and a blackout is in your immediate future. A boyfriend decides he needs to flirt with another women via private Facebook message and I find out through her husband...yeah, that didn't go well in that previous relationship. And this week those feelings of betrayal came back to haunt me as a friend called with some news of her rather new relationship.
She has hit a bump with her man. They have been dating for five months and she just learned that he had been in touch with "others" during the first two months of their courtship. They met online dating, a process that it designed to put you in touch with many for the purposes of finding 'the one." So, it is only natural to assume that even on your first few dates you are both still in touch with, if not meeting up with a few others. However, as with my friend, once exclusive is said and profiles brought down, it is implied and even formally agreed to that you will both detach from the others.
Some may think this is extreme. I do not. It is so easy for communications with others to go awry. She sends him a message when she breaks up with her boyfriend "hey, why didn't we ever work?" Or someone you met online dating suddenly realizes they should have accepted his invitation to dinner. A flirt here, sext there. How about the old "hey I miss our chats, wanna talk?"
And that is where my friend found herself last week when he asked her to pick-up his ringing phone. The voice was female and my friend recognized the name on caller id. The details are not important but he admitted they had met for a few dates months ago and had kept in touch...flirted...sent some inappropriate messages. She reached out to him again, he "didn't know how to stop it."
Here is how you stop it cold...in its tracks...."hey, great to hear from you but I am working on a new relationship that is already committed. Your guy is out there and I wish you the best of luck. It is best if we are not in touch."
As I introduced above, my icky feelings from the past surfaced as I heard my friend's woes. Now, when the past shows up it is best to shut the door, it has nothing new to say - and I agree, unless it knocks down the door. I was dating a many who did have quite a little emotional tryst with a women through Facebook private messages. I learned of their interactions, including her request that they spend a night together, when her husband copied the communications and emailed them to me.
Ya know what came out of that? A realization that I have no time or space in my life for this drama. Why on earth would you want to spend time on that level with another person when you are with someone else? Well, it is simple...you are either with the wrong person or you have a serious self-esteem issue. You somehow need the attention. I don't want to be with that type of person. To the right guy, I am enough...more than enough. In fact, if you have extra time on your hands spend it wowing me - mow my lawn or tackle a small project in my house.
A bit more about what this all means to me.
Well, I'm not giving up details about my actual relationship, but will tell you that I take interaction with "others" to the extreme (shocking, I know). It is simple, there will be no contact. Within a couple weeks of dating my guy I said goodbye, to an ex-boyfriend I was still in contact with, a connection without commitment, and a few guys from online dating (some I had met, some I had not). They each received a simple message of "I just started seeing someone and do not think it is appropriate we are in touch. I wish you nothing but the best." (Obviously some were more personal depending on the relationship). I received thank you's and good wishes back. They were appreciative I had not just disappeared and also were glad I wasn't dragging them along when I was with someone else.
To kick the whole thing up a notch (me? shocking I know).
I walk around in the world, in personal interactions and in cyberspace, as a very taken women. I am in a committed relationship and would never do or say anything that would give another individual any idea that I might be interested or available. I would never embarrass or insult my boyfriend in that way, ever. And I expect the same out of him. Look, he has the privilege of dating me, and vice versa. The appearance of impropriety is impropriety in and of itself. If he needs to flirt in the real-world or online with others to feed some insecurity then he is not the guy for me. Clearly made when we met and given his center core of integrity I don't doubt for a second he lives by his promise.
Hey look, when you are a whole and complete person you don't need validation from another. You are not out in the world to see how many people you can connect with so you feel better about yourself. You know you rock, and look for someone who appreciates your awesomeness....
...or as I like to say, your matched crazy.