I have given this piece a lot of thought lately. Cheating. The Whens/Whys/Hows and is it truly avoidable regardless of which technological advances we are currently being challenged with? I started to think about the relationships I have had in my life here on Earth so far. I’m talking about the actual relationships, not the dating and trying to play the mind reading game that tends to go on all too often. I have yet to met a man that has remained faithful. Everyone seems great in the beginning then as time goes on you finally let your guard down only to find out they have been sampling others – whether behind your back or in front of your face subtly chipping away at your ego and self esteem. This is always masked by various friendships where either they spend too much time together or they are up late having suggestive and inappropriate conversations via text message while you are lying next to them thinking things are fine.
Of course, there are good people out there fighting the good fight by being present in their relationships and doing the best they can in order to progress the relationship forward. I don’t believe because I personally haven’t had positive experiences, that directly means all men are shit. I think that generalization is dangerous and can cause hatred or abuse in future relationships. There are some great men out there who are fantastic partners, who even put fairy tales to shame. I applaud them and wish their relationships all the success they can find. It’s a cruel world out there with many temptations trying to drive people apart. The fact that they can hedge off said temptation is an impressive test of strength. Even though I have yet to find this for myself, I don’t think it will never happen. It just hasn’t happened yet for me.
I’m talking about the ones who cheat themselves out of a healthy, open, and honest relationship. The ones that are too selfish to realize how good of a partner they have and keep swiping or searching for something that doesn’t exist. These are the people who leech all your goodness and leave emotional scars in their wake. The ones that don’t care or bother to realize you have feelings and needs too. I know there is a current label going around named, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I am sure some fall into this label but I do think there is a wave of apathy that is making the rounds that doesn’t fit into the DSM-V. If you notice, it’s hard to even get someone to hold the door open for you – regardless of gender. They will walk into the store and let the door slam behind them (sometimes in your face). That level of kindness and compassion is dimming in an already volatile world. Do I think technology is solely to blame? No. I think if we hopped in a time machine and went back say 150 – 200 years, society would still have similar issues both in and out of relationships. I think technology has made this apathy easier to access and easier to feel. It’s a lot easier to do some casual swiping than having to travel to the next town over either on foot or by horse to strike up a conversation with another person let alone carry on a sexual relationship.
There is this fantasy most of us have that the good old days left communities wide open with blind trust, hugs, and handshakes. Things were better back then. The air was cleaner. The grass greener – you get it. You know, that general nostalgia for a place that never existed. We tend to create a more peaceful memory in favor of what it was really like because that’s just what we do as humans. It’s like there is a Grass is Greener gene in our DNA. Maybe it’s some kind of self preservation and standard we try and hold our present selves to in order to find peace? We’re all guilty of doing it. I think this is why we tend to fall into familiar patterns, date similar people, and generally find ourselves asking, why?
So, what’s the solution? Or is there a solution? Is it binge watching movies/tv shows, cry, eat too much in hopes of getting over it and moving on? Is it asking each new person in your life 200+ questions like some kind of super detective trying to weed out any malicious tendencies? Do we date someone for 6 months only to find out we have to then spend another 6 months getting to know who they really are? (Seinfeld reference) I don’t think there is a one size fits all approach to navigating away from these kind of people. Yeah, you can say some people give off red flags from the start – which they do – but some are better at hiding that part of themselves until those old patterns resurface. In my experience, I’ve found that keeping the dialogue open and honest seems to work best. These conversations will be painful and you may carry that hurt with you for a while. There’s no magic pill that will erase painful situations (yet anyway). I’m not going to lie, in my 20s I allowed a lot of bad behavior because 1. I didn’t know any better, and 2. I wanted to believe that other person wasn’t capable of something like that. We all have that ignorance – the blind hope that everything is great and all our friends are just jealous. It’s when we start being objective with our situations and relationships that we see, our friends were trying to warn us because they love us and saw the wreck coming.
I firmly believe that you should hold on to optimism even if right now you don’t feel there is any to spare. Allow yourself to work through the pain and understand that their infidelity is not your fault. It’s not your issue and there is nothing wrong with you. You will be okay.
You will find love that is deserving of all that you are and all that you possess inside and there is someone out there who will take all of your pieces and create a beautiful mosaic.