Friday, August 27, 2010

Prying Versus Privacy in Relationships

Class is now in session.....

We all know that in order to have any successful relationship we must rely on one key element: Trust. Without this, we pretty much have nothing. And lets face it, most women don’t have the trust factor whether their man does right by them or not. I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of prying and spying on several occasions. The first time it happened was in my first “real” relationship when I was twenty. My boyfriend had gone to take a shower and I was sitting in his bedroom. There I was minding my own business when I saw his journal peeping out from underneath his bed. Suddenly this evil switch went off in my brain. It was the moment of truth. Would I be gutsy enough to open that leather bound notebook or pretend like I never saw it? Might I mention that I had some slight reservations about my then boyfriend? I wasn’t exactly an old pro at the dating game at that time, but I had a lot of mixed feelings about him. Only later would I learn that my intuition would never again steer me wrong. Anyway, I felt that if I read that journal maybe I would gain some insight into what was going on in his mind---or maybe I was just looking for “things.” Whatever it was I had a bunch of conflicting feelings going on inside me at that moment. My eyes went from the bathroom to the journal, from the bathroom to the journal. I only had so much time to think about my actions. Finally, I made up my mind. I’d just open it and take a quick glance. I wasn’t hurting anyone right? He’d never have to know. So I got on the floor and opened it just a crack. What made it sort of easier was that it was already bookmarked to his last entry. Again, my eyes slide from the bathroom to the journal. My pulse was racing, I began to sweat. What if he came back the moment I started reading it? Nope, impossible, I told myself. I could still hear the water running from the shower. I called my attention back to the journal. My eyes scanned the page, searching for any type of incriminating evidence; maybe a girlfriend on the side? Or another date he’d been on? But instead I got the biggest surprise, “Tomorrow is Jennifer’s birthday and I want to take her out…” I immediately stopped reading. That was good enough for me. No more worries *whew* at least for the time being. Given the chance, I probably would have read more but at the same time I knew what I was doing was completely wrong.

All of us have had those moments of insecurity where we felt the need to snoop on our significant other. I think???? I guess the good news for the snoopers is that nobody can really get away with shady shit anymore. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know we live in an age of electronic paper trails. We can track anything from the cell phone calls to the text messages. But everything has its loop holes and let’s not forget the guys whom are really good at covering their tracks. Of course, there’s always someone out there who will slip up and get caught. For me personally, I believe that when you are dating someone you should both keep your private lives to yourself. Of course this changes when you are married, uh---somewhat. But I don’t believe you have a right to your partner’s passwords, emails or facebook account. That’s a sign of someone who is extremely insecure in the relationship. The bottom line is--- if you trust the person you are with it shouldn’t be an issue to begin with. You both should be trust worthy enough to do your own thing without having to be in each others business all the time.

Years ago, there was an incident when I had some suspicions about another guy I was dating. It really only had to do with his age. He told me he was thirty, but somehow I sensed he was much older. So I used my most valuable resource---the internet. It took me about three minutes to look him up on “People Search,” and find out everything I ever wanted to know about him. Ah, the good old information super highway. And what do you know? He was nowhere near thirty. Try like forty-two. Now would you call that invading his privacy or watching my back?

At the beginning of the year I dated a guy who I had absolutely no qualms about. He was honest to a fault by telling me all about his skeletons in the closet. Ah, but just when everything was fine and dandy, my boss convinced me to do a background check on him with this super high tech program that police officers use. All he needed was his first and last name and this program would tell me EVERYTHING about him—arrests, driving records and tickets, DUIs, prior marriages, who he was living with, court appearances, bankruptcies, you name it. And of course, my boss cajoled me into doing this. Sure enough, I found out everything (no arrests, thank God.) I even got a satellite view of his house. Need I say that I totally felt like shit after I did this? Now THIS to me was an invasion of privacy.

Then of course we have the other side of the situation where we women are attempted by the crooked men we date. My friend briefly dated someone who had many of the same female “acquaintances” that she did. So there they are in the middle of dinner and he gets a gaggle of text messages from these “acquaintances." Let me just say that she had her suspicions about him from day one and this totally confirmed it. While she was sitting next to him, her eyes slid over to the screen of his cell phone. Sure enough, he’s being summoned by a pack of needy females that she recognized and he’s sitting there trying to be all slick about it. Oh hell no. She DTB (Dumped that bastard/bitch) as fast as she could.

I have a no fail method to finding out if your man is doing shit with other women behind your back. When you are out to dinner somewhere and he gets up to go to the restroom---tell him you’ll watch his cell phone for him while he’s away. Yeah, see how he reacts to that. He’ll either get all defensive about it and say no it’s okay, he’s got this (warning sign number one) or he’ll leave the cell phone with you and lock it (warning sign number two). If he has nothing to hide, he’ll won’t even think twice about leaving the phone. He’ll just walk away and do what he’s got to do. It also kind of lets you in on how much he trusts you as well.

Finally, let’s not forget about all the women whom are paranoid as hell after being cheated on. It’s extremely hard for these types of women not to scrutinize every waking detail when they are with their man. And I really feel for bad them, I do. But sometimes you just have to let go and have faith. I believe that the women who’ve been cheated on develop some sort of sixth sense. If they sense that their man is doing something seedy behind their back, his probably is. The only thing they can do is try to ease their conscious by getting to the bottom of their suspicions. Once a woman has been cheated on, it’s always in the back of their mind, no matter what. Kind of like having a nasty scare that you can’t get rid of for the rest of your life.

When you get down to it, everyone is entitled to their privacy. As hard as it may be we need to respect our partners and set some boundaries. If you’re someone who can’t learn to accept this then it’s time for you to reconsider your relationship at hand. But I can tell you right now, when I get into a relationship with a man, he doesn’t get away with shit with me. And I don’t have to pry to know what’s going on….just call it my sixth sense.

Class dismissed.

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  1. Thanks, Shane. You're bloody fantastic!

  2. If one is that paranoid of being cheated on really needs to look at the situation rather than the other person. For example, if one is likely to cheat, what makes you think that the other person is likely to only cheat on you. The other person is likely to cheat on anyone. That is just the other person.

    Also, what is the "insecure" person trying to protect? Feelings? It is kind of stupid of trying to control something or someone that cannot be controlled so why bother?

    On another point, what is exactly accomplished if one proves the other is cheating? Why waste all that energy and just DTB...

  3. @Great-Cornhoolio---EXACTLY! DTB is that I say.

  4. Love this post, especially the last paragraph..your perspective is great!
    Thanks so much for your lovely comments on my blog.

    Happy Friday!

  5. With this radical change in the economy and all the personal fallout in people's lives it's going to be even harder to judge people based on bad things that have happened in their lives. Too many bad things have happened to too many good people in that last couple of years.

  6. Thanks for dropping by, so I could discover your blog. I've joined the fun. Perhaps I'll learn a thing or two, but we won't count on that. (I'm in my 40's, and it hasn't happened yet.)

  7. I definitely like your blog. I wouldn't have joined your following otherwise. Thanks for joining mine! (The reason I say we shouldn't count on me learning anything is because I'm notorious for making stupid, stupid decisions regarding men/boys. I seem to never learn.)

  8. read through your blog and i'm liking how you think :)