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Trust

I’ve been thinking lately about cheating.  NO, not like that.  Cheaters is one of my favorite shows, even though I barely catch it on TV anymore.  It’s somewhat fascinating to me to see people who trust each other so fully to fall apart because someone can’t keep their pants on.  I don’t mean that in a cruel way; it’s never a pleasant thing to see hearts break and relationships fail.  We all want love to conquer all and it simply sucks when that cannot happen.  But the thing that grabs my attention even more is the trust that the cheater is putting with their new partner.

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Sure, there are people out there who cheat in the dumbest possible ways, seemingly asking to get caught in the act.  But for every one of them, there exists a person who is shamefully good at being unfaithful.  They lead a double life effortlessly and mostly free of guilt.  At least one, if not both (or more) of the people they are with are being duped into thinking that they are the only one receiving love, sex and affection.  They play this game of balancing their lovers, never revealing their true colors and intentions.  They cover their tracks beautifully and leave nothing in question.  Even though it’s wrong, you can’t help but be slightly impressed at the way they keep blinders on everyone around them.

What I never thought about until recently is how much trust goes into these affairs.  When Mike is unfaithful to his wife with Stacy, he needs to trust Stacy to keep her mouth shut, to keep her distance from his family, and to not grow too attached and do something stupid to reveal the entire ruse.  (fictional people, obviously)  Mike has to have faith in Stacy to either accept that he has a life away from her that he wants to keep, or that she won’t find him on Facebook or elsewhere and flip out when she discovers his wife and children.  There must be an enormous amount of trust put into Stacy upon beginning the affair, and it’s incredibly hard to trust a person with so much of your life and happiness.

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With social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and others, it’s near impossible to keep your personal life 100% personal.  If Mike begins his affair with the intent to keep Stacy fully ignorant of his wife and family, Facebook can ruin that plan in a heartbeat.  Even without a Facebook friend acceptance, Stacy would be able to see the minimal details that would show Mike to be a family man with a woman he is committed to.  Photos on Instagram and Twitter can do the same.  More digging from Stacy could put her in direct contact with Mike’s wife, blowing his cover and making his poor spouse very unhappy.  It’s made even worse if Stacy is armed with text messages, voicemails, emails, or any other type of concrete evidence of Mike’s infidelity.

This type of trust confuses me.  If you’re married (or committed to someone in the same respect without the certificate) you obviously trust that person implicitly.  Trust is a hard thing to earn and to give, so it makes sense that it would go hand in hand with marriage (or similar commitment).  It’s not something you give to everyone, yet the cheater gives it to their new lover almost effortlessly.  They get flirtatious and cross the line, surely knowing full well that their new lover could tear their world down in a second.  Yet they trust this person not to do so.  They trust that this person will understand and respect the boundaries and rules put into place, even though they have no reason to respect anything.

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I imagine that while cheating, the trust does begin to bend a bit.  The cheater generally begins to lose trust for their spouse or primary partner, thinking that they are the one lying and sneaking around.  They project their activities onto this person, analyzing their every move and every word.  I suspect that they may even do this with the person they are cheating with, assuming that they are doing their own share of sneaking around.  The trust wavers, not because of the other parties, but because the cheater subconsciously acknowledges that they are betraying the trust of someone important to them.  But even then, the motivation to stop simply isn’t there.

Mike could have been called out by his wife on his activities that don’t match up to his stories, he could be called out by Stacy after she discovers that his background isn’t what he has presented it to be, but that still isn’t always enough for Mike to cut ties with Stacy (or his wife) and decide to live and love honestly.  Even in the face of failure, the cheater maintains the trust and faith that things will work out and run smoothly.  It makes no sense to put faith in something so broken, but people are out there doing it every single day.

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Trust is an important thing and it’s sad that these strange perversion of trust exists out there and gives cheaters validation to do what they do.  But it may also be their ultimate downfall.  When you’re doing something shady, any trust you give to your accomplice is tainted and destined to shatter.  You can’t play with someone’s emotions and then expect nothing negative to come of it.  You can’t assume that your penis pictures won’t see the light of day eventually after you tick off your new lover due to your inability to commit to just him/her.  If you’re going to trust in anything while cheating, trust in this:  It will fall apart and it will fall hard.  Secrets aren’t well kept when everything we do can be put online or emailed in a screenshot.  Everyone has their limits and eventually your “other” will get tired of that status and your secrets will be revealed.  Unless your trust also comes with total and complete honesty, it is destined to crumble and take you down with it.

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Our Own Worst Enemy

While screwing around on Twitter this morning, I saw a few random comical comments from a female that I could once call a friend but who I’m now unsure of where she fits into my life, if she even fits at all.  We have not spoken since the day I finally became fed up with her friend’s boyfriend and told him that I want nothing to do with him.  This was after he had acted very inappropriately and disrespectfully to me and to his girlfriend (indirectly), but I kept the trash talk out of it and just ended the friendship I had with him.  His girlfriend slowly cut me out of her life, but this one female has kept me around on her Twitter feed for some reason even though we no longer speak.  She’s favorited things I’ve said after the incident, yet uninvited me to two things we had previously planned.  And I don’t understand it at all.

I suspect the reasoning behind it, other than her loyalty to her friend, is that she sees me as wrong and ill-informed when it comes to the guy I cut out of my life.  She was drinking and distracted the first time he acted like a royal ass, not around the second time he acted inappropriately, and not present on Twitter enough to see the rest of it.  To her, this guy is amazing and a perfect match for her friend.  To her, I am jealous, bitter, bitchy or a combination of all three.  Since I have not defended my actions and not explained why I cut the guy out of my life, I am probably also seen as cowardly.  Truth is, there is no way in hell she or her friend would listen to anything I have to say.  It’s like that too often with women.  We get blinded by love and ignore everything else while treating other females like garbage if we feel threatened in any way.

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This is one of the main reasons I have a very small group of female friends.  This nonsense was a daily issue in middle and high school as we fought over boys and battled with our self-esteem.  I expected and accepted it as a teenager, but I’ll be 32 this year and I’m not okay with dealing with it any longer.  If I slip up and make a mistake, I will own up to it and make efforts to repair the damage, but if I am justified in my behavior and it just so happens to upset you, I don’t feel that I am in the wrong.  If I am hitting on your boyfriend, that is my mistake and I owe you an apology and must right the situation.  If your boyfriend hits on me and I tell him where to stick it, I have nothing to apologize for.  So why is it that I am seen as in the wrong and given the silent treatment in those situations where boyfriend was bad?  Why is he absolved of all wrongdoing while I am slowly pushed away?

Part of me thinks that certain females see me as a threat.  I don’t say that in an egotistical way and I’m not trying to claim that I’m so gorgeous, guys can’t resist me.  But I am confident and confidence can be sexy.  I’m married and I don’t care what any other man thinks of me outside of my husband.  The lack of worry about having to impress the masses has boosted my confidence, plus my husband makes me feel gorgeous, so I suspect that lends to females thinking that I could pose a threat to their relationships.  I was once that same shy little girl who was threatened by any woman who was pretty or that came across as sure of themselves.  But then I grew up.

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Another reason I feel that I’ve been pushed away by this female is the fact that I have chosen to remain absolutely quiet about why I became angry at the boyfriend, as I do not want to be the one who messes up the relationship.  If I could put her in my place and show her what I’ve seen, this would likely be a very different situation right now.  Sadly, I can’t do this and I won’t waste time trying to convince her of what I know.  I didn’t listen when people told me that my ex was a liar and a cheat, I just felt very silly when I found out the hard way.  If I had let loose with details, there is a small chance that I would have been heard, but it was too small of a chance for me to bother.  So I remain silent and look like the bad guy.  All anyone has to do is ask, but it’s easier to stick to the strange girl code of shunning females who threaten us.

Whatever the reasoning, the bottom line is that the female who has yet to delete me from her Twitter and the female who has already done so are both reminding me way too much of my high school days.  I tried hanging on, as we have a mutual friend in the mix, but I no longer see the point.  To be so irate at me that you uninvite my kid to your own kid’s birthday party is just silly and I want no part of it.  I don’t want to associate with someone who thinks so little of me and I don’t want to associate with anyone who doesn’t have the guts to express what they are feeling and express why they are angry.  It’s cowardly and it shows that you know deep down that you’re angry for a stupid reason.

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Ladies, every female out there isn’t secretly plotting and planning, her mind set on tearing your life apart so she can steal your man, take your job, and laugh as you are left with nothing.  Not every chick who doesn’t like your boyfriend is acting that way because they are secretly crushing on them; often they see something you don’t and shouldn’t be ignored.  It is pointless and petty to treat each other as if we are all waiting to stab the other in the back.  I’m exhausted by it all.  I’ve taken the few seconds today to delete the female in question from my following feed and I’ve blocked both of these ladies in order to further distance myself.  If they want to talk things out, they both have my phone number.  In the meantime, I’m content in sticking them both in the past until we can all act like adults.

My High Horse

I have been called a drama queen more than once in my life.  The thing is, I’ve never been called a drama queen for engaging in behavior that is characteristic of one.  True, I do take to Twitter and this site to vent my various frustrations, both big and small, but by no means is that making a mountain out of a molehill.  I’m no social media whore, so any dramatic outbursts that may occur are confined to 140 characters and a small audience.  While I do have an opinion on everything and everyone, I’m not a gossip and it’s not in my nature to waste my time talking about others and analyzing their lives and choices in a way that is spiteful, mean-spirited, or dramatic.  The bulk of my “gossip” is what you see here; vague commentary about people without ever calling anyone out or inviting any attack of any kind on a person or group of people.

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The actual drama in my life is pretty damn boring.  I stress about money, about my kid, about my job, and about other various bits of nonsense that everyone else deals with on a weekly basis.  I don’t sit around talking trash about the people in my life while thumbing through the latest issue of US Weekly and watching E! News.  I don’t share things that I’ve been told in confidence or even things that I assume the person would want kept private.  It boggles my mind why I would be called a drama queen or seen as a source of drama.  Until recently, that is.

I had an odd dream last night about someone who doesn’t feel that I’m worth talking to anymore, and as I emerged from my groggy state and hopped in the shower, it finally clicked.  Every single person who has ever called me a drama queen, both directly and indirectly, has been a person that has been offended when I’ve said something honest.  For example, I went on a mini-rant once about people who post spoilers for television shows on social media outlets, resulting in one of the worst people ever getting annoyed by my statement and reducing me to drama queen status.  I don’t feel that my actions fit the drama queen profile but because this person took my vague statement to EVERYONE who does it and made it into a personal attack, I was given the label.

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The other thing I’ve noticed is that the people who think it appropriate to give me this label are also people who fit the queen profile, both males and females.  They troll Facebook looking for old friends just to talk trash about them with current friends, they get into everyone’s business so they have something to discuss later, and they automatically assume everything is all about them.  Sticking me with the label is simply a way of them making themselves feel better about their poor decisions.  If I post a blog entry about how aggressive flirtation on social media is wrong when you’re not single and it angers someone, it’s easier for them to write me off as a drama queen instead of owning up to the fact that they fit the profile I described and they are doing something wrong.

I suppose I’ve just reached a point where things are finally clear to me.  I don’t need to feel bad or guilty about anything I’ve done or said.  I have never personally attacked anyone without being directly provoked and when I do attack, it’s certainly not out in the open so I can display it to everyone.  If someone doesn’t want to associate with me because I’m vocal about my disgust for people who constantly discuss their sex lives out in the open, so be it.  I am losing nothing of value from that separation and I do not need to feel remorse about expressing my honest opinion, especially when I had the decency to keep names and specifics out of it.  I cannot be responsible for anyone being blind to their own bad behavior or the bad behavior of their loved one.  I’m done feeling like I’m in the wrong.

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I’m not trying to climb on the highest horse around so I can look down on as many people as possible, I’m just at a new phase in my life.  I like to think I evolve more and more each day, and this is just one more tiny piece of my personal evolution.  I cannot be held responsibly for the opinions and behaviors of others, even when they are indirectly caused by something I said or wrote.  I refuse to bite my tongue out of fear of offending cheaters; I’m entitled to think it’s deplorable to cheat and I’m entitled to express it here, on Twitter, and in other appropriate settings.  I cannot censor myself just because a handful of people are going to think I’m being mean.

As long as things are said in the right ways and in the proper settings, there’s no reason for the speaker to feel bad about their statements and opinions.  Someone who simply disagrees should have enough maturity within them to say something to you if they feel strongly enough about it.  Those who feel guilty and become angry should direct that anger back at themselves, not at the speaker.  “Tracy is an attention seeking whore” and “There are way too many cleavage pics on my timeline; tone it down, ladies” are two very different statements.  Only one should cause you to feel that twinge of guilt and only one gives a specific person reason to call you out.  As long as I keep my statements in blanket form, I have nothing to feel bad about.  It’s a shame that certain people disappear, but can it really be called a loss if that makes me down one delusional, lying, selfish friend?

Hashtag Subtweet

One of my favorite things about social media, blogging, and other areas of the internet where one can say virtually anything is the freedom it gives me to be uncensored and to air out my frustrations without running the risk of offending or harming anyone.  In theory anyway.  One of the bigger ways this is done by myself and many other people is by using the sometimes loved and often hated subtweet.  Let’s be honest; we all have at least one friend who tends to rub us the wrong way on a regular basis.  They can be frustrating and push you to the point where you have to say something.  Rather than confront them directly, a vague tweet can get that frustration out without offending the person.  Is it immature?  Sure, but it’s almost a guarantee that the person you’re referring to is hardly the picture of maturity themselves.  I also find it healthier to be a bit immature and calm as opposed to being 100% mature and 100% frustrated.

The thing about a subtweet is that it only has the power to offend you if you are either feeling guilty or actually are guilty of whatever behavior or characteristic is being referenced.  If someone posts a tweet about people who complain about their job and how sad they are, I’m likely going to feel a pang of guilt because I vent quite a bit about my job and my crazy coworkers.  If someone posts a tweet about being stuck up or being trashy, I feel nothing because it doesn’t apply to me.  I exploded last night over a handful of people posting about a character death on The Walking Dead (which I have yet to watch because Dexter is on at the same time, so it’s currently sitting on the DVR).  The only people it had the power to anger were those who let loose with show details in a careless manner.

If you are offended when I talk about dishonest people or shallow attention seekers, chances are you fit the description and are annoyed that it’s not going unnoticed.  If that is the case, why waste time being angry at me?  Perhaps your time is better spent looking in the mirror and trying to figure out what it is about your actions and personality that caused you to take my comment about liars as a personal attack.  The fact that you’re taking it personally is a clear sign that you’re aware of your fault(s).  I’m sorry that you’re frustrated about your transparency, but I’m not sorry for pointing out your flaw(s).  I’m not responsible for you feeling guilty about something, I’m not responsible for you instantly assuming you were the worthless person I was referring to, and I’m not responsible for you getting all kinds of cranky about it.

One interesting thing about subtweeting is how difficult it is to escape.  Even those who find it appalling, immature, and juvenile will do it now and then.  Whether they are complaining about habitual subtweeters or about something more specific, it’s almost a guarantee that somewhere on their timeline, you’ll find a vague complaint about a person or group of people that was posted out of frustration and with a little bit of hope that the right person would read it and take a hint.  It’s always funny to see a subtweet about how annoying and immature subtweeting is, but it goes to show you how easy it is to let one slip out of frustration.

I completely agree that it’s immature and can be very annoying.  It’s an obnoxious thing to do and doesn’t properly address any problem existing between the person making the statement and the person or people it affects.  That being said, it’s not a behavior I plan on stopping and it’s not one I will apologize for.  It’s incredibly therapeutic for me to be able to use Twitter as an outlet to vent about certain wastes of human life or about good people who sometimes do dumb things.  It also does not have the power to harm anyone unless they allow it to do so; I’m unaffected by someone’s comment about obnoxious people so long as I choose to ignore it or choose to decide that it does not apply to me.

One thing I find particularly hilarious is when I’ll make a comment about a less desirable personality trait with a certain person in mind and it ends up ticking off a completely different person that wasn’t even on my radar.  It happens more than it should, making me wonder why these people think they are always on my mind and are always the subject matter of my comments.  Do they really think they’re that important, or are they just feeling bad about their behavior and getting annoyed that what I say applies to them?  It’s even better when they first react, then go into “I don’t care” mode to try to play it off.  If you don’t care, why react at all?

A subtweet only has the power to hurt you if you give it permission to do so.  If you’re not cheating on your girlfriend, a comment about cheaters can’t hurt you and isn’t aimed at you.  If you’re not a drama queen, you have no reason to pay attention to tweets insulting people who are.  It’s embarrassingly simple.  By overreacting to subtweets, even if they are aimed at you, you’re only succeeding in drawing attention to yourself and giving everyone watching the impression that you are indeed guilty of the bad behavior referenced.

I’m not going to stop commenting on whoever I want to comment about, people in general aren’t going to stop subtweeting or posting cryptic things elsewhere, and we’re never going to find a way to stop getting offended over comments, regardless of whether or not they are directed at us.  The only sensible things to do are to either cut people out of your life, or when that isn’t possible, ignore them and honestly laugh off their nonsense.  Don’t post back “Oh, you’re so clever. #WhoCares” as it clearly shows you do care.  You have to stop caring and let their jabs fly over your head.  By not allowing them to affect you and by letting it breeze by you, you take away their power and you become the bigger person.

I’m not writing this from atop my high horse; I have engaged in petty subtweet wars and allowed comments from people to get under my skin.  I’m the first to admit that I’m guilty of certain bad behaviors.  That said, I’m not currently steaming mad because some dumbass is complaining on Twitter about people with kids always being too busy to hang out.  Sure, it applies to me, but is it worth caring about?  Do I really want to associate with someone who thinks I’d be a better friend if I dump my kid off at any place possible so I can hit the town and get drunk?  The best decision is to make these types of people invisible.  And with this blog, I officially make the worst offender of the above behavior an invisible and voiceless being.  You won’t be missed.

Til Death. Part Time Of Course.

I heard something the other day that annoyed me.  Because it’s secondhand information and because the person may not want me regurgitating their information, I’m going to be as brief as possible.  Single female, with children, dated two married men with the full and complete knowledge that they are married.  I suppose it’s all right to be brief in the description since this scenario is unfortunately quite a common one.

Being single with children is rough and I don’t think there’s a certain age range where it’s any easier than another; you either have children who don’t understand, preteens who are resentful, teenagers who act rebellious and unwelcoming, not to mention the depression and guilt that can strike any age when the child is left wondering why one parent isn’t around and doesn’t love them like they believe they should.  As a former single mom, I know how hard it is to date and shed the unwed mom image or the notion that you’re loose and your bad behavior is what landed you with a kid.  Other than the single moms I knew, guess who understood my dating dilemma best?  Married people.  I’m not quite sure why, but my married friends (both childless and parents) somehow got it and sympathized.  I can definitely see how a vulnerable single woman would be drawn to a married man who understood how lonely she felt.  That being said, there’s a very clear line there that cannot and must not be crossed.

To a single mom, a successful man is quite attractive and one who is a family man as well is even better.  Raising a child alone doesn’t make for the most stable environment, no matter how good you are at it.  To hear a man talk about the things he does for his kids after work and how proud he is of them could definitely be attractive.  To hear about how he pampers his stay-at-home wife could definitely make a woman feel a bit of jealousy and wish she was in the wife’s place.  That doesn’t justify trying to stick yourself there.  You don’t get a marriage license because it’s fun, you do so because a marriage is a legal binding agreement between two people.  If they choose to separate on their own without outside interference, so be it.  No one should insert themselves into someone else’s marriage, no matter how you feel or what promises the married party makes to you or lies they feed you.  If you’re giving up your goods, of COURSE the unfaithful married person will swear they’re getting a divorce or are already sleeping in separate beds, so long as you keep on taking your pants off.  Only a fool buys into that and only a fool puts themselves in that position to begin with.

I can’t imagine any man out there who would make me want to become a homewrecker.  Why would I want to teach my son that marriage vows mean jack shit by sleeping with a man who is promised to another woman?  What does that say about my self-esteem and self-worth?  What kind of woman does that make me at the end of the day?  If you simply want sex and no strings, there are plenty of single people out there who would be happy to roll around with you and never call you again, so there’s no excuse for going to someone who’s married.  If you want a sugar daddy/mommy, there’s also plenty of them out there who have yet to put a ring on their finger.  If you’re looking for love, do you really want the love of someone who is willing to cheat on someone they love(d) enough to marry?  I can’t imagine ever being secure with a man who left his wife to be with me; I’d always fear for the next new chick to come along and cause his eyes to wander.

Except for those instances where the married party fails to disclose their marriage, both parties are at fault for beginning and carrying on a relationship.  A man can throw the greatest lines at you, buy you diamonds, offer vacations, and come off as the most fantastic person to ever grace the Earth with his presence, but if he’s married he is OFF LIMITS.  Period.  His appeal is no excuse for carrying on with him.  As for the married part of this, don’t get married if you’re not done dogging around.  You can’t love your spouse AND sleep around, it doesn’t work that way.  Cheating doesn’t have a place in a relationship with true love; if you need or want to cheat, separate beforehand and then have at it.  If that’s too much work, keep your pants tightly belted on and keep your hands to yourself.

We all make mistakes and have moments of weakness, stupidity, bad judgment, foolishness, and regret.  It’s forgivable to fall in love with a married man, as emotions are tough to control.  It’s unforgivable to act on those feelings and taint his marriage, even if he says it’s all right.  It’s okay to want to recapture your childhood, find a sitter for the kids on Saturday, and go out and party like you’re in college.  It’s not okay to take a married guy home and give him an anatomy lesson.  Even if you find yourself in a near-perfect sneaky scenario, you’ve got to understand that people are smarter than you give them credit for and chances are, the spouse will find out, their kids will find out, and so will your kids.  What kind of piss poor parent wants to teach their child that marriage doesn’t mean shit and promises of love come with unfaithful acts and chances of catching a disease?

Listen ladies, the guy isn’t leaving his wife for you.  I don’t care what he says, it’s not going to happen.  It’s pillow talk to make your dress come off quicker.  Even if it’s just a fling, it’s still an equal amount of wrong.  There is not one single solitary reason under the sun that makes it okay to get involved with a married person.  Chicks have enough trouble being taken seriously and not being just a pair of boobs to the majority of guys, don’t devalue our gender more by making it okay for a married man to make you his piece on the side.  Have some self-respect.

The Single Life

I have never been as happy to be married as I was last Saturday night.  My husband and I went to a couple of bars with a friend of ours to grab dinner, listen to some live music, and indulge in some lovely adult beverages.  Our first stop was the Moon Dog Tavern, which was pretty packed but we were lucky enough to find a table right next to one that was reserved for the band.  We began ordering and quickly noticed that we seemed to be the youngest people in attendance other than the wait staff.  Eventually we spotted a band poster advertising the talent for tonight would be covering songs by Elton John and Journey.

As tempted as we were to stick around with the geriatric crowd, we grabbed our checks from our waitress and worked on finishing our drinks.  A cougar in a shirt that was two sizes too small spotted us preparing to leave and ran over to our table to claim it for her group, totally oblivious to the fact that our friend still had half a beer left.  She and her chubby friend started “dancing” behind our friend, so the beer was left abandoned and we high tailed it out of there.

After some searching, we landed at Fox And Hound and scored a high top table in the back by the basketball hoop and pool tables.  To my right was a glass partition separating our area from the main restaurant, and in the booth next to our table were two single guys, one in a striped polo and the other in a turtleneck sweater.  They eyeballed me like crazy, polo shirt edging his sleeve up more and more to show off his awful tattoo and turtleneck coming into our room to show off his skills (or lack thereof) shooting hoops.  The rest of the guys there were less than impressive; too-tan guido, guy in suspenders, oddly shaped muscle man, chubby dudes with bowl cuts, and various freaks of nature.  I love to people watch and we all had fun checking out the various patrons, but it definitely made me grateful that my single days are over and I wasn’t out at that bar to try to meet a guy and score a date.

Granted, bars aren’t the best place to meet a potential girlfriend or boyfriend, but it is a pretty easy way to meet new people, especially when your inhibitions are slightly lowered and the beer goggles are on.  I went on one date with a guy I met at a bar a couple of years before I met my husband, and there wasn’t anything terribly wrong with him except for his broken car and lack of a job and motivation.  Prior to that, I met a guy while in college at a local bar and he seemed nice enough, but he didn’t impress me enough to get a phone call after that night was over.  Other than those two, any and all guys I’ve met at bars have been creepy, unattractive, pushy, and not worth my time or manners.  I’ve left countless establishments during my single days trying to escape guys who won’t take no for an answer or who assume paying for my drink requires me to sleep with them later, or at least make out with them at the bar.

Our friend is single, which made me more aware that evening of some of the joys of being single, mainly the nonsense that goes into meeting a good guy.  If the places we went to are any indication, chances are slim to none of finding a decent person at a bar.  Meeting someone at work is an option and if I was single, the building I work in is large enough where I could meet someone and not have it interfere with my job or deal with discomfort if the relationship doesn’t pan out; my husband and I have to make an effort to see each other during the day and not once in the 19 months I’ve worked here have I ever accidentally ran into him.  Unfortunately, the selection isn’t necessarily going to be great and you run the risk of meeting someone who is married but decides to withhold that tidbit of information from you; I hear stories of married folk in my building who have a spouse at home and a special friend at work.  For those in smaller work spaces, the risk of having your love life interfere with your job is just too high to risk dating a coworker, and some offices have policies against doing so, especially when it involves a supervisor.

So, bar is out, work is out.  There’s always the option of asking a friend to hook you up with somebody.  Of course with that, you run the risk of alienating your friend if things don’t pan out or if they arrange something with a person you have no interest in.  I ticked off a friend of my mother’s when I declined an offer to go on a date with her son.  Her barely 5 foot tall son.  Who was older than me by three years and still lived at home.  Rather than go on a date to make them happy and refuse to go on a second, I turned down the entire thing and was deemed as thinking I was “too good for him.”

I met my husband online through NewBlog and got to know him on MySpace.  Obviously we have a success story with online dating, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the greatest way to meet people.  For every positive story of finding love online, there is a horror story or two to counter it.  Before I was old enough to drive, I started talking to this guy on AOL.  We talked a few times a week, exchanged photos, and got along great.  When it came time to meet, we arranged to hook up in the mall and I took one look at him and ran the other way.  He had lied about his weight by at least 100 pounds, had sent me an obviously old photo, and I could smell his BO from ten feet away.  Now that we don’t have to rely on dial-up and A/S/L questions, it’s insanely simple to find someone and start flirting online, even simpler to lie and make yourself seem twice as amazing as you actually are on your best day, and quite easy to be let down or have your heart broken in the end.

I’ve always heard that if you want to find love, stop looking for it.  I hate that saying.  It’s something I always expect to hear from incredibly attractive people who are currently in committed relationships and have not once struggled to find a date.  I do have to give it some credit though; I met my husband during a time when I had zero interest in dating and was in the mindset that all men were going to be idiots just like my ex.  Although I wasn’t actively trying to date, I did have to put in a great deal of effort to get him to notice me and after about a year, feelings developed and we began taking steps to be together.  Not looking can’t equal not trying, otherwise you’re destined for the single life for the long haul.  At any rate, I feel damn lucky that I managed to find the man I love more than words can say and I’m glad we somehow stumbled upon each other despite living 1000 miles apart at the time.  All the failed dates, bad pick-up lines, broken hearts, and bitter betrayals were definitely worth it to now be with a man who honestly loves me for better and for worse.

Frag Out!

I’ve always enjoyed video games and have played on my computer since I was a child and they were on giant floppy discs.  I wasn’t allowed to have a gaming system in my house when I was younger, so I’d go to a friend’s to play Duck Hunt or Super Mario.  I loved the arcade, especially when I was able to play Mortal Combat and kick some ass.  I was a giant Everquest nerd in college and finally bought an XBox in my early 20s.  The time I’ve played has always varied, but I enjoy getting into a good and challenging game.  My husband and I were very into Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 and I even dressed as Rochelle for Halloween back in 2010.  About a month after Black Ops was released, my husband and I got into the multiplayer and I spent a great deal of time getting murdered.

I enjoy playing the game itself, but the other players tended to make the experience less than enjoyable.  I mainly played Domination, where teams fight to capture and hold three different flags.  Often I was the player with the highest captures, but due to my 30 deaths and the other players having 3o or more kills, I was generally one of the lowest scoring players.  The point system doesn’t reward players who are actually playing the intended game and instead rewards players for killing as many of the other team as possible, often while ignoring the game’s objective.  With MW3, I was hopeful for changes; my husband told me beforehand that the scoring system was being tweaked and I would be rewarded for actually playing the game and winning the match for my team instead of becoming the lowest scorer simply by being an easy target for snipers.  Sadly, not much has changed.

The first few matches my husband and I played on MW3 were fantastic.  I received perks for capturing flags and killing other teammates and was finally able to consistently get care packages and air support for my team by choosing perks that don’t reset when I died.  The downside is that the same people who irritated me on Black Ops with their behavior have proven to be even more obnoxious on MW3.  Players would sit in the opposing team’s spawn point and immediately kill them upon respawn, as well as other tactics to do nothing but make their kill to death ratio as high as possible.  There is a multiplayer game called Team Deathmatch where the point is to kill as many people as possible, so the fact that these people choose to do this in a game where the point is something else entirely is quite annoying.  I expect to be shot and blown up frequently, but I don’t expect to die 38 times in one match simply because I’m one of the only people actually playing the intended game.

Even that may not have turned into such a bother for me if not for the fact that people cheat and they cheat hard.  I did a Google search for cheats and was amazed by all the results that popped up for a game that has been out for a week.  After 2 days, there were players that were already level 60 and higher and many of them were obviously hacking their way into success.  In one match, a player for the other team change the color of his name from red to green; thinking he was on my team I didn’t shoot at him but saw his name turn back to red as he shot me in the face.  I thought at first I had possibly been mistaken, but it happened a few times afterward as well.  I’ve shot players point blank in the head and had nothing happen.  I’ve had people shoot me through walls that I’m unable to shoot through or seen them spot me before I even thought about coming into their line of sight on the playbacks of the kill.  It also tends to cause the game to glitch on my end when a player on my team is cheating.

Before you write me off as a bitter person who just sucks at the game, let me clarify a few things.  I’m perfectly aware that my aim isn’t the greatest and I can’t use a sniper rifle properly.  I go into matches expecting to die a lot but I also go in knowing that the multiplayer mode I choose is one I’m good at.  As far as flag captures in Domination, I am always in the top three, if not the best at getting flags captured.  If I wanted to have a competition to see who could kill the most people, I’d choose that mode.  All I want is to be able to play the intended game and not be plagued by cheaters and people who call me a fag.

Games aren’t fun if they don’t present the player with a challenge and this is why cheaters confuse me so much.  What is the point of getting amazing stats and achieving a high level if you got there dishonestly?  Sure, my kill to death ratio is .204, but I earned it.  I can be genuinely impressed with myself when I have the most headshots in a match because I did so honestly without any boosters or modifications.  And shouldn’t that be how we all play games?  Signing on, getting started, and having fun with the game play and hopefully increasing our skill the more we play.

With MW3’s lack of security that makes hacking easy and its unfair scoring system, I’m thoroughly disappointed with the game’s multiplayer mode.  I’ve been unintentionally calling it Black Ops for the past few days because it feels like the same old game with the same problems.  The perks aren’t even close to equaling the problems and I simply don’t want to waste my evening yelling profanities at the television screen as I watch players manipulate the game and cheat their way into success.  My husband needs his $64 back because this game just wasn’t worth it.  If you need me, I’ll be playing Skyrim.

Exposing Cheaters

When I was somewhere between my early and mid twenties, I was engaged to my middle school sweetheart.  We had been engaged for nearly two years when financial hardship struck and our living conditions went to hell.  I got a small room for rent and he took up residence in his bosses out of commission camper that sat behind the shop where he worked.  During this time, it was understood that although we were still engaged and committed, just living apart due to our financial situation.  We still saw each other almost daily and I had no reason to believe that anything was wrong.  Living on my own allowed me to save up some cash and I was able to get back into an apartment.  When I approached him about moving back in together, he had been drinking and admitted to me that he had slept with two different waitresses while we were living apart, one of which he actually dated for about a month.  I was devastated but attempted to forgive and forget, which is a challenge and which I highly recommend not trying.

I didn’t leave him because he cheated, but I can honestly say that if I were to strip away all the other things about him that were awful and simply make him an unfaithful boyfriend, I still would have left him.  The knowledge of your loved one betraying your trust and laying down with someone else isn’t something that can simply be shrugged off or erased from memory.  It’s something that’s right in front of you any time you look at that person.  It enters your mind when they touch you; did they touch him or her this way or did they kiss them the way they kiss me?  You start to doubt yourself; did I do something wrong or am I not good enough?  The trust is shattered; you’ll wonder who they are with when they leave the house, or if they were checking out the cashier at the store while you two shopped.  If you forgive and forget, you devalue yourself to some extend because you’re basically saying that it was okay for them to treat you like they did and go outside of your relationship.  If you’re with a certain type of person, they’ll abuse your forgiveness and use it as a green light to cheat on you again since they know you’re not going anywhere.

If you discover that your friend’s boy/girlfriend is cheating on them, what do you do?  My first instinct is always to let them know what’s going on, but I rarely ever do.  With my ex I mentioned above, I was told by a mutual friend that he brought another girl to a comedy club and went home with her afterward, bragging about his conquest the next day.  I didn’t believe it because my head was in the clouds and I thought he loved me.  As much as I’ve desire to help friends when I know they’re being cheated on, I’ve almost always held back because they simply don’t listen to me and I sometimes lose a friend.  It’s natural to want to trust the person you’re with over outside parties and it’s difficult to hear something that will negatively affect your relationship.  Unless you have rock solid evidence that you can put in front of them and make it impossible to deny, it’s not a good idea to intervene.  Even with proof, you risk your friend resenting you or ending the friendship out of fear that you will now be silently judging them and their relationship choices.

A couple ex-friends of my husband and I created a story about my husband’s infidelity at the end of the blow out that ended our friendship; it was their last-ditch effort to hurt myself and my husband.  One acted like an ass and broadcasted the tale over various websites, but the other acted as though she was trying to help by telling me.  She said she needed to share this with me because she cared and didn’t want me hurt.  Let’s pretend for a minute that my husband is a dirt bag and actually did the deed.  I wouldn’t have believed it at first if at all.  I also would have been angry at my friends for waiting two years to tell me about his tryst with another woman.  It also would have put a strain on the friendship they had with my husband and possibly become a reason for everyone going their separate ways.  Two years had gone past from his “affair” so what would the point be in telling me now?

If you are the cheater, what do you do?  Let’s assume it happened one time and was a mistake that you are regretful for.  You slipped up one time and have no intentions of ever letting it happen again.  The person you cheated with is also willing to let it go and never speak of it or to you again.  Do you tell your spouse or boy/girlfriend?  Personally, I would be eaten alive by the guilt and would either have to confess it all to him or leave him for good.  But that’s me; some people would view their one time as a mistake that isn’t that big of a deal.  They could choose not to tell their loved one because it’s over and done with, or perhaps they do tell them and expect forgiveness since it was only a single slip up.  I’m torn on this one.  I would want to know and I’d want it to come from the lips of my husband.  I wouldn’t forgive him and wouldn’t be able to stay with him and it would break my heart, but I can’t be with a cheater and wouldn’t want to live in ignorance with a man who disrespected me enough to bump uglies with another woman behind my back.  That being said, I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t want to know if something happened or they would forgive as long as it was just once.  Although those are not choices I’d personally make, I can definitely see the logic in them.

It differs for me when dealing with a serial cheater. Maybe you have a mistress or maybe you have a couple of guys you’ve been stringing along, but long-term cheaters deserve to be exposed.  I will reluctantly write off one time as a mistake, but repeating it is just dirty.  The cheater is making a fool out of their partner every time they step outside the relationship.  I don’t believe this type of cheater would be the one to cough up a voluntary confessions of their deeds but I do believe that they should.  There are plenty of people in this world willing to have a casual roll in the hay; if you don’t want to stick with one person or can’t do so without cheating, stay single!  If you’re getting off from the risk of getting caught, go find public kid-free places to have sex.  I’d be more comfortable in a world where I occasionally glimpse a naked couple hiding in the bushes than a world where husbands are bringing home herpes and wives are banging the trainer at the gym while the kids are at school.

I have a zero tolerance policy for cheaters and I wish it was shared by more people in this world.  I’d miss Joey Greco for a bit, but overall it would restore a bit of my faith in humanity.  Cheating is a selfish activity that can easily be eliminated.  Stay single and let people you date know that you’re seeking a casual encounter and are also going elsewhere.  Enter a relationship and stay in an open status, with the two of you free to go see other people.  There is absolutely no excuse for making a commitment to another person and betraying them.  If you’re unhappy or if something is missing, end it and move forward.  Don’t drag someone down and emotionally beat them just because you can’t keep your pants anywhere but around your ankles.  Have some pride and respect.

Friends With Benefits With Marriage?

My husband and I watched the movie The Freebie last night, starring Dax Shepherd and Katie Aselton, who also directed the movie.  It centers around a married couple whose sex life is less than satisfying; they are very much in love and communicate wonderfully but can’t seem to connect on that physical level for some reason.  After months of a sexless but happy existence, Shepherd’s character, Darren, brings up the idea of taking a night off from marriage.  A freebie date with someone else, no holding back and no strings attached, one time only, no questions asked.

I enjoyed watching The Freebie and won’t ruin it for you; it’s currently streaming on Netflix if you’re one of the few who haven’t divorced them yet.  The film did result in a bit of conversation between my husband and I and got me thinking a bit about how married and committed couples deal with the physical side of their relationship when everything else gets in the way.  No, my husband and I didn’t grant each other a freebie and no, we have no plans to in the future.  The most we’ve ever discussed is something many couples do; the celebrity free pass.  The celebrity one is an easy one for couples to bring up because the chances of it happening are slim to none.  A husband can give his wife permission to bang it out with Brad Pitt because he knows it’ll never happen, just as a woman can give her girlfriend a free night with one of the lovely ladies on The Real L Word with the confidence that they’ll never be in the same room at the same time.

Talking about a free roll around with Emmy Rossum is totally different from talking about doing it realistically.  Lulls in a couple’s sex life can happen and unfortunately, like the couple in The Freebie, it often happens after marriage or another type of serious commitment is made.  Jobs and housework and children and pets and bills and friends and scheduling and LIFE just get in the way of that special time that used to be so easy to find together.  The comfort zone is also a factor.  Women stop wearing sexy lingerie, men stop shaving every day, you burp and fart in front of each other without shame, and you enter almost what can be described as a friend zone.  Things slow down, the passion dies a bit, and nighttime cuddles turn into sleeping back to back.

It can be considered a turn-on to think of you and your mate going off one night for a hot ride with someone else, knowing that you’ll be coming back to each other afterward, stronger and more in love than ever.  Whoever you have your tryst with will make you more appreciative of what you have at home, plus it’ll rid you of the urge to see what things are like with someone else and will rid you of the fear of knowing that the person you’re with is the only person you’ll be seeing naked for the rest of your life.  Excluding porn, of course.

For someone like myself, even imagining some woman with her hands on my husband is enough to make me cringe, so I don’t even want to imagine all the other body parts she’d be rubbing on him.  I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable trying to pick up a guy to take home and bang, nevermind being able to face my husband the next day, even having his blessing to do the nasty with someone else.  Call me old-fashioned if you will, but when you get married or enter into a civil union, you’re committed to being with one person and one person only from then on.  If you’re unwilling or are one of those people who likes to share, don’t make that commitment.  You can pretty it up however you want, but stepping outside of your marriage or commitment, blessing or not, is still cheating.

The stigma of being a cheater aside, what about the other consequences of boning a stranger?  Condoms aren’t foolproof and don’t protect against everything.  How is your relationship going to be after one of you brings home a nice case of herpes?  What if a pregnancy results?  What if the person you chose to have your free date with decides to broadcast your roll in the hay to the wrong people or develops a connection to you and wants more or has a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend that now wants you to suffer?  If you’re “responsible” and choose a friend to have your free date with, how will that affect the friendship?  Will there be jealous feelings every time you all are in the same room?  But most important, is one free fuck worth your entire relationship and the live you’ve built together?

I can’t say I’m lucky to not have this problem because honestly, this isn’t a problem people should have.  You shouldn’t have to resort to sleeping with other people in order to fix your sex life.  Problems aren’t solved by running away and seeking someone else.  If you’re unhappy with how often you bump uglies, try to initiate it more often or dress sexy, plan a massage or a bubble bath, take them out to dinner or cook a romantic one at home, or maybe just rent some good porn and watch together.  Or maybe, just watch The Freebie.  If my night was any indication, I’m pretty sure it’ll have a positive outcome for you.

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