Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dating - You're Too Young to Understand.

You know how this goes.

Shiny sun. A beautiful day. I sit at a table with a group of beautiful Women. My drink is as purple as my shirt. A nice color on my skin.

As one of the Women gets up and leaves, I strike up a conversation with the Lady sitting next to her --

Me: "So, how's your date going?"
She shoots me a look, as if I asked her an absurd question.
Lady: "Oh, we're not dating. I have a girlfriend."
I'm sure she could see the shock on my face as my mouth drops. She has a girlfriend yet she's been flirting with this woman all day? Hmm, I'm confused.
Me: "Really? I find that surprising."
She gives me a look, ready to defend her actions.
Lady: "You don't understand. You're too young and you've never been in a long-term relationship."
I'm not a fighter, but mean words don't sit well with me. Does she know how long my relationships have lasted? Uh, no.
Me: "How do you know what I've been through?
She ignores me -- not nice.
Me: "I may not know what you're going through, but I do have experience with relationships. May I ask you a question?"
Lady rolls her eyes. I try my best not to take it personal, knowing this is her Ego taking charge. Normally I'd walk away by now, but something is keeping me here. Maybe she needs this...maybe we both do.
Lady: "Sure."
Me: "Are you in a monogamous relationship?"
She pauses, and then --
Lady: "I know where you're going with this."
Me: "Well, are you?"
She's annoyed, but she's pretending not to be.
Lady: "...yes, but there are gaps in our relationship. You don't get it."
Me: "Once again, what do you know about me other than my name and age?"
Lady: "I know you don't know anything about me or my relationship."
Me: "True, but I must say that my parents have been together for over thirteen years and they would never act the way you've been with that woman, which has been very inappropriate."
Lady: "It's not like that. This is what we do. We get together and flirt. Whatever."
Me: "Okay. I am just expressing my opinion, so stop me if you want. But, don't you think that if you're flirting with this woman that maybe you aren't happy in your current relationship?"
Her face turns red and she looks speechless...and vulnerable. Ouch. I can tell that I hit a soft spot as she sits there, with no words in her pockets. And, although she put up a thick wall, it's starting to crumble. How was I supposed to know that my words would get to her?

Looking back on this, I probably should have shut my mouth. Maybe I should have left right after I asked her how the date was going. But, I was hurt. It never feels good when you are talking to someone and they say, "you don't understand, you've never been what I've been through."

Assumptions and generalizations don't feel good. At all. But, just because peeps may fall prey to those thangs doesn't mean you have to react.

I usually let this stuff roll off my back -- "You're so young, just be quiet," or "I'm twice as old as you so don't even open your mouth." Yeah, I am used to this sort of thang. But, at that moment and on that day I felt the need to keep the discussion going. I felt my Ego say, "Don't let her get away with dissing you like that! Get her back!" And sure enough, I did. Without realizing it, consciously, I kept digging and digging at a very sensitive topic in her life:

Her relationship.

And, I can't say that it was a proud moment for me, because it wasn't. No one has the place to judge a relationship. But this is what life is all about. Making mistakes, reflecting, and learning from them. To be real though, even at this moment, I can't help but wonder what made her say such belittling, hurtful words to me -- a complete stranger? Was it a protective mechanism, feeling like she needed to be defensive?


I don't feel like we should ever cut someone down for his or her opinion. Because, it's only words and opinions in the large scheme of things. Plus, words only dig deep when we let the Ego take control, or when it's a sensitive topic. For example, let's turn the tables and pretend I am that Lady who is in a monogamous relationship:

Oh wait, there's no conversation because I would never be flirting with another woman if I am in a committed partnership. Straight up. Yes, it isn't my duty or yours to call someone out on his or her actions. However, when we do and the other person attacks us or acts super defensive, then they are more than likely covering up an insecurity within themselves.

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