People express and possess a range of varying outlooks when it comes to being in a relationship, but there are two types of perspectives that irk me the most. There’s the naïve person who believes that being “taken” is the end of everything; then you have the douchebag wolves who get off on preying on the boo’d up, even when their advances are rebuffed—especially when that person is miles away from their spouse.
This observation is based on a recent conversation I had with an engaged girlfriend, who seems to think that life is over when you get boo’d up (and especially married). You can’t look at anyone or be looked at by anyone, and if you smile at someone, you’re going to burst into flames. An even clearer explanation is that, in her straight and narrow mind (love you girl, but you know it’s true), outside men just aren’t supposed to be interested in you because that’s not how life should work. And if they actually do flirt or deliver salacious glances, they’re met with offense.
Usually she expresses her indignation to friends with something like, “I can’t believe he was flirting with me!” Then we remind her that the perfectly constructed life that exists inside her head is different from how it goes down for real, for real. When people see attractive others, their first thoughts are primal and carnal, never “I probably shouldn’t look at him/her because he/she might be taken.” It’s about trying to figure out how to get on that person’s radar.
Said friend is very Charlotte from Sex and the City, and in our last phone conversation, she recounted her most recent business trip where she was hit on a lot. To me, the whole conversation read like a memo from Captain Obvious. She is an attractive woman, and we always talk about these types of experiences. I’m either with her when they happen (to both of us), or she’s sharing her outrage (which I sometimes think is because secretly she enjoys the attention).
Most of the attempted suitors on said trip weren’t disrespectful. They approached like gentlemen. But once their intentions became clear, she shut them down with a quick “I am engaged and not interested.” Most backed off when she informed them of her status. However, this brings me to the other type of relationship perspective that annoys me: the one who wants to test boundaries.
These are the people who get even more aggressive when someone mentions that they’re taken. The conversation usually goes something like this. The taken says, “I’m married [or whatever variation of taken you like to use],” as a way to say bacdafucup nicely, and the aggressor replies, “So?” And if the taken individual happens to be in another state or country on vacation or business, the douchebag kicks it up a notch with the lame mantra, “What happens in [_____] stays in [_____].”
I experienced this on my own recent girls trip, and it always drives me to near rage. The best way I’ve learned to deal with it is to counter their idiot logic with real logic. The fact that anyone would blatantly disrespect someone’s boundaries in any sense automatically makes them repulsive. Why would anyone who is happy with their current situation or generally in their right mind dare to mess up what they have at home (even if it isn’t perfect) for someone who’s essentially a loser? Sure, there are those who use being away from home as an excuse to act like they’ve never been raised, but that’s not always the case.
Perhaps I sound naïve but there has to be balance somewhere, right?
I have no real explanation for why people on either end of the spectrum behave the way they do, but I do have theories. My theory on said friend and people like her (I’ve met a lot of people like this) is that they get extreme because they feel guilty for being flattered by the attention or don’t trust themselves to have restraint.
And for the douchebags, that’s pretty self-explanatory. But surely there aren’t that many people who act a fool when they’re away from their significant others, are there?
This is where I turn to you.
Why do people on both spectrums behave the way they do, and how do you deal with each relationship outlook type? Sound off!
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.