In every relationship there are things from the past that can be, unsettling, to say the least. I have had many things that seem to just pop up at random that can be frustrating, shocking, defeating, and just flat out depressing. I recently discovered something from the past that has me puzzled. Let me explain.
I am currently in the best relationship of my life, and it only continues to get better. I hardly knew my girlfriend from our encounters before we started dating, especially with the gap in communication of about four years. We have only been together almost a year now. Throughout our relationship, I have noticed, it doesn't feel like a relationship at all, and in a good way. I have never felt pressured, left out, betrayed, confused, or uncomfortable. She is by far my best friend. We never hesitate to discuss anything, regardless of the magnitude or possible consequences. Secrets between us are non-existent, to say the least. She is the best person I have ever found in my life. I'm sure you're at the point of asking yourself, "If everything is so great, how does it relate to this story?" Well, I recently read a Vocal story she wrote shortly before we began dating.
I apologize in advance, as I will not be sharing the story for the protection and privacy of her and I.
She had told me much of her trouble-filled past shortly before we began dating, as well as all she had been through in the time we were not communicating. She had been through some terrible things: An eating disorder, rape, abusive relationships, and overall, she lost herself in a lot of ways. Obviously, I have had my fair share of bad experiences and choices throughout my life, and we all should respect that there are struggles that can yield some pretty nasty outcomes. After all she had gone through, she wanted to find herself and explore herself more. This is the stage I found I didn't know about as much as I thought.
She tried the typical dating apps, and in attempts to explore her sexual side decided to seek a different app specifically for hookups. Pause. There is absolutely nothing wrong with trying new things and exploring, or even hookups for that matter. However, sometimes we put our sexual desires and needs higher than our common sense—and better judgement—which she discovered in her venture.
Long story short: She drove a long ways out of her way, 80 miles round trip to be exact, all to have a less than mediocre experience. So she drove all that way, the guy she met was staying at a friend's parents' house. Unbeknownst to her, she had to sneak into the house, through the house, up the stairs, and down the hall to arrive at his "room." She found a room with a TV, a pile of laundry, and not even a mattress or bed. Against her better judgement, she continued to have a movie play in the background to cover the sounds of the sex they had on the dirty, bare carpet in his room. Let's pause again.
There are so many things I do not like about this situation. I have learned to become somewhat of a feminist, in the sense that I believe woman deserve to be treated better by most men, but they also need to learn to treat themselves better. It's a two-way road. There are a lot of problems, and the only answer—or opinion—I have on them is simple: COMMON SENSE and COMMON COURTESY/RESPECT. He made her drive all the way to him, he didn't bother to mention she would have to sneak through the house, his room was less than presentable, and he didn't seem to give a shit about her or her feelings. On the flip side, she drove all that way, continued to proceed into the house, and even after seeing the sight of his "room," continued to go through with the hookup.
"Okay, T-Flo, get to the point. We're tired of the rambling."
In every relationship I have had, things are discovered and typically not how you would like to discover them and, usually, things are better left undiscovered—this definitely being one of those situations. Initially, I was pissed... the... fuck... off. As I continued to think about it and digest what I really just read, I tried to look at all the aspects and points of view. Her point of view, my point of view, her decisions and reactions, my reactions and thoughts of anger and disgust. There are many ways I could've approached my reaction:
- Lose my shit and make every effort to make sure she knew how angry I was, and how ridiculous she was for doing something like that.
- Shut down, stopped communicating as we usually would, and make her feel like shit and go way too far out her way to put me back in my usual mood.
- Bury it deep down inside, pretending I never read it, knowing it would come out at the worst of times and make everything harder to deal with.
Those were my initial reactions for a situation like this, based on similar situations I had encountered. But this whole relationship, this beautiful young woman was different in every way. We didn't interact like I had with any other partners, so I had to react with the two of us in mind. I thought about how I would feel if she was in my shoes and launched one of those reactions at me. How it would have made me feel.
Due to our amazing communication we always had, and still continue to develop, I decided to approach it in a way I never would've done in the past. I took a deep breath, I had a neutral tone, and I told her what I had read and how it made me feel. *Side Note: If you're a guy reading this, I know you're thinking that this is such a girly thing to do, and I'm starting to sound like a girl. Well, after I told her about it, we sat down and talked about the situation she went through, why it made me feel the way it did, and it all ended with a sweet kiss, a warm embracing hug, and smiles on both of our faces.
"So what am I supposed to take away from this?"
Often times in life, we forget that everyone has a past, and the more we focus on the past, the more it becomes the present, and sometimes even the future. Let it go, if it rubs you the wrong way then talk about. Communication is a two-way street and we all need to have it, learn it, and strive to perfect it. For the ladies, it goes both ways, talk to your significant other. Tell him how you feel, why you feel that way, and what made you feel that way. For the guys, SHUT UP AND LISTEN! There is a reason your significant other is trying to talk to you about something. It may benefit both of you. On the flip side, believe it or not, women do not have fully functional telepathic abilities! And ladies, guys do not either!
At the end of the day, things will anger you, beat you down, make you laugh, cry, and shut down. Regardless of what it is, talk about it. To someone, to anyone. Make sure you aren't blocking the people who want to help you most. If you truly have love, you'll have the fight behind it. With those, you can achieve amazing things.
Hope y'all were able to take something away from this, or relate to it. As always, don't forget your strengths, keep on keeping on, and until next time, I love ya! And I'll see y'all!