Over the last few columns, I have written about the nuances of dating and desirable preferences, but what about the make or break facets of relationships? As the wise saying goes: “do not ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to”. Of course, this is completely contradictory to the fact that we are humans and curious by nature. Add a relationship to that equation and curiousity can, and most often does, kill the cat. Honesty in all relationships is important, romantic or otherwise, but how important is disclosure? If you just omit something or fail to mention it is it a lie?
Here’s an example. A close friend of mine and I have been intimate but had never set boundaries. I found a used condom at what I thought was his sacred home that I knew seldom saw foot traffic. My instant reaction was to confront my friend about my discovery. Very soon a combustion of emotions whirled within me: sadness, anger, anguish, disappointment, and confusion. A multitude of questions raced through my mind. What should I do? Should I terminate our situation? Should I ask who he was sleeping with? Should I outright scold him?
But…I held back!
I maintained my daily routine and work. I gave myself the time I needed to be able to speak, act and think logically when the time came for me to approach the matter in person. One of my core beliefs is to maintain calmness in order to better resolve situations and seek clarity. We are just friends after all, high expectations should not be in place. I know if I desired more or wanted less I should state it clearly. I also knew I had to be honest and tell him what I had found in order to give him the opportunity to be truthful with me. Coming into the face to face meeting, I knew having expectations of the outcome would be pointless and I was at peace no matter what the response I would receive would be. I was told that the condom was used for masturbation. Now, I can choose to accept or reject the answer. The power is in my hand. From this experience, I know now that with trust and clear communication without disruptive knee jerk emotions, any problem can come to a resolve. Keeping my head, expressing my concerns rationally and truly listening to his response lent itself greatly to our being able to come to a mutual understanding. To this day, we are still friends and everything we had is in place as if nothing has changed.
So to me, in the end, it’s all about communication. If we want to hear the truth, we have to listen and be open to receive what that truth is .We also have yo avoid jumping to conclusions and ask questions before lashing out at our partners. I, for one, have decided to put myself out there and trust and not overreact to every red flag. Remember, none of us are perfect, we all make mistakes but if you work through it together, you can avoid falling apart