This Thought Catalog article on faithfulness was brought to my attention recently, and I read it with both agreement and a few feelings of “ick.”
Agreement in that what is being said actually rings true for SOME situations, and I can see why the article was written the way it was.
The icks were for the WON TWOO WAY™-ness of it all, and the definite bias towards chiding men for their crappy behavior.
That said, it’s a topic worth exploring, because we all have to determine our own definitions of faithful for ourselves and our relationships.
So, I’ll explore my thoughts in reaction to the writing through some quotes (not in order).
“Being faithful means more than keeping your hands to yourself.”
“It means more than only sleeping with one person, only kissing one person, only being physically involved with one person.”
Yes. Because many of us are not only interested in one person.
“Being faithful means keeping your wedding ring on or keeping your relationship status public so everyone knows you’re taken…”
Taken? Like owned?
Like ‘taken off the market. ‘
That’s what happens to inanimate objects and livestock. Things we pay money for.
Why not, “make it clear when you aren’t open to another partner right now,”
“…instead of purposely trying to make other people think that you’re single so that they treat you differently. So that you still get checked out and receive miniature confidence boosts.”
Ok, so now miniature confidence boosts are unfaithful?
Even in the monogamous relationships I’ve been in, that was not a crime.
“Being faithful means deciding that your love for this one person outweighs your desire to be with any other person on the planet.”
Ok, so I get this for the monogamous sorts.
Which IS OK—I’m not bashing. Hell, Polyamory is NOT for everyone.
For those with ANY sort of openness, swing, polyamory, what have you…this is toxic thinking.
And even in monogamy, the idea that ONE person’s love and affection will “turn off” the switch inside you, thereby totally removing your ability to feel attracted to others sexually, emotionally, or whatever, is hurtful, and can cause some serious issues.
“Being faithful means being honest with your person about the fact that you ran into your ex during your lunch break or that some girl at the bar asked you for your number. It means being open, even when the truth makes you uncomfortable, because you believe that your person deserves to know what really happened. “
I’ll agree with this. After all, I don’t personally want a relationship where I can’t be open and 100% myself.
But for many, they don’t care and don’t want to hear.
Who am I to decide for them, unless they are getting into a relationship with ME? And then, there is a negotiation… because I doubt I’ll compromise on that.
“Being faithful means knowing what your person is not okay with, what they would consider being disloyal, and never crossing that line.”
In my world, this is the most true thing the article contains on faithfulness. I’d add to that, though:
Being faithful means finding out what your person is not okay with, what they would consider being disloyal, choosing consciously to agree to those things in your relationship, and then never crossing that line.