What’s the point of a relationship?

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Dear Megan,

So please answer this. We want to be in a relationship with someone we can depend on, but we aren’t supposed to depend on others emotionally.  So what’s the point of even being with anyone? Seems like a catch 22.

-Call Me Anything, But Don’t Call Me Needy

 


Dear “Needy” lol,

Hey, great question!  Thanks for writing! The answer is: sex.  Thanks, again!

Lol, just kidding…  Well, not really.  But I’m assuming you want a westernized, post-romantic era answer, so that, my friend, is what you will get ;)… (Oh, and since we’re dealing with romantic relationships here, I won’t go into those of the family/friend/co-worker/etc. variety, but I’m sure some of this stuff will still apply to them, too).

To begin with, let me just say that there was a time when I related to your confusion/frustration over relationships.  In “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” I even share the moment where I (metaphorically) shook my fist up at the sky and cursed the heavens for my seemingly unshakable desire for unconditional love with a rock-solid companion that seemed to prefer playing hide-and-seek with me.  So, yeah, you’ve definitely come to the right place.

And to answer your question, “What is the point of a relationship?” well, the answer is pretty much two-fold.  We enter relationships: (1) to enhance what we already have, and (2) to grow. 

Lemme explain. 

Dependability is a wonderful, feel-goody quality – (and since you’ve undoubtedly experienced what a lack of it in another feels like I’m pretty sure I don’t have to sell you on that trait) – hence why we desire it so much in a mate.  However, we were never meant to become dependent on others for anything we can give ourselves.

People are fickle.  And I say that not in a bitter “trust no one” tone, but in a “people got their own sh*t going on and therefore can’t be stable enough to meet your needs consistently” one.   Fortunately, we were all born with the ability to tap into whatever emotional reserves we need to buoy ourselves up at any given time, so we don’t need to depend on another for (emotional) oxygen when we have our own supply. (And while it might take some of us a while to find our own supply, trust me, it’s there.)

Does that make relationships useless?  Not really.

While I admit that relationships aren’t necessary for a happy and fulfilling life – (recall that I believe that nothing outside of yourself can make you happy) – nor do you need relationships for getting through tough times, observing and interacting with others in a harmonious and loving way just flat-out feels good.  And since loving and supporting yourself feels good, and others doing it to/with you feels good, you end up with an orgy of feel-goods!  Or, more academically speaking, we invite relationships into our life to compound good feelings. We just love the cherry-on-top fun, love, and support they can bring.

Less enthusiastically, we also get into relationships as a vehicle for growthWhen we open ourselves up emotionally to another, they’re then able to trigger things deep down inside of us that we subconsciously want to heal or change for further expansion/growth.  That’s why a “soulmate” can bring you both great joy, and great misery.  Facing stuff inside of you that you don’t like and want to change can range from feeling slightly uncomfortable to downright painful.  Nonetheless, that person’s ability to “get to you” is why you entered into a relationship with them.  Whether you know it or not, and whether you like it or not.  (Sorry, lol.)

So, there you have it, “Needy.”  The point of a relationship is to magnify whatever you got goin’ on at the time.  Whether you want to compound the awesomeness you’re experiencing, the support you need, and/or just become aware of something undesirable inside of you, “there’s a significant other for that.”

Just make sure that your “want” for a relationship doesn’t turn into a “need” if you want to reap the full benefits of all the wonderful stuff relationships have to offer. Otherwise you’ll keep finding yourself stuck in Oz, when, like Dorothy, you have the power to get yourself home all along.  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

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My boyfriend cheated on me… Now what?

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After you post bail, read article 😉

Dear Megan,

I recently found out my boyfriend cheated.  What should I do?

-If Loving Him is Wrong…  I Actually Wanna be Right

 


Dear “If Loving Him is Wrong…  I Actually Wanna be Right,”

Welp, since a straightforward question deserves a straightforward answer let’s get to it then, shall we?

So, you just found out you got an #AntiRelationshipGoals situation on your hands, and you’re wondering what you should do about it.  Well:

First, allow yourself to feel whatever range of emotions sweep over you, and for however long you need to – (and feel free to get some exercise a la this article’s supporting GIF if you need to, as well, lol).

Once you’re in a more stable mental place, start thanking God for this moment of clarity.  (And the fact that not being married means you don’t have to factor in lawyers and loads more paperwork into your decision-making process).  At this moment you are presented with not only the opportunity to get super clear on what you want, so you can get what you want, but the chance to send a strong message to your psyche that reminds you of what you deserve.  I encourage you to seize this moment and do so.

As soon as possible, and for the weeks following, I recommend that you take control of your creative power, ignore the opinions of others – including your boyfriend’s – and focus exclusively on what you want a relationship to feel like.  Why? Because when you focus exclusively on the way you want your relationship to feel, you’ll get so in tune with the relationship of your dreams that you’ll be inspired to make choices that support the creation of it.

Ignore what’s already transpired, as it’s already been done, and take time to just sit and marinate in the feelings that you envision yourself having in your dream relationship. Don’t focus on things you want to do or have with another person, but rather on how you want to feel within a relationship. Writing those feelings down will help, too.

From there, every time you’ll have to make a decision regarding your relationship, the choice that feels good will be in alignment with your dream and get you closer to it, and the choice that feels bad won’t.  And that will be your guiding principle – the thing that will get you your dream relationship.  The thing that will allow you to finally achieve your #RelationshipGoals.  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

P.S. And for more help on getting your head to work with your heart check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols.”

…And for help on creating a “cheat-proof relationship” moving forward check out this article!

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

My boyfriend cheated on me with prostitutes… Now what?

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Cheaters have options, and so do you.

Dear Megan,

I just found out my bf of 3 years recently had a visit to a prostitute. I was looking into his text messages and I found texts for an escort’s location, price, and availability.  I was crying and stopped talking to him. Then he confessed. It was so devastating.

I have always been devoted and committed in this relationship. Throughout the relationship, he was caring, loving, and genuine. We were planning to live together, and plan on getting married.

When I confronted him, he told me he f’ed up, and was actually thinking about having kids together and planning to buy the ring two days ago. I asked him how many times he went when he was with me, he said two times.

He was totally ashamed, said he’s an awful person and a sociopath. He was crying on the phone, and said he still loves me and would see if I can forgive him and give him a chance. He said I am the nicest girlfriend he’s ever had. He promised he would not go again if I give him a chance. But he also said he will understand if I want to let it go and move on. I told him I needed time to think.

I know most people will tell me to stay away from him, but I just can’t imagine life without him. We do share the same sense of humor, and views, and the sex is good. I enjoy spending time with him.

We’ve invested 3 years together, and I would really hope that he will change into a better person. I was hoping to marry this guy and have a family together. I am worried of going through dating all over again…. I really regret that I have discovered this from checking his messages. Is it possible to give him a chance?

– The One Having Sex with My Boyfriend for Free

 


Dear “The One Having Sex with My Boyfriend for Free,”

The sex better be good with all the practice he’s getting, lol…  And with pros, too?!  Whose game wouldn’t improve if they got to play ball with Michael Jordan on a regular basis…  But, in all seriousness, it really doesn’t matter who he’s cheating on you with – we’re all women, after all.  The real issue is that he’s not meeting your expectation of monogamy.

As you stated, most people would tell you to run for the hills.  They’d quote Dr. Phil, (don’t judge me, ya’ll), and say, “the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.”  And, on that, I tend to agree.  This wolf – (and anyone who has cheated, whether it’s with a prostitute or not) – is what you’d call a “high-risk investment.”  And only you know your level of risk tolerance.

What this really boils down to is knowing what you want in a man and in a relationship. (And I offer my two cents on figuring that out here.)

Your boyfriend has not only shown you that he’s someone who cheats, (and last time I checked, that didn’t fall under loving and genuine), but he’s told you that he defines himself as an “awful person” and a “sociopath.”  So, if you want to be with a sociopath who cheats then you’ve got your man.  Happy ring shopping.

If, on the other hand, you want to be with someone you can trust, (and not require so many trips to the local clinic that you’re putting their gynecologist’s kids through college), I recommend moving on to someone you can establish that foundation with.

From the sound of it, it looks like you want a trustworthy wolf, and am hoping that something, (maybe The Force?), will turn your cheating, remorseful dude into that guy.  And if you’ve got a heart, stomach, mind, and immune system made of steel, I don’t see anything wrong with sacrificing your time in the hopes of observing a phenomenon that just may qualify as The Eighth Wonder of the World.

When it comes to sleeping together, though, while I can’t say if this guy will ever cheat again, I will say is that anytime you have unprotected sex with someone who is, or may be, sleeping with other people, it is not only a gamble with your life, but a form of self-mutilation.  Yeah, many of us have dodged bullets there, but plenty haven’t.  So, if you do hang in there, I highly suggest you wrap it up… Probably, forever, haha.

However, if you find that you are more sensitive than a Vulcan, (the non-emotional dudes from Star Trek), you’re going to want to step away from this heart-breaking relationship for the preservation of your spirit.

I know you two have a lot of fun and sexy things in common, but when it comes to core values – like monogamy… honesty… self-discipline… – you guys are just not on the same page.  And while you may not be able to imagine life without him now, rest assured that when God created fun and sexy men He didn’t stop at this dude.

Again, at the end of the day, only you know what’s best for you.  I didn’t create you, and I don’t know your journey, so I don’t know what lessons you’re here to learn.  What I do know, is that if you care about how you feel, and listen to yourself, you’ll be just fine. 

In the meantime, try not to turn a temporary problem into a permanent one.  That means that if you choose not to leave, please abstain from sex, or wear a condom to lessen your chances of contracting a disease or getting pregnant.  Also, consistently tend to your mental, spiritual, and emotional health throughout this process with the help of all the various resources out there.  That way you give yourself a chance to come out on the other side of this, (whatever side that may be), better and not bitter.

Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

P.S. And if you’re interested in creating a cheat-proof relationship from here, feel free to check out this article!

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

Should we break up over “cheating” before we were official?

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Dear Megan,

Before my boyfriend and I “officially” became a couple, we spent a year getting to know each other. During this period we were intimate, so I wasn’t dating any other guys and was pretty serious about building a relationship with him. During most of this period, however, I ended up finding out that he was dating several girls, being intimate with all of them, and deceiving all of them by not telling any of us he was also hooking up with other girls. Basically, he was a Player.

However, as time went on, him and I became very, very close; and I was sure that he had stopped talking to all the other girls because he told me “he wasn’t pursuing anyone else,” and a couple months later he asked me to be his girlfriend. And we have had the most wonderful, loyal, perfect relationship for the last year and a half.

So, yesterday I found out that during the couple months right before we officially became a couple, he in fact WAS still seeing other girls. “Not pursuing anyone” meant that he wasn’t hooking up with anyone new, just the same old lineup. What’s worse, I found out he was hooking up with his best friend’s girlfriend, who is my friend too!

Here is my dilemma: We have had the most wonderful relationship since we became a couple. He wants to marry me, and I know he would never cheat on me. But constantly finding out about more and more girls that he hooked up with while we were dating really bothers me and has put a strain on the relationship. Especially recently finding out about him hooking up with other girls during the period I thought we were exclusive.

It hurts me because I didn’t know he was the type of person that would do that, especially with his best friend’s girlfriend. He apologizes endlessly, but says that since we weren’t “official,” it’s irrelevant. However, I feel that if I knew about all his deceitful actions at the time, I would have ended it then and we wouldn’t be in this great relationship we have today.  

So, should I break up with him over things he did before we were officially a couple? It REALLY bothers me, and I feel like I don’t want to be with someone that could have done that to me, even though things are so much different now. I feel like enough is enough. There have been plenty of opportunities during our relationship to tell me everything, but I still keep finding out more and more. I don’t really trust him anymore, and feel like our relationship was built on lies and deceit. I feel like I want to end the relationship over this, but is that unfair?

-Feeling Duped

 


Dear “Feeling Duped,”

Excuse me as I place a stethoscope around my neck, shine a small flashlight into your ear, hold your tongue, and make you say “Ahhh…” Yep, see this all the time… What we have here is a classic case of “Girl who wanted real exclusivity, settled for a vague expression of one, and got hurt when she later found out that she, in fact, wasn’t her one-and-only’s one-and-only.” Okay, you can put your tongue back in.

Now, let’s get the obvious out of the way before getting to the nitty gritty of your dilemma. As your question suggests, you already know that unless a guy specifically asks for exclusivity, or for you to be his gIrLfRiEnD, (tee hee), you both are free to entertain other lads and lasses as you please. (And if you want things to be extra clear, it’s always nice to even state that expectation – you know, that he’ll have to ask for exclusivity – upfront, once you two realize you’re starting to like each other.)

So, since we here at sex symbol central know to NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING, you know this wolf technically didn’t do anything wrong. Hell, he may have even done something RIGHT, as, according to you, your ignorance of what he was doing allowed you two to have “the most wonderful, loyal, perfect relationship” for the last year and a half.

However, fact remains that now you’re not only not-so-ignorant of his past behavior, you’re even repulsed by it. And to answer your question, I can confidently say, no, it is not unfair to want to break up with him over things he’s done in the past.

Just because someone technically didn’t do something wrong doesn’t mean that you have to like what they did. And given what you know today, it’s totally okay for you to question if this is someone you want to be with.

Do you want to be with someone who sleeps with his best friend’s girlfriend?

Do you want to be with someone who uses lawyer-like tactics to get out of being completely open and honest with you about what he’s doing?

Do you want to be with someone who doesn’t view sexual intimacy as sacredly as you do?

You’re totally entitled to re-evaluate the relationship based on what you now know.

However, since you already have a relationship you enjoy, and none are perfect, (despite your earlier claim), you may want to just use what you now know to create some new agreements and clarify expectations that were never articulated up until this point.

If you choose that route, you’ll want to make sure it’s clear to him that you want him to be open and upfront about what he’s doing, and that withholding information will not suffice as a form of truth in your book.

When it comes to addressing his promiscuity in the months post-“vague” exclusivity, pre-“official” exclusivity, you’re first going to have to accept it as the price you have to pay for allowing a vague expression of exclusivity to get past you – I know, bummer – and second, learn from it. Reiterate your new agreement for a clear, “full-disclosure” form of communicating that honors the “intent of the law,” not the letter of it, and be prepared to stand by whatever consequence you two agree on for violation of your agreement.

Lastly, when it comes to sleeping with his best friend’s girlfriend, well, you’ll want to further pick his brain there. If his best friend gave him the thumbs up, then, while many loyal wolves would have probably still steered clear, he’s once again only guilty of having an approach to sex that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If, however, this was a betrayal on his part, you’ll want to hear him out so you gain insight into his views on loyalty and see if they align with your own.

I say all this to not only remind you that you have legitimate options, but to help you to realize that ultimately the right choice is dependent on how you feel. Consequently, the only decision you have to make is to simply do what feels better. If staying with him, creating new agreements, and learning to accept a less than picture-perfect past feels good, do that. If walking away and holding out for someone you believe you can co-create a more open and honest foundation with, and whose approach to sex and relationships/friendships is one that aligns more with your own values feels better, do that.

At the end of the day, it’s important to trust your intuition, even if you can’t rationalize it. After all, unlike lovers, it doesn’t need an “official” agreement to always have your back ;). Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

P.S. And if you’re interested in creating a cheat-proof relationship from here, feel free to check out this article!

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

Is true love easy and effortless?

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Dear Megan,

This question is in my head a lot at the moment. I’m struggling to decide if my ex just wasn’t the one, or if we both put walls up and didn’t try hard enough to push through them, (I know I certainly did). 

One month after the breakup, I know where I went wrong, I just wouldn’t “let him in.”  He tried to help me with this, but I was way too careful about protecting myself.  Now that I’ve got nothing left to lose I realize that I should have trusted him and opened up. Maybe things would be different. He was also careful to guard himself, though, but in a different way. There was clearly a lack of communication. I think he was more aware of this than me, at the time anyway.  

When I last spoke to my ex just after the breakup I said, “I know I didn’t try hard enough but I was scared.” He replied, “You shouldn’t have to try.”  Do you agree? 

Does true love just happen?  Should it be easy and effortless, or do you still have to work through some issues?  And if you do, how do you know if the relationship’s one to work on, or one to walk away from? 

-Deep in Thought

 


Dear Deep in Thought,

Good questions!  And given your introspective, what-do-I-need-to-learn-from-this-breakup way of thinking I’d say you’re definitely on track to experiencing the “true love” you seek.  All I hope to do now is help you separate fact from fiction so you can recognize that quality relationship when it’s in front of you. Does true love just happen?  Should the relationship be easy and effortless?  And if relationships do require work, how do you know which one to work on, and which one to walk away from?

To begin with, I feel your pain.  In “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” I mention the many “you’re cute and all, but not worth the trouble” wolves – (that’s guys for all you newcomers) – that came in and out of my life.   They’re there for a fun ride, but can’t handle the speed bumps that inevitably occur during the “intimacy freak-out” stage – (that’s when you start to get close, become uncomfortable when more vulnerability and trust is required, and then do something dramatic to create a bit of distance between the two of you in an effort to feel safe and secure again).  “It should be easy,” is usually one of the last things those guys say when everything’s over; and, left feeling like damaged goods from childhood wounds and past relationships, you wonder, “Should it?”

Well, to answer your first question, is true love effortless? YES.  Are relationships? NO.  Now stick with me while I go deep for a second.  (Tee hee, “that’s what he said.”  Okay, serious face.)  “True love,” to be clear, is a force, or energy, or whatever you want to call it, that naturally exists in the universe.  You don’t have to do anything to gain access to it just as you don’t have to do anything for the sun to rise in the morning.  It’s your birthright.  You did nothing to deserve it.  It’s just there.  Enjoy.  One day you’re born, and boom, you can feel love for whatever, and whomever, (including yourself), whenever you’re open to it.  If you’re like most of us you may have developed beliefs about yourself and your fellow human beings that often block your ability to perceive love, but it’s still there.  And the second you let your guard down, forget your hindering story of unworthiness, and accidentally look your pet, child, or dying parent in the eye, bam! You feel it.      

However, when it comes to love relationships, well that’s another story.  Consistently staying open to love and directing it, (through loving actions), towards someone with their own unique set of needs, expectations, and desires requires not only work, but a lot of it.  While you can love anybody, in order to have a mutually loving relationship with someone – involving things like sight, sound, and touch – you both need to come to understand each other in an out, learn what makes the other tick, and develop a game plan on healing whatever wounds you both bring to the table that block the flow of love between the two of you.  So yeah, work, or as you put it “effort,” is involved.  As well as time, understanding, compassion, patience, pain, dedication, some trials by fire, trust, vulnerability…

If you’re wondering how much work, well, the amount of effort involved is directly correlated to how prepared and experienced each person is in the process of cultivating love.  The more experience both people have at loving themselves and others before they enter the relationship the smoother things will be. (And as “practice makes progress” most past and – gulp – current relationships serve as that experience.)  But no pain, no gain.  So no matter how good at “loving” either party is coming in, if anyone is to grow from their current state and experience the deeper love your specific union offers, both people can expect to encounter some “growing pains” as conflicting beliefs or habits are exposed and shed. 

And now for your other brilliant question, “How do you know if you’re in a relationship that’s worth working on, or one you should walk away from?” Well, you stay when what’s being asked of you is something that will allow you to experience love in a deeper way, and you go when there’s no more room for growth.  

If staying means that you have the opportunity to practice letting go of a behavior and/or belief that has previously prevented you from experiencing intimacy and love in a safe environment, unpack your bags, put on some tea, and get to talkin’.  Conversely, it’s time to go when staying feels like stagnation or regression.  When the solution to whatever issue you two are having won’t help you to experience love in a deeper and fuller way, go.  Even if it just feels like something’s off.  Go.  Deep down you know what’s good for you.  And since there will always be another opportunity to grow in love you risk nothing when trusting yourself.  Your gut will never steer you wrong.

Lastly, on the journey to your amazing love affair, it’s important to remember that “Everything that has left you couldn’t stay, and everything that has stayed couldn’t leave you.”  You’ve lost nothing and no one necessary to fulfill your purpose and live the life of your dreams.  You’ve only gained things, like clarity.  Stay open to love.  And stay committed to loving yourself.  When you do that you’ll attract someone who will also love you, and he will stick.  No amount of trouble you give him will be able to drive him away – (trust me, I know).  He’ll be well-equipped for it.  Winston Churchill said, “I like a man who grins when he fights,” and it is that man, NOT the one who says, “it’s supposed to be easy,” who will stick it out with you, fight past you guys’ demons with you, and help co-create a loving relationship with you.  So chin up, girl.  True love is on its way.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.