As the Kween of complicated and intricate interactions I have somehow seemingly managed to sort out how to operate in this sea of emotional upheaval. Here’s how I have done so in some semblance of sanity:
I should preface this by saying what brought me to this realization is the fact that one of my close friends is also someone who I had a sexual, and emotional relationship with. Now let me explain what that means, we were both at really shitty times in our lives, following hurtful break ups people do all sorts of crazy shit. So I started sleeping with someone who I was not particularly attracted to, worked with (which at the time was a huge moral no-no for me), and had no intention of keeping around. Where upon I platonically fell for this person.
You see when you spend several weeks in a row, and by that I mean about three months… Meeting up, hanging out and then fucking, you get kinda tender on the other person. It is almost impossible to not, in this case getting to know this person privately and beyond being naked. It did not make me want to date them. It just humanized them to me, and made me care deeply about their well being and happiness. We went through a similar shitty situation together, and had a lot in common, how could I not care about them after? So even after we both got serious partners (I have been with mine for nearly a year, and they have broken up with someone and begun dating a new someone) we are still friends. At first they struggled with how to maintain the relationship and have it not weird out their girlfriend. I on the other hand was just honest right out the gate and told my partner “Hey so so and I used to sleep together, but not in a dating way, in a sad we were emotionally fucked up kinda way, but we are still good friends, and I have zero intention to ever be more than that.” My partner took it well. Their partner was awkward and told half truths.
Now in my professional guesstimation, that’s probably one of the great reasons they are not longer still together, you can’t be in any kind of committed relationship if you have to, hide, trim, or with hold the truth. I am not saying I am fucking perfect or that I don’t have a mean jealous streak but after all the insane manipulation and lies I have seen, I have zero tolerance, time, or frankly talent for anything so damn contrived.
Another thing I have learned about navigating these deep waters called “relationships,” is respect is key. Not just for you to your partner, but also with your partner towards other people in your life. I wouldn’t let my partner disrespect my friends, nor would I let my friend disrespect my partner. Now this is in the case that either of those people aren’t in some way abusive or untrustworthy, it isn’t disrespectful for a friend to say “Hey your partner is abusive and awful to you and I can’t stand them.” Versus mean heartedly making fun of them for no reason. Criticism isn’t disrespect and we all need somebody who will kick our asses into gear if we mess up.
Drawing reasonable lines to make your partner feel confident and like you are transparent about the friendship also matter. Like in a perfect world no one would be insecure or jealous but despite what Leibniz says this is not the best of all possible worlds. Humans are flawed and hurt. If you are gonna text somebody that you’ve slept with that’s chill, just maybe don’t hide it, tell your partner who you are talking to and give a brief summation of what. Example: “Yo, so’n’so texted me about going on a bike ride and then getting a beer so we can catch up.” Which is not invasive but I feel like it allows your partner a safe net and some sense that they matter to you enough for you to include them. Sure it may not actually be your/their business, but let’s be honest if you are going to constantly, talk, text, or message someone you’ve got a sexual history with while your partner is around it looks suspicious. Just get over yourself and explain the current context of your relationship, it’s not that big of a deal, and it comforts people. Ask yourself “would it make them feel safer, and not really be that big of a bother to me?” most likely it would and isn’t. Now if you feel like their is something to hide, you are probably fucking up. Seriously if you say something or text something then think “Holy shit my partner can’t see this they’d be hurt.” Then why tf did you do/say it? (aka don’t be a disloyal prick)
Keep being friends with whoever but don’t be so wrapped up in being mysterious or “private” that you leave people you theoretically care about, hurt. Intention isn’t cinnamon sugar it doesn’t make shitty actions taste like heaven. Whether or not you planned it, you can hurt people. So just think ahead, and navigate these muddy waters with just a bit of rational, and a dash of kindness.
Also I have no idea why I used some many water metaphors, it is hot as hell today, so maybe that is it….