Couples.. are y’all alright? (Thoughts on the normalization of toxic relationships)

I’ve been seeing this guy for a little while now. He has a bar that is a second home to him. This is his bar, not mine. But everyone is generally friendly, so relationship aside, I have no reason to not be friendly in turn.. And I’ve even become casual bar friends with a few of the regulars there.

One of the patrons who is normally floating around came up to me the other night when my dude and I were there, and made a comment that kind of caught me off guard. This man, who I’ve chatted with, very casually a few times, said, “It’s nice that he (my dude) lets you mingle.”


Lets me?

Seriously, couples, are y’all okay?

A.) He doesn’t “let me” do anything. That’s insane. Unless I’m like… borrowing his debit card to pay for groceries, I don’t ask him permission. We are both autonomous adults.

B.) How insecure and/or jealous are people to where you wouldn’t want your partner up and about, talking and joking with people? I’ve seen the borderline creepy, anti-social lurker partner type before, I promise, it ain’t cute.

C. ) (And honestly least important because of the two previous points but still worth noting, I think) This is his bar. These are his people. Like… he’d have to be super wonky if he didn’t want me socializing with his social circle.

I’m not sure if I more blame awful situational comedies or “reality” TV for some of the… indoctrination of this mindset.

My guy actually feels more freedom to talk to and compliment women at the bar, if I am there, because then he assumes the other woman takes his interaction more at face value, the thought being he has no ulterior motives, especially in my presence.

I had literally just typed “I understand I am very lucky for having a partner I can trust” but that’s also insane because if you can’t trust them, why the hell are you with them? I’m normal. This is what normal relationships should look like. Trust and respect should be bare minimum kinda things, you know?

My guy has a lot of female friends. He chats with them often. He has a “history” with some of them. I have a lot of guy friends. I’ve messed around with a good number of them. And ya know what, those activities stopped, on both our ends, because we are in a monogamous relationship. (Nothing anti poly here, I promise. I respect it as a hyper valid option for people, it’s just not where I am, currently.)

I so deeply understand that a lot of people have been super mistreated by past partners. Used, possibly abused, were victims of gaslighting and were lied to and cheated on and… I know, honey child, I know. And I know this changes your behaviors, I know it potentially rewires your brain. And it creates patterns of distrust and allowances of things that are unacceptable.

But, not diving anywhere even close to that deep, this like .. just vague acceptance/societal normalization of ownership or possessiveness or thinking that feeling constantly insecure in a relationship is fine… It’s just such bullshit.

Please know I respect boundaries and I ask his opinion on things all the time and I understand compromise is part of being partnered. But this isn’t me agreeing to a restaurant I’m not super stoked on. This is me remaining fully me, just with him by my side. And that will always be my guiding #couplegoal

Find yourself. Then find someone who encourages and celebrates that and helps you amplify that. If the relationship is making you dim your light or change your true essence, fucking run. Even the best relationships with others don’t last eternally and the only truly ride or die you have is you. Never stop you-ing, for anyone, ever. Friend, lover, family member. Please stay you. Improve and learn and grow, but don’t compromise your core, please.

I’ve gone off the rails here. Haven’t written in ages so then it becomes a brain dump. Sorry. I hope you’re being you and you’re accepted and supported in that, truly.

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