Since I’ve been on this whole dating crusade, the idea of what constitutes fidelity has become a much talked about subject.I get a lot of shock from random strangers and people I know when I say that sex, to me, has nothing to do with fidelity. Sex is, let’s be honest, pretty great, but often traumatic. It’s a great weapon and an even better recreational activity. But fidelity and commitment are about emotional bonds, and sex need not be tied to emotional bonding at all. I know, for example, that I can have great sex with a person I absolutely know I have no possibility of an emotionally bond with, and mediocre sex with someone I do have a bond with. In fact, life usually gets messy when I have sex with someone I think I could potentially bond with emotionally!
What has always devastated me is someone betraying the emotional bond. Granted, I’ve only had the one boyfriend, but it’s happened. It’s happened with friends as well, and, if you cry no fair not the same, it’s happened with boys I liked but wasn’t dating. Again, not the best examples cos, well, not dating=no commitment, so where’s the question of fidelity? So fine, I will spare you the stories, though if you’ve been here a while, you must have seen them. With BBot, at one time, when we were both new to this thing, and staggering under the weight of our respective life problems, I remember him telling me I couldn’t help him feel better, only another girl could. That I think might have been the worst moment of our relationship for me (though it’s all still too delicate to poke about and award that prize at the mo), and it took me ten days before I was even able to email him and say wtf??
I could understand if your SigOth didn’t understand, or tried and failed to help; but to skip over SigOth completely and turn to someone else, when the problem concerned does not involve the SigOth; that is cheating. It is cheating because it tells me we are not partners, we don’t turn to each other first, and then to others fro help, that we are not a team, we are not on the same side, and we don’t have each others’ backs. And frankly, to me, that’s really what a relationship is about – not the sex. If you want to see how it feels to sleep with some girl, go for it. Use a condom, get a check-up, and, if it was really good, tell me about it.
I didn’t always think like this, mind you. I remember, when I was dewy-eyed in college, earnestly telling The Dragon that your own definition of fidelity is not the point; you’re getting something out of a relationship, which doesn’t mean that you promptly cease to find anyone else attractive, but only that you don’t act on it. I guess I still think like that, because, at the end of the day, every couple has to work out what it means to them. And, in a relationship, A’s definition applies to B, and vice versa. So, dating someone who does believe in sexual fidelity, and doesn’t believe in emotional fidelity, means that I would have to be sexually faithful, and he would have to be emotionally faithful.
I imagine it would make life difficult.
The other thing is, I just don’t see the POINT of jealousy. It’s not that I haven’t been jealous, of course I have. But I know that stalking someone and clinging and weeping doesn’t make it better. It’s one of those things where the switch is inside your own head. If there is something you need from someone else there’s very little I can do about it. If you’re going to sleep with your ex, I can’t stop you. If you’re not going to sleep with your ex, my obsessing about it is only going to push you away. So either I can decide to be psycho or I can decide to let it be. I can only give you what I have to offer.
If that’s not enough, then we should both find people who match better!