32 million email addresses were revealed during the Ashley Madison information dump.
That’s a lot of cheaters.
As a single woman, I’m not here to gloat. (Although wouldn’t that be the easiest thing in the world right now?).
No, what this sorry episode says to me is this: “What are our relationship expectations these days?”
I know that my issues are with trust. Because of my past experiences, I don’t know how I will ever believe anything a man says to me. Least of all, “I love you”.
Clearly, even the ones you think you can trust, you can’t.
Your marriage/relationship may be the happiest, bestest, most wonderfulest thing since bread was not just sliced but transformed into a grilled cheese sandwich, and yet still, your partner might be cheating on you.
Should we hate them for that? Hate ourselves?
Or maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and say, “Relationships are not monogomous. They never have been and they never will be.”
The traditional model of marriage and exclusivity is not the one that most people seem to adhere to these days. We need to unlearn that these are the traits that make a relationship work.
Should the new fairytale go something like this: “Yeah, sure kid, you’ll meet the man of your dreams. Or at least you think he is but he will fall far short of your expectations, most likely cheat on you and lie to your face but still, he might be a good man. If he sticks around to pay the bills, share some responsibility and bring up the kids, then you’ve got a good one. You will live happyish ever after and you know what, you’ll be luckier than most.”
I’ve said it before, we deserve the best but we expect too much. Or at least, I know I did.
And the times when I consistently compromised were the times I was left lonely, confused and frustrated.
But maybe that’s because the narrative that is beaten into us about romance, love and marriage has become redundant. Feminism started it and the internet has finished it off entirely. Leave the romance to novels.
So yes, marry your partner and buy into the dream but don’t hate him or her when they start drinking Ashley’s Kool Aid.
Their fairytale has another ending – and so does yours. That doesn’t make it worse, that just makes it different.
And 32 million other people have already figured that out.
I told a friend yesterday that I was missing an emotional connection in my life.
And I really am.
There’s a big big gap right there where a hug should be.
Not getting married or having kids may boil down to a life choice but living without love or affection is just ridiculous.
She told me (and I’m paraphrasing) that I didn’t deserve love because the rest of my life was a mess.
That I had to sort out everything else before I could even hope to meeting anybody.
She said, and I paraphrase again, ‘I wouldn’t want to date in your situation’.
But it’s funny because when I had the so-called perfect set-up; the apartment, the job, the new car, the clothes, I didn’t find love either.
I only managed to find men who were more than happy to attach themselves to me in order for them to enjoy the fruits of my labours.
So I think what really upset me about that conversation was the notion that I wasn’t worthy because I’d fucked up so badly.
I no longer have that big living space or job security… yet somehow that was what defined my goodness and my ability to be loved?
Isn’t that ridiculous. If we were to wait until everything was perfect, we’d all float through life forever loveless.
Who out there has actually managed to get everything right?
Some of the biggest fuck ups I know have found love. And it’s changed their lives forever.
So I’ll say it again…I’m not denying myself the possibility of anything this year.
I’m fighting less and I’m open to more.
So to paraphrase what I told her her. ‘You’re wrong.’
Because she is.