My 6 A.M. Conversation About Relationships With Two Random Women In The Airport

In the airport this morning I was invited into a conversation between two women about a belief that all men cheat. The older of the two was giving advice to the younger about how she felt relationships work, and wanted to get a male perspective on the matter. I’m guessing there was about a six to ten years age gap between them. The elder said to the younger, “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

The conversation took me by surprise. The elder saying that all men cheat is a bold statement and a huge generalization. She mentioned how in her last relationship (six years ago) her boyfriend cheated on her repeatedly. The boyfriend was a professional athlete and spent a lot of time traveling from city to city. She mentioned that cheating was something that she expected him to do as a man. She felt certain that women would be throwing themselves at her boyfriend, given his status and appearance. Her only rule was that he did not embarrass her and that he did not let her find out about it.

The friend she was advising appeared to be in her early twenties and was in a long-distance relationship. She was telling her friend to not be surprised if her boyfriend was cheating. The younger friend’s rebuttal was that if someone is in love with you, they shouldn’t want to be with anyone else. To that response, the older friend replied, “it has nothing to do with love.”

In giving my advice on the situation, I said to them, it all comes down to honesty and being up front about what the relationship is or isn’t.

Before entering into a romantic relationship with someone, a choice has to be made by both individuals. Is this going to be an open relationship, where both parties are allowed to have sex with other people, or is this going to be a relationship where both parties only have sex with each other. I realize this is a very binary approach. And let me say that this is only one example of establishing what a relationship is or isn’t. This is also only a discussion about a couple types of relationships and not all-inclusive. There are so many layers to a relationship. And there is not a one-size fit all way of approaching them.

In relationships, we have to understand what’s important to us and be upfront about that with our partner. We have to be brave enough to be honest with our partner and ourselves when certain aspects of the relationship are no longer working for us. Without honesty, the relationship is doomed for failure. I hope that I was able to make this point to both ladies.

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