I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance that left me somewhat astonished. Although he's in a committed long-distance relationship, he openly flirts with other girls at work and admits to having a crush on one of them. He calls some of his closer female friends his "surrogate girlfriends" and constantly makes comments about which girl is a "cutie pie" and which girl he finds attractive.
"How do you reconcile being in a long-distance relationship with one girl and flirting with so many others?" I asked him. He thought about it for a bit, then gave me his answer (and I'm paraphrasing here): "I openly flirt, but I can't see myself cheating on my girlfriend. I made a commitment to be with her. Plus she's not the insecure type."
Whoa. Did anyone else notice the neat rhetorical twist behind his words that implicitly blames the girl for being upset over her boyfriend's flirtatious ways, i.e. he never had any wrongdoing in mind and if she gets upset it's because she has insecurity issues and it's not his fault for flirting with other girls? This guy is planning to go to law school, and if his courtroom speeches are anywhere near this smooth he has a great career ahead of him.
His response to my question rankled me, and it took another ten minutes and a cup of coffee for me to figure out exactly why it did. As intelligent as he is, this response was pretty chauvinistic and hypocritical in my opinion. From previous conversations with him, I know that he doesn't like feeling as though he's being neglected by his partner, and like he and the relationship they share aren't special to her. Alright, fair enough; a lot of people in relationships feel as though they're being taken for granted at some point. Yet here he is, spending tons of time with a girl who isn't his girlfriend and engaging in behaviour that diminishes the specialness of their bond.
Maybe this is just the "insecure girl" in me speaking, but when I'm with a guy, I want to feel well-loved and like I have a special, unique place in his life. I don't want to be anxiously looking over my shoulder all the time and worrying about my "replacement."
This conversation made me realize how lucky I was to be dating someone like Aldo in a long-distance scenario. Carrying on a long-distance relationship for a year and a half is hard enough. It would have been so much harder if I was constantly worried about him flirting with girls in bars and developing crushes left and right. What's more, the way he carried himself throughout the relationship has made me respect him more and want to remain friends with him.