It’s OK to Feel Not OK

Deep Breath… It’s OK

Recently I was faced with a choice, to respond to a person in the way that I would like to be responded to, or to do my standard joking, playful, and seemingly dismissive retort.  Was that vague enough?  OK, so a guy I was planning a date with, messaged that he was having a rough day and didn’t feel up to seeing me.  Of course I was disappointed, but… and here’s the but… I was so shocked and ultimately impressed that this guy was able to tell me he was in a dark place, that I didn’t write my default message. In that moment, I realized that it was up to me, to take a step back, and really take stock of the situation. I have been putting out into the universe that I want men to be honest with me. And just like that, he was.

I have long been a believer in mental health days being just as crucial to our health as physical health days.  Why do we have sick days, and not depressed days?  It simply makes no sense.  And as a person who knows good and bad days, why is it permissible that I bail on event because I have a cold, but not to say that I can barely get myself out of bed and dressed? For some reason we are expected to just rally, or what I think happens more often than not, lie or make up excuses for our absence.  This, needs to stop.

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Yes, it is completely valid to feel bummed when someone can’t make it out to see you.  However, it is important to reflect on the strength of character it takes a person to just send that text, especially when they are feeling too low to move. Remember, our emotions are valid!

This brings me to another shocking revelation about myself. OK, fine, something that I should come to terms with. I have consistently created a safe space for my dearest friends.  We can openly talk about our bad days, and remind each other to drink water, get some vitamin D, let it out, and stretch or move. Yeah, I have some pretty incredible souls in my life.  That being said, I have not formed the same bonds with men.  In my mind, I know I am open minded, and empathetic to almost all things.  But, have I articulated that?  Have I ever lead by example?  Do I properly communicate that my space is a safe and understanding space?  Definitively not… especially at first. I tend to keep my emotions to myself.  And I think, if I’m being honest, I have created a double standard between friends and lovers.  I seem to hold lovers to a higher standard of openness without putting the work in myself. So yay, opportunity areas right???  Ugh… So many things to work on and improve.  Self improvement just never ends does it?

I don’t know when too soon is to be open and vulnerable, so there will be mistakes made. My hope is, that I can continue what just felt right the other day. Acknowledging that there will be good and bad day, and I want to be with people who understand that. Create the spaces you want to be in yourself. Stop this whole double standard thing whereby my friends can get away with so much more than the men in my life can. I can do this!

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Double Standard

I have spent a long time perceiving the world as individuals moving to and fro, while turning a blind eye to race, colour and gender.  This is how I was raised and taught throughout my life that people are people and have the same rights as everybody else.  In university I took a course on Sex and Gender, and I was constantly confronted with the idea that women are absently represented in much of history as a direct result of these biases.  I will try to explain this a little clearer.  As a result of thinking all people are people, many Anthropologists have missed documenting important factors as to why specific genders took on specific roles.  Or more to the point, only looking at one side of the equation, and sourcing why it is beneficial for men to be polyamorous, or monogamous, and leaving out the benefits for women in this same situation.  The lack of looking at the big picture and all sides evenly has been going on for hundreds of years, and I am encountering to this day.
I am at a bit of a loss here for how to keep the anonymity of the main person discussed here so I apologize that I have to call this person my roommate for the sake of cohesion in the story.  At any rate, a few people have asked how I am doing as of late.  So I tell them how wonderful it is being back in school and how helpful it is to have a roommate to take a bit of the bills burden.  Finding out if he is male, the question is, does he have a girlfriend.  To which I jokingly respond, I think he may have a couple actually.  And every single person replies with laughter followed by “good for him”. 
Now why is it ok to date multiple people however when you are in a committed relationship it is frowned upon?  To have more than one sexual partner in the course of being with your significant other?  Did you think I was going to play the gender card and whine about how men can date multiple but women cannot?  Well I think that is a valid question too, and is a factor however I am more concerned about the ramifications of why things change when a person is just dating and playing the field into a relationship.  I often comment on the excitement of meeting new people, and feeling that amazing newness chemistry.  I believe that it increases the drive that you have for your partner, especially when it is only done occasionally.  As an infrequent spark, it has the potential to fuel a relationship into a long standing and strong one.  A relationship that really can stand the test of time, and anything that can be thrown at it.  Now this is only about my dream relationship specifically, and I think it bears repeating that I respect the monogamous, and the poly people out there. 

My goal towards this post is to raise awareness towards how you have reacted in the past towards any double standards in your life.  If it is true for you that the dating field should be about dating a multitude of people and varieties, how then can you cut that out completely and turn a relationship into a monogamously committed relationship?  It seems like there is something missing, some step or element that makes it true and rational.  For me, variety is really the spice that makes life worthwhile and really fun.