Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yes, You Are Dating ME!

Let's say that you and I are dating, and we went to a party a few nights ago that got really wild. You did lots of things at the party that you'd never want your family or anyone at your workplace to find out about. If you said to me, "Could you please not bring up the party around my parents?" I would definitely not bring it up. I would respect your privacy and not mention the party to anyone whom you asked me not to mention it to. Even if I had a personal story of my own experience at the party that didn't involve you, I understand that bringing up the party at all could raise the question of whether or not you were there. I would even be willing to lie on your behalf if it was really important to keep what happened at the party private. I would do this because what you did at the party is your personal experience, and unless you hurt someone else at the party, it's your choice to keep that experience private.

There are some things that you and I will experience together, like going to wild parties. There are other things that we experience separately. We each have experiences that are totally our own, that no one else has a say in whether or not we choose to share them. I happen to have a goal of being completely untamable and undoing all the effects of schooling and discipline on myself. If you were to ask me to not talk about my untamable goal around your parents, I would not honor this request. My untamable goal is my personal experience that has nothing to do with you. The only reason that I would respect your wishes regarding the wild party is that you don't want other people to know what YOU did at the party. If I had gone to a wild party without you and did lots of wild things on my own, I would most certainly share that with whoever I wanted. The only reason I would keep that private is to hide the fact that you were there too. Things like my untamable goals have absolutely nothing to do with you, and therefore, I will never pretend not to be that way for your family, friends, coworkers, or anyone that you know.

When I was a kid, I always found it insulting when my parents would be embarrassed by my behavior or act as if it reflected on them. I was an individual who could make my own choices, and it was not okay for my parents to act like they could do anything to stop me. Likewise, I'm not okay with the idea of someone I'm dating acting as if my behavior reflects on them. Even if I am your guest at a family or work function, I am an individual who can make my own choices, and acting as if my behavior reflects on you is problematic because it implies that you have some sort of control over me - that you can tame me.

But even if you don't think that you can control my behavior, there's this issue of protecting your image and not accepting who I am. If you want me to purposely lie or not mention things about myself in any of your social circles, you're basically trying to act like you're not the kind of person who would date someone like me. Well you know what? YOU ARE DATING ME. You are dating me, therefore you are the kind of person who dates wild untamable chicks who have no respect for rules or authority and are trying to give children the tools to tear down the system and do whatever the hell they want. You may not be like that yourself, but you are dating someone who is like that, and you can't deny that. You can't go around acting like you're dating a good productive member of society in order to get other people's approval. I am a package deal. I do not offer the option of only dating the part of me that you like. I will never, ever pretend to be something that I'm not so that you can pretend to be the kind of person who wouldn't date someone like me. If you want me to do that, I suggest you go find yourself a good girl and never darken my doorstep again.

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