I think that just about everyone knows what it’s ike to say just a little bit too much. In everyday life we all share and keep secrets and confidential information. And we all, at one time or another, have spilled that information to the wrong person at the wrong time. I actually think telling secrets is almost a natural urge that we have as human beings. Like looking at accidents on the side of the road or laughing when someone slips in a mud puddle. We know it’s not the right thing to do but we sometimes can’t help ourselves. But when you’re in a relationship with someone, you take that whole “keeping secrets” thing to another level. Well……some people do. (an older lady at my job once told me that her husband was impotent and let out a little chuckle about his strategy for getting over his problem. Before I could even get out a minimal laugh, I thought “Oh My God! did she just tell me that….ABOUT HER HUSBAND!) And we should. You must have a level of trust that is established between a couple. And telling that special someone your most private feelings brings you closer. However it’s sometimes the other information, that people don’t lay out the “Top Secret” disclaimer on, that we get caught repeating that causes some of the worst damage.
It’s pretty difficult for me to date a lady that is super close to her parents. And by super close I mean, Super Close in a best friend sort of way. A parent’s judgement of me is pretty important in my book. I want parents to respect me and the way that I live my life so they can ultimately be super comfortable with me being with their daughter. But as we all know that no one is perfect. And I don’t want my girlfriend to share the faults and flaws that I carry in my personal baggage until I am firmly established as someone to love and respect. Which I think shouldn’t be talked about until I’ve been with a woman too long for her to consider leaving me!( makes sense to me!) So the idea of my lady telling her mother or father about my empty bank account, cocaine abuse, womanizing and heathen ways is not what I need in my life. (Dramatic affect people…dramatic affect). But it has been my experience that people in relationships are not so much telling the secrets as much as they are repeating things that are said in a certain way that may not be appropriate for all ears. The things I say to my girlfriend are not things that I need to be repeated verbatim to my girlfriend’s parents. If my girlfriend’s parents get to out of line with me for whatever reason, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that I may say something like…”your parents need to mind their own business” to my lady. TO MY LADY, being the key phrase. I would not phrase it that way to her parents. And I certainly don’t need her going back to them and phrasing my opinions in that manner either. If my mother made some annoying comments about my girlfriend’s weight, hair or anything, I wouldn’t be blown away to hear her express her displeasure with my mother to me in a raw sort of form. As a man, and as someone who doesn’t want bad feelings to be created between my two most important ladies, I would not go back to my mother and say to her, “Mom, Sharon said you need to lay off the cupcakes before you start commenting about her pants size”. Not only are statements like that idiotic, they are more so prone to incite a fist fight than they are to get her mother to stop being offensive, which should be the goal. I would approach my mother and respectfully tell her that I thought her comments were out of line and that I need her to stop saying things like that. I would put my girlfriend’s concerns on my shoulders as my own because my parents would take that better coming from me. If my girlfriend’s sister is a little bit too playful with me and I tell my girlfriend that it annoys me, I would expect her to handle that without painting me as the bad guy. Handle it without making me out to be the catalyst for that talk. Because at the end of the day, family can tell each other things about themselves that an outsider cannot and still maintain the loving relationship that has always been there. If I have to tell my girlfriend’s father that I think he’s an asshole because he always makes jokes about my fraternity or talks about me because I don’t drink while I indulge him on Sundays watching the football games, then I may never get to ask this girl to marry me! Simply put…just be a buffer. A filter. If the goal is to make everyone comfortable, sometimes you are going to have to stand up and do the job that you are in a better position to do. All in the defense of your special someone. Because what I know is this. You can be childishly ignorant to this dynamic if you want to, and keep throwing your boyfriend/girlfriend under the bus to other people by always expressing their un-filtered complaints if you want to. But eventually you will find yourself under that very same bus. Only this time you will be under there alone with no one to pull out from under it.