Did you bring them into the room?
Did you make a place for them in their absense?
Did you care enough to name them and then name your connection with them?
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a guy who did just that. He introduced his lady in her absence, not just with a cursory phrase, but he actually named her and told a gorgeous story of how they had got together. Now this guy and I were not having a connection other than a new festival acquaintance, but it was refreshing. Not least for the fact that I knew exactly where I stood with him from the get go. So sharing laughs and jokes and moments was tempered, honest and free from all the murky lack of clarity.
At the same event, a guy who persued an emotional connection with me had done the exact opposite and it was only on the last day that he accidently slipped in the name of the woman he was seeing. Needless to say I felt cheapened, tried on for size and slightly used. Granted he had said a month or so ago when we first chatted that he had ‘sort of started seeing someone’, but not a word of her was uttered since (and yes I could have asked, but then so could he have offered the information). Had I known for sure then I would not have gone along with connecting at such an intimate level. We didn’t have sex, thankfully. But sharing emotional depth is to my mind far more intimate especially when coupled with long hugs and meaningful gazes. It was all very confusing. And typically he resorted to the pat phrase ‘well I did tell you I was in a relationship’ Actually, no you didn’t, not at any point. And as to ‘I am not romantically attracted to you’, well sorry but I don’t share in this way with my male mates, so I question your motivations. And I feel for the woman you are in a story with.
Im not writing this to shame him or name him. What I am curious about is that it is all too common a theme in the connection between men and women. I will survive, a few ruffled feathers and one less person in my life to mess me around. But can we do better? I really do think we can.
Its been quite a while since I was even interested in connecting with potential partners and I confess I am a little out of practice. Cancer has changed the landscape for me in a big way, I have no idea if or who will be interested in a woman with one breast. I just trust that it is possible, somehow.
These days in the relating arena I hear a lot of talk of tantra training, with languaging about consent and boundaries and yet, I really do wonder at the depth of opening within them. Does such languaging help to make it ok to ride rough shod over others? Does it remove you and to some extent absolve you from your humanity? So that being honest about being attracted to someone, when you are with another becomes impossible to state clearly? Are we not all just wrestling with our own journeys of attraction versus honourable behaviour?
I don’t deny that tantra or other relationship training modalities can be immensly rich and helpful. However, I would ask that just because you have invested huge amounts of money and time in this, that you don’t assume those of us outside the inner sanctum walls know nothing.
As humans all of us can choose to develop a solid and good value system, where kindness is at the top of all our interactions. It is simple really. Treat each other with grace, honesty and love, whether or not we are in the room.
I for one would appreciate the clarity.
And I feel sure I am not alone.